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MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer

makerbot-replicator

The MakerBot Replicator is a $2,899 3D printer which, according to reviews, generally doesn’t work. The software is buggy, the hardware is poorly made, and the manufacturer doesn’t seem to be able to adequately respond to problems. Of course, this is apart from the general complaint I have about 3D printers for home use, which is that making a plastic figurine shouldn’t cost nearly three thousand bucks.



Breathslim weight-loss device

breathslim

The Breathslim is a $40 plastic cup-and-straw set supposed to make you lose weight. It doesn’t, because it’s a hoax.

You should check out the person who asked the manufacturer “Is it gluten free?”, though.

UPDATE: The COO of Breathslim, Eugene Shlyakhta, wrote me to say this:

Stick to children’s books and license plate frames and stay the fuck away from medical devices.

I didn’t feel it necessary to discredit the Breathslim in a detailed fashion when I first wrote about it. It’s obvious that you can’t lose weight by blowing through a straw. But here are the gross, boring details of why the Breathslim is not an effective weight-loss device:

1. Breathslim claims that it performed a clinical test at USC that shows the Breathslim is an effective weight-loss device. Unfortunately, according to the information Breathslim published, this test was done on a sample set of 40 adults, and there was no control group used in the study. This means that any conclusions they would have drawn from this would not be statistically significant. Claiming that your plastic cup was “clinically tested” looks great in ad copy, but you’ll note that it doesn’t say “Clinically proven to cause weight-loss.” It says “clinically tested.”

2. The Breathslim is a ripoff of the Frolov Respiration Trainer, a medical device used to treat asthma. There are no published, peer-reviewed articles that show that the Frolov device treats anything other than asthma. The “inventors” of the Breathslim modified the device so it could be patented.

3. Oxygen saturation is not a limiting factor in metabolism for the vast majority of people. The slight increase in oxygen saturation that occurs with deep or controlled breathing does not cause the basal metabolic rate to increase. In fact, the concept of “slow metabolism” versus “fast metabolism” has been shown to correlate to a 6% difference in calorie expenditure in a clinical setting. Metabolism is an easy scapegoat for weight-loss failure, but it’s not the cause of weight-gain or maintenance of an overweight or obese state. Excess calories, not “shallow breathing” or a low basal metabolic rate, are what causes weight gain in most people.

So, yes, the Breathslim is a hoax. I’d love to be able to blow through a $40 plastic straw to lose weight, but it doesn’t work.



My Parents Open Carry: A Childrens Book

my-parents-open-carry

The creepy eyes of My Parents Open Carry seem like a hallmark of bad drawing, but there’s a deeper truth here. Anyone who wears a gun on their belt when they go to the store is an insane, creepy asshole. Without dipping into the pool of argument that constitutes firearm politics in the United States, we can all agree that a dead-eyed couple wearing guns on their belts in the bologna aisle at Wal-Mart are assholes.

I’m not talking about rights or self-defense. I’m talking about a man squeezing and examining the diaper packages, and the metal of his gun clangs against the modular shelving, over and over, as he stands on tip-toe, working his fingers to the back of the shelf to get some Huggies no one has touched.







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