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   xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Jun 25 01:05 AM

June 25, 2008: Picky Picky

You can pick your friends, and you can pick your ears, but you can't......

Neatorama points to these two combination earwax spoon/ toothpick, antiques.

Discovery News.

Quote:
One Expensive Ear Pick
In this photo released by the Florida Keys News Bureau, a tiny solid gold combination toothpick and earwax scoop is displayed inside a clam shell. A diver recovered the artifact Sunday, May 18, about 40 miles west of Key West during a search for remains of the Spanish galleon Santa Margarita that shipwrecked in a 1622 hurricane. Estimated value of the pick could exceed $100,000



APVA
Quote:
Sterling Silver Ear Picker Pin
A status symbol and hygienic tool, this ear picker/tooth cleaner was found at the James Fort site by APVA Preservation Virginia archaeologists. The 17th-century English knew about plaque, which they called scale or surf, and were encouraged by doctors to scrape their teeth frequently. They also knew that a buildup of earwax could cause deafness. As was the fashion for many of these tools, our ear picker is double-ended, combining the function of an ear scoop with that of a nail/tooth cleaner. Ear pickers were used by all levels of society in medieval and post-medieval England, but ours, being silver, probably belonged to a gentleman.


Bet you wish you had one for the gross out value.


Eclipse  Wednesday Jun 25 03:38 AM

Hygiene is important! These people just valued it so much that they even made tools out of precious metals for...a classier experience? I guess this shows that pretty much anything can be made from gold and silver.



newtimer  Wednesday Jun 25 03:45 AM

I wonder when these tools went out of fashion in the West. And why. People still have earwax, right? People should still groom themselves, right?
I have a little earwax spoon/keychain that I bought in China a few years ago for about 2 cents. (They're mass-produced in steel, not silver) It's a handy little tool.



Clodfobble  Wednesday Jun 25 09:11 AM

That's what Q-tips are for.



HungLikeJesus  Wednesday Jun 25 09:15 AM

I thought that was a coke spoon.



xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Jun 25 09:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by newtimer View Post
I wonder when these tools went out of fashion in the West. And why.
Replaced with car keys.


sweetwater  Wednesday Jun 25 10:20 AM

Gold and silver for earwax and tartar removal, but I guess they used the old farmer's blow to clean their noses. Now I'm going to stop thinking about these things for the rest of my life.



barefoot serpent  Wednesday Jun 25 11:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
That's what Q-tips are for.
'cepting Q-tips just shove most of the wax up into the far recesses of the ear canal. And, of course, the Q-tip folks say not to use their product in the ear canal.


footfootfoot  Wednesday Jun 25 12:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoot serpent View Post
'cepting Q-tips just shove most of the wax up into the far recesses of the ear canal. And, of course, the Q-tip folks say not to use their product in the ear canal.
Poor technique. Q-tipping is an art and feels deliriously wonderful. I'm a junkie. My ears are very tidy. The qtip folks just don't want you to stick it in your ear for fear you will poke a hole in your ear drum or leave cotton in there. All examples of poor technique.


xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Jun 25 12:46 PM

They don't care if you screw up your ear, they just don't want to be sued.



jinx  Wednesday Jun 25 12:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by footfootfoot View Post
Poor technique. Q-tipping is an art and feels deliriously wonderful. I'm a junkie. My ears are very tidy. The qtip folks just don't want you to stick it in your ear for fear you will poke a hole in your ear drum or leave cotton in there. All examples of poor technique.
I agree 100%. It's all about the eargasm.


glatt  Wednesday Jun 25 01:41 PM

depends on the diameter of the ear canal. My wife, poor thing, has small diameter ear canals and can't insert the q-tip into the canal. It just mushes the wax back into the canal opening.

I, on the other hand, get an eargasm every morning.



Skylight  Wednesday Jun 25 03:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
I, on the other hand, get an eargasm every morning.








Clodfobble  Wednesday Jun 25 03:50 PM

I am surprised to find so many q-tip junkies. I thought my every-day-without-fail habit was rare.



Flint  Wednesday Jun 25 03:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
I thought my every-day-without-fail habit was rare.
If I don't q-tip my ears after I shower, my ears feel gross all day. All moist and itchy; it drives me crazy.


monster  Wednesday Jun 25 06:19 PM

count me in -yes even us skanky Europeans like clean ears. forget the tooth pick though -that would entirely ruin our image....



