When I was 13 or 14 I "acquired" a string of lights, basically a tygon tube filled with a series of bulbs that were alternating in five sets (which I didn't know) so a sequencer could make that rolling bulb effect for signs or whatnot. All I knew is that it had six identical wires on the end and some sort of application of electricity would light them up. I hooked three to power and three to ground and 1
of the lights lit... so now to figure out which was ground (the wires were too tight together to trace). Somehow, I can't picture how, the third or fourth experimental wiring try I had wired power directly to neutral. I hit the switch and heard a pop, I had vaporized and inch of copper wire. Not the frilly stuff in the light, but the power cord I was using. It burned a hole through my blanket, sheets, and mattress.
I also plugged a car speaker into a wall outlet to see what 60 Hz sounds like. Apparently it sounds like a pop.
I knew it would blow the speaker (I just wanted the magnet) but I was kinda hoping it'd make *some* sound before it went. Next time I'll use a potentiometer.
I also let the smoke out of a car. I friend was looking at a Lexus Camry (ES-300?) and I took it for a test drive. It seems these engines have a tendency to clog the oil drains from the rear head, emptying the sump. I'm guessing this was enhanced by some sort of dealer-installed magic oil leak fixer fluid. Driving up a bridge the car made a *CLUNK*, power went down, a lot, but I was able to make it up the bridge at full throttle at about 30 mph and dropping. At the top I clicked it to neutral with the throttle still wide open and the engine didn't even rev up. When I let off the throttle it stopped completely and didn't budge when I put it back in gear (just to see, y'know?
). At the bottom of the bridge I pulled over and checked the oil. There was nothing on the stick but smoke! Really, smoke came out of the dipstick hole. By the time the dealer got to us to take us back to their lot the dipstick was showing full, fresh and clean oil.
Curiously, I haven't let the smoke out of a computer (yet).