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View Full Version : Penta Water - Can someone tell me if this is a scam?


shelbo
06-19-2001, 01:07 AM
OK, we've all seen the new bottled waters coming onto the market - special, healthier water, some with dissolved oxygen, some with caffine. Now there's Penta Water, which is, well, I'll quote some of the sales pitch:

"We begin with 100% pure distilled water and process it over two days to modify the structure of the H2O molecule clusters into a tetrahedral structure, similar to the structure of the water molecule clusters found in human cells. This creates a reduced water with a high leeching index and high osmotic drive, resulting in more efficient absorption at the cellular level, quicker re-hydration, more efficient removal of toxins, and faster delivery of O2 to the system. "

and

"The high osmotic drive and low surface tension of the H2O molecular clusters in Penta-Hydrate can be rapidly absorbed by the body. Since our proprietary process already conforms the H2O clusters into a tetrahedral array similar to that of intra-cellular water, the body does not need to expend excess energy to further break down the water into the easily absorbed tetrahedral clusters (as is necessary with other commercially available bottled water). The easy absorption of water across the cell membrane creates hydroelectric energy, another byproduct of drinking water. Thus, with Penta-HydrateTM, not only are you effectively hydrating the body, but creating energy as well. When cells are properly hydrated they work more efficiently, reducing lost energy."

Special, low surface tension H2O, that is more easily absorbed by the body. Special, different, H2O, one of the most common molocules on the planet? At over $2.00 a bottle!? This has got to be a joke, right?

astro
06-19-2001, 01:30 AM
From Penta Water's web site

http://pentawater.net/pages/what_is.html

Cutting to the chase it sounds like they are claiming that they are infusing the water with extra oxygen in some way. Whatever benefits this may have are open to question.


"Penta-hydrate is a PURE WATER"

"A TRUE SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGH
Water consists of large clusters of H2O molecules which the cells must breakdown so the body can utilize the water. As we age the cells do this less efficiently. The smaller the cluster of H2O molecules the more easily the water passes through the cell membrane to hydrate the cell, transport oxygen and nutrients, and remove toxins and waste. Bio-Hydration's process restructures the large molecular formations usually found in nature into the less common small clusters, thereby increasing their ability to hydrate the cells. This process is accomplished using advanced physics, without the use of any chemicals or additives. In addition, pure oxygen is dissolved into the molecularly restructured water to raise the osmotic drive, further increasing the ability of the water to pass into the cells. The result is Penta-hydratetm, a water like none other. "

evilhanz
06-19-2001, 01:34 AM
Originally posted by shelbo
This has got to be a joke, right?

Yes. Drink tap water. It's better for you (and cheaper).

Do you really need the chemistry bigwigs to tell you that this one's a scam? In an overcrowded marketplace, some unscrupulous "health" companies will use any pseudo-scientific jargon they can think of to convince you that their product is better for yoy than that other guy's. Ethical or not.

The first giveaway is that they start with distilled water and don't add anything to it. Drinking distilled water for long periods of time has negative health effects. It strips your body of electrolytes and minerals and can lead to high blood pressure, heart irregularities, and hair loss.

I wouldn't drink it.

shelbo
06-19-2001, 01:37 AM
I see what the Penta people say, I just view their claims with skepticism, seeing as they want to sell me water at $2.00 per liter. Is their special "pure water", with dissolved oxygen added, any different than distilled water, with oxygen added? They are claiming that they are "restructuring" the water into smaller, more readily absorbed "clusters". I've heard of surface tension, but I've never heard of water "clusters". Do such clusters really exist? Can they be "restructured" into smaller clusters that are "more readily absorbed"? Or is this a scam to get people to buy a ridiculously high margin product?

Ringo
06-19-2001, 01:40 AM
It's been years since I took any chemistry, and I know there are SDers more readily equipped than I to spring forth with some specifics, but I'll say the first thing I'm having trouble with is the tetrahedral structure of H2O molecule clusters. I don't remember anything about molecule "clusters" being a factor in osmosis through a water permeable barrier, and the use of tetrahedral makes me twitch to the effect that the use of the word might be beckoning forth the reader's vagues memory of organic chemistry's basis in the tetrahedral bonding of carbon atoms (which are absent in any distilled water you might care to drink).

