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Microwaving compact discs
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saxifrage00
A few years ago I read about people microwaving CDs and about the fun and, uh, interesting effects this has on both microwaves and the CDs so treated. Sometime in 2003 I was bored, owned an oldish microwave, and had just made a perfectly good CD recordable blank into a perfectly good drink coaster. Much like the the combination of a new pair of black slacks and a cat merely existing in a five kilometre radius has the inevitable result of owning a new pair of cat-hair slacks, the inevitable result of this combination of coaster, boredom, and microwave was my getting to see exactly what a CD being microwaved looked like.

It's fun, but not advised if you value your microwave. Mine is still going strong, but I'm sure it resents me and is saving its strength so that it can die sometime in the future right when it has only half-way microwaved a frozen pizza pocket, so that it becomes that nasty combination of scalding outside and freezing centre that is impossible to eat or recover with conventional cooking methods.

Right, so, microwaving CDs. I popped it in and tentatively programmed it for a very spare two seconds—much too much, I found. About half a second in, the disc burst into crawling tendrils of electricity, ripping through the foil and burning it out like a spent fuse wherever it crawled. I slapped "off" right away and tried not to think about what I might have done to the magnetron. However, the experiment was a success: I know that I can microwave a CD for 1 second and get a really neat effect, without (immediately) killing the microwave involved.

Microwaved CD - bottom

I thought this was so neat-looking that I had it hanging on my wall above my computer for ages. I'd scanned it sometime in 2003 shortly after microwaving it, but I never got around to posting it. It makes a great "music" icon, too, as you can see from my last post. I like the connotations of a fractured CD when it comes to both my taste in music and the current state of the craft (or "industry", if you're thinking of music in the context of salable product, as opposed to a cultural context.)

This is also a neat test of my newly-activated Foto Builder account, which is free to beta-test for paid account LJers. The post-image-to-journal feature is kind of cool, but it failed to fill in the Subject line. I would have re-written it anyway, since I wanted to tell more of a story than could fit in the caption. So, yeah. *test*

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You don't actually hurt your microwave doing that, the feed back isn't nearly strong enough. I've done it lots of times, every time I burn a cd that goes wrong in fact. The biggest risk is if you keep the disc in for 10 or 15 seconds, the plastic starts to melt and it does stink like all hell.

That's good to know.

I'm not really up on the exact details of the interaction between metal and magnetrons, except that metal allows it to bounce back into it if the angle is right. And that magnetrons don't like being bombarded by microwave radiation as much as they like doing the bombarding to sweet, innocent, pizza-filled pastry.

I know a fork is a bad thing, and that the foil on teacups and stuff will get destroyed. I suppose the foil on a disc just isn't enough mass to stop and reflect enough microwaves to threaten the magnetron?

FotoBilder rules, when it works. I have over 200 pics on there.
Right now it doesn't ;) but I know how your icon looks like.

I loved to microwave those things as kid. They would turn inside out and afterwards I put them on a roll.

*looks into camera*

For those of you following along at home and who weren't listening in on the IM conversation, those things in the picture above are, apparently, marshmallow puff with a cookie base, covered in chocolate. I imagine they're much like Marshmallow Puffs or Wagon Wheels in North America.

My response before the IM conversation was going to be, "What the hell are those?"

And we discovered that in Germany, there is a plethora of breakfast breads that vaguely translate to "roll", even though the only thing I call a roll is the bun you have with dinner, and I only call it a roll if I'm feeling particularly East-coastish. Apparently, there is a vast selection of breakfast breads and pastries, but very little in the way of doughnuts. Not surprising, if all the neat pastry is already filling that ecological niche.

*looks into next camera*

Thank you, Sax. And after this report about the devastating state of sweets and bakery goods in Canada, now, the wacky Weatherman.

A high-pressure front of penguin will be moving into the area, although it will be moderated by a 60% chance of sushi.

The weekend is looking like laminated table! Get out your picnic baskets quick, though, because it will be returning to our usual grizzly bears by Sunday afternoon.

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