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Home Made Star Wars Movie Injury 734

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the darwin-would-be-proud dept.
SaleNowOn writes "Rather than use expensive cgi techniques to make the light sabres glow for their home movie. This couple instead used fluorescent tubes filled with petrol. Which they then set alight. If they don't survive they must be Future Darwin Award winners. It makes me proud to be British." And me embarassed to be a Star Wars geek.
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Home Made Star Wars Movie Injury

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  • Glow Sticks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rolyat69 (838367) * on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:03AM (#12623510)
    Why oh why didn't they just use Glow Sticks? [howstuffworks.com] Here is a nice article on how they work. Crack them, cut them open, and dump into some sort of clear plastic tubing and seal. From what I understand, Glow Sticks are nontoxic and come in nifty colors! I guess the force just isn't that strong with them. :)
    • by tehshen (794722) <tehshen@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:10AM (#12623596)
      I guess the force just isn't that strong with them. :)

      Of course it isn't. That's why you have to crack 'em.
    • by AndroidCat (229562) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:21AM (#12623714) Homepage
      Why not just pack the tubes with radioactive material and heavy water? Or Radium and Zinc Sulfide for that retro-look Undark [roger-russell.com] glow? (Risk doesn't seem to be a problem for them.)
      • Re:Glow Sticks (Score:4, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman.gmail@com> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:34AM (#12623854) Homepage Journal
        More seriously, Tritum + Phosphor would do nicely without posing much of a health risk. The only catch is that Tritium cost $$$ for very small quantities. For something the size of a lightsaber, it's likely that the cost of the Tritium would be too high.

        The original poster had the best idea. Filling clear plastic tubes with a phosphorescent solution would have given them all the effect they wanted, but without the inherent danger. Of course, Adobe After Effects would have been even cheaper and safer, but these guys were obviously amatuers.
        • Re:Glow Sticks (Score:4, Interesting)

          by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @12:02PM (#12624166) Journal
          Heck, just get yourself a power cord and an upstep transformer and put a few hundred thousand volt charge on one end of the bulb. IIRC, it should then glow through simply leaking electrical charge into the air. Wear nonconductive gloves.

          Yes, I've seen this done, but I don't remember the details.... It may have involved a Vandegraaff generator....

          • Re:Glow Sticks (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Rei (128717) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @12:10PM (#12624255) Homepage
            You need tight field lines to get coronal discharge - and if you use them, you'll probably see lightning coming from it in the dark. Tight field lines generally require fine wires. Also, the glow will be unicolor unless you outgas different gasses from your saber.

            Not that I'd recommend using fluorescent light tubes filled with anything - that's a shatter risk. And while tritium isn't dangerous in most situations, that much tritium in a fragile container is asking for trouble - getting that much on your skin (where some may soak in) and in the air (which you'll breathe), you'll probably get a couple years to a couple decades of background radiation equivalent (based on the fact that drinking an entire tritium rifle sight is a two years dose).
            • by dgatwood (11270)
              Well, in that case... it already contains phosphorus. It wouldn't take a very thick layer of radium at all to emit enough alpha particle radiation to light the tube. Find somebody who still sells radium paint, paint the outside of the tube with a thin layer. Wear lead gloves. :-D

            • Re:Glow Sticks (Score:4, Informative)

              by spike hay (534165) <<blu_ice> <at> <violate.me.uk>> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:04PM (#12624862) Homepage

              You need tight field lines to get coronal discharge - and if you use them, you'll probably see lightning coming from it in the dark. Tight field lines generally require fine wires. Also, the glow will be unicolor unless you outgas different gasses from your saber.

              Not that I'd recommend using fluorescent light tubes filled with anything - that's a shatter risk. And while tritium isn't dangerous in most situations, that much tritium in a fragile container is asking for trouble - getting that much on your skin (where some may soak in) and in the air (which you'll breathe), you'll probably get a couple years to a couple decades of background radiation equivalent (based on the fact that drinking an entire tritium rifle sight is a two years dose).


              If you are outdoors, you would probably be just fine. Tritium, after all, is hydrogen. It will rapidly ascend through the atmosphere. If it is inhaled, it is not metabolized by the body or taken into the bloodstream in significant quantities, so no huge problem there. The main with radioactivity is when you inhale a solid dust, and the material sits in your lungs, irradiating them for years on end. Tritium does not do this.

