It would almost be funny if they hadn’t been seriously injured, but they were, so it’s just painful:
Two hurt in mock light sabre duelI’m struck by how unavoidable this was. We’re a technologically empowered society that doesn’t require its members to understand physics, chemistry, ballistics, or the virtue of testing something (preferably from a distance) before you use it.
A man, aged 20, and a girl of 17 are believed to have been filming a mock duel when they poured fuel into two glass tubes and lit it.
The pair were rushed to hospital after one of the devices exploded in woodland at Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. A videotape was found nearby by police called to the scene on Sunday.A police spokeswoman said the pair were taken to West Herts Hospital before being transferred to the specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, in Essex. They are both said to be in a critical condition.
Mistakes will be made. The only thing that keeps them from happening oftener than they do is that non-techies don’t usually act on their ideas.
You want proof that magic doesn’t actually work? If it did, there’s no way that ignorant practitioners wouldn’t be committing equivalent screwups, and sooner or later there’d be an incident that was too obvious to explain away.Addendum: Posted to the comment thread by John M. Ford:
The following information is provided as a service to our customers.
Welcome, Padawan! Your acquisition of an Incom-Flickertek “Divisa-S” Lightsaber is the beginning of an exciting future of Galactic wisdom and influence. Regardless of your choice of Force paths, the Divisa series offers a lifetime of subtle and precise striking down.
However, as with all ancient weapons, the lightsaber requires care in use and handling. We hope you will find the following tips useful:
—Remember the sequence: Flourish-Force-Flash. First, draw the saber, using your favored technique, or one you learned in some obscure font of Jedi stuntwork. Then, use the Force! Objects that might be in the beam path will cause disturbances that, with a little practice, you will recognize very quickly. (Of course, you will recognize them quickly no matter what.) Once clear, ignite the blade. After all, it’s tough to face down the foe with one knee, even if it was already cybernetic.
—The lens assembly goes through a self-cleaning cycle on each ignition. However, if the saber has not been ignited for some time, or the lens has acquired a heavy coat of debris (smoke, droid lube, bodily fluids, etc.) peripheral effects may occur on ignition. Some Jedi find entering through a cloud of smoke dramatic and even useful. If, however, the saber fails to ignite, or shows a highly specular beam, accompanied by unusual sounds and a smell like frying womp-rat, turn the saber off and use a non-abrasive cleaner on the lens at the first opportunity. Allow solvents to evaporate fully before re-installing the assembly. Note: use of chewing tobacco, while still popular in some corners of the galaxy, is NOT recommended for lightsaber operators.
—Throwing the lightsaber at a distant enemy, and then recovering it with adroit Force use, is a dramatic way to enter any room, but it requires practice. The SwashLITE™ Practice Saber, available to match the weight and balance of all our lightsaber models, is highly recommended for those intending to “fling the Force.” It has a holographic simulated blade that generates an audible tone when it passes through a target. As a saber owner, you’re entitled to a considerable discount on the SwashLITE; contact your Incom sales rep.
—Other Padawans may tell you that turning the Proni collimator 90 degrees within the casing will cause “cool things” to happen on ignition. THEY ARE WRONG.
—Most Jedi personalize their sabers with a custom-fitted grip, a distinctive color crystal, decorative though nonfunctional pieces of shiny metal, and so on. Be advised that the external casing, while as durable as our technology can make it, is not indestructible, and cutting or engraving the case, particularly with another lightsaber, is not recommended and will void your warranty.—Sooner or later you’re going to sever a hand—either your own, or someone else’s. We all know it happens. But do you know the best method for dealing with this emergency? Here’s our handy reference:1. Finish the fight as quickly as possible. If the lopped limb was yours, you may need to improvise something beyond the scope of this guide.The above guide is available as a wipe-clean laminated card free from your Incom tech rep. —We shouldn’t say it, but we’re going to: an upright lightsaber makes a great accent light for romantic situations, and in our considerable experience as lonely tech geeks is a swell chick magnet. That’s why we make the LavaLase™ upright table bracket, that keeps the saber upright no matter how energetically you “turn to the Dark Side.”
2. Extinguish the saber and clean the lens assembly as described above.
3. While the case is open, check the power cell connector for sticky bits. It’s a good idea to wipe down the casing with a soft cloth, as circulatory fluids vary widely in chemical composition.
4. Locate the missing limb and use appropriate measures (cold storage, liquid bath, jumping up and down on it until it gives up).5. If the former owner of the limb is not of a self-regenerating species, some medical assistance may be necessary, though the remarkable cauterizing powers of a lightsaber blade should make this a minor matter. (If the wounded individual was a Nitronyx, of course, now is the time to gather the bits for the Echo Ceremony).