What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

We need a thread for those small things that haven’t been thought through nearly well enough, but don’t fit in an existing thread. So many crop up in the news. This is that thread.

I begin the inevitable deluge with this gem:

James Bond-inspired LASER WATCH will burn through objects from a distance

This is just what we need. As if the existing laser pointer fucks aren’t annoying enough…

I’m surprised that 1.5 watts is enough to burst a balloon. That just doesn’t seem like much energy, even if it is focused.

Notice that the balloons are black. They absorb the laser energy very well. OTOH 1.5 watts is pretty powerful for a personal laser. Most laser pointers are in the mW range. One watt blue lasers at 445 nm can easily blind you.

A watch that can instantly blind you. Nice.

Let’s try this out.

Sometimes I drive into work and park in downtown Chicago. Most often I commute and ride Metra (train). About twenty years ago, one evening, I get off the train on my way home. I go to the parking spot I typically park in. For about 15 seconds I’m all, “Damn, who stole my effin’ car?!”.

Yeah, you know how this ends, I had drive in to work that day and parked downtown, then took the train home.

When I called my wife to come pick me up she was with a friend and I got to listen to them both laughing hysterically. My wife didn’t think it was so funny when she had to drop my off at the train the next morning at 5:45 AM.

Still, thirty years of commuting, could be worse, right?! But, I like examples like this where my best thinking is, not so much.

So if that happens again, you can menace your wife with your laser watch and demand that she stop laughing on pain of slight dermal irritation and/or blindness.

Trains may soon come equipped with debris-zapping lasers

Holland’s chief transportation service is testing a unique new way to clear the rails of fallen leaves and other small debris: by mounting lasers on the fronts of locomotives. The lasers will cause the leaves, which produce a condition commonly referred to as “slippery rail” in the fall and winter months, to vanish in a puff of air.

Now, it does sound pretty awesome to use lasers to clear train tracks. But how long before one of them is maladjusted and hits something off the tracks, or some idiot trying to beat the train at a crossing gets zapped?

Man, trains with fricken laser beams attached to their heads is a mighty big step up from sharks. . . what hath science wrought?!

Are the trains ill-tempered?

Or kids leaving pennies on the tracks quickly turns into kids leaving mirrors on the tracks.

Given that the lasers would be shooting the tracks directly in front of the train, I think that if you get zapped by them you got bigger problems… like the fact that you are about to be hit by a fucking train.

Only when teased.

Oh, Michigan, I love you but you have some strange people.

Rocket Fans Cheer as Porta-Potty Blasts Off

Mission accomplished! A group of rocket enthusiasts launched a porta-potty into the sky Saturday in southwestern Michigan. It made an arc and almost landed on a spectator’s pickup truck, 2,000 feet away.
A group of Michiana Rocketry club members planned the project for more than two years. The club is trying to increase awareness of rocketry as a hobby and prove it’s possible to turn a porta-potty into a rocket and launch it successfully.

I can think of so many ways that could have been worse, even if you assume that port-a-potty was unused.

Holy bat crapman!

I have had it with these motherf’ing falcons on this motherf’ing plane!

German airline Lufthansa will soon allow its passengers to travel with falcons, the company has announced.
From late next year, travellers will be able to take their hunting birds onboard in a newly-designed device called the ‘Falcon Master’ tray, which can be fitted with a cage.
The move is set to prove popular with the airline’s Middle East customers, where falconry is hugely popular.

I hope “can be” means “damn well will be” there in the bit about the cage.

I could have sworn this thread was where the general bad ideas went, including the one with the guy who was gonna get eaten by the snake… but I can’t find reference to it. I know we were talking about it.

Anyway, apparently that failed.

I had predicted the snake wouldn’t want to eat the guy… but apparently, I was wrong, and instead he just pussed out and called it off after the snake started eating him.

You, too, can have your own personal flamethrower!

It was nice of them to write up a FAQ, including this:

What practical uses do flamethrowers have?

clearing snow/ice
eliminating weeds between pavement cracks
ground-clearing of foliage/agricultural
insect control
pyrotechnic event displays
bonfire starting
a fun device to enjoy with friends

I suspect they may not be friends for long. Not uncooked ones, at any rate.

Starting next week, they’ll be looking for money on an IndieGoGo campaign. I suspect its success hinges directly on how many drunken rednecks see it.

– solving the problem of things that obviously need to be on fire, but aren’t