A Ball of Ice and Fire-Part 1

For the original article, tune into the August issue of Furore-Schrodinger’s Hat.

Fact or fiction?


He takes one painful step after another on the icy surface. Nothing but ice, for miles around. Half a yard above the surface, every part of his body is on fire, his perfectly insulated fire suit not doing enough to keep out the heat from the 800 degree Fahrenheit furnace all around him. The whole planet is nothing but burning ice…


The planet is Gliese 436 b. It is so near a star that surface temperatures are as high as 800 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you can find ice on its surface at over four times the boiling point of water because the gravity in the planet is so powerful that all the vapour is compressed into ice.


The assassin wipes away a bead of sweat trying to make its way down his chin. He checks his gun again, more an involuntary twitch than a conscious action. A radio buzzes in his ear, as his fingers tighten around the trigger. He never misses. The assassin braces himself for the blood curdling scream. He knows he’s not going to hear one, but some habits die hard. The target continues to walk to his car, smiling contentedly. The target is assassinated… only he doesn’t know it yet.


Though it sounds just like the Hypospray from Star Trek, this weapon actually exists! Scientists at MIT have created a device that injects a near supersonic dose of medication through your skin using a blast of air smaller than the proboscis of a mosquito. You can even inject it through someone’s eyeball and they wouldn’t feel a thing. Of course, it has other “non medical” applications too…


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