Hero's Engine

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I actually had to resist including four more pictures of this soda can spraying out Black Cherry soda. It was just amazing to me how far the little jet of soda was going.

Steam would soon be streaming out of this tiny hole, but it needed to exit at an angle.

Once the can was done spraying, I used a push pin to pry the little hole to one side. It didn't seem to work very well.

I poked a similar hole into the other side of the can.

Next, I used a special technique known as "reverse shotgunning" to suck about four ounces of water back into the can.

Finally, I spun the pull tab so it was positioned above the unpierced opening, and carefully bent the pull tab up to give the can a tidy little hanger.

Be careful with this step if you try this at home. If you crack open the top, this can will be ruined. The two side jets have to be the only exit for the steam, and you won't be able to dig through the neighbor's recycling bin to get another one. It has to be sealed on the top.

Now it was time to test this baby!

Using fishing line, I hung the can a few inches above a burning candle.

I patiently waited for the water to heat up.






It didn't work. The water inside was getting hot, and making sizzling noises, but not much steam was coming out of the holes. I wasn't very surprised. The Hero's Engine is usually described as being above a fire or bunsen burner. The heat from the candle wasn't enough to really get the water to a boil. The rotating can also prevented any one spot on the can from getting a good dose of heat.


So, the next step was to increase the number of candles and to get them a lot closer to the soda can.

I tried again with three tea light candles positioned with their flames just tickling the bottom of the can.

Please continue reading page 3 of Building a Hero's Engine

page 1 2 3

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