Miss Utah contestant arrested for tossing DIY bombs at people


I guess we can be happy that more and more girls are performing science experiments (or at least one in particular). http://boingboing.net/2013/05/01/high-schooler-blows-stuff-up-f.html

I look forward to seeing the results of her study.


I just hate how self-important people have become. “This goes well beyond a teenage prank.” Actually, no, a teenage prank is exactly what it was. What else could it be? A ruthless attempt to overthrow the Riverton Town Council? The first shots in the Great Mormon Insurrection?

And if there was tin foil and “chemicals” involved, it’s likely the chemical was hydrogen peroxide. A very fresh bottle can give you a mild skin burn if you rub it in and don’t rinse. Hardly “very caustic, very nasty” chemicals. You would think they were selling nitroglycerine at Walgreen’s.

Why does everything have to be apocalyptic drama these days?


You don’t look sufficiently panicked. Armies of terrorists are roaming our streets, flinging IEDs at people and property. If you’re not hyperventilating at this point and calling on your congressman for expansion of police powers, the terrorists have already won.

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To be fair, beauty queens often cause me to hyperventilate, but in a good way.

When I was 17 I tear-gassed my high school. My penalty: a stern talking-to, and I had to clean up my mess. If my son did the same thing today, he would be keeping Snowden company in solitary until his grandchildren were gray. And waterboarded.

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Yeah… this trend of podunk cops arresting teenagers and calling them terrorists isn’t going to backfire in any way.


Drano actually seems to be the chemical of choice for these homemade “bombs” and I’d say that counts as a caustic chemical.

I’d say this does go beyond teenage prank (and beyond science experiment, for that matter); trying out the chemical reaction to see it explode is one thing, flinging drano-filled bottles that you know are going to explode at people is another thing entirely. The former is simply experimentation or perhaps a little thrill seeking. The latter shows an intent to scare and/or harm people, which makes it pretty serious in my opinion.


I am interested in how far this goes. After all, those are IEDs, aren’t they? Which are deemed to be terrorist weapons. Let us know what charges are actually brought against them, please.

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My money would be on sodium hydroxide (or, for availability reasons, a drain cleaner based heavily on it). As an explosive your sodium hydroxide/aluminum in a bottle is pretty pathetic (mildly exothermic, some hydrogen, if it works properly the bottle will burst and the hydrogen might flash); but sodium hydroxide burns can be pretty nasty on skin or eyes unless the individual exposed is immediately and copiously irrigated.

Less serious than sulfuric acid attacks, in terms of immediate tissue damage and maiming potential; but not pleasant.http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/09/Sodium_hydroxide_burn.png


From the article:

All four were arrested and initially held at the Unified Police Department’s Riverton precinct before being booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on ten counts each of setting off an incendiary device. Precise charges are expected to be screened by the Salt Lake County District Attorney.

It will be interesting to see how they make the charge of “setting of an incendiary device” stick, when the device is not meant to create fire. It creates hydrogen in the reaction, so I suppose maybe under some circumstances it might catch fire, but it surely isn’t designed to. The prosecutor may not know what “incendiary” means.


So how does this compare with: http://boingboing.net/2013/05/01/high-schooler-blows-stuff-up-f.html

There is the distinction of throwing these at someone but they both made the exact same thing.

I suspect that you’re right, and that they won’t be able to make a charge of “setting off an incendiary” stick. Maybe they do deserve some endangerment charge or something (they could, at least conceivably) hurt someone, but they ought to basically get a stern talking to and some probation. Jesus, I think about all the experimenting I did as a kid with various chemical reactions and whatnot, and I’m pretty sure that if I were that age now, I WOULD be on the plane to Gitmo or something. Though, maybe it just seems that way because only the overreactions make the news.

I think it’s a pretty important distinction. It’s the distinction between practicing your driving in a mostly empty parking lot on the one hand and intentionally trying to clip people with your car on the other - in both cases you’re driving, both are potentially dangerous, but in the first case you’re just trying to figure things out and maybe have a little fun, and in the second you are kind of a raging dick.


Making works bombs was one of our main hobbies when I was a kid. These bombs have almost no concussive power. Put one in a mailbox and see what happens, you’ll be lucky to blow the mail door open.

You’re right, it could have been Drano, and yes NaOH is bad on skin. But this is hardly an unusual case in isolation. It seems like every damn thing kids do these days is Serious Business. Either it’s a terror attack, or sexual harassment, or… hell, I dunno, let’s accuse them of embezzling while we’re at it.

And it could have been HOOH - that will blow up a bottle just fine, producing oxygen and water.

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It is the act of throwing them at people that makes a difference.
corneal scarring anyone - it is a harmless prank


I am swelling with pride that my (almost) hometown is on BB.

From what I’ve heard it was drain-o bombs, and that the elders of the ward (mormon church) are trying to show that otherwise these kids are UPRIGHT STANDING MORAL CITIZENS, who are going to be receiving their missionary call soon, so @Boundegar they’re probably are going to get just a mild talking to.

As a nine year old I found by accident that you can make a far better bomb by electrolysing water in a gas tight container, and then triggering an explosion in the resulting mixture of hydrogen and oxygen. It was a scuba diving torch which my dad had made, using a lead acid battery. After that accident we always removed a seal before charging the torches.

A 4th of July tradition as a kid in the 80’s was the neighborhood kids pairing up and attempting to build a “bomb” and then a Dad would set them off for us to watch in the middle of a field (which usually resulted in a pathetic “poof” and some smoke). We were smart enough to know not to lob them at anyone.

At least Miss ex-Utah has something unique for the talent portion of her next pageant in prison.

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