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Archive for October 2006

As though Wonder Woman were grounded

With regard to that aforementioned cloaking device, RoB says:

I want one for my car. Let’s see those damn red-light cameras take a picture of my license plate then.

This is probably not a great idea. In Disney’s Now You See Him, Now You Don’t, the crooks, having stolen the secret formula, hit on the idea of making their getaway car invisible, which does indeed work, but which adds control issues — and which causes drivers of other cars to rear-end them, not a particularly desirable outcome.

What is needed, I believe, is a more-limited form of invisibility — perhaps limited to the plate itself.

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We got your cloaking device right here

Well, kinda sorta. The Times reports:

Following in the footsteps of Harry Potter, it was revealed that the world’s first invisibility cloak has been tested in America. So far the device is rather limited — it is 5 ins wide and can hide an object only from microwave beams. But the principle established by Sir John Pendry, a professor at Imperial College London, has been proved to work and in the next five years there are hopes that total invisibility may become possible for rather larger objects. Tanks, for example.

Evidently this device follows the Sue Storm model:

“Our cloak allows a concealed volume, plus the cloak, to appear to have properties similar to free space when viewed externally,” Professor David Smith, of Duke University, said. “The cloak deflects microwave beams so they flow around a ‘hidden’ object, making it appear almost as if nothing were there at all. The waves’ movement is similar to river water flowing around a smooth rock.”

Of course, what thrills me the most is that I’m apparently going to live long enough to (not) see it.

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Look for me

That’s the title of a short film (three and a half minutes) by Laura Heit which appeared, as it were, on Britain’s Channel 4 last fall. Frank Moldstad interviewed Heit for Animation Artist, and she had this to say:

I knew I needed a short and simple story, so I started with this idea. I wanted to show the arc of a day in the life of someone who wakes up and is something unexplainable, and then how that changes throughout the day. You begin all excited — there are so many new possibilities, then you become self-conscious, [develop] shame and a desire to do good, and then loneliness ultimately. I chose invisibility because it seemed interesting beyond physical change, it affects so much more. Also, it’s not really a super power as she [the main character] points out; the only real difference is in the fact that you can spy a lot better when you’re invisible.

You can see about a third of Look for Me at the Web site of Slinky Pictures Ltd; it’s all Flash, so click on Our Work and then Shorts.

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