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June 25, 2014

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: bigger than a breadbox.

Another: battery-powered.

June 25, 2014 at 08:01 AM | Permalink


Ah, that lovely word "should" Clifyt :) I hadn't realised, but you can't even buy them here - http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2011L00227 and their reasoning is pretty sound. It's not long ago that a few sparks from an angle grinder caused a major bush fire - http://www.emknowledge.gov.au/resource/?id=502

Posted by: Graeme | Jun 26, 2014 5:18:42 AM

I used to make my version. It was the late 1960's and I would dissolve mossy Zink in HCL filling a large trash bag - tied shut with a 6mm cotton cord treated with sodium nitrate and red phosphorus and wax. The phosphorous was close to the tie-in and allowing this H2 powered craft to climb with a glowing wick just waiting to hit the phosphorus and wax - BANG!

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Jun 26, 2014 2:26:19 AM

Yeah the battery powered thing has me confused too. It looks just like the lanterns my big brothers and their friends would send up into the sky when I was a wee sprite in Zahala, Israel. There was no money for batteries back then, of that I am certain.

Posted by: tamra | Jun 26, 2014 12:06:56 AM

hot air marshmellow

Posted by: robweeve | Jun 25, 2014 7:19:35 PM

Floating Lanterns

Posted by: Kevin | Jun 25, 2014 7:17:39 PM

Alessandro Volta meets Chef Boyardee

Posted by: Flautist | Jun 25, 2014 3:05:53 PM

Larry Page meets Isamu Noguchi.

Posted by: Marianne | Jun 25, 2014 9:40:48 AM

Do you set the battery on fire?!

Posted by: YesBiscuit | Jun 25, 2014 8:58:04 AM

Battery powered??? All I see is cotton and alcohol around a thin bag!!! What would you use the battery for??? Ignition???

I tried to build one of these when I was a kid for a Chinese festival we were invited to and I must have done something wrong as it never got off the ground. Probably too heavy. This one looks like it might be made out of tyvec or something similar that is light and fire retardant. I might be tempted to try another...

Graeme -- if you use alcohol and cotton -- and nothing else flammable, it SHOULD go out well before it ever comes back to the ground. Then again, what do I know...7 year old me couldn't get one off the ground 30 some years ago!

Posted by: Clifyt | Jun 25, 2014 8:27:34 AM

Something which has been getting itself a bit of a bad name in some places over recent years. Not for causing UFO scares (which are good for spotting the gullible amongst us) but for setting fire to things miles away. I'd love to let my kids launch some, but bush fires are a big risk down here, even now in the middle of winter.

Posted by: Graeme | Jun 25, 2014 8:07:26 AM

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