A Call for More Scientific Truth
in Product Warning Labels
by Susan Hewitt and Edward Subitzky
As scientists and concerned citizens, we applaud the recent trend
towards legislation that requires the prominent placing of warnings
on products that present hazards to the general public. Yet we must
also offer the cautionary thought that such warnings, however
well-intentioned, merely scratch the surface of what is really necessary
in this important area. This is especially true in light of the
findings of 20th century physics.
We are therefore proposing that, as responsible scientists, we
join together in an intensive push for new laws that will mandate
the conspicuous placement of suitably informative warnings on the
packaging of every product offered for sale in the United States of
America. Our suggested list of warnings appears below.
This Product Warps Space and Time in Its Vicinity.
This Product Attracts Every Other Piece of Matter in the
Universe, Including the Products of Other Manufacturers, with a
Force Proportional to the Product of the Masses and Inversely
Proportional to the Distance Between Them.
The Mass of This Product Contains the Energy Equivalent
of 85 Million Tons of TNT per Net Ounce of Weight.
- HANDLE WITH EXTREME CARE
This Product Contains Minute Electrically
Charged Particles Moving at Velocities in Excess of Five Hundred
Million Miles Per Hour.
- CONSUMER NOTICE
Because of the ``Uncertainty Principle'', It Is
Impossible for the Consumer to Find Out at the Same Time Both
Precisely Where This Product Is and How Fast It Is Moving.
There is an Extremely Small but Nonzero Chance That,
Through a Process Know as Tunneling, This Product May
Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at
Any Random Place in the Universe, Including Your Neighbor's
Domicile. The Manufacturer Will Not Be Responsible for Any
Damages or Inconvenience That May Result.
- READ THIS BEFORE OPENING PACKAGE
According to Certain Suggested
Versions of the Grand Unified Theory, the Primary Particles
Constituting this Product May Decay to Nothingness Within
the Next Four Hundred Million Years.
- THIS IS A 100% MATTER PRODUCT
In the Unlikely Event That This
Merchandise Should Contact Antimatter in Any Form, a Catastrophic
Explosion Will Result.
- PUBLIC NOTICE AS REQUIRED BY LAW
Any Use of This Product, in
Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Amount of Disorder in
the Universe. Although No Liability Is Implied Herein, the
Consumer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to
the Heat Death of the Universe.
The Most Fundamental Particles in This Product Are Held
Together by a Gluing Force About Which Little is Currently Known
and Whose Adhesive Power Can Therefore Not Be Permanently Guaranteed.
Despite Any Other Listing of Product Contents Found
Hereon, the Consumer is Advised That, in Actuality, This Product
Consists Of 99.9999999999% Empty Space.
- NEW GRAND UNIFIED THEORY DISCLAIMER
The Manufacturer May
Technically Be Entitled to Claim That This Product Is
Ten-Dimensional. However, the Consumer Is Reminded That This
Confers No Legal Rights Above and Beyond Those Applicable
to Three-Dimensional Objects, Since the Seven New Dimensions
Are Rolled Up into Such a Small Area That They Cannot
- PLEASE NOTE
Some Quantum Physics Theories Suggest That When
the Consumer Is Not Directly Observing This Product, It May
Cease to Exist or Will Exist Only in a Vague and Undetermined
- COMPONENT EQUIVALENCY NOTICE
The Subatomic Particles (Electrons,
Protons, etc.) Comprising This Product Are Exactly the Same in
Every Measurable Respect as Those Used in the Products of Other
Manufacturers, and No Claim to the Contrary May Legitimately Be
Expressed or Implied.
- HEALTH WARNING
Care Should Be Taken When Lifting This Product,
Since Its Mass, and Thus Its Weight, Is Dependent on Its
Velocity Relative to the User.
- IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PURCHASERS
The Entire Physical Universe,
Including This Product, May One Day Collapse Back into an
Infinitesimally Small Space. Should Another Universe Subsequently
Re-emerge, the Existence of This Product in That Universe Cannot
From: email@example.com (Mark Dionne x5551)
Subject: A Call for More Scientific Truth in Product Warning Labels
Keywords: funny, science
Date: 18 Mar 91 00:30:04 GMT
(The above is from Volume 36, Number 1 of
The Journal of Irreproducible Results.
Copyright 1991 Blackwell Scientific Publications Inc.
3 Cambridge Center, Cambridge MA 02141
Individual US Subscriptions $12.00
Reproduced with permission.)
Fri May 24 12:38:57 EST 1996