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Violent Recipes
December 19, 2013 1:47 PM   Subscribe

The author of the infamous "Anarchist Cookbook" has had a change of heart. "Over the years, I have come to understand that the basic premise behind the Cookbook is profoundly flawed," he writes in the Guardian.
posted by chrchr (81 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Am I not allowed to smoke dried banana peels any longer?
posted by GuyZero at 1:51 PM on December 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


I was talking about the Anarchist Cookbook with my dad just the other day! He remembers it from his time in '70s lefty circles, and I remember it as one of the first things every computer-savvy guy in my middle school would download in the late 90s. Cross-generational synergy!

My dad's take was basically just "most of the recipes don't work anyway." Not sure if he knew that from personal experience or not...
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:54 PM on December 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


I was sort of surprised it has an author... It seems like it should be a pike of photocopied sheets that just condenses into the hands of easily impressed teenagers. Also: that stuff all works? Jinkies.
posted by Artw at 1:55 PM on December 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow, I certainly flashed back to my first few times on the Internet and the hours spent poring over terrorism in Courier New, wondering whether a pile of magnesium ribbon would indeed burn all the way through an engine block.
posted by resurrexit at 2:04 PM on December 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


and how is it profoundly flawed?

The anger that motivated the writing of the Cookbook blinded me to the illogical notion that violence can be used to prevent violence. I had fallen for the same irrational pattern of thought that led to US military involvement in both Vietnam and Iraq. The irony is not lost on me.

To paraphrase Aristotle: it is easy to be angry. But to be angry with the right person, at the right time and to the right degree that is hard – that is the hallmark of a civilized person.

posted by philip-random at 2:09 PM on December 19, 2013 [22 favorites]


I remember back in the early days of the web people would talk about how searching for or downloading the Anarchist Cookbook would get you automatically put on some sort of list by the FBI where all of your Internet communication would be tracked. Now that everyone and their grandmother are on the list it kind of loses the thrill of it all.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:13 PM on December 19, 2013 [28 favorites]


I was just thinking about this the other day when I watched the burning pingpong video.

I'm surprised to hear the book still sells so well. I mean who buys the Anarchist Cookbook. In my day angry teens were angry enough to download it illegally.

I do not miss my adolescent, impotent rage.
posted by man down under at 2:13 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I got suspended from middle school because of the Anarchist Cookbook! Good times, good times. And now I'm a corporate lawyer... draw your own conclusions.
posted by naju at 2:14 PM on December 19, 2013 [13 favorites]


hours spent poring over terrorism in Courier New

if you cheat the margins your molotov cocktail will look even bigger
posted by nathancaswell at 2:15 PM on December 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I accidentally bought Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Anarchist Cookbook. The recipes are all variants of:
1. Buy a cake from the supermarket
2. Buy a pipe bomb
3. Insert pipe bomb into cake
4. Sprinkle M&Ms on top of cake
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:20 PM on December 19, 2013 [59 favorites]


"Over the years"? I don't understand why he's try to recant on the moralism of the book when he could just say "try to do any of these things and you could die/end up in jail because I made mistakes. "

It's a pretty quick search to get to Esperanza Godot's essay "Recipes for Nonsurvival" about the Cookbook and if even just a few of the points brought up are true, it still calls in to question the point behind the book. Not to mention that "The DEA has a Precursor Control Program watch list." buying some of the chemicals from the book would have some people very interested in what you might be up to.

"His methods for producing Mercury Fulminate is incomplete and dangerous. Between steps 2 and 3, the solution should be cooled. Do not breathe the fumes.
(...)
Powell's recipe entitled "How to Make TNT" is also quite dangerous and incomplete. In step 1, mixing sulfuric acid and nitric acid will likely result in fulmination and red toxic fumes.
(...)
The description of picric acid does not sufficiently emphasize its unstable nature. For example, storing it in a cracked glass container may cause it to explode."

No one has mentioned this to him? And if they have, he doesn't mention that it's dangerous? The whole thing's tweaking my bullshit detector.
posted by Zack_Replica at 2:23 PM on December 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm so jealous you all downloaded it. My copy (long since gone) was a poorly mimeographed (yeah, that!) copy of a copy passed around in punk club alleys and dark corners of the '80s. (Yes, some recipes -do- work and I... uh... don't know that from personal experience.)

