Wednesday, 5 November 2008
I'll be long dead before 'Star Wars' works
In the late 80's I was visiting a friend in South America.
Ended up, one day, in a bar in Puerto Stroessner, Paraguay.
A real dive, but cold beer. Fine.
And we're sitting with another guy we've travelled with from Brazil.
He's an arsehole, but an interesting arsehole.
He had already tried to persuade me to hold on to his Canadian passport so he could cross the border using his U.N. 'Laissez Faire' Passport – to see if it works. No thanx.
Anyway, he tells us about his work. He lives in South America working on the Fusion Project.
He is a laser specialist.
He tells us that the Yanks wanted him to work on Star Wars but that he had refused.
Partly because he is against war, partly because it won't work.
He then proceeds to explain 'why?' – on the back of a beer mat. Traditional, eh?
He draws a diagram showing the States and USSR.
OK. The Sovs send a rocket and it takes about twenty minutes.
We need a laser of blah blah Watts. Bang. Fine.
He does the equation on the back of the beermat.
So, the Sovs rotate the rocket and we now need a laser of blah blah watts. Fine.
He does the new equations.
So, the Sovs put metal plates on the rocket which rotate in the opposite direction to the rotation of the rocket. We now need a laser of blah blah power.
And he draws the relevant equation on the beermat.
At this point, I look round the bar.
It is full of dodgy Peter Lorre types who have significantly extended ears listening to these three foreigners.
I say 'Eddie, enough, I am not interested'.
He kindly desists.
As I have a very unusual foreign name, for a Brit, I was very paranoid.
I could see the headlines already.
'CIA Arrest Boldscot In Paraguay Over Star Wars Leak.'
So, I am looking at these articles on missile defense systems with a particular eye. And a cynical one at that.