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My vortex in a box.
March 22, 2012 11:23 AM   Subscribe

Cardboard box vortex cannon. [3:26] With simple instructions to make your own.
posted by Burhanistan (46 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
....and the next den meeting is now officially planned. If I can't find a requirement that's satisfied by this, I'll make one up.
posted by jquinby at 11:29 AM on March 22, 2012 [12 favorites]


Fus Ro Dah!!!

I am totally making a bonfire and doing this.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:30 AM on March 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


This better not be another CG hoax.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:30 AM on March 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh man humans are neat.
posted by The Whelk at 11:31 AM on March 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was really hoping for a cannon that fired cardboard vortices, but that was cool too
posted by Jon_Evil at 11:39 AM on March 22, 2012


And no cat would live in peace ever again.
posted by cmoj at 11:45 AM on March 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


Now we just need a corresponding low-tech, nearly-free version of the smoke.
posted by Western Infidels at 11:45 AM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


What I learned from this is that I can make a cannon out of a box (also known as a cat toy in our house). I'm going to try this!

Also, classrooms in England apparently lack smoke detectors and sprinklers. Lucky for them!
posted by rtha at 11:45 AM on March 22, 2012


Now we just need a corresponding low-tech, nearly-free version of the smoke.

Hmm...perhaps dry ice placed in a squirt bottle with some water?
posted by darkstar at 11:49 AM on March 22, 2012


So the smoke is just a tracer?
posted by grog at 11:54 AM on March 22, 2012


My cats are going to be so confused.
posted by brundlefly at 11:59 AM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The smoke is just for tracer/cool-looking purposes. I used to work in a shop that rented smoke and fog machines. One day I was really bored and made one of these out of a cardboard barrel. Our fog machines were a LOT bigger than the little thing they've got in the video, so the rings were visible for a longer distance. I don't think anyone else was as amused as I was, especially when the shop got completely filled with stage smoke.

dry ice
Dry ice fog is heavier than air, and tends to sink, so wouldn't produce the right effect.

The vortex rings tend to get perturbed easily - the room they're in in the video must have very still air to get that kind of range.
posted by Wulfhere at 12:02 PM on March 22, 2012


When I was a kid, I made one of these from a two pound coffee can that came with an airtight plastic lid.

I made a very irregular about 2 in. hole in the bottom of the can, and by tapping on the lid I could put out a candle at 15 ft. and make the flame leap dramatically at 25 ft.

I spent an afternoon trying to make something a little more spectacular happen by putting a couple of lighter fluid soaked paper towels in the can and then shooting at the candle, but it didn't work for some reason.

These days, I'd try filling the can with gas from a butane lighter.
posted by jamjam at 12:16 PM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Western Infidels: "Now we just need a corresponding low-tech, nearly-free version of the smoke."

All you should need is the box, a barbecue in the back, some leaves, a long still hallway, and a very understanding partner who won't mind everything smelling like fried leaves. I have most of these things and will get back to you on how it turns out.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:18 PM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Extreme vortex cannon!
posted by darkstar at 12:19 PM on March 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


"Now we just need a corresponding low-tech, nearly-free version of the smoke."

Incense?
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:30 PM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Incense?

Bong Canon. It's like setting your phrases to stun.
posted by The Whelk at 12:32 PM on March 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


"Now we just need a corresponding low-tech, nearly-free version of the smoke."

Cheap cigar?
posted by jquinby at 12:33 PM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: It's like setting your phrases to stun.
posted by brundlefly at 12:33 PM on March 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I need a refrigerator box.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:34 PM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


A cup with a small chunk of dry ice in water works nicely.
posted by bonehead at 12:36 PM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Would a huge refrigerator box with a smaller hole (say tennis ball sized) increase the velocity or power or range of the vortex? Or is the big hole kinda the important thing?
posted by Think_Long at 12:36 PM on March 22, 2012


MrMoonPie: "I need a refrigerator box."

OH GOD, YES. A refrigerator box just being hit with hands wouldn't necessarily work that well, but with large whacking implements it could be awesome!
posted by Blasdelb at 12:39 PM on March 22, 2012


Also these things are great for "shooting" scents at people, invisibly.
posted by bonehead at 12:40 PM on March 22, 2012


Garbage can cannons. Almost as easy as the carboard boxes.
posted by bonehead at 12:42 PM on March 22, 2012


Also these things are great for "shooting" scents at people, invisibly.

Line of protestors defends line with Odor Cannon. Scent re-classified as weapon of mass destruction.
posted by The Whelk at 12:53 PM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also a favourite weapon of little brothers everywhere.
posted by bonehead at 12:59 PM on March 22, 2012


Huh, I never realized I was building miniature vortex cannons all this time. If you smoke, there is one about 30 seconds away from right now:

1. pull the cellophane packaging partly off from the bottom of your pack, creating the "box"
2. tiny touch with a lit smoke on the small / side end of this box for the hole
3. blow in smoke (uninhaled is more visible / better)
4. gentle little taps, your smoke ring generator is up and running!
posted by Meatbomb at 1:16 PM on March 22, 2012


Ok, so if you were to imagine your large intestine was the box, and your butthole was the hole, why can't you shoot a fart across the room?
posted by orme at 1:36 PM on March 22, 2012


For real gross out giggles, crush a stink bomb ampule in there just before aiming. Great way to clear a room from a distance. Yes, it does work.
posted by 2N2222 at 1:43 PM on March 22, 2012


> why can't you shoot a fart across the room?

What, you mean you can't already?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:56 PM on March 22, 2012 [2 favorites]




Cool. I remember Mr. Wizard doing this. He had an extra step. Some plastic on the back. Plus a candle inside for the smoke. Can't. Find. Video. Right. Now.
posted by hot_monster at 2:38 PM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The DOD and homeland security have weapon used these things with pepper spray. The vortex puts more of the stuff on the target.
posted by humanfont at 3:54 PM on March 22, 2012


Hadouken!
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:58 PM on March 22, 2012


Ok, so if you were to imagine your large intestine was the box, and your butthole was the hole, why can't you shoot a fart across the room?

Pants.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:18 PM on March 22, 2012


Also, topologically, intenstinally, you're more like a donut than a coffee cup. Backwash dude.
posted by bonehead at 4:35 PM on March 22, 2012


Just to clarify -- it's really nothing but a cardboard box with a round hole in the side?
posted by edheil at 5:19 PM on March 22, 2012


Topologically a donut and a coffee cup are identical.
posted by RustyBrooks at 5:57 PM on March 22, 2012


I hear this is big in Japan.
posted by teraflop at 7:03 PM on March 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: with large whacking implements it could be awesome!
posted by dhartung at 10:09 PM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Brings back memories of the Whammo Air Blaster I had as a kid. Image.
posted by rmmcclay at 11:42 PM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I totally made one of these last night. I haven't played around with smoke yet, but the effect is pretty cool. My wife shot me from about 20 feet away, and even though I knew what to expect, I felt a distinct fright when the puff hit me. The puff moves a lot more slowly than you'd expect, so there's a moment of "oh, that didn't work," then a very palpable sense of "SOMETHING INVISIBLE JUST TOUCHED ME." Neato.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:47 AM on March 23, 2012


Uh... things get really awkward around the 1:46 mark.
posted by secondhand pho at 7:00 AM on March 23, 2012


Metafilter: nothing but a cardboard box with a round hole in the side
posted by slogger at 9:15 AM on March 23, 2012


I've had an Airzooka for many years now but I've never filled it with smoke.
posted by DU at 11:16 AM on March 29, 2012


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