Saturday, April 12, 2008

Shouting at the TV

I was just yelling at the advertising idiots on the television (again). There's a product being advertised (for quite some time now) called Kinoki footpads. These things are a bit like little sanitary napkins that you place on the bottom of your feet while you sleep. They're supposed to draw the "toxins" out of your body as you sleep. The ad explains that "just like a tree" "toxins" are drawn out of your body and down through your feet.

The ignorant snake-oil salesmen pushing this worthless dross illustrate their stupidity with a diagram of a tree in which they depict the "toxins" rushing down the trunk and out through the roots.

News flash from the science patrol: Not only are you not like a tree, even a TREE isn't like the trees the Kinoki morons depict. They've got it completely backwards. Water and nutrients move UP the trunk of a tree, oxygen enters through the leaves, and the tree respires, with moisture and waste products exiting through the leaves. Don't believe me? Put a bag over a branch and watch the moisture collect in the bag (BTW, that's a decent survival trick to know, in case you're ever stuck in arid scrubland with a plastic bag and find yourself in need of water). It's this loss of water to the air that allows the influx of water and nutrients through the roots of the plant. It gives the new water somewhere to go. It's also why rooted plants wilt without a near constant supply of water to the roots. Again, don't take my word for it. Read this, or Google for "soil-plant-air-continuum". Or, if you're technically minded, read this (PDF). Or even do a little experiment... seal off the roots of a tree and try feeding it water through the leaves. Then measure the "toxins" that have leeched into the soil surrounding the roots. Let me know how that works out for you.

As for you, your liver and kidneys process waste proucts, which exit your body from the usual orifices, two of which are found inside your shorts. A surprising amount exits your mouth and nose. None exit your feet, except a miniscule amount in sweat, and you produce a lot more of that elsewhere.

Use Kinoki pads and you'll have cleaner feet. Then again, wash your feet and you'll have cleaner feet, too. The "independent studies" they cite simply measure the composition of the crud you've been walking on. Kinoki pads will NOT remove toxins from inside your body. They will NOT remove parasites. They will NOT remove heavy metals. They will NOT reduce cellulite. They will NOT improve your health at all. In fact, if you pour distilled water on them they still turn brown, because they're fake. The "theory" behind them is based on non-existent science, bad reasoning, superstitious quackery, and a reliance on your gullibility in accepting a placebo effect. They are completely, totally, and absolutely worthless.

Kinoki footpads are a scam, and a cheat, and in my opinion the purveyors should be hit with criminal charges from the Federal Trade Commission for false and misleading advertising. Here's their television commercial (the one I was shouting at). Do you see the disclaimer? No? How 'bout on their website's FAQ page? It doesn't exist. But what does exist are specific medical claims that these footpads will improve your diabetes, arthritis, fatigue, high blood pressure, insomnia, and weight loss. You are asked if you suffer from the following symptons: headaches, backaches, mood changes, depression, fatigue, insomnia, and a weak immune system. These are serious medical claims with no - and I mean zero - scientific justification. I think they fall clearly into the realm of quackery, and the FTC should come down on them like a ton of bricks. If you read this and you've happened to have actually paid money to the Kinoki scammers, please report them to the FTC using this form.

There are probably Google ads for Kinoki footpads on this page. I invite you to click through them. Often. Don't buy anything, but make sure that the idiots that are paying for these ads spend as much as possible for as little return as possible. They've scammed enough other people. It's their turn to lose some cash.

There. I feel better.