The teenage me is getting a little angry that 40+ y.o. me agrees with the author.
posted by _paegan_ at 2:23 PM on December 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


* Please note, my friends and I were mostly in advanced placement classes and often corrected for safety and checked the other hand-written notes in our mimeograph copy. Not all recipes were attempted, just the easy ones.

Unfortunately, a friend's younger brother is now missing a thumb and forefinger, losing them while experimenting after absconding with her copy.
posted by _paegan_ at 2:27 PM on December 19, 2013


I look at it this way. Coming off of Nixon, there was a lot of heated rhetoric being tossed about, and this book -- like many others -- reflects that time. And at that time, 'media' wasn't as diffuse as today. Back then, we had to rely on the book selection at the head shop for stuff to read while doing bong hits.

If I want to kick back, I have an RSS reader full of stuff to contemplate. I wonder, would anyone today read Herer if it wasn't one of the dozen books in stock?
posted by mikelieman at 2:29 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I always thought it was written pretty much for jokes, like the Zombie Survival Guide. Trying to make powerful explosives at home with no experience going by instructions in a sketchy book that tells you how you can get high off nutmeg just doesn't strike me as something anyone would seriously consider.
posted by Hoopo at 2:40 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah...college chemistry 101 was enough for me to know Do Not Do That for almost all the "explosive" recipes. AC was something you mentioned to self-described "anarchists" you didn't like.
posted by kjs3 at 2:53 PM on December 19, 2013


Trying to make powerful explosives at home with no experience going by instructions in a sketchy book that tells you how you can get high off nutmeg just doesn't strike me as something anyone would seriously consider.
Where the hell were you in 1979 when I could have used you?
posted by Lame_username at 2:55 PM on December 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I always thought it was written pretty much for jokes

Nah. It was clearly written by the FBI CointelPro guys. Disinformation is their stock-in-trade... Think of it as the precursor of sending informants into mosques to stir the pot and see if someone vulnerable/useful/exploitable comes to the top...
posted by mikelieman at 2:59 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Where the hell were you in 1979

riding a trike
posted by Hoopo at 2:59 PM on December 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


I accidentally bought Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Anarchist Cookbook. The recipes are all variants of:

MOLOTOV COCKTAIL TIME!
posted by Sara C. at 3:10 PM on December 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


I tried to make a bomb in 7th grade from the cookbook. it called for gas to be mixed with something, so I temporarily put it in a Styrofoam cup. and that, friends, was the day I learned Styrofoam is soluble in gasoline.

I'm not sure how I explained that to my mom, what with my room smelling like gas for weeks afterward.
posted by jpe at 3:17 PM on December 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Where the hell were you in 1979

Drinking coffee in the Westdale Tim Hortons with Mickey DeSadist. It was about the most anarchic I ever got.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 3:18 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


That horse is long gone. It's even on archive.org
posted by jgaiser at 3:19 PM on December 19, 2013


"Over the years"? I don't understand why he's try to recant on the moralism of the book when he could just say "try to do any of these things and you could die/end up in jail because I made mistakes. "

He's recanting on the moralism because he has reflected on his youthful thinking and decided that violence is not an appropriate mechanism for social change, and more so, his approach was mimicking rather than contradicting the war violence he was trying to counter. It's not that the recipes are bad, it's the philosophy behind it. Sure, he could just say "try to do any of these things and you could die/end up in jail because I made mistakes," but that wouldn't speak the truth of his now, more mature understanding. Why should he deny his motivations and give a reason that is not accurate?
posted by Kerasia at 3:23 PM on December 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


I checked out the copy from the public library when I was 14. In retrospect, not only is it depressing that I am probably on a lifetime watch list as a result (but I even returned it on time!) but also impressive that a small town library had a copy available to borrow.
posted by Dip Flash at 3:23 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Being on the left, you wind up assuming that anybody who advocates violence of the sort found in The Anarchist Cookbook is either a cop or an idiot. I think most leftists I've known have figured the same thing about the Cookbook. Which is weird given the mystique it had when I was a teenager.
posted by graymouser at 3:25 PM on December 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


