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July 01, 2005

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The black stuff under the eyes reduces glare off your cheekbones, especially when you're squinting into the sun. How much you need it depends on how prominent your cheekbones are.

Oh, and the whole "stabilize electricity" bit *has* been done with copper, too. Copper bracelets were all the rage a few years ago. I think Arnold Palmer hawked a line of 'em.

There may be a sexual connotation, titanium should be pronounced tit-anium, rather than tite-tanium.

This reminds me very much of magnetic bracelet "therapy."

Sports players seem very prone to magical and fallacious thinking - rituals, superstitions, numerology, "after this, therefore because of this", etc. I think the promotion of Penta water on the sports circuit relies on the same mindset.

I think that is a good observation Ray. As a professional musician, I can say this type of thing runs rampant in my business as well.

Sports players are prone to magical thinking, yes.

It's ESPECIALLY bad among baseball players.

Basketball ... your success rate at any given subset of actions is either really high (shots), or really low (steals).

Soccer ... same thing (passes: high). (goals: low).

Baseball? It's just at the level that it seems likely enough for our brains to make correlations, but unlikely enough to feel the need to do things to improve.

A book by Stuart Vyse, "Believing in Magic", is about the psychological causes of believing in supertstitions and looks alot at the prevalence of it in sports. He says, from memory, its popular in sports because of the high level of uncertainty. In baseball, for instance, even the best batters only get a hit 30% or so of the time and even that there are more superstitions associated with batting than with fielding, because thats a more reliable activity.

Highly recommended book.

Stan Lim responded to my inquiry:

Sir/Madam,

I am confused about titanium which according to your claim " emits energy that is effective in controlling the flow of bioelectric current."

My understanding about muscle is that contraction, or twitch, occurs in the presence of electrochemical current typically carried by sodium and potassium ions. Do I understand you correctly in your claim that titanium energy somehow interacts to impede the flow of these ions to relax the muscle? This would be a novel and exciting finding for many physiologists of different disciplines. I would greatly appreciate it if you could enlighten me or direct me to literature explaining the mechanism of this amazing interaction.

Or do I have the wrong ions in mind? Does this titanium enery work only on cations and not anions? How about prions?

Rick


...with:

Dear Richard

To be honest with you, we only can tell you that the product does what it
claims to do. Please read the Phiten article at Chopblock.com. Also vist
their web site for more info.

I am sure the biometric factors that contribute to the healing process are
known to the Phiten techs back in Japan as their research cost millions of
dollars over the past 20 years and they hold the patents on this as well as
other iintersting technology. Phiten was very expensive when it first came
out on the market and was available only in very limited quantities. Today,
Phiten is a household name in Japan.

So at Chopblock.com you can find a gushy personal testimonial about the wonder cures of Phi-ten that quickly degrades into a sales pitch, posted by Stan Lim.

Too boring to pursue...

Titanium?
Now way to use in the way phiten claims
Can somone give in details
in wich way titanium usefull
othe as lite, nocn corrosive, bad electric conductor or more ??

Rick:

Good work. What a lame response from them: “trust us it works, millions of
Japanese can’t be wrong”?

What email address did you use. The Phiten shop@yolk.com didn’t work for me.

I had a dream the other night, where I was oiling a baseball glove.

Skeptico:

Hmmm... shop@yolk.com also didn't work for me second time around.

Use:
http://www.yolkshop.com/category.cfm?Category=47

Dear sirs:

Several scientific studies have been done on the Phiten product. All of the studies have shown that the titanium does improve, balance, coordination and flexibility. Some of the studies have said that there aren't any significant changes in strength, or muscle fiber recruitment. I haven't seen studies for the muscle relaxation technique. I can tell you first hand that the product does have useful benefits which include increased blood flow and improved flexibility these are very demonstrable, while improved strength or relaxation is not very demonstable but are effects experienced by some users. Before a person runs their mouth about a product, or anything for that matter, they should do their homework including trying the product out...otherwise, especially in the light of positive scientific findings, you could end up looking like a jackass.

Dear Brad:

Please provide links to the several scientific studies that have been done on the Phiten product that show the titanium does improve, balance, coordination and flexibility. All of the real studies have said that there aren't any significant changes in strength, or muscle fiber recruitment. I haven't seen studies for the muscle relaxation technique. I can tell you first hand that anectdotes about the product saying it does have useful benefits which include increased blood flow and improved flexibility mean approximately dick. Since these are very demonstrable, do it, it's your claim. While improved strength or relaxation are effects experienced by some users, there is no way it couldn't be demonstrated. Before a person runs their mouth about a product, or anything for that matter, they should do their homework including showing positive scientific findings, not just anectdotes and making wild claims, and not writing checks with their mouth the science can't cash or you could end up looking like a jackass.

Well Brad, Rockstar explained the situation to you pretty well. You made a claim and you need to back it up. Anyone can make a claim, but if you can’t back it up it means you just made it up. So which is it?

Just wondering if any of you commenting here are athletes??

Somehow I see a bunch of armchair critics. trying to show off the knowledge they learned in biology 101. Put down the Pringles and join a competitive sport. Then you'll see how athletes do whatever they can to get even a tiny (or unfounded) advantage over another competitor.

Flawed reasoning, I’m afraid. There is a reason that new medical therapies are tested with randomized double-blind studies – it’s because the easiest person to fool is yourself. You could no more trust an athlete’s belief that a titanium necklace helps his performance than you could trust his belief that he wins because he is wearing his lucky underpants. Athletes gain advantage with improved training or equipment derived by science. But that means independent testing and verification. Titanium necklaces are pseudoscience.

