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Obelisk envy

Cleopatra's Needle, the 3,500 year old obelisk that has been installed in Central Park for the past century, is about to cleaned, with lasers.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 15, 2014 - 23 comments

War Robot

War robots are now so real that "87 countries sat down at a United Nations-convened conference from May 13th to the 15th to discuss banning the things." A country on the forefront of development is Russia. They have announced that armed roaming robots would be standing guard over 5 ballistic missile bases, and there are plans for a new military robot laboratory. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said "We have to conduct battles without any contact so that our boys do not die, and for that it is necessary to use war robots." Defense experts say within 10 years nearly every country will have robotic weapons, mass produced and exported by countries like the US, China and Russia.
posted by stbalbach on May 21, 2014 - 68 comments

Playing Space Invaders on a mountain

Here's three minutes of giant telescopes shooting lasers into space. (Also on Youtube). [more inside]
posted by echo target on Oct 10, 2013 - 38 comments

Insects in Flight

Insects in Flight, a flickr set. [more inside]
posted by dhruva on Apr 17, 2013 - 4 comments

Mo’ honey, mo’ problems

The world of honey trading is a murky one, riddled with smuggling and fakery. But honey detectives are on the case! And they have a new, powerful weapon: a laser tool designed by the European Space Agency to measure carbon on Mars that has been re-purposed to detect fake honey. (Via) [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Feb 18, 2013 - 59 comments

Flying lasers eye naked earth

Flying Lasers Reveal Buried Historical Structures (pictures) [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jul 29, 2012 - 23 comments

Stars, Galaxies and Lasers

Astronomer’s Paradise - A beautiful time-lapse video of Paranal Observatory in action.
posted by quin on Mar 19, 2012 - 6 comments

Point a Laser, Go to Jail

The FBI presents: Laser Pointer Leads to Arrest. Laser events logged by the FAA in 2010 nearly doubled from 2009, with 2,836 reports. [more inside]
posted by oneirodynia on Sep 29, 2011 - 180 comments

Drunk on Swedish meatballs

Animals drawn poorly on cocktail napkins with lasers shooting out of their eyes [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jul 22, 2011 - 20 comments

Never-before encountered aliens that just happen to speak English and laser guns.

The NASA list of "silliest" science fiction films outlines some complete horseshit offerings but is sci-fi meant to be realistic? Fans of hard sci-fi might argue it is the core of that place where dreaming and science combine, but shouldn't the dreaming part allow an amount of creative freedom in the hopes of getting at some larger truth? Some would say there is a point where you've gone too far. But what if our current impossible dream later becomes plausible, possible or reality?
posted by Raunchy 60s Humour on Jan 4, 2011 - 100 comments

The Zap Gun

Why we don't have laser pistols.
posted by Artw on Sep 11, 2010 - 64 comments

Laser Microscope

"After witnessing the image of a mosquito in a laser beam outside, I decided to investigate the phenomenon further. I started by locating scuzzy water. Ponds lacking, I decided to take water out of the bowl of my 6 year old spider plant. I then filled a syringe and hung it above a laser so that a drop of water, almost ready to fall, was in the beam path." [via]
posted by brundlefly on Sep 7, 2010 - 31 comments

May the Force Be With Us

You know that real-life Light Saber you always fantasized about getting as a kid? Good news! It's finally here! Sort of. And for only $299 USD. Oh, wait, no--turns out, it's not a light saber at all and any resemblance is purely coincidental. No, this thing is actually more like a sharp-pointed laser stick for poking people's eyes out and setting things on fire from as much as a mile away. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Aug 12, 2010 - 92 comments

Not the bees!

People make maps in Team Fortress 2 specifically for grinding achievements. Bleak, joyless rooms of endlessly spawning bots and resupply crates, where people don’t play the game, they game it. But in one of these, achievement_all_v4, the author’s added a surprise. A violent, horrific, hilarious surprise of biblical proportions.
posted by Artw on Jun 24, 2010 - 79 comments

3D scans of archaeological sites made with lasers

CyArk is a non-profit which makes three-dimensional scans of archaeological sites with lasers in effort to digitally preserve them. It currently has 27 projects, including Chichén Itzá, Angkor Wat, Anasazi Pueblos in Mesa Verde, Thebes, Rapa Nui and the Royal Tombs at Kasubi. There's quite a lot of material about Cyark online, including profiles Wired Science, a lecture by founder Ben Kacyra at Google as well as an article in Archaeology and an article by two CyArk employees in Professional Surveyor describing how they work.
posted by Kattullus on Feb 18, 2010 - 12 comments

Babies with laser eyes.

Babies with laser eyes.
posted by boo_radley on Feb 18, 2010 - 36 comments

Designing Space Fighters & Marines

The Physics of Space Battles "I had a discussion recently with friends about the various depictions of space combat in science fiction movies, TV shows, and books. We have the fighter-plane engagements of Star Wars, the subdued, two-dimensional naval combat in Star Trek, the Newtonian planes of Battlestar Galactica, the staggeringly furious energy exchanges of the combat wasps in Peter Hamilton's books, and the use of antimatter rocket engines themselves as weapons in other sci-fi. But suppose we get out there, go terraform Mars, and the Martian colonists actually revolt. Or suppose we encounter hostile aliens. How would space combat actually go?"
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 17, 2009 - 106 comments

The Chickening

The Chickening [via mefi projects] The Chickening is a video game about a chicken who shoots lasers. Out of his eyes.
posted by Burhanistan on Aug 5, 2009 - 46 comments

Portable bike lane projector.

Lightlane builds lasers that shoot out from your bike onto the road, displaying a bike lane wherever you ride. Written about here and here.
posted by erikvan on Jun 24, 2009 - 92 comments

Nice to meat you, Mr. Bateman.

