Concave, polished, and 57 stories tall - the Vdara Hotel in Las Vagas could be the world's largest death ray... Reports are cropping up around the web that the smooth curved surface of the hotel focuses the Sun's rays into a patch around 10 feet across in the pool area, soon after noon. Fortunately, the glass disperses around 70% of the solar energy falling on it, otherwise lawyer Bill Pintas might not be here to tell the tale; After a brief dip in the hotel pool, Pintas was sunning on a recliner. He was on his stomach, relaxed, eyes closed. But suddenly, the lawyer became so uncomfortably hot that he leaped up to move. He tried to put on his flip-flop sandals but, inexplicably, they were too hot to touch. So he ran barefoot to the shade. "I was effectively being cooked," Pintas said. "I started running as fast as I could without looking like a lunatic." Then he smelled an odor, and realized it was coming from his head, where a bit of hair had been scorched. It was about 12:20 p.m., as best Pintas can recall. The hot-spot, which sweeps the entire pool area during the day, spikes at least 20 degrees above ambient temperatures, and has been seen to melt plastic bags and cups (made of plastics which melt at around 70°C (160F). Other guests, including newspaper reviewers, have also observed the burning beam. The hotel management doesn't call it a "death ray", they prefer the more friendly distinction "solar convergence phenomenon". Gordon Absher, a spokesman for MGM Mirage says the hotel is addressing the problem, and comments, "Because of the curved, concave shape of that hotel, they sometimes get isolated pockets of high temperatures." ---------------------------------- Never mind dispersing the light - get those windows polished up, and let's see how many lawyers a fifty seven storey burning glass can really deal with!