New Video: Exploding Balloons – Propane

This is my first video in HD, as well as the first use of high-speed photography.

This demonstration is not a “DIY” video.  Do not try this yourself.

Watch on Youtube from here.

December 31, 2009 at 12:28 pm Leave a comment

WTFBBQ!?!! Obama got the Nobel!?!? Oh NOES! HIDE T3H WIMMEN AND CHILLEN!

Were these people taking a nap when Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Woodrow Wilson, Kofi Anan, Henry Kissinger, Yasir Arafat, and the UN Peacekeeping Forces recieved them? There are probably plenty of people all of those times that made greater sacrifices in the name of peace. Every year a laureate is presented that others disagree with, the detractors point out plenty of examples. Sometimes their criticisms are based on objectivity, sometimes it’s just ignorant political bias.

It’s a prize that frequently goes more often to high-profile people than not. It seems to be a major criteria, possibly because even minimal effort at that level can have wider impact globally than someone sweating in the trenches – even if it’s that grass-roots level work that might have the greatest real impact. Maybe it’s just to encourage people at that level to work for peace maybe because so FEW people at that level take any chances to obtain peace – or maybe it’s just overly politically influenced. Personally if it inspires a few more world leaders to give priority to peace, I’d be happy with pundits (and armchair quarterbacks) griping about it becoming “worthless” – until one of their own “heroes” gets the nod.

I’m not on the panel, the people griping aren’t either, and this isn’t the Science prizes.  Let the guy get his award, and maybe it’ll inspire him to create peace in our time.  Maybe it won’t, and there’ll be another person awarded next year.  Move along.  Or be thankful that your life is apparently so wonderful that you have the time to waste griping.  That’s gotta be worth something.

I might buy my wife noise-cancelling headphones so she can make it through the day without hearing people vent their bitterness on the topic.  :/

October 9, 2009 at 12:14 pm Leave a comment

Disturbed with Skindred and Sevendust at Hara Arena

Tuesday my wife and I drove to Dayton’s Hara Arena to see Disturbed with Skindred and Sevendust in concert.  It was a blast. There were some odd things that night that did put bumps in the road, however.

On the way there I check my checking balance (so I can see how much merch I can afford) only to find I was over $400 in the red!  Turns out a number of credit card numbers had been “compromised” here locally just recently – and apparently my debit card number was one of them.  Several fraudulent charges to – all for $110, then a flurry of NSF fees because partway into these charges my checking account had tanked.  Not happy.  Called the bank and got the dispute process started.  I had all of the NSF fees refunded, most of the bad charges reversed, and had the case numbers by the time I was in line at the arena waiting to get checked by security.  Yay, Huntington Bank. :)

The big disappointment after we arrived was that the show’s linenup was different than what we had thought, and Skindred was on first rather than second – so we missed most of their show.  I like to be early, my wife is rarely early for anything and Skindred was her main reason for going, too. :/

However, the last two and a half songs we DID get to see rocked like few bands I’ve ever seen before.  Benji Webbe moves around the stage like a crazed hyperactive rabbit on crack.  This man does NOT stand still!  All the while belting out the vocals without missing a beat.  The rest of the band is definitely keeping up, they’re definitely no slackers either. :)  At the end of their set, he stays behind after the rest of the band leaves and plays the crowd for a while, with a fairly entertaining performance with a mini keyboard.  Definitly enjoying playing the ham.  After the set was up, we headed over to the merchandise table where they were greeting the fans, signing autographs and such.  They were very friendly, accessible, and seemed genuinely appreciative when my wife told them they “rocked harder than anyone I’ve ever seen in my life.”  That’s one thing I love in a band.  One that rocks hard, takes their music seriously, really gives their heart to the music and the fans – yet is down to earth, and doesn’t seem to take THEMSELVES too serious.  Benji even referenced Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga” during one of their songs.  More points from me – even if most of the crowd probably didn’t get it.

Before Sevendust’s set we found an ATM that apparently used carrier pigeon or pony express to send everyone’s cash withdrawal requests.

Sevendust was good, but the crew couldn’t seem to quite get the sound right.  Lajon Witherspoon’s usually high-powered vocals were distorted and frequently overpowered by the instrumentals.  When John/Clint/Vincent accompanied on vocals – at least one of them was WAY off key.  Good band, but I think we were a little annoyed (especially my wife) because she had missed Skindred’s slot – so as we simmered down, we kinda missed out on some of it.  Sorry Sevendust, we’ll do better next time. 

After Sevendust’s set was over, we decided to head to the back of the floor area and sit for a bit next to the arena wall.  As luck would have it we had the pleasure of having a drunk guy stumble over near where were, so he could talk to someone on the level above us.  As he was doing so, he was spilling his beer, making new little puddles that were steadily getting closer to where we were sitting.   After trying to speak up to get his attention, I just reach up and tap his elbow.  “Excuse me, could you please watch your beer, you’re spilling it,” I said – trying to be diplomatic about the whole thing.  Metal Concert = stupid drunk people.  It’s normal.

