Someone on Maui has just discovered that a bunch of miscellaneous electronic bits paired with enough tasty tropical fruit can make a laser cannon. One that you can then eat. Will wonders never cease?*
Ryan K. brought his "garden fresh" passion-fruit-powered laser to a Maui Makers meeting this week, where he showed how he was able to wire together eight pieces of fruit with copper, zinc and a capacitor to charge up and fire a green laser. Ka-POW!
Is this a new idea? No, not really; it's a variation on the lemon battery or the potato battery, which is an implementation of a chemical reaction that oxidizes zinc with an acid to generate a charge. The higher the acidity of the source, the more voltage you get, which is why lemons (and passion fruit, as it turns out) are good to use for high power applications like frikkin' lasers. Plus, you can connect a whole bushel of fruits together in series to get as much voltage as you want.
In Hawaii, passion fruit vines grow all over the place and drop fruit like nobody's business. It's great that we now have a use for it all, although it does raise a serious concern: if Hawaii ever decides to build a giant laser cannon and tries to take over the world, will we have enough herbicide to stop them? Nope. We're doomed.
*No, they better not, because if they do, we'll all out of a job here at DVICE.