Love Is A Burning Flame, And So Is This Underwater Burning Ring Of Fire

When Johnny Cash wrote “Ring of Fire”, he was talking about love. But when an unnamed follower of [TheBackyardScientist] took it literally and suggested making actual rings of fire — underwater —  they rose to the challenge as you can see in the video below the break.

Of course there are several ingredients to underwater fire rings. First you need water, and a pool clearly does the job in this video. Second, you need flammable rings of gas. [TheBackyardScientist] decided to build a machine to create the gas rings, and it’s quite interesting to see them go through several iterations before settling on a voice coil based poppet valve design. We must say that it works absolutely swimmingly.

Lastly there needs to be fire. And for fire, you need something flammable, and something shocking. Forty thousands volts light up a spark plug, even underwater. The fuel is provided by what appears to be compressed air and acetylene but we’re not 100% sure. We are sure that it goes bang! quite sufficiently, as demonstrated by its aptitude for blowing things up.

We appreciated the engineering that went into the project but also the rapid iterations of ideas, the overcoming of serious obstacles and the actual science that went into the project. Even if it is just randomly making literal burning rings of fire.

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Modern Wildfires And Their Effect On The Ozone Layer

The ozone layer is a precious thing, helping protect the Earth from the harshest of the sun’s radiative output. If anything were to damage this layer, we’d all feel the results in a very short order indeed.

In the past, humanity has worked to limit damage to the ozone layer from our own intentional actions. However, it’s not just aerosol cans and damaged air conditioning systems that are putting it at risk these days. The fierce wildfires we’ve seen so much of in recent years are also having a negative effect. Let’s take a look at why the ozone layer matters, and how it’s being affected by these wildfires.

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Minecraft furnace IRL

Replica Minecraft Furnace Actually Powers The Game

Let’s face it, we all need a little distraction sometimes, especially lately. And for our money, there’s no better way to put your brain in park than to start up a Minecraft world and get to digging. The simple graphics, the open world, and the lack of agenda other than to find resources and build things are all very soothing.

But play the game long enough and you’re bound to think about what it would be like if the game world crossed over into the real world. The ironically named [Michael Pick] did just that when he managed to craft a real Minecraft furnace that can actually power the game. Of course, there are some liberties taken with the in-game crafting recipe for a furnace, which is understandable for a game that allows you to punch trees with a bare fist to cut them down.

Rather than using eight blocks of cobblestone to build his furnace, [Michael] made a wooden shell for a commercial folding camp stove. Insulated from the shell by a little cement board, the furnace looks pretty true to the in-game item. To generate the electricity needed to run the game, he used a pair of thermoelectric camping generators. With the stove filled with wood — presumably un-punched — the generators put out enough juice to at least partially charge a battery bank, which was then used to power a Raspberry Pi and 7″ monitor. His goal was to get enough power from the furnace to do a speed run in the game and find three diamonds to build a diamond pickaxe. Honestly, we’re jealous — our first diamonds never come that easy.

We’ve seen other Minecraft-IRL crossovers before. Fancy a ride in a minecart? We’ve got that covered. Or maybe you’d rather control a desk lamp from within the game? That’s a thing, too.

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Pyrotechnic Posters Are Fireworks Drawn On Paper

There’s a deep love many humans feel for fire; it’s often cited as one of the most important discoveries that led to the founding of civilization. The work of French artistic duo [Pinaffo-Pluvinage] definitely hits upon that, combining pyrotechnics with paper to make what are probably the most exciting posters you’ve ever seen, as reported by Heise Online.

The artworks are made with a variety of powders, including those for blue and red flames and one with a special “scintillating” effect.

The posters aren’t huge, measuring 50 cm x 70 cm. However, what they lack in size, they make up for with literal flames. Yes, the posters are laced with a variety of pyrotechnic powders that combust in a variety of designs and patterns to create a dynamic burning artwork once ignited.

Each poster is thus a work of art in both the visual and combustible realms. Different parts of the artwork burn at differnt rates and with different colored flames, adding to the performance when the poster is burned. Impressively, the artworks are not destroyed in the process; the pyrotechnic material burns off with much flame and smoke without destroying the poster itself.

Putting together the posters wasn’t as simple as simply doodling some designs. The duo had to develop their own methods to apply the pyrotechnic material to the paper. Reportedly, the effort took hundreds of experiments to get right.

It’s unclear exactly how the effect is achieved without burning the whole poster down; one suspects some kind of protective layer may be used. It’s quite the opposite of flash paper, which consumes the paper itself in the combustion.

In any case, fireworks experts will likely have some good ideas of the chemicals used to achieve the flaming effects; sound off in the comments if you know what’s what!

The pieces could be interpreted as a commentary on the transience of all things, or the artist’s intention could have been something different entirely. Who can say? Video after the break.

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Twin jet engines mounted on tank treads

Big Wind Is The Meanest Firefighting Tank You Ever Saw

As the Iraqi army retreated at the end of the first Gulf War, they took the term “scorched Earth policy” quite literally. Kuwaiti oil wells were set alight en masse, creating towering infernos that blackened the sky.

As it turns out, extinguishing a burning oil well is no easy feat. In the face of this environmental disaster, however, a firefighting team from Hungary made a name for themselves out on the desert sands, astride a jet-engined tank named Big Wind.

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Turkey fryer

Why Deep Frying Turkey Can Go Very Wrong

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and that means Americans across the United States will be cooking up a turkey feast. One of the most popular ways to cook the bird is by deep frying it in oil.

Local TV stations everywhere spend this week warning about turkey frying. They’re not wrong… if things get out of hand you can end up burning down your house, if not your entire street. Let’s talk the science behind November turkey fires, and hopefully avoid a turkeyferno.

Simple Errors

The typical setup for deep frying a turkey involves lowering the bird into a big pot full of oil sitting on a gas burner. Ropes and pulleys are often used to lower the turkey into the pot to avoid getting one’s hands near the hot oil. Ideally, this should be done in a backyard, away from structures, to provide good ventilation and plenty of room in the case something does go wrong.

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Smokeless Burn Barrel Makes Your Backyard Fire Much Cleaner

Old 55-gallon drums are often repurposed into fire barrels with the simple addition of a few holes cut into the walls. Generally, they’re fit enough for purpose but can have a very smoky output, particularly when overloaded.  However, this design from [Building Stuff Is Fun] combines two drums into one to create a barrel that burns far more efficiently with less smoke! (Video, embedded below.)

Note the vent holes feeding oxygen to the fire just before the barrel outlet.

Through some clever cuts and folding of steel, a single burn barrel is created from the original two that helps eliminate smoke entirely, through two clever design features. First of all, plentiful air is provided to the fire thanks to the intakes at the bottom of the barrel. Secondly, the barrel-in-barrel design, paired with some smart vents, helps provide fresh air to the fire just before it leaves the barrel. This extra oxygen supply helps create secondary combustion at the outlet which burns up all the matter that would normally be passed out as smoke.

The design involves a lot more work than just hacking some holes in an old drum, but the results are undeniably impressive. The output of the smokeless burn barrel looks far hotter and cleaner. We’ve seen similar designs used to supply workshop heat, too. Video after the break.

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