Anon, you are obviously a misguided person, and I hope this article and the comments have made you realize that belief in magic is silly. As far as these necklaces are concerned, please see the placebo effect.

Or watch the episode of M*A*S*H where Hawkeye gives Klinger sugar pills during a heat wave. Klinger believes the pills work, and whilst everyone is walking around in shorts, he wears long sleeves and pants...anyone else remember that?

As I said here I have to deal with things like this all the time, except a lot of the time it's quite a bit more dangerous (ie, someone says "I play better drunk/high/stoned") although we do have the magnetic bracelet weirdos and the crystal power morons as well.

On a personal note, as far as assertion that I sit in a chair and eat Pringles, please see the website for my band LABELED or any other touring rock band that has photos/videos. See all that equipment? It doesn't move itself over 6 states in 2 days. See all the jumping? The sweat? Must be all the salty snack food.

Now, provide a proper argument or piss off.

I hate people who think arguments magically become true or false based on who says them.

Us: "That cloud is white."
Woo: "I'm a meteorologist, and that cloud is plaid!"
Us: "Prove it. Take a digital photo and we'll take a look at the computer's evaluation of the color."
Woo: "You're not meteorologists! Everything you say is wrong! Stop armchairing!"

Of course, we're the ones asking for experimental data, and the "experts" are flinging content-less words at us.

Well, I wasn't a believer of these necklaces but a co-worker got me one since I was living with heat pad and bengay on my neck. I haven't had to put any heat pad nor bengay for over 3 weeks. I went to the store because I wanted to buy one for my sister. The man there gave me some patches and also patch my hands up since I have arthritis in my hands and I mention I was in pain there too. I couldn't believe how good I felt My sister has been wearing hers and some of the patches I brought to her.She said that she has been feeling so much better that she is even going up the stairs at her house. She said her pain is less than before. Yes she still have the hip problem but the pain is minor. She is a believer as I am. I think is something you have to try before believing in it.

"They sound like a pretty gullible lot, apparently rubbing snake oil on their arms and smearing mascara under their eyes too. Why do they do that, by the way? Anybody know? Someone told me it was to stop from being dazzled by reflected sunlight, but that doesn’t make sense either."


"Eye block" WORKS. The reason being, when sun shines in to a player's face, the light reflects off the cheeks. The dark color eye block absorbs sunlight, thus less reflected light into a player's eyes. Therefore, players who wear eye block do not (and usually do not, in fact) wear sunglasses when playing day gamees.

A "healthy skeptism" is nurturing to the mind. Too much skeptism is only cynicism.

The so-called, "energy jewlery" has been around for more than 20 years. Japanese athletes have been wearing them in differnt forms (e.g. bracelet, necklace, etc.) for many years. It is only introduced in America in the last couple of years. It may work for some and not for others. Even it is only a placebo effect, the bottom line is a player is playing better with it.

Well, I wasn't a believer of these necklaces but a co-worker got me one since I was living with heat pad and bengay on my neck. I haven't had to put any heat pad nor bengay for over 3 weeks. I went to the store because I wanted to buy one for my sister. The man there gave me some patches and also patch my hands up since I have arthritis in my hands and I mention I was in pain there too. I couldn't believe how good I felt My sister has been wearing hers and some of the patches I brought to her.She said that she has been feeling so much better that she is even going up the stairs at her house. She said her pain is less than before. Yes she still have the hip problem but the pain is minor. She is a believer as I am. I think is something you have to try before believing in it.

Useless anecdote (there aren't many other kinds, are there?). I'm not going to waste money on something that no one is interested in properly testing. Show me the data that it works.

The so-called, "energy jewlery" has been around for more than 20 years. Japanese athletes have been wearing them in differnt forms (e.g. bracelet, necklace, etc.) for many years. It is only introduced in America in the last couple of years. It may work for some and not for others. Even it is only a placebo effect, the bottom line is a player is playing better with it.

Argument from tradition, ad hocking, and misunderstanding of placebo. Show me the data that it works.

To be honest I was very skeptical about this untill I tried it. Now I play a lot of baseball and when it is 35 degrees(celsius) outside it can be pretty hard to keep going for hours on. But me and a buddy of mine tried these Necklaces and believe me they do work. Also, I have had some ankle problems and often I have pain but I was amazed that this thing around my neck had minimized that pain was I wasn't taking any other medication for my ankle. Please don't sit by your PC screen and give me all this crud about how it doesn't work because of your "intellectual brains". If you are athletic then try these necklaces and give them a shot.

here's more anecdotes for you. I was skeptical so I tried Phiten shorts- before I couldn't touch my toes, after putting them on I could put my palms on the floor. tried again after taking the shorts off and couldn't touch again.

Had a phiten necklace- told a girlfriend who had mentioned to me earlier that she had a sore neck to wear it- not telling her why. After she had it on for a while she asked me what it was because she felt better.

Anecdotal- yes but at that the same time gives cause for pause before slamming what you don't know. If you don't want to try it- be my guest.

The problem I have with accepting anecdotes as evidence/Trying it myself: They require belief in the infallability of a person's perception and tests.

I'm perfectly willing to be proven wrong, but I'm not about to be convinced by an uncontrolled, unblinded study of one, even if that one is me. I know that humans are very talented at fooling themselves. That's why I like double-blind placebo-controlled studies: All those psychological tricks we play on ourselves are accounted for.

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