Another chapter in the unending saga of unintended consequences…
Daily Tech reports that a Chicago lawyer had nearly been set aflame recently while sitting by a pool in the luxurious Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas. His said his first thought had been that “we’d destroyed the ozone layer because I’m burning.”
It turns out that the reason for his discomfort was a little less Gore-esque. The culprit was the curved, concave shape of the hotel that reflects and concentrates sunlight like a solar oven, creating what hotel staff were amused to call “a death ray” but what is more innocuously referred to as “isolated pockets of high temperatures.” This 10×15 ft “isolated pocket” travels as the sun moves, causing local temperatures to spike 20 degrees or more. Apart from feeling like his hair was suddenly on fire, our poor lawyer also saw his plastic bag melt beside him. Staff also reported seeing plastic cups with a melting point of 160 Fahrenheit melt before their eyes.
Hotel owners are reportedly at a loss as to how to fix this diabolical effect. Not being a physicist, I’d nevertheless recommend beginning with a 1704 work called Opticks, penned by a relative unknown by the name of Isaac Newton.