Cervaise
06-19-2001, 02:12 AM
Hey, if you think pentagonal water is cool, I've got six-sided water I'll sell you at six bucks a pint.

Andy
06-19-2001, 02:29 AM
Well you could consider water to have a tetrahedral structure when you consider the extended hydrogen bonded array, but these bonds are transient (except in some (all?) ice forms) and rapidly shifting. If you're worried about the surface tension, add detergent. Yuck.

If anyone knows the legal side of things (something corresponding to the UK's Consumer Protection Act?), I'd be more than happy to help with a well worded scientific opinion (I have collegues who study water, how dull) of this bullshit. See if we can spoil their day and get it taken off the website;). I'm not evil, I just hate bad science.

Mockingbird
06-19-2001, 05:18 AM
Originally posted by evilhanz

This has got to be a joke, right?
Yes. Drink tap water. It's better for you (and cheaper).
[/QUOTE]

Cheaper, sure. Better for you? Questionable.

The water in my area of Oregon is very metallic from the tap. I bought a Pur filter so it can taste decent and not smell. The tap water around here has been tested and has high levels of lead. Lead is not something I think is better for me.

RealityChuck
06-19-2001, 08:12 AM
The "scientific breakthrough" sounds like pure bullshit. Water molecules don't "cluster" (unless you consider ice "clustering") and there's nothing for the body to break down in order for it to use it. A water molecule is chemically balanced, so it doesn't need to connect to anything else.

Quercus
06-19-2001, 11:19 AM
Cervaise said
>Hey, if you think pentagonal water is cool, I've got six-sided water I'll sell you at six bucks a pint.

No, no, no! Don't listen to him! It's FEWER sides to your water that's better at balancing your internal chrono-energetic matrix!

I have, in fact, FOUR sided water that I will, at great sacrifice to myself, sell for only four bucks a pint! (plus packaging, handling, and spiritual rebalancing fees, of course)

Right now I'm working on developing three sided water for even better spirituo-rejuevenatory quasi-LaGrangian solubility!

Rumour has it that scientists at the Mobius institute in California, working with Tibetan monks, Wiccan elders and the local plumbers union, have developed ONE-sided water, but won't release it because they feel it's too powerful a secret to share.

red_dragon60
06-19-2001, 12:00 PM
Well, water is already in a pseudo-tetrahedral shape. The energy levels of water in subshells contains two lone pairs. These are highly repulsive. When you have a central-bonded O (which must bond twice) and two H, along with two lone pairs, you have a tetrahedral shape. However, the lone pairs push the H away, leaving bond angles of <109.5 degrees. So basically, they are selling you the same water as usual.

Zappo
06-19-2001, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by Quercus
Cervaise said
>Hey, if you think pentagonal water is cool, I've got six-sided water I'll sell you at six bucks a pint.

No, no, no! Don't listen to him! It's FEWER sides to your water that's better at balancing your internal chrono-energetic matrix!

[snip]

Rumour has it that scientists at the Mobius institute in California, working with Tibetan monks, Wiccan elders and the local plumbers union, have developed ONE-sided water, but won't release it because they feel it's too powerful a secret to share.

They've stolen my work! I'm the one who invented one-sided water. Mobius was the janitor in my la-booooor-o-toooory. I thought he was killed when the transmogrifying kretzelreider blew up, but I see I was wrong. . .

That's all right though, as I've left the one-sided water behind. I've invented NO-sided water! Not only does it rebalance the energo-orgasmic matrix and purify the magneto-chromo-electrobalance, it's much lighter to carry and is easily prepared by children.

For only $49.95 I'll send you three packets of dehydrated no-sided water. Each packet makes a full quart and is available in cherry, grape, or tropical punch flavors. Simply add three-sided water, stir, and enjoy. Add ice if you wish.

Send your checks or credit card numbers (no COD's please) to:

ZappoLabs, Inc.
Castell Morloch
Springfield, USA 90210


Satisfaction guaranteed or you're SOL.