When I worked at big corporate chain bookstore, it was in our system, but even with a personal standing order for a copy, I never actually saw a copy come into our store. I did see a copy at the used bookstore I worked at (along with The Poor Man's James Bond).
posted by drezdn at 3:28 PM on December 19, 2013


I remember seeing it at my local hangout used bookstore (Hole in the Wall books) way back in the 80s, and I even thought I brought a copy, but if I did it disappeared at some point even before I moved out of my parents' place.
posted by tavella at 3:30 PM on December 19, 2013


I'm surprised that silly old book didn't mention dry ice bombs.
posted by planetesimal at 3:51 PM on December 19, 2013


I have to wonder how many would-be anarchists blew themselves up trying some of the recipes in that book. Only the FBI may have a clue.
posted by happyroach at 3:53 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Am I not allowed to smoke dried banana peels any longer?

Only in between meals.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:05 PM on December 19, 2013


From the review linked above:
Powell suggests ground up nutmeg for a psychedelic experience.
This tells you everything you need to know about the merits of the book.
posted by compartment at 4:26 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Next up, the author of 100 WAYS TO FUCK WITH WAL-MART.txt realizes you're just messing with people making minimum wage rather than ~~~WHOA ANARCHY EVERYWHERE~~

(That said I loved all these .txt files when I was a teenager)
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 4:26 PM on December 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't think insurrectionist violence is entirely comparable to state-sponsored violence, but the dangerous part about the book are the numerous potentially hazardous or fatal recipes contained therein.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:27 PM on December 19, 2013


I'm surprised that silly old book didn't mention dry ice bombs.

Or Mentos and Diet Coke!
posted by localroger at 4:50 PM on December 19, 2013


(That said I loved all these .txt files when I was a teenager)

That is probably not the 1969 book by Powell.

There is a set of textfiles floating around the internet, and even before that on BBS systems, that is entitled The Anarchist Cookbook, but is not. I happened to have a copy sitting around and the file dates are as old as 2/15/90 but are mostly from 1993 to 1997. It has sections on hacking computer systems like the Macintosh that didn't exist until 1984.

These textfiles are dangerous garbage, but probably someone who took high school chemistry lab could do some serious damage with it (most likely to themselves).
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:51 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can indeed get high on nutmeg. Word is it lasts all day (if not longer) and isn't much fun.
posted by atoxyl at 4:57 PM on December 19, 2013


I remember looking at the banana peel recipe! It sounded like a huge PITA. That is actually the only thing I remember from it.
posted by annsunny at 5:17 PM on December 19, 2013


William Powell was my High School principal, a fact I found entertaining when he was giving me a talking to for going against the establishment and playing hooky.
posted by dazed_one at 5:18 PM on December 19, 2013


I'm not sure where I got the Loom Panics catalog but it was full of similar books for mail order. I was afraid to buy anything other than the joke book though.
posted by saber_taylor at 5:24 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


you should have bought the principia discordia, too
posted by pyramid termite at 5:27 PM on December 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Loompanics was da bomb. The catalog always carried articles as interesting as the books they sold. We once received an order from them in a box, obviously recycled from a shipment from their printer, prominently labeled on all six sides SECRETS OF METHAMPHETAMINE MANUFACTURE.
posted by localroger at 5:27 PM on December 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


The text files and book are definitely different as pointed out. Somewhere out there is a 40MB hard drive in a a landfill (thanks a lot dad) with an absurd number of these sorts of text files. I learned it by watching you dad, what with the real cookbook (which he believed to be disinformation) and various George Hayduke "revenge books."
posted by lordaych at 6:15 PM on December 19, 2013


I remember not knowing what "Courier" was.. . We read them in DOS using LIST.COM and we loved it. LIST *.TXT... Scroll scroll... "Q"... Scroll scroll..." Q" amirite
posted by lordaych at 6:20 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


That, friends, was the day I learned Styrofoam is soluble in gasoline.

