Science ideas

via the kids’ Scout Group Facebook page…

I’m not sure if they’re trying to give them ideas or what?

But here’s the story of┬áDavid Charles Hahn (1976-2016), a teenager who – as the title suggests – quite literally built a nuclear reactor in his mother’s garden shed.

Spoiler: It would have been built in her basement, but he’d already blown that up.

If you’re wondering how he managed to get instructions on how to build a nuclear reactor in the days when the internet was only just starting up, well, he called up America’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and they talked him through the step-by-step instructions. And told him how to isolate radioactive material.

Which was like this:

But being a breeder reactor, the amount of radioactive material increased, and after a month, he decided the danger to those around him was too great and began to dismantle it. But he was arrested in the process of loading the reactor into his car one night in 1994.

No criminal charges were brought. Amazing.

Hahn died aged 39 in 2016 after a short career in the US Navy, And no, his untimely death had nothing to do with his youthful exploits.

I’ve got a few spare days later this week – and I have an idea…




Simultaneously spotted on twitter (via @ivovegter) and Stumbleupon (via someone else), this Marble Music Machine is simply incredible:

I wanted to share this asap, but there’s evidently a massive backstory which you can view here.

And there’s previous as well, with this punched card, hand cranked music box offering from over 3 years ago.


Team GB

But probably not the one you’re thinking about.

It’s been a busy weekend, but we still found time to finally make that ginger beer that we’ve been promising to make since… well… ages. And it is delicious.
We used this recipe from the Scrumptious blog and the kids had a whale of a time zesting lemons, stirring buckets of ingredients and helping to bottle the stuff before bedtime.

This morning – happy to note that none of our bottles had exploded overnight – I released the pressure before sticking them in the fridge and going and running around on a football pitch for an hour or more. When I came back, the young workers popped one open and: wow.
The ginger is actually rather understated, but as a refreshing lemonade-style drink, it’s an absolute winner. Almost half of our 5 litre stash has gone already. I suspect that the remaining 50% will struggle to make Tuesday.

In short, it’s simple and it’s delicious. An absolute must for summer.