Losing weight with caffeine-laced pants: Your butt still looks enormous

Caffeine PantsThere is apparently no end to the amount of money people will spend to convince themselves they are doing something about their weight.  Witness, leggings with impregnated caffeine micro-capsules, designed to slim inches off your hips and thighs.

The marketing premise is that the micro-capsules are essentially made of Shea-butter with a metabolism boosting caffeine center.  As you walk around during the day, (Wait! you still have to walk?) your natural body heat melts the Shea butter which is absorbed into your skin along with the caffeine.  The result being that you’re then delightfully jittery with smooth supple legs.  Or maybe your cottage cheese riddled butt is now just sloshing around inside greasy skin tight pants all day.  I report, you decide.

These puppies will set you back $70, and according to the instructions should be worn 8 hours/day, 5 days/week , for a month to get the full benefit.  This means you’ll need several pair, or you’re gonna work up a funk by month’s end that will make your weight problems the least of your anti-social attributes.  P.T. Barnum was right.

Yet, don’t get me wrong, the notion of clothes with built in aerobic benefit is brilliant.  But rather than caffeine, they should have gone with “Ants in the Pants“.  Let’s be honest, you get a few dozen creepy-crawlies toolin’ around your tuckus and you will be out of your chair and dancing in no time.  Feel the burn.

Zero tolerance makes zero sense

Zero Tolerance
When we lose our ability to make qualitative decisions, we lose much of what it means to be alive.

Have we lost all ability to make reasonable judgements?  Is the fear of being unfair so great that we are willing to subject ourselves to draconian rules to avoid making subjective decisions?  Apparently so.

In Easton, MD two high school lacrosse players have been arrested for possession of weapons on school grounds. The weapons were found in the boys’ equipment bags during a search of the team bus prior to a game.  One kid had a Leatherman tool.  The other a Bic lighter, which was classified as an explosive device.  Both are tools reasonably used to repair lacrosse sticks.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.  In Portland, ME a freshman girl was expelled for asking a friend for some Tylenol. In New York, a 17-year-old Eagle Scout was suspended from school for a month for bringing an antique two-inch penknife to school. The knife was found after school officials searched his car in the school parking lot and found the knife in a survival kit the honor student kept in the locked trunk of his car.

Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said of pornography, “I know it when I see it.”  Why can’t a similar test be used with regard to weapons and drugs in schools?  There is an understandable desire to keep weapons and drugs out of schools.  But what constitutes a weapon or a drug has a large gray area.

You can get drunk on mouthwash, yet a small travel bottle or spritzer for getting the lunchtime pizza off your breath before locking lips with your boyfriend after class is probably not an indication of someone with a budding drinking problem.  Yet, finding quarts of Scope stashed in your locker might be such an indication.

Similarly, pocket knives are incredibly useful tools for all manner of small tasks.  Could you kill someone with one?  Sure.  You could also kill them with a rock, your hands, or gravity. And we haven’t seen a move to outlaw gravity. (Although given the way evolution is treated in most schools, gravity shouldn’t get too cocky.)

We talk about truth, justice, and the American way, but there can be no justice so long as laws are absolute.  Even life itself is an exercise in exceptions.  When has justice ever been as simple as a rulebook?  And what are we teaching our children by raising them in this environment?  That laws are capricious, unyielding, and without mercy?  That common sense has no place in society?  That being good means following the rules to the letter of the law and never stepping outside the lines?

These are not lessons I want my children to learn.  I make my living designing machines capable of only black and white reasoning. Yet, the world is mostly shades of gray. I do not want my children programmed.  When we lose our ability to make qualitative decisions, we lose much of what it means to be alive.

Poking your way to the pokey

Poke ButtonToday’s local newspaper reported that federal prosecutors are alleging that a Hell’s Angels member threatened a witness—through a Facebook page “poke.”  Seriously… you can’t make this stuff up.  How lame of a Hell’s Angel do you have to be that your preferred intimidation tactic is a button on a web page?

Wait… Facebook still has a “Poke” button? And people use it?  I can’t remember the last time I was poked, but maybe I’m just inherently unpokable.

Then again, my immediate family has a lingering bad taste about poking as my youngest used to instigate serial poking episodes from the back seat of the car.  His opening volley would be to stick a pointed finger into a fellow passenger and then issue the drawn out low-key utterance, “po…ke”.  This would then propagate randomly through the vehicle for what seemed like an eternity as everyone poked everyone else while I gripped the wheel and muttered, “Are we there yet?”

So, maybe it’s just that my circle doesn’t poke.  But either way, this notion of Facebook poking as harassment has to be a bit of a legal stretch, no?  Apparently not.  Google “Facebook poke considered harassment” and you get a ridiculous number of hits.  People being arrested and sued for all manner of virtual abuse.  This is just one out of control poke-analia, to the point that it’s rather amazing CNN hasn’t devoted a full news segment to scourge.  After all, they spend most of their time reporting on Facebook and Twitter anyway.

I guess the upshot here is just a word of warning to all your serial pokers out there.  Trespass on your friends’ cyberspace with care.  One poke too many and you’ll be headed to the pokey.