By Cory Doctorow at 2:57 pm Mon, Feb 18, 2008
Just what I need to make my house look even more disheveled.
New dad Cory hasn’t yet been briefed on the dangers of magnets. It freaks me out (says not Too Old Dad Glenn, father of 2). The NY Times recently had a story headlined something like: Swallowed 1 magnet? Ok. 2? The E.R.
Aw, c’mon. These are mad cool and I would definitely put them in my house. Just, y’know, high enough that the kid couldn’t get to ’em.
I cannot believe that swallowing a magnet could have a negative affect vs a ball-bearing of the same size. Citation Needed.
It’s that second magnet that does you in (or, I imagine, a magnet plus any ferrous metal bit, such as your ball bearing). As they pass through the twisty turns of the intestines, they can connect and pinch tissue together, causing blockages, tissue death and all sorts of internal mayhem.
Child’s Death Prompts Replacement Program of Magnetic Building Sets
1)Is there a market for these?
And yet, they feed big-ass magnets to cows.
Cows, like toddlers, sometimes eat strange things. Cows, unlike toddlers, don’t have a parent keeping an eye on this sort of thing. Also cows don’t wise up as they grow up. They eat all kinds of metallic and potentially dangerous junk. So the trick is to feed them a big old magnet and to collect all the metal stuff.
I am so not making this up. I shit you not.
I have some cow magnets I bought at a local feed store. Great fun. Even outside the cow.
Mainly, farmers use this to protect the cows digestion system – wtih chambered stomachs, they stay in the first, trapping baling wire and the like, so it doesn’t go further into the digestive system.
Children down’t have chambered stomachs, so when they swallow more than one small magnet, there is the potential for them to stick together, even with tissue and whatnot in between.
There seems to be an urban legend (myth?) concerning cow magnets improving gas mileage. I guess you’re supposed to align them in a certain way along the fuel line which is supposed to rearrange the fuel molecules. OK – I have no idea really, but some good ol’ boy told me all about it while watching me change my car battery in a parking lot. He swore by it, but I never tried it.
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