Monday, September 3, 2012


Ever since I can remember, my kids have liked the idea of things blowing up.

When Jacob was two, I found him playing in the kitchen with matches, and I asked him what he was doing. He said, “Making a bomb.”

 I thought this would pass. I was wrong.

Now my kids watch Brainiac: Science Abuse. (I’ve learned that thermite is very cool.) And the Slo-Mo Guys.

I’ve learned about the Chemistry Dept. picnic where one professor’s claim to fame is a very dangerous mixture of Mentos, soda and his mouth. And I thought tying a cherry stem into a knot in my mouth was a cool party trick. (Seriously, the Mentos/soda thing is very dangerous. Do not try it.)

My son Luke who’s in his senior year of a BS in chemistry had a giddy look on his face the other day. I asked him what was up. He told me he was doing Grignard reactions. They’re exothermic and have the potential to go “boom.”

Yesterday, Luke and Jacob were discussing engineering. Jacob is a freshman in college studying engineering. The subject came around to nuclear engineering. My daughter Ariel sighed happily and said, “Nuclear engineering uses partial differential equations.” I said, “And?” Her eyes lit up. “You know, oscillations nearing infinity…well, boom!”

Even my daughter likes “Boom!”…okay, I like booms too. I get giddy in thunderstorms. And my dad’s been known to go tornado chasing. I once got a phone call from him when he was hiding under an interstate overpass, watching a tornado. So I guess the kids come by it naturally.

BTW, if you aren’t familiar with Brainiac or thermite, this is for you.


  1. Wow, that seems VERY dangerous. I definitely won't be trying that experiment! :)

  2. I'm not familiar with Brainiac or thermite, so thanks for the video. That's quite a reaction. :P

  3. That's scary looking stuff. My hubby says they used it in the military, but it doesn't look like something I'll be adding to my grocery list. Hmmm, and I thought making things go BOOM was just a guy thing.

  4. They should watch "Will it blend". Things do boom sometimes.

  5. I won't let my son-in-law see this or I know what we'll be doing at our next family get-together...and since we are usually at our house, this is not something I want him to see :>)

  6. I like SEEING explosions from a safe distance away (like through a TV), but I'd probably never mess with it myself, hah. I can see the appeal though, lol. Never heard of Brainiac, so thanks for the vid!

  7. HA! My dad and his brother apparently made black powder (successfully) at home when they were young. Fortunately their dad caught their "curing" spot--on top of the furnace--before anything went kaboom.