I happened to be in the library today and I noticed the current (3/09)
issue of Consumer Reports. I noticed on the cover something about how
Americans indulge in "risky" behavior. The article touted statistics
such as 73% of those surveyed admitted that they "...sometimes use
cotton swabs to clean their inner ears.."
My first thought was to recall why I stopped subscribing to that POS
rag about 30 years ago. Then I felt sad.
I was sad that a nation so grandly conceived less than 300 years ago
is now so narrowly defined and dominated by a risk-adverse culture
that considers cleaning inner ears with Q-tips to be risky behavior. I
wonder what they would call walking across the American southwest next
to a covered wagon?
No wonder the Muslims are kicking our ass.
You think Q Tips are bad? I recall a commercial from a number of years ago
for a toothbrush...showed it was so gentle you could brush a tomato with it.
Personally, I've never found that tomato skins are particularly tender.
But wait, there's more...
They were inordinately proud of the handle; it was not only curved so that
one can reach those teeth waaaaay in the back without having to bend your
wrist but it was ribbed as well. Now, that's an important safety feature -
just think of the havoc that could be caused if a toothbrush slipped out of
your hand while brushing vigorously. Hell, a thing like that could put
somebody's eye out :)
You really can't blame the manufacturer though, they figured that people
that will buy multi-blade razors will buy anything.
Not that the toothbrush death rate was very high, but the curved
non-slip handle was actually an engineering improvement, especially for
kids and the elderly. Fine motor control of slippery objects is easy to
take for granted.
But the basic point remains- most 'new and improved' item features are
styling and marketing puffery. But once in a while, an actual
improvement does sneak in.
Can't say, I generally use straight razors. Supplemented occasionally with
a throw-away multi blade from my wife's cache of same. I prefer my straight
One of the nicer things about the old style, single replaceable blade razors
is that they were actually able to be cleaned.
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