Is the Molekule a Gimmick or Worth the $800 Price Tag?

The Molekule air filter promises to redefine the air purification process and knock HEPA filters back to the 50s where they belong, but is it really all that better than HEPA? Is HEPA even all that bad?

The Molekule retails for $799

Molekule’s air purifier can be purchased for $799 or in monthly installments of $45 for 18 months. The buyer is then automatically enrolled in a twice yearly filter replacement subscription program. The filters are $65. Conversely, a single room HEPA air purifier runs $30-150, on average, though Dyson sells some very pretty HEPA filters that cost $300-$500.

What exactly are Molekule’s claims, and why do they ask for $700 more than the average HEPA purifier?

Molekule claims that HEPA’s filters collect particle matter and therefore can’t catch things like airborne particles or viruses.

A HEPA filter, in order to be certified HEPA, must be able to trap at least 99.97% of pollutants that are .03 micrometers in size or greater. Biomedical engineers wear HEPA filters as masks in order to protect themselves against viral diseases. In addition, many HEPA filter systems incorporate carbon filtration as well as UV lighting in order to absorb and sanitize gases and smaller particles. This claim does not hold.

Though Molekule likely does a great job filtering the air, and possibly even marginally better than HEPA (though this is not proven), it doesn’t seem that HEPA is anything but effective.

HEPA filters should be re-examined because they are old technology, and thus outdated

Nothing about this claim carries weight. The theory of gravity is also very old, and still considered scientific law. The wheel is ancient too, but try as we might, no one has successfully reinvented that. Hospitals, air craft carriers, the army, and homes still use HEPA. This argument is a fallacy based on the idea that there is always something better out there and that science has an expiration date. It does not.

Molekule says that mold and spores can grow on HEPA filters if they get wet.

While this is true, it is also very unlikely. This is a risk only if your filter gets wet and is not replaced. HEPA filters also require fans, so it would have to be pretty damp to stay moist enough for long enough to develop spores. There is nothing on Molekule’s website that explains how their PECO filter protects against this danger either.


The Molekule is very pretty and certainly does what it is supposed to. Is it worth the $799 + $65 filter subscription? Absolutely not.

Why You Should Get an Espresso Machine, and Why You Should Pay More For One

The Breville Barista Express or the BES870XL goes for around $520

How much coffee do you drink in the morning? Is it an important part of your day? If the answer to both of those questions is ‘yes,’ it is also likely you have started buying your own beans and brewing coffee at home. While the Mr. Coffee carafe is a mainstay, it’s not quite the most customizable brew, nor is it all that simple to clean up. Great for the office or a gas station, the basic automatic drip coffee machine is built to brew a lot of coffee, and if one cup is all you need, it’s a bit of a waste to make even the minimum amount of coffee required.

This Mr. Coffee machine has one button and retails $14.99

French press and pour over coffees are fine ways to brew, but require patience and water at just the right temperature, not to mention the cleanup is less than ideal.

Pour-over coffee necessitates a particular pouring motion with a goose-necked spout for the hot but not-too-hot water.

Espresso machines are far more versatile, produce less waste and clean-up, are single-person friendly, and they’re perfect for experimenting! Most machines come with a steaming wand attachment, to create a nice microfoam for a latte or a cappucino, etc.

But which one to get? There are many machines on the market right now, a lot of which offer pod-brewing. This is not ideal. Coffee pods are extremely wasteful, offer no options for customization, and pod machines can harbor harmful bacteria.

The Nespresso machine is $180 and only takes pods.

As far as the standard for a decent espresso goes, the generally agreed upon sweet-spot, according to coffee afficionados and connoseuirs is between 15 and 19 bars. Bars refers to the amount of pressure is used to pull a shot of espresso. There are several factors that will determine whether espresso is pulled correctly: the first and most important is the machine itself: is it capable of putting out that much power? That is the first thing to look at in any machine. The second is grind size. The finer the grind, the more pressure must be used to extract coffee. The third is how firmly the coffee has been tamped, or pressed into the filter. Some machines will tamp for the user, and some require the user to do so themselves, in which case they will need a quality metal tamp.

This self-explanatory tamp will run you $180

A cheaper machine will offer a cheap tamp – one that will need to be replaced. An espresso machine should not come out of the box needing renovation. Choose a machine that is ready for use once it goes onto your counter.

