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Summit Up


Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column going to tell you everything you ever did not want to know about earwax. Sorry. We know that reading about personal hygiene probably isn’t exactly the way you wanted to start your Tuesday morning, but based on our recent experience, we’re thinking that that this may be a widespread public health issue.Here’s the deal. As we were trying to raise our window shades this morning to let some of that fine spring sunshine flood into our humble abode, the drawstring got tangled up with the earphones of our iPod (don’t ask, long story). As we set about untangling the entire mess, we noticed an icky, sticky brown stain on on one of the little ear buds. We tried to wipe it off with some tissue, but, man, this stuff was caked on and hardened to the point that we needed to use some heavy duty solvent – yuck!We tried to remember if this was our own secretion of if perchance we loaned our iPod to someone else recently. Then we got curious about the whole concept of earwax and clicked over to Wikipedia to check it out and we weren’t disappointed. The page featured a wealth of information, including some closeup photos of Q-Tips covered with, uhh … you don’t want to know.Millions of Summit Up Readers: “That’s really gross, totally disgusting and completely gratuitous information. We’d much rather read about red-breasted robins frolicking in flower beds, pulling fat, juicy worms out of the ground. You must really be hurting for material over there at Summit Up HQ.”Summit Up: Stay with us. Turns out that the scientific name for this gunk is cerumen. It helps lubricate the ear canal, although we can’t imagine why an ear would need lubrication. And it also helps protect the ear against bacteria, fungi and insects. This part we can understand, and we definitely don’t want any creepy-crawlers going up inside our ear. We have enough problems as it is.Even more interesting is that there are two distinct types of earwax. The wet, brown type, which is genetically dominant, and the dry, white flaky kind, which is recessive. Turns out that anthropologists have used that genetic differentiation to track human migratory patterns.MSUR: “Hmm, that is mildly interesting, but still not exactly what we wanted to read about. Please, spare us the gritty details of ear candling and other associated practices.”SUMMIT UP: Geez, we were just about to really dig deep into this subject, but since it isn’t exactly resonating with our readers, we’ll move on.***In other non-news, we’re happy to report that we were finally able to navigate our way across the vast reaches of the Corporate Suites parking lot without getting our feet wet. We’re excited about this, and even managed to spot avoid some ducks starting to build a nest alongside one of the ponds.Word is that there are plans to bring in a few loads of gravel or some other substance to speed up the drying process, but we’re thinking at this point we’ll have to check in with the Army Corps of Engineers to make sure that we’re not doing some sort of illegal fill in jurisdictional wetlands.As we were gingerly treading through the swamps, we also noticed a piece of a styrofoam cup floating on one of the ponds. It was kind of peaceful watching it sail across the water in the wind, kind of looking like a Viking galley, with a white sail unfurled in the breeze. This reminded us of the garbage bag scene in American Beauty, but also made us realize how much random trash is still out there, starting to emerge from the melting snowbanks. Who knows what the heck is buried out there!***Let us know what sort of treasures you have found during spring cleanup with a quick e-mail to We out, looking for light at the end of the tunnel.

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