Thursday, April 22, 2010

Incompetents on Infomercials

HT to Jezebel and BoingBoing for this amazing post

"Ever noticed how incredibly incompetent the people in infomercials are? Blankets are difficult to use, hairspray is a nightmare, and cracking eggs is hard. The best (read: worst) moments in domestic Fail"

Right...most people don't need the products advertised because most people are not this stupid.
Problems you don't have...things you don't need.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Travel Overload - With This Many Problems to Solve, Just Stay Home!

Travel gadgets are frequently very cool. Small cute things. Neat fixes for travel difficulties. Ways to make the road or the plane more comfortable. But there are lots of items for sale that solve problems we don't have. Then there are the ones that if you think you need them, you're too squeamish or delicate to travel. Anyway, by the time you buy them all you could have just stayed at the Ritz Carlton and not needed them! Finally, if you really tried to pack all the things you might need from the travel catalogs...where would you put your clothes?!

No kidding, all of these items are marketed for travel.

Getting There

Sleeping on plane is hard.

So is keeping warm

You'll need help breathing

You might need backup

But would that interfere with this product?

Don't forget this for your back

Or maybe you prefer this

And your feet too of course need a few things to prevent DVT, which will you choose?

Or maybe you also need the seat thing to massage your circulation

Don't forget to close your eyes

So, I'm picturing you there in coach in the middle seat with all this gear you have to wrestle out of your bag stowed beneath your feet, inflate, position, etc. You finally get yourself all decked out and look like a total idiot. But hey you're comfortable and if you sleep you won't realize you didn't pack anything to READ because your bag was full of these comfort items. Then the guy in the window seat needs to go to the bathroom.

If you survive your trip, then you'll be somewhere terrifying.

You probably want this.

and this scary germ killer

Better not to touch ANYTHING especially the bed.

And be sure not to mush your face by wearing a weird headband

Of course you'll want to drown out the noise of the air purifier with soothing sounds too.

You'll need to be awakened - here's the heaviest version you can bring.

Don't touch the shower either. Why not just pack a pair of street-usable flops or water shoes?

But if you can't touch the shower, how do you stay safe in the shower? Aha...

If you make it out of the shower, you'll need a portable robe.

You'll want to check on the impact of croissant or tortes with a travel scale

safety in your room

Because you don't want to have to wear the earphones all the time, you'll need speakers.

Can't find furniture to lift in your hotel room? try these weights

And in case you're worried about finding Maxwell House level coffee in Vienna, Paris, or Rome....
try this portable coffee maker.

I don't know how to reconcile the person who thinks they need all this stuff with them to travel who would buy all this, pack it, and lug it...but not just check into a hotel that provides this for you? If you're the kind of person who is not staying at a place with a car service and a porter, you're carrying it all with you which you can't really do because your bags will now weigh a ton. Plus you're too much of a wimp for the hostel. Which is all you can afford after you buy this stuff, buy the extra luggage, and pay the extra bag charges!

Going Out
If you ever get up the nerve to leave the hotel you'll need a way to use the scary toilets.

and you'll want your own toiletpaper supply. I fail to see why you would spend $6.85 on this instead of a handi-pac of tissues or a wad of paper from the hotel?

Better yet, bring this with you and you don't need a toilet at all! I'm telling you, if you're in a place with no toilet, I'm guessing you wouldn't be the first person to piss in the alley.

And you need this mask.

Just to be safe you also need this spray. Assuming you can fit in your ziploc.

Now, here's a great name for an item: the "Packable Backpack." As opposed to some other kind of "non-packable" backpack? Why wouldn't you just USE a backpack, thus "packing it" but not needing to pack it IN another piece of luggage? OK, maybe you need another sac to carry stuff in when you get to your destination? How about....a sac! Smaller, lighter, and - I'm going out on a limb here - available in the place you're traveling!

High Maintenance!
Travel is tough on the manicure.

And on the teeth.

And other parts.

Who needs a travel box for the dresser - how is this worth the extra space/weight?

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Overblown Power Tools

Men must be responsible for this collection of items. They will only do housework if it has an electric motor or involves fire.

Here's a great item. An ice cube maker. I fail to see how this is superior to a $1 bag of ice from the grocery store thrown into a multi-use cooler that does not require the use of polluting batteries or carbon-based energy. Especially for $300. Yup. $300. This is for the man who is tired of being told his only job for the party is to "make ice" and who hates checking the ice cube trays for two days.
Another item in the category of "things you can do without if you have one of those new-fangled combo freezer/refrigerator deals"

Finally the overpriced substitute for sticking the wine in the freezer for 20 minutes. Can't wait 20 minutes? Contact AA.

