K-OTIC: Hardcore Psychoactive Performance Igniter (Pre-Workout)

It takes a lot to get me to want to work out some mornings. While I can usually get out to the gym and turn in a pretty solid workout, there needs to be that little added bit to really allow me to turn in intense workouts. All American EFX understands this, and has created a pre-workout supplement called K-OTIC. K-OTIC is a perfect storm of punch and low-price; the drink’s 32 serving bottle can be picked up for well under $30 at a number of online retailers. Continue reading “K-OTIC: Hardcore Psychoactive Performance Igniter (Pre-Workout)”

Brooks Launch Shoe (Woman’s)

At a smidge under $100 (currently on sale at BrooksRunning.com ), the Brooks Launch comes forward with a tremendous amount of features at a cheap price. The lightness of the shoes is of primary importance, meaning that runners with these shoes are not saddled with clunky or otherwise badly-designed shoes. Related to the weight has to be the balance in the shoe’s design. The Brooks Launch, despite having a much more sculpted tread on the rear than the front, approximates perfectly the human foot. Continue reading “Brooks Launch Shoe (Woman’s)”

I-Doser Review (PC)

Oh goodness me, what do we have here? Okay, this is actually sort of an older deal, but I recently discovered idoser, which is a website that makes some pretty brash claims all based on sound waves. In short, idoser is supposed to get you high using audio frequency. The science actually has some validity to it all, but without getting too much into complexities lets just say that it is far from fact that these doses actually work.

The way it works (just a little more basic science, I promise, then its on to the good stuff) is that the sounds you hear through your headphones (the only way it will “work”) is actually two different sets of sound waves that are set two specific frequencies. Supposedly when the two waves meet in your head they jumble things up a bit and confuse your brain into thinking it is having any number of experiences ranging from getting drunk, to shooting dope, to having a spiritual awakening. It’s called binaural beats and, as I said, there actually is a good deal of science behind all of this. I however do not have a competent enough grasp of the details to explain them, so if you are interested in specifics I send you on your way to google, where you will find more info than you can read.

The catch is that everyone has a different level of susceptibility to the doses, depending on the make up of your brain. From what I can tell though these rely heavily on similar parts of the brain that cause hypnogogic activity, and being someone who has dealt with hypnogogic hallucinations several times, I am assuming that I am pretty susceptible. If this turns out to be anything like those though, it will be a pretty bad experience since I normally just panic when that happens. (Hypnogogic hallucinations are actually just very vivid dreams that occur between being awake and asleep, so you know, I’m not a total nut job, just suck at sleeping.)

O.k., so lets test these puppies out! Normally with getting high I am not a big fan, but everything I have read said that this is 100% safe, so I may as well take a whack at it and see where I end up. It is important to note that while I am hoping these work, I’m not trying to assist them at all. My reasoning for this is to avoid a placebo affect. If these things really do what they claim though, then me trying shouldn’t have much of an impact…And off we go!

Beat 1. Alcohol. $3.95, 35 min.
The site claims that taking this dose is equivalent to “Shotgunning five glasses of gin, in force.” and as someone who quite enjoys alcohol, I can only hope so since there are supposed to be no side effects. It claims that “the effects come on strong, but mellow fast” whatever that means, and that I will be overexcited with a dash of “relaxation flightiness”. Well, down the hatc-…er, ear canal.

Thirty five minutes later: Well, nothing really. Since the effects were supposed to be pretty much “a good mood” it’s hard to say because I was in an okay mood from the get go. With something so subtle it is really hard to say what is from the sound and what is from me, so lets try something a little harder and see what happens.

Beat 2. Peyote. $4.25, 35 min.
From what I can tell this is the “strongest” hallucinogenic that didn’t have the word “unpleasant” in the description on the site (if they say its not fun, I’m not going to test their word). This dose is supposed to cause “a mystical loss of oneself, disorientation of the senses” and “a true altered state of consciousness” it is apparently “not a toy” and “not for MOST people.” In order to kick things up a bit I’m going to break my no encouragement rule turn on some trippy graphics on my pc screen, I would give you a link, but considering the dangers with epilepsy I am going to pass. From my experience, which we won’t go into, it helps to have some visual stimuli with this sort of thing. If only I had some good friends here with me to talk about…everything man.

Thirty five minutes later:
Well, I didn’t feel a damn thing. Oddly enough even looking at the visuals didn’t produce any sort of illusions. Looks like peyote is a bust.

