October 20, 2011

The Science of Baseball's Magical Necklaces: This is the background needed to begin to understand why, as the World Series begins between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers, the field will be full of men who are wearing what can best be perhaps described as magical necklaces. Or, if you're the geeky type, call them +5 Amulets of Baseball Enhancement. (via MetaFilter).

posted by rcade to baseball at 09:00 AM - 10 comments

If you've seen the commercials on TV for these things (or hologram bracelets), they almost always point out how they "restore balance", and then show two demonstrations.

Demo 1: Skeptical person is told to hold their hands behind their back, and the demonstrator pulls down on the clasped hands. This causes the person to lean and then stumble backwards.

Demo 2: Now wearing the magical bracelet, the person again holds their hands behind their back and the demonstrator pulls down on the clasped hands. Incredibly, the person does not stumble. "It's amazing!"

Why does it "work"?

Because of the order they perform the tests.

When the demonstrator pulls down for the second time, the person knows what's coming and automatically adjusts his/her weight/balance so he/she doesn't stumble.

I'd like to see the tests reversed and have them explain that...

posted by grum@work at 10:27 AM on October 20, 2011

Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett endorses Phiten necklaces. The necklaces did not keep the Sox from choking during the pennant race, however.


posted by grum@work at 10:28 AM on October 20, 2011

Not only that grum, but for the first "pull down," the guy is also pulling the person to the left, right, forwards or backwards. However, like magic, they are only pulling down for the second "pull down."

posted by NoMich at 10:29 AM on October 20, 2011

Grum, NoMich, I can confirm that the pull-down trick works in reverse, and without necklaces. It revolves around qi and balance. I'm no expert but I've been to doctors who practice applied kinesiology and use it to find structural weaknesses that are tied into stresses and emotions. (I'll stop there before I start sounding too New Agey. My experience has to do with tinnitus, tangent yadda etc.)

I found it so fascinating that I've tried it myself on my wife and gotten it to work. You can do it too:

1. Have a person hold out his or her arm parallel to the floor and resist a push. For an added touch tell the person to think about something pleasant.

2. Press down on the forearm. For most people resistance is easy.

3. Now tell the person to think of something troubling or sad. (I think on my wife I said something like "think about our baby's fever from the other night.")

4. Press down again, and watch as the person suddenly has no ability to push back.

Again, I don't get why it works, but it does. Whether or not the sports necklace helps restore balance, who knows--the demo could easily be rigged. But philosophically it's not impossible.

posted by werty at 10:47 AM on October 20, 2011

May I introduce you to the Atomic Situp?

posted by yerfatma at 12:13 PM on October 20, 2011

I got a slightly used bridge in Brooklyn that's for sale as well. Anyone interested?

posted by BornIcon at 12:37 PM on October 20, 2011

Them's Phiten words.

posted by beaverboard at 01:11 PM on October 20, 2011

Pedro Cerrano had a better idea.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:41 PM on October 20, 2011

If you believe you're playing well because you're getting laid, or because you're not getting laid, or because you wear women's underwear, then you are! And you should know that! -Crash Davis

posted by tron7 at 02:41 PM on October 20, 2011

I found it so fascinating that I've tried it myself on my wife and gotten it to work.

I asked my wife and she told me to go play with my Shake Weight.

posted by rcade at 03:23 PM on October 20, 2011

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