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The Emperor of Scrounge: A tenured professor becomes a Dumpster diver

A mattress and box springs stacked near a curb catch the professor’s eye. There is some scrap metal on top of the mattress, along with a few sticks of discarded lumber. He reaches into his pocket and retrieves the small, round magnet attached to his key chain. “This,” he says, “is a scrounger’s most important tool.” If the magnet is attracted to the metal, then it’s probably iron and therefore…