“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds” – Bhagavad-Gita
|La Boomba! by Stephen Chin|
This quote from the ancient Hindu text is often associated with Robert Oppenheimer, who proclaimed it upon witnessing the first detonation of a nuclear weapon and seeing what his handiwork had brought upon the earth. Which is an ominous segue to a favorite puzzle maker, artist and friend, the devious dentist from Down Under, Stephen Chin. Ominous, but fitting, for better or worse. Chin has unleashed another terror on the world, his endearingly explosive ticking time bomb, “La Boomba”!
|Things that go Boom|
I’m a huge fan of wood turned puzzles with hand chased threads, a tricky art form perfected in the nineteenth century. Very few artists are currently making hand threaded objects now, and even fewer are making puzzles with threaded elements. Chin is one of the very few, and one of the best. His puzzles often “turn” classic shapes and polyhedral dissections into spheres and eggs. He has even done this with puzzles which most said could not be made spherical, like another bomb I recall. But getting back to La Boomba, his explosive Eureka moment was actually eleven years ago, when he made a set of his “Newton’s Egg” puzzles. That clever little wooden egg employs friction and force according to certain physical laws. At the same time, he copied his design and made a single bomb, rather than an egg, which opened more simply and contained a little ticking time bomb madman inside. He had run out of wood - so, for the first time, used colored pencils to create the bomb. He named it, “La Bomba”.
|How to Kill a Friend by Paul Shanrock|
This cute little bomb kept ticking away in his brain. He went on to use colored pencils in many of his subsequent designs, and fast forwarding to last year, he revisited La Bomba again. A few more locking mechanism, some mechanical design tweaks, and fifty wasted dust piles later, he had another design competition entry: “La Boomba”! It’s an adorable, brightly colored bomb, with a shoelace wick and a telltale Chinnymoto jagged crack running the circumference. Careful exploration will reveal a few clues, perhaps a tool, and eventually the bomb may be defused. Except there’s that madman inside again, with an unmistakable tic tic tic …. BOOM! Ouch! My face! Does anyone know a good dentist?
|Tik ... Tik ... Tik ....... Tiki!|
Here’s a toast to the man, the myth, the maimer himself, with a cocktail from Seattle mixologist Paul Shanrock of the Stampede Cocktail Club. I thought it was rather appropriate. The drink is seriously smoky, like the aftermath of a big explosion, thanks to a hefty dose of mezcal. It’s a tropical drink, full of pineapple and lime, which bring all the tiki vibes to the party. There’s some dessert sherry as well, the ultra rich and delicious Pedro Ximenez, which is almost too decadent. But the big surprise is from Campari, the classic red bitter amaro, which adds a dose of balanced bitterness to the drink, and makes it amazing. Here’s to the things that go boom. Cheers!
|This pair is getting bombed|
How to Kill a Friend by Paul Shanrock
1 ½ oz mezcal
¾ oz Campari
½ PX sherry
¼ oz triple sec
1 ½ oz pineapple juice
½ oz lime juice
4 dashes Angostura bitters
Shake ingredients together with ice and strain into a favorite glass filled with crushed ice. Mint garnish or something more explosive.
For more from Stephen Chin:
Fruits of Labor
Things that Go Boom