Explosions, Inc.

Have science, will travel

Home to the finest science shows this side of the Big Bang performed by the two best science guys in this (or any other) universe. Have science, will travel.

Constant Science: The Glorious Evolution

Back from hiatus! "Hiatus" is Latin for "Being busy and lazy," right? Cause that's where Aaron and I have been. I mean, I have work, and shows, and I'm making 4 different costumes for Gen Con and trying to play I Am Setsuna...Lots of stuff to do.

Ahem. Anyway.

I done made a video! It's about evolution! I hope you like it! Click through to watch it!

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Man of Random Science: Do Dogs Dream?

Last week, just as I was drifting off to sleep, my dog Rowdy made a weird noise. He was almost barking, but not quite. It startled me awake and, adrenaline slightly pumping, I was more alert when he then did it a second time. It was a weird noise, something like "berf." Like he was trying to bark without opening his mouth. I realized that he wasn't dying, nor had he heard an intruder downstairs. He was barking in his sleep.

Any of you who have pets, dogs especially, have probably noticed something like this. Dogs pretty regularly start twitching their legs while they sleep, or even moving them as if they're running. Our reaction is always "Aww, he's dreaming!" Well, that was my reaction the night of the berfs. But it got me wondering: do we really know if dogs dream? And how much do we know about it if they do?

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Constant Science: Pre-Show Prep

I was prepping for a birthday show over the weekend (remember, in addition to the awesome giant two-man shows we'll do on any stage you want, we also do smaller shows for our local markets in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest) and I decided to get some of it on video. What you're about to see is a hydrogen balloon test, almost from front to back.

Remember, folks, don't try this at home! I am a trained professional with years of experience doing this kind of stuff. Also, aren't I handsome in my Vault 111 hoodie?

Anyway, click through to see something explode!

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Constant Science: Spinny Flaming Rainbow Tornado Thing

Aaron's back with another episode of Constant Science! Today he explains just how and why flames can come in different colors and he uses an old friend of ours: the Fire Tornado.

With his help you will be forever safe from The Goblin King. Click through to watch!

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The Looming Robotic Threat

It seems like everywhere we look these days we see robots. Robots have infested pop culture since the early days of cinema with Gort and Tobor. Robots have, for decades, made the manufacturing industry increasingly efficient. We have robots exploring Mars, robots that fight each other, really big robots that fight each other, and robots that vacuum floors while cats ride them wearing silly costumes.

Robots are everywhere, yo.

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Constant Science: Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to My Underground Lair

I know it's been a while since we put up an actual video. This video isn't chock full of science content (heck, it's chock-empty) but it'll give you an idea of what's been going on on my end for the last little while. See, I'm constructing a Science Lair and it's not quite ready for regular episodes of Constant Science just yet. But it is pretty darn cool. Click through to watch!

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Your Questions Answered!

I get asked a lot of questions. “What does Don smell like? Did you mean to set that on fire? Why are the townsfolk outside with pitchforks and torches AGAIN?” For legal and moral reasons I can’t always answer those questions, but sometimes the fates are kind and I am happy to share my wisdom with Explosions Inc.’s loyal fans. This week I’ll open up the mailbag and serve up some hot steamy knowledge in our first installment of:

FLAMING HUNKS OF SCIENCE!

with Aaron

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Diseases of...The FUTURE!

Every era has its diseases. The medieval world was hit by wave after wave of bubonic plague, the most famous of which killed half or more of the entire population of Europe. During the American colonial period, the Native Americans were ravaged by smallpox, transmitted to them (sometimes purposefully) by a bunch of filthy, dirty Europeans. The first half of the 20th century was scourged by polio, killing and crippling children by the thousands before Jonas Salk finished development on his killed-virus polio vaccine in 1955.

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20 Common Questions About Our Alleged New Ninth Planet (With Answers!)

Last week, researchers from Caltech announced they had found evidence suggesting an as-yet undiscovered ninth planet may be lurking in the hinterlands of our solar system. We at Explosions Inc. have taken it upon ourselves to answer some of the most common questions that have arisen in the wake of this announcement. You can add your voice to the chorus of confusion below in the comments.

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Large Avian Physiology

There are lots of members of class Aves out there. Birds range in size from the tiniest of hummingbirds to those big, mean, dumb ostriches. They come in all of the colors of the rainbow, sometimes at the same time. They can be as dumb as an emu or as smart as an African Gray. Their songs run the gamut from simple tweets and chirps to complex, multi-part songs to the near-perfect mimicry of the lyrebird.

Side note: I've always wanted to sneak up on a male lyrebird during mating season and play some Metallica just to see what it would sound like coming back out of the bird. Anyway.

Birds are fascinating, but, when I think of them, I keep coming back, time and again, to one singular bird mystery, one unique feathered conundrum that nobody else ever seems to ask, much less answer.

Why does Big Bird have hands?

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I RECANT

OK, so maybe I was wrong about GMOs. In my defense, all the available research stated that GMO foods were safe AS FAR AS WE KNEW. Now I know differently but I fear that knowledge comes too deep in humanity’s twilight.

