< Back to front page Text size +

Las Vegas Death Ray

Posted by Samuel Arbesman  October 12, 2010 03:12 PM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Yes, you read the title correctly: there is such a thing as the Las Vegas Death Ray. Apparently, the Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas has some peculiar properties. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

But the south-facing tower is also a collector and bouncer of sun rays, which—if you're at the hotel's swimming pool at the wrong time of day and season—can singe your hair and melt your plastic drink cups and shopping bags.

According to BLDGBLOG, "The surface of the building acts like a parabolic reflector, concentrating solar heat into a specific target area."

They go on to discuss how other buildings (notably Frank Gehry's) often create such idiosyncratic microclimates. Of course, most do not turn a hotel into the Death Star.


(The Vdara death ray / Las Vegas Review-Journal illustration / Mike Johnson )

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
Brainiac blogger Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached here.

Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.

Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


Browse this blog

by category