And now, the story of Dr. Daniel Reardon, a presumably smart person (he’s an astrophysicist) who nevertheless managed to get a bunch of magnets stuck up his nose while trying to help humanity remember not to touch its face.
“I have some electronic equipment but really no experience or expertise in building circuits or things,” he told Guardian Australia.
“I had a part that detects magnetic fields. I thought that if I built a circuit that could detect the magnetic field, and we wore magnets on our wrists, then it could set off an alarm if you brought it too close to your face. A bit of boredom in isolation made me think of that.”
However, the academic realised the electronic part he had did the opposite – and would only complete a circuit when there was no magnetic field present.
“I accidentally invented a necklace that buzzes continuously unless you move your hand close to your face,” he said.
“After scrapping that idea, I was still a bit bored, playing with the magnets. It’s the same logic as clipping pegs to your ears – I clipped them to my earlobes and then clipped them to my nostril and things went downhill pretty quickly when I clipped the magnets to my other nostril.”
Reardon said he placed two magnets inside his nostrils, and two on the outside. When he removed the magnets from the outside of his nose, the two inside stuck together. Unfortunately, the researcher then attempted to use his remaining magnets to remove them.
“At this point, my partner who works at a hospital was laughing at me,” he said. “I was trying to pull them out but there is a ridge at the bottom of my nose you can’t get past.
“After struggling for 20 minutes, I decided to Google the problem and found an article about an 11-year-old boy who had the same problem. The solution in that was more magnets. To put on the outside to offset the pull from the ones inside.
“As I was pulling downwards to try and remove the magnets, they clipped on to each other and I lost my grip. And those two magnets ended up in my left nostril while the other one was in my right. At this point I ran out of magnets.”
Before attending the hospital, Reardon attempted to use pliers to pull them out, but they became magnetised by the magnets inside his nose.
“Every time I brought the pliers close to my nose, my entire nose would shift towards the pliers and then the pliers would stick to the magnet,” he said. “It was a little bit painful at this point.
At this point a trip to the hospital was in the offing, and his partner dutifully took him there. And yes, she was sure to take him to the one that she worked at so that everyone there could laugh at him. His words, not mine.
A couple of doctors were able to remove them, but not before Reardon nearly found himself in more trouble when one of them fell down his throat.
“That could have been a bit of a problem if I swallowed or breathed it in,” he told the Guardian. “But I was thankfully able to lean forward and cough it out.”
He went on to add that, “Needless to say, I am not going to play with the magnets any more.”
And this is how we know he’s smarter than the average bear. I’ve been at this dumb stuff chronicling business plenty long enough to know that saying he’s not going to put himself in this position again is not a needless thing to say.