Celebration and Explosive Sledgehammers

Filed Under Fire, Video | 2009-02-12, 15:53

Unfortunately we missed it this year, but next year you should grab your Thor costume and head down to San Juan de la Vega, Mexico in February for some explosive celebrations.

Every year on the Tuesday of Carnival (which fell on Feb 5th this year), the residents of San Juan de la Vega get together to “recreate” the great battle of their patron saint (San Juan de la Vega of cours) and the government. The story is that this Juan was a bit of a Robin Hood character and stole from the rich to give to the poor. During Carnival, there is a little bit of a recreation of the story of some thieves stealing gold, but not all making it out. The captured thieves are then offered up for a ransom that exceeds the amount of gold stolen. Money is collected, but apparently not all goes according to plan and there is the resulting battle with the government. This isn’t a small recreation though. Tons of potassium chloride and sulphur along with many thousands of people gather to set off these explosive hammers.

The explosive recreation of the “battle” used to take place in the main square of the city, but due to damage to buildings (I can imagine!) it has since been moved to a soccer field where there aren’t any windows to break. Surprisingly with this large number of explosives and close proximity of exploders, there are very few injuries. In 2007 there were 17 reported minor injuries, and 50 in 2008.

There’s a translated article (thanks Babelfish) about the 2007 celebration if you want to read more about the reason behind it all. There is also the original article for those fluent in Spanish. And an article on last year’s celebration: English / Spanish.

The above video is from a previous year, and here’s a video from 2008:

And thanks to avidd, there’s also a humorous Instructables based on the top video entitled “Physics experiement with exploding sledgehammer”.


Explosion Collection

Filed Under Fire Art, Video | 2007-09-18, 21:31

We’ve recently stumbled upon some good videos of explosions again. Last time it was Explosive Ordinance Disposals but this time it’s an even bigger explosion, as well as some other large ones I had the opportunity to see in person.

Russian Vacuum Bomb
Containing 7.8 tons of high explosives, Russia’s latest “vacuum bomb” is non-nuclear but results in an explosions equivalent to 44 tons of explosives. While the “Mother of all Bombs” is 8.0 tons, it is said this “Father of all Bombs” is even more powerful. The shockwave is readily visible, I only wish that the video had audio.

2BLEVE was an art piece created by Nate Smith at Burning Man in 2006. In short about 250 gallons of fuel was ignited in two “boiling liquid expanding vapor explosions” (hence the name, 2BLEVE). A BLEVE occurs when a tank containing pressurized liquid is ruptured and the fuel quickly vaporizes, something you don’t want to happen by accident.

More pictures and videos of 2BLEVE.

Crude Awakening
Crude Awakening was an art piece in the deep playa for Burning Man 2007. It consisted of a 100ft high oil derrick and 8 figures in poses of prayer “worshipping” the derrick. Politics, opinions, and green man theme aside, the explosion and burning of it at the end of the week was still awe-inspiring.

The extended version with the ridiculous amount of fireworks (for those without ADD):

The explosion from up close:

From a mile away:

Morning after
from thinkcooper:

Following the Crude Awakening burn, early Sunday morning, Nate figured we should dispose of the last couple of hundred gallons of AV fuel on his trailer. A group of a ~dozen of us headed out to the CA site around 5:30AM, and cleared out a 250′ safety perimeter. Nate filled two tanks with a ~200 gallons of aviation fuel each, pressurized them with propane, and then set them off. Bob Hoffman and I were laying on the playa right below the rings. What a Sunday morning treat for the all-nighters still hanging out at Crude Awakening site


Explosives Camp

Filed Under Education, Fire | 2007-07-03, 10:39

They didn’t have this sort of thing when I was growing up, but I wish they did! NPR reports on a camp for kids where they’re encouraged to blow things up.
Some video from one of the lessons on creating a wall of fire and exploding a chicken:

via MAKE

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Las Vegas Hotel Implosions

Filed Under Fire | 2007-06-14, 14:01

On my first trip to Las Vegas last weekend, I marveled at the sheer size of some of the buildings on the strip. But I would have loved to be there to see the buildings get destroyed. Luckily the top ten Las Vegas hotel implosions are captured on video for your enjoyment. My personal fave was the Hacienda:

More hotel destruction


Large Detonations and Explosions

Filed Under Fire, Video | 2007-04-17, 14:37

It started with a 100 ton detonation found via techyum:

Then we found another view of it:

Then we started poking around and found these:

How about a 426 ton one?

These all appear to be from the EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) guys over in Iraq, disposing of weapons and explosives they’ve seized.

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