Posts tagged ‘magnetic’

Dogs Poop in Alignment with Earth’s Magnetic Field

By Chad Upton | Editor

In case you don’t know, the Earth is basically one giant magnet. That’s why a compass always points to magnetic North. This is extremely useful for navigation and other location based activities.

Apparently, dogs also find it useful for pooping.

Dog Hydrant

Photo: Scott Spaeth (cc)

Scientists recently published a paper describing their observations and analysis of the direction that dogs poop. For two years they monitored 70 dogs and recorded the axis upon which they defecate. (more…)

March 27, 2014 at 11:00 am 9 comments

How to Fix a Stubborn Credit Card

By Chad Upton | Editor

Have you ever worn out a magnetic card? You can ask your bank for a new one but it usually takes a few days. In the meantime, you can put a piece of clear tape or use some receipt paper from the cashier to cover the magnetic stripe while the card is swiped.

Usually, the cashier will do this for you, but if not then you can ask them to try it. Some may even use a plastic bag, but any thin barrier may work. Be sure it’s very thin so it doesn’t get jammed in the card reader.

Many people know about this little trick; the real secret is why it works… (more…)

April 13, 2012 at 2:00 am 5 comments

Do Hotel Key Cards Contain Personal Info?

By Chad Upton | Editor

I’ve been saving hotel key cards for years because I want to see exactly what is on them.

Years ago, somebody told me that hotel room access cards contained personal info and credit card data. The rumor was that this info was necessary for you to charge items to your room during your stay.

I recently got my hands on a magnetic card reader and started swiping all my old cards. The results fit into three categories.

1. 77% of all the cards could not be read at all. This should not be a surprise to anyone who has ever stayed in a hotel with magnetic card keys; some are notoriously poor at holding their magnetic charge. Another reason they may appear blank is that some systems use non-standard data encoding which make it difficult for an ISO card reader to extract information. Whether the charge is weak, distorted or proprietary, specialized card readers may be able to extract data from these cards. Still, that data would likely fall into one of the two following categories. (more…)

February 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm 13 comments

Stainless Steel Appliances are Not Magnetic

By Kaye Nemec

Stainless steel appliances look great and are very popular. However, you may upgrade without realizing that your magnet will no longer stick to the front of these appliances.

Stainless steel is a general name for a steel alloy that gets mixed with other metals. Because of the various mixtures, some stainless steel products have magnetic properties and some do not.  The metal used for stainless steel appliances typically has a higher level of chromium added to it because chromium gives the steel its durable, stain-resistant properties. Chromium is not the only additive that reduces the alloys magnetic property, the nickel that is added to the steel destroys the metal’s natural magnetic properties.

Nickel is typically added to the stainless steel mixture in order to help enhance the qualities of the chromium and to make the stainless steel even more durable. But, the nickel prevents your appliances from holding your magnets.

Like everything else, there are exceptions to the rule. There are a few appliances that have a thin sheet of stainless over a magnetic metal, allowing these appliances to hold magnets. There are also appliances that simply give the allusion of being stainless steel but are actually made of titanium or painted silver metallic. These faux stainless appliances are still magnetic. If you’re in the market for new appliances, take some magnets shopping with you and test out your future purchase.

Here are some ways you can stick things to your non-magnetic appliances:

  1. If the sides of your stainless steel fridge are exposed try hanging your magnets there. Most appliances are magnetic on the sides even if they’re not on the front.
  2. Use suction cups, putty and other replacements.
  3. Hang a magnetic whiteboard.
  4. Order a Choopa Board suction mounted magnetic stainless panel for your appliance.

Magnetic paint is another option. You could paint a small section of a wall where it’s most useful, even in kids rooms. Magnetic paint is available at many hardware stores.

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Sources: Physlink.com, WiseGeek.com , Domestikgoddess.com, ehow.com

September 1, 2010 at 5:00 am 6 comments


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