Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Department of Random Outrage


A dog blanket that, and I quote, has “Anion, Aloe, Anti-bacteria and Magnet complex functions” and “emit[s] Far Infrared Rays”.

I understand that people want cures, and are willing to suspend disbelief. But must they also suspend logic? Does anyone actually buy this stuff?

Magic Dog Blanket. I’ll believe it has aloe in it, and antibacterial fabric exists. But I bet you a dollar that any sterile dog is going right into surgery. Dogs, they roll in dead things. Additionally, no animal is ever truly sterile- there are always bacteria on the skin, in the gut, and in the mouth; alterations in natural flora can have bad consequences.

The blanket may even have magnets sewn into it. (You know, to align all the little iron particles in your cells.) But magnets don't do anything for circulation or pain. The greatest effect of magnetized fabric will be to erase the credit cards if Muffy gets close enough to your wallet- though only if it's a fairly strong magnet.

Far-IR rays are another thing altogether. Shorter IR wavelengths are what make you warm in the sun, and longer wavelengths (i.e., past far-IR) are what your microwave makes. But ceramic doesn’t just emit 'IR rays' [any more than anything else does at room temperature]. IR, just like a light bulb or an x-ray or every other part of the electromagnetic spectrum, is made of energy. Electricity goes into a microwave, is converted to IR, and is then converted to motion in the water molecules, which we call 'heat.' Energy input is required to sustain continuous [over-background] IR output.

This is also why microwaves have to be plugged in.

[Correction courtesy of Andre: I failed to specify that all materials emit some in the IR, as well as in other frequencies, at room temperature. See also: blackbody radiation in IR occurs between 30 and 4100 K.]