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Nothing Like a Real Fireplace

I’m now working as a pitchman, doing shows at Sam’s Clubs and BJs Clubs, demonstrating and selling this.   (Warning: the web site automatically starts playing sound.  Not my design, folks.) There’s downtime between shows which I often spend wandering around the store.

It’s cold here in the Northeast, so one of the more popular items this time of year is space heaters.  They come in all shapes and sizes.  One of the most amusing is a four hundred dollar model whose primary feature, compared to the $30-$50 ones that do the exact same thing, is Bob Vila’s picture on the box.

Some of the expensive ones feature a fake fireplace.  Most look really, really fake, but some might fool you for a second or two if you weren’t paying attention.

The other day, in my wanderings, I was standing next to one.  I could see it out of the corner of my eye while I was looking at something else and felt one side of my body getting warm.  I didn’t think much of it until I realized I wasn’t standing next to a heater, but large hi-def TV that was displaying a picture of a fire place, complete with the sounds of the flame and popping, crackling logs.  The moment I realized what it was the feeling of warmth vanished.  I tried to get it back, but once I realized the fire was a fake, the sensation wouldn’t return. Yet it had felt very real just a few seconds before.

I laughed.  It’s good, every once in a while, to be reminded that no matter how carefully we tweak our bullshit meter, no matter how diligently we try to apply a skeptical approach to everything, we can still be fooled pretty easily.  It doesn’t even require someone else trying to fool you – you can do it to yourself.

Nothing Like a Real Fireplace
I’m now working as a pitchman, doing shows at Sam’s Clubs and BJs clubs, demonstrating and selling this.   (Note: the web site automatically starts playing sound, which I find annoying.) There’s downtime between shows which I often spend wandering around the store.  http://keepeez.com/index.php
It’s cold here in the Northeast, so one of the more popular items this time of year is space heaters.  They come in all shapes and sizes.  One of the most amusing is a four hundred dollar one whose primary feature, compared to the $30-$50 ones that do the exact same thing, is Bob Vila’s picture on the box.  http://hubpages.com/hub/EdenPURE-Scam-Revealed
Some of the expensive ones feature a fake fireplace.  Most look really, really fake, but some might fool you for a second or two if you weren’t paying attention.
The other day, in my wanderings, I was standing next to one.  I could see it out of the corner of my eye while I was looking at something else and felt one side of my body getting warm.  I didn’t think much of it until I realized I wasn’t standing next to a heater, but large hi-def TV that was displaying a picture of a fire place, complete with the sounds of the flame and popping, crackling logs.  The moment I realized what it was the feeling of warmth vanished.  I tried to get it back, but once I realized it was a fake, the sensation wouldn’t return.
I laughed.  It’s good, every once in a while, to be reminded that no matter how carefully you’ve tweaked your bullshit meter, no matter how diligently you try to apply a skeptical approach to everything, you can still be fooled pretty easily.  It doesn’t even require someone else trying to fool you – you can do it to yourself.

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2 Comment(s)

  1. There is an old an deep connection between fire and the human soul. Without fire, we would not be human. Literally. We would still have huge ridges on our skulls to chew uncooked food. Without cooked foods, humans would not have developed a large brain consuming lots of energy.

    Having stared into fires for hundreds of millennia, we are easily fooled, though. Just a video of a fire will do.

    These days, people don’t have fireplaces, so there is lots of demand for fakes ones, even without heat.

    Eur van Andel | Feb 10, 2011 | Reply

  2. I never thought about it that way, but it makes sense. Guys are always fascinated with fire. Some women are, but it’s mostly a guy thing.

    And it’s not just playing with it, building bonfires, campfires, and the like but also cooking with it. I can’t get my daughters interested in learning how to grill.

    Dave Hitt | Feb 10, 2011 | Reply

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