Long time readers (and I do mean really long time readers) know that I used to do a regular Friday feature called Your Friday Dose of Woo. In the feature, I used to look for the silliest, woo-iest bits of quackery and pseudoscience that I could find, like quantum homeopathy, SCIO, Quantum Xrroid Consciousness Interface, or Magickal psychic amplification a-go-go. Over time, it got harder and harder to do that on a weekly basis, but I still think that, barring some new, deep, serious story, there’s value to ending the week with something on a lighter note. Yes, I know, this is a rule or tendency that I probably won’t always honor, but it will (I hope) lighten my mood. After all, I could write about the vicious, nasty, con job that is Trumpcare (or, as the Republicans disingenuously call it, the American Health Care Act), but that would really depress the hell out of me.

Thankfully, there is Gwyneth Paltrow, who appears to have the ambition of becoming the female Bill Nelson. True, she is much more attractive, famous, and wealthy, but she is every bit as scammy, with products marketed to affluent women through her website Goop of the type who would like and trust Paltrow and still have sufficient disposable income to buy her overpriced woo. (OK, given that her woo is the purest of pure quackery, pseudoscience, and nonsense sold with bafflegab, $1 would be overpriced, but give me some artistic license here.) Yes, who can forget the Jade Eggs that she sells for $55-66 that are claimed to “increase sexual energy, health, and pleasure,” “harness the power of energy work, crystal healing, and a Kegel-like physical practice, increase “chi, orgasms, vaginal muscle tone, hormonal balance, and feminine energy in general,” and, of course detox. All it requires is that a woman keep the egg in her vagina while sleeping and walking around. I’m not a woman, but my main reaction to this bafflegab (my new favorite word for now) was (and remains) WTF?

What amused me this week, however, is that Paltrow was busted for making yet another false claim. Yes, I know. Ho-hum. Another week, another bullshit claim by Paltrow in the service of selling quackery. What made this slapdown unusual is the source:

Somehow, Goop—which previously encouraged women to shove eggs up their vaginas—has out-Gooped itself: the brand is now promoting stickers called “Body Vibes.” The product, which I remind you, is literally a sticker, uses “NASA space suit material” to “rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies,” whatever the actual fuck that means.

“Human bodies operate at an ideal energetic frequency, but everyday stresses and anxiety can throw off our internal balance, depleting our energy reserves and weakening our immune systems,” Goop says on its website. “Body Vibes stickers (made with the same conductive carbon material NASA uses to line space suits so they can monitor an astronaut’s vitals during wear) come pre-programmed to an ideal frequency, allowing them to target imbalances.”

Yes, these sentences sound like what you’d expect if you threw Enya lyrics in a blender. But what’s somehow worse is that Body Vibes is trying to invoke our beloved space agency to bolster its legitimacy. Obviously, we had to go to the pros.

“Enya lyrics in a blender.” Heheheh. That’s almost as good as “bafflegab.” Personally, I like to refer to it as woo-babble. Star Trek fans know what technobabble is, a form of lazy writing in which scientific terms and science-fiction concepts are thrown into a blender, like the aforementioned Enya lyrics, to produce sciencey-sounding verbiage that is used to explain our heros out of basically any dicey situation. Sadly, it doesn’t work as well for our woo hero Paltrow. Why? Because NASA is on her case:

A representative from NASA’s spacewalk office told Gizmodo that they “do not have any conductive carbon material lining the spacesuits.” Spacesuits are actually made of synthetic polymers, spandex, and other materials that serve a purpose beyond making their wearer look like a resident of Nightmare Coachella.

Wow. When a representative of NASA is willing to go on record publicly to tell you that your claims are bullshit, that’s a special kind of quackery. Yet, entrepreneur that she is, Paltrow is selling this nonsense for prices that run as high as $120 for a pack of 24 stickers, although there are several versions that go for $60 for a 10-pack, which is $6 apiece for each sticker, making the 24 pack seem a bargain by comparison at $5 apiece! (Aren’t volume discounts wonderful?) And get a load of the wonderful designs (click to embiggen):

I’m convinced!

Besides, the company whose work made these stickers possible, AlphaBioCentrix, is a target that would have been most worthy of a Friday Dose of Woo entry back in the day. It bills itself as “Software for the Human Body” (whatever that means), and if you don’t believe just how woo-ey this company is, take a look at some of its products if you don’t believe me. They rival the old Tesla Purple Energy Shield. There’s a Health Pendant, and, as many times as I know I’ve used the word, the marketing material is a lovely bit of bafflegab. Or maybe I should call it technobafflegab, which is even worse than technobabble:

AlphaBio Centrix is proud to announce the availability of a custom pendant that is made for “Long Term” healthcare support. The unique design is made to attach an individual “energy chip” to its face that is programmed with specific subharmonic frequencies that assist in the therapies listed below.

