Reader Feedback Week 2004

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Kris saw this story on BBC News Online and thought you should see it.



How much beer is inside- a washing machine?!?


*German priest gives beer a spin*


A German priest discovers a novel way of getting results from his

washing machine - using it to brew beer.

I was recently named a member of the ad hoc "keg off" committee. so i went

in search of web sites about keg offs (two teams, two kegs, drink real

fast, you get the idea) and i haven't found any good ones yet, but your

website about how much beer is in a keg was useful and informative. wish i

was invited!

Heather Hill
Hey  man, is it my imagination or have there been almost no updates to the Safeway Clone army site for a while?
I like pistachios.
Mark L. Eyre

Hello Rob - I'm delighted, although surprised, that you took the time to respond to my email. However, I see you have conveniently concentrated on your perceptions of Herbalife and have not addressed the main topics of my original letter.

I don't care what photos Herbalife use to illustrate how much people have lost weight. I don't need them. I have lost 49 lbs in 3 months, my husband 29lbs in an even shorter period and I know the products work - Ephreda free or not! I am well aware that Ephreda was in our products but once it was found to be unsafe, it was removed. Herbalife were certainly not alone in using Ephreda so I don't know why you have singled them out.

As far as selling our products are concerned, we DO NOT SELL PRODUCTS - WE SELL RESULTS! That is why our products are not on sale in shops, on E-Bay or any other website. When I sell a weightloss programme I don't just sell a box, wish them good luck and hope they will re-order. The role of the Herbalife distributor is to follow that customer up, on day 1, 2 and 3, 7, 14 and 21 (or more if the customer requires it). So yes, they could be more expensive than products you can find in the stores but how many store managers 'phone you up the next day and for many days thereafter and ask them how they got on with the products, asked how they were feeling, were they happy, if not suggest alternatives or if the products are really not for them, give them their right to an unconditional fully refunded money-back??

Another reason for not selling in public places, auctions, etc., is that Herbalife want all their distributors worldwide working from a level playing field, hence the reason for volume points which are the same wherever you are, and this irons out the differences between currencies, etc. If people are found to be undercutting their fellow distributors Herbalife can, and do, rescind their distributorship and any royalties or downlines under that person is automatically transferred to the next person in that team - you can't get more ethical than that and everyone knows the rules!

I don't know the true story about Mark Hughes' mother. Were you there? I know I wasn't. What I do know is that a 19 year old boy from a poor background, rather than slob around, get into trouble, etc., had a vision of helping people live healthier and wealthier lives and started Herbalife from the boot of his car. I admire him for that. I didn't know Mark Hughes but I do know people who did and I can assure you that this guys passion for the company, its distributors, its products and its reputation lives on in its current leadership team.

You conveniently didn't mention Michael O Johnson, nor Dr Heber, nor Dr Louis Ignaro - all people of such high standing that I don't believe that any amount of money could have enticed them to put their name and reputation behind such a company if they thought it was disreputable.

Next, as far as how many people are successful with Herbalife is concerned. I can only talk about the people who I see every single month at our UK STS's and the thousands I have seen (22,000 at the Extravaganza in Paris and 8,000 Supervisors and over at the World Team training in Vienna in 2003). I have watched ordinary people from disadvantaged backgrounds, black and asian, everything from a woman who'd done nothing but clean for others all her life, to a rocket scientist whose my up-line by two, to elderly people who are trying to supplement their pension income, to teachers, Doctors, financial gurus, to people whose first language is not English, have all done extremely well since I've first met them at a Herbalife event. They are not special, nor am I, but nevertheless with hard work - and it is hard work - dedication and consistency, this business works. Even if I never get to Millionaires Club or Presidents Club, I know that I will have enjoyed my journey and have helped a damn site more people during my life than you probably ever will have.

As far as I know, no-one "tricks" anyone into becoming a Herbalife distributor. The opportunities were made perfectly clear to me, as were the challenges and the financial commitment. As I said to you before, the initial financial commitment is just 45 and, for this, you get a license to trade in 59 different countries and a discount. If you sell any products on you make an immediate 25% profit. You tell me anywhere that guarantees you a 25% profit on any sales made??

I know people who have done fantastically well by just retailing the products to their friends and family, circle of influence and have spent nothing on advertising, websites or the like. This is our own business and we are not told to do anything.

With regard to your remaining two questions:

If you had cared to visit either of my websites you will find that the work from home opportunity is for an opportunity to join one of the fastest moving groups of distributors within Herbalife called The 60MM Money Programme. So no, it does not mention Herbalife on the website - probably because so many people like you are so bigoted they would never read any further than the first line. However, if they care to order the 5-hour interactive CD-ROM from my website (and before you say anything there is a guaranteed money-back refund for up to 12 months in case the purchaser changes his/her mind) it certainly DOES make it clear that it is a Herbalife opportunity.

Likewise, my long term weightloss website offers a free weightloss consultation. No it doesn't mention Herbalife because I just offer a free weightloss consultation - that's it! I 'phone the potential customer at my expense, carry out a detailed analysis of their weight challenges, what they may have tried to do before, discuss how the body works, and much more and then, and only then, do I mention how I and my husband have lost our weight if they want to know. If not, that's fine - I hope they have learnt something from my call.

