Short Cuts

ROCKET MEN It's all good fun until someone loses an eye—and then it gets even more fun. In Thailand's northeastern province of Udon Thani, the rocket men like nothing better than a big bang, and some of the kingdom's top rocketmakers stage secret gatherings near Si Sutoh Temple at Kam Chanode three or four times a year, usually on important Buddhist festivals. Secret, that is, until the first blastoff, which can be heard for miles around. Kilograms of home-cooked explosive are packed into PVC tubes strapped to bamboo poles, fuses are connected to a car battery to provide an ignition spark,...

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