Monday, January 12, 2015

Big Brother is Alive and Well

     You probably know about tinnitus (can be pronounced either way).  I’ve had it for years – sometimes buzzing, hissing or sirens in the ears, sometimes along the lines of people talking softly in another room.  It’s great how the brain ignores it most of the time.  Maybe you already have it – if so, get your hearing checked because it is sometimes an early warning.
     But in the last couple of weeks, something entirely new.   Driving, I found myself wondering if the radio was on very low.  Finally nailed it down – when I turn my head, which evidently happens a lot in driving,  I hear a musical note.  Shake my head back and forth and it’s two notes, chimes, a third apart.  Shake more quickly and it gets louder.
     So of course I immediately diagnosed brain tumor!!  An exchange of emails with my physician, though, convinced me it’s just another form of tinnitus.  And -- this is relevant -- I noted that in my journal, a folder in Microsoft Word.
     Okay, so today when I got on the computer, I immediately found myself facing an ad for a tinnitus remedy.  You tell me – how did They find out about this?  I wouldn’t like to think that fancy medical site is open to any interested ad agency.  Nor is the idea of my journal being snooped a particularly happy thought. 

And as I was writing this, I was interrupted by a phone call from the supermarket.  Would I be willing to join a panel to evaluate fresh orange juice?  Well, at least that one’s no mystery – because I dutifully offer that Shoppers Club card every time I check out, they know that fresh orange juice is one of my biggest extravagances.  


  1. Are you certain that you did not do some internet searching for tinnitus last week as well? This seems much more likely to me the source for the ad.

    And on my brower, at least, the first photo in this post is not showing up.

  2. The email exchange with your doc might have been the tipoff, rather than your journal. Here's what happened to me today: I wrote an email to a JASNA colleague in which our scholarly journal was mentioned--and darned if an hour later, I didn't get what I know was a "phishing" spam from a fake scholarly journal inviting me to submit a paper. I know this phish well and didn't click on it, of course--but it is unnerving to reflect on how closely we are being watched.

  3. Funny - I have *always* perceived car engines as gently singing or playing an instrument. Perhaps they really do, but your more-acute hearing got in the way of perceiving it until now? Either that, or it's I who have the tinnitus?