No, not some weird ritual – but about the most fun you can have with latex tubing and surgical clamps!  I hope you’ve all had the chance to tie off the end of a nice length of 1/4″ latex tubing and fill it with pressurized water (if you don’t have clamps you can just “pinch” off the end).  Way better pressure and longer lasting than the best Super Soaker (and much cheaper too – though not as portable).  I’ve heard a “Bic” pen on the end gives a better filling interface and directional nozzle but the kids seemed to do just fine without any extra stuff.  I seem to remember the tubing is just the right diameter to fit under dorm room doors as well – but that’s another story.  Too bad I only ordered 25′ of the stuff – just enough left over for a nice water balloon launcher ….

Oh, and I got a decent supply of Aluminum Sulfate if anyone is doing the “Dangerous Book For Boys” make-your-own-crystals experiment(s).  I probably have enough extra for one or two batches. It’s nothing special really – could do similar things with sugar or salt even, but it supposedly works well, and is less toxic than other substances (really just “alum” powder).  First come first served if you want to do a quick experiment with the kids.  But I’m keeping my new Pyrex beakers and chemical safety glasses for myself.