Set Phasers to Shock
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 97 01:34:55 -0800
Subject: Set Phasers to Shock
Forwarded-by: Robin Stephenson <email@example.com>
... in this week's New Scientist there's an article claiming that a patent
has been granted for a `phaser':
Set phasers to shock...
[...] uses lasers to generate intense beams of ultraviolet light.
These create a path of ionised air down which precisely modulated
electrical current is sent. The currents can be manipulated to
cause painful contractions, stun a victim painlessly [oh yeah?], or
induce a heart attack. [...] over 100 metres [...] penetrate
clothing [...] many shots before it needs reloading.
Don't panic just yet, however:
[...] A hand-held version of the phaser is not yet available because
the argon-fluoride discharge-pumped excimer laser it uses is as big
as a kitchen table.
You may now begin to become slightly concerned:
[...] any technically competent person would be able to build a
( New Scientist (Paul Guinnessy, 1 November 1997)
© 1997 Peter Langston