Mischief & Mayhem
(Mirth and Merryment )

If you are not having fun yet, why are you doing this?

Chrissi... (Who is this nutcase anyway?)
I do the technical end of this project, read the plans, check other people's web sites, plan out the days work, cut the materials. 

When I lived in the San Francisco Bay area almost all my friends were geeks, the extreme kind, extremely brilliant and living extreme lifestyles. One of the things that I enjoyed the most was when people of this level of intelligence decide to play, it is always a bit over the top. Guys and girls alike they all were inspirational and their sense of adventure never ceased to amaze me. 
This page is dedicated to them and their spirit for taking the mundane and "going where men of reason fear to tread".

A recent case in point: Susan, an attractive single woman, mid 40's, by day designs the next generation of network systems in Silicone Valley, by night an incredible studio rock/jazz musician with a minor obsession with lasers. 
Lasers, not cutesy pretty lights, we are talking power supplies that usually bring down the lights on the block, water cooled, big bottles of rare gasses and beams that burn through steel, pulses that blow holes in kitchen walls...oops!  ...guess a girl needs a hobby.
NEWSFLASH!!! I heard recently from a friend that Susan is now working in a national defense lab with BIG stuff, yeee haaw, way to go Susan!

The R&D lab I worked in had occasional outbreaks of sanity between trying to have a good time and generating the next breakthrough in medical imaging. I had one jr. engineer who was beyond his years in high energy power supplies knowledge. One day I caught him making hardware jump off the bench with pulses from his latest project, rather than get all serious I told him to build that into a magnetic accelerator. He calculated spacing and timing of pulses and with coils around a tube and was launching steel nuts through the ceiling tiles. The outcome of this goofing off was less boredom and more productivity. He later went on to help develop a better short arc lamp (HID) power supply. Funny thing was, I had hired him to do mechanical design.

So if you have got to play, play hard!

One of my favorite things was what to do when some poor soul was away from the office... you know, crazy glue their full coffee cup to the desk, rubber snake in the drawer, mess with their computer?

-If you grew up in California you had earthquake drills in school, you could always tell those who grew up in earthquake country because at the slightest tremor they'd be under their desks. One of our favorite things took several co-conspirators but we'd have someone out in the hall to flag the other people when to start, the interior walls of a modern office are sort of flexible, so on the signal we'd have everybody start to shake all the walls surrounding someone's office, usually when it was nice and quiet. You'd find them under the desk every time. Not growing up in the area, when the "Big One" hit us in Northern California I ran to the window to see what was going on. The view was much better than the one under a desk.

Velocity builders Elizabeth Szoke & Brett Ferrell sent us these wonderful pictures of office pranks:

Spud Guns: When God created the potato I just know this is not what he had in mind!

This guy probably piles up his mashed potatos at dinner time in the shape of spud guns:

Photo credit: www.SpudTech.com

www.SpudTech.com worth checking out, he is serious about his spud guns and I love the way he thinks. By the way, he's in Wisconsen, we should get him to come to Osh! Check out his videos =)

This one wins our award for sheer intimidation factor, appropriately named "Locutus":

Photo credit: www.vochraye.com/spud

As if muzzle loading spud guns were not enough, how about a breach loading gun? or the revolver concept below...THESE PEOPLE ARE CERTIFIABLE...don't you just love them?

Picture credit: www.advancedspuds.com

http://www.advancedspuds.com use the pull down menu on the bottom of his page to navigate

But even spud guns on steroids have their limitations, back in days of old there was need for heaving massive object at the enemy, especially when Mongo was not available you need a real machine. Some sick puppy back in the days of siege weapons came up with the trebuchet... just the thing you need when you want to fling a SteelcaseTM desk at someone?

Or as Ron at www.Trebuchet.com describes it "The delicate art of hurling" These things are a masterwork of mechanical engineering used to turn mass into force and velocity, so much so thet these people have analysis software available just to design a better flinger. You have to check out the videos, fling a watermellon a block away? No Problem! ...just the solution for those unwanted dirty diapers =)

Picture credit: www.Trebuchet.com

If you are fresh out of desks, pumpkins? No Problem, there is always a surplus of neighborhood kids!

Photo credit: www.trebuchet.com

...actually, don't try flinging people at home, the site goes on to say someone tried to reproduce this in England and someone was killed.

On the lighter side of things we have Tesla coils:

Photo credit: http://tesladownunder.iinet.net.au/

Oh this is good, guys in Berzerkly "Survival Research Labs"  http://www.srl.org/ are straining for a Darwin Award;
go to their videos of "Best of the Yard" where they are testing things like a V8 powered pitching machine that fires 2 x 4's at over 200mph! or videos of 8 attempts to blow up a V8 engine on a test stand.. reminds me of the guy in the Fly Mart every year with the old engine chugging away with no oil pan, these guys have the same idea, but wide open, no oil pan and lots of protective headware.

And now for some light hearted aviation related Darwin wannabee's.
One of my hero's was always Lawn Chair Larry, remember him? Well it seems I am not the only one that saw the merit of his insanity:

Photo credit: www.clusterballoon.org

I suppose this would be a good time to fess up about my own Darwin attempt, the last aircraft I owned a half share in was a hot air balloon, ok, a small hot air balloon, a really small hot air balloon like this one:
aaak, I'll have to scan that one in.

Thanks to Bruce in Kentucky for a few of the following links:

Got a hot date and forgot to light the barby? No Worries mate, 3-5 gallons of liquid oxygen is guaranteed to have a perfect fire in 3 seconds!
click to visit site
Photo credit: http://www.doeblitz.net/ghg/

...but then it may vaporize the bbq! http://www.doeblitz.net/ghg/

Live in an apartment and can't have a big BBQ? Try the microwave!

Photo credit: http://margo.student.utwente.nl/el/microwave/

This guy has put just about everything in his microwave http://margo.student.utwente.nl/el/microwave/

For those of you who prefer to not expend the resources of fossil fueled power generators there is the Solar Death Ray
WARNING: This is really dark!

Photo credits: http://www.solardeathray.com/

Darth Vader has nothing on these guys except maybe on a cloudy day http://www.solardeathray.com/