*takes a deep breath*
Ah, it's good to be back!
So, to answer your questions about yesterday: things went well. I wasn't able to do my presentation because of a software incompatibility issue; I had a more up-to-date copy of MS PowerPoint than the school's computer could handle. So, instead, I spoke extemporaneously to the kids about what it is I do in the field of neglected diseases, and then I talked to them about chemistry. After that, we looked at the periodic tables, and then I did my experimental examples. Glowing water? A total fucking hit. Freezing cold ice packs? Knocked their socks off! Baking soda and vinegar volcano? Probably wouldn't have wowed them as much if I wasn't such a showman.
Take that red, seizure-inducing strobe light guy!!!
Most importantly? My daughter wasn't embarrassed to have me be seen in public. She even wanted me to stay and eat lunch with her.
I'll take that father of the year award now, thankyouverymuch.
As I mentioned yesterday, I decided against bringing a canister of highly flammable solvent and matches to an elementary school. Oh, sure, they have fire extinguishers and insurance and such, but I didn't want to be THAT guy. You know, the guy who burned down the school? The hero to countless elementary school delinquents for my legendary case of accidental arson? Yeah, him.
However, a couple of kids did ask me about explosions.
"Do you know anything about explosions?" they asked.
Fuck and to the yeah, little ones. Gather 'round whilst I tell you all about the best ways to blow some shit up!
Okay, so I didn't precisely tell them how to blow some shit up, just that yeah, you can make some explosions. Especially if you crank the lid on the bottle real tight before running away and pretending like you weren't in the area at all that day. *insert angelic halo here*
Mostly, they wanted to know about dry ice and dynamite/TNT. I reminded them that TNT was discovered by Alfred Nobel, and that the world was so thankful for his gift of high-grade explosives that they named an element after him: Nobelium, number 102.
Instead of talking about explosions and dynamite and dry ice and shit, let's just get to the video. And what a video it is. May I present to you, Fire in the Fireworks Factory!
Around the 1:22 mark, did anyone else think that billowing smoke cloud looked a little like Godzilla?
This whole thing was magnificent...unless you're that poor sonuvabitch holding the camera there at the end. It makes me wonder: If you piss yourself does that slow the flames down and give you just that much longer to writhe in agony and terror during your final moments...
Anyway. I like how things started out slowly--a pop here, a bang there--then, when things got out of hand, they really got out of hand. And it was all building toward that final blast. Personally, I really enjoy the slow motion, where you can see the shockwave traveling through the air and the surrounding buildings as it races toward the camera. That, my friends, is an explosion.
So, what have we learned today? Aside from explosions are awesome if you're not standing near them? The lesson here is that fires in fireworks factories are a lot more aesthetically pleasing than fires in other buildings. Plus, an enormous vat of barium chloride makes lovely green fireballs in the sky when it explodes.