              Also, the radiation can't penetrate the epidermis, which is a plus.
        • Re:Glow Sticks (Score:5, Interesting)

          by AndroidCat (229562) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @12:20PM (#12624349) Homepage
          "Tritium requires a $40,000 dollar license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with secure facilities and weekly medical exams because of its radioactivity. Don't even think about trying to get Tritium. It is dangerous and illegal." (And this from people doing home-built fusion reactors! [brian-mcdermott.com])
          • Re:Glow Sticks (Score:4, Informative)

            by LurkerXXX (667952) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:16PM (#12624972)
            Funny, I work with tritium all the time in a biology lab. No weekly medical exams needed. Maybe you should do more research on the subject before spouting all that stuff.
            • Re:Glow Sticks (Score:5, Insightful)

              by JDevers (83155) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:41PM (#12625275)
              Your campus or facility has a site license. I've never heard of the medical exams, but the license is real and you will have to take certification courses in order to use the material as well as use appropriate safety devices.

              If your institution DOESN'T follow these procedures (and is in the US...), let us all know so we can call your RSO and your state health department and get you shutdown for making the rest of us look bad.
        • by Pfhorrest (545131) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @12:55PM (#12624760) Homepage Journal
          I know someone who built what looks, in the dark or not right up in your face, like a real functioning lightsaber. A good many of them actually, he pulls them out at renaissance faires after hours to entertain the guilds with lightsaber duels. They're basically real swords lined with side-luminous fiberoptics, and a laser (or at least a strong, colored light source) shining into one end of the fiber. You wouldn't even need to use swords properly to make them... a transparent plastic tube (hard acrylic like they build marine exhibits ala Sea World out of) would probably work better, twist the two lines of fiberoptics down the center, and let the lens effect of the plastic tubing "fill in" the space in the middle.

          The problem with the segmented plastic lightsabers you can buy is (A) they're weak as fuck and you can't fight with them, (B) you can see the segmenting and it's clearly soft plastic between!
    • by javamann (410973) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:45AM (#12623988)
      Last year on the 4th of July we were driving back from the fireworks. My son was chewing on a glow stick in the car. I warned him that they could break but being a kid he didn't listen. As soon as we stop at home I hear this 'eeewwwww' from the back and when he got out both his mouth and shirt were glowing. That was a Kodak moment.
    • When I went to see the movie, a guy in the audience brought his Master Replica lightsaber. I had never seen one of these before. In a dark theater, the glow was convincing and impressive.

      This would be a realistic and safe alternative to playing with gas.

      (Whenever he would hold up the lightsaber the crowd would fall silent, waiting to hear the ignition sound - each time followed by a round of applause.)
    • Re:Glow Sticks (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hey! (33014) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @12:05PM (#12624218) Homepage Journal
      This works amazingly well.

      I have a friend who is machinist who made a number of beautiful plastic broadswords that were designed to be filled with something like twenty glow stiks worth of juice. The effect was spectacular, even in moderate lighting. They were exquisitely beautiful creations with several different colored plastic, finely shaped, finished and furnished. His best one he took to an Boskone years ago, where Larry Niven, who was staggering drunk at the time, asked to see it. Naturally Niven waved it around and smashed it against an elevator door, putting an ugly chimp and spiderweb cracks in it. My friend was pissed -- it took forever to make one that nice.

      Personally I would have got a Sharpie and had Niven autograph the sword for me. Something like this: "To Dave -- Sorry about the sword, but I was being a drunk asshole at the time. All the best, Larry"
  • by coupland (160334) * <dchase@hotma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:04AM (#12623523) Journal

    >If they don't survive they must be Future Darwin Award winners.

    Oh that would be so cool. Finally, the Star Wars fandom community recognized by a mainstream award!

    *crosses fingers*

  • by jaymzter (452402) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:04AM (#12623525) Homepage
    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

    someone had to do it.
    • I thought the obligatory quote would have been the BBC (or other news) reporting that the third person at the scene muttered "I have a bad feeling about this..." right before the petrol-fueled saber exploded. ;-)
  • Yeah... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kaisum (850834) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:04AM (#12623529)
    The force was strong with that petrol.
  • by yotto (590067) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:04AM (#12623534) Homepage
    I feel bad for these guys and their injuries, but do people NOT know that you don't light glass tubes of gasoline on fire?

    How did these guys make it this far into life?

    And, lastly, where's the video?
    • Never understimate the power of stupidity.

      The other day I was talking to someone that couldn't tell me whether the end on what ended up being his ethernet cord was metal or plastic.

