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Joe Marotta
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For a new effect that I'm working on, I need a device that will "pump carbon monoxide" into a container from which I need to excape before suffocating.

I can use a fog machine but how would I convince people that it's not just an ordinary theatrical fog machine? Are there other devices out there that you might suggest I use instead?
John Bundy
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I believe that carbon monoxide is colorless so the smoke is going to be a theatrical stretch to begin with. I have noticed that the really cheep fog fluid has a slight bluish hue to it, and is less dence. This may be a plus for you.

However a small fogger with a fan fed air flow may get the look you need. Exhaust looks different than fog. The fan would mix it up a bit. This could be housed in a prop gasoline engine of one kind or another. You would have to supply a motor sound but the exhaust could be piped into your escape chamber. Perhaps the look of a generator with a pipe housing to make it a little hard to see.

If you have the budget, a hazer produces the type of vapor you need.

Good luck.
Harley Newman
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Are you sure you want to use a fog machine?

There was a controversy a couple of years ago, about them. The theatrical producers said there was no evidence that fog caused any health problems. The actors unions had statistics showing very significantly increased incidence of breathing problems, among people who were exposed to it.

Statistics, by definition of course, only apply to populations, never to individuals. So anecdotal evidence never hurts.

I worked 2 shows for about 6 weeks each, where the machines were used heavily. I didn't have problems before then. After, I'm sensitive to all kinds of stuff in the air.

CO kills. So how can you show that, without actually killing anything, which would send many folks into fits and conniptions? I've seen some very good bird puppets.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Joe Marotta
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Thank you John and Harley for your advice. The advice from two performers whom I respect very much is greatly appreciated.

John you're right, I forgot that it is colorless. So clouds of 'smoke' pouring into the container would probably not convince too many people.

The only reason for the fog machine idea was to create a sense of danger/duress for an escape I'm wanting to perform this April. Since I'm not interested in increasing my risk of lung problems, I'll probably pass on the fog machine idea for now. Thanks for pointing out that part Harley. I hope your lung sensitivity clears up and you don't develop anything too severe.

Thank you both again.
Harley Newman
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You're welcome!

PM me about your plan, and I'll be happy to throw ideas your way.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
Wolflock
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You should be able to get hold of meters such as what they use in the mines to test fr gases. If I remember correctly, they can test for Carbon Monoxide too, as well as methane and other gases.

Regards
Wolflock
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Ms. Morgan
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I'm not inclined to disagree with Harley on anything...That said,there was a big deal made over fog a few years back but it was really just unions looking to back-up actors out to sue people. It all went away and not much came of it.
I've seen both sides of that fence over the years...people who cough and choke when fog is used, people who get ill and others it just has no effect.
For 2 years, at Halloween, we did a crystal ball illusion that fills with fog and then I appear. 4 shows a day for a month and not so much as a cough. How it effects you is differant for everyone.

Remember Joe, done right people will believe what you tell them....
Most people know something about carbon monxide but I'd venture a guess that not many have even heard of Hydrogen Cyanide. Next to your escape, hooked up by a hose, you have a tank marked "Hydrogen Cyanide". Just the word cyanide will unsettle most people. You go on to tell them all about what's in the tank,(nothing but compressed air, but we don't tell them that) The devil is in the details so make it good. Something like;
"Hydrogen cyanide is highly toxic by all routes of exposure and may cause abrupt onset of profound cardiovascular, and respiratory effects, leading to death within minutes." (I love the internet!)
Now you get into the escape. A crew member, wearing a respirator and big gloves, opens the valve on the tank. It should make a big hiss, someone back stage releases a smell into the air,again your not going to run into anyone who really knows what it smells like. Now your off...put one of Wolf's gas meters on the front of the escape (does not have to be real) it just has to have an alarm that will sound when the "Gas" level is high enough to kill. Start to choke, do your best acting and you'll bring the house down when you get out "just in time"
Oh, and make sure the is an EMT to rush on and give you 02 when you get out.
Fog in the box is up to you, something thin and blueish, like John said, would work.

