lasers stories

 
Obviously, lasers are the future of every single technology ever, from computers to sea jellies. BMW is now attempting to put lasers into car headlights, creating what could be (but isn't yet) the world's first combination road lighting system and pedestrian deterrence weapon.
 
It's more or less impossible for us puny humans to duplicate the raw epic power of a lightning bolt. They can travel at 140,000 mph (or about Mach 184 if you're counting), heat the surrounding air to three times the temperature of the surface of the sun, and transmit enough energy to toast approximately 100,000 slices of bread. To study a lightning bolt, you first have to capture it, and it turns out that the best way to do that is to fire rockets at thunderstorms. Yeah, it's probably best not to try this at home.
 
Think you're a Star Trek fan? In 1996, Barbara "The Commander" Adams shocked a lot of people by showing up for jury duty in a full Next Generation uniform, complete with Tricorder and possibly a phaser (she would have to check the sidearm at the door). She was very boldly trying to live in Gene Roddenberry's vision of the 23rd and 24th centuries. The world of 2011 may not seem much closer to the world of Trek than 1996, but it's actually possible for the average person to enjoy some of the technology and indeed even the environment of Star Trek in every day life. While some of the future technology, like transporters, tractor beams and cloaking devices are still in the laboratory, below is a list of items available to the consumer to either buy or build.
 
The insignia on the side of Russia's Beriev A-60 shows a lightning bolt blasting what looks a lot like the Hubble Space Telescope. That's made more suspicious by the plane's megawatt laser turret hidden in the back that only points upward. Hubble doesn't seem like it would be much of a threat to anyone, but you do the math.

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