Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

The Knack


I never did much with explosives but seeing that I did not get the chemistry set I wanted as a youngster, I would take household chemicals and mix them, boil them, anything I could think of to see reactions. Please keep the latent effects of my 'experiments' in mind if I say something stupid in my comments. devilsadvocate
Gil, (I prefer "Douglas". It's more "musical", it takes more effort to say and use, and it sounds less like "ugh", than "Doug". Thanks.) Hey, I had a brief period where I was into toy rockets. Used to shoot them up in my back yard. I don't remember what all was the point, since we couldn't measure which went highest, but it was way cool. (Mostly balsa rockets, I think.) Douglas
Doug, Back in those days the development of rockets was considered to be the apogee of scientific creativity. It was no big deal to experiment with this stuff. That's why to this day we refer to "rocket science" as the most challenging form of science, because it's really difficult to get it right, and the consequences of getting it wrong are catastrophic, as in the space-shuttle disasters. Check out the movie October Sky. GilDodgen
Another fun thing to do with them was to unwrap a cake and break off small pieces up to the size of pea, place it on the sidewalk, put a small flat rock over it, and stomp on it. The larger size pieces would launch you a foot or so up in the air.
LOL! Sounds pretty risky. Jehu
You guys are scary. But in a non-threatening way. Douglas
I grew up near a railroad and we used to liberate what we called "torpedos" from unguarded cabooses. These were cakes of dynamite about the size & thickness of a paper matchbook. They were wrapped in a wax coated paper and had a thin lead band through them. They were used as signalling devices. They were laid on the rail and the lead band wrapped under the rail. Then when a train rolled over it it would explode loud enough to be heard even over the engine noise. Tacking them to a tree and detonating them with a .22 calibre rifle was fun but perhaps my favorite treatment was unwrapping about 25 of them and rewrapping the explosive in a ball of aluminum foil then wrapping that with electrical tape. I placed the package on a huge flat rock the size & thickness of a piano with another flat rock as big as I could carry on top of the package. It was directly underneath a railroad trestle such that I could aim and drop a third rock onto the setup below. It blew the underlying rock into many pieces and raised a good amount of rock higher than the trestle (25 feet up). Another fun thing to do with them was to unwrap a cake and break off small pieces up to the size of pea, place it on the sidewalk, put a small flat rock over it, and stomp on it. The larger size pieces would launch you a foot or so up in the air. DaveScot
My father, whom I admire greatly. GilDodgen
I was a precocious child as well, and apparently inherited my dad's bomb-making genes. In the seventh grade I invented and made a flame-thrower composed of a propane torch, glass tubing, rubber tubing, a three-hole stopper, and a glass container filled with gasoline. I also experimented with a wide variety of homemade rockets (most either blew up on the launch pad or fizzled, so I guess that's why they call it rocket science) and a wide variety of explosive devices. Back in those days you could get all the necessary ingredients at the local pharmacy, by mail order, or from my dad's lab, and if you had the necessary knowledge of basic chemistry you could do some really cool stuff. Kids can't have this kind of fun any longer, although I'll admit that I'm very lucky I didn't blow myself into smithereens. GilDodgen
Is that the voice of Seinfeld's David Puddy (Patrick Warburton) as the Dr.? Charlie
I laughed out loud. Funny. JGuy
"There, there..." Ha! Egads, he's an engineer! That was funny. Dilbert on the loose, watch out PZ Meyers. Something else is on the loose too. It appears fine war correspondant Michael Fumento has noticed NYT and media don't report the whole truth in regards to stems cells either. Go figure, another omission of truth for readers not to see. Some people, just have the Knack. Dr. Atala featured again, truth be told, good reporting from Fumento... http://www.fumento.com/biotech/stemcell2007.html
"Nicholas Wade kept the Atala story entirely out of the New York Times. It's part of an ongoing effort at the Grey Lady to keep readers in the dark about the wonders of non-embryonic stem cells and the diseases they cure and treat while exaggerating any advance (or non-advance) in the embryonic variety."
That's funny. Atom
DaveScott: It was kind of a term of endearment really. As an airplane mechanic I used to work with once told me regarding the operation of aircraft: "The PhDs conceive 'em, the Masters degrees design 'em, the Bachelors' degrees fly 'em and the high school grads fix 'em" I was in the last category at the time and even now, have a thoroughly in check ego. ;) russ
LOL tribune7
russ Put wings on a Greyhound bus and the driver all of a sudden gets a superiority complex. I shudder to think what's going to happen now that you guys are carrying sidearms too. "Ladies and gentlemen this is your Captain Ralph "Rambo" Cramden..." :lol: DaveScot
I'm an airline pilot. Years ago, my employer at the time flew between Los Angeles and an airport near China Lake N.A.S., where lots of military testing/research went on. We routinely referred to our passengers on these flights as "The Pocket Protector" crowd. I wonder if any of you were them? ;) russ
Yeah, I figured that would strike a few chords in this joint. Half of the authors and plenty of the commenters here are engineers. One of my daughters sent me an email with the link and a teaser: "Dad, someone made a documentary about you." DaveScot
HAHAHA!! My life in a nutshell. shaner74

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