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Ask Maxim: Cell Phones, Poop Smells, and Fainting

Answering all the questions you never knew you had (and some you did).

Can a magnet destroy my cell phone?
—Ryan Cox

Illustrated by Jason Schneider | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013
 
Physics professor Tom Troland at the University of Kentucky tells us that nearly all electronics today have magnets inside them, so the chances are slim that any device would be damaged by them. “But don’t turn this into a science fair project,” he warns. “If you bought the strongest magnet you could afford and put it next to your phone or magnetic-strip credit cards, they could get destroyed.” Sadly, that’s not the reason your card keeps getting declined.
 
Why does the smell of poop linger for so long?
—Eric D.

Illustrated by Jason Schneider | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013
 
’Cause your nose is always looking for that sweet stink. Humans are programmed to recognize the smell of poo. “The ability to sense hydrogen sulfide, the gas produced in feces, is to encourage avoidance of waste, which may carry disease,” explains Marc I. Leavey, M.D., at Mercy Medical Center. And that’s the scoop on poop!
 
Can I faint while sleeping?
—Michael Daigneault


Illustrated by Jason Schneider | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013
 
“No,” says Michael Grandner, Ph.D., clinical psychol­ogist at the University of Pennsylvania. “Sleep is already a state of unconsciousness, so it’s impossible to lose consciousness during it. Even in cases of interrupted breathing, the body triggers responses to reengage the breathing systems.” Pass the smelling salts—we feel lightheaded just thinking about it. 

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