In the 1980s, a Hollywood special effects company was hired to come up with ghostly, vaguely supernatural-looking images for a horror movie.
Instead of doing the standard animated sparkles and twinkles, the effects men decided to experiment with shining different kinds of lights in odd ways to see if they could get anything interesting out of it.
Among other things they got hold of a powerful laser and blasted it into and onto stuff to see what it would do.
They discovered that shining the laser through a piece of glass Coke bottle would make complex light patterns on a nearby wall. By twisting and turning the sliver of old broken glass in different ways, they could get the light patterns to shift and flow across the wall almost like liquid.
Then they’d set up a movie camera to record the light patterns on the wall. When they superimposed that over the footage of the heroes, voila — instant ghost plasma reachy-outy things.
Well, one of the special effects men decided he was really going to impress his bosses.
“If that’s the sort of pattern we can get with a cheap old glass pop bottle, let’s see what we can do with a really nice piece of glass!” he said.
He drove to a fancy Rodeo Drive luxury store and bought an expensive crystal vase, which he smashed on the sidewalk.
Back at the studio he set a piece of broken crystal up in front of the laser, turned it on, and stepped back to see what sort of spectacular patterns it would make on the wall.
Nothing. The laser beam went straight through the expensive crystal with hardly any refraction.
“Oh. It was the imperfections that made it interesting,” said the special effects man.
Moral: perfection is overrated.
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Confession: Speaking of 1980s special effects movies, I’d pay good money to watch a version of Swan Lake with all the ballerinas wearing power loaders like in the movie Aliens.
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Cathy Morris contacted me with a message about Redwood County Special Olympics:
“Here is some info on what is happening with Special Olympics. We need people who are willing to become POLAR plungers. The date is Jan 25 in Spicer. We also need people willing to help sponsor the brave jumpers.Redwood Falls Schools have just started a new team. Anyone wanting to help or to coach please let us know.
“We are selling raffle tickets for $5 prizes include a snowmobile, 60-inch TV entertainment package, and $1,000 cash. The drawing is March 1, 2014.
“Schwan's also is supporting Special Olympics with an online program. Fudge from the Walnut Grove Mercantile is on sale until December 5, and is available in 1/2 lb. boxes for $5 or one lb. box for $10.
Page 2 of 2 - “Anyone wanting information or to order can call Nancy Revier at 507-430-1528, or Cathy Morris at 507-430-7804.
“Thank you for all your support of the Redwood Falls Special Olympic athletes. Without your help they wouldn't be able to participate in all the events that they currently are involved with.”