Cosmetic surgeon will point your ears?

A Dr. Lajos Nagy claims that his cosmetic surgery technique of pointing ears Spock-style can actually "improve the experience of listening to music." According to his Modern Plastic Surgey website, Nagy practices cosmetic surgery in New York City but will soon introduce his "Music Faun" method in his native Hungary. I've seen extreme body mod practitioners with pointed ears but I'm not entirely convinced that a licensed surgeon would publicly offer such a service (yet). From Nagy's Web site:

Why are pointed ears more sensitive?

One of its reasons is rather simple: pointed ears focus sounds in a better way, which, in the case of animals, is supplemented by the fact that they can orientate themselves towards the source of sounds without turning their heads, by moving only their ears.

The other reason is the own frequency of the pinnae, as being solid objects themselves, which changes together with their shape. Pointed ears resonate with sounds at the frequency of around 8 kHz, thus they amplify sharp sounds instead of the intermediate frequencies. This is the reason why, amongst other things, dogs are sensitive to ultrasonic sounds, which are imperceptible for human ears.

Although turning the pinnae still remains impossible for human beings according to its anatomic features, the advantages of pointed ears can be enjoyed once again with the help of a simple, routine operation.

Be the next to sharpen your hearing!
Link (via The Presurfer)

UPDATE: As suspected, this is likely a hoax. Check the comments. Link

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  1. C’mon, guys, look at the highlights in her hair. Those two pictures were taken about 10 seconds apart, and the one with her smiling was photoshopped.

    Bill.

  2. I suspect that his claims of improving hearing are about as valid as the claims made for Pear stereo system cables.

  3. it’s important to note:

    this procedure will NOT make you hear better, just different. It’s akin to wearing tinted glasses or cupping your hand over your ear. All it does is change the prevalent frequencies you hear.

    Plus, Orientate is not a word. Just like commentate is not a word. You can orient your ears, and you can comment on a sporting event.

  4. I agree with point number 2. He is a medical quack doctor, not an acoustician. Also, what makes 8000 Hz so special, when the human range of hearing is 20 to 20,000 Hz?

  5. Clearly if my ears resonated at 8khz I’d be able to better hear sounds over 20khz. Among other reasons.

  6. Sounds like quackery to me. And improving one’s sensitivity to higher pitches is a really bad idea. I’m sensitive to higher pitches than most people and it makes urban living agony — old CRTs and badly maintained car brakes are like daggers in my hears.

  7. This surgery is totally bogus unless they can point your eyebrows too.

    Remember how lame it was for the first two years when T’Pol didn’t have pointy eyebrows?

  8. I’m calling shenanigans, based on the following:

    1) The clinic in Hungary does not open until 1/8/08.

    2) Dr. Lajos Nagy is supposedly performing this operation in New York right now (on “over 1,000 ears”), but I can find no evidence of a Lajos Nagy practicing in NY.

    3) If the pairs of sample photos were really taken four weeks apart, I’ll eat any of my various hats.

    4) The header images are stock photos: compare this to this stock image.

    5) About 2/3 of the original content on the site is devoted to the ear-pointing technique; the many other services Dr. Nagy provides get barely a paragraph apiece.

    Sorry, wanna-be Spocks and Elronds; this is a hoax.

  9. What all of you nay-sayers are missing is the obvious joy this procedure has brought to this young woman. Look at her smile in the second picture fer cryin’ out loud!

  10. Only contact info besides mail is a cell phone, domain was registered three weeks ago… so I think it does have a hoaxy smell to it.

    If it hadn’t been for the whole Vulcan/elf-thing, I could actually imagining having a pair of those.

  11. Anybody proficient in Photoshop could recognize this simple photo-manipulation. As Bill Owens pointed out (#1): the girl’s hair is exactly the same in both photos – impossible in a real life pre-op/post-op situation.

  12. I have seen a person with this mod, in the early-mid 90s in SF. (She said she was a radio host in LA (?) and her nome de émission was “The Wood Nymph”.

    100% true. The effect distracting and … pleasing.

    Yes, they were “real”, not glueon.

    .max

  13. also, as is stated in that bme link, the process of ear pointing is reductive, and doesn’t add any height to the ear, which is what appears to be happening in some of the ‘sample’ pictures

  14. 1913 Webster ‘orientate’:
    1. To place or turn toward the east; to cause to assume an easterly direction, or to veer eastward.

