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Hit By Hotel ‘Death Ray,’ Chicago Lawyer Says: ‘I Was Effectively Being Cooked’

Posted Sep 27, 2010 4:59 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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On a business trip to Las Vegas earlier this month, Chicago lawyer William Pintas was relaxing poolside.

But suddenly he was burning up and when he reached over to put on his flip-flops they were too hot to handle, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Barefoot, he sprinted for shade. When he got there he smelled a burning odor, and realized his hair was singed.

"I was effectively being cooked," Pintas tells the newspaper. "I started running as fast as I could without looking like a lunatic."

Recuperating at the bar, he chatted with hotel employees and learned that he had encountered the "death ray" phenomenon at the hotel: A design defect has the effect of refocusing sunlight that hits the hotel's curved glass wall onto the pool area, much like a giant magnifying glass, during some parts of the day. The heat can get so intense that it melts plastic drink cups, a waitress said.

When Pintas returned to his poolside lounge chair, he discovered the beam of light had melted part of a flimsy plastic bag holding his newspaper.

Hat tip: Althouse and Above the Law.

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