Some Things Just Don’t Mix

March 22, 2010


Some things just really do not mix.  Such as Indiana Jones and snakes.  And me and hunks of pure cheese.  Ugh.

Two other things that just don’t mix are boy scouts and nuclear reactors.  This is a bit before the current teenagers’ time, but you might know this name: David Hahn.

He was a teenager, quite a bit troubled, who was obsessed with science, particularly chemistry.  His idols were the discoverers of radium, whom both died from overexposure to radioactive materials.  Looking at his face now, he might just follow the same fate.  Google “David Hahn.”  I jumped out of my socks the first time I did.

Anyways, he was extremely smart and often lectured his biology class at the request of his teacher.  Like I said, obsessed with science.  One of his pet projects was collecting every element on the periodic table.  Even the extremely dangerous ones such as Sodium.  Which reacts violently with water.

David was introduced to nuclear stuff when he needed the nuclear energy badge to be an Eagle Scout or something.  Essentially, he needed the badge.  So he got information on nuclear reactors and was extremely interested.

He decided he wanted to build his own little model breeder reactor.  A breeder reactor is essentially a nuclear reactor which produces the fuel it needs to run itself with, while producing massive amounts of energy.

Each breeder reactor, to date, if I’m correct, ended unsuccessfully and often in disaster.

As we all do with the things we do, Hahn decided that there wouldn’t be a chance that he’d be making the same mistakes and proceeded.

He started to build his model, which consisted of a lead gun which “shot” particles and decayed a block of another radioactive hunk of element.  Why he decided to do this, I’ll never know.

He hit rock bottom by stealing money to afford materials for his experiment.

When the radiation from his experiment got out of control, he stuffed it in his car trunk.  And sat there, until the police arrested him, suspecting that  it was an atomic bomb of some sort.

Of course, it wasn’t, but it was still dangerous.

This guy was a genius.  He’ll probably die early of overexposure from radioactivity though (see picture).  He joined the navy.  Came back.  Started stealing smoke alarms to get a radioactive element from them, for some other strange, potentially dangerous experiment.

And this is why boy scouts and  nuclear reactors don’t mix.


One comment

  1. WHY did I go look at his picture? O.O

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