As kids, my brothers and I were amazed to find that the Chinese had actually invented gunpowder, to our collective disappointment.. Our suburban neighborhood windows resounded with the pulses of  shock waves, and more often were pierced by BB's, arrows, and other launched projectiles.
 Naturally, the first instinct, and order of business when learning to operate a lathe was to turn out a cannon!.
 Fortunately, these loud beginnings were tempered in time.. John is now a craftsman and general contractor at Ananda near Grass Valley, CA where his skills as an inventor makes him the "go-to" person for all that makes  shelter more comfortable. and meet code.