  15. @ #5:
    orientate
    Main Entry:
    ori·en·tate
    Pronunciation:
    \ˈȯr-ē-ən-ˌtāt, -ˌen-\
    Function:
    verb
    Inflected Form(s):
    ori·en·tat·ed; ori·en·tat·ing
    Date:
    1848
    intransitive verb : to face or turn to the east transitive verb : orient

    Main Entry:
    com·men·tate
    Pronunciation:
    \ˈkä-mən-ˌtāt\
    Function:
    verb
    Inflected Form(s):
    com·men·tat·ed; com·men·tat·ing
    Etymology:
    back-formation from commentator
    Date:
    1794
    transitive verb: to give a commentary onintransitive verb: to comment in a usually expository or interpretive manner; also : to act as a commentator

    Check out http://www.m-w.com if you need anything else cleared up.

  16. These are definitely photoshopped. In the second row of pictures, the hairstyles are exactly the same. Compare how the hair lies in the ponytail indentically in both pictures on the left. And on the right the curls on his neck are identical. If, as the descriptive text says, it takes 3-4 weeks for the swelling to go away, then their hair styles would be noticeably different after that period of time just from hair growth.

    Another nice touch is how all the sets of pictures have a t-shirt in shot, and another layer over it in the second.

  17. Orientate and commentate can both be found in dictionaries, but so can supercede and bloodred. Reference books aren’t handed down by God Almighty.

  18. This is a viral marketing campaign for…something.

    This has been circulating around Hungary for the past three days and has already been called out as Megabullshitbombát. The guy who owns that domain also owns a marketing and advertising agency.

  19. No, dictionaries aren’t handed down by God Almighty. They are handed down by the usages of English speakers. If people use a word, it’s a word. If they use it enough, it will get into a dictionary. Errors that make their way into usage have exactly as much legitimacy as any other words. Dictionaries are descriptive, not prescriptive.

  20. Knowledgeable English speakers agree: orientate and commentate are really dumb words.

  21. As already stated repeatedly above this case is a hoax and a fairly obvious one. However, ear pointing is real and relatively easy to have done by various practioners (not doctors). It has been available for years and there is good documentation of it which runs counter to almost every claim on this hoax site.

  22. I love that people are citing dictionary definitions for “orientate” and completely ignoring the fact that the definition is highly specific, and does not match up with the way the word is used on this web site (or any of the other times its used as a BS substitution for “orient”). The next time someone actually uses “orientate” to refer to pointing something in easterly direction, I’ll happily acknowledge that they’re being correct. Using it in place of “orient” remains a mistake, however.

  23. Yeah this is more than likely a hoax…but if it wasn’t, who in the world would want pointed ears? They look hideous :D

  24. …Bah. Give me a 30-second permanent penis enlargement technique, and *then* I and the SO will be impressed :p

  25. modblog.bmezine.com has photos of this procedure being done on real people. The ears are not extended, just cut and sewn pointed.

  26. I don’t care if it’s a hoax or not, I’m doing it!

    You see, I missed the tattoo and body-piercing crazes, but goddammit, I ain’t missing the boat on this one!

  27. “ORIENT n. + -ATE suffix3, perh. after ORIENTATION n. Cf. slightly earlier ORIENTATOR n.
    More commonly used in British English than orient, while the latter is the more freq. of the two in American English. Orientate is commonly regarded as an incorrect usage in American English.
    1. intr. To turn or face towards a specified direction; spec. to turn to the east; = ORIENT v. 1c. Freq. with to, toward.” Earliest usage:1848
    “2. trans.
    a. fig. To put (oneself) in the right position, esp. in relation to unfamiliar surroundings; to give direction to, guide; to tailor or adapt to specified circumstances; = ORIENT v. 2.” Earliest usage:1866
    “b. To align or position something relative to the point of a compass or some other specified position; = ORIENT v. 1b.” Earliest usage:1880

    This is from the Oxford English Dictionary (a subscription might be required for the etymology aspect online, I don’t for sure and I don’t know how to link). I just can’t stay out of a word fight, and I know that sometimes usages are different between the US and England. Sounds like the fight is one of those.

  28. To those who think that this is plausible enough to warrant doubt, I invite you to reconsider:
    “A sign of the popularity of this operation is that in big cities so-called Faun-Clubs are founded one after another, where entrance is only allowed with pointed ears. The reverberating success of this new look is supported by more and more celebrities with pointed ears, amongst whom we can find not only musicians, but, for example, models, as well.”

  29. “Orientate and commentate can both be found in dictionaries, but so can supercede and bloodred. Reference books aren’t handed down by God Almighty.”

    Neither are blog comments by amateur grammarians!

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