#3. Human Slingshot
Building your own amusement park ride seems like an impossible undertaking. Between the construction costs, the insurance issues and wrangling and vaccinating all the carnies, you're probably never going to get a roller coaster in your backyard. You can, however, stretch a big rubber band between a couple of poles like these guys.
The slingshot is made from two power line poles, a homemade bungee and some overeager kids on a four-wheeler who long ago abandoned their sense of self preservation in favor of a desire to watch a friend's ass get forced into their neck.
The potential for this contraption to go horribly awry is high. Nevermind a faulty bungee or poor launch trajectory, one loose harness strap and you'll be flying through the skies as gracefully as a drunken hobo scales the stairs into the subway, and towards the same result: broken bones and shitted pants.
#2. Sawdust Cannon
A sawdust cannon is supposedly a way to make explosions without the inherent danger of real explosives, which is like saying stabbing someone with a screwdriver is like stabbing without the inherent danger of knives.
When you force compressed air into 30-pounds of sawdust with a road flare jammed in the middle, you get a massive explosion. The flare ignites the air/sawdust mixture and creates a scale model hell on Earth.
The cannon was tested on the TV show Mythbusters and, after creating a fireball even bigger than the one in the video, claimed that the technology was too dangerous for even them, and should never be shared with anyone. This seems slightly disingenuous though, after explaining exactly how easy it was, then broadcasting it to millions of rabid, tech-junkie viewers. It's kind of like giving a kid a candy bar and telling them not to eat it. Then waiting until they start eating it to make it explode.
#1. Rocket Bike
These days, rocket bikes are as common as syphilis. A quick Google search will net you a few hundred thousand results. Most of them are loud, dangerous and don't do much except for sputter and smoke a lot, like grandma only less incontinent.
THIS WAS THE WORST IDEA!
Then you have Tim Pickens, an actual rocket designer. His "not fucking around here" bike incorporates the same hybrid fuel design used in SpaceShipOne, the first privately funded spaceplane to take a human into space, which, oh by the way, Pickens helped create.
The bike is fairly simple, in a crazy fire-a-few-inches-from-your-ass sort of way. A battery pack ignites a model rocket engine which vaporizes roofing tar, fueling the engine and creating 200-pounds of thrust. The rocket bike can go from zero to 60 in five seconds, fast enough to beat a Porsche--though probably still unable to help you land the girl riding in the Porsche.
The major design flaw though is not Pickens's engineering, but the base model he chose for his bike. The bike is a Pacific, sold at Wal-Mart and put together by guys who likely enjoy Pabst and weed for breakfast. Demonstrating faith in his design, Pickens lets his 13-year-old daughter ride the bike, which does less to give us faith in the bargain-basement bike and more to lower our faith in his parenting skills.
Then again, at age 13 what would you have given to trade your dad for a Rocket Bike Dad? We're guessing a lot.
While we don't condone creating one, we'd be failing in our civic duties if we failed to inform you that flamethrower is totally legal. Find out what else is, in 7 Items You Won't Believe Are Actually Legal. And find out about some iconic weapons that are being developed, in 5 Famous Sci-Fi Weapons That They're Actually Building.
And check out the Top Picks to see how our modified pens are truly mightier than the sword (we're talking about our dongs).