We know how fancy business cards can be. We know how seriously some people take business cards. But all of these cards have one fatal flaw: they are not made out of meat.
posted by Faint of Butt on May 12, 2009 - 43 comments

Retina-Searing Portraiture

We Have Lasers!!!!!! At one point in your childhood, maybe you did too?
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] on Oct 10, 2008 - 16 comments

Bigger and Russianer

Gorbachov the music video, contains basically everything I've ever wanted in a music video.
posted by mock on Jul 8, 2008 - 40 comments

Wondertwin powers, activate!

9 Superpowers made real. [Via Digg.]
posted by homunculus on Jul 20, 2007 - 33 comments

That's MY CAKE

Antbuster: Friday Flash Fun
posted by Rubbstone on Jul 20, 2007 - 12 comments

It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark

Michael Jackson is in discussions about creating a 50-foot robotic replica of himself to roam the Las Vegas desert [firing laser beams!], according to reports.
posted by Artifice_Eternity on Apr 16, 2007 - 88 comments

Laser Furniture

Sketch Furniture, aka Furniture Made With Frickin' Lasers. Swedish designers use motion capture technology to draw chairs and tables with light in mid-air. Their sketches are then built out of plastic by a laser into real pieces of furniture. Honestly, either one of these things would amaze me. I'm starting to like living in the future. (via bb)
posted by Riovanes on Nov 1, 2006 - 23 comments

Frickin laser beams!

Friday Flash Fun Chill out with lasers and mirrors this afternoon. (Apparently similar to this one.)
posted by knave on Aug 25, 2006 - 16 comments

Pocket Death Ray

Anybody need a pocket death ray? These guys sell a green laser pointer which is powerful enough to ignite matches, pop balloons, and cut black electrical tape.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste on Mar 6, 2006 - 49 comments

National Ignition Facility

The largest and most powerful laser facility ever designed is currently being constructed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, CA. I had an opportunity to tour this facility earlier this year, and the sheer magnitude of this engineering project is staggering. The precision required for ignition has been compared to "trying to hit the strike zone with a baseball from 350 miles away". Although the scientists and politicians responsible for the National Ignition Facility claim it will help lessen the danger of nuclear weapons, many critics argue it is merely an attempt to work around certain non-proliferation treaties.
posted by muddgirl on May 23, 2005 - 31 comments

Do As I Say

Do As I Say and Not As I Do. Go Military R&D. It took less than 4 months to develop a laser that is safe to shine at airplanes.
posted by gonadostat on Apr 16, 2005 - 11 comments

LASERS CURE ALL

Frick'n Lasers! When an UT Austin student finds a stash of graded freshman physics homework, he decides to pitch in and add his own comments to those of the TA. Our children is might not be learning, but at least they're getting to play with lasers!
posted by robocop is bleeding on Feb 9, 2005 - 79 comments

Laser pointers

I saw this on my local news this evening. Can consumer lasers really bring down planes?
posted by Recockulous on Dec 29, 2004 - 62 comments

Shoot first, then aim

Think those new green laser pointers are pretty spiffy? Think again.
posted by squidlarkin on Dec 26, 2004 - 72 comments

New Utrecht High School

New Utrecht High School, school rules gone wild:
#9. Carrying Magic Markers is prohibited.
#13. NO WEAPONS ALLOWED (Laser Beams are considered weapons). Possession will result in automatic Superintendent's Suspension and/or expulsion from school.

Lasers going the way of the drug-dealing magic-marker peddling beeper?
posted by omidius on Dec 20, 2004 - 92 comments

I'll take lasers for $800, Alex

Sam's Laser FAQ is an online bible for laser enthusiasts (of all shapes, sizes, colors, and creeds). Curious novices can start by learning how lasers work and what is inside those nifty green laser pointers. Graduate students, why not fix up that large frame Argon-ion laser sitting the back of the lab? Or just build your own? Of course there are lots of pretty pictures and for hobbyists not terribly interested in glorious amounts of light, don't miss the wonderful discrete semiconductor test guide thrown in for free. And above all, MeFi, let's think safety.
posted by fatllama on Dec 10, 2004 - 17 comments

Laser-o-vision!

Laser-o-vision: A system that projects light beams directly into the eye could change the way we see the world.
posted by moonbird on Apr 27, 2004 - 18 comments

Last Mile by Laser

Last Mile by Laser "The multibillion-dollar optical-fiber backbone that was built to bring...high-performance multimedia..to office and home computers...has come up a bit short" Free Space Optics may be the answer
posted by ajayb on Jul 12, 2002 - 3 comments

DiscT@2:

DiscT@2: This revolutionary Laser Labeling System allows graphics and text to be burnt onto CD-R disc, eliminating the need for labels. Customers can put graphics, such as signatures, logos, memorandums, and photo images onto CD-R's unused area after data writing.
posted by Fofer on Jun 16, 2002 - 11 comments

Airborne Laser

Airborne Laser 21st Century, here we come! According to the always serious folks at Janes, a new kind of weapon that has a strong smell of fifties sci-fi will soon become really real. An airborne basket-ball sized laser beam should soon be able to destroy missiles before they reach their target. Why doesn't this news makes more confident in the future of this world?
posted by Baud on Jun 7, 2002 - 32 comments

Laser Weapons

Laser Weapons like in Real Genius, but for real! Combine them with GPS and you get Death Rays!! The technology is there, but how will it change warfare? (via drudge :)
posted by kliuless on Feb 17, 2002 - 11 comments

Hey, stop pointing that laser at my eye! Wait, nevermind.
posted by gluechunk on Dec 20, 2000 - 8 comments

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