"Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive." ~ Elbert Hubbard

Do you enjoy converting aerosol spray cans into impromptu flamethrowers? Do you spend your spare time playing with bubbles, soft, cuddly methane bubbles? Do you find yourself uncontrollably amused by popping hydrogen/oxygen balloons? If yes to any of these question, then you and I are destined to be friends - best friends forever.

Don't give me that look. I can still be utterly engrossed in pyromania and still be normal. We all burned ants with magnifying glasses as kids, watching them smoke with awe. We all messed around with fancy, high-tech lasers, using them to light matches in mere seconds. Ok, well maybe the latter isn't so common, but that didn't stop me from reveling in the wonders of green lasers! Before you think I'm absolutely obsessed with fire (well, maybe I am at times :p), let me get to the point. I recently learned of this boyscout survival technique that is used to start a fire when abandoned in the middle of nowhere. All it involves is a 9V battery and some steel wool - why someone stranded would have either of these I don't know.

When first hearing of this neat phenomenon, I was fairly skeptical, not believing that you could start a fire with just a common household battery, but as always, physics (and maybe a little bit of chemistry) has the answer. As anyone who has dipped their toe in physics would know, circuits produce heat, a whole lot of it - this being the reason why three obnoxious light bulbs can render my room 81.9 degrees. Well, that means if you have a plain old circuit, doing nothing but circulating electrons, then it's just wasting energy in the form of heat. If one were to use a wire - this is where the sheep wool comes in - that is easily combustible, then like dark, medieval magic, sparks fly and the good times roll. So what fun is a lengthy, boring description of this? Since I wouldn't be any good at this job if I didn't subject myself to horrifying dangers on a daily basis for the sake of blogging, I threw in bundles of steel wool into my handy-dandy fire pit and lit away. Check out my exploits below: