The Flaming Pop-Tarts Experiment, Trial 1!!!

Click here to view the very successful second trial!

Well, as you know if you know me or you've been talking to me in mIRC, I've been planning this for a while. It's said that if you put Kelloggs strawberry Pop-Tarts in a toaster, rig it so they can't pop up, and wait 5 minutes, there will be a quite impressive fire. This was described in detail by Dave Barry in a legendary column. So a friend of mine got ahold of an old toaster, and we decided to try it for ourselves...

WARNING! This experiment should not be conducted without proper safety measures being taken, and besides, if I can get a video of it next time, you can just watch it here. :-)


This is my friend Jess with her sacrificial toaster. This was the first picture taken in the original location for the experiment. We decided to change locations right after this picture was taken, since the balcony we were on was made of wood. Good thing too, since the light didn't seem to be good enough for the camera.


Here's me, with the pop-tarts to be destroyed. Note the snow in the last couple of pics. In retrospect, this probably wasn't the best day to try this...


This was the setup. The bucket of water is holding the cord off the ground, which happened to be quite wet. (Oh yeah, this was definitely not the best day for this...) That's Jess standing back there.


The toaster, ready for action. A pocket knife was being used to hold down the lever, with duct tape holding it in place. And the experiment began...


One minute had gone by...


Nothing seemed to be happening yet, though the pop-tarts were getting a little brown... Then 2 minutes...


Still nothing, but we kept up our hopes....


Then as 3 minutes, then 4 passed, we started seeing signs of life from the toaster. Great clouds of smoke began pouring from the slots.


At this point, we realized that with the snowfall beginning to look blizzard-like (thus interfering as it got into the slots), and the very real possibility that someone would soon see the smoke and call the police, the best thing to do would be to abort attempt # 1. As the toaster never actually caught fire, we believe it will be reuseable, though it will of course be tested again first. (Hey, I got a box of 12...) We then, after the toaster cooled a little, picked it up and attempted (with some difficulty) to dislodge the pop-tarts from the inside of the toaster (where they had somehow become attached) and dump them into the water.


Oddly, after they landed and the steam cleared, one broke apart and we could see the inside was not at all burned. This makes me confident that when do get a chance to run the full experiment, it will be a great success. We've already found a much better location, and hopefully we'll get it done before the week is over.


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