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Thread: Bagpipers lung

  1. #11
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    I just dowsed all but one of my recorders in bleach.

    They will come to no harm being plastic - but I recalled that each year I have had a bad cough after going to the Sidmouth Folk Festival, the only time of year I play them. The rest of the year they sit in a bag and although I give them a bit of a clean before I leave home I have never been all that serious about sterilising them. I run them under the tap and wipe them over, but don't get really serious on a chemical level.

    The cough usually clears up in a couple of weeks, because my husband doesn't like me singing and playing instruments.
    Whilst I was away this year I was chatted up by a man selling instruments - during which time he gave me tea and cleaned the wooden recorder so it is probably safe, and I am going to make a pull through to clean the insides and get some pipe cleaners, the smokers sort so I can clean the holes.

    I suspect that next year I will not get a cough, which is probably a good thing as my immune system will be another year older.

    Anne the Pleater
    I presume to dictate to no man what he shall eat or drink or wherewithal he shall be clothed."
    -- The Hon. Stuart Ruaidri Erskine, The Kilt & How to Wear It, 1901.

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  3. #12
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    To state the story is rubbish, when it is a fact that it happened, is somewhat over the top. Yes the papers like to sensationalise a story but this is reported from a medical journal. There is no avoiding that for once the story was factually correct. In the second line quoted by cessna152towser , it says this is a Very rare condition.
    "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give"
    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill

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  5. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Q View Post
    To state the story is rubbish, when it is a fact that it happened, is somewhat over the top. Yes the papers like to sensationalise a story but this is reported from a medical journal. There is no avoiding that for once the story was factually correct. In the second line quoted by cessna152towser , it says this is a Very rare condition.
    I often say "Wider reading is often helpful.". True on several levels, but directly relating to the part of the quote about being from a medical journal. Members of the editorial staff of the Lancet and of the New England Journal were quoted within the last year that at least half the articles they print are not reliable because of bought science and fudged results. Highly respected researchers at highly respected institutions have been forced to recant "breakthroughs" and published papers due to getting caught at this; some "research" has been found to be totally fabricated. Much like the regular efforts of my high school chem lab partner and myself. We took turns: one fabricated, the other played, resulting in random small explosions and occasional brightly colored clouds of smoke. Very entertaining for the rest of the lab.
    The working partner did the math, and we reported results near theoretical, but with an appropriate margin of error.

    As this is about a specific case, higher likelihood of veracity, but I'd be curious how they proved the source of the problem
    and ruled out variables and alternate sources.
    Last edited by tripleblessed; 25th August 16 at 08:37 AM.

  6. #14
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    I'm skeptical for another reason. The airflow in a bagpipe is from the lungs, through the blowstick, past a check valve which prevents backflow, into the bag, past the reeds, and out the pipes to the atmosphere.

    It would have to be a great, hairy, aggressive beast of a fungus to fly out of the bag, muscle past the check valve, and then up the blowstick, against the flow of air, and into the poor man's lungs.

    It seems to me, based on my Microbiology course from many years past, that it's more likely that the man contracted a fungal disorder, then blew the fungus into the bag. That would account for it being found there.
    'A damned ill-conditioned sort of an ape. It had a can of ale at every pot-house on the road, and is reeling drunk. "

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  8. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pegasys View Post
    what exactly is 'seasoning' ?
    Simply put, seasoning is a treatment for hide (sheepskin, moose, cow, etc.) bagpipe bags to help them maintain their air-tightness. I've never played a hide bag, so I don't really know how many brands there are, but 'Airtight' is the most well known (for various reasons).

    It's my understanding that most hide-playing pipers will treat the bag at least once a year. More often if they play frequently.

    From what I've read, the general process is to remove the sticks and put stoppers in the stocks, heat up the recommended amount of the seasoning then pour it into the bag. The seasoning then gets massaged into the hide and all the seams, then any excess is drained out and the bag is hung up & left to dry out at least overnight.

    Those more familiar with the process - having done it themselves - may correct me &/or elaborate as necessary.
    John

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    Thumbs up

    thanks EagleJCS ... I was thinking it was something that was IF done right might ameliorate the WAY overblown bagpipe lung thing ... much appreciated info ... there is one piper in my clan that is very near and dear to me , namely my U.S. Clan Chieftain Billy J Ferguson and I know this issue is nothing new to him , but I also know that as computer literate as he is he's just not part of the information age generation and may appreciate some of the tips I glean here .

    Quote Originally Posted by EagleJCS View Post
    Simply put, seasoning is a treatment for hide (sheepskin, moose, cow, etc.) bagpipe bags to help them maintain their air-tightness. I've never played a hide bag, so I don't really know how many brands there are, but 'Airtight' is the most well known (for various reasons).
    Marc E Ferguson - IT Manager
    Clan Fergusson Society of North America
    ------------------------------------------------
    Nosce te ipsum - Dulcius ex asperis - insert wittty tri-fecta latin-ism here

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  11. #17
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    Kd burke

    Sometimes you do get some air in your mouth from the bag if the blowpipe valve leaks slightly, so, yes, it's possible to get the nasties that way.
    "Life's too short to hunt with an ugly gun"
    U.S. Coast Guard, retired
    Clan MacKenzie

  12. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 416 Rigby View Post
    Kd burke

    Sometimes you do get some air in your mouth from the bag if the blowpipe valve leaks slightly, so, yes, it's possible to get the nasties that way.
    Agreed. You'll note I said it was more likely that the piper was infected first then blew the fungus into the bag. Not that it was the only possible route.

    That said, the fungus had to originate somewhere. How did it get into the bag to begin with? I suppose if he, as I do, removed the chanter, blowstick, and/or drones from their stocks, it could provide an entry point for the fungus, but it would also provide an exit for water vapor. That would tend to reduce the damp environment needed for the fungus to flourish.

    Also consider that whatever environment the pipes were in that had the fungal spores, the piper was almost certainly also exposed to. The piper's lungs also had a warm, moist environment, ideal for fungal growth, even more so than the pipes. So, how to tell which was infected first?

    I have not read the study, I don't know how they arrived at their conclusions. Perhaps they conducted an in-depth DNA analysis of the fungal cultures and identified which was the source population based on rate of mutation since the populations diverged.

    I do know that finding the same microorganisms in a man's lungs and in a bagpipe that he played is an example of correlation, and that causation does not necessarily follow.
    Last edited by KD Burke; 26th August 16 at 03:23 AM. Reason: spelling
    'A damned ill-conditioned sort of an ape. It had a can of ale at every pot-house on the road, and is reeling drunk. "

  13. #19
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    Thing is it's a single case.

    The sample size is one.

    Ordinary scientific methodology requires much more than that! A long-term study with a large enough sample size to stand up to scrutiny.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  14. #20
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    Physicians have a habit of speaking with great authority even when their opinions are seldom supported by rigorous scientific methodology.
    'A damned ill-conditioned sort of an ape. It had a can of ale at every pot-house on the road, and is reeling drunk. "

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