23 results found for “ridiculous products”

Click to Pray 

Monday, October 21st, 2019

Forget your internet-enabled toasters or hair brushes. The Vatican’s new eRosary seems like the example of a device that has been “smartened” unnecessarily.

Ridiculous Products: Sexy Beyond Burger Costume

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Today marks the first day of October, which means it’s time to buckle down and decide what type of sexy you’ll be this Halloween.1 Will you be a sexy nurse? Perhaps a sexy pirate? You can even be a sexy Mr. Rogers.2 You know you have to be some kind of sexy, and the options are nearly limitless in the awfulness that is 2019.

New this year is a sexy Beyond Burger costume. This is problematic in multiple ways. In addition to its name likely being a trademark violation, it’s also the sexualization of a veggie burger. That’s more than a little bizarre, which I suppose pretty standard when it comes to modern costumes.

Initially, I thought the bestworst3 part of the whole thing was the headband. Multiple fake meat purveyors have had restaurants place little flags on their burgers, to serve as a tiny form of advertising. This costume goes with the more generic “plant based” phrase, which has become incredibly trendy in 2019, but the idea is the same.

However, this implies 1) That your brain is plant-based, which sounds sort of like an insult, and 2) That there’s a massive toothpick stuck right through your skull. The latter is actually rather on-point for a proper, scary Halloween costume, so maybe this horrible idea could be redeemed with a bit of stage makeup and effects.

There’s no redeeming the actual worst part though, which is this:

A stamp on the rear end of the costume says 'Certified Not Grade A'.

I guess the thinking was that since it’s not animal meat, your ass can’t be Grade A. But like the plant based brain, this too looks like an insult to the wearer. How about “Certified: Better Than Grade A”? Or “Certified: Hot!”. Anything would be better than this. Also, your ass kind of is animal meat, when you get right down to it.

This one detail alone is almost as bad as the previously featured Bad Ass socks. The total of all of it is much worse.


Footnotes:

  1. Alternately or synonymously, “slutty↩︎

  2. This may be a new low, and even more ridiculous than the Beyond costume. It’s also deeply, deeply weird, so weird that I don’t feel I can cover it properly. To each their own, I know, but if you’re a person who finds this appealing, I don’t know what to say to you. That hairpiece is something else. ↩︎

  3. I was torn as to which word to use here, and wound up creating a new one instead. I rather like it. ↩︎

My Apple Dumbwatch

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Back in 2015, I purchased an Apple Watch to replace both my previous analog watch and the latest in a string of fitness trackers. The watch’s activity tracking functionality has worked well for me.1 While I’ve always tried to keep fit, closing the rings for calories burned (“Move”), active minutes (“Exercise”), and standing (“Stand”) has provided added motivation each day. Earning badges for streaks and other achievements has provided a fun, if rather inane, incentive to be more active.

Early last month, the Apple Watch issued an “October Challenge”. This was an individually tailored goal, one which seemed to be based on recent activity. I screwed myself by spending the summer ramping up for a marathon, which led my watch to require that I hit 3,347 minutes of exercise in October to complete this challenge. An average of nearly 108 minutes of activity every single day for a month struck me as a bit much, even if it would earn me the electronic equivalent of a “A+ Patient” sticker from the pediatrician.

Despite the fact that my marathon training was nearly complete and I was tapering down my runs, I wasn’t smart enough to dismiss the challenge outright. I figured I’d see how things went throughout the month, knowing that my race was in mid-October, and that I had a half-marathon before that as well. Every few days I checked in on my progress with the Activity app on my phone, and each time I found that I wasn’t too far off the necessary pace. With some extra effort each day, it was actually possible I could meet the objective.

Even so, it wasn’t until the last few days of the month that it became clear that this ridiculous goal was attainable. It required me to get moving even more than I already was, but the weather looked nice, it was good for my health, and THE ANGRY WATCH GOD MUST BE APPEASED.

So it was that just before 6 PM on October 30th, I checked my phone and saw that I was only 155 minutes shy of the target. With a busy day planned for the 31st, I felt good enough to grab a screenshot to mark my progress.

A first screenshot showing 3192 minutes earned.
1804 minutes left in the month, but only 155 of them needed to be active.

