IQ-tips: Q-tips?

Since this regular feature is called IQ-tips, I knew one day, sooner or later, like when the power in my part of Los Angeles went out ("˜cause you knew it was bound to happen), I'd throw up a quick post with tips on how to clean your ears.

Take it from me, the fool who went and bought those whacky ear candles to cone the wax out with fire and nearly set the house ablaze, the best way to clean out your ears is to have a doctor or nurse do it professionally. In a matter of minutes, you'll be hearing high frequencies you didn't even know you missed.

As for Q-tips, or anything smaller than your finger, your mother was right! Don't do it. The wax just gets pushed down deeper and compacts.

I'll leave you, after the jump, with four fascinating ear facts, courtesy of Procare.


1. The three smallest bones in your body are all found in your middle ear. Together they're called the ossicles; separately they're the malleus (hammer), incus (anvil) and stapes (stirrup).

2. Anyone can learn to wiggle their ears by contracting the muscles of the scalp above, behind and in front of the ears. See if you can teach yourself!

3. Carsickness and seasickness happen when the brain gets confused by the mixed messages it's receiving from your eyes and the balance mechanism in your ears.

4. Hear that clicking sound in your ears when you swallow? That's your Eustachian tube, which runs between your middle ear and the back of your nose, popping open to allow air into your ears and equalise the pressure on either side of your eardrums. To protect your ears from sudden painful changes in pressure, such as when you descend in an aeroplane, suck a sweet, yawn or equalise by holding your nose while you 'blow' air out of it.

Tips For Baking Perfect Cookies

Perfect cookies are within your grasp. Just grab your measuring cups and get started. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education.

Netflix's Most-Binged Shows of 2017, Ranked

Netflix might know your TV habits better than you do. Recently, the entertainment company's normally tight-lipped number-crunchers looked at user data collected between November 1, 2016 and November 1, 2017 to see which series people were powering through and which ones they were digesting more slowly. By analyzing members’ average daily viewing habits, they were able to determine which programs were more likely to be “binged” (or watched for more than two hours per day) and which were more often “savored” (or watched for less than two hours per day) by viewers.

They found that the highest number of Netflix bingers glutted themselves on the true crime parody American Vandal, followed by the Brazilian sci-fi series 3%, and the drama-mystery 13 Reasons Why. Other shows that had viewers glued to the couch in 2017 included Anne with an E, the Canadian series based on L. M. Montgomery's 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, and the live-action Archie comics-inspired Riverdale.

In contrast, TV shows that viewers enjoyed more slowly included the Emmy-winning drama The Crown, followed by Big Mouth, Neo Yokio, A Series of Unfortunate Events, GLOW, Friends from College, and Ozark.

There's a dark side to this data, though: While the company isn't around to judge your sweatpants and the chip crumbs stuck to your couch, Netflix is privy to even your most embarrassing viewing habits. The company recently used this info to publicly call out a small group of users who turned their binges into full-fledged benders:

Oh, and if you're the one person in Antarctica binging Shameless, the streaming giant just outed you, too.

Netflix broke down their full findings in the infographic below and, Big Brother vibes aside, the data is pretty fascinating. It even includes survey data on which shows prompted viewers to “Netflix cheat” on their significant others and which shows were enjoyed by the entire family.

Netflix infographic "The Year in Bingeing"


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