I guess you didn't get to the part about napalm... Of course I had a similar experience and also learned not to pour gasoline onto a fire.
posted by lordaych at 6:24 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


That book influenced friends in high school (including at least one Mefite) to try smoking banana peels, nutmeg, and who knows what else. As I recall, none of it worked.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:24 PM on December 19, 2013


Don't forget raw peanut skins! Don't remember if that was in the book or just the text file ripoff. Things I tried include hops and damiana thanks to LEGALHI.TXT. Yuk. Thank the lawd for dispensaries.
posted by lordaych at 6:26 PM on December 19, 2013


I remember not knowing what "Courier" was.. . We read them in DOS using LIST.COM and we loved it. LIST *.TXT... Scroll scroll... "Q"... Scroll scroll..." Q" amirite

XTree had an integrated text file viewer, so it was a little less 'bare metal' than that IIRC... Of course, what happend on the C64 STAYS on the C64, knowwhutImean?
posted by mikelieman at 6:29 PM on December 19, 2013


"Over the years, I have come to understand that the basic premise behind the Cookbook is profoundly flawed…"

"… all the recipes taste terrible."
posted by klangklangston at 6:30 PM on December 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


bad aftertaste
posted by philip-random at 6:54 PM on December 19, 2013


My memory of the Anarchist's Cookbook is a guy I had a real crush on promised me a copy, but later reneged. It's probably for the best, since I probably wouldn't have bothered reading it. Sadly, not much of an anarchist, me. Nonetheless, I have mentally capitalized on the fact that at least I knew what it was...until today, when reading that the 1990 BBS-gotten thing I was promised was probably not the sup3r s3kr1t thing I was promised. Internet, and 8th grade crush, I am disappoint.

I never liked you anyways! The girl I crushed on all high school was way cooler than you anyways!

now if you'll excuse me, I have to go back to updating my diary, which I keep in ms-dos edit because my mom doesn't know how to use it and if she uses 'type diary.txt', as long as I keep 24 blank lines at the bottom i am totally safe.
posted by sldownard at 7:24 PM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nonetheless, I have mentally capitalized on the fact that at least I knew what it was...until today, when reading that the 1990 BBS-gotten thing I was promised was probably not the sup3r s3kr1t thing I was promised. Internet, and 8th grade crush, I am disappoint.

Oh no, the BBS textfiles were way more sup3r s3kr1t than a book you could order at any bookstore. As far as unfulfilled promises go, that one was a winner. Even today, scans of the Powell book are easily obtainable on the net, but the old 90s textfiles are impossible to find. There is a textfile attributed to Jolly Roger but the 90s version is from Exodus and System Error.

BTW I have been reconsidering my remark:

probably someone who took high school chemistry lab could do some serious damage with it (most likely to themselves).

Probably everyone who took high school chemistry lab knows how to do some serious damage. You know, just last week my ophthalmologist asked me if I ever had an eye injury when I was young. I said, "no, not that I can recall.. oh yeah there was that incident in chemistry class when the test tube exploded and I wasn't wearing safety glasses..." The doctor just stared at me with her mouth open. Yeah, like you never had a lab accident, Dr. Perfect.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:11 PM on December 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


There was that one time I accidentally inhaled hydrogen chloride...

Do not inhale hydrogen chloride.
posted by Artw at 9:16 PM on December 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


How wonderful and amazing. I always assumed the guy that wrote it either;

1. Died in a shootout with authorities.
2. Lived in a trailer in Idaho off the grid (not that there’s anything wrong with the that), and spent his nights revising his "enemies" list.
3. Was in prison.
posted by bongo_x at 10:19 PM on December 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


It was clearly written by the FBI CointelPro guys.

I always thought that this was a fairly good theory. I mean, poisoning the informational well seems well within the range of something that the FBI (or CIA, or...) would have done in the 60s or 70s, and probably today too. There were always rumors that instructions for cooking meth, which you used to find in the same places as the AC, were similarly flawed in order to kill you on purpose.

Honestly I don't think the FBI or DEA is really that clever, but it's not implausible.