Yer pal,

Zappo

Lemur866
06-19-2001, 01:27 PM
Look, all these clustered water formulations are a complete scam. See, in order to get the PUREST water, you have to make it yourself at home, out of all natural hydrogen and oxygen. My new PureMaker 6000(tm) is now available for sale in the United States, after having been tested for hundreds of years by the indian tribes of the Peruvian Andes. Under those dry, desert mountain conditions, tribes regularly make their own water rather than relying on dirty polluted rainwater and filthy mountain streams.

Not only does home-made water taste great, just like Grandma used to make, but it re-optimizes the plasma-fields and demodulates the main deflector dish. It also creates a soothing balance of tetrion particles in the sub-space matrix.

How much would you pay for a simple, efficient source of homemade water? $100,000? $200,000? Well put away that deed to your house, the PureMaker 6000(tm) is now available for only $10,000!!!!! We accept VISA, American Express, and Diner's Club.

RealityChuck
06-19-2001, 01:36 PM
I don't drink water for the same reason W. C. Fields didn't.

dasmoocher
06-19-2001, 04:33 PM
Don't you people know that H2O is responsible for thousands of deaths a year!! This chemical should be banned!!

And don't even get me started on Dihydrogen monoxide.

Crafter_Man
06-19-2001, 05:40 PM
For the record, I do not believe in the reported "healing properties" of this product. But I did email their web site, and asked them what they thought of these comments. Here's the reply I received:

_______________

Crafter_Man:

I do not work for Bio-Hydration Labs (the company who invented the product), but I am a user of the product, and a testimony to the product's success.

Please feel free to post this response on the SDMB:

I have read some of the comments that you all have posted on your discussion board. It is interesting to me that everybody has an opinion or critique, but nobody has tried the product.

I myself was skeptical at first, but after 2 days of using the product, my allergies were completely healed, and I have had no problems since. Since then, I got so excited about the product that I decided to start distributing it.

Please note that the company makes no medical claims about the product. However, the incredible amounts of testimonials that have poured in about this product (including mine and members of my family) cannot be overlooked.

There are many professional athletes and celebrities who drink it as well. Not that celebrities make much of a difference, though. Also, note that 5 world records were broken at last year's summer Olympics by athletes who use Penta Water exclusively!

Even the scientist who discovered the product was healed of Fibromyalgia! You can talk about it all you want, but if you haven't tried it, you'll never know.

Here are the two types of people who are perfect candidates for the water:
1. Athletes, and people who are in tune with their bodies.
2. People who are sick.

If you are not physically active and are not sick, you will probably not notice any difference by using this water, other than maybe better skin. And this would only be the result of consistent usage. However, if you are an athlete or you have some type of sickness, especially allergies, asthma, respiratory problems, etc. you have got to try it!

Cervaise
06-19-2001, 06:48 PM
If I rolled my eyes any harder, you could see my optic nerves.

Spavined Gelding
06-19-2001, 11:55 PM
As the man once said:

You may talk o’ gin and beer
When your quartered safe out ‘ere,
An’ your sent to penny-fights an’ Aldershot it;
But if it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An’ you’ll lick the bloomin’ boots of ‘im that’s got it.

Yet another example of the gullibility of the buying public. Water, sir, is water. If it is relatively free of dangerous microbes and toxic chemicals it makes no difference how many sides there are to the molecules. I like the dehydrated water idea, though. Designer water looks to me like theology, not science. Maybe it helps its devotees levitate as well. P.T. Barnum is reputed to have said that there is a sucker born every minute. He may have been right.

Bob Scene
06-20-2001, 12:37 AM
Do you remember on Star Trek when Geordi La Forge had to reconfigure the dilithium field buffer in the warp core so that their neutrino pulse would be in phase with the Romulans' shield frequencies? Did you believe that, too?

Ringo
06-20-2001, 01:10 AM
What we've got, through the due diligence of Crafter_Man, is a non-answer from the marketing company's rep. Basically, he or she said that no specific response will be forthcoming as regards the pseudoscience propounded at the company's website - all we can tell you is that we like it and, I swear, a bunch of other people do, too.