The next day, I tracked the exercise counter on the watch itself as it climbed throughout my day of activity. I was going to make it, and I was foolishly pleased by this asinine little achievement. The device’s expectations for me had been stupidly aggressive, but I was going to enjoy showing an inanimate electronic device what was what. I knew that this would likely raise its expectations still higher for the next month, but that was November Paul’s problem.

However, in the late afternoon of the 31st, I made what seems to have been a key error in judgement. Specifically, I updated my phone to iOS 11.1 and my watch to WatchOS 4.1. I didn’t really think anything of this as I did it, though not for the first time I found myself annoyed by how long the watch took to update. Once it finally finished, I strapped the watch back on and went about my day.

By Halloween night, I had completed almost three hours of activity for the day, and I knew I was set. Just before 11 PM, I opened the Activity app on the phone to gaze upon my newly won badge for the first time. This is what I saw instead:

A later screenshot showing 3064 minutes earned.
29 hours later, I’d somehow lost time.

Well that’s…not right. That’s not even possible! How exactly did I manage to do negative 128 minutes of activity since the previous day? I quickly found myself in the first two stages of grief, denial (“What the hell?”) and anger (“What the hell!”).

With just 77 minutes left in the month, the watch now claimed I was almost 300 minutes short of the prescribed goal. Even if I literally ran out the rest of the month it wouldn’t change anything. As such, I quickly jumped to the last stage of grief, acceptance (“What the hell.”). I figured that if nothing else, this ought to lower the watch’s demands for the future.

I spent the dwindling minutes of October pondering what in the world had happened. The OS updates had likely affected things somehow, but had they changed the way past activity was calculated? I scanned through each day’s readings and punched the daily recorded activity into a quick spreadsheet. This was the result:

Spreadsheet showing a total of 3369 minutes
That just raises further questions!2

Ultimately, the problem here seems to be with the Apple Watch’s addition skills. That’s pretty bad, as proper math is rather essential for a usable computing device. Alternately, I suppose the problem could be that Apple’s Numbers spreadsheet application can’t do simple calculations. That would certainly be even more shocking. Perhaps the two products are even in some sort of cahoots, the exact nature of which I’ve yet to ascertain.

Either way, I’m trying to maintain a Zen attitude about this. The only thing stupider than spending an entire month overexerting myself to earn a meaningless digital badge would be getting upset when said badge is denied due to some sort of bug. All we are is dust in the wind, and all this is is pixels in the ether. Still, I do think it would be nice if my watch could count.

Update (November 2nd, 2017): It seems that yesterday afternoon, my watch finally got done performing a recount, and awarded me my badge. Read more here.


Footnotes:

  1. One particularly nice thing is that the Apple Watch tracks calories burned directly, rather than the rather imperfect stand-in “steps” used by earlier trackers I’d tried. It was always clear that something was off when running five miles earned the same number of steps as walking about half as far. ↩︎

  2. The relevant video clip is archived here. ↩︎

Ridiculous Products: Kérastase Hair Coach

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

The Consumer Electronics Show (also known as CES) just finished up last week, and as always, it was full of a plethora of technology you almost certainly don’t need. While it can be fun to see what’s coming in the future, it’s perhaps more enjoyable to laugh at the bizarre future some companies envision. To that end, allow me to present the Kérastase Hair Coach.

If you’ve ever thought “This hair brush just isn’t smart enough”, while also thinking “I’d be willing to spend almost two hundred dollars on a hairbrush”, then the Hair Coach is for you. Of course, it’s likely that this site is not for you, so you may wish to stop reading now.


The Hair Coach is much like Zoolander, in that it’s not an ambi-turner, and also because it’s very stupid.

The CEO of Withings, the company behind the Hair Coach, was quoted as saying “The last thing we want to do is turn a simple device into a complex device”. So naturally, his company added wi-fi and Bluetooth to a hairbrush. But they didn’t stop there. The brush also includes (taken directly from their press release):

  • A microphone that listens to the sound of hair brushing to identify patterns, providing insights into manageability, frizziness, dryness, split ends and breakage.

  • 3-axis load cells that measure the force applied to the hair and the scalp when brushing.

