Mad Science: Experiments you can do at home but probably shouldn't by Theodore Gray

This is one awesome experiment book.

Did you know you could make rocket fuel with a snickers bar? All you need to do it mix it with a concentrated source of oxygen, like potassium percholate, ignite it and -- PHOOM! A huge rushing tower of fire!

Or perhaps you'd like to save some money and make your own homemade matches. Everyone's into the DIY stuff these days. You'll find step by step instructions here in this book -- just watch out that you don't mix the the red phosphorus and potassium chlorate required by the experiment or you may have an unexpected explosion on your hands (or no hands at all). I'd watch out for the cops too, since possession of red phosphorus is a federal crime.

Or get even more practical: make your own salt! Okay, so it involves combining liquid sodium and chlorine which results in fiery explosions and clouds of salty smoke. But if you tie a net full of popcorn above your experiment like Theo, you can salt your popcorn! (just watch out for flaming liquid sodium balls)

In addition to instructions for doing the experiments, the book contains plenty of interesting facts about various elements and chemical reactions. The photos are really spectacular, just like ones in Theodore Gray's Elements book --you can't help but stare at the cool explosions and close ups of chemical reactions happening. I like the "danger alerts", which inform the reader of all the perils of doing these experiments and the introduction which includes a section titled "Real warnings vs. the-lawyer-made-us-do-it warnings". There's plenty of sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek humour that makes the whole thing pretty entertaining to read.

Sure, most of the materials required are poisonous, dangerous, hard to get a hold of and possibly illegal, but this is exactly what makes the experiments so fascinating.

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