Morgan
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Cliffg37
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Excellent information Morgan. One thing yo may not know. A minor case of Cyanide poisioning is survivable. I know first had from a lab accident in college. I have no clue who's accident it was, I don't think it was mine. Everyone from that lab had a horrible and severe head ache for about a week. FYI Cyanide shuts down your mitochondria which make energy in the body.
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Both are fun if you do it right!
Daniel Santos
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Quote:
On 2007-02-01 20:36, Cliffg37 wrote:
...your mitochondria which make energy in the body.


AH!!! This reminds me of AP Bio. when we went over the Kreb's Cycle. Large section to cover...large exam (only one thing on the exam, but it took loads of explanation). It gives me nightmares. I can still hear my crazy professor's voice resonating deep within my mind. Totally off topic, but it's killing me now. LOL
If it is to be, it is up to me.
Harley Newman
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Krebs cycle is important. Don't forget it!
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Ms. Morgan
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Ah, nothing like a nice cyanide chat...
Cliff you make me laugh "...I don't think it was mine." LOL

Now if I remember right cyanide smells like bitter almond. A little Almond extract on a hotplate back stage and Bang!..a hint of Cyanide in the air.
John pointed out to me that for this escape someone should rush on and close or otherwise seal the thing after Joe is out. After all you don't want to poison your audience with all that free floating "killer Gas"

Hummm..."killer gas" now that's something altogether different...............nevermind.

Ms.M

And here's something to give you more nightmares Daniel.....
Acetyl-CoA + 3 NAD+ + FAD + GDP + Pi + 2 H2O + 1 CoA-SH ¨ 2 CoA-SH + 3 NADH + 3 H+ + FADH2 + GTP + 2 CO2
:)
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Wolflock
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Ms Morgan

That was a brilliant read for displaying the stage setup. Your brilliance is catching up to your beauty. Most men are not going to like you soon. They don't like women who are far smarter than they are. Smile

That is a stunning way to set the stage up. You are so right that people will believe what you tell them.

Reagards
Wolflock
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Joe Marotta
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I love The Magic Café. Thank you Steve Brooks! Years ago, who would have guessed that we would have the ability (and honor) of communicating easily and quickly with some of the greatest minds in the magic community. What a blessing.

Harley- I sent you an email and a PM. I understand and agree, no rush here. Thank you for offering assistance. Let's chat when you are available. I really want to hear your ideas on this.

Wolflock- Hay Trevor, good to hear from you. Great idea about the gas tester. Actually I had an oxygen/CO detector when I used to work in manholes with the phone company. Since I don't want to spend 500-2000 on a new one, maybe I'll just make one that looks like the real thing. Rig it to go into alarm via remote control. By the way, I haven't tried to escape from the plastic zip ties yet, but I will soon. Thanks for sharing that with me.

Ms. Morgan- You are brilliant! I like the respirators for everyone on stage, except me of course. An EMT delivering oxygen is a very nice touch too. Firemen, oh excuse me, Fire Fighters out here may be pretty aware of Hydrogen Cyanide gas as it's given off in practically every residential and industrial structural fire. And it's also 35 times more toxic than CO. (I like the internet too!) So just my luck, there would be a Fire Marshall in the audience who would interrupt the show and evacuate the place. Wouldn't that be funny? Morgan, I think your ideas are excellent and really provide the theatrics that I was looking for. Thank you again!

Cliff- you crack me up! So when are we going to get together? I read that most hospitals don't have a kit to test for cyanide poisoning, and that the side effects of the antidote are worse than the poison. Morgan picked a good one! And I was thinking of using a tank of ground cumin... not as dangerous. But in heavy doses IT COULD BE!!!

Daniel- Thanks for the comments. Nightmares can be difficult to overcome. So just relax, and sip on this H2SO4. It will help you.... :^)

Thank you all! Any more ideas out there? Keep them coming...
Harley Newman
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I love Morgan's idea.

