Because who doesn’t want a product in your shower when you’re naked that can burn your skin?

A friend sent me this product called Shower Steamers by Cleverfy, the idea of which is that you put one of these round disks into the hot shower with you and it dissolves slowly, sending wafts of aromatherapeutic fragrances into the steam for you you enjoy.

The instructions are, more or less, put it into your shower with you. Not under the water but so that water drips on it. Enjoy.

Then I noticed these words, in bold, “Do Not Pick It Up With Bare Skin.”

That seems odd for a product you’re standing next to naked, but I did as the instructions said and started my shower.

Except when I was showering, as often happens, my water suddenly turned unbearably hot. So I jumped to the back of the shower and stepped on the no-bare-skin bath aroma disk.

Water temp returned to normal, so I stepped back to the front of the shower to rinse off the foot that came into contact with the disk. I noticed the bottom of my foot has already turned red and started to feel numb.

That was fast.

I decided this product contains things to which I should NOT be coming into close contact, much less breathing into my lungs with steam.

I threw the rest away.

BTW I took a closer look at the instructions and it says if you are pregnant, you should consult a doctor before using it.

However, in the marketing blurbs on the manufacturing web site, it contains a testimonial from one Kimberly, 30 years of age:

“Oh, My, Gosh! For all those baby mamas there – you NEED them! I keep stocking up in fear of running out, as these are the only thing that help me relax after a busy day with my little ones! Sometimes mommy really does need some de-stressing and these are bomb!”

I dunno, Kimberly. Did you consult your doctor about this?

I checked the company’s web site. You can’t find out who’s behind the company, only that its founder (see below) loves New Age BS-speak.

From the back of the package.
Wiser words have never been spoken. From the company founder. I love that she’s holding a Vogue magazine and wearing a chain so big if could hold an anchor.

GOP dark money group masquerades as pro-climate organization in an attempt to scuttle Schumer-Manchin legislation

Beware of what ads you read and believe, even if they seem to be from progressive groups that are on your side.

Because the Republicans — along with the Russians — are spending money to place ads against the Inflation Reduction Act which appear to come from pro-climate groups.

POLITICO’s New York-focused newsletter, New York Playbook, has been sponsored by a group called United for Clean Power every day this week.

In each edition of the popular newsletter, the group has urged New Yorkers to oppose the historic $369 billion climate policy deal reached by Senate Democrats last week, arguing it does not go far enough to save the planet.

“The time to take action on planet-saving climate change legislation is NOW,” reads one of the group’s ads. “Demand true environmental justice from your Democrat colleagues or block the Reconciliation bill.” Another ad reads: “Demand real climate change action in the Reconciliation package, or kill it altogether.”

Similar ads from United for Clean Power have been spreading on Facebook and Google this week, too. The group has spent $11,527 on Facebook ads in the last week, as well as $15,300 on more than 100 Google ads shown in all 50 states.

United for Clean Power looks a lot like a progressive advocacy group. After all, many climate-justice focused groups have raised alarm about the deal because of its many gifts to the oil and gas industry, courtesy of Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.

But United for Clean Power is not a progressive advocacy group. According to reporting from Nick Seymour and Kyle Tharp at the FWIW newsletter, United for Clean Power is a Republican-linked dark money group, and most likely an attempt at deceptive astroturfing.

In other words, Republicans are trying to kill historic climate legislation by tricking progressive voters into believing that’s the best thing to do for the climate. And platforms like POLITICO, Facebook and Google are aiding in that deception by allowing the ads to spread unchecked.

The Republicans are running scared as the Democrats chalk up victories that could change the math of the midterm elections.

You can read the rest at this link.

How the gun industry started marketing guns to the very people who commit most gun violence

Ryan Busse used to be an executive at one of the nation’s top gun manufacturers. He’s now a fierce opponent of the way the gun industry does business. He has an interesting piece in The Atlantic detailing how the gun industry went from trying to primarily target its marketing to hunters and hobbyists, to selling guns to younger and younger angry men with macho complexes, hair-trigger tempers and ample resentments:

When I got my first job in the gun industry, in 1995, the marketing centered on hunting, target shooting, and responsible self-defense. Many advertisements evoked a love of craftsmanship and the outdoors, and some, like this 1995 Ruger ad (first ad, below), even directly addressed its customers as “responsible citizens”—a tagline the company dropped from its advertising in 2007.