  • An accelerometer and a gyroscope which help further analyze brushing patterns and count brush strokes, with haptic feedback signaling if brushing is too vigorous.

  • Conductivity sensors to determine if the brush is being used on dry or wet hair, in order to provide an accurate hair measurement.

If you’ve ever felt like you weren’t brushing up to your full potential, the solution is here. If you were perfectly at peace with your hair brushing, and your life in general, I’m sorry to tell you those days are over. You’re bad at brushing, and you should feel bad about your brushing. Only the Hair Coach can save you now.

I recognize that I am far from the target market for this device. I won’t even venture a prediction that this product will be unsuccessful. I will however state, without equivocation, that this is a ridiculous product which should not exist.

Ridiculous Products: Pizza Hut’s Hot Dog Bites Pizza

Friday, July 17th, 2015

A hot dog (which is so obviously not a sandwich that no debate is even required) really doesn’t belong anywhere near a pizza. Way back in the late ’90s, shortly after the rise of the cheese stuffed crust pizza, I took some sort of online survey for Pizza Hut. They asked how I would feel about a ring of hot dog meat in the crust around a pizza. Then, as now, I was disgusted. Hot dog pizza? Barvd 🙊.

Despite my vociferous objections almost two decades ago, Pizza Hut has now opted to give it a go, albeit with some modifications. While that long-ago survey proposed a circular hot dog ring tucked inside the crust the same way cheese can be, this “limited-supply” Hot Dog Bites pizza is somewhat similar to the Cheeseburger Crown Crust pizza of 2012. The new offering features a circle of pigs in a blanket surrounding the pie. It’s a horrible idea, one which the Washington Post will tell you is best avoided. Pizza Hut has a brief commercial to pitch their vile creation:1

The Hot Dog Pizza
Does that look like something you’d want to eat?

“Hot dog! Pizza! Hot dog! Pizza! Hot dog! Pizza!” the commercial bellows, before combining the two foods into one abomination. The ad moves from being loud and uninspired, to truly and unintentionally hilarious. Referring to hot dogs and pizza, the commercial states that it’s:

  • Two classics, together at last.

When attempting to force a grotesque new food product down the gullets of the public, it is perhaps best not to call to mind this classic joke from The Simpsons2:

Nuts and Gum: Together at Last!

Then again, it does seem likely that Homer Simpson would approve of this creation as well.

Previously in terrible ideas from Pizza Hut: Make ‘Em An Offer They Can Refuse


Footnotes:

  1. The commercial is archived here. ↩︎

  2. This bit can be found in the episode “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy”. ↩︎

Ridiculous Products: Bad Ass Socks

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

In this world, there are badasses. Faithful readers of this site may remember the names Nick Popovich or Hideaki Akaiwa, for instance. It seems unlikely either of those two characters would be caught dead in these socks:

Bad Ass Socks

When you’re a badass, you just don’t need to announce it to the world. The world will already know, and if not, they’ll find out soon enough.

However, boasting isn’t the biggest issue here. More problematic is the design itself. The arrow is unfortunate, particularly along with the awkward line break. Let’s look at the socks in action:

Bad Ass Socks in Action
[Photo credit: Reach The Beach Relay]

Well now, that just seems like an warning to the world: “I have a bad ass. Sorry!”.

Ridiculous Products: Quiver

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Say hello to Quiver, the one hundred fifty dollar over-the-shoulder wine pouch from Gräf & Lantz:

The Quiver Wine Holder
“Bonjoooour”, you just know Quiver would say.

Oh, I can practically hear you now. “What a cockamamie contraption”, you scoff, “And so expensive too”. Alright, Ms. or Mr. Cocksure. How exactly do you suggest folks transport the bottle of wine they carry around town on a such a regular basis that a special contrivance seems practically de rigueur? In a bag? Under their arm? People don’t actually need to carry wine around that often? Don’t be ridiculous. As to the cost, you simply can’t put a price on convenience.

No, Quiver is clearly the optimal solution. For the spendthrift alcoholic on the go, it makes toting your wine both easy and classy. Maybe you’ve lost your driver’s license after one too many DUIs and now find yourself forced to ride a bike everywhere. Quiver to the rescue! Or perhaps you just wish to look like some kind of besotted Robin Hood. If so, order now.

