(via How to Spot a Psychopath)
As the builder puts it:
The centrifuge is a genuinely terrifying device. The lights dim when it is switched on. A strong wind is produced as the centrifuge induces a cyclone in the room. The smell of boiling insulation emanates from the overloaded 25 amp cables. If not perfectly adjusted and lubricated, it will shred the teeth off solid brass gears in under a second. Runs were conducted from the relative safety of the next room while peeking through a crack in the door.
He doesn't mention that lava lamps are full of liquid that is hot and flammable and in close proximity to electricity.
He also discusses how he supplies power to the lava lamp: he wired up a quarter-inch phone jack to 120 V AC, noting that the connector can be rotated freely while still making a connection (until the contacts wear out, presumably, not being designed for any of constant rotation, 120 V, or any appreciable power). He avoided other connections by using a battery-powered accelerometer and video camera.