Today we talk about explosions. High and low, big and… well, mostly big. Frightening, deadly and completely uncontrolled!

Music: Kablam by The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets



The Rock
Kevin: 7/10
Joe: 6/10
Toren: 5/10

Die Hard
Kevin: 9/10
Joe: 9/10
Toren: 7/10

The Siege
Joe: 5/10

Star Wars
Kevin: 9/10
Joe: 8/10
Toren: 9/10

Kevin: 7/10
Joe: 5/10 but enjoyable anyway.
Toren: 7/10

18 Responses

  1. Oh, the Halifax Explosion. Any actor on the East Coast worth their salt has been in a movie (or play – or three) about it.

  2. Haha! I love Robot Chicken! The Michael Bay Explosions bit is one of my (and my son’s) favorite!

  3. Haha! I love Robot Chicken! The Michael Bay Explosions bit is one of my (and my son’s) favorite!

  4. Yes, the cause of the Slesse range explosion was ultimately pinned to the aluminum tamping rod which somehow – through the CF supply system – got “Approved but Not Recommended.” When the steps were retraced as to how the rod ended up in the CF inventory, it was determined that the rods had never been properly tested, and their safety was unknown. Since that investigation, all tank cratering (they were training on creating tank craters, essentially a quick and dirty way to deny movement to heavy vehicles over a given path) operations and training are conducted with the known-to-be-safe wooden tamping rods.

    1. I was with the Reserve engineer regiment based in Toronto (then named 2FER). I had spent a summer in Chillowack (sp) training and was told about this story. I had always thought that it was a made up story to illustrate a point. The fact that it was officer cadets that got blown up edge me to my assumption since officers were often the victims in stories of carelessness or stupidity. Just as it is NCOs who are the victims when stories are told to officers. I am really surprised that the instructors would allow this to happen as when I went through my training they could not stress enough not to use metal tools. We carry around several pieces of plywood for the purpose of cutting explosives. Even our issued engineer knives were made of a non-ferrous metal to avoid sparks. These knives would not even spark when used on a fire starting tool, the one you see Bear Grils use all the time. But then again, it could be this incident that made our instructors stress this point so much.

      A second point, where did they even get the metal tamping rod from. There really isn’t one in the Engineer inventory. The only thing I can think of at the moment would be a large military tent pole. But we don’t usually carry them unless we are specifically tasked to build a hospital, mess, field quarters, op HQ, etc. We just don’t have room in our trucks for it. Did they bring the pole with them for the purpose of this task. I can hardly believe that this pole just happen to be there and they decided to use it.

      It also could not be their judgement because, although, the training could get rough, on days where we were to handle explosives or bridging we were always given enough sleep (by military standards anyways) and no morning PT so that we would be alert on site.

      Now having said all that I was in Alberta on exercise when an industrial bridge jack went flying two meters past me and centimeters past my friend when an MGB bridge came crashing down. And from that there was an memo issued that bridges were not to be lifted with cargo straps. So, I guess it is hard to judge the situation without being there. But demolition training are always relaxed affairs. It is after we leave the ranges that physical training resumes.

  5. My fave pop culture reference to explosions was the bit at the end of the Heathers when Winona Ryder lit her cigarette from the smoking remains of what’s his name’s explosion. Summed up the whole film for me. Too cool for school. 🙂

  6. I work as an archivist at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and we recently acquired a diary of an unknown American nurse during World War I. As she is sailing to Europe, she sails past Halifax and describes the damage of the Halifax Explosion, about a month after the event. When we got this diary, I immediately thought of this episode and added information about the Halifax Explosion to it.


  7. Re-listening to this episode your discussion of the fireworks factory explosion reminded me of the San Diego Fourth of July fireworks fiasco. The fireworks show was supposed to last 20 minutes but due to a minor boo-boo they all went off in 30 seconds.