Pseudoscience and unsinkable rubber quackery is everywhere. It is in almost every home across the globe, it’s sorta like dust. You can sweep and sweep but by tomorrow there will be more accumulating in the corners. We fight an endless battle here at Skepchick pointing out what is bullshit in this craptacular world. Admittedly, we have a lot of fun doing it and thankfully as I have said, we have an endless supply of nonsense to expose. I am sure a lot of skeptical minded folks even received gifts this holiday of the religious or pseudoscientific nature and we had to say things like, “Awwww, thank you grandma. NO, I really needed *aromatherapy and butt-candles. Thank you.” Lucky for us we can regift!
In honor of boxing day I thought I’d pack up a beautiful piece of crap I found and regift it to all of you.
I honestly think this quack product is lovely, well the photos are beautiful and they make pretty nightlights. But what you may not know is that at this very moment they are shattering the laws of physics with their ion shooting super powers! Without getting into too much detail, the basic (bullshit) idea behind these chunks of salt with a lightbulb shoved in them is that negative ions from the magic salt crystal come flying off and pretty much cure EVERYTHING. The claim is they do all of this:
Apparently, these glowing rocks clean your house, your lungs and give you a coke-high! Really, do ya mean it Mr. Salesman? Can I stop taking my asthma medicine and start wearing long haired cats as hats?
What I have found out from doing just an itty-bitty bit of research is that if ions were being removed from a salt crystal then the structure of the salt crystal would change from a crystal to a poisonous gas. Mmmm poison. Negative ions don’t grab dust and then fall to the floor. Negative ions are not scrubbing bubbles. I also found out that if negative ions are really your thing, (and there is no scientific evidence that says they can accomplish anything on that list btw) you can just scuff your feet along the carpet and produce more than a salt lamp ever will. Oh, and Chelsea says they make really great arm weights if you can’t make it to the gym!
The thing that really chaffs my hide, is why not just say, hey look how pretty these night lights are. I would buy one if the sales guy wasn’t telling me that a potentially fatal disease could be cured with a magic rock. I have asthma. I had a friend who died from asthma. Asthma is no joke. A salt lick is not a substitute for modern medicine and to insinuate that it is puts children with asthma (and not so bright adults) at risk of having their unfortunately expensive preventative medications substituted for a cheap lamp and that is really potentially dangerous.
Honestly, I didn’t actually receive this gift but I found it while holiday shopping and took some pretty photos of it. The photos and the fact that the sales guy didn’t get any of my money is the real gift I give to you. Happy Boxing Day everyone!
*On a side note if this whole Surly-Ramics and skeptical art career thing doesn’t work out I am totally starting an aromatherapy-butt-candling business. It just seems like a completely logical progression in alt med practices.