#3. Jelly Jar Pulse Jet Engine
That's right, anyone with the desire to duct tape a glass bomb to a skateboard and a predilection for total physical disfigurement can create a miniature jet engine with model airplane fuel and an empty jar!
Once lit, the vapor in the jar quickly catches fire and expands, escaping through the hole in the lid but preventing the next "charge" from igniting until it has been released, at which point cool clean air enters, promptly explodes and starts the whole cycle over again until the fuel is exhausted. Or until something goes horribly wrong.
During this reaction, the jar makes a noise that sounds like it could explode at any second, probably because it can explode at any second. The video urges you to wear goggles in case of this event, and while we are by no means scientists, we're pretty sure you need more than three inches of plastic over your eyes to defend against white-hot exploding glass fragments.
Unless you are Luke Cage.
In theory, you can strap a few of these to something small with wheels and watch it roll off. You can also just, you know, push something small with wheels and watch it roll off. It probably won't explode, then.
#2. Ruben's Tube
A Ruben's Tube is a length of pipe with several holes drilled in it, hooked up to a speaker and a propane source. Sounds played through the speaker send jets of flame along the pipe in the shape of the sound waves. After all the destruction we've featured so far, this one is actually kind of nerdawesome.
Get a length of pipe with holes drilled every 3/4 of an inch, seal it on both ends and hook it up to a speaker and a bottle of propane. Turn on the gas, light it, then play some Slayer through the speaker and watch the most metal display of physics you will ever see. These folks at MIT made a video of the Ruben's Tube playing "Still Alive" from Portal:
The tube works because the sound passing through creates nodes and antinodes in sync with the holes. Basically, the peaks and valleys of the sound wave match up with the holes in the tube, so as the wave changes, more or less gas is ejected, changing the height of each flame on the tube.
Fun fact: One of the scientists whose research helped Heinrich Rubens to devise his titular device was named August Kundt. Oh, the jokes that might have been.
My Kundt's Tube is burning.
#1. Make a Fire Tornado
If you've ever watched any specials on forest fires or news reports about the pile of oil soaked rags known as southern California, you might have seen a fire tornado before. Nothing on earth looks so much like the finger of God come down to mete out some smiting like a swirling pillar of flame.
"I guess maybe if we came at it from the side? Just kidding fellas, I'm not getting anywhere near that fucking thing."
All you need to make a small scale version is a Lazy Susan, some lighter fluid, a dish, a sponge and some screen. Also, being impervious to flame would help, because the chance of this thing spilling and killing everyone around you is pretty high.
This is pretty much like setting a merry-go-round on fire, though hopefully without any burning children. When the lighter fluid-soaked sponge spins, the fire naturally turns with it. The screen tube allows the fire to breathe while spinning the air above it, which results in the spiraling jet of flame that the guy in the video seemingly can't wait to shove his face into.
Not pictured: logic, reason.
In nature, fire tornadoes are a lot less fun--in Tokyo back in 1923, a fire tornado killed 38,000 people in less than 15 minutes. Regular tornados just do not compare, because if Dorothy was carried off to Oz in a rampaging conical chariot of flames, the Wicked Witch would've just left her the fuck alone.
Find more from David at Associated Content.
For more disturbing ways humans are using science to make them look like wizards, check out 7 Man-Made Substances That Laugh in the Face of Physics and 5 Scientific Ways to Make Water Do Magic..
And stop by Cracked.com's Top Picks or we'll light your ass on fire right now.