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Physics misused in advertising (that most people wouldnt notice)

  1. Dec 1, 2004 #1
    This advertisement cracked me up in a car magazine I was reading (the use of 'kelvin':

    Xenon bulbs use the latest in halogen technology to produce whiter, brighter light. Halogen gases (such as Xenon) burn at a higher "Kelvin temperature" than standard incandescent bulbs, for output that is closer in color to natural sunlight.

    I don't know if you caught it, but I just thought it was funny how they cited "Kelvin temperature" like it itself is a property of the gas, like a boiling point or melting point. As if it doesn't burn at a high centigrade or fahrenheit temperature...

    Are there any things you people have noticed misused like this?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 1, 2004 #2

    Math Is Hard

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    I saw a DeBeers diamond ad for engagement rings last year that kinda bugged me:
    "Apologies to the Sun, but SHE is the center of your universe." Still trying to work that out in my head.
     
  4. Dec 2, 2004 #3
    Sun ain't the center of my universe *spits*


    I've got a worse one though. A bible-thumping engineering major sent a letter to the editor of the campus news paper to disprove the big bang theory with thermodynamics.

    The next day the physics department seniors wrote a letter telling him that they don't pretend to know how to build a bridge, and he shouldn't pretend to know anything about physics, and that if he wantstotalk physics, he can meet them any time in the department's student lounge.
     
  5. Dec 2, 2004 #4
    Is that code for "If you set foot in the physics department, we're going to beat you to a pulp?" :tongue2:
     
  6. Dec 2, 2004 #5

    Close. Its actually code for:

    "If you set your ignorant foot, after your demeaning pretension to having anyknowledgeof physics whatsoever, in the physics department, we're gonna beat you to a pulp."
     
  7. Dec 2, 2004 #6
    I can't remember who it was, but one day flipping through the channels I came upon "scientist" explaining exactly where Darwin screwed up and how the quirks of Quantum mechanics can be explained by invoking the hand of God.
     
  8. Dec 2, 2004 #7

    Moonbear

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    We have a 24 hour religion (or Christian) channel here that would probably have people on talking about stuff like that. I've programmed my TV to skip that channel when I flip channels. It was making me too nauseous, especially when they were talking about all the things wrong with evolution. :yuck:

    I'm actually impressed that car ad used Kelvin correctly. Sure, they didn't need to specify a temperature scale, and only used it to sound more technical to the untechnical public, but at least it wasn't using a term totally incorrectly. I'll have to watch for more examples now. I used to notice things like that and just stopped paying attention. One of my favorites are those ads for medications treating depression, where they show "neuron A" and "neuron B" and a bunch of circles floating between the two to explain how their drug works.
     
  9. Dec 2, 2004 #8

    matthyaouw

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    Has anyone with any biology knowledge (or maybe chemistry) tried watching any kind of shampoo or skin product advert? Each one is laughable in a new way. I won't go into a full explantion or rant, because I've done that far too many times before, but lets just say i despise those adverts.
     
  10. Dec 2, 2004 #9
    "Let the fresh fruits revitalize your hair, leaving your hair feeling renewed to start your wonderful glorious day."

    Quite odd considering most shampoos have either sodium laurel sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate as their main ingredient, and whatever fruits extracts they do have provide little more than fragrance :biggrin: . Obvious advertisement ploy.
     
  11. Dec 2, 2004 #10
    We should keep posting things as we see them, things like these make good conversation pieces.
     
  12. Dec 2, 2004 #11
    I don't think you can do better than "The Core" if you want to see a movie with a little "bad" science. The funniest thing about it is that I saw a few interviews with the stars of the show and every one of them said they were really impressed with the great lengths the director went to to make sure the science was accurate. I watched this movie with my dog and about halfway into it I heard him growl, "give me an freaking break" then he licked his butt and walked out of the room.
     
  13. Dec 2, 2004 #12

    chroot

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    I once saw a commercial comparing two gas medicines. They decided to use graphs to unambiguously demonstrate their product's superior efficacy.

    The graphs, presented side-by-side for careful inspection, were 3-dimensional. They had no titles, axis labels, or numbers on them. Just the frame of the graph, with a big red arrow sticking out of the origin.

    The product being advertised had a much larger, much redder arrow than the other product. So, naturally, it must have been better.

    - Warren
     
  14. Dec 2, 2004 #13

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: Maybe the graph was of predicted sales profits once the commercial aired?
     
  15. Dec 2, 2004 #14
    I recently put tires on my truck and enjoyed the sales pitch at PepBoys. They brought out a chart that shows how their house brand tires scored 98 and BF Goodrich only got 97. True the Goodyear got a 99 but it scored only 94 in value.
    98 what? 97 out of what? that's what I thought
    What I said was:
    "You guys here seem pretty professional, did you run this test yourself? "
    he said, "That's how we know its accurate."
    I said, "I can't argue with that. I would have been happy with a 96, but how could I possibly pass up 98. I'll take 490."
    he said "490?"
    I said "5 x 98, 4 on the truck and a spare "
    he said, " you're clever" and I said, "so are you my friend"
    no that's not what happened, but I did buy tires at pepboys and they didn't have 5 of the kind I wanted, but they had 4 and 1 of a different make. I had already paid, so they came out to tell me about the one tire being different, but I shouldn't worry. That's when they showed me the unbiased test scores. Even though I got a different tire than what I paid for they made sure I got a 98 instead of one of the 97s.
    I thanked them for looking out for me and my best interests.
     
  16. Dec 2, 2004 #15
    This stie rates movies based on the physics contained within them:

    http://www.intuitor.com/moviephysics/mpmain.html
     
  17. Dec 2, 2004 #16

    Gokul43201

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    There's this commercial by some razor blade manufacturer (Gillette ?) that proudly claims that their blades are made of titanium, because that's "the sharpest metal known to man".

    That makes me want to laugh and cry. :rofl::cry:
     
  18. Dec 2, 2004 #17

    Moonbear

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    Do you all get these ads for putting nitrogen in your tires instead of air? They claim they hold tire pressure longer because nitrogen is bigger than either oxygen or regular air (I think I've heard both) so doesn't leak out through the rubber as easily.
     
  19. Dec 2, 2004 #18

    Gokul43201

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    I have come across that one, though never with a "bigger molecule" explanation. And while the explanation is, of course, hogwash, there might be some truth to the phenomenon - but it would probably have to do with with the van der waals interactions between nitrogen molecules and rubber. At least the nitrogen helps reduce corrosion to the wheel rim.
     
  20. Dec 2, 2004 #19

    BobG

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    Sounds like TQM (Total Quality Management). Paste a bunch of power point slides on the wall with any meaningless metric you can think of and put in a red arrow that says "good" (since the metrics are meaningless, a person wouldn't be able to tell if the power point slide represented a good trend or a bad trend without the arrow).
     
  21. Dec 2, 2004 #20

    I love that one. Since you know, air isn't already 75% nitrogen... Its complete bogus. We had a fun laugh at that one in chemistry class the other day.
     
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