Popular Science = Wired – Taste

by F.

Magazines are good sources of randomness. When I go to the grocery store, I like to scan the magazine racks and pick something I would never subscribe to off the rack. It might be Allure, it might be Bicycling, it might be People. Whatever. The point is to seed your idea generator with new notions.

Today, I bought a Popular Science. My first impression was how much like Wired it is. Lots of nice graphics showing how things work. Lots of gadgets (laser pointers seem particularly big in this month’s issue.) Lots of stories about Big Machines that Do Crazy Shit.

There the similarities end. Because, while Wired has its own flaws (I cancelled my subscription last year, fed up) at least there’s a nod to design and beauty. Not so in PS. Ugly doesn’t even register to the PS reader. These gadgets are, while interesting and (many of them) extremely clever, unbelievably ugly. If Wired is the iPod, Popular Science is the Zune. The brown one. With a booger on the display.

The real test of any magazine is the ads in the back. I don’t know who buys ad space back there, but this issue of Popular Science contains many wonderful products. Most prominent are the sex related ads. A full page ad lets us know that “There is a Science to Getting Women…and it Works for Every Man.” The genius behind this ad is “Gary Brodsky,” who describes the system (available on three audio CDs) in wonderfully clear terms: “1. You see her. 2. You want her. 3. You get her.” It can’t miss.

I was torn between this system and the “athena pheromone” created by “Dr. Winnifred Cutler.” This substance is an additive to cologne (no doubt Axe is the most popular scent enhanced by this breakthrough compound.) This product has been around since 1993 and contains “synthesized human sex-attractant pheromones.” While no studies of its efficacy are cited, there are two convincing testimonials in the ad, one from “Jacques,” who identifies himself as “a physician.” Good enough for me.

Of course, the Radio Shack crowd seems also to be obsessed with penis size. Thankfully ExtraTDX can somehow add three inches to your ding-dong “without surgery, pumps, or unnatural procedures.” The compound (I imagine it’s yohimbe) is “natural, safe, and permanent.” And a 180-day supply is only $325.00. No thanks. I’ll stick with my vacuum pump.

Other highlights include ads for cigars, Viagra, stain removers, radar detectors for the car, binoculars, laser pointers (“World’s Most Powerful Handheld Lasers!”), roofing products, plans for geodesic dome houses, a two seat bike that “drives like a car,” an anti-gravity device, men’s wide shoes, solar panels, some sort of “medical discovery” involving hydrogen that will treat multiple sclerosis (call the inventors for more information), and beer making equipment.

This last item is particularly important. If the ExtraTDX doesn’t enlarge your johnson, the athena pheromone dissipates at a critical moment and the science of getting women turns out to be less effective than advertised, you can stay home, watch Dirty Jobs on The Discovery Channel, and get wasted on homebrew.

[composed and posted with ecto]