Sundae  Wednesday Jun 25 06:34 PM

I get hard wax build-up. It can't be removed with cotton buds (pokey sticks in our house) although I use them to keep the outer ear clean.

Fot a true eargasm, there's nothing like feeling a big piece of wax come free after days of putting olive oil in your ears, Then working it out. It's amazing. The only thing that comes close is getting a bogey that's attached all the way to your throat, and that's just chance after all.



newtimer  Wednesday Jun 25 09:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoot serpent View Post
...Q-tips just shove most of the wax up into the far recesses of the ear canal.
This is true.Using the cotton-headed plunger will just shove wax and dry skin back into the ear, which leads to problem that keep the western ear doctors employed.

My little oriental wax spoon, however, scrapes along the inner walls of my ears. Scrape-scrape, dig-dig...It's the Cinemax eargasm to Q-tips' Disney Channel plunging.


HungLikeJesus  Wednesday Jun 25 10:03 PM

Sundae Girl - to what temperature do you heat the oil?



Flint  Wednesday Jun 25 10:24 PM

Anybody ever done any ear-candling? I know we have some hippies here.

In this way, I address the hippies apart from myself, thus minimizing my own patchouli stink.



jinx  Wednesday Jun 25 10:28 PM

I have, years ago. Meh.



BrianR  Thursday Jun 26 12:14 AM

My wife has, I have resisted her cajoling to try it myself.

Deep Q-Tips make me sneeze, somehow.



Flint  Thursday Jun 26 12:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianR View Post
Deep Q-Tips make me sneeze, somehow.
Weird. Sometimes a real hurty zit is like a sneeze button.


Kasszia  Thursday Jun 26 12:17 AM

Um, yeah, my husband and I both have the eargasm thing going on... Yeah.



HungLikeJesus  Thursday Jun 26 12:22 AM

When you put the Q-Tip in your ear, do you uncontrollably scratch your belly with your back foot?



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Jun 26 12:25 AM

Nope, too busy having fun with the foot that's in front.



DucksNuts  Thursday Jun 26 12:59 AM

I like ear candling, its eargasmistic for me...but I am sooooo there will you Sundae and Brian.



Scriveyn  Thursday Jun 26 01:54 AM

Anyone remember the cartoon: A man chopping down a tree, removing all the branches & bark, wadding both ends of the tree, lifting it with a helicopter ..... and Q-tipping the Mount Rushmore heads :p



SPUCK  Thursday Jun 26 06:25 AM

You're Mad!



Scriveyn  Thursday Jun 26 06:39 AM

.



Sundae  Thursday Jun 26 08:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by HungLikeJesus View Post
Sundae Girl - to what temperature do you heat the oil?
Oh no, just room temp. It's quite nice!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint View Post
Weird. Sometimes a real hurty zit is like a sneeze button.
Anything that makes me screw my face up makes me sneeze. Sunlight, plucking my eyebrows, squeezing a spot (depending on where it is). I also sneeze when other people do. And sometimes just talking about it (this post made me sneeze)

Then people wonder why I have such controlled sneezes (they often think I'm coughing). I'd be exhausted otherwise!


Happy Monkey  Thursday Jun 26 02:03 PM

You can save yourself the undignified position when ear candling, and just let it burn on the counter. It will "suck out" just as much gunk! Sorta like those body-purifying foot-baths.



jinx  Thursday Jun 26 08:00 PM

I assume you're not speaking from experience HM, since you can see the gunk in the candle stub, and in your ear, and you can feel the suction throughout your sinuses.
There is definitely gunk being sucked out - whether its beneficial or not is debatable though.



Elspode  Thursday Jun 26 08:35 PM

We do ear candling on occasion (yes, we are Pagan Polyamorous Hippies). It seems to work, defying all reason.



Undertoad  Thursday Jun 26 09:15 PM

When it was an IotD

...we learned it doesn't work, the same residue appears if you put the candle end in water instead of an ear

...and you may accidentally pour hot beeswax on your eardrum



jinx  Thursday Jun 26 09:31 PM

When you actually do it yourself, yellow powdery wax comes out.



Undertoad  Thursday Jun 26 09:41 PM

That's because it's beeswax.



jinx  Thursday Jun 26 09:43 PM

What?



Undertoad  Thursday Jun 26 09:46 PM




If the bottom of the candle has an airtight seal, it produces that residue. A above water, B in the water, E in the ear.



