Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/03/01/letters_01_03/
Readers embrace napalm death
Homemade explosives? Those were the days...
Letters Our report into the napalm-brewing teen and his subsequent brush with bomb disposal provoked a small wavette of nostalgia among incendiary readers, plus a few tips on how you too can entertain your mates with a bit of amateur chemistry:
I remember me & my mates nearly burning my shed down making napalm from petrol and soap when i was about 13 or 14. Oh how we laughed.
Regarding your napalm making teenager story: Napalm is actually one of the easiest to make "naughty" things in the world, though the requisite fatty acids are a little difficult to get hold of in the highstreet. A reasonable substitute, however, is to disolve polystyrene (styrofoam for our merkin friends) with just enough petrol or diesel (you may find parafin or meths is worth trying) to leave you with something sticky and highly flamable. It's quite lethal, I'm told.
I truly worry about living in a state where the best thing standing between us and hooligans throwing napalm substitutes at us is ignorance ensured by strong-arm tactics like this. Given the triviality of finding information such as the above, I'd rather society just grew up and took responsibility for the education and raising of its children. Currently parents are encouraged to blame teachers, TV, and pop-stars rather than having an effect themselves; teachers are given far too little power etc. to even hope to take on the mantle of parenthood; TV and pop-stars deny any responsibility and the kids wonder what they're supposed to do with it all.
Having ranted at just about everyone in society, I just hope I'm able to live up to my own high expectations of everyone else when I become a parent myself...
Cheers & God bless Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny
Ahhh, those were the days. I used to love going to my local website to find out what new and inventive ways I could blow myself (and others) to pieces. Although I must admit, I was under the impression that some good ol' Daz Automatic mixed gently with Petroleum would do the trick quite nicely. (Remember kids, don’t let bubbles form!)
The anarchist in me also found a way to make plastic explosives with Domestos bleach from Wilkinsons and salt substitute from Holland & Barrett. Just mix them and stick in the fridge for a few hours. Very slowly grind the crystals that form and mix with slightly warm wax and you have some nice plastique. You could blow up half the street all in one weekly shop!
But, sadly I never had the nerve to try out any of these handy concoctions. Or did I have too much sense?
Killjoys. I used to make an ersatz napalm with petrol and expanded polystyrene foam. Petrol will dissolve several times its own volume of polystyrene foam. The resulting gloop sticks nicely to trees and burns readily, if smokily. It also forms an amusing flaming plastic skin on water.
Since these past-times apppear to be frowned upon now, I'd appreciate not being named if quoted.
More now on speed cameras in response to last week's mailbag on the subject:
I have discovered that by sticking to the limit - and travelling at 30 mph whenever unsure of the limit - speed cameras never, ever go off. Hypersonic school buses notwithstanding. Since I have adopted this new style of driving, my petrol bills have been smaller, and my servicing expenses have been lower. Most marvellous of all, the frustration of being stuck behind a slower driver has been magically lifted from my shoulders and placed firmly upon those of the person behind.
Safety cameras, speed cameras, call them flipping revenue cameras if you like, I just find it sad that if your postbag is anything to go by, the attitude of drivers in the UK is that the speed limits are there to be broken and that the government has spent vast amounts of money installing these things just so they can throw their weight around and take away this imaginary civil liberty people have dreamed up to drive at whatever speed they fancy.
Call me a boring old fart but there are speed limits in place for a good reason and as someone who has lost two family members in a fatal car accident caused by an idiot speeding driver, whatever measures the government takes to enforce the law I will welcome.
"...The fascists gave me a fine just the other month...Then they have the gaul to send me a glossy pamphlet..."
What, Vichy Collaborationists catching Britain's dangerous drivers. Merde! Where will it end? Can an Englishman not commit an offence in his own country without those damn EuroJeanies interfering.
Excellent deployment of the adjacency defence though. I can see lawyers across the country noting this one down even now:
Your honour my client pleads not guilty to speeding as he was quite near another section of road with a completely different speed limit.
Your honour my client pleads not guilty to drunk driving as his passenger was sober.
Your honour my client pleads not guilt to arson at 56 Acacia Avenue as he intended to burn down the house next door - etc. ad nauseum (as they say in the Eye).
Finally, a few comments on the news that an Italian jubologist has declared he can determine a woman's personality from the size and shape of her breasts. Fruity stuff indeed:
I am at a loss to figure out which type of fruit my breasts are shaped like. I mean, melons come in all shapes and sizes - are we talking about little round gala melons or bloody big watermelons here? And I pity any woman who has breasts like pineapples - I would have thought all those spiky bits would be very uncomfortable!
Melons, grapefruits, pears, i'm with you so far. But pineapples? Lemons? What are we talking about here? Size? Colour? Surface texture? Clearly Mr Lorenzoni needs to expand his fruit stall and get some research assistants so we can learn one equates to "gasping for it". Volunteers?
If I ever find myself with a woman with breasts like pineapples, I'll run a bloody mile!
Alternatively, you could dice some cheese and deploy the cocktail sticks... ®