The Sideshow
  • An X-ray shows the ring of 37 magnets swallowed by Payton Bushnell (KPTV)

    A 3-year-old with curious eating habits is recovering after swallowing 37 high-powered "Buckyballs" magnets. KPTV reports that after she ate them, the magnets formed a dangerous ring inside Payton Bushnell's digestive track, snapping her intestines together and ripping holes in both her small intestine and stomach.

    "They saw a circle had formed in her stomach, and they thought she swallowed a bracelet," Payton's mother, Kelli Bushnell, told the station.

    Buckyballs has released a statement on their website, reading:

    "Buckyballs was saddened to learn that a 3-year old girl in Oregon had swallowed high-powered magnets but we are relieved that she is expected to make a full recovery. This unfortunate incident underscores the fact that Buckyballs and Buckycubes are for adults. They are not toys and are not intended for children. We urge all consumers to read and comply with the warnings we place on all our products, on our website and in stores. Please keep these products out of the hands and reach of all children."

    A recent report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says there have been 22 cases of children swallowing magnets since 2009. And the New York Times reported that while swallowing a single magnet rarely poses problems, swallowing even just two can prove fatal. The Canadian government explains on one of its health information sites that once someone has swallowed more than one magnet, the magnets can literally travel through the intestines until they link up. Along the way, they can create dangerous blockages and even slowly tear through the intestinal walls themselves.

    Needless to say, Payton Bushnell survived, thanks to her doctors at Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel. She's expected to make a full recovery.

    "Her mom and I prayed and hoped she'd get through it," Payton's father, Aaron Bushnell, told KPTV. "It's a miracle she is doing as well as she is."

    Read More »from 3-year-old girl recovering after swallowing 37 high-powered “Buckyballs” magnets
  • The International Space Station has provided many opportunities for looking outward into the undiscovered territory of space. But in this video, the space station offers a unique perspective on one of Earth's greatest visual spectacles: the northern lights.

    "We can actually fly into the auroras [northern and southern lights]," NASA astronaut Don Pettit, a flight engineer for the orbiting lab's current Expedition 30, told Space.com. "It's like being shrunk down and put inside of a neon sign."

    The northern and southern lights, also known as aurora borealises, are caused when sun particles collide with the Earth's atmosphere. The collisions can result in a broad array of colors, depending on how the particles interact with oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere and how high they are at the time of impact. Lower elevation impacts usually result in green lights, while those at a higher atmosphere produce more red results. Nitrogen particles also create blue and purple hues. You can read more about how the different colors are created in this informative post from Causes of Color.

    "Red auroras reach all the way up to our altitude 400 kilometers [240 miles] above Earth," Pettit told Space. "Sometimes you feel like you can reach out and touch them. Green emissions, on the other hand, tend to stay below the space station," he said. "We fly right over them."

    Back in January, we showed you time-lapse photography taken during an especially large solar storm that extended the northern lights' visibility on the ground.

    As beautiful as the northern lights are to watch, they also pose potential risks to our technology-driven world. Scientists recently said there is about a 12 percent chance of a massive solar storm in the next few years that could make the aurora borealis visible "from Manhattan to the Caribbean," according to the New York Daily News. But such a display could wreak havoc on the world's power systems and communications satellites. The last known storm of similar magnitude struck in 1859, causing severe damage to telegraph poles.

    Read More »from Watch the northern lights from the International Space Station (Video)
  • Lilly: hero mutt. (Newsday)

    A Long Island family's dog is being hailed as a four-legged hero after alerting a mother and three children that a fire had broken out in their home.

    Lilly, a one-year-old mixed breed pooch, began barking in the wee hours of Friday morning when smoke began filling the Argento family's Levittown, New York, home. Timothy Argento, who was working in the Bronx at the time of the blaze, told Newsday that his wife, 11-year-old twin daughters and another child escaped without serious injury.

    The cause of the fire was unknown, according to officials in Nassau County.

    The dog was adopted by the Argentos from the North Shore Animal League, which said that it was on a list to be euthanized. But Argento admitted that he didn't want Lilly when the family brought her home.

    "It's funny--the wife brought it home," Argento told the paper. "I didn't want it."

    After the fire, Argento said: "I'm blessed. What can you say? Everyone's OK. Everyone's safe."

    Read More »from Father finally warms up to dog after pup saves family from fire

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