Also, note that 5 world records were broken at last year's summer Olympics by athletes who use Penta Water exclusively!

Ahh, some gristle! And those records were...?

Squink
06-20-2001, 01:31 AM
People who've been in Covert Ops shouldn't write letters while high on fast-penta.
—Ekaterin

Dr. Lao
06-20-2001, 02:02 AM
Originally posted by Crafter_Man
For the record, I do not believe in the reported "healing properties" of this product. But I did email their web site, and asked them what they thought of these comments. Here's the reply I received:

_______________

Crafter_Man:

<snip>

Please note that the company makes no medical claims about the product. However, the incredible amounts of testimonials that have poured in about this product (including mine and members of my family) cannot be overlooked.Indeed they can. Check out the skeptic's dictionary entry on testimonials (http://skepdic.com/testimon.html). Do you have any real studies on the effectiveness of this product. I doubt it since the company makes no offical medical claims. And yet you recommend it to sick people. Why?

red_dragon60
06-20-2001, 08:21 AM
People! Purity of Essence! These are the only people who are brave enough not to buy into the water fluoridation conspiracy! Give them our money!

Cap'n Crude
06-20-2001, 01:57 PM
That was the sound of my faith in humanity flash-evaporating.

Here are the two types of people who are perfect candidates for the water:
1. Athletes, and people who are in tune with their bodies.
2. People who are sick.

So basically, the product is recommended for:

1. People who are healthy.
2. People who are sick

And, since "sick" is not defined, it opens the doors for any hypochondriac who thinks there's something wrong with them that the doctors just haven't diagnosed.

If you are not physically active and are not sick, you will probably not notice any difference by using this water, other than maybe better skin. And this would only be the result of consistent usage.

Wow. Just like what happens when you drink regular water. With consistent usage.

Don't even get me started on the high osmotic drive and tetrahedral clusters. The very nature of osmosis is that no energy is expended to cause it to happen -- that's why it's called passive transport. Something either can pass through a selectively permeable membrane or it can't.

Red_dragon 60 wrote:People! Purity of Essence! These are the only people who are brave enough not to buy into the water fluoridation conspiracy! Give them our money!
Thank you, O Great Wyrm. I was waiting for somebody to get to this. Gen. Ripper is finally vindicated!

And let's not jump too hard on shelbo, people. This fine Doper is clearly skeptical enough to couch the question the way it was, and bring this crap to our attention.

shelbo
06-20-2001, 02:10 PM
Thank you Capt'n. I was almost positive that H2O clusters did not exist, but, for a second I doubted myself. (Maybe it was the whole surface tension thing - that and the fact that my father-in-law actually swears by the stuff). I knew I should have taken more chemistry!

Podkayne
06-20-2001, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by Crafter_Man
Also, note that 5 world records were broken at last year's summer Olympics by athletes who use Penta Water exclusively!


Wow? Really? Think of all the way you use water in a day. They bathed in it? Washed their clothes in it? Washed their cars with it?

That's a lot of Pentawater.

You can talk about it all you want, but if you haven't tried it, you'll never know.

Whoa. I never thought about it that way. I never drank water while standing on my head before. Maybe if I only drink water while standing on my head, my acne will clear up, I'll be more alert and my memory will improve, and persons of the opposite sex will find me more attractive and interesting!

Until I try, I'll never know!

xizor
06-20-2001, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by Crafter_Man
_______________

Crafter_Man:

I do not work for Bio-Hydration Labs (the company who invented the product), but I am a user of the product, and a testimony to the product's success.


Then why the hell are you answering the company's e-mail?

dropzone
06-20-2001, 05:36 PM
shelbo, as you hang around here more you will learn to apply the Post Office's method of scam detection:
If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

quixotic78
06-20-2001, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by red_dragon60
Well, water is already in a pseudo-tetrahedral shape. The energy levels of water in subshells contains two lone pairs. These are highly repulsive. When you have a central-bonded O (which must bond twice) and two H, along with two lone pairs, you have a tetrahedral shape. However, the lone pairs push the H away, leaving bond angles of <109.5 degrees. So basically, they are selling you the same water as usual.
(Chemist in training weighing in here, 2 years from a Ph.D.)

