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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Give Me More: Six Blades and Such

For the most part, more and bigger is better. We all know that. Modern culture has fed us well. Size matters, and we've been effectively taught that principle and incorporated it into our dealings with salaries, homes, friends, opportunities, sex, possessions, and products. But, what about some things that offer more yet seem to go "over the top"? 

Certain limitations are created for our safety and well-being. We wouldn't want to take 100 aspirin at once to stop a headache, or we wouldn't want to gorge ourselves with food every meal until our health eventually fails. Still, the old adage of "everything in moderation" seems to have given way to "We want it now" and "We want tons of everything." How silly this notion really is! In this blog entry, I want to use some pretty questionable products to illustrate our quest for more, more, more.

I was thinking about size just the other day, and one product just stood heads above those things that have already taken it too far. The company ShaveMate, in its efforts to break into a stubble market dominated by Schick and Gillette, has recently introduced the ShaveMate Titan 6, which has six blades. In my 45 or so year-long shaving career, I have progressed through single blade, double this six-bladed marvel of modern safety razor excellence. 

"It's not just the blades," says Lou Tomassetti who, along with his brother Peter, invented the Titan. "It's really everything you need in one." The Titan, he explains, also comes with shaving cream in the handle and a moisture strip. "If you go out and try to buy equipment for shaving today," Lou continues, "it's very complicated."

"You might have to buy batteries," Peter adds.

"ShaveMate is really a lifestyle change" from all that, Lou says. "It's a Shaving Revolution."(Monica Hesse, The Washington Post, July 24 2010)

Six blades? I would be terrified wielding that massive scythe anywhere near the tight regions of my nose, ears, and lips. I'm pretty sure a major bloodbath would ensue. Why does anyone need six blades in a safety razor?
Perhaps a blow torch would be more effective for permanent whisker removal.

How about Amazon Maximum Power Formula #1 from American Lifestyle? This little wonder pill's advertisement claims to be used by porn stars to sustain their insatiable "super sex drive" with "rock-hard erections up to 3 solid inches bigger and lasting up to 4 hours!!"

In a testimonial for the product, an 86 year-old man now wants to live to be 100 after using the product. Ingredients include bark, oat straw, stinging nettle leaves, ginseng and licorice roots, pumpkin seeds, and horny goat weed. Will grandpa's heart survive this dramatic increase in activity? Or will we suddenly see a huge surge in sale of suites in retirement homes with senior safety-equipped hot tubs? Maybe bigger isn't guaranteed better. Whatever happened to "size doesn't matter," anyway? 

We feel a huge need and responsibility for maintaining clean, safe living and working environments. Hospitals, daycare centers, nursing and assisted living homes, and individual homeowners feel they must use a registered disinfectant that ensures a 100-percent pathogen kill rate. That means they want to kill all the germs, viruses, and bacteria on contact surfaces.

But, according to Tufts University School of Medicine, many of these products are overkill, made with chemicals that can cause the same problem as overuse of antibiotics — superbug overgrowth.Using these products is especially dangerous in places filled with children, sick people and the elderly; but superbugs are bad news anywhere.

Many now believe companies that advertise germ-killing products "are preying on our fear and even trying to create a germ-free environment is just ludicrous. It has gone so far that even some toothpastes contain comantimicrobial agents such as triclosan.
Disinfectants have been linked to other health problems as well: A recent study highlighted concerns that nurses regularly exposed to cleaning products and disinfectants shared a significantly increased occurrence of asthma. And some antimicrobial agents — such as triclosan, commonly used in products like antibacterial hand soaps — are suspected endocrine disrupters and immunotoxins. (Annie B. Bond, "Why Disinfectants and Antibacterials Are Overkill + 5 Health-Safe Alternatives,"

When it comes to germs, overkill may be quite literal. A friendly germ or two doesn't seem to harm a thing. Again, too much is just plain too much.

Just over one-third of American adults are obese. Though alarmingly high, this rate has remained relatively the same over the past decade. Yet, now, researchers at Harvard University are predicting that the worst is yet to come. "If current trends continue, they say, the obesity rate in the U.S. won’t level off until it reaches at least 42%, circa 2050." (Amanda Gardner, "U.S. Obesity Rate Will Hit 42%,", November 4 2010.)

Diets? The popular Atkins Diet is quite effective for some people; however, the Atkins diet is just not sustainable for most dieters. This diet cuts out healthy foods like fruit, and adopts a limited list of foods that are often high in fat and otherwise unhealthy. Above all, this diet's extreme restriction makes it incredibly difficult for most people to stick with it.

How about the Low Fat Diet? Nearly everyone has purchased a low or no fat product because we believe that somehow it's healthier and will help keep the pounds off. But the dirty trick about this diet is that these products aren't healthier at all-often, we trade fat for more sugar, sodium, or calories. Sometimes, serving sizes are skewed to make an otherwise unhealthy food look better than before. ("Diet Overkill: 25 of the Most Ridiculous (and Ineffective) Popular Diets,", February 26 2008)

Just For Fun - A Few "Loopier Than Ever" Products 

1. Twoda-loo Tandom Toilet 

This toilet is advertised as "the world's first toilet two people can use ... at the exact same time. It brings couples closer together and conserves our water supply all with one flush. The TwoDaLoo features two side-by-side toilet seats with a modest privacy wall in between. An upgraded version includes a seven inch LCD television and iPod docking station." Price = $1,400.00

2. DVD Rewinder

Bill Wimsatt, inventor, says, "Never pay another DVD rewind fee again! Compatible with all disc formats: DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, CDR, CDRW, Audio CD, VCD. Multi-region, code-free rewinder capable of rewinding all 6 region DVD's including RCE/REA encoded discs. NOTE: this product is intended as a novelty. All disc and MP3 media are direct access and do not truly require "reqinding."

However, it is very fun to hear the sounds, and watch the lights of this product. We have tested the DVD Rewinder with the next generation disc media including Blu-Ray®, and HD. The DVD Rewinder also works with Sony Playstation®, XBox®, and other disc based console system media." Price = $16.49

3. Stealth Secret Sound Amplifier
The product description states, "If a conventional hearing aid sounds like an embarrassment to you; try the Stealth Secret Sound Amplifier. It looks just like a cell phone ear adapter and works as a sound enhancer so you can join conversations and even hear soft voices from 50 feet away. Now you can enjoy the best of both worlds: a more youthful appearance and better hearing. Comes with charger (no batteries to replace) and three ear tips." Price = $29.95 

4. Umbrella Shoes

No matter how big the umbrella, your feet still get wet under a torrential downfall. These Umbrella Shoes are a unique solution to this ongoing problem. Found on the Fashion Victim 101 blog site by Georgia, each heel gets its own mini umbrella to avoid any droplets touching these little puppies. Although they may not be in style, the Umbrella Shoes are an alternative to clunky rain boots. 

5. iPhone Hat

The iPhone Hat says the manufacturer "looks like a mixture between a baseball cap and a small head-tent and it lets you watch videos on your iPhone or iPod touch, with ease. Incorporating an iPhone holder and a magnifying glass it creates a private mini cinema around your head." Only catch being of course that you look a bit stupid. And if your phone rings...? you're gonna have to dismantle the whole affair. Price = $19.95

Mad TV Razor Spoof

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