Friday, October 14, 2005

G-Tech Bomb: Oh, I've Made Them Before

When the news first talked of the "bombs" at Georgia Tech, I wondered if it was a dry-ice bomb. According to the AJC it was. The exploded bottle in this picture is the remains of "device" that Theodore Hollot made.

Dry-ice bombs are nothing more then a sealed container with frozen CO2 and water. The water heats the dry ice, which sublimates from a solid to a gas, and the gas builds up in the container until it fails. Think of it as a carbonated drink on steroids. While the bomb is explosive it's not combusive, with no flames or heat. And while the pieces of the bomb do go flying, it's more sound with little force behind it.

If you have ever seen fog in a theaterical production, it may have been created with the use of dry ice. And on some of the productions I worked in the past we made CO2 bombs when we were done with the dry ice. At the end of a particularly tough traveling production, the crew was blowing off steam after dealing with a lighting designer who was a complete nightmare. After the last show while both the traveling crew (my guys) and his crew were celebrating the end of last show, he retreated to his office. And he was on the receiving end of a dry-ice bomb near his office door, made by one of his crew. Scarred the shit out of him, but no harm came to him.

So the kid at G-Tech, screwed. In a less paranoid time, he may have faced some moderate disciplinary action and continue on with his education. Hopefully terror-related hysteria won't prevail, and the kid will be subject to a level-headed and appropriate punishment and he will continue attending the school.


Scott said...

My wife kept asking everyone if they'd heard about the "bombs" at Tech, and that some terrorist kid was putting them around. When i pointed out that it was a harmless prank, her reaction (and so many people I spoke to) was that "in this day and age, there is no such thing as a harmless prank". It's shame our society has gotten so anal about the things that don't matter while we still ignore many of the things that do.

Anonymous said...

I actually recently got in trouble (arrested for this. Everyone seems to think this is a horrible thing. It was just having fun, and I didn't do it to "terrorize" anyone, I made sure nobody was near it. I think it is ridiculous that they consider it a bomb, even if plastic goes flying, it slows down within 3 feet of the bottle, and nobody was near that close to it. The cops told me that "they couldn't even find the cap". SHUT UP! They were looking for it in the dark, did they really expect to find it?