Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Art Deco Telescope

Only good until found out, of course
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Several pieces of Art, each made of broken mirror segments, is the key to this Idea. They have to be designed using a computer, and positioned and oriented using lasers. Some of the mirrors, in fact, are half-silvered, with lasers behind them, just for this purpose. Once in place, a Special Effect should result...

This overall gadget is placed in a traditional "smoke filled room", as a gift. The Artist, of course, will insist on installing it personally, and precisely to his own satisfaction. When done, the lasers are left on, their beams as they criss-cross the room is part of the Art.

The laser beams are also there for purposes of misdirection, of course. There are a LOT of broken pieces of mirror in the various sections of the overall Work of Art, and many of them do not have various colored laser beams bouncing off of them....

The conference table where various conspirators plan to do naughty things is almost literally the "focus" of this Idea, which is a kind of spy device. Let us trace some rays of ordinary light, as they leave the table and approach the Central Piece of this Work of Art (which is located some distance away from the table, say three meters, but is at table-top level).

The rays scatter off in various directions, of course. The people at the conference table might find it interesting that if they look at the mirror pieces of that Central Piece, they can see, reflected, images of the other Parts of the Art Work, scattered about the room at various heights and locations. This means, of course, that rays of ordinary light leaving the table, reflecting off the Central Piece, head toward the other Pieces of the Art Work, where they are reflected again. Total distance traversed now varies from four to ten meters, depending on the size of the room.

The rays of light may make one more bounce among the various Pieces of the Art Work. The overall purpose of this is, if someone with excellent vision stares at the Central Piece, he may see the reflections of other Pieces, and in those reflections, the reflection of still other Pieces, but he won't see the final destination clearly. It's too far away, in terms of normal visual acuity. Not to mention that most of the mirrors in the Pieces are actually slightly curved, not flat.

Of course that final destination isn't so far away, in direct distance from it to the conference table. That destination is a hole in the wall behind one of the lesser Pieces. And while the hole is visible if one looks behind that Piece, all the other Pieces are associated with similar holes. The Artist had explained that some ductwork had been added behind the walls, so that filtered air can be blown across the Pieces, keeping them dust-free. Various angled mirror segments actually help direct the air around the Piece.

All the rays of light that we started with, leaving the conference table and heading toward the Central Piece, have bounced off of various mirrors and now converge behind this one, where they naturally bounce a penultimate time, into that hole. One final mirror directs the joined-up multi-ray of light between the walls to an adjacent room. This room has a secret panel and a camera behind that panel. The camera, of course, records everything brought to it on that beam of light.

We all know that an image can be scrambled. This is exactly what happens when our rays of light bounce off the Central Piece. But we also know, or should know, that if the individual pieces of the overall image are preserved, then they can be reassembled. Preservation is performed when the rays bounce between the other Pieces (and the curvature of the glass helps with this), reassembly is performed just before the rays enter the hole in the wall. And so the camera actually records a good image of the ongoings at the conference table. Very much as if peering through a telescope.

Vernon, Sep 15 2006

(?) Spy Gadget Contest Spymaker_3a_20The_20Science_20of_20Spying
I'm not entering. But I'm having fun with that idea, all the same. [Vernon, Sep 15 2006]


       [phlish], you seem to think that the laser beams are going to be part of the direct-eye view, but they aren't. They will just bounce off of a Piece or two and end up hitting the walls in various places. I will admit I forgot to specify them as very-low-power, though.
Vernon, Sep 15 2006

       [phlish], then your first anno doesn't make sense. WHAT is going to do the eye-damage that you describe?
Vernon, Sep 16 2006

       LoL. If you are so free to alter the environment, you might as well just put cameras everywhere andnot worry about lasers and scrambling. Put a one-way window on the ceiling, film it all from up there.
Zus, Sep 16 2006


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