If I remember correctly, there are hand-held mini-fog machines. For this, the smaller, the better. And in this, the box is examined after the fact, if it needs to be examined at all. The machine is in the box, ahead of time.

The verbal script can be about gas chambers, in prisons or Holocaust...how everybody knew when they'd been used, by the faint scent of almonds in the air, how the gas was made, etc. Basically, it outlines the process Joe is going through, and contains a description of how the prisoners would claw at the doors, trying to get free...how the gas would sear their lungs, poisoning them and asphyxiating them at the same time. This should be on tape, voiced by someone who sounds as if they come from the History Channel, with appropriate background music.

There are several possible slants to the script: abolishment of death penalty, rationale for it, fnding a way past the predjudice that leads to genocide. Any way, it's cruel and unusual punishment, though there's a paradox...the latest method is humane, until a new one comes along, and then it's barbaric.

While the lecture is going on, Joe is being confined. Then the work starts. The tape and music are done. The theatricality of the situation is dealt with in silence, with an occasional cough from Joe.

To produce the gas (sure) have a vat of water, with a lid, and a hose that leads into the box. A stage assistant drops a handful of Alka Seltzer into the vat, and puts on the lid.

Joe turns on the mini-fogger, which is in the box with him, points it out the door, and the fumes spew out. The assistants give each other uncertain looks, grab the plastic, and wrap the box. Joe turns off the fogger.

Moments of tension. Joe's hand plunges through the plastic, does the lock fast, opens the door, and flops out of the box, onto the stage, gasping for air.

The assistants hustle the apparatus and the box offstage. They come back, attempt to help Joe, who waves them off, staggers to his feet, takes his bow, collapses, and then they help him off stage.

The box is taken to the lobby, and sprayed with almond extract, when it gets there. When the audience exits the venue, Joe is sitting on the box, triumphant but humble, grateful to be alive. One of his hands keeps reverting to a claw position, he notices it, and massages it to relax.

The hotplate should be started at the very beginning of the routine, and will need a fan, to get the scent into the audience. I don't think the scent needs to be tied to the moment when the fizz-chamber starts. It's there to create the image.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Joe Marotta
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Harley- Well at least one Harley I know is working perfectly today (I just put my '02 in the shop for an overdue tune up). You have done an awesome job of creating a very dramatic piece of work. As I'm sitting here reading it, I can see it being played out in my mind and I think this could look really good! I was beginning to think that the hissing sound from the air tank, and no visible fog, would be convincing enough. But the thought of a very small fog machine inside the box is a nice detail. I like that. Actually I like it all. Thank you Harley!

I'm thinking to myself, look what was developed by a collaborative effort from some of the sharpest minds in escapology. Each of you has generously offered great ideas and excellent council. I’m very grateful to EVERYONE!

This weekend I’ll be thinking each step through more thoroughly. The performance is not until April 27th so I have only a few months to work out the fine details and then rehearse.
Harley Newman
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You're welcome!

Another thing that would be good...somewhere in the first half, you need to say WHY you want to take this risk. It'll give the audience a reason to care about you. That's important. The reason should be tied to your stage persona.

You need to speak twice in the routine.

Once at the beginning...the WHY statement. Don't make it a long thing. Just "I was watching TV, and a war movie came on. I can't watch them...war movies. If it's a battle, I twitch when somebody gets shot, I feel it. I just put myself in their shoes."

And again when you're in the box, in that brief pause between the end of the tape, and the Alka activation. It's a "calm-before-the-storm" moment, a place in the routine that should be milked for all you can get out of it, but very carefully. So it should only be a quiet aside comment. Maybe "What have I gotten myself into, this time?"
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Wolflock
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You going to have to attempt the cable ties soon. It is fun.
Even my Girlfriend is escaping from them already. She is learning fast.

Regards
Wolflock
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