Monthly Archives: November 2010

Rubber Wristbands Stop Cravings?

Apparently the ultimate diet has finally surfaced. No more no-carbs, only lemon juice and figs, and acai berry diets. Nope. Now you can just put a rubber wristband on and your cravings will all go away. At least, that is a rumor floating around the diet industry. One blogger recently reported her opinion on the matter of rubber wristbands and diets:
“I nearly fell off the treadmill the other day when I heard on TV that snapping a rubber wristband against the wrist would stop the need to eat cookies.
“I would like to see a premenstrual woman zooming in on a piece of chocolate, suddenly stop, snap the wristband and then settle for a celery stick,” I muttered to myself as I resumed my running.
A craving for carbohydrates is generated by the brain, not the taste buds, and is as natural as feeling thirst when the body needs water. Thus snapping a rubber band against the wrist to stop cravings is about as effective as hitting your head against the wall when you are thirsty and trying not to drink.
The thirst and the cravings are signals from our bodies to do something. Thirst is a demand that we drink to increase our blood volume. Carbohydrate craving is a demand that we eat something sweet or starchy because the brain needs to make serotonin. However, unlike thirst, the craving for carbohydrates is often accompanied by deterioration in mood. Studies we carried out at MIT many years ago found that when people had an urge to eat carbohydrates, they were usually stressed, irritable, angry, depressed, cranky, distracted, tired or impatient, or all of the above. These moods of course, reflect a change in serotonin activity or levels” (http://www.google.com/#hl=en&expIds=17259,18168,24999,26473,27023,27740,27744&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=acai+berry&cp=4&pf=p&sclient=psy&aq=0&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&pbx=1&fp=3139a1a4bcf09b0a).
This author is fairly cynical, but what do you think? Would a reminder on your wrist help you to think twice before endulging?

PowerBalance Under Fire

Recently, there has been a lot of news surrounding the silicone wristband known as PowerBalance. Yesterday, I reported a scientist in Australia is conducting research to determine the true effectiveness of the wristband. Today, I report that the wristband company is under fire in Australia for making claims about a product that haven’t been verified.
“The distributors of the popular Power Balance wristbands have been ordered to drop ”misleading” claims that they improve flexibility, balance and strength.
The Therapeutic Goods Complaints Resolution Panel found there was no evidence that the wristbands used by sports stars including AFL players Brendan Fevola and Jack Riewoldt helped to improve performance.
The panel said the claims were false and misleading and breached the therapeutic goods advertising code. It demanded they be withdrawn and a retraction published on the Power Balance website by tomorrow week.
AFL spokesman Patrick Keane said it would be up to individual players to decide if they continued using the bands following the panel’s ruling” (http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/slap-on-the-wrist-for-power-balance-20101122-1832z.html).
I would ask the question: is this wristband really that popular because of its effects, or simply because professional athletes like to wear them?

PowerBalance Wristbands Under Research Investigation

The now famous (or infamous) wristbands made by PowerBalance, which purport to increase stamina, performance, and balance, have been under a great deal of scrutiny. Indeed, they have been associated with placebos and superstition. So are the silicone wristband for real? A chiropractor has teamed up with health scientists in Australia to find out.
“The wristbands are made of silicone and are embedded with two hologram discs.
Dr Brice said seeing patients at his chiropractic practice wearing the bracelets led him and his team to test claims by Power Balance promoters.
“We found patients were using them to treat disorders or get an edge,” he said.
“We wondered if there was anything behind them and we decided to find out.”
Fifty participants will take part in experiments for six to eight weeks, testing if the bands work, their impact and if there are differences in effects for different age groups and genders.
“These sorts of things are around that supposedly have benefits. I don’t think the general public worry about it if there is research behind it,” Dr Brice said.
He is working with Dr Brett Jarosz on the research project, which is supervised by Dr Rick Ames, senior lecturer in the School of Health Sciences” (http://whittlesea-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/rmit-doc-puts-bands-to-the-test/).
It will be interesting to see how the results turn out. Will this make or break PowerBalance?