He looked kinda stunned/dumbfounded, but at least moved his beer away from me.  At that point his buddy decides to be helpful by saying, “HEY! CALM DOWN, DUDE!  IT’S FREE BEER!  WHAT’s YOUR PROBLEM?!?”  Yes, like I’m going to lick it off the floor or suck it out of my jeans after he spills it on me.  Dumbass.  He then looks at me and my wife (who’s glaring at him, I just didn’t know it), and I can feel things getting a little tense.  I’m used to this stuff at metal concerts, so I just keep an eye on both of them, not backing down, but not escalating either.  If they’re gonna do something I’ll be ready, but I’m gonna give them the chance to back off, too.  The idiot on the upper level says “Don’t make me come down there!”  *sigh*
Then before I can say anything, my wife – who’s a completly peace-loving hippie – says, “GO AHEAD!  I F’IN DARE YOU!!”

*blink blink* “WTF? Am I in Bizarro World??” goes the voice in my head.    Suddenly I’m going from tense to trying to keep myself from busting out laughing.  I manage to keep a straight face, and either they got tired of the situation or my wife surprised them with her bravado, because they look away quickly and wander/stumble off.  I’m still chuckling that my wife said that. :)

Anyhow, on to Disturbed’s set.  While it didn’t have the raw hyperactive energy of Skindred, they put on an excellent show.  The audio set-up was excellent, David Draiman’s vocals stayed above the instruments, but didn’t overpower them either.  David could definitely work the room and keeps the energy high.  Everyone was moving, thrusting their fists into the air, and frequently screaming or singing along.  Even my wife, who stayed annoyed through most of Sevendust’s set, was definitely getting a lot of Disturbed’s music.

All in all it was a great show, even with a few bumps (please no “love mail” from Sevendust fans – I just think we were annoyed and they may have had an off night, who knows?).  My wife even logged on the moment we got home (after 1:00 a.m.) and spent at least an hour trying to track down Skindred’s next local show (Benji had said May, but their website has them touring outside the US around that time, maybe it’ll be changed later).  I swear she’s gonna turn into a creepy Skindred groupie or something. :P 

February 26, 2009 at 11:00 pm Leave a comment

Everything you wanted to know about Slightly-Mad Science

(click picture to view video on YouTube)

This video appeared on Canada’s G4 TV show Torrent in September of 2008. This video answers the questions, of who I am, what I do, and why I do it.

Oh, has a new look (still in progress) and I opened a Slightly-Mad Store. Right now it just has a couple basic items, currently sold with no mark-up. Check it out at

December 3, 2008 at 11:15 am Leave a comment

Slightly-Mad Science to appear on the Science Channel

Well, a clip of it, anyhow. :)

There’s a new show on the Science Channel called “Brink”, it’s a show that combines news about cutting-edge science with videos submitted by passionate geeks such as myself. One of my videos was chosen to show up in their first episode – Friday, Nov 28th, at 10:00 PM EST. Check it out!

This is actually my first appearance on US TV, and hopefully not the last!

Want to support Slightly-Mad Science?

1. Go to and donate!

2. Go to and buy stuff!

3. Get the word out! Share this blog your friends can find out about Slightly-Mad Science! Or send my profile out to others you know that might like the Science Madness!

4. Submit videos you like to Digg, Slashdot, or Reddit, and when you view them on YouTube or Revver or Metacafe, etc, give ‘em a good rating!


Slightly-Mad Science


November 26, 2008 at 3:14 pm 1 comment

Idiots on and off the road

Brief rant about idiots on and off the road.

First, someone whose driving style shows their idiocy, even while they’re parked!

If you purchase a gigantor vehicle, that does not automatically entitle you to multiple parking spaces wherever you go.  Certainly not in the second row of parking from a busy supermarket.  True, the cart corral does poke somewhat into the third space.  But guess what?  When I left the market, they had left, and those spaces were indeed taken up by 3 other vehicles.  One of which was ALSO a truck.

I’m showing them a kindness by blurring the license plate.

The driver of this truck isn’t necessarily an idiot, but their sign is idiotic.

You can’t quite read it, but the sign says something along the lines of “WARNING: Not responsible for damage due to falling debris.  Stay 200 feet behind vehicle.”  The reason why that’s stupid is two-fold.

Yes, you are responsible if stuff falls out of your truck, the same as I’d be responsible if my fender fell off on the freeway and hit the guy behind me.

Second, unless you drive wearing binoculars (which I wouldn’t recommend), you can’t even READ the sign unless you’re already much closer than 200 feet!

(picture taken from passenger seat, by the way)

October 28, 2008 at 9:28 am Leave a comment

HELP! I was on TV (in Canada) and I never got to see it!

Slightly-Mad Science was featured in an episode of Canada’s G4techTV show Torrent. Problem is, I’m not in Canada and they didn’t put that episode on their website – so I never saw the end result. Help?

Continue Reading October 9, 2008 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

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