Friday, July 1, 2022

How did we learn to stick cotton swabs in our ear canals?
















As shown above, in the toiletry bag I take on overnight trips there is a travel pack of thirty Q-tips (cotton swabs). I use them for removing water from my ear canals after a shower. (When I was much younger, I instead used to just tilt my head and jump up and down). But on the back of that package it says:


“If used to clean ears, stroke swab gently around the outer surface of the ear without entering the ear canal.



Use only as directed. Entering the ear canal could cause injury. Keep out of reach of children.”


How did I learn to stick Q-tips in my ear canals? An article by Nathaniel Meyersohn at CNN Business on June 25, 2022 titled How we got addicted to using Q-tips the wrong way (and repeated at EastIdahoNews) described magazine ads done long ago featuring that use for them. He included an image captioned:


“A Q-tips advertisement in Life magazine from 1956. Some ads around the period showed men cleaning water out of their ears with Q-tips.”




















I went looking for one at the Internet Archive. As shown above, page 59 in the October 14, 1957 issue of Life has that exact detail. My parents may have read similar ads, and then told me about using Q-tips.











There is a brief article titled Use and abuse of cotton buds (the British term for swabs) by Jonathan C. Hobson and Jeremy A. Lavy in the August 2005 issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. As shown above via a bar chart, they report results from a survey of 171 people who said why they used cotton buds (aka swabs). 52% said Because it seemed like a good idea, 28% said Family and friends use them, 12% were Not sure, 5% had No reply, 3% were Advised by a doctor, 2% were Advised by a nurse, and the remaining 2% said Advertising. On May 16, 2017 I blogged about how Cotton swabs are sending about 34 children to the emergency room daily


Thursday, June 30, 2022

Yet more from Patrick Barry on writing – Parallel Structure

















On June 28, 2022, I blogged about Even more from Patrick Barry on writing – Writing as Mapping. Professor Barry also has another half-dozen YouTube videos from his spring 2016 writing workshops for University of Michigan law students, about Parallel Structure which total to under 16 minutes. They are:


Parallel Structure: Dickinson, Frost, and Pope (0:55)


Parallel Structure: Corresponding ideas in corresponding forms (2:15)


Parallel Structure: Name that tune (2:33)


Parallel Structure: Leonardo DaVinci, Michaelangelo, and the Apple Store (1:54)


Parallel Structure: Better at words (5:22)


Parallel Structure: Better writer - better lawyer (2:19)


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

A 27-acre grass fire near our home














Early Monday afternoon, June 27, 2022, my wife told me there was a grass fire visible, about a third of a mile northeast from our home. We walked to the corner of Cole Road and Skylight Street, and as shown above, saw the fire burning quickly east of Cole and north of Lake Hazel Road. It was in an open field just south of the SouthFork subdivision (which is entered from Stirrup Avenue). The field is where the north end for Locale subdivision will eventually get more homes. Excavators are working there to put in underground utilities. Homes at Locale currently are being constructed south of Lake Hazel Road.

















Boise Fire tweeted about it as follows (at 4:24 PM):


“A reminder to take extra precautions as grasses are drying up and can easily ignite. Around 1:00 pm today Boise Fire responded to a report of a grass fire with structures threatened on Lake Hazel and Cole Rd. Crews arrived to find the fire moving fast with 10-15 mph winds.


Boise Fire quickly put resources in place to protect the homes and started burning operations to reduce fuels in front of those homes. Fire crews were able to control the fire before it reached any structures. In total, the fire burned 27 acres.


The cause of the fire appears to be accidental, but is under investigation. No injuries are reported and no structures are currently threatened.”


There also is a brief article at KIVItv by Meredith Spelbring titled Boise Fire responds to 27-acre fire on Lake Hazel, urges added caution due to dry conditions.


Don’t take advice from a crank - find a credible source instead




















Dr. John M. Livingston is the medical policy advisor for the Idaho Freedom Foundation. Each week he expounds about medicine and philosophy via several articles in the Gem State Patriot News. One of his latest, on June 26, 2022, is titled Experts – Judgement – Wisdom. (He doesn’t proofread his writing, so in the third paragraph he refers to influenza as ‘seasonal flue.’) His fourth paragraph begins by quoting from an article by Dr. Russell L. Blaylock at Surgical Neurology International on April 22, 2022 titled COVID UPDATE: What is the truth? Dr. Livingston provides us with a PubMed Central link to the full text from that article, from the National Library of Medicine - but he mistakenly says it is from The National Library of Science.