Last one, this time I’m switching from the sounds billed to get you high to one of the more…out there ones. They have several on the site that they claim can help with depression or sleeplessness or even impotence, the one I will be trying however is supposed to give you an orgasm.

Beat Three. Orgasm. $3.95 10 min.
For the description of this beat, they tell you what an orgasm is and then make a vague claim that this beat will give you one. “ Orgasms are one of those things that are difficult to describe, but if you have one, you’ll know it. With [our] orgasm dose, you’ll know it!” they say. Personally, I love orgasms, so lets see whats happens. The dose I am doing is a “quick hit” and only lasts ten minutes as opposed to the 50 minute full length orgasm dose. What can I say, I enjoy quickies.

Ten minutes later:
Well, as a plus, it does sound like they may have actually listened to this one before claiming it did something. The only reason I say that is because with the other two it seemed to be just a wall of random sounds, but this one actually had some sense of an arc to it. Did I orgasm? Nope. Did I get anywhere close to it? No, in fact the sound came closer to making me sick than it did making me excited. Surprisingly enough though after taking off the headphones this time around the noise of my room had a slightly wavy sound to it, so if you are in to that sort of thing I guess it worked in this one respect.

So, what did I learn from all of this? probably nothing I already didn’t know, things about not believing something that seems too good to be true. On further reflection I remembered just how complex the human brain is. Modern science has only a basic understanding of how our brain works, so for these folks to be able to intently manipulate it using a method that is also rather mysterious to the best minds out there just doesn’t make sense. When you look at the massive range of things they claim these sounds can do, it gives you a clear picture of what is really going on, someone is sitting there making them, then just slapping a title on them and selling them for 4 or 5 bucks a pop.

idoser is pretty much a scam when you really get down to it. I would say that maybe they are just confused people, but when you see the two doses that sell for two hundred dollars, and consider the fact that if anything this site runs the risk of kids being mislead about drugs (imagine “I tried the crack dose and didnt feel anything, maybe real crack will be okay” it’s a stretch, I know, but still) and the whole thing is just a greedy, irresponsible mess.

My advice to those interested in binaural sounds would be to download something like Gnaural or sbagen (sbagen is the program idoser was built on) that are both completely free and will let you experiment with this concept on your own terms. Sbagen is a bit complex, but Gnaural is a relatively easy to use tool, which can be played with simply and intuitivly. I guess in the end if you want to get high you will have to do it the old fashioned way for now. I suggest reading a good book though, from my experience real drugs leave you feeling about how I did from this little experiment, that is unimpressed and slightly upset about wasting my time.

LCD Soundsystem – 45:33: Nike+ Original Run (CD)

While I have heard of companies purchasing the rights to a song so they can play it on their commercials (car companies and Apple come to mind as groups that do that fairly often), I cannot recall many instances where a company (like Nike) has paid an individual (James Murphy, who is LCD Soundsystem) to create an entire composition for the sheer purpose of promoting said company. The way I see “45:33” is that Murphy is crafting an art installation, with the runner (the primary user of Nike shoes since the company’s inception) as the focal point.

While there are a number of pieces during this composition where Murphy seems to be drawing from the same well, running itself is an enterprise that is largely repetitive. This does not mean that “45:33” is working the same style for three-quarters of an hour, as the numerous slower and faster sections should show. Individuals that are looking for something to just put on and be able to do something will be pleased by “45:33”. The track (composition) is designed exactly for that purpose; while individuals could gain a little more in the way of perspective if they focused a great deal of their energies on the composition, individuals that are running or cleaning up their house will be able to find beauty throughout the entirety of the track. The only direct branding of the music comes on the title of the song; it is not as if Nike forced Murphy to go and put commercials at the beginning and end of this track.

I am unsure of how this track will work in the larger corpus of LCD Soundsystem’s music. While it is true that Murphy has an aim with each of the albums that ey cuts, the fact that Nike paid eir to come up with this might make this composition fundamentally different than the rest of the releases under that moniker. Give this disc a spin if you like workout music, or if you are a fan of the previous works of LCD Soundsystem. If you are looking for singles, differentiated tracks, and things ready for the radio, chances are good that this is NOT the album for you. Electronic, classic, and all spaces in between, “45:33” is a full-on composition for those individuals that are not fans of stuffy dead, white males from the 17th century. Pick it up, if you dare.

Rating: 6.1/10

[JMcQ]

LCD Soundsystem – 45:33: Nike+ Original Run / 2006 Nike / 1 Track / http://www.lcdsoundsystem.com / http://www.nikeplus.com / Reviewed 22 May 2007

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