Saturday, 15 December 2012

Darwin Award 2012 Still In Play...

...only thanks to the surgeons, mind you:
A fashion craze almost cost a teenage boy his life after he swallowed the magnetic tongue studs he was wearing.
Michael Delaney, 15, was only hours from death and needed surgery when the studs, which are much more powerful than ordinary magnets, began making holes in his digestive system.
Yes. We've been here before! Albeit at least those weren't actually designed to be put in the mouth!
Last night Michael’s family issued a warning to youngsters to be aware of the danger if they were to swallow the studs, which are freely available in Britain. They are popular because they allow teenagers to look as if they have had a piercing without incurring the wrath of their parents.
It'd be safer to have the piercing done, no matter how strict your parents!

9 comments:

Demetrius said...

Where are they supposed to go? Surely not.........

Twenty_Rothmans said...

It must be Christmas, for I'll cut this lad some slack. In mitigation:
* he is 15
* he is from Manchester
* he did not have the piercing done for him illegally or by himself
* "Michael’s family issued a warning" - they did not ask for Nazi paedo magnets to be banned or for compensation

I think that everyone's entitled to be a bit of a dick at that age, and he didn't hurt anyone else. He's given himself a fright too, I expect, which might make him treat his mortality with reverence.

If you want a Darwin story, here's a nice one with a different ending. This too, is a 15 year old.
A teenage boy has died while driving a car being pursued by police.

The Metropolitan Police said officers in a marked car tried to get a Nissan Micra to pull over at 00:28 GMT in Carlton Vale, north-west London.

The driver died when the car crashed into a tree at the junction of Brondesbury Park and Honeyman Close, in Kilburn.

The boy, who was in the car with three other males, is believed to have been aged 15.


I hope the tree is okay.

Predictably:
"Officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards are investigating and the case has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission."
Who's complaining? The only pity was that it was a 25% clearup rate.


Anonymous said...

I think 20R you will find a different spin on this story.His parents (re-united for the press conference) will be crying, holding a picture of him when he was 8 years old (the last time he went to school),saying "he was a loveable rogue,he didn't deserve this,why didn't the police just leave him alone?,he was good to his old nan" etc etc.
The PC's in the car however will be put through the grinder.Their lives will be turned upside down just for doing their jobs.A legion of desk-jockies will be trying to find the tiniest faults in their actions.
Good luck to them.
Jaded

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX The driver died when the car crashed into a tree XX

RESULT!!!

The gene pool is a little less polluted!! :-))

Hope the tree is O.K.

John Pickworth said...

It'd be safer to have the piercing done, no matter how strict your parents!

Or better still, they could just stop poking holes in things to impress their peers.

Twenty_Rothmans said...

@ Anonymous

Oh, yes, I have seen the tributes to lovable rogues. Arrse used to do a line in them. In addition, Farsebook memorials have been created for innocent trees violently struck by the Asbonese.

Whilst police do require scrutiny (without it, you end up with the New South Wales Police Force), it's hard to see why it is needed here.

Able said...

What I think is that this just some more 'scare hyperbole'.

Checked the literature and whilst rare earth magnets are considerably stronger than ferrite magnets the evidence is that there is no unusual reaction with digestive acids. What harm can be caused is caused when/if the magnets pinch a section of tissue.

The article uses words like 'burrowing' and 'ripping' (total rubbish) and 'four hours from death' (if any doctor really said so then they should be sued, consider gastric ulcers, cancers etc. and then they claim to be able to time a death caused by pinched tissue?!?).

A general warning (as I can only find one other case of major complications) but that's all. His 'fifteen minutes of fame' but is it really necessary to make so hysterical a claim?

Twenty_Rothmans said...

@Able

In this case, for once, I don't think there is that much hyperbole.

Recalling our old friend F=M^2/r^2 for two similar magnets, we see that M' and M'' fall into a positive feedback loop as soon as F is great enough to overcome any resistance. That's why magnets like to *snap* together so satisfyingly.

Captured together, and remember R is very low now, in the delicate lumen of the bowel, not only do these magnets have a lot of shit trying to unmate them, there's peristalsis, wearing away at the weakest point holding the balls apart.

I'd suggest that this was a rare occurrence as normally, you'd swallow both balls simultaneously (they always do on redtube) and they remain in a bolus until their eventual expulsion.

Perhaps the message should be that swallowing one ball is fine, just spit the other out and don't swallow any more balls until you have shat one out.

But that's a bit of a mouthful.

JuliaM said...

"It must be Christmas, for I'll cut this lad some slack...If you want a Darwin story, here's a nice one with a different ending."

Oddly enough, I've just written up a similar post, albeit with a much older Darwin Contender...

"The PC's in the car however will be put through the grinder.Their lives will be turned upside down just for doing their jobs.A legion of desk-jockies will be trying to find the tiniest faults in their actions."

Sadly, I suspect you're right.

"Checked the literature and whilst rare earth magnets are considerably stronger than ferrite magnets the evidence is that there is no unusual reaction with digestive acids. What harm can be caused is caused when/if the magnets pinch a section of tissue."

That's been the case with all the others. I guess that didn't sound scary enough!