The “I’ve set fire to stuff” badge (LEVEL II).


In which the recipient has set fire to stuff, while fully aware of all combustion principles at play. (AB)



  1. Our ‘misguided’ (read as ‘drunken’) experiments involving aerosol cans and cigarette lighters has to count for Levels I and II, right? I mean, come on, we almost died! Yeah, technically we knew the risks…

  2. Spent part of one summer holiday as a kid experimenting with different formulations of home-made gunpowder. Various forms of carbon from around the farm, sulfur from the nearby train bridge, saltpeter from the local drugstore. If you don’t grind the sulfur fine enough it really spits.

  3. Once I found a nice oak log with the center rotted out and a hole in the side, so naturally, I started a fire in it. Once the inside was lined with embers, I bent a piece of aluminum soffit into a cylinder to go into the hole and put the hose from a shop vac set to blow in the other end. All that extra air really gets it going, with a nice plume of sparks/embers shooting out the top. It would get hot enough to melt an aluminum can in under a minute. Very entertaining, but sadly one use only.

  4. I once owned a navy flare gun, the old wwII era steel one. My kid brother and I used to spray the barrel full of WD40 and fire a 12 ga. cartridge from it. (Think a one-foot pistol-gripped shotgun). The resultant plume of flame was about four feet long. We weren’t very closely supervised as kids.

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