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Laser Pointers: Should They Be A Banned Item?


BaldEd
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Jeez, BaldEd just asked what we thought. He wasn't rude or rammy. Tough crowd.

 

Anyway, about 5 years ago I was delivering a pizza in a run-down town that's within Chicago's sphere of influence, when I stopped for a train. Suddenly I noticed a red dot on the left side of my face. I immediately ducked down thinking some gangbanger was using me for target practice :unsure: . When I got the courage to look up, I saw some young guys laughing in the doorway of a bar. Since that time I've had no desire to own a lazer pointer. :lol:

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I know my sister (30) has some permanent eye damage from some stupid kid that bought a laser pointer at our state fair.

 

Wyatt W.

So did your sister look into the laser beam for an extended period of time? How did the laser pointer damage her eye?

It was at our state fair a few years ago (at the height of the laser pointer popularity) and some kid shined it in her eye. I not sure how long she looked at it, but I think she tried to figure out where it was coming from so it may have been in her eye for a little while longer than just a passing glance. She claims to see a line whenever she blinks, she also went to an optometrist about the problem and he said the laser pointer is a likely cause of her problem (I have to ask her next time I see her whether she remembers what the injury was called).

 

Wyatt W.

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IT IS TOTALLY THE PARENT'S RESPONSIBILITY TO DECIDE WHAT IS SAFE FOR THEIR CHILD TO PLAY WITH AND WHAT IS NOT.WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY WHERE PARENTS WILL GIVE THEIR CHILD ANYTHING THEY WANT JUST SO THEY DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN TO THE WHINING AND CRYING.PARENTS HAVE TO LEARN TO SAY NO.WHY IS THAT SO HARD??SO THEY ONLY ONES TO BLAME WHEN THEIR KID BURNS THEIR EYES OUT WITH A LASER POINTER OR DIES OF A HEART ATTACK AT THE AGE OF 12 BECAUSE THEY WEIGH 400 POUNDS ARE THE PARENTS AND NO ONE ELSE.LEARN TO SAY "NO YOU CAN'T HAVE THAT".PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

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I know my sister (30) has some permanent eye damage from some stupid kid that bought a laser pointer at our state fair.

 

Wyatt W.

So did your sister look into the laser beam for an extended period of time? How did the laser pointer damage her eye?

It was at our state fair a few years ago (at the height of the laser pointer popularity) and some kid shined it in her eye. I not sure how long she looked at it, but I think she tried to figure out where it was coming from so it may have been in her eye for a little while longer than just a passing glance. She claims to see a line whenever she blinks, she also went to an optometrist about the problem and he said the laser pointer is a likely cause of her problem (I have to ask her next time I see her whether she remembers what the injury was called).

 

Wyatt W.

I don't really want to doubt what you are saying either but ...

 

First if it is really a problem have your sister go see an ophthalmologist one that deals with cornea cases, not an optometrist.

 

Also the doctor she did see said the laser pointer is "a likely cause" but there could be others, right.

 

But I do have to say that would be the first time I have heard of anyone getting damage from something other than direct, fairly close, and somewhat prolonged exposure.

 

Does anyone not think in our society of excessive regulations that if there was a sniff of these things causing problems that they would not be outlawed or regulated in some way? Hell they regulate spray paint and as one person said earlier glue.

 

And yes people it is a case of parents being parents and not "friends" to their kids. And to not expect the rest of society to care or be parents to the snot nosed delinquents they have set loose on society because they are too busy with the rest of their self-indulgent life and had kids only because they needed that to round out the family photo on the desk or whatever poor excuse it was.

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As for children's access to the pointers, that is a parental responsibility and is little worse than handing them a high-pressure water gun (same eye warnings on the side of that too).

 

This is not a humorous subject.

 

There are different classes of lasers.

 

Class I - low powered devices (laser printers, CD players, etc)

 

Class II - low power (< 1mW), visible light lasers that could possibly cause damage to a person's eyes (laser pointers)

 

Class IIIa - continuous wave, intermediate power (1-5 mW) devices (Some examples of Class IIIa laser uses are the same as Class II lasers with the most popular uses being laser pointers and laser scanners. Direct viewing of the Class IIIa laser beam could be hazardous to the eyes. Do not view the Class IIIa laser beam directly. Do not point a Class IIIa laser beam into another persons eyes.)

 

Class IIIb - intermediate power (c.w. 5-500 mW or pulsed 10 J/cm²) devices. Some examples of Class IIIb laser uses are spectrometry, stereolithography, and entertainment light shows. Direct viewing of the Class IIIb laser beam is hazardous to the eye and diffuse reflections of the beam can also be hazardous to the eye. Do not view the Class IIIb laser beam directly.

 

Class IV - Class IV lasers are high power (c.w. >500mW or pulsed >10J/cm²) devices. Some examples of Class IV laser use are surgery, research, drilling, cutting, welding, and micromachining. The direct beam and diffuse reflections from Class IV lasers are hazardous to the eyes and skin.

