Originally posted on When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene:

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 16 December 2012

Arthur C Clarke in a jovial mood - his default setting

Arthur C Clarke in a jovial mood – his default setting

“Did you hear about the man who lit a cigarette from a nuclear explosion?” Sir Arthur C Clarke was fond of asking his visitors some years ago.

The acclaimed science fiction writer and space visionary, whose 95th birth anniversary falls today (16 Dec 2012), loved to pose such baffling questions to visitors. He would gleefully volunteer the answer, and in that process, also share an interesting factoid.

In this instance, the answer was Theodore (Ted) Taylor (1925 – 2004), an American nuclear scientist who designed atomic weapons in the 1950s and 1960s. He apparently held up a small parabolic mirror during a nuclear test — the giant ‘fireball’ was 12 miles (19 km) away – which turned the focused light into heat.

View original 1,319 more words

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 86 other followers

%d bloggers like this: