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back to article Las Vegas death ray roasts hotel guests

Poolside guests at a newly-opened Las Vegas hotel have been enjoying the complex's quick-tan facility - a solar "death ray" with the power to burn flesh and melt plastic. Artist's rendering of the concave Vdara hotel The architects responsible for the MGM Mirage Vdara underestimated the converging power of the building's …

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Anonymous Coward

The lady's horse goes trip trip trip

...

But the compensation lawyer's horse goes gallopy gallopy gallopy - Ker-ching!

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Must... stop... laughing

Did nobody think that it might be a better idea to make the convex side of the building North-facing? Did they not think that building a massive curved mirror IN THE DESERT might focus the sunlight? Or maybe, just maybe, this was the world's best practical joke on the part of the architect...

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Boffin

Close, but no turd shaped assemblage of dried tobacco leaves.

"Did nobody think that it might be a better idea to make the convex side of the building North-facing?"

ITYM South or concave (but not both).

http://uk.ask.com/wiki/Convex

http://uk.ask.com/wiki/Concave

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Coat

Practical joke, indeed!

"Ah, I see. I hadn't correctly divined your attitude towards your tenants..."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2PyeXRwhCE

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FAIL

Yes, my bad

I did, of course mean concave. But then my physics A-level was a long time ago...

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Ha! ha!

Extra points go to the architect for aiming the death ray onto the pool area! Ha!

-dZ.

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Coat

The guest was clear prone to using...

...hyperbole.

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Anonymous Coward

hi-tech solutions

Reflective (tin foil) hats anyone? Or umbrellas if it comes to that.

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Yay!

Finally, a directed energy weapon that actually and demonstrably works!

I always knew the Americans will eventually do it if they try hard enough.

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I knew I would be the only one to think it

Now we only need to work out how to mount an MGM Mirage Hotel atop a plane and aim it at some missiles

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Atop a plane?

How about a shark?

-dZ.

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Boffin

Giant robot

If you've ever watched " Super Dimension Fortress Macross," you'd already know the answer: make the building into a giant flying robot. That'd take care of the aiming bit.

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Boffin

solar panels as cover?

they should build a a cover suporting solar panels that would break even rather quickly .

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"...astronomical challenge."

Make stupid plans, blame the Sun.

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Happy

what an awesome design

Dr Evil's new lair :)

anon cos he will be after me

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Dr. Evil

Dr. Evil: "Now Mr. Powers, if you will please have a seat by the pool and remain there for approximately ninety minutes, you will find yourself vaporized. I bid you.. adieu!"

(Maniacal laughter).

Scotty: (Rolls eyes).

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Anonymous Coward

On the plus side.....

You can make excellent spaghetti in the pool.

Lovely for a poolside barbecue . . . ummm

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Flame

Can't they model it?

Surely someone can model the effect, then they could mark out areas on the ground where it will occur over different times of the day and year? Not a fix, I know, but at least then umbrellas could be moved ahead of time and people could be adequately warned.

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Yes but...

Surely they'd have modelled that *before* building the damned thing!

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Alert

I hope the umbrellas are flame proof

If they're not careful every day they'll have a bunch of umbrellas turn to ash and a visit from the local fire dept.

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FAIL

analema...

the annular pattern is obvious.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/Analemma_Earth.png

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WTF?

Hi-tech solutions

"the Vdara is mulling hi-tech solutions"

Have they considered "Warning the guests"?

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but...

...it looks so pretty!

"This is quite literally an astronomical challenge. We are dealing with a moving target." Technically true, but it's not like the path of the sun across the sky is an unknown, for any season. define a parabolic walled garden area, do something useful on it, solar cells or water heating, claim to be environmentally friendly, feature not flaw, etc.

Flames because...well, stay in the deathray too long and burst into flames :D

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Re: but...

>"...We are dealing with a moving target." Technically true

Depends on how technical you care to get. Relatively it is false. It as long been accepted, even by the church, albeit reluctantly, that the earth moves around the sun hence the sun is a stationary target. In addition the trajectory of the focus point on any given day is due more to the rotation of the earth than any perceived movement of the sun.

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Mirrors

As a lad, my dad used to love telling me of his calculation that if everyone in a football stadium produced a small mirror and focussed the sunlight onto the referee, they could vapourise him.

Maybe it's a slight exaggeration, but I bet you could really piss him off.

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Happy

Vapourise?

Not in England. Not enough sun.

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Quality..

I'm still wiping the tears out of my eyes. This must be the funniest cock-up ever, and the beauty of it is that there is little that can be done about it other than marking an area unusable. It's an epic, real live, god-knows-how-many-floors-high monument of a cock-up.

Which dipswitch of an architect hasn't learned about concave and convex?

Hahaha, I would not believed that from a James Bond plot, let alone in real life. LOL...

Thanks for making my day..

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Go

Little that can be done

There's something that can be done - mount the building on a big pivot and turn it into a useable, aimable deathray! It's fortunate that MGM owns the majority of the Vegas strip and as such doesn't have many buildings that it could contemplate blowing up..

re: your James Bond comment - you missed Die Another Day then, specifically the Icarus project? Understandable as you were probably p1ssing yourself laughing at the ridiculous invisible car :)

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Megaphone

icarus what?

you mean the plot they ripped off from diamons are forever? complete with identical sateellite design? there's a reason they dumped that director and rebooted the series after that abortion of a film.

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Open the windows

With windows opened and pointing in a different direction the focus effect goes away. Bit too simple I guess?!

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Rob
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Unlikely

You'll not find many hotels in Vegas where you can open the windows, as this is a fairly recent build I'd guess that none of the windows open.

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Coat

Open the window at a casino? Are you crazy?

So the guy that just lost his life savings can jump out? No way.

He might kill a paying customer on the patio below.

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Boffin

Oh, really?

"Absher explained that there's no easy fix for the problem, "

There are no problems which cannot be solved by judicious use of high explosives.

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Happy

Exception

"Defusing a bomb" being the obvious exception to that rule

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Grenade

Actually, not true

Many bombs are "defused" by setting off an explosive device on a large water tank beside them - a "Projected water disruptor". A shaped charge blasts water into (and through) the supposed bomb, and tada! No more bomb.

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Happy

You owe me a new keyboard

Or at least a keyboard cleaning kit - classic!

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Paris Hilton

Paris...

...because she's got hot curves too!

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Where Archimedes failed

A stupid architect succeeded.

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Anonymous Coward

Exeter had the same phenomena!

A building in Exeter (Renslade House?) exhibited the same phenomena ....Crossing the Northern bridge across the river Exe one would receive a blast of radiation from the concave office block at certain times........despite best efforts it never melted a plastic bag but it certainly provided a welcome blast of heat on a chilly day......

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I never knew that.

and I live in Exeter too! But as others have said, there isn't enough Sun in the UK to do any damage :)

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WTF?

Possible fixes?

a) Alter the angle of the individual window panels so that they point up, or outwards. Or, you could get really clever and make them steerable, see b)

b) Put a solar collector above the affected area, either photo-voltaic or simple water heater. If you go with steerable window panels in a), it needn't be enormous. Not cheap, but it'll pay for itself eventually and you'd probably get a grant off the government.

c) Put a non-reflective coating on the affected windows. Cheap-ish, but the heat has to go somewhere so it'll pummel the air con, and the rooms will be darker.

Talk to the Spaniards, they just built a power station that does this deliberately. I think there's a couple in the US, too.

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France FTW

"The term "solar furnace" has also evolved to refer to solar concentrator heating systems using parabolic mirrors or heliostats where 538 °C (1,000 °F) is now commonly achieved. The largest solar furnace in the world is at Odeillo in the Pyrenees-Orientales in France, opened in 1970."

[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_furnace]

Flames... "'cause it's hot." [BOC]

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Headmaster

Re Alan Edwards: Just correcting your point (b)

b) Put an **unpainted aluminium** canopy above the affected area .... **cheap**

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FAIL

Cue oblig Thunderbirds quote...

in old man voice:

"It will be a great disaster"...

google the episode where the solar mirror to beam the sun's rays into a dark alpine valley falls over when struck by lightning and the next day starts a fire when the misdirected reflections hit a thatched roof...

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Pirate

Crispy...

I'd lay good odds that this place will show up in the next series of CSI.

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Turn a problem...

...into a feature. World's largest sundial anyone? Place tubs of water in the appropriate place, when they start to boil it's time to head to the bar...

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70%

That building is huge! Who the hell thought that blocking 70% of the reflected solar energy was in any way going to reduce it to a reasonable level?

Once they realised they had built a massive solar furnace, why didn't they decide to use it instead?

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Boffin

Hmmm here's an idea!

Instead of putting up umbrellas or plants, why not make a grid of solar cells that can offer some shade and convert that sun energy in to electricity.

The upside is that marketing could spin this as a way to make the building greener and reduce their operating costs. Plus they probably could get a tax credit too.

Simple solution that the hotel could afford and get some good publicity out of it.

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Go

right on

If you are looking for a cost effective solution you have to install solar panels over the affected area. At least most of it. There could be days when the extra heat might be welcomed. And certainly anyone is smart enough to move to the shade when they are beginning to boil off their sweat.

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Large plants?

Of the solar thermal variety I suspect.

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