Wristbands for Truckers

Last month, a commendable effort by TA, the nationwide truck-stop and restaurant chain (Travel Centers of America), set out to earn money for truckers in need as the holidays approached. It has just been released that, through the selling of PowerBalance silicone wristband , TA earned over a quarter of a million dollars.
“TravelCenters of America (TA) said customers and employees of TravelCenters of America Banded Together nationwide with the St. Christopher Trucker Development and Relief Fund (SCF) and raised $211,115 for drivers in need, through their first ever, Band Together fund raising promotion during October.
In a release, the company said that during the promotion, employees at participating TA and Petro Stopping Centers locations asked customers to purchase silicone wristbands for $1 each throughout the month of October. Customers could purchase wristbands while dining at the company’s full-service restaurant or while visiting the travel stores and fuel islands. In return for their donation, customers also signed a banner in the full service restaurant to recognize their support for needy truckers. TA and Petro employees also donated at the company’s Westlake, Ohio, headquarters and at each travel center location.
TravelCenters of America President and CEO Thomas M. O’Brien, appeared live in-studio on the Dave Nemo program to personally deliver the check. Dave Nemo, heard daily on Sirius/XM’s Road Dog Channel, is one of the founders of the St. Christopher’s Fund. Dr. Donna Kennedy, the charity’s Executive Director, and Tim Ridley, a member of the St. Christopher’s Fund board of directors, all participated together for the show’s announcement” (http://www.tradingmarkets.com/news/stock-alert/travw_travelcenters-of-america-raises-money-for-the-st-christopher-s-fund-1313659.html).
Sometimes a one-dollar donation seems so little, but with the combined effort of so many, some wonderful things can happen.

Lawsuit over Silicone Wristbands

If you haven’t heard of them, you soon will. The PowerBalance silicone wristband , made famous by professional athletes who wear the hologram-bearing bracelets and purport to have better balance and performance, is becoming a nationwide (even worldwide) phenomenon. But a new wristband that looks much like the PowerBalance wristband is being produced by Microsoft in tandem with the release of their new Xbox Knect. And a lawsuit has begun.
“On November 1, Power Balance, a purported specialist in “hologram performance technology,” sued Microsoft in the Central District of California under both state and federal law claims including unfair competition, trade dress infringement, false designation of origin and unfair business practices. Power Balance is seeking both temporary and permanent injunctive relief, damages, and other relief for misappropriation of its trade dress in silicone wristbands containing holograms.
According to Power Balance, it has “pioneered the market for silicone hologram wristbands, gaining an international reputation and popularity for its products.” The company cites widespread use by “celebrated professional athletes and other media figures” claiming that “[e]very day, famous athletes seeking to maximize their performance become public fans of this new and innovative product.” The lawsuit classifies wristbands developed by Microsoft in connection with its XBOX KINECT product as “knock-off products” that mimic its “famous hologram wristbands, which promote balance, strength, and flexibility” (http://www.ipbrief.net/2010/11/16/power-balance-sues-microsoft-for-trade-dress-infringement/).
What do you think? Does Microsoft have the right to make and distribute a rubber wristband with a hologram in it, or does PowerBalance own that exclusive right?

Athlete Stands out as Example

We often look to star athletes as role models. They have, after, achieved a mastery level in something many of us wish were good at—sports and athleticism. But it could be argued that the true role model stands for something more than what happens on the field or court. At North Carolina State University, such an athlete exists. And his mottos for success are printed on the rubber wristbands on his arm:
“He’s almost too good to be true.
Baseball and football. Polite and devout. Humble and brilliant.
This is Russell Wilson, the scholar who earned his bachelor’s degree in communications in three years — with honors, no less — while playing two sports at N.C. State.
This is Russell Wilson, strong-armed and fleet-footed, the part-time pro baseball player and the quarterback who makes the Wolfpack go.
A junior in terms of eligibility, Wilson is taking graduate-level courses this year so he can compete for N.C. State.
He leads the ACC in passing (281.4 yards per game), touchdown passes (22) and total offense (312.9 yards).
“Russell Wilson is playing at a very high level,” North Carolina coach Butch Davis said. “… He can really make you pay if you’re not fundamentally sound in the secondary and you don’t cover guys the right way and stay on top of receivers. He can throw it 50 or 60 yards. He’s got a great arm.”
Wilson wears four thin wristbands on his strong right arm — red, white, purple and black — each with a message stamped into the rubber.
Excellence. Highly Favored. Blessed.
“And one for my dad,” he said, pointing to the one for Harrison Wilson III, a two-sport star himself at Dartmouth, who died in June” (http://www.news-record.com/content/2010/11/19/article/wilson_is_looked_up_to_in_the_huddle_at_nc_state).
What an example to look to!