Quote:
Andrew Harter took over the design and implementation of the test. A student of his volunteered to be the subject. The results are shown here. The candle stubs have been cut open and spread to examine the inner surfaces. First, look at specimen E1. This came from the first of three candles burned in the one ear. There is a quantity of very fine beige-colored dust/ash that has formed a fragile, porous structure not unlike cigarette ash in consistency but somewhat lighter in weight and strength. Specimen E2 is very similar. But E3 has a decided difference; at the places indicated by the X pointers, we found very serious gobs of a sticky, waxy, dark brown substance. To all of us, this certainly resembled ear-wax! At points indicated by the Y pointers, we saw very slight, somewhat lighter-colored, traces of a waxy deposit. Hmmm!

Had the experiment gone just this far, we might have concluded that there is merit in the ear-candling procedure. But Andrew was intent on conducting control tests, too. By that, we mean doing the same test without the ear being involved. He placed a candle, properly seated in the paper shield, over a glass with some water in it. The candle burned down just as before, but as you will see on specimen A, no deposit of any kind was produced, no beige-colored "ash," nor any brown waxy substance. But now I will reveal to you a fact that may provide you with an important clue: the candles were impregnated with bees-wax, not candle-wax nor paraffin wax! (British readers, note: in the USA we use the word "paraffin" to describe a translucent white wax, while you use that word for what we call "kerosene." Isn’t cultural exchange wonderful?)

Bees-wax varies in color from amber to brownish. When charred, it turns quite dark brown, the color of the globules we found at position X in our illustration. But what about specimen B? Well, that was obtained when Andrew burned another candle over water, but this time inserted the tapered end into the water, sealing it off. The B specimen cannot be differentiated from E3! Now, there is a small deposit indicated by the Y pointers on all specimens except A. We believe that specimen A, having clear access to air drawn in from the bottom by convection, attained complete combustion, and thus consumed all the wax and fabric. Specimen B, cut off from free air access as were the three E specimens, produced gobs of beeswax and some ash. E1 and E2 did not produce wax globules because the "fit" was not as tight; warmed ears can produce a film of naturally-present wax that will provide the seal, and the subject is perhaps more willing to have the tube stuck into his ear further and tighter, and less afraid of getting an ear-canal full of hot bees-wax — not a nice thing to contemplate. Thus the combustion in a sealed-off tube is less efficient, and the brown bees-wax globules are produced.



jinx  Thursday Jun 26 09:54 PM

Quote:
Bees-wax varies in color from amber to brownish. When charred, it turns quite dark brown,
This is where you're losing me.... Are they talking about beeswax or burned beeswax, because they just say beeswax. So if the candle is white...?

I'm talking about very yellow (not beige) stuff... looks like trees growing out of your ears when you really get it going. One of the reason we stopped doing it was the amount of candles it took. That a first timer using only 3 candles didn't get results doesn't surprise me.

That said, I still wouldn't bother with it again.


Karenv  Friday Jun 27 01:22 PM

I am surprised that no one has mentioned the grossness of having the toothpick and the ear spoon on one tool. I try to keep my teeth out of my ears and vice versa.

Silver and gold have antibacterial qualities that even surpass Chinese stainless silver. And certainly Q tips.

Ear candles have been known to drip crud into the ear canal making for some very uncomfortable ER visits.



Karenv  Friday Jun 27 02:04 PM

It may increase the residue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post



If the bottom of the candle has an airtight seal, it produces that residue. A above water, B in the water, E in the ear.



[font=arial, helvetica][size=2]
I have spent some time with ear candles, and while most of the residue can come from the candle itself, there also appears to be something that comes from the ear. The pictures themselves show more residue from the ear than the earless burns. And I know other practitioners who have used them, cleaning out the candle residue with a chopstick so it doesn't go back into the ear, and find that it in fact helps earaches. Frankly I can give people warm olive oil with muellin, garlic and similar herbs and do it much faster, so I don't bother with the candles. You can buy the oil premade at any decent health food store.

And I have talked with EMTs and ER docs who have treated people for ear candle wax blockage, so it doesn't seem all that safe to me, even with the chopstick cleaning which would reduce the danger.

Someone asked about the temperature for olive oil: a drop on your wrist shouldn't burn, but it should be warm enough to penetrate. I do it by feel, like bathwater.

Now we should debunk those bamboo vinegar footpads in a future IOTD.


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