REALLity Check

by David Bloomberg

This mini edition of “REALLity Check” is brought to you by… Well, actually, we don’t have any advertisers here. But there are advertisers out there who have gotten my attention – though not in a good way. Below are a couple of them.

I’m Getting A Headache

A company that sells over-the-counter pain relief medication has a confusing series of commercials running. In one commercial, a woman talks about why she uses this medication for her headaches and describes how there are scientific studies which prove it works best, etc. In another commercial, a guy says he uses it because it works for him, and he doesn’t believe all those charts and graphs from the studies.

Is it any wonder that the general public is confused about science? This company can’t even make up its own mind about whether to (correctly) point to the evidence or whether to sneer at the evidence and go for an appeal based on what some unknown actor says. I’d be interested to see if there was some sort of pattern as to when each of these is shown (for example, showing the scientific one during news shows and showing the anti-science one during daytime talk shows), but, frankly, I don’t have the time to do that extensive a survey. In any case, just the fact that this company is trying to confuse the public is bad enough.

E.T. Phone Nevada

A short while ago, Nevada changed the name of Highway 375, which apparently runs near the legendary “Area 51” to the “Extraterrestrial Highway.” Those of us who heard about it mostly just sighed and ignored the silliness.

Now, however, they have made it more difficult for me to ignore it by invading one of the magazines I read. Nevada has a 2/3-page ad in the September issue of Discover, promoting the “ET Experience” as a tourist attraction. Half of the ad is taken up by a drawing of a flying saucer with a beam of light coming down from it onto a cow in the road (what’s a cow doing in the road? I don’t know). It goes on to say, “A desolate desert highway. The allure of the unknown. And the possibility of that chance encounter. It’s Nevada Highway 375, the newly-designated Extraterrestrial Highway that’s the talk of the galaxy. But, since inexplicable phenomena happen randomly, we’ve created the ET Experience, a club and membership kit featuring some of the more reliable attractions along the route. So make contact. Celebrate the road where few have gone before. Call or write for your free ET Experience kit today. Then, get out there. Because seeing is believing.”

I don’t know – I see the ad but I really don’t believe a state tourism commission (even Nevada’s) would go to these bizarre lengths to get more business. I’ll have to write for the kit and see what other nonsense they have in store for me.

The flip side of this ad is the question: Do you really want to visit a state where they advertise that you might be kidnapped and have strange experiments done on you?

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