What red_dragon60 said is pretty much correct, although I probably would have phrased it differently. Yes, I guess you could look at water as pseudo-tetrahedral, if you count the lone pairs as legs. Most often, you don't count the lone pairs as legs, and you would call water's geometry "bent" or "angular" (looks like a > ).

When this product talks about tetrahedral, they're not talking about one water molecule; they're talking about the arrangement in space of more than one water molecule. I can't quite nail down why they call it Penta Water, as a tetrahedron has four corners. Maybe the cluster is a tetrahedron of water, with one water inside the tetrahedron? Meh, beats me.

Anyways, back to the individual water molecules for a second. Oxygen has more electrons around it than do either of the hydrogens. Thus, we can view the oxygen as being partially negative (electrons being negatively charged particles), and each hydrogen partially positive. So, if > is a water molecule, we can look at it as + > - (the point has oxygen, and so is slightly negative). We can say that water is polar, because it has a negative pole and a positive pole.

The polarity of water allows for something called Hydrogen Bonding. In short, the positive pole of one water can "bond" to the negative pole of a different water molecule. It'd look something like > > (actually, it's best if you shift the second > up a tad. Doesn't really matter).

When you form this hydrogen bond, you stabilize the system. Here's the kicker, though: no one really knows what the best number of waters to form a hydrogen bonded "cluster" is. In other words, forming > > is good. Forming > > > is even better. You can go three-dimensions and form clusters of even more waters, arranged in cages (looks something like a buckyball).

Chemists and physicists have looked at water for a long time with all sorts of high-tech toys. They have applied their most powerful computational tools. Most often, the answers contradict each other. One calculation says, "Woah, having 5 waters arranged in a certain way is the most stable." An experimental chemist shines a laser on water and finds out that water doesn't like getting together into more than groups of 2. I have a reference at work, if anyone wants a review article on specifics.

What the hell does this have to do with anything? Well, you'll notice that when I first mentioned hydrogen bond, I put the word "bond" in quotation marks. It's a pretty weak bond, and we only call it a bond because it's convenient. So, even if this company DID develop a method to get water to take tetrahedral cluster form... it ain't sticking around at room temperature!

I surmise that someone read a review article, said, "Heh, no one really knows what water likes to do," and decided to capitalize on it. Bastards.

Sorry for boring everyone,
Quix

Lemur866
06-20-2001, 06:47 PM
Y'know, if you are sick or have health problems there are three things that can happen. You can get better, you can stay the same, or you can get worse.

If you are a purveyor of quack medicine, there are three responses to those three outcomes. You get better? "See? My stuff cured you!" You stay the same? "Thank God we've arrested it!" You get worse? "You've got a terrible case here. You need to take more!"

It doesn't matter what the outcome is, the answer is more of their product.

Speaker for the Dead
06-20-2001, 06:48 PM
Then why the hell are you answering the company's e-mail?

BWAHAHAA!! :)

I found that line incredibly funny, guess I've been studying too much :p.

Ringo
06-20-2001, 11:53 PM
OK, so we all smell the horse feathers, and I remain without doubt that said feathers are what we have before us with regard to the water product that will benefit you if you are a.) sick b.) healthy.

But now I've come upon a couple of abstracts that, it having been 22 years since I last saw a chemistry classroom, are beyond me to really comprehend. They both make mention of the "penta-water tetrahedron" and I'm not understanding the reference. The author (same for both) seems to be addressing reaction speed. They are:

MOLECULAR MECHANISMS IN WATER (http://chemres.hu/KKKI/emlg96/ABSTRACT/AGMON.html)

Tetrahedral Displacement: The Molecular Mechanism behind the Debye Relaxation in Water (http://fh.huji.ac.il/~agmon/Abstacts/abst082.html)

I also ran across references to substances in a penta-water complex (e.g., "For example, sodium thiosulfate may either be anhydrous (no water) or arrive as the penta-water complex Na2S2O3 • 5H2O."), which I understand to be a solution and not referring to free standing penta water. That's not a problem, but, as long as we've got some chemistry minded folk reading this thread, what is referred to in those abstracts?