If you are really a snob, $10 will help you take the wine out the fridge at the right time.

Even more trouble with alcohol. Somehow waiters the world over can open a bottle of wine while standing up over your table with a very simple tool. But you have to go and get this one for $80. Wow.

I guess I should be glad it doesn't have a power motor like this one.

Apparently some people have wrist problems.....who has trouble shaking a martini? Lots of people!
"This is the device that shakes or stirs a martini until it reaches the optimal drinking temperature of 34° F, ensuring perfect homemade martinis at the touch of a button. The stainless steel shaker moves up and down vigorously during the "shake" cycle and gently rotates in "stir" mode, melding the ingredients during either cycle for 60 seconds."

"Here's the simple and stylish way to create perfect cocktails. This professional drink mixer blends ice and your own ingredients with the touch of a button. The retro design brings flair to home bars or club houses. With removable cap and easy-pour spout." Because apparently those old fashioned martini shakers have real problems and um...pouring.

Also for people who can't find a whisk or a spoon. Or if you're really lazy, a blender. The specialized one-purpose milkshake shaker!

At least a blender has other purposes, like mixing frozen drinks. But wait! You need this special gizmo just for drinks!

I am unclear as to why this has to be a power tool. The old fashioned one works great and is $100 cheaper.

I guess it's similar to the coffee dispenser for those with trouble using a spoon.

I don't know what to say about an automatic soft serve ice cream maker/dispenser with integrated sprinkles except: how many parts are there to wash?!

It's not just cold that's difficult to manage, but apparently heat too. Is there any room even left on your counter for this contraption? Maybe you can stash it in your oven, since apparently that isn't being used for its intended purpose of heating food.

"This is the double deck pizza oven that cooks two 12" fresh pizzas in 90 seconds (or frozen pizzas in three minutes), allowing you to cook pizzeria-worthy pies 15 times faster than a traditional oven."

OK, so you have 21 minutes to wait for that pizza out of your oven, you complain. What shall you do with that time? How about some situps and jumping jacks to work off the two pizzas you're about to eat by yourself!

Another problem some people appear to have is with finding a pot and looking at a watch. Hence you have the electric rice cooker. Yup. That's all it does. OK, a Southern woman has to have a Charleston rice steamer, but that you can also use base as a regular pot and it costs maybe $30. That's $130 less than this monstrosity you also have to find a place for in your cabinet.

Now, a bigger problem is apparently "walking to the grill and looking at it". Won't have to with this gadget. The Remote BBQ Voice Alert Thermometer!

"This thermometer is great for indoor and outdoor use. The wireless remote can monitor food from up to 100 feet away. You can either program it your self or use one of the many presets. Select from doneness presets for beef, chicken, pork, veal, and more. The amber backlit LCD displays the built in count down timer. An audible voice alert tells you when food is done. "

I guess this is useful if you're in the other room dressing your wounds from using this.

And a great combo of motorized playing with fire. A hotdog roller for the grill

Apparently there are other people who have trouble with a pen and paper. This gadget will record your grocery list!

"This is the voice activated grocery list organizer that comes pre-loaded with over 2,500 food, beverage, household, beauty, and office items, and recognizes words as specific as swordfish, emory boards, and lawn bags, allowing you to store and print shopping lists simply by speaking the name of the item. The organizer uses a speaker-independent voice recognition system to match a spoken item with one in its database. It has an easy-to-read LCD screen that puts your list in alphabetical order, and it also recognizes errands, such as going to the bank, library, or veterinarian. Simply press the print button for a categorized list generated by the devices built-in thermal printer."

And now in the clothing category - something that only does pants as opposed to the low-tech iron which does any clothing, any fabric, any size! And an iron costs approximately $450 less than this pants press.

And my favorite overblown power tool..... the escalator.
The escalator can go up or down, true. But stairs have the advantage of being infinitely scalable in speed, simultaneously going up and down, adjusting automatically to the needs of users going either direction, and never breaking down. Some people would be lost without escalators. Others would just lose weight. An elevator for people with rolling luggage or strollers would do the trick and be only one thing to have to keep running.

DISCLAIMER! I don't fault someone with disabilities who finds one of these items useful.

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