MacGyver Season 2 Episode 11 Science Notes: Bullet + Pen

MacGyvered Record Player

You only get a quick glimpse of this record player—and I’m not sure it’s the same as this super basic one. But you can build a record player with some pencils and a cup and a pin. Really, this is a fun one. If you have an old record laying around, you should try it. Here is a video.

I want to add something about records. Have you ever wondered why most songs on the radio are around 3 minutes long? The answer has to do with the record single. Here is my longer explanation. But more fun—here is a plot of the average song length as a function of year (the plotly version).

Check it out. So you can see that before the 80s, songs where around 3 minutes or less. After that, the song length got longer. What changed? The compact disc—that’s what. With the CD, there was a new way to share high quality songs with radio stations. This meant that you could easily make a longer song. The end.

Plastic lock pick

If you have a door like this, it’s not secure. MacGyver takes a piece of plastic and slides it between the door and the frame. The plastic pushes the door latch back. Boom. Door opened. Silly door.

Even if it’s easy to do, it’s still illegal to go past locked doors that you don’t own. Don’t do it.

Sodium Hydroxide Doesn’t Grow on Trees

That’s a funny line—because sodium hydroxide is a chemical in tree stump removers. Get it? OK, you aren’t going to find this stuff laying around with other ingredients like nail polisher remover and cold medicine. But you might find all of these things in a meth lab. Don’t do drugs kids.

Could you use this to make a bomb? Sure.

Exploding Dart

Classic MacGyver. He takes a pen and a bullet. With this, he mounts the primer and the gun powered to mount on the front of the pen. Add some paper fins and you have yourself an exploding dart.

Technically this would work—however, there would be a good chance it wouldn’t explode unless you hit it just right.

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