If you will be grinding your own coffee and steaming your own milk, choose a machine with those features! It’s well-worth the expense for ease of use alone. Not to mention, it is just one machine to worry about cleaning and not three.

Don’t buy a cheap machine only to realize you now have to save up for the old reliable. Save up and get a decent machine that you will not have to replace; one that you can trust is quality. This is going to set you back at least $300 without a grinder attachment and at least $500 (and it only goes up from there) with one. Invest in your mornings, and go big or go to Starbucks.

The T-Mobile Sidekick: A History

Fun fact: The T-Mobile Sidekick was initially called The Hiptop or Danger Hiptop. The Hiptop was made by a company called Danger Inc. located in Palo Alto, California. The company was soon purchased by Microsoft. It has also been called a Mobiflip, and a Sharp Jump

The sidekick was produced from 2002-2010. It went through several remodels. What is notable about the sidekick is that it did not have the standard numerical keypad, but instead a full qwerty keyboard. The button layout included a directional pad and a scrolling implement. The screen usually swiveled out from the device, but there was a T-Mobile slide where the screen – well – it slid out.

The sidekick’s display was backlit, though it could remain visible without. It had a portrait display mode, but was primarily used in landscape mode.

The last “sidekick” model was released in 2011 and the OS and production companies have since ceased producing the sidekick model and the software required for it. They had a very good run.

In 2018, on the 1st of April, T-Mobile announced they were bringing the Sidekick brand back as a new “smartshoephone” playing on the word ‘kick.’ This was a cruel April Fool’s joke, and only served to remind the public how good they had it back in the mid 2000s

Now, you can find used sidekicks on the internet ranging between $30-$200. Without the operating system, it seems pointless to make the purchase, but nostalgia is strong and those phones sell that high for a reason.

That Yawn May Not Mean What You Think it Means: How to Read Your Dog’s Body Language

What many people don’t know is that the behavior a dog exhibits when it is happy, versus when it is stressed, look almost identical. Licking, tail wagging, yawning, and barking are all behaviors that can mean different things. The key to deciphering their meaning is through body language.

a playful pup

The above image is what is called a “play bow.” This is what a dog does when it’s excited and feeling friendly, usually towards another dog. This is what you would hope to see from any dog at any dog park. Notice that the dog’s tail is up. In other situations, this can mean something else.

Tail translations

A high tail means a dog is alert. Whether that be because they are excited to play, or wary of some sort of threat is up to the owner to decipher based on their other behaviors. Is their mouth in a close-lipped “smile?” This could mean stress. Humans have to be careful interpreting dog behavior, to avoid personifying the animal. Dogs are not human. They behave differently and what may look like a sweet expression to an owner, may really be a signal that they are afraid and need intervention. This is especially pertinent to owners of dogs with fear-based aggression.

An owner of a dog with fear-based aggression should tread very carefully with exposure to triggers. There are ways to re-condition a dog to be less afraid of particular things, but the reaction to fear will not change.

Never scold a dog for growling or otherwise expressing discomfort. Once a dog learns that they shouldn’t lick your palm excessively, they will only escalate in reaction. Once your dog growls, their next available response is to mouth at (not bite) the other dog or owner, and when they see this as no longer an option, they will bite.

If you see warning signs, remove the trigger immediately, and praise your dog for trying anyways. Treating fear with fear only produces a more erratic and fearful pup. It is important to know what these signs are to protect yourself, other dogs, and your own dog.

Five 90s Brendan Fraser Movies To Revisit or Not

Remember Brendan Fraser? He is back. Kind of. But do you remember the age of B-Frase? He had a very good run for a while. Here are some flicks you may remember him in:

School Ties 1992

School Ties is definitely worth a revisit. This is one of Fraser’s more serious roles as an outcast in a private school. The synopsis imdb offers is “Set in the 1950s, a star-quarterback is given an opportunity to attend an elite preparatory school but must conceal the fact that he is Jewish.”

Encino Man 1992

Another film of Brendan Fraser’s from ’92: Encino Man. The verdict on this one is: not worth a rewatch. This is also a Pauly Shore vehicle, and Brendan Fraser stars as a recently unfrozen caveman.

