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Invited Commentary
January 1, 2008

The Relationship Between Acute Mastoiditis and Antibiotic Use for Acute Otitis Media in Children—Invited Commentary

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008;134(1):49. doi:10.1001/archotol.134.1.49

A scientist was studying the effect of leg removal on spiders. The spider's task was to jump over a small object on the command “Spider, jump!” The scientist removed the spider's legs 1 at a time and found that the spider easily jumped with 7 or 6 legs, but had progressive difficulty with each sequential removal of a leg. Finally, after removal of all 8 legs, the scientist commanded “Spider, jump!” in an increasingly loud voice, but the spider's body did not move. The scientist dutifully marked in his laboratory notebook: “Removal of eighth leg: spider goes deaf.” (The earliest reference I am aware of for this “research” was an episode of “Welcome Back, Kotter,” but it may be even older. For the residents too young to recall, this was a 1970s sitcom most notable for John Travolta's first acting role, 15 years before the movie Pulp Fiction.)

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