Each energy chip is color coded for identification purposes and made using a crystalline carbon substrate, then they’re domed for environmental protection. Programming the energy chips is a unique process that utilizes our patented Bio Energy Synthesis Technology; an infusion process, which when functional will hold bio frequencies to the substrate material.

When the health pendant is worn around the neck, the energy from the energy chip taps into your chakras. Balancing between the chakras promotes health and a sense of wellbeing. ─ Long known by the ancient healers, healing is a three-way arrangement between, body, mind and spirit. Today’s science has shown the human body has an “electrical frequency” and that much about a person’s health can be determined by it.

And here are the color codes for the “energy chips” that you have to attach to the pendant:

  • Blood Sugar (Diabetic) – Blue Chip
  • Stress & Anxiety (Helps Calm) – Aqua/blue
  • Female (Mood Swings) – Orange
  • Pain & Inflammation (Reduce Pain) – Red
  • Healing XL (Promotes Healing) – Purple
  • Environmental – (Allergies) – Green

This is sheer quackery, of course, but note how the wording is careful. AlphaBioCentrix never actually claims that its products can cure, diagnose, or treat anything, although it does rather skirt the edges of the law. After all, the implication of the “Blood Sugar” Blue Chip is that it will do something that helps a diabetic control his blood sugar. And all of this for a mere $149.95 for the pendant and $39.95 for each additional energy chip!

Another AlphaBioCentrix product is particularly hilarious. Get a load of the Digestive Solution™ Energy Card (because, of course it’s trademarked):

The Digestive Solution™ energy card is made for Human Carbon units.

“Human Carbon Units”? Seriously? It would appear that AlphaBioCentrix is making a subtle (or not-so-subtle) dig at its customers. Take a look at the Urban Dictionary for its definition of “carbon unit“: “A low-grade worker; a peon. A dumb person doing a dumb job, often in retail, food service, or warehousing.” Of course, “low grade workers” generally can’t afford to waste money on the products sold by AlphaBioCentrix (and, of course, Gwyneth Paltrow). You would, however, have to be fairly gullible to believe how this product supposedly “works”:

You can NOW boost your “Body’s Energy Signature” by simply placing this Digestive Solution™ energy card under your food plate and the beverage of your choice and receive energy from the card instantly. The energy card has a magnetic strip embedded in the back that holds digitally enhanced information that once your food or beverage comes in contact with it, the energy is delivered immediately to the food and beverage, thereby boosting the energy to your food to maximize the nutrition you consume.

The Digestive Solution Energy Card is an energetically enhanced products. Our engineers have achieved the correct ratio response of frequency signatures through a technology that matches the same energy you receive from the nutrients you get from the food you eat and drink. When we consume food it converts into chemical energy, which provides the nutritional needs for energy and growth. This connection is defined by the laws of thermo-dynamics that requires all humans to ‘burn’ food for energy.

Now wait. Does this card deliver energy to the food, or does the food deliver energy to the card? Perhaps the rest of the entry will clarify. It says that all you have to do is to place the plate or bowl containing your meal on the card for 20-25 seconds and then place your beverage on the card for the same amount of time and “your body will receive the bio energetic signatures from the energy card.” Well, that certainly explains things.

Then there’s Gravity Balance™. Basically, these “Gravity Balance” chips looks like polished glass disks with a pattern embedded in them. At only $59.95 for a set of five, they supposedly do all these things:

Gravity Balance encourage proper cell reproduction while sleeping – The energy chips rapidly promote and activate the necessary resources to optimize body and brain function, restore missing cell communication, and accelerate the body’s natural ability to heal itself, while sleeping.

The Gravity Balance™ energy chips maintain continuous support therapy for proper cell reproduction while sleeping. The human body depends on a strong inner magnetic core for healing. Proper placement of the chips on your bed mattress will support the body’s energy core to increase individual cell’s reproduction.

Technobafflegab. Energy bafflegab. Woo Bafflegab. Profitable bafflegab, too, I’d guess. After all, these chips only last six months. (How would you tell if theyu weren’t working any more?) Then you have to replace them. P.T. Barnum was overly optimistic about human nature.

Of course, I noticed right away that AlphaBioCentrix doesn’t sell its products directly to the public. It sells to distributors, who then sell retail to the public. In this case, Body Vibes claims to be working with AlphaBioCentrix to bring these miraculous stickers to the world, and Goop is promoting them. There’s even a video:

The claims are more of the same:

Inspired by frequency research conducted by the biggest U.S. defense contractor, AlphaBioCentrix pioneered Bio-Energy Synthesis Technology (BEST), a process using a one-of-a-kind, FDA-approved device, the accelerator frequency generator (AFD). The AFD captures bio-frequencies from a comprehensive catalog of known frequencies that are then digitally transferred to Body Vibes.

