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Las Vegas Death Ray

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

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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.

vegas_ray.jpg

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

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