Lawsuit over Cancer-Supporting Wristbands

Officials at a small middle school in Pennsylvania suspended two girls for wearing a rubber wristband in support of breast cancer awareness. The issue with the wristband? It touts the now infamous phrase “I [Heart] Boobies!” on it. Parents of the two girls claim that the suspension violates their First Amendment rights.
“The two middle school girls suing the Easton Area School District after being suspended for wearing “I (heart) Boobies!” wristbands in support of breast cancer awareness will be allowed to attend Friday’s Snowball dance after all, thanks to a federal judge.
Brianna Hawk, 13, and Kayla Martinez, 12, and their mothers filed a lawsuit Monday along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, claiming Easton Area Middle School’s decision to suspend them for refusing to remove the bright rubber bracelets violated their First Amendment rights.
Besides a one-day suspension, the girls were to be barred from school dances for one month.
But U.S. District Judge Mary McLaughlin asked the school district to let the girls attend the dance and to postpone any other disciplinary action until after she rules on the suit. The district agreed in a letter Wednesday. If the district prevails, punishment would be reinstated, the letter states” (http://articles.mcall.com/2010-11-18/news/mc-easton-boobies-bracelets-dance-20101118_1_bracelet-easton-area-girls-boobies).
These wristbands continue to raise both controversy and awareness. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Boy Earns Money for WWII Hero

Sometimes we might underestimate what an eleven-year-old is capable of. Following his interest and passion for WWII, and his deep respect for the veterans who fought in it, one boy has decided to sell rubber wristbands to earn money for a statue of a soldier that will be built in France. And how much has he raised so far? $21,000.
“With all their texting, tweeting and Internet surfing, today’s kids might be the right-now generation.
Who among them has time for what some call the greatest generation?
Jordan Brown, for one.
An 11-year-old from Lebanon County, he has long been fascinated by World War II and one old soldier in particular — Dick Winters, the Easy Company commander made famous by the HBO mini-series “Band of Brothers.”
Mr. Winters, a Lancaster native who lives in Hershey, is 92 and has Parkinson’s disease.
But a statue of him is going up in France, and Jordan has taken it upon himself to raise money for it by selling $1 rubber wristbands in the tradition of Lance Armstrong’s yellow “Live Strong” bracelets.
These wristbands are olive green, the color of U.S. Army uniforms, and say “Hang Tough,” which is what Mr. Winters told his men in combat in Europe. In later years, that phrase became his motto.
Jordan has raised $21,000 since he started selling bands in May and says his goal is $100,000. The monument in Normandy is expected to cost about twice that” (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10315/1102384-84.stm).
It is incredible what some determination, passion, and a rubber wristband can do!

Wristbands to Support Burn Victim, Soccer Player

One of the great things about sports is the comradery that is built among teammates and the “family” feeling of support-no-matter-what for fellow teammates. At the state rivalry soccer game in a small community, one of the players was severely burned and is now in the hospital recovering. Her teammates have banded together to sell light blue rubber wristbands in support of her recovery.
“Hello again everybody, and welcome to Johnson High School in Clark for the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 2 championship match.

This will be one of the most emotionally-charged soccer matches in the state this season when second-seeded Johnson hosts ninth-seeded Gov. Livingston.
Johnson is playing the remainder of its games in honor of teammate Eryka Underwood, a sophomore sweeper who on Nov. 2 suffered third-degree burns at a backyard party and is now recovering at the St. Barnabas Hospital burn unit in Livingston.

There are banners everywhere for Underwood, and her No. 19 jersey is hanging on the fence behind the Johnson bench. “Stay Strong Eryka No. 19” light blue rubber wristbands are being sold at the door” (http://www.nj.com/hssports/blog/girlssoccer/index.ssf/2010/11/nj_girls_soccer_central_jersey_group_2_final_–_live.html).
What a great way to support a teammate during a no doubt difficult recovery.

Blue Wristbands and the Race for the Senate

Who would have ever thought that a small blue rubber wristband would significantly boost a politician’s ability to win the Senate race against an incumbent? Well, that is looking more and more like the case in Alaska where Murkowski’s now famous blue and gold rubber wristbands show the support that people have for—and her hard to spell name.
“The distinctive blue wristbands have become a badge of honor. No one seems to be taking them off, at least not until Lisa Murkowski has finally been declared the winner of the U.S. Senate race.
The half-inch rubber bands’ gold lettering mirrored what has turned out to be the most important message of the campaign: “Fill it in, Write it in.” A gold oval precedes Murkowki’s name.
With the vote count continuing to trend her way, Murkowski is tantalizingly close to pulling off the biggest upset ever in Alaska politics and one with an even more historic twist. No one has ever won a statewide write-in campaign in Alaska, and it’s only been done once in U.S. Senate history — 56 years ago in South Carolina.
Murkowski’s unconventional campaign was really two simultaneous efforts. One was to convince people why she was the best choice for the Senate, and the other was to educate people about how to vote for her. The why and the how were linked whenever possible. TV spots on issues always always ended with the “write it in, fill it in” tag, the logo showing Murkowski’s name handwritten on the ballot and the oval blacked in next to it” (http://www.alaskadispatch.com/dispatches/politics/7501-alaska-senate-race-murkowski-gets-boost-from-miller-meltdown).
Looks like the campaign has been successful and this new twist to politics makes for an interesting conversation!