How much do you want to bet that this patter about frequency research by the biggest US defense contractor is as much nonsense as the claims about NASA, a claim that is in this video and no doubt was what Goop picked up on when repeating the claim. I certainly know that this is nonsense:

Body Vibes work by targeting the Central Nervous System, our natural hub of energy, powered by a network of electrical signals that vibrate along our nerves. Body Vibes emit a bio-frequency that resonates with the body’s natural energy field. Each body vibe is programmed with a specific sub-harmonic frequency to target a particular lifestyle concern. Use Body Vibes smart stickers to optimize brain and body function, and increase the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

Since everyone is unique, effects of Body Vibes may vary. Some people experience immediate benefits, while others realize the results over time. We recommend wearing Body Vibes for at least one month to experience a complete mind-body reset.

Bafflegab.

Personally, I will give Goop credit for making one claim about this product that is undoubtedly true:

P.S. Leaving them on for the prescribed three-day period left a few goop staffers with marks on their skin, so be careful to stick them somewhere concealable if you’ve got an event coming up.

Good to know. They are, after all, stickers, and you wouldn’t want nasty marks from the adhesive show near your cleavage or bare shoulder while wowing everyone at the latest party for beautiful people.

I used to make fun of Bill Nelson all the time back in the day (say, ten years ago) for his claims about “frequency,” “vibrations,” and quantum physics, as well as his supremely ugly SCIO, Quantum Xrroid Consciousness Interface, software that broke new ground in hideous user interface design. Sadly, it appears that Nelson was ahead of his time. AlphaBioCentrix and Body Vibes have taken up the challenge to sell this pseudoscience to affluent fools, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop is more than willing to help them by promoting their products.

Sadly, Body Vibes and AlphaBioCentrix products aren’t the quackiest things Paltrow promotes and sells. More’s the pity. But Body Vibes does use beautiful models to sell its products; so that’s something.

Because nothing sells woo like beautiful, naked models strategically photographed wearing your product.

Comments

  1. #1 Graham
    June 23, 2017

    There is also a wonderful takedown of the nonesense peddled by Goop on Jezebel…

    http://jezebel.com/wellness-womanhood-and-the-west-how-goop-profits-fro-1793674265

  2. #2 Julian Frost
    June 23, 2017

    So I looked up the word “goop”.
    noun, Slang.
    1. a viscous or sticky substance; goo.
    Origin:
    1955-60; expressive coinage akin to glop etc.
    NOUN
    informal
    A stupid person.
    Origin
    Early 20th century (originally US): of unknown origin; compare with goof.

  3. #3 Terrie
    June 23, 2017

    I am reminded of Noam Chomsky’s observation that you can make perfectly grammatical and correct sentences that, none the less, are completely meaningless.

  4. #4 Michael Finfer, MD
    Edison, NJ
    June 23, 2017

    “Human carbon units?”

    Error, error, must ster-il-ize!

    Anyone who does not recognize that reference does not watch enough Star Trek!

  5. #5 Orac
    June 23, 2017

    Well, that’s another reference, V’ger.

  6. #6 JSterritt
    NYC
    June 23, 2017

    I know it’s Goop’s regressive goal to reduce (specifically) women to their (specifically) female body parts — it’s so post-feminist it will make Commanders and Handmaids alike blush with shame — but these stickers look pretty tailor-made for buttholes, which of course we all have. However, as long as Goop sells exclusively to women, I can see how feminine butthole use of these stickers could still fit with the Goop model of “improving” women for the pleasure of men and bragging rights among women. Perhaps the stickers could vibrate at a “bleaching” frequency and smell like strawberries. And since lululemon yoga pants are see-through, women can still show off their wealth, status, and commitment to being objects of pleasure and/or envy every time they go into downward facing dog (be sure to stake out a good spot in the front row!).

  7. #7 sirhcton
    June 23, 2017

    Just remember, Goops are rude and irresponsible!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goops

  8. #8 Eric Lund
    June 23, 2017

    “Body Vibes stickers (made with the same conductive carbon material NASA uses to line space suits so they can monitor an astronaut’s vitals during wear) come pre-programmed to an ideal frequency, allowing them to target imbalances.”

    Even if there were such a thing as ideal frequencies (which I seriously doubt), they wouldn’t be the same for everybody, because people come in different shapes and sizes. The frequency gets lower as the person/thing in question gets larger, as any physicist or music performer should be able to tell you. Even the stupidest drummers know this.

    As for spacesuit materials: they are designed to simultaneously (to the extent possible) optimize low mass, flexibility, and ability to retain pressure in a vacuum, If you are going to be wearing this material on such a small part of your body, only the first of these is at all relevant, and only barely so at that.

  9. #9 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    June 23, 2017

    It’s been a while, but do I smell an old sock at (what is currently) #6?

