Bomb disposal disarms napalm-making teen

Fire in the hole!

British Army bomb disposal experts have disarmed a Suffolk teenager who brought home-made "napalm" into school, the Daily Telegraph reports. The unnamed 14 or 15-year-old apparently got instructions on how to knock up the concoction from a website, and rather splendidly decided to spend the half term holiday producing the flammable brew.

Sadly, when he duly presented his homework to the chemistry teacher at £17,000-a-year Woodbridge school, the master proved less than enthusiastic, declaring "Oh my God" before alerting police who in turn called in the UXB boys from Colchester.

An MOD spokesman said: "It was not actually napalm, but we are not disclosing what it was. We removed the substance and disposed of it safely."

Those readers dismayed with the MOD's anti-educational stance regarding the recipe for home-made napalm will be delighted to learn that a quick web search reveals that it was originally produced by "gelling gasoline with the aluminium salts of fatty acids", ie, "NAphtenic and PALMitic acids, hence its name". Nowadays, though, "aluminium octoate is used and it gels gasoline very well indeed".

Naturally, the powers that be rather frown on domestic napalm production, and we therefore suggest that bored teenagers restrict themselves to traditional holiday pastimes such as dismantling unexploded fireworks and detonating the contents in their parents' garage. ®

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