Saturday, 29 January 2005

The story of the Lefties & the FEG

by Dom Corrigan

Glenn Reynolds (here comes the "Little-lanche" Glenn...) is having fun with this ridiculous fellow.

The subtitle of one of our favourite blogs goes, "In politics, being ridiculous is more damaging than being extreme". This is possibly true, but inviting ridicule for the way you act, what you say, and how you look, is probably worse for your reputation.

In the building I work, world-class science happens downstairs, while 'academics' like Mr. Churchill spend their time putting up posters like this, or this (...links to follow). I mention this because a few years ago signatures were collected for a petition by students who have their department upstairs.

When it was handed over to our group head, he was amused. In a rather strident tone, and with the full weight of its signatories, we were asked to bring about the immediate cessation of our research into military armaments.

Eh?

Well, it turned out that they had overheard the term "field emission gun" and assumed that we dastardly scientists were researching some sort of super-weapon in the basement. Whereas, in fact, a FEG sits on top of a machine like this one here.

I really don't think that it's suitable for military purposes. Even the best English shooting enthusiasts would have trouble justifying a place in their collections for one. But, should we ever get round to pointing it at people, rather than nanostructures, we know the sort of idiots who'll be first against the wall.

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