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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Book Review- Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction 2

Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction 2: Build a Secret Agent Arsenal by John Austen is the sequel to Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction.

If you haven't read either of them, they contain instructions to build all sorts of neat weapons that are meant for "office warfare". I've never worked in an office with that kind of office warfare but I really like both books.

I really don't recommend this at all for kids or adults who are liable to shoot the weapons at each other.

I'm a fan because of interesting projects built out of easy to find office supplies. The emphasis is firmly on safety. You are reminded to wear safety glasses and given ideas for targets to fire at instead of firing the projectiles at people.

As a firm believer that fun examples make it easier to remember basic math and science principles, these books go hand in hand in my family with discussions about things like Newton's Laws of Motion, and how they apply to projectiles. We get to build things and compete with each other for accuracy shooting at targets.

In this sequel, the guns and weapons are powered by balloons and rubber bands. They are made to look like models of real guns. Not realistic looking enough to be scary, but realistic looking enough to make most young men and women who are interested in such things happy. Most of the projects call for hot glue and craft knife use, so supervision may be necessary.

The ammo for these is creative and inexpensive. Candy, mini-marshmallows, pennies and even cotton swabs.

In this book, other than the weapons, there are also projects for spy equipment like projects that can be used safely by kids or adults. A periscope made from CDs and toothpaste box, cipher wheel are some examples, lots of ideas for concealed storage. All of it built from inexpensive components. Those projects alone make this book well worth it to me.

Everything is well illustrated with good diagrams, and while you're building, you can see the principle behind how it works. Lots of the supplies can be garnered from things you'd ordinarily throw away.

It's a hit with my whole family. My daughter likes the Concealment chapter, my son thinks the whole book is wonderful and is already planning modifications of some of the designs in it. My husband and I appreciate how clever the designs are, and how much fun we have as a family with making them and competing with them.

The last chapter is full of wonderful target ideas like a laser shark, a fake security camera, some regular paper targets and a cute octopus target made from a balloon.
My favorite projects in the book are the soup can safe, the gift card coin launcher, and the code wheel.

You can get this book from IPG Books

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