Finally, no I don't know how many 'chairs' there are at the Mark Hughes lab at UCLA. I've seen the video when it was opened and was impressed. What I do know, however, is that however small this is, Herbalife are the only weightloss company in the world who are validating their research into how herbs work - that's good enough for me.

I think I've wasted quite enough time in justifying Herbalife to you now so I'll get on with some real work.

Joan Woodcock


I just found your site a few days ago and I love it! Keep up the amusing work.

Do you have a "In the News" area of where you showcase all of your media spots? It would be very amusing to see you on an episode of Evening Magazine in the Bay Area ( When you got slashdotted, how many page views was that? Over the course of November, I got fatwalleted with over 10k pageviews in a day. Then I got subpoenaed, but with help with Tim, I escaped any potential lawsuit. phew...

I would like to get a few copies of the Safeway label for all of my club cards and for my friends. Also, how do you check your purchases with the Safeway website?


Waldon Wong

Greetings Rob,
I saw your mirrored parabola that you built and thought you might like to know about a little (well, I say little, it's actually HUGE) website that has loads of great stuff on it, particularly about an Infinitely Large Solar Furnace (Read about it here
I actually built one last year and the amount of fun me and few friends had with it were amazing. Cracking concrete, making wood 'pop', almost starting forest fires were just a few of the things we got up to.... I'm hoping to have enough money this month to actuallly buy a digital camera (something that I've been meaning to do for months now) and I'll be able to send you a few pics of it.
I plan to test how much heat it generates this summer, but since I live in the UK I'll probably get about 2 days worth of sun to try it out (heh-heh).
Keep up the great work.
Margate, UK



I did a GIS on your name and found this:

Christopher D. Loental
The only thing I get when I GIS my own last name is this:


Christopher D. Loental

you have a brand new cd....just saying
Hey Rob!
I can't thank you enough for what your site has done to my life. Thanks to, I met my girlfriend, became a multimillionare, and now I can fit into my old jeans from High School! Who ever said hot pants were out of fasion anyway? Well, thats about it.
Devoted fan/Mars Postcard holder
Jesse Weinberg
Wauwatosa, WI
As a high school science teacher, I wish to thank you on behalf of all of the scientific community for furthering the cause of science. Your experiments are witty and show an enthusiasm for science normally not seen in others.
I wish I could refer my students to the site, however, since it has that naughty food items section (not to mention the word COCK in the title...), I alas cannot.
You are an inspiration to us all. If you ever need any help, please feel free to ask.
Oh by the way - your eBay selling of the screen was great. I did not personally believe that constituted fraud in any way, nor did I understand why eBay closed the auction after it was already done. All you wanna do is sell faux tech items to poorly observant people without bein' hassled by the MAN. Shame on them.
Let me know if you ever need any help. I am fully willing to participate in any of your pranks if possible and have digital camera always ready.
~Jason Dries
hello there cutie
love the site, very funny stuff, i signed up for the postcard, hope i was one of the lucky few to get one.

I'm curious: The projects on the site happened from 1997 to 2004 -- a seven-year period. Why is it that no one in the photos seems to age? 

I thought maybe Kissinger. It was the same elixir Kissinger swallowed in 1968, which fixed the carbon balance of his body, leaving him immortal yet unable to improve his accent. But that seemed unlikely. All these different things happened in one crazy weekend, didn't they?


Hey Rob,

Just thought you might be interested in the ingenuity my roommate and I showed when we were thinking of how to bring a little bit of character to our dorm room. We University of Illinois engineering students are quite creative when the need arises! Hope the file isn't too large, and you enjoy. Keep up the good work on cockeyed.



~Jeff Abell

Dear Marketer Extraordinaire: My ebay friend forwarded my the link to your auction - I'm still picking myself up from the floor, rolling & crying at the same time! It made my night! P.S. - I guess anything can be sold on e-bay!!

Thanks for the Laughs


Dear Rob Cockerham of

I have been to Disneyland on many occasions, but have never experienced "Space Mountain". This summer, my friends and I are travelling from Canada to California solely for my experiencing it for the first time. This will be an expensive ride.

We are also thinking of visiting friends en route to California, but sadly, as Canadians, we have none. Can we come visit you? We are all very witty, stylish and good-looking.

Congratulations on being a cult icon.

Love always,

Vanessa in Canada.

Hey Rob, if you know anyone who wants their gas tank to look like this, I could hook you up.
I just thought that I would write and let you know that I really appreciated your write up on Minneapolis. I don't know if you have ever been to the midwest in the winter however. We are currently enjoying subzero windchill all day every day. Incidentally, public transport and skyways always become an issue this time of year. I wonder why? Anyway if you ever are interested in coming back to Minneapolis you should wait until our light rail system is up. Then you can take a train directly from the airport/mall of america to downtown minneapolis where you can get on the SKYWAY!

Thanks again,

Greg Mizer


Incidentally, If you ever come back I would love to meet you. Your sense of humor is incredible.

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