Doctors often say that you shouldn't use cotton swabs like Q-Tips to clean out your ears because you risk damaging the ear drum. But in that case, why does it feel so good? After all, people around the world have been using picks, candles, rakes, scoops, and swabs to clear out the wax for centuries. Turns out that while a build-up of wax can cause deafness, manually scooping that wax often shoves it further down the ear canal and makes everything worse. Worse, removing that wax makes your ears feel itchy--which makes every go-around with the old Q-Tip feel that much more satisfying. Previously.
Lifehacker asked "What Necessary Adult Skills Were You Never Taught Growing Up?" Since personal hygiene skills was a popular response, the site created "An Adult's Guide to Hygiene (for Those Who Weren't Taught Growing Up)"
Why the modern bathroom is a wasteful, unhealthy design (The Guardian): "Piped water may be the greatest convenience ever known but our sewage systems and bathrooms are a disaster" [more inside]
Spray on some friendly bacteria and skip the soap? (NYT) Plenty of people have tried the 'no-poo' method to switch from shampoos, but what about skipping everything, and adding some bacteria instead? We bathed without soap for a long time and antibacterial soap is really bad for us. AOBiome wants you to think Bacteria is the New Black.
Humans have co-evolved with the resident microbes that call us "home", known as the microbiota, consisting of trillions of cells that colonize our bodies. The microbiota carry out many beneficial functions, such as producing vitamins, aiding in digestion, and protecting against invading microbes, but disruption from antibiotics or delivery by Caesarian section may have consequences for human health. Recently, antibiotic use has been linked with obesity and asthma. Using both human studies and experimentally observed mice, we are beginning to understand how antibiotics may lead to the disappearance of microbes and to identify key microbes that impact our health.[more inside]
What is life like when having your period puts your health at risk and means you are shunned by society? Rose George reports from Nepal and Bangladesh on menstrual taboos.: Blood speak [more inside]
Mumsnet, the popular social network of (mainly UK) parents, suffered traffic load issues today due to a post-coital hygiene question. [more inside]
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
In the tradition of Marcus Aurelius and Montaigne, Ghostface Killah (a.k.a. Pretty Toney) has set down his thoughts on living. (audio nsfw) (previously)
How did hookworm infections slow the economy of the postbellum South? Do body mites play a role in diseases such as rosacea? Did fermenting seal flippers in Tupperware instead of traditional containers increase Native Alaskan botulism rates? Body Horrors is the blog of microbiologist Rebecca Kreston, who aims to explore the intersection of infectious diseases, the human body, public health and anthropology.
“They’re not aggressive, they’re just defensive, they only ever rear up if they feel threatened, they don’t go looking for trouble,” said Brett. grooming a funnel-web spider (via)
"Motherfucker, I just gave you the most important advice that anyone in the whole world has ever given you. You may not understand the profound importance of this advice. If you learn nothing else from reading this, you need to learn these two things. SHOWER EVERY FUCKING DAY, AND WEAR DEODORANT EVERY FUCKING DAY." The Digipen Survival Guide full of sage guidance. [more inside]
The Great Unwashed: "Some people have all but abandoned the idea of soap, shampoo or deodorant and yet still have friends, relationships and jobs." Slate disagrees that this is even a trend, but The Village Voice notes it has been covered elsewhere, including The New York Observer and Hairpin. In response, The Week asks, "Can you succeed without showering?"
The New York Times covers a 'new celebrity trend', Unshaven Women, Free Spirits or Unkempt?
"Half a million dirty Britons wash their bed sheets only three times a year, a survey discloses laying bare the disgusting bedroom habits of the nation. One in six people also admitted waiting at least a month before washing their bed sheets." "Londoners have the dirtiest bed sheets in the country." [more inside]
How to Get Rid of Things — a do-it-yourself guide dedicated to helping you prevent, eliminate or remove common annoyances from your life. For example: How to Get Rid of Voles. "Once you have the vole in hand, simply squeeze until you hear the pop." [more inside]
Bleachbum: for a youthful appearance everywhere BleachBum.com is your source for information about anal bleaching products and procedures. Anal bleaching is one more way holly wood celebrities try to stay younger. While rectal bleaching isn't for everyone, some people are interested in maintaining a youthful look...everywhere.
Does Your Penis Smell Perfect? Have you ever asked yourself: "Why is it that no matter how much time and effort I put into washing my penis in the shower, I still get that awful whiff of a rancid smell throughout the day, or even right after a shower?" Nodoro has the solution. There are commercials (Are they real or parodies?) here. Via.
Four out of Five People Wash Their Hands. Don't be that Fifth Guy. While you're at it, cover your mouth when you cough and stay home when you're sick. Really, how many times do we have to tell you? Wash. Your. Hands. Seriously. [more inside]
Don't want the flu? Wash your hands! Washing your hands is not the only way to prevent the flu, but it's clearly important. [more inside]
Have You Eaten Your Dirt Today, Honey? A New Approach To The Hygiene Hypothesis. The hypothesis argues: The reason why there is so much asthma, eczema, allergies and maybe even childhood diabetes in the modern world is because we — well infants really — live in too clean a universe. What our baby immune systems need is a kickstart by exposure to viruses, bacteria, worms, pollutants and so on. If you don’t get an infant hit from these icons of uncleanliness, the immune system goes haywire and your body over-reacts to all sorts of invasive things that normally could be ignored. Via. [more inside]
Conditions for Iraqi children affected by violence and displacement have reached a critical point, according to UNICEF (PDF). One of the worst problems is the lack of clean water: only an estimated 30 per cent have access to safe water that isn't contaminated.
Miss Abigail's Time Warp Advice. Miss Abigail dispenses wisdom from her collection of vintage advice books (published from 1822 to 1978). Topics include Minding Your Manners, Looking And Feeling Good, Around The House, Frank Talk About Petting, and much more. The advice ranges from the very useful to the hilariously quaint, with some unenlightened shockers thrown in for good measure.
Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition and History (HEARTH). From Cornell University, HEARTH is an internet resource collecting home economics texts from 1850 to 1950, including Meals that cook themselves and cut the costs, by Christine Frederick (1915), and The young woman's guide to excellence, by William A. Alcott (1852), as well as the Journal of Home Economics from 1909 to 1980.
Toothbrush subscriptions for yourself, your family, and your pets.
Don't blame me, I voted for Vermin Supreme! While the D.C. Primary hasn't attracted the same level of attention as the Iowa Caucus, one candidate continues to fight for what is right. Mr. Supreme understands the REAL threat facing our great nation -- poor dental hygeine.
American Social Hygiene Posters from the University of Minnesota. Remember boys, You may think she's just your gal, but she may be everyone's pal.
Filthy secrets of medieval toilets: Featuring the Royal Water Closet of French King John the Fearless. "Lesser mortals of course had less sophisticated apparatus... Some were no more than holes built into the wall, others were primitive outhouses perched with wooden supports onto an upper story. A series of mediaeval illuminations at the exhibition shows that accidents in these contraptions were common." Mon dieu!
More disturbing mismanagement in Kansas City This time at the VA hospital: A recent report in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine said that the hospital in Kansas City was overrun with flies and mice in mid-1998. Nurses even found maggots growing in the noses of two comatose patients. Both patients, astoundingly, were in the intensive-care unit.
Like crack for your mouth! Throw your Altoids and TicTacs away! CoolMint Listerine PocketPaks are little strips of breath-freshening goodness that don't just mask bad-smelling mouth germs--they kill the little buggers. Makes other breath mints seem like candy. Anybody else try them yet? As a reformed Altoids abuser, I can safely say I'm addicted.