Whiskey Stones


“Whiskey stones” have been a popular item for the past couple of years. They cool your drink without watering it down, which is true, to a small extent. The problem is that stone is much, much worse at cooling your drink than ice. Let’s look at the math.

The specific heat of water is 1 cal/g, which means it takes 1 calorie of heat to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius. The specific heat of soapstone (as in these whiskey stones) is 4.1 cal/g. So, soapstone can cool your drink with one-fourth the equivalent mass of liquid water.

However, the process of melting one gram of ice into one gram of water at the same temperature takes 79.7 cal/g. Which means one gram of ice melting into one gram of water at zero Celsius is about 19 times more powerful than one gram of cold soapstone at zero Celsius, in terms of cooling down your bourbon.

The melting process, not the heat capacity of water, is what makes ice cool drinks so efficiently. That’s probably why most of the customer reviews for most of the whiskey stones I found online complained that they don’t keep your drink cold.

Cabana Islander


The Cabana Islander holds up to 6 people. Impractical in a swimming pool, it’s really only useful in a big body of water, like an ocean, where you might fall asleep and drift out to sea.

The only good thing about this $364 piece of inflatable plastic is that when you do, inevitably, wake up somewhere over the horizon, you’ve got up to five other family members or friends to eat. Just make sure you bring someone weak when you set sail for disaster, since you’ll need to conserve as much energy as possible in the process of overpowering them to eat their body.

Disappointing Potato Buds


The bevy of commenters on this innocuous box of Betty Crocker Potato Buds have gathered in the review section to gnash their teeth and wail at the changing of the Betty Crocker Potato Buds formula.

I could just bawl. I loved Potato Buds for thirty years and I will never buy them again, instead I’ll try all the other brands. I got at least four people (who said they would never eat instant mashed potatos) hooked on Potato Buds, because they were so different and so good. Now, they’re not buds any more.

This is just a sampling. You should probably read the rest.

Isagenix Cleansing & Fat Burning System


This “system”, which amounts to tubs of whey protein, costs $324.99 for a 30-day supply. Like many dietary hoaxes, it makes the claim of “cleansing” (only your liver and kidneys do that) and “fat burning” (which your body does when you eat fewer calories than your total daily energy expenditure.)

You cannot “cleanse” your body with pills or powders, but for some reason, the FDA hasn’t issued any guidelines regarding the use of the word “detox” or “cleanse.” So you can sell anything with these terms on it without having to prove that your product does these things. (As an aside – the term “natural” is similarly unregulated. You can label literally anything as “natural” and it does not violate FDA or consumer labeling guidelines.)

Did I mention that Isagenix is a multi-level marketing company? I should, because it’s not only an expensive weight loss program, it’s also a pyramid scheme.

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