Is Dr. Blaylock a credible source about medicine in general? Heck no! Back on April 10, 2013 there is a web page about Blaylock at the Encyclopedia of American Loons. That’s a very bad sign! Also, Joe Schwarcz of the McGill Office for Science and Society has an article about Russell Blaylock’s various rants on March 20, 2017 titled Seems neurosurgeons are not immune to neuroses. At Skeptical Raptor on May 30, 2022 there is another article titled Peer-reviewed journal publishes COVID-29 denier editorial filled with lies. And on May 19, 2022 Dr. David Gorski tweeted about that Blaylock editorial article:


“It's Russell Blaylock. He was an all-purpose medical crank (antivax, HIV/AIDS denier, cancer quack, etc.) decades ago; so of course he turned #COVID19 crank. It was inevitable. The article is indeed a ‘greatest hits’ of antivax and #COVID19 conspiracy theories.”


At Science-Based Medicine (a credible source) on June 29, 2020 there is yet another article by David Gorski titled Misinformation and disinformation about facemasks and COVID-19. His discussion of Myth #4: Masks concentrate the virus (if you have it) and make you sicker debunks an article at Technocracy News on May 11, 2020 by Dr. Blaylock. I certainly am not going to spend $55 for an annual subscription to The Blaylock Wellness Report.


The next-to-last paragraph of Dr. Livingston’s article begins:


“The most dangerous experts are those who venture outside their own field. I once knew a neurosurgeon who thought he was an expert enough mechanic to work on his own Mercedes. He wasn’t wise enough to know what he didn’t know. He ended up buying a new BMW.”


Well, Dr. Blaylock was a neurosurgeon, but has written books like Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, The Liver Cure, Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Excitotoxins – The Taste That Kills, and Dr. Blaylock’s Prescriptions for Natural Health.


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Even more from Patrick Barry on writing – Writing as Mapping




















Earlier today I blogged about Still more from Patrick Barry on writing – The Force of Focus. Professor Barry (who also has a PhD in English) has a half-dozen more YouTube videos, all about Writing as Mapping. They came from workshops for University of Michigan law students in the fall of 2018.  You can watch all six in about eleven minutes. They are:


Writing as Mapping: the power of description (2:13)


Writing as Mapping: conscious strategies and unconscious assumptions (1:45)


Writing as Mapping: Greenland vs. Africa (1:52)


Writing as Mapping: Saul Steinberg and The New Yorker (0:35)


Writing as Mapping: Gall-Peters (1:13)


Writing as Mapping: political maps (3:12)


An image of famous African explorer David Livingstone holding a map came from the Library of Congress.

Still more from Patrick Barry on writing - The Force of Focus












Yesterday, June 27, 2022, I blogged about More from Patrick Barry on writing – Sentence Flow. Professor Barry has another eight YouTube videos from his fall 2014 writing workshops for University of Michigan law students, about The Force of Focus which total to just under 37 minutes. They are:


The Force of Focus: Italy won, France lost, and Hillary Clinton’s husband (9:24)


The Force of Focus: look on every exit as an entrance somewhere else (1:59)


The Force of Focus: Scotland stalker (2:37)


The Force of Focus: malpractice or mal-patient (4:56)


The Force of Focus: Harvard vs. Yale (8:51)


The Force of Focus: clean hands (1:43)


The Force of Focus: Joan Didion, Elle Woods, and the infinite power of grammar (2:55)


The Force of Focus: words to write by (4:21)


The image of a lens focusing wavefronts was adapted from a gif at Wikimedia Commons.  


Monday, June 27, 2022

More from Patrick Barry on writing – Sentence Flow

















On May 25, 2022 I blogged about 20 Excellent brief YouTube videos from the fall 2016 writing workshops for University of Michigan law students given by Patrick Barry on poise, rhythm, optimism, being dynamic, and the unexpected. Professor Barry (who also has a PhD in English) has a dozen more YouTube videos, all about Sentence Flow. You can watch them all in about twenty minutes. They are:


Sentence Flow: make your reader feel smart (1:14)


Sentence Flow: sentences - ideas - persuasion (1:18)


Sentence Flow: Benjamin Franklin (0:50)


Sentence Flow: for want of a nail (2:21)


Sentence Flow: mix of old and new (1:11)


Sentence Flow: bored and confused (1:02)


Sentence Flow: principle 1, principle 2 (0:48)


Sentence Flow: too ignorant to talk to (2:41)


Sentence Flow: audience and function (1:38)


Sentence Flow: the curse of knowledge (3:35)


Sentence Flow: why good people write bad prose (1:07)


Sentence Flow: writing as teaching (1:42)


On June 25,2019 I had blogged about how to Overcome the Curse of Knowledge by bringing numbers down to earth.

The image was adapted from a warning sign at Openclipart.