Monday, December 29, 2008

Research: Household Stuff That Blows Up

The cat and I have now watched the entire first season (13 episodes) of Blake's 7.

B7 is an inspiration to me. It looks like the show's special effects budget was ... maybe $3.79 per effect? But that didn't stop them raising big issues, like free will and telepathy and where do you get your hair permed in outer space?
And there are lots of lovely explosions of things that seem to be put together from the kind of bits and pieces you have in your junk drawer that you were saving in case you needed just such a thing but now you've forgotten what purpose they ever could have possibly served.

So, while I'm waiting for my Orestes to be available so I can finish shooting that film, I'm inspired to try my hand at Special Effects on a Budget; or, How to Blow Up Stuff with Household Items You Never Knew Exploded.

I missed that chapter of childhood, being busy reading books while other more physically oriented children were figuring out that when you set little green army men on fire, they drip flaming plastic.
But it's never too late for a happy childhood. I have found a site Science Toys with instructions for "A simple rocket engine you can build in your kitchen."

A box of matches, a little tin foil, a can of hair spray, and a slight grasp of physics and I too could create a science fiction show.
Not, of course, when I'm housesitting someone else's pets though.


Rudyinparis said...


momo said...

be careful with the hair spray because although it makes a satisfying blow torch when he melted a hole in the screen door, as my brother proved, it can also blow up the can in your hands. By the way, there is a fire extinguisher on the landing in back.

bink said...

I remember you going through a "melting little green army men" stage...was it in your late 20's or early 30's?

Blowing things up is the next step...but no cans of hairspray...I want to keep my fingers.

fresca said...

That's very generous of you, Momo, to tell me where the fire extinguisher is in your house! Of course I wouldn't risk someone else's house and pets though.
In fact, I thought I'd do all blowing up outside.

Not to worry: the science toys site's hair-spray directions don't involve using the can at all, but using a wee bit of the spray in a little film-roll plastic canister (if anyone makes those anymore).
I too want to retain all my digits.

Anonymous said...

Oy, but the toxins, just think of the toxins you'll be releasing--and inhaling!! Outside, away from inflammables and powerlines, and with a gas mask, ov-gloves and your hair tied back--Puullleeezzz! (Isn't there a site for environmentally-friendly explosive home experiments somewhere in the universe!) But can anything really exciting be guilt-free AND SAFE in our dualistically-framed Judeo-Christan informed realm!?? Do e-"lab"-orate and be happy and safely creative along the way! Soup or tea or other non-explosives, soon!?



deanna said...

I left the blowing things up phase to my brothers while also reading through childhood. Don't think I'll get into it now, but then I'm not a filmmaker. (Have careful fun!)

fresca said...

Stef: Alchemy, baby, this is freakin' alchemy! Transcendence of dualism and the union of opposites, that's what it's all about.
Thanks for your concern---yes! let us consume noncombustable comestibles soon!

Deanna: Ah, that's what I was missing: brothers.
Happy New Year to you and yours!

Anonymous said...

Hey! Speakin' of alchemy, I've been in the slow throes of reading an alluring fantasy book, "A Princess of Roumania" which has alchemy in it, and reminds me in some ways of a favorite of my Jim's, "A Chymical Wedding", which I read last summer and A. S. Byatt's "Possession".. And then there's the whole "blowing things up" scenario in Palestine/Israel/Palestine and everywhere else, unfortunately...Fortunately, art goes on and pulls and mulls us through...Say, you have a bro' but you're older than he and maybe he was more into the metaphysical than the physical--in terms of combustibles--back in your youth...


fresca said...

If only humans would restrict their blowing up to cardboard models.
Yep, my bro is 9 years younger--I left home when he ws 7 so if he blew things up, I missed it. But he's a Capricorn--more like to hold things in.