Variability of Betelgeuse Explained

Alex The G and T

Thar! That Blows.
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Jan 25, 2012
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Extremely Northern California
Savages... boys and their firecrackers. ;)

K2
Sigh. Truer than you could know, K2. My Dad was a high school Chemistry and Physics teacher, and the faculty advisor/founder of the school science club. He had a Labooratory in the family basement.

In the sixties era, he had a group of very inventive, star students, who used to hang about the parental homestead; building catapults, cannons, giant slingshots and bombs and rockets.

In those halcyon days when "Boys will be Boys" was an acceptable defense for all manner of felonious, but non fatal, mayhem, no one paid much attention, or cared what the Science teacher was ordering for the school laboratory. Thus, Dad always kept a couple of interesting ingredients about the place.

My mentors, half a dozen years older than I, taught me to make all kinds of loud, bright and smoky fun. Eventually, they actually acquire a couple of professional grade, pyrotechnical recipe books. (They called me "Flamo" because I blew up my face, twice. Nothing serious. Singed hair and I looked like I'd spent too much time staring at the sun, for a few days.)

My personal favorite recipe produced an extraordinarily loud report, a spectacular white flash and a shock wave that you'd best be further away than 50 meters; all from a little cracker, not much bigger than a thumb. I don't dare mention what was in it, especially the oxidizer, for fear that I'd be instantly flagged by the TSA, NSA, CIA, FBI, ATF and the BVD. And the Taliban would be on my doorstep, asking for advice.
(Hint: Space Shuttle Boosters.)

One of the guys called himself "The Mad Bomber." His father worked for Lockheed, developing rocket engine ignitors, also had a lab at home. When that Dad passed, the Hazmat team evacuated half a square mile, until that basement was cleared out. TMB had a secret recipe, he wouldn't tell anyone what was in it. Size of thumb, the shock wave would blow your hair back at sixty meters.

We never destroyed anything. It was all for the spectacle.

Aww, now I've gone and got all nostalgic.

Thus, as you say, K2, boys and their firecrackers are exactly why I want to see Betelgeuse explode. And probably has a lot to do with why I enjoy Heavy Metal Rock concerts.
 
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