An engineer and YouTuber based in Canada has created a fully functional – and likely very deadly – lightsaber, turning the concept introduced over four decades ago by the first Star Wars film into a reality.
While numerous Star Wars fanatics have tried their hand at creating an actual working version of the Jedi weapon, these “weapons” have largely been combinations of non-retractable metal tubing and light, or glorified versions of the retractable plastic toy lightsabers.
However, for James Hobson – known to his YouTube fans as “The Hacksmith” – such prop-like devices ignore the essential nature of the lightsaber as a fixed-length laser that both glows and can melt through metal.
And because Hobson understands the basic principles of laser engineering, he was able to create his own version of the glowing blade wielded by the Jedi and described in the 1977 film as “An elegant weapon – for a more civilizd age.”
In a new video for Hacksmith Industries’ “Make It Real” series, Hobson demonstrates how he managed to transform a concept previously depicted through Hollywood special effects and CGI into a working device.
The video, which dropped on Thursday, has since gone viral and racked up over 12 million views.
The replica lightsaber relies on a portable backpack connected to a hilt designed to appear similar to those in the films.
The hilt pumps out a constant stream of propane gas which, when mixed with oxygen, creates a beam-like blast of plasma flame that looks similar to the light from the sabers and burns at over 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit – meaning that it can make short work of thick pieces of metal and can even slice through steel.
Hobson also showed how a range of different salts can be placed into the plasma stream to alter the color of the beam. For example, boric acid can make the beam green, while sodium chloride (table salt) can turn it yellow. Calcium chloride will produce an amber color, while strontium chloride will turn the beam red.
“Even with all of our new equipment and capabilities, we’re still bound by the laws of thermodynamics,” the Hacksmith explains in the video.
“Well, theories say that plasma is best held in a beam by a magnetic field, which, scientifically, checks out,” he continues. “The issue is producing a strong enough electromagnetic field to contain a blade, well the lightsaber would have to be quite literally built inside a box coated in electromagnets, which turns it into a kind of useless science project.”
The outcome of Hobson’s project is a retractable lightsaber replica that glows “so bright … this actually hurts to look at,” Hobson said.
If you can’t resist owning the epic armament of Jedi knights and Sith lords who engaged in bitter struggles “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” the price tag also matches its intense heat: The laminar nozzle alone cost about $4,000.
“What we’ve made so far are some of the closest representations of lightsabers using real life technologies,” Hobson said.
“They look like a lightsaber, they sound like a lightsaber and at temperatures of over 3000F, they actually cut stuff like a lightsaber.”
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.