Hot lead and "Super-Soakers"

Mar 10, 2011

Sometimes it seems most of life’s problems can be solved with proper application of high velocity projectiles.

Take the “Chicken Gun”, operated by the US Air Force. It solved the problem of testing bird impacts on airplanes. It was too hard to fly around looking for a flock of birds to fly into, so they invented a cannon to fire freshly killed chickens at expensive airplanes. And in a pinch, it can be used as a weapon. While it might not create smoking craters, it would totally gross out the enemy.

This isn’t the only case of chickens being used by the military.

During the Cold War, the British Army designed a nuclear bomb to be used in the event of a Russian invasion. These nuclear mines would be buried in the fields of northern Germany. The problem was that cold weather made the electronics unreliable, so they actually proposed to include live chickens in the bomb’s mechanism, to provide warmth. It must be true, I found it on Wikipedia.

Another favorite is an invention created in 1982 by Dr. Lonnie Johnson, then an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He was working on a heat pump that used water instead of Freon. He must have been working from home, because he had the thing hooked up to his bathroom sink, when it created a powerful jet of water that immediately drenched the bathroom.

He immediately said - and I quote -

“This would make a great water gun!"

He went on to develop the legendary “Super-Soaker” that defined modern water warfare, making 100’s of millions of dollars along the way. Dr Johnson is one of the world’s top inventors and is now working on a new ways of generating and storing electricity.

This week's Pop Quiz:

A) An angry rhino is charging at you on the African plain. Which gun should you reach for?

  1. Mauser 191 ought 7
  2. Burp Gun
  3. Super-Soaker
  4. Phaser

B) If cupid used a gun instead of a bow and arrow, what would he use for ammunition?

  1. Jujubes
  2. Sugar cubes
  3. Rose petals
  4. Sapphire bullets of pure love

C) What do Mommy and Daddy bullets make?





A – (3)  Rhinos hate water in the face

B – (4)

C – Little BB's