Sep 082010
 

You’ve probably heard about this YouTube video where some fellow gets totally wound up over a double rainbow. I admit that I haven’t watched the whole thing, but I think that I get the point. He’s psyched.

Anyhow, this was one of those internet sensations (14.2 million views) and he’s cashing in by selling t-shirts. Good for him. The problem is that he’s got the rainbows all wrong. The outer rainbow has its colors reversed compared to the inner rainbow. The inner rainbow is violet on the inside and red on the outside. The outer rainbow is red on the inside and violet on the outside. 

Wrong physics spoils an otherwise cool t-shirt!

If you’re going to make a t-shirt at least get the science right. Here’s a good place to start.

 Posted by at 7:28 PM
Dec 312009
 

I saw this for sale in a Tucson Whole Foods yesterday. Pure crap. How can you trust anything in the store if they are selling stuff that is a blatant rip-off?

“Protect yourself from potentially hazardous electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted from your cell phone or other electronic devices like computers. Simply attach the neutralizers in this packet to any device that poses a risk.”
It’s bad enough that this is even in the store, but they’ve even made a second label endorsing it. It’s like Whole Foods is giving this product their imprimatur. The Whole Foods website claims that every product that they sell is carefully evaluated. How did The Neutralizer slip through?
Check out the back:

Here’s the manufacturer, although I suspect that these are really made in some sticker factory in China.
Check out the “research papers” here and here. Maybe I’ll actually go through one of the papers and critique it in detail, but even a cursory glance is enough to see that they are laughable.

These things are suspiciously like those fake Smogbuster stickers. Sad.

 Posted by at 6:45 PM
Nov 072009
 

I saw this article the other day in the New York Times about how the Iraqi security forces have spent an estimated $85 million dollars on crap. The crap is the ADE 651 built ATSC (site under repair!). It’s a two-pronged disaster: 1. a waste of money and 2. the devices don’t detect shit.
Check out the website for the ADE 651. It’s pathetic and full of spelling errors.

Here are some choice quotes from Maj. Gen. Jehad al-Jabiri, head of the Ministry of the Interior’s General Directorate for Combating Explosives.

“Whether it’s magic or scientific, what I care about is it detects bombs”

“I don’t care about Sandia or the Department of Justice or any of them, I know more about this issue than the Americans do. In fact, I know more about bombs than anyone in the world.”

I’d be inclined to call Jehad al-Jabiri an idiot, but my guess is that the way the device works is that Jehad pockets a portion of the total contract. Either that, or his skull is hollow. This guy is crook or an idiot.

Anyhow, this is just the most recent, depressing incident in the long (and I guess profitable) history of dowsing rods. In the past, these scams were limited to the uninformed prospector and treasure hunter.

Here’s an incomplete list of bullshit dowsing technology websites:

The Sniffex. Notice how similar it is to this golf ball detector.

Here’s a video of the Sniffex in action!

The ADE 651

The ADE 651 blog

Electroscopes

Rangertell

DKL Lifeguard

Here’s an incomplete list of sites debunking Dowsing:

Sandia Labs evaluation of the DKL Lifeguard

Sniffex Questions blog

Carl Moreland has a wonderful series of reports disecting various dowsing gizmos. My favorite is the Ranger-Tell Examiner. It’s got a crappy Chinese calculator glued to the top! What a howler.

Honorable mention is the Lectra Search Model X-50. It’s got mounting holes drilled through the traces of a do-nothing PCB inside the case.

How this stuff survives is a mystery to me.

 Posted by at 5:23 PM