Tale of the Radioactive Boy Scout.
February 19, 2002 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Tale of the Radioactive Boy Scout. As the article says, nobody really needs an unsafe homemade nuclear reactor, especially one made of duct tape an aluminum foil. That didn't stop one teenager from trying....
posted by geneablogy (8 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Proof that:
"Dilution was not the pollution solution."
"Having problems keeping it together? Try duct tape."
posted by sheauga at 6:16 PM on February 19, 2002

This was originally in Harper's several years ago and was absolutely fascinating. He damn near pulled it off.
posted by briank at 7:21 PM on February 19, 2002

Damn. If only I had read this earlier today, before I rubbed that radium and americium with beryllium and aluminum up in aluminum foil this morning. Don't drive down Sunset Blvd this evening, Angelenos - I need my science badge.
posted by Hypnerotomachia at 7:39 PM on February 19, 2002

The full version of this article is here.
posted by hades at 11:34 PM on February 19, 2002

Lots of people have WAAAAAY too much time on their hands. People like that nowadays are posting threats anonymously on silly sites world-wide. At least no one's at any risk doing that.
posted by Kafei at 11:40 PM on February 19, 2002

I'm not a physicist, but I wonder whether most of the radioactivity may have been due to the kid spreading radium paint (which is radioactive as hell) around everywhere. Was he really making any progress in making fissionable uranium?

I love amateur mad scientists. As long as they're not in my neighborhood. I loved the Mach 1.0 potato gun developed by Orange Smoothie Productions. The site is now gone, but available via the Internet Archive. The mpegs don't seem to work, but the jpegs of near-supersonic potatoes demolishing watermelons are still glorious.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 11:43 PM on February 19, 2002

That kid is bound to go far, if he doesn't accidentally kill himself and 40,000 people living within 5 miles of him.

Slithy_Tove, sounds like you'd love the Jet Powered Beer Cooler.
posted by dglynn at 12:47 AM on February 20, 2002

Thank heavens for the Internet Archive, for they have resurrected Glubco's long-missing Weaponry section. Rail guns, tesla coils, death rays, and microwave devices galore. I found this circa 1998 and was dismayed to find it was removed soon thereafter, as the creators were concerned someone might use the plans to actually build such devices. Well, duh!?

Take your television apart.
Take your microwave apart.
Leave all the electronics in tact.
Build a metal box.
Put it around the thing that makes the microwaves.
Attach the box to a natural ground.
Put a 1 foot length of PVC pipe extending from the "nozzle" of the magnetron.
Point it at something useless and preferably made of metal and plastic.
Get away.
Hide behind metal.
Turn it on.
Fear what you have created.

posted by Danelope at 9:06 AM on February 20, 2002 [1 favorite]

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