Back to previous post: Strange Advice from the FDA

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Open thread 57

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

January 6, 2006

What they get up to, in the land of socialized medicine and moose
Posted by Patrick at 11:38 PM * 36 comments

We feel that prospective randomized trials are warranted to evaluate the utility of the Super Soaker Max-D 5000 in clinical settings.

Comments on What they get up to, in the land of socialized medicine and moose:
#1 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 12:41 AM:

Oh my. I love the conclusion that the small number of refills was a benefit too.

#2 ::: Sundre ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 01:58 AM:

... I love my country. So much.

And now I have songs about moose on the headradio. Curses to earworms.

#3 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 02:14 AM:

Sundre wrote:

Curses to earworms.

No kidding! I've got "This land is your land" stuck in my head now...

#4 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 02:18 AM:

I hear you can get discount Super Soakers through some of the Medicare Prescription plans.

#5 ::: Sundre ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 02:23 AM:

xeger: I am so, so sorry. But that still beats "Got to get me moose, b'ye!" all to heck.

#6 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 02:42 AM:

If you do have an earworm, try to blast it out with a super-soaker. Worth a try...

#7 ::: Samantha Joy ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 03:17 AM:

Dare I ask what happens when folks get various other orifices clogged?

#8 ::: Kevin Marks ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 06:11 AM:

Samantha: perhaps the device could be adapted to aid in removing Public Citizen's heads from their fundaments?

#9 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 07:10 AM:

This sounds like something from the Annals of Improbable Research.

#10 ::: G. Jules ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 08:38 AM:

Hee! This is exactly like something out of the Annals of Improbable Research. (I'm one of the people who helps out with the Ig ceremony.) In fact, I just emailed Marc the link (with proper attribution of my source, as usual).

He's probably already gotten it, of course; but then there've been at least a couple popularly known weird science links where I assumed there was no way in hell he hadn't gotten them, and he actually hadn't, because everyone else had thought the same thing. I figure it's a less horrifying example of the Kitty Genovese syndrome -- everyone figuring someone else has sent off an email. Diminished responsibility while in a large group, and all that.

#11 ::: Mikael Johansson ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 08:51 AM:

Oh... THAT land of socialized medicine and moose...

As a swede in Germany, I'm getting more and more used to 'moose' meaning general image of my home.

#13 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 09:50 AM:

In barely related technological news, use the wonders of web technology to poorly replace editing. I present the Passivator and the Ly Detector.

#14 ::: mary ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 09:59 AM:

This is going to be all over the internet by the end of the day. As a mother, I predict that boys between the ages of 9 and 14 will immediately begin shooting each other in the ear with super-soakers, fully pumped. Look for Public Citizen to try to get these suckers--er--soakers, banned.

#15 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 10:38 AM:

I realize this is humor, but having taken a child to the doctor for removal of impacted cerumen, which took bloody FOREVER and required about a dozen refills, I have to say a Super Soaker would have looked pretty good at the time.

#16 ::: Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 11:10 AM:

Last year's year-end issue of CMAJ had one of my favs, an article speculating that Tintin's delayed maturation might be caused by repeated head trauma:

Acquired growth hormone deficiency and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in a subject with repeated head trauma, or Tintin goes to the neurologist

#17 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 11:50 AM:

Tintin's stature due to repeated head trauma, Bob? I'm not so sure... This never stopped Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea's Kowalski from achieving full adult size. On the other hand, maybe he started getting bopped on the head only after he joined the crew of the Seaview, where many strange medical conditions would be known to occur: for example, Captain Crane had a tendency to go into bouts of lycanthropy whenever exposed to radiation. (Or was it Admiral Nelson who suffered from that affliction?)

#18 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 12:01 PM:

Okay, just loved this. Both humorous and clinically accurate in its style. Awesome.

I particularly liked: "Which led to his being able to his being able to promptly jump out of bed and attend to his son's needs, excluding breastfeeding."

Well, yeah.

#19 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 07:30 PM:

That article fair restored my faith in humanity, it did.

#20 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2006, 11:11 PM:

Lila: You and your child have my sincerest sympathy. I've done this to my own ears: a dozen refills is about right. That super-soaker is attractive!

#21 ::: Ross Smith ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2006, 12:27 AM:

A möøse socialized my sister.

(Well, somebody had to say it.)

