In case you missed it, on Saturday I put up a teaser chapter from my new Western, the second volume in the Ames Archives and sequel to 'Brings The Lightning'. If you haven't already read it, click over there and enjoy it.
As part of the research for this novel, I've been looking into early forms of dynamite and how it was used. It's been very educational. (I hope the FBI doesn't get suspicious about the Internet searches I've been doing on that subject over the past few days!) I've learned a lot about it, as well as related areas such as fuses, blasting caps, handling precautions, etc. In particular, I've gained a new respect for those who used the stuff in those early days, before it was properly stabilized. It had a shelf life of only up to a year, and that only if it was stored under controlled conditions and turned regularly, to stop the nitroglycerin oozing out of the sticks of dynamite and pooling or puddling at the bottom of the case. Once that happened, or if beads of nitro formed on the sticks, it became highly unstable. A sudden shock to the stick or case, and you'd be spread all over a couple of acres of countryside.
Old dynamite is still sometimes discovered, as my Internet searches have revealed. Among other things, it seems a group of people with too much time on their hands needed to dispose of no less than 192 (!) sticks of it. They did what everyone does, of course: stuffed it all into an old Chevrolet Celebrity and set it off. The resulting screams and shrieks of glee will gladden any redneck's heart. Watch it in full-screen mode for best results.
Boys and their toys, indeed!
I've discovered several video clips of similarly explosive shenanigans in the course of my research. I'll post one each day this week, just for fun.