  10. #10 Tony C
    June 23, 2017

    @Orac, #5

    Oooohh….so close. But wrong 🙂

    • #11 Orac
      June 23, 2017

      It’s not Nomad. Nomad, IIRC, referred to “biological units.”

  11. #12 viggen
    Boulder
    June 23, 2017

    $120 for a pack of stickers. That seems like an incredible profit margin to me. Wow. Makes me reevaluate my chosen profession. Why make something that works when you can make something that people believe works but has a 24,000% profit margin?

    I wonder what the engineers and researchers who work for Goop make… Not sure I would be able to look in the mirror in the morning, but it would sure put the kids through college.

    • #13 Orac
      June 23, 2017

      I don’t think there are any engineers and researchers working for Goop. Goop simply sells or rebrands things other manufacturers make.

  12. #14 Orac
    June 23, 2017

    I don’t think so, but I could be wrong and I’m always on the lookout. That particular sock always revealed himself sooner or later (usually sooner).

  13. #15 Tim
    June 23, 2017

    Aww. Who here hasn’t ever had an orange and white cat named Unit with labels on his food bowl and litterbox reading *UNIT INPUT* & *UNIT OUTPUT*?

  14. #16 Tony C
    June 23, 2017

    @Orac, #11

    But Nomad used the quoted line, “Error, error, must sterilize!”

    Guess we’re both right.

    • #17 Orac
      June 23, 2017

      I guess. V’ger used the term “carbon units” speaking through its avatar Ilia, IIRC.

  15. #18 Rich Woods
    June 23, 2017

    I sincerely hope that those three models with the three different stickers on their arms haven’t chosen a combination that produces resonant frequencies and sets up a standing wave, else their arms could fall off. And then where would they be? Eh? Eh?

  16. #19 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    June 23, 2017

    “Inspired by frequency research conducted by the biggest U.S. defense contractor, AlphaBioCentrix pioneered Bio-Energy Synthesis Technology (BEST), a process using a one-of-a-kind, FDA-approved device, the accelerator frequency generator (AFD).”

    Why be coy about who it is? “Biggest defense contractor” isn’t exactly a secret. It’s Lockheed Martin, and by a very large margin. Maybe someone should goes ask them what *they* think about this claim. 😉

  17. #20 Gilbert
    June 23, 2017

    V’GER and Nomad. Yes, and yes.

    the object identifies itself as a space probe named Nomad, and oddly refers to Captain Kirk as “the Creator”. …

    Nomad has mistaken Captain Kirk for Dr. Jackson Roykirk, the scientist who created it. Nomad corrects Mr. Spock by saying that its mission is to “find and sterilize imperfection”. Since Nomad’s definition of imperfect includes all living things, it travels from world to world, killing everything and everyone.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Changeling_%28Star_Trek:_The_Original_Series%29#Plot

    V’GER severed it’s communication link to ‘bring the creator to him in person’.

    Units. LoL.

  18. #21 rs
    June 23, 2017

    time = money
    time = frequency^-1
    frequency = money^-1

    Therefore f(rich person) 0 as money->∞.

    Or something something.

  19. #22 sadmar
    June 23, 2017

    If Johnny smelled Travis at #6, I don’t think so. That sock’s command of language doesn’t come close to what’s on display in that comment. I do wonder though if JSterritt is working through an energy overdose from applying an entire ten-pack of Body Vibes™ Self Love stickers all at once somewhere along the central nervous system.

    The Digestive Solution Energy Card is an energetically enhanced products.

    I guess that means the workers on the enhancement assembly line take a shot of espresso before each unit is enhanced. I guess it also means AlphaBioCentrix, has yet to perfect its Proofreading Competence Pendant.

    AlphaBioCentrix never actually claims that its products can cure, diagnose, or treat anything.

    Orac didn’t dig in far enough. Most of their items struck me as harmless comedy, but then I clicked their PetZone page. They’re selling a bioenergy Flea and Tick Protector: “A Perfect Solution for Ridding your pet from Fleas and Ticks. Chemical Free! Safe, No Drugs” [They really need to get going on that Grammar Pendant too, apparently.) “You don’t have to poison your pets with chemicals. Our products effectively raise your pet’s immune system to cope with anxiety issues and protect them from fleas and ticks using natural Bioenergy.” Uh, no. Your house is going to get a flea infestation it will take months to get rid of, your furry pals are going to become flea feasts at least, which will definitely increase their anxiety, and maybe they’ll get tapeworm which could kill them, and if you live in the right part of the country YOU might even get REAL Lyme disease when they bring in those tiny ticks from the woods nearby. You might deserve the Lyme for your cavalier gullability, but animal cruelty is not funny.