quixotic78
06-21-2001, 12:38 PM
Ok, I'll start with the easiest to understand first...
Originally posted by beatle
I also ran across references to substances in a penta-water complex (e.g., "For example, sodium thiosulfate may either be anhydrous (no water) or arrive as the penta-water complex Na2S2O3 • 5H2O."), which I understand to be a solution and not referring to free standing penta water.
Ok, in this case, sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate refers to a solid. What this means is that if you take a crystal of sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate and count all the molecules, you'll find molecular ratios of 1 (S2O3) to 2 Na to 5 waters, on average. As such, it has nothing to do with the Magic Water.
MOLECULAR MECHANISMS IN WATER (http://chemres.hu/KKKI/emlg96/ABSTRACT/AGMON.html)
The full reference is Agmon, N. Chem. Phys. Lett. 1995, 244, 456-462. I'd provide a link to the article, but you have to be a member of an institution subscribing to Chemical Physics Letters. Essentially, here's what this article is saying. The ability of a proton to move in water is faster than what scientists think it should be. You compare the rate protons move in water with the rate sodium or potassium cations (positively charged ions) move in water, and protons move much faster (5-10 times faster). The way scientists have explained this is known as (apparently, I didn't know this beforehand) the Grotthuss Mechanism. Basically, the GM says that proton motion in water is actually different protons moving in sort of a relay fashion. One proton on an H3O+ molecule jumps to a nearby water, turning it into H3O+. Then, a hydrogen from this hydronium ion jumps to another water, etc. So, when scientists see a proton moving very quickly, it's not the same proton running the whole race. The article then goes on to quickly list problems with this mechanism. I'm not sure which side is right, Agmon or Grotthuss, but it doesn't really have much bearing on getting stationary clusters of Magic Water.
Tetrahedral Displacement: The Molecular Mechanism behind the Debye Relaxation in Water (http://fh.huji.ac.il/~agmon/Abstacts/abst082.html)
The second article is Agmon, N. J. Phys. Chem. 1996, 100, 1072-1080. This article confirms my earlier speculation, that the tetrahedron of water in Penta Water is four molecules arranged in a tetrahedron, with one at the center. This article does seem to favor a five-member water cluster as a "stable" arrangement of water (remember how I said some studies showed two molecules was best, others showed 20 was best, etc.) It does this on the basis of group theory, which frankly is impossible to explain succinctly (I've been racking my brain trying to think of a way... if someone else wants to give it a shot, be my guest!) Regardless, this quote from the article is relevant to Penta Water:
At high [Quix--e.g., room temperature] temperatures, loosely bound tetrahedra are expected.
This is telling for two reasons. (1) Loosely bound is just like I said before... hydrogen bonding isn't going to keep the waters arranged in tetrahedra for very long. (2) Agmon doesn't say "At high temperatures, and with a 2 day proprietary process, loosely bound tetrahedra are expected." So, even if you think tetrahedra water is "good," you don't need to do whatever to water for two days to get the Magic Tetrahedra.

Chemistry is fun, isn't it? :)
Mike

Synergist
06-21-2001, 11:52 PM
Quix (or any other bio-chemically competent person out there),

Assuming for the sake of argument that intra-cellular water is in tetrahedral form, and that ingested water is in tetrahedral form, and further, that tetrahedral water is the most stable arrangement at body temperature, what effect, if any, would that have on osmosis?

I have always understood (assumed?) that osmosis involved the passage of individual molecules through the pores of the membrane. Is there any reason to believe that a tetrahedron of water molecules would (or even could) pass through the membrane as a unit? If, as I suspect, the tetrahedron would have to break up to osmose (is that a word?), then tetrahedral water, being more stable, would be worse than water in some other formation, because it would be, at least slightly, more resistant to osmosis.

Father Pacelli
06-22-2001, 08:24 AM
Sounds like a scam to me.

You can learn more about quackery at http://quackwatch.com

Podkayne
07-13-2001, 11:58 AM
Penta water rides again!

http://randi.org/jr/07-13-01.html

(Scroll down to the cell graphics.)

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