Airheads 1994

This one is worth revisiting if only for the cast. Airheads stars Adam Sandler, Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi, and has Chris Farley, Michael McKean, and Judd Nelson (yes, that Judd Nelson).

Mrs. Winterbourne 1996

The IMDb synopsis for this film is as follows: “Connie Doyle is eighteen and pregnant when her boyfriend kicks her out. She accidentally ends up on a train where she meets Hugh Winterbourne and his wife Patricia who is pregnant. The train wrecks and she wakes up in the hospital to find out that it’s been assumed that she’s Patricia. Hugh’s mother takes her in and she falls in love with Hugh’s brother Bill. Just when she thinks everything is going her way, her ex-boyfriend shows up.” Albeit, not a good film, it warms the heart.

George of the Jungle 1997

This movie is a fun ride. It is funny Tarzan with a very attractive and shirtless Brendan Fraser. Add in Leslie Mann and a talking gorilla and there’s fun for the whole family in here! Not to be taken too seriously.

Out of these five, four are worth rewatching. It may be wise to re-evaluate the list of Brendan Fraser films once you reach Bedazzled, but that’s the 2000’s and this list does not take responsibility for what happens in that point of Brendan Fraser’s career. Maybe stick to the original Dudley Moore version on that one.


What is Valentine’s Day Anyways?

Valentine’s Day: a Hallmark holiday? A scam to make drugstores more money? What’s a Valentine?


Well, actually, the question is who was Valentine? St. Valentine!

St. Valentine was a martyr from Ancient Rome, and he is the patron saint of love. Not much is known about him, though according to legend, he performed weddings in secret that parents had forbade. For this, he was supposedly beheaded on February 14th, hence the date of celebration.

The holiday has been celebrated since at least the 14th century, way before the Hallmark company was a twinkle in Joyce Hall’s eye (The Hallmark company was founded 109 years ago).

Charles VI of France would throw parties in honor of the holiday.Also according to legend, it was St Valentine who wrote the first Valentine card. After healing a blind woman, he sent her a card to read, signed “Your Valentine.” This explains the holiday’s association with cards. Mass produced cards in the US didn’t come around until the mid-1800s

Valentine’s Day, while a large source of economic activity in February, isn’t a trick holiday; it’s about love!

Opinion: Attendance Policies in College Settings Do More Harm Than Good

Picture this: you’re sitting in class, and your professor, a person whose chosen a career as someone who is willing to teach a subject they care about, is 20 minutes into class. They are saying something interesting about – wait – what was that? Oh, someone forgot to turn their volume off when they checked that snapchat story in the row behind you. Okay, back to it. Oh, an interesting visual representation has been shown on the board! Oh no it’s gone, and you were distracted by the student in front of you online shopping for cute mugs with cacti on them.

These are the problems that arise when students who do not care to be in class are forced to go to class. As important as attendance is to absorbing and retaining information, there is no way to force a student to pay attention.

At the University of Louisville, most classes have a four absence maximum policy. The consequences of surpassing the maximum are failing the class, or requiring proof of the need for an excused absence (which, even so, it may be hard to stay on track having missed that much material).

There is the intonation in these requirements, that without the express expectation to attend class, some students will attempt never to come to class at all. This is a risk, but not a big one for the college. Students’ tuitions are already paid, and it should be their own responsibility to make sure that money is being used for something.

College students are expected to feed themselves, make transportation choices, and, in most cases, they live away from home. It is not a University’s responsibility to assume the role of nagging parent, dragging their child out of bed and getting them ready for school. A college student makes their own bed and lies in it, literally and figuratively.

What the current attendance system results in, is students who genuinely want to learn being consistently distracted by those students who don’t. Mandatory attendance means classrooms attended by students who care enough about their grades to be present physically, but not enough to be present mentally. Professors who have devoted their life’s work to teaching and to topics that they consider important are disrespected daily by students who blatantly text in the very front rows of class, who chomp on food loudly, who fall asleep and make it obvious they’re not interested.

If the school allows those who want to be in class to be in class and those who don’t, to stay home, classrooms will be more focused, engaged, and active.

Is Aluminum-free Deodorant the New Gluten-free Diet?

