Non-Science Friday: Annie get your metal hat! edition

Meathead of the Week: Bonds. Destroyed his moment in the sun years ago when he started doping. Enough said.

Bonus Meatheads: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke who have been assuring everyone that the subprime mess has been contained. Oh, except for like our banks, and, like, the banks of Europe, um and like every entity that relies on the availability of credit to function. Whoops!

Now this is Customer Service.

I know this is going to sound familiar to you. I think we've all been there. This is a online chat transcript from Verizon customer service (via Slate):

A Verizon Wireless online pre-sales specialist has joined the chat. You are now chatting with chelsea.
chelsea: Hello. Thank you for visiting our chat service. May I help you with your order today?

You: I am interested in the international BlackBerry and am looking for detailed information for rates on data and voice when making calls from different countries in Asia.

chelsea: Please hold on while I check that information.

chelsea: Unfortunately you will not be able to use the phone in Asia.

chelsea: I do apologize.

You: Hmm. OK. Actually [I] am nearly certain the international BlackBerry can be used everywhere but Japan.

chelsea: I'm sorry for the delay. I'll be right with you.

chelsea: I will be right with you.

chelsea: I just tried to look for Asia in the countries list, and it was unavailable.

You: Yeah. Asia is more of a continent than a country (like Europe--not a country, France--a country). I'll stop by a store I guess and try to figure it out.

chelsea: Ok.

chelsea: Thank you for visiting Verizon Wireless, I look forward to speaking with you again. Have a great day!

Your chat session has been ended by your Verizon Wireless online agent.

At least she was polite. I had an incident a year ago when the agent agreed that I had been over charged by ~$300 but that there was nothing she could really do about it. I got the same line from the Supervisor, who told me that they didn't have a Supervisor when I asked to speak to one. Apparently I was speaking to the President of Verizon! Customer service is so laughable these days. It isn't service, it's more like a corporate judo move to deflect as many customers from really contacting anyone or solving any problems though. When I wanted to add an extra line I got that done in 5 minutes. Natch.

I'm sueing the State of FL for my skin cancer.

Oh yeah FL, I'm coming for you. You thought I wouldn't figure it out, but I did! Your sun is stronger down there and you knew it! But instead of warning me about the effect of your strong sun on my skin, Nooooo, you instead tricked me into traveling to your cancerous state with your wetlands and beaches and warm weather. Bastards.

Some people are kind of serious about this: Read about how cheap flights cause cancer. Just a thought, wouldn't they also be bringing people north too? And people aren't forced to....oh forget it. It's too stupid to argue against.

Hat tip to Amanda over at Enviroblog for sending ridiculousness over.

If you do nothing else today please go visit these two websites:
1) Some guys at MIT did a hilarious study (in 2005 so you may have seen it) entitled On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study. Here's part of the Conclusion: It requires no stretch of the imagination to conclude that the current helmet craze is likely to have been propagated by the Government, possibly with the involvement of the FCC. We hope this report will encourage the paranoid community to develop improved helmet designs to avoid falling prey to these shortcomings.
You must see the pictures. Go there. Hat tip to Mike McCaffrey.

2) I've been watching Gary Vaynerchuk for about a year and it's one of the best things on the web. His knowledge about wine is through the roof but the show is crazy, fun, and entertaining. The whole point (I think) is to de-mystify wine, present it for average Joes, but not dumb it down. Obviously, since I try to do that with toxicology/public health I've got a soft spot in my heart for this show. I put a representative show below (not the most fun or most learned but something down the middle. For the others you'll have to go to the WineLibraryTV site).

Weekly Aural Pleasure.
It feels like a good day for the wonderful Willy Mason. Enjoy

Happy Friday!

Update: If you remember the Chi Machine from a couple weeks ago, you must to over to Respectful Insolence and check out the foot de-tox machine.

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I'm gonna have to ditch my aluminum helmet. Great, now I'll never be able to leave my (lead-lined) subterranean lair. At least I'll be safe from the evils of the Florida Chamber of Cancer Commerce .

You and me both. :) I'm working on a full lead/aluminum suit of armor that perhaps the MIT guys can check out. Ought to be great on those hot carcinogenic beaches.

Yardhooper, yeah, you've been banned from comments. (RE: God hates white people, ETC posts). If you want to comment you'll have to e-mail me and I may or may not post it.

I love Willy! It sounds much better now that I can take my foil hat off.

A fellow Vayniac! (AT you are 2 for 2; if I knew who you were I'd send you something!). For people that aren't used to vidder you can roll over the dots to see comments or what's going on. The black ones represent where he does the wines if you want to skip the craziness, but why would you?