While doing serious fruitcake research, (no, really) we stumbled across the Great Fruitcake Toss held every January in Colorado. The particular entry above caught our eye. Omega 380 was built by a group of Boeing engineers and currently holds the distance record of 1,420feet. It’s a large compressed air cannon. All pressure is human generated using an exercise bike turning a pump. Apparently the team’s first contest entry was a classic surgical tubing slingshot. It eventually broke down during a very cold year, so they switched to this newer design. You can see more videos on the Operation Fruitcake blog.
We definitely don’t recommend trying this one, but [Tony] sent in this odd twist on the old potato launcher. A pair of physics students put together a Taser like potato sized bullet. On impact, two metal pins are inserted into the target, delivering an electric shock. Depending on the size of the capacitor and amount of charge delivered, it can be a (sort of) non-lethal or lethal shock. We’d prefer not to be shot with either one.
I caught up with [Larry] from pauldotcom.com and got a quick walk-through of his Shmooball gun. After several less successful attempts, this one worked pretty damn well and featured a distinctive sound that caused a notable glimmer of fear in the eyes of the speakers. *cough*[renderman]*cough*. Read on for the secrets of the Shmooball gun.