Three years ago, I wrote a piece for This Magazine entitled “Death Rays.” It was a short, fun little thing pointing out that American scientists seemed to be devoting a great deal of energy to building Death Rays.
But you can never to be too playful. My piece was reprinted in the Ottawa Citizen (back before I got stuck on some Ottawa Citizen do-not-publish list), and was picked up in exactly one other place:
The Alaska Missile Defence Early Bird Weekly
Anyway, looks like they are still at it.
The Solar Death Ray is made of 112 mirrors mounted on a platform 4 feet wide and 6 feet tall. Each mirror is a square roughly 3.5 inches on edge. Allvthese mirrors focus the sun to a single spot 5 feet, 6 inches from the mirrorvplatform. A wooden fork extends from the mirror base to the area near thevfocus and serves as a mounting point for Solar Death Ray targets.
(thanks to the Poulans for the ref).