  20. #23 Eric Lund
    June 23, 2017

    @rs:: In the same vein:
    knowledge = power
    power = work / time
    time = money
    Therefore: knowledge = work / money
    So as knowledge goes to 0, money goes to infinity.
    This relationship is empirically true in the American corporate world. And it explains how so many woo pushers, Paltrow among them, are able to afford their extravagant lifestyles.

  21. #24 Alain
    June 23, 2017

    Tim@15,

    Interesting 🙂 Do the cat owner put in a pair of scales under the bowl and the litterbox?

    Alain (more data needed).

  22. #25 rs
    June 23, 2017

    About half my comment got disappeared. Possibly because the various characters I used confused WordPress. It’s throwaway so not worth redoing.

  23. #26 JustaTech
    June 23, 2017

    I’ve read sci-fi (and fantasy) paperbacks off the 99 cent rack that had more logical and believable science/magic systems than those stickers.

    It’s all about the vibrations, let’s put stickers on ourselves to vibrate better, but I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that the people who buy these stickers are also afraid of the microwave.

  24. #27 Tim
    June 23, 2017

    Ahh, Alain. Averaged over a week, the *UNIT input* is the weight of the small bag of meow mix. *UNIT output*, strangely enough, the ratio of unit output per unit input seems somewhat over unity.

  25. #28 Eric Lund
    June 23, 2017

    @rs: The software on which this site runs interprets the left angle bracket/less than sign as the start of an HTML command. So if you ever need to use that character literally, use the escape sequence:
    &lt; gives you <
    There are other escape sequences as well. This site recognizes, among others, the ones for Greek letters and the accented characters used in Western European languages.

  26. #29 herr doktor bimler
    June 23, 2017

    the ratio of unit output per unit input seems somewhat over unity.

    Ah, you need to measure the unit fluid input as well.

  27. #30 doug
    June 23, 2017

    Back in The Olde Days these pendants and stickers would have been made with uranium or radium that actually could deliver some energy, albeit not at any of the target “subharmonics” (One might inquire: subharmonics of what? – or is it just more gobbledygook?)

    I kind of wish Mikey flogged this sort of thing. Perhaps he could be goaded into going out and blowing several tens of thousands on a nice new spectrum analyzer to use in a nice new RF test chamber (that’d only set him back a few hundred grand) to prove the competition didn’t emit anything.

    I wonder if there is a market for stickers made with the recently developed super-black coating.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9v0_fID_jvA

    I’m a bit surprised the owners of the Goop (adhesive) trademark haven’t smacked Paltrow down.

  28. #31 rs
    June 23, 2017

    Eric, with respect, I won’t do that. A comment engine should be designed for humans not machines. I’m not holding my breath.

  29. #32 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    June 23, 2017

    rs, it *is* designed for humans. The idea is to allow humans to include markup if they want — while also foiling humans who wish to insert malicious code. (It will only permit specific HTML through.) This is actually pretty common in blog commenting software.

    That said, personally I’d prefer it if they stopped allowing us to include markup and instead converted anything that looks like markup into string literals so it can’t be executed. But I’m sure someone else will be just as upset if the ability to italicize and boldface were taken away.

  30. #33 Tim
    June 23, 2017

    Ah, you need to measure the unit fluid input as well.

    Well, naturally. Though I measured it indirectly from the ‘clumping factor’ of the output. There is still more there, I think he ate birds.

  31. #34 Se Habla Espol
    June 24, 2017

    #28 Eric Lund June 23, 2017

    @rs: The software on which this site runs interprets the left angle bracket/less than sign as the start of an HTML command. So if you ever need to use that character literally, use the escape sequence:
    &lt; gives you <

    It’s actually your browser that does that. The blogging software often does recognize actual html markup and either, depending on the markup:
    • passes it through, like <b>
    • deletes it, like it does (IIRC) for <p/>
    • corrupts it into something else.
    (If there’s a font change in the first two bullets, it passes the <code> markup.)

    There are other escape sequences as well. This site recognizes, among others, the ones for Greek letters and the accented characters used in Western European languages.

    Since most html entities represent unicode glyphs and are benign, the blogging software doesn’t even recognize them, leaving that job up to your browser. There may be exceptions for the left-to-right/right-to-left/vertical unicode controls.

  32. #35 John J
    Tucson, AZ
    June 24, 2017

    “My eyes are up here”_says the model in the photo

  33. #36 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    June 24, 2017

    I sincerely hope that those three models with the three different stickers on their arms haven’t chosen a combination that produces resonant frequencies and sets up a standing wave, else their arms could fall off. And then where would they be? Eh? Eh?

    Disarmed, naturally.

  34. #37 Eric Lund
    June 24, 2017

    The blogging software often does recognize actual html markup

    Which is exactly what I said. In order to decide whether to pass through or strip an HTML command, it has to have some way of deciding that it is dealing with an HTML command. Presumably there is a whitelist of allowed HTML, and anything else is stripped; as Calli notes above, this is to avoid passing malicious code to the client browser. In addition to the ones mentioned above, this site allows the anchor (for linking) and block quote tags.