I'd like to see a comparison between the actual "Anarchists Cookbook" that was published and sold in stores, and the textfiles that floated around various BBSes in the 80s and 90s, presumably originally based on the book but then changed over time.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:39 PM on December 19, 2013


I'd always believed in the "deliberate misinformation/incomplete safety precautions" theory, and Powell's mentioning of working in a Greenwich Village bookstore immediately reminded me of this incident. I have a friend who bought a copy as a teen--neither of us believed in the "permanent FBI watchlist" theory--and I think that we both wrote it off as bogus because of the banana peels thing, which reads like a Bob Hope joke about dirty hippies.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:00 AM on December 20, 2013


Even today, scans of the Powell book are easily obtainable on the net, but the old 90s textfiles are impossible to find.

Nah, I've worked for over a decade to make them easy to find indeed.

If you want to skip to the anarchy section, it's here.

Powell has disavowed this book for a very long time. He used to post reviews on book sites selling this book with this exact thread from the article: I was young and stupid, it's not a good book, the publisher doesn't pay me, stop publishing the book.
posted by jscott at 6:23 AM on December 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


easy to find indeed.

AND easy on the eyes... Comforting green on black... Oh how I love you...
posted by mikelieman at 7:04 AM on December 20, 2013


I would be curious to hear him talk about the inaccuracies, though. I mean, that seems more interesting than "I'm not an anarchist anymore, guyzzzz!"
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 11:25 AM on December 20, 2013


So if I'm reading this and the Wikipedia article correctly, William Powell has never been arrested for writing it?

My, how times have changed.
posted by nicodine at 11:42 AM on December 20, 2013


the publisher doesn't pay me

I wonder if this has anything to do with it
posted by Hoopo at 1:41 PM on December 20, 2013


Yeah fuck that guy, he should speak to how it sucks and why. Many a person has lost an eye, blowing shit up, my oh my. Oddly enough I just watched a crappy Vice video about the text file version of the cookbook in which they blow up tennis ball bombs and such a few nights ago while binge-watching the YouTubes and they mentioned that the author of the book disavowed it because Jesus.
posted by lordaych at 3:40 PM on December 20, 2013


Didn't it say you could make napalm with orange juice? (Maybe it was just the weird pirated version I had.)
posted by autoclavicle at 4:08 PM on December 20, 2013


I was looking through a 1971 edition of Powell's book that I found on the net and I rediscovered the spot in the book where even back when I was a little kid, I knew this was either disinformation or ignorant misinformation. He draws a diagram and describes how to turn a shotgun into a grenade launcher by taking the shot out of a cartridge to turn it into a blank, putting a dowel down the barrel and putting a molotov cocktail at the end. Now if this actually did work, you'd shoot the dowel right through the molotov and it would light up and explode. But it won't work because a dowel stuck in the barrel will make the shotgun explode when you fire it.

There is a real weapon of this type, the M7 Rifle Grenade Launcher, but it is nothing like this amateur design, it's completely external. I think Powell watched too many WWII movies when he was a little kid.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:16 PM on December 20, 2013


I think Powell watched too many WWII movies when he was a little kid.

A generational thing, I think. We ALL watched WWII movies when we were little kids. It was embedded in the gestalt.
posted by mikelieman at 5:18 AM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


and WWII TV shows, and comic books, and trading cards
posted by philip-random at 9:37 AM on December 21, 2013


I'm surprised that silly old book didn't mention dry ice bombs.

Plastic soda bottles had not been invented.
posted by JackFlash at 7:31 PM on December 21, 2013


Plastic soda bottles had not been invented.

That's not it -- glass is more dangerous if you make a pipe bomb out of it. What had not been invented was RESEALABLE bottles. Once you popped the top off a 70's era pop bottle, a feat which required a tool, you could not reseal it.
posted by localroger at 7:45 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Once you popped the top off a 70's era pop bottle, a feat which required a tool, you could not reseal it.

[facepalm]

Bottle Stopper.

