Nutrilite - Curing confusion.

Vitamins! You don't need to eat if you take vitamins! They can give you energy and fix everything you're doing wrong in your life! Just listen to the salesman!

This poor couple. Their heads are swimming with scary words like "phosphorous" and "D". How should they make sense of it all? Just listen to the salesman selling them vitamin supplements door to door! He has "facts"! And, he has a suitcase full of easy answers!

Unless you either A) live in a third-world wasteland or B) eat nothing but Doritos for every meal, you probably don't need to take vitamins. As a rule of thumb, if you ate some kind of plant today, and some kind of animal, you're probably not doing too bad, nutritionally speaking. But, people without real problems love to invent tiny little problems they can pretend to solve by buying something, and thereby make their generalized anxiety go away a little bit. This has been true ever since humans stopped spending all their time hiding from lions and searching for a bush with a few berries left on it.

Do you have any reason to believe you are malnourished, or are you spending money on supplements because “you never know”? You never know when a giraffe may dent your car. You’d better take out a special giraffe policy. Is it smarter to spend money solving problems you know you have, or ones you can't be sure you don't have?

Mom always made us take vitamins. It made her feel like she was covering all the nutritional bases with her kids. As a grownup, I almost never take them. Then, I found a bottle of multivitamins in the cabinet from last winter, and spent a few months eating one every morning, just because I hate waste. I felt exactly the same as when I didn't take them. But then again, I'm lucky enough to live in a developed civilization where only the truly determined person can avoid getting enough vitamins. This is a data point of one. Purely anecdotal. Do not change your life just because of this story.

Things that call themselves "dietary supplements" may not even have actual vitamins in them. In fact, they probably don't even contain what the label says they do. The dietary supplement industry isn't regulated at all, and they don't have to do what they claim to do. They're accountable to no one. It's a wild west kind of situation. They tend to appeal to humans' deep love of logical fallacies, usually these two:

Appeal to ignorance: Argument from ignorance (in which ignorance represents "a lack of contrary evidence"), is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false (or vice versa). This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes a third option, which is that: there may have been an insufficient investigation, and therefore there is insufficient information to prove the proposition be either true or false. Nor does it allow the admission that the choices may in fact not be two (true or false), but may be as many as four,
1. true
2. false
3. unknown between true or false
4. unknowable

In debates, appeals to ignorance are sometimes used in an attempt to shift the burden of proof.

Appeal to antiquity: An appeal to antiquity is the opposite of an appeal to novelty. Appeals to antiquity assume that older ideas are better, that the fact that an idea has been around for a while implies that it is true. This, of course, is not the case; old ideas can be bad ideas, and new ideas can be good ideas. We therefore can’t learn anything about the truth of an idea just by considering how old it is.

Anyhoo, do you have enough pictures of confused mid-century honkies on your hard drive? Probably not! Your hard drive needs to be supplemented with the baffled couple from today's ad. Are they any use to you? You can't prove they aren't! Therefore, you need them. Man, if only I made money doing this. Also, 1000 px avatar versions of each, for your online chat service or whatever. You're welcome!


Meatish Swedeballs


Chicken Problemo


Easy Food Hats

Click for big.


Lionel Union Pacific Streamline - Neither skimpy, nor dinky (sic).

In 1934, if you could afford to buy your kid an electric train set, you were doing pret-ty well, sir. It was a year of decent economic recovery after the Great Depression, but it was still a time when a super cool train set was very much a luxury item... just ask ten year old Alec Baldwin!

No, not really. For starters, if this kid were Alec, he'd be about eighty years old now. But this kid sure does look like him. Regardless of this boy's chronological age, in this photo, he's becoming a man. How? He's having his first train boner. Look at him, man. And well might he. Any kid could be expected to have a bit of premature masculation when being given a badass tran set like this one. And Alec's dad would have a little boner of his own if he knew what the thing would be worth, just half a century later.

Of course, this Lionel Union-Pacific Streamliner is a brand-new, never-played-with example, and the kind of kids that never open their toys in the hope of auctioning them off in fifty years are A) virtually nonexistent and B) when they do exist, they're probably freakazoids.

Not our little Alec, though. you can tell by the look on his face that he's definitely going to play with his train.

Little Alec has more work to do. What kind of work? That's up to you, because we've made him into a Graphic Gift. He's dot patterned.  He's got an alpha background. He's got the energy. He's come all the way from 1934 to find a home on whatever poster, email or graphic you think needs some enthusiasm. Give a big hand to Train Boner Alec! More importantly, let's give him a place on your hard drive. You're welcome!

Click for 10000 px.
What? You want more? Fine. Here's Train Boner Alec as a 1000 px avatar, to be used as your avatar on your chat platform of choice. Happy now? You're still welcome!

Click for 1000 px.


The Cowboy Interruption.

Joke #1 - "Brad, table four has sent back their cheesy fries for the second time. Permission to blow a snot rocket in the their entree?"

Joke #2 - Brad's next sentence was interrupted by the sound of the door being thrown open. He whirled around in his chair and his face went white. It was Bone Dry Bud, The Man Without a Fly, and some say the orneriest buckaroo to never moisten a urinal cake.

Joke #3 - "Aha! I might have guessed! How could you, Brad?... and with Mr. Lincoln, no less! You knew he was on my 'celebrity free pass list'."

Joke #4 - "No no no. False alarm, Troy. I said 'I didn't expect a kind of Amish Exhibition'. Go back to work."

Joke #5 - "Nope. Those make your thighs look big, too. Try the culottes your sister sent you."

Joke #6 - "Sorry to interrupt, sir, but there's some rootin' goin' on. Some say there's some tootin', as well."

Joke #7 - "Sir, we need to order some real cards. The boys are tired of playin' Uno."

Joke #8 - "Sir, can I just work in the dish room for the rest of the night? The guys are makin' fun of my camel toe again. "

Joke #9 - "Brad, I think we need to cut off table three. They want me to play Frozen again, and the other customers are starting to complain."

Mat Black was the first to rustle up a mess of joke #10. Thanks, Mat! -  "I'm the only hombre 'round these parts that can pull off the white shirt, vest and snap tie! GO CHANGE!"

Not far behind was MisterFancyButtonDowntheBackPants_2, with joke #11. nice shootin' Tex. "'Scuse the interruption Brad, but do I 'saunter in', or 'sashay in'?" "Carl says I 'sashay in' like a two-bit parlor floosie and I don't reckon I'm likin' the way that stinkin' bitch is runnin his mouth...and OH - MY - GAWD!!, is that my copy of '50 Shades' yer givin' to Mister Lincoln?!?!..."

[Commenter jokes will be added to the post.    -Mgmt.]

Bonus punishment: You've probably done something bad this week. Teach yourself a lesson by listening to Cowboy Song, improvised by BlueWank. It takes a while to get going, and unfortunately takes a while to get stopping. Sorry, not sorry.