Companies such as the European American Armory, an importer of cheap, mostly Eastern European guns, that used cheesy ads—like this one (second ad, below) from 2008—to sell imported guns were a rarity. Little did I realize that those tacky exceptions were the gun industry’s future.

Those ads, designed to appeal to young men who knew no better, were the starting point for marketing that would create a new customer base and change our country forever.

This transformation received its first boost in the mid-aughts when President George W. Bush allowed the assault-weapons ban to sunset and then signed a bill that gave broad protection from liability to gunmakers. Combined, those moves reduced the social stigma and potential legal penalties for edgy marketing of military-style rifles. Over time, larger, more mainstream gunmakers began to experiment with marketing messages previously relegated to the disfavored fringe of the business.

You can read the rest of the article here.

You can find out more about Busse’s book, “Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry That Radicalized America.” at this link.

Gun sales used to be targeted primarily to hunters and hobbyists.
Now gun sales target primarily young men, the chief drivers of American gun violence.

FCC orders phone carriers to stop carrying some auto warranty robocalls

I’m not sure how (and whether) this makes phone carriers liable except insofar as making reports about what steps they are taking to stop auto warranty robocalls, but it’s a step in the right direction.

The FCC’s Robocall Response Team today announced that the Enforcement Bureau has ordered phone companies to stop carrying traffic regarding a known robocall scam marketing auto warranties.  The calls are coming from Roy Cox, Jr., Aaron Michael Jones, their Sumco Panama companies, and international associates.  Building on FCC action earlier this month, all U.S. voice service providers must now take all necessary steps to avoid carrying this robocall traffic.  This operation is also the target of an ongoing investigation by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau and a lawsuit by the Ohio Attorney General.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel:

“We are not going to tolerate robocall scammers or those that help make their scams possible.  Consumers are out of patience and I’m right there with them.”

What’s New:

The Enforcement Bureau has ordered all U.S. voice service providers to take all necessary steps to avoid carrying robocall traffic from the Cox/Jones/Sumco Panama operation.  Today’s order followed a Public Notice that warned providers of this concerning flood of robocalls.  The notice had authorized providers to cut off the traffic and today’s order requires that they do so.  If they do not, they must regularly report to the FCC of the steps they have taken to mitigate the traffic.

“Now that U.S. voice service providers know the individuals and entities associated with this scheme, the Enforcement Bureau will closely monitor voice service providers’ compliance with this order and take appropriate enforcement action as necessary,” said Acting FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan A. Egal.

Hooray for the Biden administration if this works.

You can read the rest of the FCC’s statements about the change here.

Yes, that’s naturalist Jane Goodall in an underwear ad

“She had a laugh about it, made a few jokes about how funny it was that she’d be out there with underwear models around her,” says Roy Leibowitz, one of the campaign’s creative directors.

Yes, renowned chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall is appearing in an ad campaign for underwear. No, she didn’t actually trudge through the jungle with models, photographers and lighting people.

Underwear-clad models stand in a rainforest, surrounded by ferns. Sunlight shines through the morning mist. “Humans,” intones renowned primatologist Dr Jane Goodall. “What unusual animals we are.”

As the camera pans over a closeup shot of a male model’s boxer briefs, the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees says, “It’s a big job making our world a better place, but getting started? Well, that’s as easy as changing your underwear.”

This 30-second ad, for Australian underwear company Boody, is now airing. Billboards from the campaign will soon be erected around Sydney and Melbourne.

“It’s interesting,” says Associate Prof Michal Carrington, a researcher in ethical consumption at Melbourne University. “Because you wouldn’t expect Dame Jane Goodall to be fronting a campaign for underwear.”

The article adds:

Goodall’s fee – a sum Boody are not contractually allowed to disclose – was paid directly to the Jane Goodall Institute.

It’s not the first time Goodall has appeared in advertising – she has also modelled for Stella McCartney and appeared in commercials for HP.

While the final cut of the commercial shows Goodall surrounded by models, the ad was shot in two parts. Goodall was filmed against a green screen in London, while the rest of the campaign footage was captured in Australia. Then, she was superimposed into the scene.

Dr. Goodall was dropped in digitally in this shot.