There was a time when a 12oz glass soda bottle was considered more than one serving, and most homes had a bottle stopper to preserve the fizz if you wanted to keep an unfinished bottle for later. The bottle stopper I just linked to was very common, I remember using them.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:02 PM on December 21, 2013


but they had those thingies that you could use to recap bottles with, didn't they? - 2 bucks, but a small price to pay for unleashing armageddon with the chemicals and pop bottle of your choice
posted by pyramid termite at 9:03 PM on December 21, 2013


Ok, well at the risk of drawing unwanted attention, I think JackFlash is correct. Dry ice bombs won't work in a glass bottle with a crimped on cap, simply because the pressure would pop it off. Plastic caps have several threads to keep them tight enough that the plastic bottle will erupt first.
posted by planetesimal at 9:07 PM on December 21, 2013


The pressure from evaporating CO2 would blow those stoppers long before the glass bottle blew out.
posted by planetesimal at 9:07 PM on December 21, 2013


The Ice Bomb was a standard high school physics demonstration for many decades. It was discontinued since it was dangerous, but mostly because it was expensive since the equipment was not reusable. BTW, did you notice that cast iron container? Ever wonder why the bomb icon was that shape? People didn't just use these iron bombs for physics demonstrations.

It is a shame that modern Junior High and High Schools no longer perform a wide variety of explosive demonstrations. But perhaps it is better that people not have sufficient training that they could use their imagination and improvise.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:28 PM on December 21, 2013


It's a shame, but man, $50 for a bit of iron you can use once?

And we did the dry ice bombs in high school (though I don't remember it being officially sanctioned), and there were guys that would go out to the dunes or beaches, and they had these caps that they could attach to a pump, so they'd put some gas in the 2-liter (or 3-liter if we were drinking Faygo), pump it up to a really high pressure, then jam, like, a sparkler or something in to use as a fuse, and they'd blow huge chunks of sand out of the ground with a pretty cool fireball.

It was pretty cool, but it's the sort of thing that I just don't know where I'd actually go to do that kind of shit now (and looking back, it's a surprise that no one blew their hands off).
posted by klangklangston at 1:07 PM on December 22, 2013


Nowadays, that sort of tomfoolery would get you terrorism charges. I heard a story recently about a high school honors student who did the dry ice bomb out in the playground, without permission, so she could document it as a science experiment. She got expelled and arrested.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:26 PM on December 22, 2013


I know! I was thinking about that during the Minnesota "I'm A Criminal" post. Like, I've got nothing on my dad's friends — one of them shot his brother with a .22 as a prank, with like zero real consequences and they used to make zip guns and napalm, but, like, a couple of my buddies managed to burn down a huge chunk of a public park here by trying to tie mice to model rockets and having them go torching through the tall grass. I mean, I know that plenty of kids get bits of fingers blown off and shit, so it's probably not wise to do that shit, but it was fun and a big part of my childhood.
posted by klangklangston at 1:22 PM on December 23, 2013


Oh, man. Between ubiquitous surveillance cameras and post-9/11 paranoia, I'd still be doing time for all the mayhem I took part in in high school 20 years ago.
posted by planetesimal at 4:31 PM on December 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


I once drilled a hole through a nutmeg to make it into a bead; apparently, accidentally inhaling fresh-ground nutmeg can get at least one person high. (My necklace also had tonka beans and star anise, and it smelled fantastic!)
posted by salix at 1:04 AM on December 25, 2013


My first "dry ice bomb" involved a metal genuine US Army canteen with the black screw-top lid chained and soldered to it. Like this. I'm surprised the caption for this pic says WWII but I have no idea.

In any event it was a highly threaded lid, probably moreso than a typical plastic bottle. I had no idea what to expect. I was stupid and probably 10. I was with another stupid 10 year old Army Brat kid at the time. The canteen inflated to an obscene scary size, we hit the fuckin' deck, and the thing went sideways, the cap flew off, and grazed my house, leaving a black plastic streak about 5 feet across. It was literally. off. the. chain.
posted by lordaych at 12:38 PM on January 2


The next time I'd make one would be with my father. He had no idea what 20 oz plastic Coke bottle was capable of. Luckily, it was in a metal trash can. Well, that was loud but everyone went home with intact vision at least.
posted by lordaych at 12:39 PM on January 2


leaving a black plastic streak about 5 feet across..

My Uncle had a curved scar just above his eyebrow. He said that when he was a little kid, he set off a firecracker underneath a tin can and it detonated prematurely. Hey come to think of it, how the hell did my uncle get firecrackers when he was a little kid growing up on an Old Order Amish farm? I suppose that explosives aren't banned in the Old Order.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:58 PM on January 2


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