Sunday, October 22, 2006

Wikipedia to the rescue

We were watching television tonight. Steve Wright, a quirky standup comedian, was on Comedy Central. So, too, was another standup comedian, Jim Gaffigan, who is best known right now for being the abrasive blond man on the Sierra Mist commercials.

While watching, the usual slate of cable commercials showed up. One of the commercials was for the diet pill Leptopril. Leptopril is the cheaper generic version of Leptoprin. Leptoprin has been advertized for a while with a strange ad campaign: it claims that the pill is so powerful that it's not for "casual dieters" and it is "worth $153 a pill".

In fact, it's just a herbal concoction. The Leptoprin commercial states that the pill is patented and that the effectiveness was shown in a "clinical study". Actually, the fact that it was patented doesn't mean that it was effective, and the clinical trial showed that there was no difference between the pill and a placebo.

In other words, this is a huge rip off done in a way to skirt illegality.

So where did I hear the truth of this pill? Wikipedia, of course. More accurately:

I changed channels at 11 pm to History Channel International. Right now there's an interesting show about the German Tiger tank. In the last commercial break there was an ad for Video Professor. Video Professor is a series of lessons on various computer topics, like eBay and Microsoft Excel. The commercial offers you a free lesson as a trial.

I checked Wikipedia (just out of curiousity, not because I want to order any Video Professor products). Apparently the company has a bad reputation for ripping people off. They send you a couple of free discs, but they include a disc for $70 or $80. You have 10 days from the point that they mailed the item to return the discs, and you need a number from the company for the return to be official. Oh, and unless you specifically stop them from sending you anything else, about every 5 weeks you'll get another $70 or $80 disc!

The information is here, again on Wiipedia:

All hail Wikipedia!

(And now I need to go to bed, as my eyes are drooping. If you notice any grammar mistakes, it's because I'm falling asleep here!)

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