#22 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2006, 02:27 PM:

I expect the Super Soaker will be restricted Tuesdays, Thursdays, and especially Saturdays. (cf. Konigsberg, A.S., 1967)

#23 ::: Mikael Johansson ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2006, 03:28 PM:

Ross: That is 'møøse'. Need to get your umlauts and slashes straight.

#24 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2006, 10:15 AM:

Thank you thank you thank you. I finally got around to investigating this. And forwarded to my-cousin-the-doctor. Who, as it turns out, is just opening up her practice, with a number of older patients who need ear wax removal. So this was forwarded to the "ear wax division" of her new practice.

#25 ::: Avery ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2006, 11:28 AM:

Sure, this seems pretty silly,but is it really any more silly than having a guy with 20+ years of education hose out your ear?

In the cold light of Monday: No

When I'm deaf in one ear causing you to kind of cock your head funny and walk with one shoulder ahead of the other becasue my sense ballance is going off: Get me a specialist damnit!

#26 ::: Electric Landlady ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2006, 03:21 PM:

The Tintin article is excellent. I think my favourite of the year-end stories this year, though, is this one: The case of the disappearing teaspoons: longitudinal cohort study of the displacement of teaspoons in an Australian research institute

Essential reading for anybody who works in an office with a kitchen. Note in particular the Discussion section (which cites, among others, Adams D. The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy. New York: Ballantine Books, 1979: 320.) and the Rapid Responses, which seem to be taking over...

#27 ::: Ian Myles Slater ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2006, 05:11 PM:

I can just see the manufacturer trying to decide whether to offer a re-engineered physicians-only version of the product, with its own pre-packaged sterile reservoirs, replaceable sterile adapter-nozzles (one per ear per patient, various sizes), special fine-tuning controls -- all for a substantial mark-up, of course, but only after satisfying FDA demands for exhaustive testing for safety and effectiveness of what is, strictly speaking, a toy.

Probably better off licensing the patent to a medical supply company.

#28 ::: Calton Bolick ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2006, 09:48 PM:

Back in high school, I suddenly went deaf in my left ear. A fast visit to the local Kaiser Hospital, and it was determined that it was caused by a big build-up of earwax.

The doc removed the wax using what I assume was standard ear-syringing equipment -- a big syringe with a metal splashguard mounted on the nozzle, a basin of warm water, and a kidney pan to catch the drippings. A few spritzes and my hearing miraculously returned.

Not much different from the SuperSoaker method, really. Since then, I've wished I could buy that special syringe -- the wimpy rubber bulb that comes in earwax-removal kits don't cut and turkey basters are too big. Sadly, the SuperSoaker would be too difficult to aim one-handed.

#29 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2006, 10:00 PM:

It sounds like a fine excuse for a summer party:
'come have fun with a water gun and get your ears clean too!'

The last time I had a doctor clean out the wax, he used cold water. It's, um, interesting. For about thirty seconds.

#30 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2006, 05:12 AM:

I am cursed with narrow ears and moderately heavy wax.

This was discovered in Basic Training, when the earplugs we were issued at the range packed my ears shut.

My ears were flushed, which meant I could both hear, and fall asleep immediately again (it was when I'd been kept awake twice in one night [I had a trick of Fire Guard that night] for more than five minutes each time that I hied myself to sick call).

It's happened a couple of times since then. The Super Soaker sounds like a swell idea.


#31 ::: Hamadryad ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2006, 01:48 PM:


I love my health care professionals.

#32 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2006, 07:39 PM:

I don't think you need the supersoaker. I have very little hand strength, so when I use the outdoor hose for our building, I take the trigger grip nozzle off and put on a sliding nozzle. I can adjust it to a fine strong spray. It's sort of like this but mine is bright yellow plastic and you control the spray by sliding a panel on the cylindrical nozzle.

#33 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2006, 02:30 PM:

Calton -- for the purposes you describe, in the UK you can buy cannisters of pre-pressurised sterilised water, which is much more effective than the device you describe sounds to me. I would be surprised if it wasn't available in other countries too. I believe the trade name is "audiclean" or something similar.

#34 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2006, 03:08 PM:

For those afflicted with excessive ear wax, may I suggest this thing, which a friend of mine found and recommended. The loop slips up your ear canal to pull the junk out, and the guard bit prevents you from puncturing your eardrum.

#36 ::: Buddha Buck sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2014, 09:57 AM:

looks like an advert for coupons for a store not in my area. Probably an advert for malware.

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.

(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.