Feeds

Las Vegas death ray roasts hotel guests

'Solar convergence phenomenon'

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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 hotelThe architects responsible for the MGM Mirage Vdara underestimated the converging power of the building's concave facade, which concentrates a roasting beam onto the pool area.

Barbecued guest Bill Pintas recounted to ABC his midday experience of the ray, as he exited the pool and settled into his lounge chair. He said: "I'm sitting there in the chair and all of the sudden my hair and the top of my head are burning. I'm rubbing my head and it felt like a chemical burn. I couldn't imagine what it could be."

Pintas quickly found out that taking shelter under an umbrella offered no protection from the intense beam, which burned right through a plastic bag the grilled guest was using to carry newspapers.

"I was effectively being cooked," Pintas told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "I started running as fast as I could without looking like a lunatic."

Wisely retreating to the bar, Pintas reported the effect to employees, who were "kind of giggling" and confirmed: "Yeah, we know. We call it the death ray."

A death ray probe by the Review-Journal revealed it targets an area around 10-15 feet across, which moves across the pool area as the Earth rotates, frying everything in its path for around 90 minutes before and after noon.

The Vdara's management is well aware of the threat to guests, which it attributes to a "solar convergence phenomenon". The architects had taken this into consideration, and "hired a consultant who decided to place a thin film over the window which reduces the sun's effects by 70 per cent".

MGM Mirage spokesman Gordon Absher admitted: "But even with that, when folks are out on the pool deck, on some days people will feel this reflection and the heat associated with it."

Absher explained that there's no easy fix for the problem, since the hot spot will shift according to the season, and so throwing up a few extra-thick umbrellas would mean their continual repositioning.

He said: "This is quite literally an astronomical challenge. We are dealing with a moving target."

Although the Vdara is mulling hi-tech solutions, it's immediate response to the death ray menace is to fall back on "larger, thicker umbrellas" and "maybe some large plants". ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
Google's whois results say it's a lousy smut searcher
Run whois google.com or whois microsoft.com. We dare you, you PIG◙◙◙◙ER
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.