Fail Of The Week: How Not To Die Of Boredom During Isolation

They say you can’t actually die from boredom, but put a billion or so people into self-isolation, and someone is bound to say, “Hold my beer and watch this.” [Daniel Reardon]’s brush with failure, in the form of getting magnets stuck up his nose while trying to invent a facial touch reminder, probably wasn’t directly life-threatening, but it does underscore the need to be especially careful these days.

The story begins with good intentions and a small stack of neodymium magnets. [Daniel]’s idea for a sensor to warn one of impending face touches was solid: a necklace with magnetic sensors and wristbands studded with magnets. Sounds reasonable enough; one can easily see a compact system that sounds an alarm when a hand subconsciously crosses into the Danger Zone while going in for a scratch. Lacking any experience in circuits, though, [Daniel] was unable to get the thing working, so he started playing with the magnets instead. One thing led to another, and magnets were soon adorning his earlobes, and then his nostrils. Unfortunately, two magnets became locked on either side of his septum, as did two others meant to neutralize the pull of the first pair. So off [Daniel] went to the emergency department for a magnetectomy.

Of course it’s easy to laugh at someone’s misfortune, especially when self-inflicted. And the now-degaussed [Daniel] seems to be a good sport about the whole thing. But the important thing here is that we all do dumb things, and hackers need to be especially careful these days. We often work with sharp, pointy, sparky, toxic, or flammable things, and if we don’t keep our wits about us, we could easily end up in an ER somewhere. Not only does that risk unnecessary exposure to COVID-19, but it also takes medical resources away from people who need it more than you do.

By all means, we should be hacking away these idle hours. Even if it’s not in support of COVID-19 solutions, continuing to do what we do is key to our mental health and well-being. But we also need to be careful, to not stretch dangerously beyond our abilities, and to remember that the safety net that’s normally there to catch us is full of holes now.

Thanks to [] for the tip — you actually were the only one to send this in.

26 thoughts on “Fail Of The Week: How Not To Die Of Boredom During Isolation

  1. YES at the moment you don’t want to do anything might mean you may potentially end up in a hospital – they have enough to do at the moment. but mind you they might get a laugh at your stupidity.

    1. Did he have to run next door to get his neighbour to take him in *knock knock knock* Peddy! *knock knock knock* Peddy! *knock knock knock* Peddy! … I gob bagdeds stug in by dose.

    1. Most people would be surprised how often objects get lodged in the butt to a degree people need medical assistance, and the diversity of said objects. An often occurring explanation involves slipping while nude and falling onto an object, but it’s blatantly obvious the overwhelming majority of objects got stuck in there for sexual reasons.

      Proper treatment depends on having a good idea of the situation and trauma caused, so lying is a stupid thing to do. Doctors have seen it all and don’t care about your bedroom habits. They do care about proper treatment. Be honest, no matter how embarrassing the truth is. That goes for other forms of treatment too!

      1. Like the guy with a light bulb up his bum. Had to be removed via dilation and carefully super gluing a suction cup to the bulb then very gently pulling until it popped out. The glue was required because the grip on the bulb was still tight enough the suction cup would pop loose. From a 101 things removed from the human body list, with detailed info on each one. IIRC only most of them were anally lodged. Some were naturally grown, such as a fetus in fetu. I don’t think it had teeth in the brain, which have been found in rare tumors called teratomas. I know it didn’t have this crazy one.

        But the whopper of a topper was concrete. Two gay men, a funnel, and a bag of ready mix didn’t mix too well. Yes, it had a photo of the extracted casting.

        1. Hadn’t heard of the light bulb one that could have gone from a bad night to death quickly altough I know about those teratomas which are nearly as facinating as cimerism(two sets of dna) but the concrete one must of hurt really bad and caused permanant burns I suspect a large amount of intestine would have been removed. Makes you wonder how many people don’t relise not only heat from setting but also the caustic nature of concrete make this unwise to get on the skin let alone up there, still have trouble even after many years of understanding the logic process of that one.

    1. I was trying to construct a joke like that, it wasn’t quite working, too long winded “If he was an Engineer he’d be in the burns ward because…”

      I flatter myself that should that have happened to me (I can’t imagine how.) that I’ve had got them out myself, with liberal application of vaseline and lassoing with zipties or something.

      1. During the course of extraction, one magnet slipped in farther and out the back of his nasal cavity but the patient was able to lean forward and spit it out before it went down his trachea or esophagus.

        I bet there’s nobody else on the planet who can say they stuffed four magnets up their nose and spit one out.

        Swallowing just one magnet or 2+ (if stuck together) would generally not be a problem because they’d pass through the GI tract. What has caused problems is swallowing one magnet followed by another magnet or a ferrous item some time later. As the two go through the small intestine they may come close enough to stick together then eventually the pressure will either cut through the intestinal wall or it will restrict blood flow to the pressed area. The loss of blood flow causes the pressed area to die, with all the badness that comes from that. The Rose Art company had to recall a magnetic building toy set because the high strength magnets were not secured very well in the plastic parts, and several children were injured by swallowing two or more magnets at different intervals.

        Parenting fail. Don’t allow kids at the stuff everything in their mouth stage to have toys with small parts that may detach, especially if they haven’t yet been broken of attempting to break all their toys. My parents emphasized that if I broke my toys I wouldn’t get replacements, or more toys. I didn’t break my toys, ever.

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