Sunday, December 18, 2011

Stupid Polls and Studies

If you're a journalist, one way to get "fresh" story ideas is from polls and studies. My inbox (and that of my colleagues') has been filling up lately with polls and studies that are, well, stupid. Here are a few:

Really? Really? The Environmental Working Group came up with the stunning conclusion that kids' cereal has more sugar than cookies and snack foods. Shocking, I tell you. They cite brands like Kellogg's Honey Smacks (ya know, the one we grew up with called SUGAR Smacks). Other problems: not enough whole grain. Really? A few of the 10 worst children's cereals (you're not going to believe this) include Kellogg's Fruit Loops Marshmallows, Kellogg's Smorz, and Quaker Captain Crunch (both original and berry). Of course the 10 healthiest cereals sounds so...yummy. They include: Ambrosial Granola, Go Raw and Grandy Oats. Now, I must go donate money to keep up the good work of the Environmental Working Group so they can publish more ground-breaking health research.

than a holiday party. Again, knock me over with a feather. When asked what holiday incentive people want this year, 72% polled would rather have a CASH BONUS. In this economy? Who are they kidding? Shockingly, 62% would go for a salary raise. Only 4% would rather party on (with an open bar).

A nationwide survey by Citibank reveals that the topic mothers think about daily is MONEY, followed by parenting. In this economy? Mothers are worried about money? The earth-shattering study also revealed that after having a baby, moms got more involved in the family finances. Stop the presses! They now have to think about college funds and life insurance. After having a baby, moms spend LESS MONEY ON THEMSELVES and use coupons and deals more often. Wait - that gives me a "fresh" story idea for a parenting magazine. Bet they haven't heard of this before.

90% of Americans think it's okay for a person to have a nativity scene in their own personal yard. OMG! We're talking someone featuring baby Jesus and his parents in the yard on which they personally pay their taxes. I'm all for church/state separation, and I'm no fan of nativity scenes on public property. But on your own private property? You go for it! What a waste of polling money.

In what I assume is the PR agency for Google, I got a press release mentioning the release of the 2011 Google Zeitgeist, the annual compilation of "the most popular and fastest-rising search terms." While the actual link they gave me was so disappointing I'm not going to publish it here, they did helpfully provide the top 3 list for Google's closely guarded search term data - searches for:

The Most Popular Cartoon Characters:
1. Mickey Mouse
2. Lion King
3. Hello Kitty

The Most Popular Pets
1. Dogs
2. Puppies
3. Cats

And in other news...the Pope is Catholic!

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Review: the Snapi

After posting about the Snapi, the company's marketing person contacted me and offered me a sample, as trying it might change my mind. In the interest of fairness, I said yes.

This is not a photo of me using the Snapi.

The kids were very excited about the Snapi. Here's why:
-it looks like a clam and my daughter is a budding marine biologist
-it's fun to open and close
-it looks like a toy
-you can close it and open it using separate buttons
-you can use it to pinch your sibling's arm and clothing

-It sometimes gets stuck (open or closed) when you're using it.
-It doesn't always stay closed in the drawer, even though it has a little button to push to keep it closed. That means it pops open in the drawer, making the drawer difficult to close.
-Because of the fangs at the end, it's impossible to pick up small items, like pomegranate seeds, finely diced onions, beans and other things that I put in my salad. I had to find another tool to get those out.
-If you don't put it in the dishwasher (it's dishwasher-safe on the top shelf), it's messy to clean - especially with blue cheese chunks sticking on all the fangs (yes, I also put blue cheese in my salad, and that doesn't get goopy on the salad servers, but does on the Snapi)
-it fell over in the salad bowl, getting dressing on the outside of it.

Conclusion: it's cute, but I would not buy one for myself or anyone else. Unless maybe the person only had one arm and really needed a tool to pick up food, and didn't like using tongs. I'll try it on the next pasta dish I make, but I may give it to my marine biologist daughter as a toy.

Do you have a stupid product you'd like me to review? Send me an email at mystupidproducts AT gmail DOT com.