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Old 11-07-2004, 12:33 PM   #1
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Unhappy Almost burned out my car

Stick with me here. This is a little wierd and a lot stupid.

I've had this fresnel lens in my car for a few years. I kept it in the hatch so I could pull it out and revert back to my juvenile delinquent days and burn stuff. My lens was circular, unlike the one referenced, and did not have a wooden frame. It came in a square cardboard sleeve. That is the end of the wierd. From here on out it is pure stupid.

I was on break with one of my co-workers the other day and we were walking a lap in the parking lot when I had a brilliant idea. I said, "Hey Rorick, have you ever seen a fresnel lens?". He said he had not. We walked to my car and I whipped out the fresnal lens and searched for something to burn. A penny was the first target.

I focused the light onto the penny, taking furtive glances to make sure it was aimed properly on the penny. You see, you can not stare at the intense light produced by the lens for long periods of time without retinal damage. Welders goggles are the recommended protection, but those we did not have; we just looked away most of the time. The penny survived, because it was a little too cool out and there was a brisk breeze that stole jsut enough of the heat created by the lens focus point. When I quickly touched the penny to test the temperature, it caused a slight burn on my finger, which I expected. Not a big deal.

So we moved on to the next victim...There was not much laying around in the parking lot. I grabbed the cardboard case to demonstrate the speed at which any paper product would ignite under the awesome power of the freanel lens. As the beam touched the corner of the case, it flared and ignited immediately. I moved the lens away quickly and the small flame extinguished itself in the breeze. I put the lens back in the case and put the case on the front passenger floor and leaned the top of it against the seat.

The end. Or so I thought...

My Focus awaited me at the end of my shift in the parking space where I left it. Upon opening the driver door, I was assaulted with a strong odor akin to that of a camp fire. I glanced at the passenger seat and saw a large scorch mark where the fresnel lens case used to meet the seat. The scorch mark was about eight inches by three inches. Then I began to laugh, because at that moment that was all I was capable of. I probably could have mustered a few naughty words, but it was kinda funny. And it was a long ride home. It smelled like I was driving a charcoal briquette.

As it turns out, the small fire I created on the case wasn't quite finished burning. It had smoldered and consumed a decent portion of the case and the car's seat cover. Luckily for me and my Focus, it did not eat through the seat cover and into my pristine seat. I am now battling with the stench with some carpet foam stuff. It will be a long battle and I may have to trade the car in if I can't get the stink out.

I do not have a digital camera. If I had, I would have just posted a pic with a caption: Look how stupid I am.


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Old 11-07-2004, 02:23 PM   #2
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oh man, that's a good thing it didn't get through the cover.

GOod luck with the smell. Try driving with the windows down as much as possible to air out the car.
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Old 11-07-2004, 02:24 PM   #3
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Heh.... You should be more careful with that lense.
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