Monday, October 6, 2008

Potter Magic Comes to Life

This post is for any Harry Potter fans out there.

Remember the "Decoy Detonator," one of Fred and George Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes? If you don't, here's a brief description:

"Decoy Detonators are [...] small devices which scurry off into shadows and then make a noise, thus decoying people away."

They become an important plot device in the 7th book when Harry is trying to get one of the Horcruxes at the Ministry of Magic. (If you don't know what a horcrux is, this post is obviously not for you.)

In any case, I was just reading through the most recent issue of Wired Magazine, (yes, I'm a geek,) when I read a description of a new-and-improved stun grenade that sounds remarkably similar to the Decoy Detonators:

Decoy Detonator Description: When Harry sets off a Decoy Detonator in "Deathly Hallows," it,
scuttles silently to the far side of the room, then blows itself up, making a sharp noise and a cloud of smoke. There's no explanation for how this product works, aside from the given assumption that it's done by magic. But maybe Wired can give us an idea...

Fuel/Air Distraction Device Description: "Yank the pin on the new stunner and a gas starts combusting, which pushes out and ignite a cloud of powdered aluminum. The result is [...] a blinding burst of light accompanied by a boom of up to 170 decibels - about as loud as a shotgun". (Wired Magazine, 16.10)

Science and Potter magic coming together... Wonder how much Rowling knows about defense industry inventions. Or maybe they got the idea from her? Which came first, the decoy detonator or the stun grenade?

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