Schadenfreude and Salt

by Purple Wyrm on March 20, 2017

Ah, depression and having to work for a living are not really conducive to blogging.

Anyway, since I last made an update we’ve had a state election. Schadenfreude is an ignoble emotion, but it was still sweet to watch the Liberals* kicked out of power with a 16% swing. Not that Labor are likely to be much better, but at least it’s a new set of faces screwing us over.

And they won’t (probably) sell off Western Power, and they will (probably) cancel Roe 8, both of which suit me just fine.

Switching subjects wildly in that crazy way you love me for, I’ve noticed lately that salt lamps are making a comeback. You know, the ones made of a big chunk of Himalayan pink rock salt with a light bulb shoved in the middle? I’ve got no problem with people buying these as decoration – they look great, if I could afford the ridiculously inflated prices I’d get one myself – but when people buy them because of the ‘health benefits’ it makes my blood boil in the particular way I reserve for scam artists ripping off the vulnerable.

The supposed health benefits of salt lamps derive from them releasing ‘negative ions’. Now, it is true that if you sufficiently heat up salt it will release negative ions, but the ionic bond between sodium and chlorine in salt is extremely strong. So much so that you need to heat rock salt to a few hundred degrees before you get any more than a tiny trickle of ions out of it.

It should go without saying that if a lamp in the corner of your lounge room is heating up to hundreds of degrees, then the resulting plentiful supply of ions is probably not going to be your chief concern.

On top of this is the fact that there is very little evidence of negative ions having any beneficial effect whatsoever. The idea is based simply on the observation that people (some people anyway) feel ‘energised’ after a thunderstorm. Somewhere along the line someone attributed this to ‘negative ions’ and the pseudoscience industry ran with it. Negative ions may under some circumstances reduce dust but that’s about it.

Finally ‘Himalayan’ rock salt does not come from the Himalayas. Most of it comes from a completely different mountain range located in Pakistan. The remainder actually comes from Poland. So not only are you paying big bucks for completely fictional heath benefits, you’re not even getting the material you think you are!

So yeah, quit it with the rock salt lamps people!

Anyway I’ve been grooving to this Chvrches track lately. Not only is it a great song – I particularly like the contrast between Lauren Mayberry’s and Hayley Williams’ voices – the video clip is a lot of fun too. The toast makes me laugh every time.

Finally as prompted by the always amazing Haiz I’ve been getting into Thrilling Intent of late. This is a massive series of videos where an RPG group has recorded their extremely stupid adventures. The style – mostly audio with icons being moved around a map – takes a bit of getting used to, and I suggest setting the speed to 1.25 for the first few eps, but the characterisation and improvisation are brilliant.

The characters are Markus Velafi – a fast talking, magic using, impulsive Tiefling bullshit artist, Gregor Hartway – a well meaning but idiotically naive fighter, and Aesling (Ash) a magic user of some description who is the only voice of reason in the group (she spends a lot of her time yelling at the others). It’s downright hilarious and highly recommended.

So, that should keep you busy for a while. Have at it!

(* Which is to say Conservatives. Don’t ask.)

4 comments

Gandalf the salt lamp merchant
http://imgur.com/lyMw4fG

by Sir Spiffing of Spiffington Manse on March 22, 2017 at 7:51 AM. Reply #

Caught a typo. Here’s the new version:
http://imgur.com/I4NeGnv

by Sir Spiffing of Spiffington Manse on March 22, 2017 at 10:48 AM. Reply #

Jeez…And i went to all the trouble of building a negative ion generator back in my EE course labs..:( Drat..Oh well i built strobes and they worked…too well sometimes…BAHHH ha ha ha ..Take strong drugs and mess about with my strobes will ‘ya ?. ( Dr Evil…)

by Martin C on March 22, 2017 at 5:03 PM. Reply #

Making a generator, especially one with strobes is cool.
I however, have the shameful confession of having bought one years ago – The Elanra negative ion generator. Not shameful in the sense of having bought a dud (I make not claims as to it’s effectiveness but rather in the fact of their astronomical cost! In my defense they were quite cheaper when i bought one, but not by much.
https://elanra.com/?gclid=CI3Uzpee8dICFU0KKgodmyIBcQ

by Sir Spiffing of Spiffington Manse on March 25, 2017 at 4:38 PM. Reply #

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