Inner workings of a state of the art laser weapon or brake light? You decide.
Buzz Lightyear had it wrong...it's not "To infinity and beyond!" - it's "An Infinity from behind...
...is really, really, really annoying!"
Seriously...can someone say "severe retinal damage"?
While my new saying might not be as catchy as the original, I am going to go out on a limb here and say the only man-made objects you can see from space other than "The Great Wall of China" are Infinity brake lights.
If you are behind someone, especially at night, and you feel the membrane peeling off your eye as easily as the skin on a grape, chances are that car in front of you is an Infinity.
If you've ever been patiently waiting behind the guy with 17 items in the "15 items or less" aisle in the store and caught a glimpse of that red multi-light scanner doohickey and it gave you flashbacks to the "Sandman scene in Logan's Run with Farrah Fawcett vivaciously aiding the laser-happy plastic surgeon"...you'll have a tiny understanding of what I'm trying to get across here.
If you've ever had the inclination (with or without having a buzz) to look down the working barrel of a laser pointer and then, like a total idiot, turn it on...well...I think you get the message by now.
Why these lights have to be twice the brightness of anything an arc welder deals with is beyond me.
Have the designers who okayed the 20,000,000 foot-candle luminosity of the light system ever driven BEHIND one of their cars? As with other automotive manufacturers, they might stand behind their cars...but I'm inclined to believe they do so only in the daytime.
I was driving home from Birmingham the other night when what should pull out before me during rush-hour traffic, but a car with tail lights doing more damage to my cornea than any solar eclipse ever could. Between stops I managed to glimpse the type of car: Infinity.
I tried in vain to let someone else get in front of me. I nearly came to a dead stop and signaled to the merging drivers to "go ahead of me". Certainly any car between me and the Infinity would be a welcome change. Any car that is, but another friggen Infinity!
I kid you not...there must be about 170,092 of them in Birmingham and each of them was damned determined to get in front of me on the way home that night. Each time I figured I'd get a reprieve...a traffic light...a guy weaving in and out of traffic like a bat out of hell...you got it -- another Infinity.
My eyes felt like they were bleeding razor blades by the time a late model truck with a missing taillight and a smelly exhaust got in front of me. I thanked God and prayed he was heading the same direction I was.
He wasn't. And yes...another Infinity took his place as soon as he turned off.
I'm just hoping there's some level of Hell they toss the people into who invented this "shield your eyes as if it were Medusa" brake light system. And I hope that level of Hell forces them to have their eyes yanked open wide with a "can't blink" contraption like "Alex" was strapped up to in A Clockwork Orange...combined with being subjected to a never-ending slit-lamp ophthalmologic exam...until infinity...
(31 Jan 11: I hate when I make typos or other such stupidities which I find days later. This time it was a big technical one -- I meant to say "laser pointer" and had typed "laser printer"...which makes absolutely NO sense whatsoever in the context of what I was trying to get across. I have fixed it and now it reads better - but it's too late for most of you...all three people who read this blog. I had my chance and blew it. I'm going to have to read these things out loud to my kids next time...a fact I know they will JUST LOVE as they nearly feign death to get out of reading them as it is now.)