Stephen Frys Balloons With a Laser Pen

(Did you see what I did there?)

Also, David Mitchell looks pretty damn good with a beard, no?

  • http://nwrickert.wordpress.com/ Neil Rickert

    That was an excellent demonstration – particularly the difference between white and black.

  • Verdugo13

    I absolutely love QI. We need more hilarious and educational programs like this. I could even see an American version of this show doing well. We’ve stolen other shows from the UK, why not another?

    • Bart Mitchell

      True, but I’d rather they just pick up QI on one of our local networks.

      WTF am I saying, I don’t even have cable.

      I guess what I really want is a stream for QI when its released, so I can watch in on the intertoobs.

    • thin-ice

      The reason American networks won’t pick it up is the use naughty words. And that the dialogue is witty, intelligent and spontaneous. And sometimes it makes fun of religion. Want me to go on?

      • Michael

        Rather than speculating at why the show isn’t currently syndicated to American networks with such nonsense as “naughty words” and “Americans are stoopid,” let’s look at what the executives actually have to say. From Wikipedia:

        There have been several attempts to broadcast QI in the United States. U.S. networks that have tried to broadcast the series include Comedy Central, PBS, Discovery Channel and BBC America. Lloyd said that one factor in the failure to get the show broadcast is due to the cost. As QI features several images during each episode there are copyright issues. Lloyd said in an interview with TV Squad that: “No country in the world has bought the original show and this is partly a matter of cost. The pictures in the background of the show are only cleared for UK usage, so until the show is bought by a Stateside TV company and the rights cleared for World, the programme (is) unaffordable by smaller countries.”[39]

  • Benjamin

    I NEED to do this as a demonstration to my 6th grade science class when we come to our unit on light and heat.

    Will this work with any laser pointer?

    • UrsaMinor

      Doubtful. You need to achieve a certain power density, on the order of at least a couple watts per square centimeter, if you want an immediate rupture of the balloon. Lower power densities may take longer, and if the rate of delivery is low enough the energy may disperse into the surrounding environment too rapidly to achieve the temperature needed to melt the balloon and cause a rupture. A tightly focused laser is always your best bet; you’ll have to experiment to see if your chosen pointer will do the job.

    • bruce wright

      Look on ebay for people selling higher wattage lasers. If you look around for balloon popping laser you can see people testing various wattages.

      • bruce wright

        The short of it is this: shine the laser on you skin. Can you feel heat ? If not, then it certainly can’t pop a balloon.

  • Stacey C.

    I LOVE this show with a passion. Also I have a *huge crush* on David Mitchell and love his angry rants. His milk and bread rant on QI is priceless. Though I do have my reservations about milk (however I love cheese and will never give it up…ever).


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