Thunder Explores the Wonders of Science

by Jimmy Do |

The moment was more thrilling than nerve-wracking for Clint Stone, laying on a bed of nails as a sledge hammer-wielding Steven Adams aimed for the cinder block on his chest.

Knowing that “science was on his side,” Stone, vice president of programs for Science Museum Oklahoma, remained unfazed and unharmed after pieces of concrete crumbled haplessly to the floor in the wake of a Big Kiwi smash.

The physics demonstration was part of the behind-the-scenes fun when the front-court duo of Adams and Patrick Patterson donned their white lab coats and protective goggles at Science Museum Oklahoma on Tuesday afternoon.

Contrary to Stone, Adams had cold feet for the cinder block stunt despite being the one holding the sledge hammer. He false started a couple times before delivering the blow.

“That was freaky. That was weird,” said Adams. “You don’t want to hit it so hard that it follows through with so much force to break through both layers of the cinder blocks and breaks his ribs.”

Meanwhile, the tong-twirling Patterson became a fire-eating magician once he discovered the inside of his mouth was an oxygen extinguisher for any incoming flaming objects. It gave Patterson something to show off to his family and friends.

“I see it happen all the time at circuses and shows,” said Patterson. “To finally do it and realize how easy it was, from now on when I see someone do it, it’s like, ‘Man, that’s nothing.’”

After a day filled with eye-popping experiments and crowd-pleasing performances, the enlightened Thunder teammates took some time to wind down with Tex—a milky white Texas Rat snake. Stone noticed Adams and Patterson handled the 5-foot long mild-mannered serpent with the care of cradling a newborn baby.

Stone: “It’s wonderful the more we know and understand something, the more we realize we don’t need to be scared. We need to use knowledge and science.”

Mad scientists. Patterson practices his fire-eating routine to the delight of Adams. Photo by Jimmy Do | OKC Thunder

Roar of thunder. Pouring liquid nitrogen into a container filled with ping-pong balls. Liquid nitrogen becomes gas, building pressure inside. The result: A fireworks display of ping-pong balls. Photo by Jimmy Do | OKC Thunder

Defying death by science. Stone's weight distribution on the bed of nails along with the concrete block absorbed Adams' sledge hammer blow. Photo by Jimmy Do | OKC Thunder

Spitting flames. Patterson shows off his new talent. Photo by Jimmy Do | OKC Thunder

A serpent state of mind. Adams and Patterson get acquainted with albino Texas Rat snake, Tex. Photo by Jimmy Do | OKC Thunder

Watch: When Thunder and Science Collide


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