      Even after he told me he could see the wires inside - He still thought it looked like a metal end to him.

      The guy was in his 30's. I have NO idea how people like this make it through an average day.

      I was wondering as well - where's the video?

      • Never understimate the power of stupidity.

        The other day I was talking to someone that couldn't tell me whether the end on what ended up being his ethernet cord was metal or plastic.


        That's not stupidity, that's him not understanding the information that you needed. Not knowing an RJ45 from an RJ11 would cripple you or me. Some people would be crippled if they couldn't remember the difference between TIA-568A and TIA-568B. This guy probably almost never has to plug a cable in, so it doesn't matter t
      • ObScotty (Score:5, Funny)

        by Rufus88 (748752) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @12:39PM (#12624579)
        The other day I was talking to someone that couldn't tell me whether the end on what ended up being his ethernet cord was metal or plastic. Even after he told me he could see the wires inside [...]

        Haven't ye ever heard a' transparent aluminum, laddie?
    • Why do you want to see two teenagers being almost burned to death?
    • by Analogy Man (601298) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:37AM (#12623898)
      A fool and his eyebrows are soon parted.
    • by Harassed (166366) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:40AM (#12623937)
      Personally I think it's disgusting that the manufacturer of the fluorescent tubes didn't provide explicit warnings that filling their tubes with fuel was likely to cause injury. In fact, if I was a) in the US and b) one of the injured parties then I would seriously consider sueing. Maybe enough other people have also been injured in that way that they could start a class action suit.
      • by Blkdeath (530393) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:47AM (#12624014) Homepage
        Personally I think it's disgusting that the manufacturer of the fluorescent tubes didn't provide explicit warnings that filling their tubes with fuel was likely to cause injury.

        Should that be a blanket warning on anything with a fillable orifice?

        • by sharkey (16670) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @12:49PM (#12624690)
          Should that be a blanket warning on anything with a fillable orifice?

          This should be a wake up call to the makers of Real Doll.

        • REPOST! (Score:5, Funny)

          by MuMart (537836) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:30PM (#12625141) Homepage
          NOTICE: Due To Its Mass, This Product Warps Space and Time in Its Vicinity.

          WARNING: This Product Attracts Every Other Object in the universe, Including the Products of Other Manufacturers, with a Force Proportional to the Product of the Masses Divided by the Square of the Distance Between Them.

          CAUTION: The Mass of This Product Contains the Energy Equivalent of 85 Million Tons of TNT per Net Ounce of Weight. The Manufacturer warrants that this product is to be used only as matter and will not be responsible for injury or damage if it is converted into energy.

          HANDLE WITH CARE: This Product Contains Minute Electrically Charged Particles Moving at Velocities in Excess of Five Hundred Million Miles Per Hour.

          CONSUMER NOTICE: Due to the "Uncertainty Principle," it is impossible for the User to know precisely and simultaneously where this product is located and how fast it is moving.

          ADVISORY: There is an Extremely Remote Chance That, Through a Process Known as "Tunneling," This Product May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Other Place in the Universe, Including Your Neighbor's Domicile. The Manufacturer Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damage or Inconvenience That May Result.

          READ THIS BEFORE OPENING PACKAGE: According to Certain Suggested Versions of the Grand Unified Theory, the Primary Particles Constituting this Product May Decay to Nothingness Within the Next Four Hundred Million Years.

          THIS PRODUCT IS 100% MATTER: In the Unlikely Event That This Merchandise Should Contact Antimatter in Any Form, a Catastrophic Explosion Will Result. The Manufacturer cannot be held responsible for resulting injury or damages.

          PUBLIC NOTICE AS REQUIRED BY LAW: Any Use of This Product, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Aggregate Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Assumed Herein, the Consumer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to a state of "Warm Death" of the Universe.

          NOTE: The Most Fundamental Particles in This Product Are Held Together by a "Gluing" Force About Which Little is Currently Known and Whose Adhesive Power, therefore, Can Not Be Guaranteed Indefinitely. No responsibility is therefore assumed for the structural integrity of this product.

          ATTENTION: Notwithstanding Any Listing of Product Contents Found Hereupon, the Consumer is Advised That This Product Actually Consists of 99.9999999999% Empty Space.

          NEW GRAND UNIFIED THEORY DISCLAIMER: While the Manufacturer is Technically Entitled to Claim That This Product Is Ten-Dimensional, the Consumer Is Reminded That This Confers No Legal Rights Above and Beyond Those Applicable to Three-Dimensional Objects, Since the Seven New Dimensions Are "Rolled Up" into Such a Small "Area" That They Cannot Be Detected.

