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This is a question Home Science

Have you split the atom in your kitchen? Made your own fireworks? Fired a bacon rocket through your window?
We love home science experiments - tell us about your best, preferably with instructions.

Extra points for lost eyebrows / nasal hair / limbs

(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 17:25)
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Putting the 'Ooooh' in 'Tenuous'
It was a dark winter's evening a few years ago. Mrs Costas and I had just battled through the usual hour-long struggle to convince our 4 year-old daughter that it was her bedtime. You know the drill; We'd been through "But I'm not tired", "Can I have a glass of water/milk/gin?", "I've tried to go to sleep for five minutes now" and "But I want to stay down here with you, what are you doing?". We'd assured her that she was tired, that she'd already drunk enough to drown a million bedbugs, that it might take longer than five minutes to fall asleep and that we were doing nothing of interest downstairs, just boring grown-up stuff like eating tea and watching TV. Finally, she gave up and turned in for the night.

As we tiptoed back to the living room, Mrs Costas had an idea. "Why don't we light that candle? It'll make the room smell nice" (we'd just moved in, and so everything smelt of a dog that'd been licking the bottom of Pete Doherty's fridge). "Great idea! I'll get the matches! Oh balls. I have no idea where they are" I replied (most of the house was still neatly packed into boxes with helpful labels like 'Breakable' - Rather a broad category, since everything's breakable if you've got a free weekend and a big enough hammer).

It was time to get resourceful. We must be able to get a flame somehow, we thought. But of course! We'll light a bit of paper on the cooker, then use it to light the candle. A great idea, were it not for that fact that it was an electric cooker.

I refused to be beaten by this minor setback. I think it must've been an evolutionary thing - Once man want fire, man not give up 'til man get fire (or tea get cold and man miss first bit of Poirot). I remembered that the previous occupants had left behind a few things, including a box of old fireworks. I fetched the box out and had a good rummage. Huzzah! I found pack of sparklers.

The experiment was on. Could we light a sparkler from an electric hob? Mrs Costas and I took one each, turned the hob on full blast and pressed the business ends of our sparklers firmly against the blistering heat.

Nothing happened.

Then - PFFFFTSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!! Success! Almost in unison, our sparklers caught ablaze. Quickly, I touched mine against the candle and watched with glee as it took light. Man make fire!

It seemed a shame to waste them, so we turned off the kitchen light and spent the next few seconds joyfully writing our names in sparks in the air, celebrating the magic of science.

Then, from the doorway, we heard a little voice.

"What are you doing?"

It took about two years of bedtimes to convince our daughter that Yes, she should go to sleep now and that No, we weren't going to be having any indoor fireworks displays as soon as she'd gone to bed.
(, Sat 11 Aug 2012, 10:14, 20 replies)

(, Sat 11 Aug 2012, 11:30, closed)
(, Sat 11 Aug 2012, 11:47, closed)
You can imagine the thought process
(, Sat 11 Aug 2012, 11:54, closed)
(, Sat 11 Aug 2012, 12:06, closed)
"but we always do this when you go to bed"
"and we have a small puppy we kept hidden until you're fast asleep".
(, Sat 11 Aug 2012, 12:53, closed)

(, Sat 11 Aug 2012, 13:16, closed)
I didn't want to like this becaues it's too nice.
But you have me grinning like a loon, you git.
(, Sat 11 Aug 2012, 15:46, closed)
^ What ummm....
Shim said.
EDIT: Maybe making a treat of having sparklers before bed once or twice a week may have alleviated some of the stress after the 1st time.
I know, see that open barn door, note the lack of horse...
(, Sat 11 Aug 2012, 22:16, closed)
"everything smelt of a dog that'd been licking the bottom of Pete Doherty's fridge"
I have no idea what that smell would be, but as a phrase it's hilarious

also lovely story - the poor wee little girl!
(, Sat 11 Aug 2012, 22:16, closed)

Likkle girl is right and awesome!!!!
(, Sat 11 Aug 2012, 22:31, closed)

Years of reading and answering hundreds of questions then, just when QOTW is at a low point, this perfect anecdote validates all our aspirations and proves once and for all the value of this site in all our bookmarks.

Thank you, fine sir.
(, Sat 11 Aug 2012, 23:13, closed)
This is a gorgeous story.
Good to see some actually decent tales this week!
(, Sun 12 Aug 2012, 6:45, closed)
Excellent story, brilliantly told. Have a click!!!

(, Sun 12 Aug 2012, 11:43, closed)
Works for me...
(, Sun 12 Aug 2012, 12:15, closed)
I like this

(, Sun 12 Aug 2012, 14:30, closed)
ace story, lovely.
(, Sun 12 Aug 2012, 15:47, closed)

(, Sun 12 Aug 2012, 19:36, closed)
Next time, nip out to your shed for your indoor fireworks, safely away from prying eyes.

(, Mon 13 Aug 2012, 10:21, closed)
Excellent. :-)
(, Mon 13 Aug 2012, 13:20, closed)
I signed in to like this.

(, Tue 14 Aug 2012, 15:40, closed)

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