Dove has just come out with a new line of deodorants called Dove 0% Aluminum. It is not an antiperspirant and retails at $7.49, as compared to their more established powder antiperspirant and deodorant that is $3 less, at $4.79.

There is a movement towards more natural and clean body and skin care, with many companies coming out with products and lines that are free from toxins, sulfates, alcohol, and other no-no ingredients. The idea is safety and health, but is there actually anything unhealthy about using aluminum salts, the only FDA approved ingredient for the use of reducing sweat gland output?

A study in 1985 suggested a link between Alzheimer’s Disease and aluminum found in the body. This is, of course, concerning. Aluminum is a common ingredient in many items people use daily; it’s in some of our fish, some supplements, etc., but does the aluminum salt in antiperspirant enter our bodies through the skin?

Well, according to Robert Korn, this is a myth. The aluminum salts clog the pores and your skin protects the ingredients from entering the bloodstream, so there are two factors at work preventing this from happening.

Some people still think that keeping your body from releasing its toxins naturally, can be dangerous. So far, this fear appears to be unsubstantiated, however the aluminum-free fad doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

If you’ve been using anti-perspirant all along and the idea of pit stains fills you with a sense of dread, have no fear: there is no actual proof that using aluminum salt on your armpits will contribute to any sort of health problems. If, however, you prefer to go au naturale, just be sure you’re doing so with the right information. When it comes to what you apply in the privacy of your own bathroom: don’t sweat it!

Who to Fly With This Year: Which Airlines are More Reliable?

Before you book a flight, why not consider your options first? These days, there are more airlines to choose from than ever before, so being critical is a must.

Some factors to consider are: in flight amenities, leg room, price, and delays. Believe it or not, many delays are due to preventable circumstances that are the fault of the airline carrier as opposed to the airport itself or weather.

According to Money magazine, a sub-publication of Time, Hawaiian, Alaskan, and Delta airlines have the best track records for avoiding delays. They were the top three airlines in a list of 10 – the least three reliable being Allegiant, Frontier, and JetBlue airlines.

As far as how airlines rank when more factors are considered, the AQR, or Airline Quality Report has that information based on data that makes it a fairly reliable judge.

Their most recent list is on the front page of their website with Alaska Airlines up first and Spirit airlines last in spot 12.

According to the AQR, their considerations are “based on mishandled baggage, consumer complaints, on-time performance and involuntary denied boardings.” (

On their website, visitors can download every AQR report since its 1991 inception.

Different factors are of varying levels of importance to particular flyers. Many airlines offer mile-rewards programs, which may be of interest to people who fly often. Some airlines have preferred customer clubs and various luxury upgrades on flights. Some customers want to be able to work or browse on a plane, in which case on-board wifi is important. Budget airlines like Allegiant, for example, may be the top choice for someone whose number one concern is an affordable flight, whereas another customer may be dissatisfied with the limited legroom and frequent delays.

Now more than ever, flyers have options and there is a lot of information out there so that people can make informed decisions about which companies they choose their trips with.

Reasons to Watch “The Masked Singer” on Fox

Nicole Scherzinger, Ken Jeong, Robin Thicke, and Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg are all judges on the new reality television show. The premise is as surreal as it is bold: real celebrities suit up in costumes that completely disguise their identities. They perform a musical number against another obscured celebrity, and the ultimate loser after three rounds is unmasked.

The draw of the show is the guessing game. The rest is superfluous. There is no reason for judges. The one to one showdowns are just a fill-in format so the show can last as long as it does, and the audience is full of obviously paid extras.

The one liners are terrible, the guesses from judges don’t help one bit, and the judges themselves are polarizing. Nick Cannon as host has, in two episodes, made two cringe-worthy references to his ex wife.

All this, and the show is a marvel. It still works! The judges scratch the itch for people to safely love to hate, all the while, asking “who is in that steampunk deer suit?” Audiences who watch live have the benefit of texting their votes in, and those who watch on hulu later can text their friends and share guesses.

In episode one, the unmasked singer was a sports star, and in episode two, a comedy movie legend. The talent seems to be diverse and has a good time.

This show is an experience. It shouldn’t exist, it shouldn’t work, and yet it is pure entertainment. Give it a watch on Fox. New Episodes Wednesday nights at 9pm Eastern.