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Ears

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Flash
158592.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:52 am Reply with quote

My earwax spoon has arrived. I'll bring it on Monday, but if anyone can't wait till then, skype me and I'll hold it up to the webcam.

The compulsion to ram it into one's ear is nearly irresistable.

 
Gray
158597.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:57 am Reply with quote

Yes, I get that with earwigs.

Although I've now got such vigorous ear-hair that I hardly need a wig...

 
DELETED
158633.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 6:42 am Reply with quote

DELETED

 
Molly Cule
158670.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:35 am Reply with quote

Well......... here is a story from the BMJ about a research project conducted into this very question, could be taken to be the final word I think.

Quote:
MJ 1995;311:1668 (23 December)

INSIDE STORIES
Why do old men have big ears?
James A Heathcote, general practitioner a
a South View Lodge, Bromley, Kent BR1 3DR

In July 1993, 19 members of the south east Thames faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners gathered at Bore Place, in Kent, to consider how best to encourage ordinary general practitioners to carry out research. Some members favoured highly structured research projects; others were fired by serendipity and the observations of everyday practice. Someone said, "Why do old men have big ears? Some members thought that this was obviously true--indeed some old men have very big ears--but others doubted it, and so we set out to answer the question "As you get older do your ears get bigger?"

Methods and results

Four ordinary general practitioners agreed to ask patients attending for routine surgery consultations for permission to measure the size of their ears, with an explanation of the idea behind the project. The aim was to ask consecutive patients aged 30 or over, of either sex, and of any racial group. Inevitably it was sometimes not appropriate--for example, after a bereavement or important diagnosis--to make what could have seemed so frivolous a request, and sometimes (such as when a surgery was running late) patients were not recruited. The length of the left external ear was measured from the top to the lowest part with a transparent ruler; the result (in millimetres), together with the patient's age, was recorded. No patients refused to participate, and all the researchers were surprised by how interested (if amused) patients were by the project. The data were then entered on to a computer and analysed with Epi-Info; the relation between length of ear and the patient's age was examined by calculating a regression equation.

In all, 206 patients were studied (mean age 53.75 (range 30-93; median age 53) years). The mean ear length was 675 mm (range 520-840 mm), and the linear regression equation was: ear length=55.9+(0.22 x patient's age) (95% confidence intervals for B co-efficient 0.17 to 0.27). The figure shows a scatter plot of the relation between length of ear and age.









It seems therefore that as we get older our ears get bigger (on average by 0.22 mm a year).

Comment

A literature search on Medline by the library at the Royal College of General Practitioners that looked for combinations of "ears, external," "size and growth," "males," and "aging" produced no references.

A chance observation--that older people have bigger ears--was at first controversial but has been shown to be true. For the researchers the experience of involving patients in business beyond their presenting symptoms proved to be a positive one, and it was rewarding to find a clear result. Why ears should get bigger when the rest of the body stops growing is not answered by this research. Nor did we consider whether this change in a particular part of the anatomy is a marker of something less easily measurable elsewhere or throughout the body.

 
Molly Cule
158672.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:38 am Reply with quote

Also from the BMJ website is the assertion that the ancient Chinese believed the thicker your earlobe, the weathier you would be.

The ancient Chinese believed that each part of the ear represented a different prospect. For example, the length of the earlobe denotes long life, and thickness means greater wealth. It is also said that the longer the ears the more noble the person will be. For example, kings and emperors of old China are all said to have had extremely long ears (as does the statue of Buddha). The founder of the minor Han dynasty in AD 221, Liu Bei, is also said to have had ears reaching to his shoulders and could see his ears by glancing back over his shoulders.

from Lee SM. The Chinese art of studying the head, face and hands. 3rd ed. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: Pelanduk Publications, 1995.

 
Molly Cule
158676.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:42 am Reply with quote



look how big ear syringes are? Doesn't this seem quite large? Maybe I have small ears...

These two are called 'The Real McCoy and Master Blaster'.
http://www.earclear.com/

 
eggshaped
158679.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:44 am Reply with quote

You only have small ears because you're SO young

 
Flash
158680.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:44 am Reply with quote

Very good bit of research, Moll - definitely useable, I'd say.

 
MatC
158681.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:45 am Reply with quote

Quote:
These two are called 'The Real McCoy and Master Blaster'.


That's worth a "parsnips" style question, isn't it? Perhaps linked to the names of the Nevada bomb tests.

 
Molly Cule
158684.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:49 am Reply with quote

Yeah James, now you know why your ears are bigger than mine, you're WAY older. : )

 
eggshaped
158685.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:49 am Reply with quote

I always thought that your nose continued to grow throughout your life as well? Anyone got a clue on that?

 
Molly Cule
158689.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:57 am Reply with quote

Here are some horrendous pictures to put anyone off of getting a high ear pierce....piercing through the cartilage at the top of your ear (through the upper third of the pinna) can lead to infection and auricular perichondritis otherwise known as "cauliflower ear".






 
eggshaped
158690.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:58 am Reply with quote

The celts called someone with jug-ears "clustiog", someone with flappy ears is called "clustlaes".

source

 
Molly Cule
158692.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:08 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Human earlobes may be free (hanging free from the head) or attached (joined to the head). Whether the earlobe is free or attached is a classic example of a Simple genetic dominance relationship; freely hanging earlobes are the dominant allele and attached earlobes are recessive. Therefore, a person whose genes contain one allele for free earlobes and one for attached lobes will display the freely hanging lobe trait. Genetically dominant, free earlobes are twice as common in the human population as attached lobes.


from wikipedia

 
DELETED
158694.  Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:09 am Reply with quote

DELETED

 

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