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This is a question Pointless Experiments

Pavlov's Frog writes: I once spent 20 minutes with my eyes closed to see what it was like being blind. I smashed my knee on the kitchen cupboard, and decided I'd be better off deaf as you can still watch television.

(, Thu 24 Jul 2008, 12:00)
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We had this ancient gas cooker that didn't have the sort of modern sparky ignition thing to light the hobs. Instead it had this little hand-held lighter that ran from the mains but wouldn't burn your hands like a dwindling match might. Kind of like a mains-gas cigarette lighter. It was pretty cool - you'd light it with a match and get a flame about 2-3 inches high.

So I'm about age 14 and in the middle of my *really big pyro phase* and this gets me thinking. Bubble mix. Plastic Deodorant lid.... Flaming bubbles FTW!.

So I make a hole in the lid of the can, pop it over the 'lance' like end of the lighter so I can get a nice film of bubble-mix and dip it into a bowl full of Woolworth's finest. It worked. I mean it really worked; I kinda thought it might but the bubbles were incredible. You'd press the button and the bubble would emerge quickly and neatly. It was easy enough to get into the air (where it sort of rose) and then—when you lit the mini tranparent zeppelin with a burning match the slow-motion fireball was just beautiful. For the record a 2" bubble gives a round flame of about 15". Yay!!!!

Got away with not burning down the kitchen (a miracle); Sadly never had the prescence of thought to do it at night and get photos. Damnation! We got a new(er) cooker later that year so the experiment was never to be repeated, though typing this and knowing there's a gas cooker just one flight of stairs down (I'm 34 now) is tingling my senses! Just. Need. Some. Flexible. Pipe.

Other highlights from this pyro phase:
1) Unfurling the tape from a whole VCR tape into a bin. Light. Watch how fast (literally about a second) it turns into a pile of chrome-dioxide ash. Flame was about 5" high.

2) Making 'explosive putty' by mixing turps with flour and attaching blobs to things. It didn't explode and was a monomentally crap experiment.

3) Trying to set a field of dry, ripe wheat alight on hot day in high summer. God knows how I failed but thank god I did. What WAS I thinking?

4) Burning pools of lighter fluid on the draining board at a friends house, getting caught, and really having no fathomable excuse for such a betrayal of trust.

5) Not quite pyro this one but it involves cookers. Poking finger into ignition-spark of gas hob in School Home Economics lesson. Flew back about 4 feet. Thought I'd been punched in the back and not in fact touched the spark. I had. It was kind of a rush to be honest.

6) Sellotaping mini-rockets to matchbox car roofs and sending them down the street. They generally don't go far, opting instead to make smoky 1440° doughnuts as you run away hoping not to get caught in the explosive crescendo. I really had it in for my dinky cars for some reason.

Length? It's all about the width and veininess...
(, Sat 26 Jul 2008, 0:39, 1 reply)
A science teacher at school showed us the bubbles one once
No educational reason, she just thought it looked pretty.
(, Sat 26 Jul 2008, 21:46, closed)

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