In Quiver, a surplus of gray felt and a glut of belts come together in harmony to answer the question “Can’t anyone please find a way to make wine even more pretentious?”. For that, it must be applauded. Unfortunately, though it’s made to order (or perhaps because it is), Quiver is perpetually out of stock. Though the product is offered on their website, there’s at decent chance that Gräf & Lantz has never actually sold one of these amazing wine satchels. Why not be the first to purchase?

Answer: Because doing so would make you a Dave Morin-level douchebag.

Fireworks of Yore 

Monday, November 5th, 2012

For no particular reason, here’s a collection of fireworks from the 60’s and 70’s.

Standard Firework
Suspicious Quotation Marks

Some of these fireworks may be silly (“Mine of Fiery Serpents”?!), but they do compare quite well to our more modern versions.

Ridiculous Products: Crown Jewels Condoms

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Condoms seem to come up frequently here on One Foot Tsunami, and twice they’ve been featured as Ridiculous Products, specifically Virgin Condoms and the Durex Variety Bowl. The world of contraceptives continues to churn out the hits.

Most recently, a British prophylactic manufacturer named Crown Jewels1 has created royal wedding condoms, in special packaging commemorating the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton2.

Crown Jewels condoms

A “triumvirate” (that means 3) of these “lavishly lubed”, “regally ribbed” heritage condoms sell for about $8 a box, and includes a disturbing portrait of the couple, “as they might appear on their wedding day”.

According to the Crown Jewels press release, the product is “a unique way to remember this great British occasion” and “[a]ll at Crown Jewels have worked tirelessly to craft these heirloom quality love sheaths.

Tastelessness of this product aside, I never want to see the phrase “heirloom-quality love sheaths” again. Fortunately, Lydia Leith is making royal wedding barf bags, so our collective nausea can be contained in noble fashion.

Without question, however, the most disturbing aspect of these condoms is actually found in the fine print on the Crown Jewels page, which reads:

Crown Jewels Royal Wedding Souvenir Condoms are a novelty condom not suitable for contraception or protection against STDs.

What the hell? What the hell is that?!


Footnotes:

  1. Slogan: “Condoms of Distinction” ↩︎

  2. A clever title for this post might have been “Lie Back and Think of England“, except that Crown Jewels uses that as the page title on their own site. ↩︎

Four Loko Finale

Friday, November 19th, 2010

It’s Friday, which seems as good a day as any to do a final wrap-up post on Four Loko. You read about it, then you read about how awful it is. You may have also seen videos like K. Ryan Jones’ amusing “scientific” test or New York Assembleyman Felix Ortiz’s nonsensical guzzling. As Gawker notes:

Ortiz has long lobbied local grocers in Brooklyn to take Four Loko off their shelves…so New York’s local NBC station basically said, “OK, Mr. Assemblyman, if Four Loko’s so bad, why don’t you drink as much of it as you can in one hour while we film it?”, which makes no sense at all.

A few readers noted that in my write up, I didn’t actually talk much about the effects Four Loko had on me. Ultimately, the most enduring aspect of it really was how godawful it tasted. I certainly did get drunk, quickly and cheaply. Worse, the stimulants hid the alcohol’s effects to some extent, which is not terribly safe. There were no hallucinations or other crazy behavior however – the end result was just drunkenness, followed by sleep. Perhaps the most interesting aspect was that the caffeine didn’t seem to do much in the long run.

Several states, including Massachusetts, have already banned the sale of the product. More recently, the FDA has laid the groundwork for a nationwide ban by warning the manufacturers of Four Loko and other alcoholic energy drinks that the combination of caffeine and alcohol is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

All is not lost, however, as Phusion has stated that they plan to remove the stimulants from Four Loko. When the reformulated product returns to shelves, buyers will again be able to purchase their disgusting beverage, albeit with no uppers. On the plus side, it will undoubtedly still be chock full o’alcohol and it will still be frighteningly cheap.

Until next week, thanks for reading One Foot Tsunami – the site that got Four Loko banned.