Pre-magnet questions
  • RutherfordRutherford September 2016
    Hi all, it's a delight to finally be part of this community. Long-time lurker, recent member.

    I first discovered the idea of magnetic implants about a year ago, and for the past nine months (off and on, longest continuous period was 3 months) I've had a small neodymium magnet glazed to the top of my fingernail. It's far from perfect – the sensitivity is barely there, and it migrates as the nail grows and needs to be reattached further up – but it's been enough to convince me that I absolutely need to get an implant. I don't want to rush into anything however, this being surgery, so I had a couple of questions before I go ahead.

    I'm in Cornwall, UK, and I can't find anyone nearby who can perform the procedure. I might not be looking in the right places, but if anyone knows of (and can vouch for) somewhere near me I'd love to know. If not, I'm prepared to commute within the UK if anyone could recommend someone.

    I'm also not ruling out performing the procedure myself, however I'd save this for a last resort, partly from an m31 sourcing perspective, but partly just because I'm not confident in my ability to perform surgery safely. I have only very basic medical knowledge and no training, nor access to a sterile environment.

    Also, how delicate are the magnets once implanted? Regarding things like rock climbing, I recognise there are potential concerns, but in day-to-day life how often do you have to stop yourself from doing something which could damage the implant?

    Sidenote: the thing that convinced me I needed an implant was a trip to Sweden at the beginning of this year. I'd had the magnet on my nail for about three months, the only effect being that I could roughly locate magnets from ~1cm away, on the side of iPads and such – I was pretty much convinced that the fingernail would block any field sensing. Until it transpired that whenever the aurora borealis was visible (and for about five minutes beforehand) I could feel it as a slightly warm sensation in my fingertip. Decent early warning system, I got some great photos as a result of knowing when the lights were going the be out before anyone else did. If anyone else has had a similar experience I'd be interested to hear it.
  • DmLawrenceDmLawrence September 2016
    I cannot speak for locating someone but I can say that you can make any room in your home ready for something like this. It will require you to clean the area very thoroughly prior to the procedure.

    I find it interesting you can feel the aurora borealis before it happens. I wonder what other natural events could be felt prior to their happening.
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul September 2016
    we have free runners, i believe theres a rock climber, guitar players, and pots and pan smashers (do a quick search for that one ;) ) from my understanding they hold up. 

    that doesn't mean you should smash your finger though.
  • MeanderpaulMeanderpaul September 2016
    technically it is a magnetic storm...i guess
  • rpykarpyka September 2016
    Have you checked out the Dangerous Things partner map? Looks like there are a few professionals in the UK who can do magnets. You might have to travel a couple hundred miles, but I don't think that's unusual (the "close" professional I just found is 250 miles from me.)

    Also, my experience with the professionals I've gone to is that they have parylene magnets around, or might have Steve Haworth magnets, but if you want a TiN magnet (like the m31) you'll need to bring your own.

    As for how delicate they are, I've had mine a few years and haven't had any major issues. I tape up my fingers before doing heavy lifting (advice from someone else with magnets who does rock climbing) but otherwise they don't really get in the way of anything I do. I've definitely had my magnet fingers get tender sometimes after a lot of use, but that passes pretty quickly and only happens with a lot of use.
  • RutherfordRutherford September 2016
    Thank you for your replies, I'm somewhat clearer on where I stand now. Sounds like I can be confident I'm not going to accidentally shatter the magnet, which is ideal.

    I'd not seen the Dangerous Things map before, cheers for the link – I have ties to North Devon so I might try Nicholas Pinch (Voodoo Body Piercing) unless anyone has recommendations otherwise. I'll ask about magnet stock just in case, but from what I gather I'd be best suited waiting for m31s as opposed to parylene for long-term implantation.

    As for the aurora, it's pretty much just a giant geomagnetic storm, which I was pretty close to – 68° North following a fairly large solar flare, about as strong as it gets.