    This is an experiment to see if strikethrough works: Never mind. If you see words crossed out, then you can also use the strikethrough tag.

    Any programming language, such as HTML, has to have certain characters with special meaning, and if you want to render those characters literally, you have to have some alternative way of doing so. In C, the backslash is used to produce certain control characters (most commonly the newline character), so if you need to print a literal backslash you have to escape it. In TeX or LaTeX, dollar signs switch you between text mode and math mode, so if you ever need to print a literal dollar sign in such a document, you have to escape it. Same with HTML. What you gain in exchange for that quirk is a vast increase in what you can do. For most people, the tradeoff is worth while.

  35. #38 rs
    June 24, 2017

    I didn’t intend to start a battle over this. I’ve been manually marking up documents since the 1970s (Runoff, Text/360) and in the early 90s I used to manually put HTML in documents for distribution over a corporate intranet. I’ve even written server code that spews HTML via HTTP to clients (browsers).

    It’s now 2017. I expect that when I enter a comment it is faithfully rendered, not interpreted as something else. For marking up text the technology to provide features to highlight text and alter the font or font effects, or enter links etc., is routine.

    As with many sites Scienceblogs doesn’t make available the technology. They should be making our task easier to encourage reader participation. It ain’t my job to accommodate their negligence or disinterest.

    Short alphabetic sequences have little influence over the powers that be. It is what it is: a minor annoyance that does not degrade my quality of life. But you have been deprived of my droll humor (heh!).

  36. #39 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    June 24, 2017

    As with many sites Scienceblogs doesn’t make available the technology.

    You mean, like a preview button?

  37. #40 rs
    June 24, 2017

    “preview button”

    Not necessary if wysiwyg. It may take an irresistible force to drag Scienceblogs into the modern era. But I fear they’re an immovable object.

    • #41 Se Habla Espol
      June 24, 2017

      Is there available blogging software that provides WYSIWYG entry for comments? Does it also provide the features that the bloggers and administrators think they need?

  38. #42 herr doktor bimler
    June 24, 2017

    Eric Lund
    June 24, 2017
    The blogging software often does recognize actual html markup

    I am guessing that the broken Blockquote was a deliferate misteak, to demonstrate the difficulty of hand-HTML and the need for a preview / correction option.

  39. #43 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    June 24, 2017

    Notice where this model is wearing the magical energy stickers being promoted by Goop.

    I also note that her stickers are for ‘ANTI-ANXIETY’ and ‘MENTAL FOCUS’, and I suspect that is indeed what she’s feeling at the moment. This is no doubt due to the cuppa coffee (fair-trade, non-GMO, vegan friendly, gluten free coffee, to be sure) and the stickers are just advertising.

  40. #44 Alain
    June 24, 2017

    Se Habla Espol@41,

    I wanted to code one and have our esteemed host move platform but that was years ago.

    Al

  41. #45 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    June 24, 2017

    I am guessing that the broken Blockquote was a deliferate misteak…

    Speaking for myself, no. I’m not that clever.

    I really try to make it easy for people to read everything I write, but –

    Typing was a girls class back in the day – boys took shop classes. My typing is slow, but it’s inaccurate.

    Dad was in the Air Force, and we moved a lot. I went to 14 different schools between 1st and 12th grade. I went from a school where we were just learning the shapes of the letters in cursive, to a class where everything was expected to be in cursive. As soon as I was able, I went back to printing. I don’t think I’ve written a full sentence in cursive in over 40 years.

    Likewise, for much the same reason, my spelling is atrocious. If it wasn’t for autocorrect, my post would look like they were written by a concussed idiot, instead of just reading that way. But I can mostly tell that a word is spelled wrong, even if I can’t spell it, which is why I’d like a preview button. Misspellings are easier to spot in a large preview window as opposed to a small composition window.

    I try too hard to make my comments coherent to go back and purposely make errors.

  42. #46 sadmar
    June 25, 2017

    I’m surprised The Digestive Solution Energy Card isn’t advertised as making GMO-derived food safe to eat if you put it under your plate. I guess it would break the vibe to make a claim that’s actually true. Not that Goop-ers would want to support Monsatan anyway. Not the worst idea, actually, but for different reasons…

  43. #47 Eric Lund
    June 25, 2017

    Johnny@45 is correct: I misspelled the close block quote tag. In an illustration of the limitations of spell checkers, mine does not recognize “blockquote” as a correctly spelled word, so I ignored the red underline, as I often must when typing peoples’ names (e.g., some common names in various languages are recognized, but others are not, such as the pseudonym and real surname of our host).

