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Pumpkins, Incoming!

Image: Chuck.

There’s nothing festive about a past-its-prime jack-o-lantern accruing mats of vegetable mold in the the driveway. At this weekend’s 2006 Punkin’ Chunkin’ World Championships in Millsboro, Deleware, a few resourceful folks will pronounce a nobler, or at least more spectacular, good-bye.

A Punkin Chunkin’ is a contest to see how far a machine can throw a pumpkin, using no electricity, engines or explosives. Machines may have springs, rubber cords, counterweights, compressed air or any other device that uses the stored power of one human being in a maximum of 10 minutes. Many of the pumpkin throwing machines are mechanical in design, utlizing variations on the medieval trebuchet. The long-range ones use compressed air: in last year’s World Championships, Team 2nd Amendment’s air cannon threw a pumpkin 4,331.7 feet! will get you started on building a Punkin Chunkin’ machine of your own. Or, alternatively, you could just watch the movie…