Of all the sciences, Physical Science is at the top of my list when it comes to fun. In high school, I repeatedly took a PS class taught by Mr. Guyon; an old, gangly, lab-coat-wearing-bald-man-with-horn-rims, who drove a huge, well preserved gangster-style black coupe.

At the start of each semester's class, Guyon would load a cannon with gunpowder, and shoot rubber stoppers over the students' heads until he hit his target; a yellow rubber duck placed high atop steel cabinets. The flame shot a foot from the muzzle, the sound was deafening, and we felt the concussion in our chests. The room filled with smoke and stunk of gunpowder.

After 120 semesters, his aim was accurate, resulting in a 'hit' in three shots or less. Inside his small lab, three decades of students watched in amazement as this madman risked lives and eardrums with his munitions. When he successfully blasted the duck, he returned the cannon to a locked closet, addressed the class and said, "That was an example of Physical Science."

Throughout any given school year, Guyon's P.S. students conducted a variety of experiments that irritated and frightened the faculty and student body (teargas in the hallways--chemicals exploding underfoot, etc.).

Guyon's unconventional lessons held our interest, and we reveled in the discomfort of our victims. Moreover, he went out of his way to scare the shit out of us, he made us laugh, and our only recourse was to learn something. These days, a man like Guyon couldn't get a job home-schooling a mannequin. He'd be thrown in prison.

One of his memorable lab experiments was to have us bring a corn syrup solution to temperature, then add a 'mystery' ingredient: Protein Pellets. The result was a tasty peanut brittle. He laughed like we were idiots.

Physical Science experiments are the cat's meow when it comes to obnoxious fun. They're also great for bar tricks and pranks, but let's not go there.

A good web source of Physical Science experiments is Bizarre Stuff You Can Make In Your Kitchen (http://freeweb. pdq.net/headstrong/). The site lists classic experiments, including the Glowing Pickle, Kitchen Volcanos, Invisible Ink, Exploding Flour & Non-Dairy Creamer Ballistics, Glue Hi-Jinx, Matchstick Rockets, and Sparking Grapes. It even has information on slime making, and detailed plans to construct (candy) booze bottles you can break over someone's head.

See? Mr. Guyon was right! Science can be fun!