    I have seen sites that provide buttons to allow formatting, something that this site does not do. That is the closest one can come to WYSIWYG under the current HTML standard. For instance, the website for entering reviews for several of the leading journals in my field provides buttons for superscript and subscript formatting, which are useful things when discussing mathematics or chemistry.

    Many years ago, this site did have a preview function, but I for one found it to be worse than useless for checking whether you had correctly formatted the HTML. The reason was that after previewing, the post command ran the resulting text, not the original text, through the HTML interpreter, resulting in the loss of your carefully typed formatting.

    • #48 Se Habla Espol
      June 25, 2017

      My browser has a Text Formatting Toolbar, which I currently have turned off. Since text formatting is my choice, I deem it my responsibility to (a) know how to do it and (b) make it easy on myself, should I wish to. YMMV.

  44. #49 Julian Frost
    June 25, 2017

    @sadmar #46: LOL.

  45. #50 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    June 25, 2017

    The reason was that after previewing, the post command ran the resulting text, not the original text, through the HTML interpreter, resulting in the loss of your carefully typed formatting.

    I recall using the preview feature, then going back to the previous page to have my original and submit that as a way to deal with that feature.

  46. #51 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    June 25, 2017

    I don’t remember that behavior.

    Different platforms and browsers, maybe? I’m a mac/safari (and sometimes iPad) user.

  47. #52 Michael J. Dochniak
    Back in Minnesota
    June 25, 2017

    In the video labeled BV interview, Richard Eaton describes mind-blowing engineers that use a silent sound.

    Q. Is it possible for something that is silent to have sound.

    @ Eric Lund,

    What’s the physics/physiology behind this?

    • #53 Se Habla Espol
      June 25, 2017

      Q. Is it possible for something that is silent to have sound.

      Yes, obviously. The sound can be of amplitude that’s too small for a listener, a frequency that’s too high for the listener, a frequency that’s too low for the listener, which is outside the range of whatever reproduction equipment is in the chain, or filtered out by by that equipment. In such cases it’s silent to the listener, even though it has some audio content.

  48. #54 Michael J. Dochniak
    Minnesota
    June 25, 2017

    @ Se Habla Espol (#53),

    The definition of the word “sound” is vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person’s or animal’s ear.

    The definition of the word “heard” is to perceive (sound) by the ear.

    You just might be an “alti” if you believe that silence can be heard. 🙂

    • #55 Se Habla Espol
      June 26, 2017

      Doucheniak:

      Q. Is it possible for something that is silent to have sound.

      The definition of the word “sound” is vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person’s or animal’s ear.

      I raise this dog whistle to my lips, and blow. It’s silent. I ask The Wife if she heard anything; she answers in the negative. I ask the great-grandson sitting next to her; he reports having heard a squeal. The dog comes arunning. Was this a silent sound?

      The Google definition you quote does not include those vibrations that occur in the presence of a microphone, for which the nearest ear is too far away, so that the vibrations have such a low amplitude that they cannot be heard. Was the sound silent, even though the meter reporting the microphone’s response showed that there was one?

  49. #56 Eric Lund
    June 25, 2017

    Q. Is it possible for something that is silent to have sound.

    Yes. The most common example is the dog whistle: inaudible to most humans because it’s too high in frequency for our hearing, but not too high for dogs to hear it.

    A typical young adult human will be able to hear sound from roughly 20 Hz to roughly 20 kHz. The former is a few semitones below the lowest note on a piano; the latter is about two octaves higher than the highest note. There are two reasons not to use the full range at the upper end. One is that it is desirable to be able to hear a few harmonics. The other is that many people suffer hearing loss, some of it a natural part of aging and some of it due to damaging the hearing from excessive exposure to loud noises. In both cases it is the higher end of the frequency spectrum that is lost first.

    CDs are sampled at a rate that theoretically allows frequencies up to 22 kHz (half the sampling frequency, which is known as the Nyquist frequency), but the recorded sound will typically be low pass filtered at about 15 kHz. The main reason for this filtering is to prevent aliasing: a frequency above the Nyquist frequency will be reproduced as if it were the same amount below the Nyquist frequency. Which can do nasty things to sound quality if the overtones in question fall in the listener’s audible range.

    There is also something called the bandwidth theorem, which says that the uncertainty in the frequency of a note is inversely proportional to the length of time the note is held. This is the reason tubas rarely play staccato. The bandwidth theorem turns out to be mathematically equivalent to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, but to explain why would take several comments worth of text.

  50. #57 Politicalguineapig
    June 25, 2017

    Also, it depends on the listener. A human isn’t going to hear a regular dog whistle, nor are they going to hear a mouse under a foot of snow.

  51. #58 Vicki
    June 26, 2017

    There are other ways of coding these things. There’s the Markdown standard under which I would get emphasis using asterisks or underlines around a word:

    *important* and _emphasized_

    (That’s HTML-safe, but it looks funny when people use asterisks to indicate actions (like *hug* or “*runs out of the room*), and the software treats them as boldface instead.)