 

If you’re still alive to read this, I wish you the best. It’s too late for me but I task you with carrying on and rebuilding society. Don’t repeat our mistakes. Man, in his hubris, flew too close to the sun and his waxen wings of knowledge melted, plummeting us down to....wait. They melted? Seriously, that’s how the old myth goes? Um, it gets colder the higher you go. If anything the thinness of the atmosphere would make winged flight unfeasible at a certain altitude, making it nigh impossible to generate lift by traditional means. Maybe if we tried some type of sub-orbital ramjet powered by compressed knowledge and solid fuel.........

 

ANYWAY, mistakes. Yeah. Don’t make them. GMOs are bad and dangerous and we shouldn’t be playing God like some type of....uh....god.          

 

Moving on.

 

Like most scientific endeavors, it began with the altruistic urge to improve the world and advance humanity. And get girls. Mostly that last part. The idea was simple: increase the yield of a common vegetable and make it scream in pain while being eaten. I’m not the first to visualize that selfless ideal but, sadly, I may be the last.

 

While selecting traits for size and acoustic volume I strictly adhered to common genetic engineering lab practice. To wit, I threw a dart at a chart depicting different species. Ah, how I wish that projectile would have landed anywhere other than Ursus arctos horribilis. At the time however, I was caught up in the zeal of scientific discovery and, to be fair, the mainland grizzly bear is known for it’s large size and loud vocalizations. I should have hypothesized that tragedy awaited by mixing bear DNA with that of the most vicious and terrible denizen of Brassica oleracea. You may have once known it as broccoli but forever more we shall lament it as destroyer of worlds.

 

It is with no small glimmer of pride I report the experiment worked better than I could ever have expected. DNA was successfully harvested from “Bobo the Breakdancing Bear” and introduced into a stalk of young florets culled from a local Whole Foods. The growth was immediate and violent. In that moment I knew we had scienced so hard that mankind would never be the same. Oh, the irony.

 

All too soon the horror became clear. The growth went out of control. The teeth! The claws! The farty smell of steamed broccoli! It was terrible.

 

Before I could react the bearcoli lurched free from the garden bed. Snarling and waving furry flower heads, it advanced upon clawed stalks. Don was slower than I in realizing our danger and I will live the rest of my short life with his anguished screams ringing in my ears. It was his meaty bulk that allowed me to escape the lab.

 

Events are a blur from that point onward. The flight from the remote castle where we had set up our clandestine genetics lab. The first reports of missing villagers and horribly mutilated remains. The initial disbelief then late-dawning realization of the world’s governments that the vegapocalypse was upon us. The smug condemnation of the vegans.

 

I don’t know who or what is left. I found shelter in an abandoned missile silo but I haven’t been able to make contact with anyone by wireless. Worse still, the bearcoli has found me. I can hear the leafy shuffle of it’s tread outside the door. It’s musky scent wafts through the air vents. My time has come. If you get this message, please heed my warning. Genetically modifying foods is not worth the destruction of society and the inevitable maulings at the stalks of a nutritious terror beast.

 

Constant Science: The Curious Case of the Color Cannon

Today we have a Very Special Episode of Constant Science. A while back my mom asked me to help her build a cannon that would spray color powder all over the place so she could use it, well, to spray color all over people. She runs an organization in Marion, Indiana called Cancer Services of Grant County. They're a non-profit that provides consulting and aid to people in Grant County who are afflicted with cancer, and Saturday, 10/3/15 is their annual Color Me Pink Fun Run.

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I Built a Bed of Nails!

Woo Hoo! Some of you may have seen it on our Instagramour Twitter, or our Facebook page, but for anyone who missed it, some friends helped me build a pair of beds of nails over the weekend for an upcoming physics show. Let me tell you: that is some tedious work. I need to make friends with someone with a drill press.

To celebrate this momentous achievement (and the fact that I'm super busy this week) I've decided to share our Bed of Nails episode of Constant Science again, one of our very first videos. If you're wondering why a bed of nails is a useful tool for the popularization of science, look no further. The video is a segment from a show, but I give a brief intro at the top. Enjoy!

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Constant Science: Leprosy for Fun and Profit

Leprosy has been in the news a lot lately, like this CNN article titled "Armadillos cause spike in leprosy cases in Florida" (of course it's Florida). Most people have heard of leprosy. For one thing, it comes up in both the Old and New Testaments all the time. It's been with humanity for millennia and most cultures have some sort of relationship with the disease. But what is Leprosy, really? And what's going on in Florida? And what to armadillos have to do with anything? In this week's Constant Science I answer those questions and more. As we'll discover, the news media--once again--isn't giving you the whole story when it comes to an outbreak of a disease. Click on through for the video!

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Constant Science: Pluto and Ceres and Mars, Oh My!

This new website of ours is pretty sweet, but it took a while to get it all put together. During that time, Aaron and I missed a bunch of important science stories, stuff we might have talked about on Constant Science. Well, this week I aim to rectify that by talking briefly about a handful of scientific goings-on that we didn't have a chance to cover when it actually happened. Astronomy, paleontology, sociology, entymology...It's all there, folks, just click down below for the video!

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Bloopers and Outtakes!

When I went to visit Aaron last month we got a lot of stuff filmed. Luckily for us that stuff generated a lot of bloopers. I've found some of the best ones and put them together in this little gag reel of us screwing up and generally being weird. Enjoy!

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