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Backyard Ballisticsby William Gurstelle
As tempting as it sounds to spend the afternoon with the two digital puppies wrestling under Lara Croft's wife-beater, nothing is really more entertaining than plain ol' throwing rocks at stuff. Or, better still, shooting said rocks out of a homemade cannon. I don't believe the writer of Backyard Ballistics condones using rocks as projectiles (encouraging safe and responsible behavior is a big issue in this book), but he certainly has no problem endorsing various devices that fling vegetables or water-balloons (sorry no hamsters). Backyard Ballistics contains a brief history of propellants through the ages. But more importantly, it gives explicit directions on how many of them can be built and utilized right in your own backyard; from paper match rockets and Cincinnati fire kites to tabletop catapults. Light a match. Stand back. Apologize to neighbor.
Synopses & Reviews
Ordinary folks can construct 13 awesome ballistic devices in their garage or basement workshops using inexpensive household or hardware store materials and this step-by-step guide. Clear instructions, diagrams, and photographs show how to build projects ranging from the simple?a match-powered rocket?to the more complex?a scale-model, table-top catapult?to the offbeat?a tennis ball cannon. With a strong emphasis on safety, the book also gives tips on troubleshooting, explains the physics behind the projects, and profiles scientists and extraordinary experimenters such as Alfred Nobel, Robert Goddard, and Isaac Newton. This book will be indispensable for the legions of backyard toy-rocket launchers and fireworks fanatics who wish every day was the fourth of July.
"If you want to make a potato souffle, pick up a book by Julia Child. If you want to decorate your holiday cards with hand-cut potato stamps, look to a Martha Stewart manual. If, however, you'd like to launch a potato in a blazing fireball of combusing hairspray from a PVC pipe, your best source is Backyard Ballistics, by William Gurstelle." Time Out New York
"Your inner boy will get a bang out of these 13 devices to build and shoot in your own back yard, some of them noisy enough to legally perk up a 4th of July." The Dallas Morning News
A mans home is his castle, or so the saying goes, but could it withstand an attack by Attila and the Huns, Ragnar and the Vikings, Alexander and the Greeks, Genghis Khan and the Mongols, or Tamerlane and the Tartars? Backyard Ballistics author William Gurstelle poses this fascinating question to modern-day garage warriors and shows them how to build an arsenal of ancient artillery and fortifications aimed at withstanding these invading hordes. Each chapter introduces a new bad actor in the history of warfare, details his conquests, and features weapons and fortifications to defend against him and his minions. Clear step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and photographs show how to build a dozen projects, including “Da Vincis Catapult,” “Carpinis Crossbow,” a “Crusader-Proof Moat,” “Alexanders Tortoise,” and the “Cheval-de-frise.” With a strong emphasis on safety, the book also gives tips on troubleshooting, explains the physics behind many of the projects, and shows where to buy the materials. By the time theyve reached the last page, at-home defenders everywhere will have succeeded in creating a fully fortified home.
About the Author
William Gurstelle is a professional engineer who has designed, constructed, and collected ballistics experiments for more than 20 years. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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