    And there’s the coding used on some forums, with tags in square brackets instead of angle brackets:

    [b]boldface[/b]

    Neither is standard HTML.

    (I will now submit this and find out whether this site supports either, or passes the markup through as plain text.)

  52. #59 madder
    June 26, 2017

    @Se Habla Espol:

    You beat me to it, but I’ll humbly add that his Google definition also didn’t address the thorny issue of trees falling in forests.

  53. #60 Gilbert
    June 26, 2017

    nor are they going to hear a mouse under a foot of snow.

    Nor are they going to hear a flea fart at a 1000 yards. I bet I could hear the snow-blanketed mouse if it were squeeking.

    I *think* that it has been purported that children with undamaged hearing can hear air molecules hitting their drums and a mosquito in a window sill ten feet away — I seem to remember that the latter served as reference to what 0 dB sounds like.

  54. #61 Julian Frost
    June 26, 2017

    I *think* that it has been purported that children with undamaged hearing can hear air molecules hitting their drums

    I’m autistic with Sensory Processing Disorder. If I lie still in bed and it’s quiet, I hear a noise that I can only describe as a ringing hiss.
    Sorry. I just wanted to tell that story.

  55. #62 Tim
    June 26, 2017

    If I lie still in bed and it’s quiet, I hear a noise that I can only describe as a ringing hiss.

    That does sound like a mild case of tinnitus.

    tinnitus can manifest many different perceptions of sound, including buzzing, hissing, whistling, swooshing, and clicking. In some rare cases, tinnitus patients report hearing music.

    https://www.ata.org/understanding-facts

    The explanation that I’ve always heard is that is like the brain tries to turn the ‘gain’ up on receptor hairs that no longer work.

    I *think* it can also be caused by bad ear infections early in life.

    I sure wish I could write music because I sometimes, do hear what I think is beautiful music — Possibly the result of a percieved ‘dawn chorus’ beating with aforementioned tinnitus; like an audio paradolias(sp?) effect (like seeing Jesus in a cheeze sandwitch)

    The electromagnetic dawn chorus is a phenomenon that occurs most often at or shortly after dawn local time. With the proper radio equipment, dawn chorus can be converted to sounds that resemble birds’ dawn chorus (by coincidence).

    The electromagnetic dawn chorus is believed to be generated by a Doppler-shifted cyclotron interaction between anisotropic distributions of energetic (> 40 keV) electrons and ambient background VLF noise. These energetic electrons are generally injected into the inner magnetosphere at the onset of the substorm expansion phase. Dawn choruses occur more frequently during magnetic storms.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawn_chorus_%28electromagnetic%29

  56. #63 MaineJen
    June 26, 2017

    “Female (Mood Swings) – Orange??????”

    Now you’ve gone and made me angry…

  57. #64 Terrie
    June 27, 2017

    Interestingly, the average “quiet” room has a decibel level of about 30. There’s an anechoic room in Orfield Labs that has a decibel level of -9. It is apparently an extremely uncomfortable experience.

  58. #65 Politicalguineapig
    June 27, 2017

    That’s really interesting. I know I like to have the fan going when I sleep,regardless of the weather, and my place isn’t exactly quiet.

    But yeah, a -9 decibel level would be weird, as you’d be straining to hear the smallest noise, and our brains are simply not wired for quiet. A quiet area in the wild usually means some big predator has passed through or is still there.

  59. #66 Terrie
    June 27, 2017

    PGP, it’s so quiet, people can hear their internal organs, such as their heart and stomach.

  60. #67 Politicalguineapig
    June 27, 2017

    For instance, listen to a yard or a forest while a Cooper’s Hawk is passing through. Every smaller bird goes quiet.

  61. #68 Politicalguineapig
    June 27, 2017

    Terrie:Oh, wow. That would be unsettling.

  62. #69 JustaTech
    June 27, 2017

    It’s weird enough when the HVAC turn off and suddenly all the blowing air noises go away. I can’t imagine what the absence of sound would be like. At -9 does the room *absorb* the sounds you make (breathing, heartbeat, etc)?

    I once put in earplugs to block out the sound of construction while I was trying to sleep. I was very irritated that the construction noise was replaced by this “whoosh whoosh” noise until I realized it was the sound of my blood flowing in my ears.

  63. #70 John Q. Public
    July 6, 2017

    “Breast Cancer Conqueror” “Dr. V”, (Veronique Desaulniers DC) , has some nice magic-pendants for sale, see … http://archive.is/GkGLV#selection-81.1-87.29 , (only $373).

  64. #71 DLC
    Somehwere near Burbleson AFB
    July 13, 2017

    Will the right combination of stickers, chips and pendants purify my Essence ?