          PLEASE NOTE: Some Quantum Physics Theories Suggest That, When Unobserved, This Product May Cease to Exist or May Exist Only in a Vague and Undetermined State. Therefore all warranties are in effect only while this product is under the direct observation of a human being.

          COMPONENT EQUIVALENCY NOTICE: The Subatomic Particles (Electrons, Protons, etc.) Comprising This Product Are Exactly the Same in Every Measurable Respect as Those Used in the Products of Other Manufacturers, and Competitors' Claims to the Contrary are neither Justified nor Legitimate.

          HEALTH WARNING: Care Should Be Taken When Lifting This Product, Since Its Mass, and Thus Its Weight, Is Dependent on Its Velocity Relative to the User. The manufacturer cannot be held liable for injury or damage resulting from relativistic mass increase.

          IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PURCHASERS: The Entire Physical Universe,Including This Product, May One Day Collapse Back into an Infinitesimally Small Space. Should Another Universe Subsequently Reemerge, the Existence of This Product in That Universe, and its performance and suitability for any purpose, Cannot Be Guaranteed.

  • Mess with the force, and you're bound to get burned.
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:05AM (#12623547)
    I bet the mercury vapors in the fluorescent tubes scrambled their brains enough to convince them this was a good idea.
  • The bitch of it is that in my high school electronics class, when we covered Tesla Coils and Van de Graff Generators, our teacher showed us how to have a light saber fight by holding a flourescent tube in one hand and the center tap of a Tesla Coil in the other. Sure, you've gotta be careful not to break the thin glass tube, but at least the results aren't quite so nasty if you do. Probably looks more convincing as well.

    And if you work it right, it also gives you the ability to do the ever popular Jedi trick of throwing someone across the room with the open palm of your hand.

    High voltage beats high temperature any day of the week.
  • by catdevnull (531283) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:06AM (#12623552)
    Now they won't need make-up for Anakin's "Burn" scene.

    [-4 Poor Taste]
  • by bitswapper (805265) * on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:06AM (#12623554)

    "Police say a third person present at the incident was questioned."

    Who found the cops' lack of faith disturbing...

  • by CokeBear (16811) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:06AM (#12623557) Journal
    Police say a third person present at the incident was questioned.

    No doubt he was an elderly English gentleman, who had been encouraging our friends to try out their little experiment.

  • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:06AM (#12623560) Homepage Journal
    From The Currant Bun [thesun.co.uk] and The BBC [thisislondon.co.uk].

    NB : Before you make any cheap cracks, the people involved are seriously injured.
    • by Alan Shutko (5101) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:12AM (#12623614) Homepage
      That should justify cheap cracks.

      Think of it as evolution in action.
    • NB : Before you make any cheap cracks, the people involved are seriously injured.

      You're absolutely right. We should set up a foundation for them - donate money to help the victims of this horrible travesty. We should do all in our power to coddle them, make them feel better and be understanding of their plight. In doing so, we should strive to send a message to people everywhere that while there may be consequences to their actions, they will gain sympathy, attention and financial support for their or

    • Serious burn injuries hurt.

      I know what I'm talking about... they hurt like nothing you can imagine.

      They hurt, and hurt, and hurt, and hurt some more, and then even more. It's just undescribable.

      Pray that your superior genes and sheer luck preserve you from such injuries, they destroy your world.
  • Saberology (Score:4, Informative)

    by Stibidor (874526) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:07AM (#12623563) Homepage
    They obviously haven't heard of saberology [saberology.com]. Silly sots. :)
  • hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tebriel (192168) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:07AM (#12623566)
    the dumb is strong in these two...
  • by blcamp (211756) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:09AM (#12623580) Homepage
    ...Any chance they are distant ancestors of Jar Jar Binks?

  • by TomorrowPlusX (571956) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:12AM (#12623612)
    OK, sure, I've had some fun with pyrotechnics. My father -- being a machinist -- had welding equipment, so he and I would fill balloons with mapp gas and oxygen and would shoot them with burning bolts from a home-made crossbow. Good times. Not to mention my blacksmith uncle who would, on the fourth of july, take a special anvil he'd hollowed out the bottom of and fill the hollow with gunpowder. You can imagine the fun. Again, good times.

