Absinthe & Flamethrowers: Projects and Ruminations on the Art of Living Dangerously is a book that’ll appeal to those of you who like spending their weekends doing a little more than barbecuing and raking the yard, the book includes instructions on how to make black powder, how to throw knives, how to crack a bull whip, eat Fugu and build a flame thrower. In fact, in our modern hyper-cautious society I’m not entirely sure how this book was published.

The author is William Gurstelle, a special editor from Popular Mechanics Magazine and a contributor to Wired, the Atlantic, and Make. Gurstelle has previously written Backyard Ballistics, Adventures from the Technology Underground, and The Practical Pyromaniac – making him exactly the kind of person you’d want to get drunk with in a shed.

Click here to get the book.

Official Blurb

Want to add more excitement to your life?

This daring combination of science, history, and DIY projects will show you how. Written for smart risk takers, it explores why danger is good for you and details the art of living dangerously.

Risk takers are more successful, more interesting individuals who lead more fulfilling lives. Unlike watching an action movie or playing a video game, real-life experience changes a person, and Gurstelle will help you discover the true thrill of making black powder along with dozens of other edgy activities.

All of the projects—from throwing knives, drinking absinthe, and eating fugu to cracking a bull whip, learning bartitsu, and building a flamethrower—have short learning curves, are hands-on and affordable, and demonstrate true but reasonable risk.

With a strong emphasis on safety, each potentially life-altering project includes step-by-step directions, photographs, and illustrations along with troubleshooting tips from experts in the field.

Founder + Senior Editor

Ben Branch has had his work featured on CNN, Popular Mechanics, the official Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, and many more.

Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with millions of readers around the world and hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.

You can follow Ben on Instagram here, Twitter here, or LinkedIn here.


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Published by Ben Branch -