America's Latest Idiot

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Craig S, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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  2. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Lock him up and throw away the key.
     
  3. Elinor

    Elinor Supporting Actor

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    Seriously. This is someone who desperately needs mental evaluation. He could have gotten a lot of people killed ... and there's a good chance that's just what he wanted.
     
  4. David Brown Eyes

    David Brown Eyes Second Unit

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    He blamed it on his kid?????????????????????????????
     
  5. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Well, the one sigh of relief is, it probably wasn't a terrorist plot, but now that the word is out about how easy it is for a civilian to possibly bring down aircraft... [​IMG]
     
  6. John Stone

    John Stone Supporting Actor

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    I can't help but roll my eyes at the "experts" who came out of the woodwork after this story first broke with hysterical gems like these:



    "It's not some kid," said Paul Rancatore, a pilot who serves as deputy chairman of the security committee for the Allied Pilots Association. "It's too organized."

    (Well, technically the guy is correct - it wasn't some kid - it was just some kid's father. [​IMG])


    ...


    Loren Thompson, who teaches military technology at Georgetown University, called it a "rather worrisome development," though he said experts would be more puzzled than alarmed.

    "What we're talking about is a fairly powerful visible light laser that has the ability to lock onto a fast-moving aircraft," Thompson said. "That's not the sort of thing you pick up at a military surplus store."

    Thompson said a piece of equipment that could do the things the FBI suspects would be "fairly expensive and fairly sophisticated."

    "It sounds like an organized effort to cause airline accidents," Thompson said.


    Uh huh.


    ...

    Source: http://www.nj.com/newsflash/washingt...ist=washington
     
  7. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    maybe he was just playing Predator with his kid?


    .....or he is a pathetic Moron.....either way he deserves at least some jail time to show other morons out there that this isn't a good idea.
     
  8. MikeSerrano

    MikeSerrano Second Unit

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    Don't get me wrong, pointing lasers at people (be they in a moving aircraft or otherwise) is just plain stupid.

    But so is overreacting to this stupidity. A stiff fine and a court date (so that the judge can verbally tear this guy a new one) would be sufficient punishment in this case.

    And BTW, what's with this "rash of recent reports"? According to the FAA, there have been about 50 "laser incidents" a year since 1996 when they began keeping records on such things*. I'm baffled as to what triggered the recent panic.

    * Source: Laser beams not a threat to travelers

    -Mike
     
  9. Jerry Ferguson

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    Easy. 9-11. EVERYTHING these days gets blown WAAY out of proportion. It's getting so I can't go to the grocery store, plant the pipe bomb and not be called a terrorist anymore. jeez...(I really, really am kidding about the pipe bomb....[​IMG])

    Seriously, any odd occurence that happens these days is first ruled out NOT to be terrorist related. Anyone ever see this before 9-11-2001?

    A house in Podunk, Indiana explodes due to a gas line break. What's the first thing out of Chief Wiggum's mouth at the press conference? "We find no evidence of any terrorist activity here." Really? Hmm, that's good to know they aren't targeting individual homes. sheesh.
     
  10. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]

    it's refreshing to see that some people still have a modicum of sensibility...
     
  11. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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    Sadly, the followup shows we're all bigger idiots than he is. [​IMG] Hope he has a good lawyer if he is even allowed to contact his original one.
     
  12. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Hope he gets the death penalty and then taken below for torture.
     
  13. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Ummm.. I'm no astronomer, but how does one use a laser pointer to look at stars? Does he think he lives in a planetarium?
     
  14. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    LOL - Even if it WAS powerful enough to reach a star, wouldn't it take like thousands of years for the laser light to get to the star???

    Even if this excuse were true, this guy needs to be locked up for his sheer stupidity. [​IMG]
     
  15. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Agreed.

    --
    H
     
  16. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Depends on how far away the star is. If it's a few dozen light years away, then it would take a few dozen years. It doesn't make any sense in any case. You can't reflect a laser beam off a star, and with nothing to reflect off of, the only way you could see where the beam is going would be in foggy/cloudy conditions that would make stargazing useless. The man's story doesn't hold up.
     
  17. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Well, just because this sometimes doesn't get said: this was a federal offense long before 9-11, and any attempt in any way to do such a thing to an aircraft even before 9-11 had serious responses.

    In 1998, a man outside of KC was arrested, and is still in jail, for repeatedly firing an air rifle at incoming planes. Now, his air rifle had no shot of doing any realistic damage to any plane. But, his sentence (10 years) is what was on the books from the FAA, so that's the time he got as a federal offense.

    Under the old law, pre-patriot act, he would face up to 20 years for interfering with the operation of aircraft. Under the new, he faces 25. He will not get the maximum for either. So, I'm not sure if I would say the "new law" is idiotic, it's basically the same as the old one (both would be under the federal jurisdiction, so handled by FBI).

    In the end, the general rule which everyone should know is: this kind of stuff is idiotic, and if he knew this thing had a bright enough laser to be visible that far up, then he was an utter moron for pointing at planes.
     
  18. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Robert, did you read my post? [​IMG]

    Just for kicks, I googled "laser astronomy". The very first link shows a similar device proving my speculations: For this type of laser, the beam is visible, otherwise it would be completely useless for the intended purpose!

    Green laser pointer for astronomy use.

    There is also no way this guy or his kid could have succesfully pointed that at an aircraft if there was no beam to see.

    So far, the story checks out.

    --
    H
     
  19. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Yes, but I still don't see how the beam is visible. You can't see it unless there's some way for it to be reflected back to your eyes. If it's traveling through clear air into the night sky, there's nothing there to reflect it.
     
  20. Fred Seger

    Fred Seger Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually there are green laser pointers that they started selling about a year ago in astronomy catalogs/websites that are more visible than the standard red laser pointers. They're not much more powerful but the spectrum of light makes them more visible. On a clear dark night it seems to project a "mile". I've got one and it can point out stars and planets quite well. However I can not possibly see how one of these could be used by hand to hit an aircraft windshield. And if it did at such a distance and be noticable at all.
     

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