    But, come on. Fluorescent light tubes?! You would have to be some sort of catastrophically stupid person to not realize how fragile those tubes are. I mean, for christ's sake! Filling a fragile glass tube with a burning liquid and then hitting things with it! Oh my god. If you *have* to do this, and obviously, you do because it's cool and fun, at least put some thought behind the mechanics.

    The only thing I can really think about all this is that, somewhere, modern culture isn't teaching people important, basic, rules about material properties.

    On a side note, I previously associated this kind of behavior with my fellow Americans. We're a stupid, raucous bunch. I'm glad to open my arms to the UK, I welcome you to our stupid bosom. May you whittle your gene pool alongside us.

  • by lheal (86013) <lheal1999 AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:16AM (#12623661) Journal

    Hall of fame inductees!

    This is worse than powering a powering a go-cart with a chainsaw (not a chainsaw engine, a chainsaw). Or any attempt to juggle objects meant to fell trees.

    No, this couple gets a waiver straight into the Hall [darwinawards.com].

    They deserve their own wing.

  • Reminds me... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anita Coney (648748) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:17AM (#12623670) Homepage
    I had a friend, who at the age of 16, decided to build his own flame thrower. Unfortunately for him, it worked. It worked SO well he burned about 80% of his body.

    He was one of those guys who was incredibly intelligent with absolutely NO common sense. Or maybe better put as, smart enough to be dangerous.
  • by StuffJustHappens (869989) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:19AM (#12623697)
    Use the Extinguisher Luke...
  • by David Horn (772985) <david AT pocketgamer DOT org> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:22AM (#12623719) Homepage
    That means it must be true...
  • by atomic-penguin (100835) <wolfe21&marshall,edu> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:33AM (#12623851) Homepage Journal
    Q. How many Star Wars fans does it take to screw in a light bulb?

    A. It depends on the number of light bulbs and the amount of gasoline on hand.
  • More proof (Score:3, Funny)

    by hikerhat (678157) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:40AM (#12623933)
    More proof that violent movies cause violent behaviour! How many more lives need to be ruined by exploding glass tubes full of gas before we ban these movies forever?
  • by wes33 (698200) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:40AM (#12623936)
    I hope Lucas is ready to pay out the huge award the jury will provide since he is *obviously* responsible for putting this idea into impressionable young minds.

    Well ... at least if they can launch the suit in America.
  • Napalm? (Score:5, Informative)

    by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @11:41AM (#12623941)
    According to an article in The Sun [thesun.co.uk] about this,
    "They filled them with fuel and washing-up liquid to act out a Jedi Knight fight scene from new movie Revenge Of The Sith. "

    Gas + soap may make a crude napalm [wikipedia.org]

  • by the pickle (261584) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @12:00PM (#12624145) Homepage
    "Lead to Darwin Awards, the path of stupidity does."

    p
  • by Chasuk (62477) <chasuk@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @12:02PM (#12624171)
    Which they then set alight

    And it says this where, exactly?

    Does anyone who post links on Slashdot actually fucking read them before doing so?
    • > Which they then set alight

      And it says this where, exactly?


      Why would you fill a tube with petrol if you weren't intending to set it alight?

      Why would you end up in a specialist burns unit if the petrol hadn't got lit?
  • Genii (Score:3, Informative)

    by ifwm (687373) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @12:04PM (#12624201) Journal
    Plural of genius.
  • by Picass0 (147474) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @12:08PM (#12624234) Homepage Journal
    Did it look cool?

    Did anyone get pictures?
  • by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @12:22PM (#12624366)
    Reminds me of my young tender years. One of my friends had parents that were at work during the day in the summer. His mother was a nurse. In their garage there were some (old-style) intravenous infusion jars (glass), the jar caps and plastic hoses, a 5-gallon can of gasoline for the lawnmower, and an ancient but still chugging air compressor. Put all these things together, and you have a pressurized glass jar of gasoline with a convenient squirter hose. A poor-kid's flamethrower. I'm amazed we didnt all burn up several times over.
  • by FidelCatsro (861135) <fidelcatsro&gmail,com> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @12:41PM (#12624599) Journal
    That said..

    Obi-Wan: The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together. Though it does not make you flame retardent , ask vader
  • by ReadParse (38517) <.john. .at. .funnycow.com.> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @12:48PM (#12624681) Homepage
    The problem, of course, is that they used petrol, whatever the hell that is. They should have used good ol' American gasoline.

    English: If it was good enough fer Jesus, it's good enough fer you.

    RP
  • by fussili (720463) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @07:15PM (#12628909)
    Because Good is Dumb

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill

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