 

A REFLECTION from a Class IV laser can burn your skin! Clearly this is unsafe, and nobody sane would sell a laser pointer with a Class IV laser in it.

 

BUT -- Class IIIa lasers are dangerous, but they're still sold sometimes, at carnivals, on beaches, whatever. They are played with by children, and they shouldn't be.

 

I researched lasers because a woman in her mid-thirties, at my WORK fer chrissakes, was playing with a laser hand scanner and shined it in my eyes. I was concerned, and rightly, but fortunately it was only a Class II.

 

No, we shouldn't ban everything dangerous. Yes, we should ban Class III lasers being used as toys. No, children should not be allowed to play with things that should only be used as tools, and they have no way of knowing that laser pointers are not suitable as toys. Most adults don't know it.

 

:huh:

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Annekat, that was a most informative post! After reading it, I visited the dollar store a few blocks from home in search of the type of laser pointers I have seen in caches in my area. There they were! All were of the Class II variety, and both the packaging and the devices themselves displayed the appropriate warnings. (They were also displayed, incidentally, well within reach of most school-age children. I'm surprised they weren't displayed in the "Back to School" aisle.)

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IT IS TOTALLY THE PARENT'S RESPONSIBILITY TO DECIDE WHAT IS SAFE FOR THEIR CHILD TO PLAY WITH AND WHAT IS NOT.WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY WHERE PARENTS WILL GIVE THEIR CHILD ANYTHING THEY WANT JUST SO THEY DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN TO THE WHINING AND CRYING.PARENTS HAVE TO LEARN TO SAY NO.WHY IS THAT SO HARD??SO THEY ONLY ONES TO BLAME WHEN THEIR KID BURNS THEIR EYES OUT WITH A LASER POINTER OR DIES OF A HEART ATTACK AT THE AGE OF 12 BECAUSE THEY WEIGH 400 POUNDS ARE THE PARENTS AND NO ONE ELSE.LEARN TO SAY "NO YOU CAN'T HAVE THAT".PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

There's no need to YELL.

 

Thorin

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Wow, Bassoonpilot, that was fast! Thank you for your reply and for the excellent real-world research.

 

I forgot to attrib; I got my info at "Laser Safety Fact Sheet." http://ehs.uky.edu/radiation/laser_fs.html

 

From this page:

If you have questions about laser safety issues you may reach Gerald Schlenker, the University of Kentucky Laser Safety Officer, at 323-6308 or by e-mail glschl1@pop.uky.edu.

 

Gerald seems like a real upright sort of guy. His picture is there. Laser Safety Officer. He must get really torqued about laser pointers!

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Since they sell a million of these things all over the boardwalks at the coastal beaches, I don't see how banning them from caches is helpful. If kids want them, they will find a way to get one.

 

However, it did piss me off when I walked my dog by a group of kids a few summers ago and they insisted on shining the dam things right in my dog's face.

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I wouldn't get too excited, either.

On the other hand, the eye danger is very real, and children NEED to be monitored. It is just NOT YOUR responsibility. However, if you want to help, then don't leave any. It was quite a few years ago that the Air Force had evidence that another power(s) was experimenting with lasering the eyes of pilots - successfully.

No, the eye danger is feasible, but hardly anything to worry about.

 

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/english/iyh/products/laser.html

 

http://www.mcgill.ca/eso/radiation/nonionizing/laser/

 

http://www.arpansa.gov.au/is_lsrptr.htm

 

You'd have to stare into a laser pointer for something like a minute and a half or more continuous to get eye damage. I defy anyone to stare at any bright light for 90 seconds. That takes an incredible amount of willpower, and if you do it, you kind of deserve what you get.

 

The air force experiments were using lasers much more powerful than laser pointers.

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Class IIIa - continuous wave, intermediate power (1-5 mW) devices (Some examples of Class IIIa laser uses are the same as Class II lasers with the most popular uses being laser pointers and laser scanners. Direct viewing of the Class IIIa laser beam could be hazardous to the eyes. Do not view the Class IIIa laser beam directly. Do not point a Class IIIa laser beam into another persons eyes.)

 

You bolded the wrong part of the sentence. Let me help you out:

 

Direct viewing of the Class IIIa laser beam could be hazardous to the eyes.

 

A REFLECTION from a Class IV laser can burn your skin!  Clearly this is unsafe, and nobody sane would sell a laser pointer with a Class IV laser in it.

 

First, the myriad of other classes of lasers are completely irrelevant to the discussion. Nobody makes a laser pointer with a Class IV laser, because it would go right through the projection screen...and the drywall behind it...

 

Only 3 types of people need a Class IV laser: metal workers, scientists, and evil geniuses.

 

I was one of the only people in the thread taking the initial poster's comments seriously but still pointing out the total lack of alarm for this topic..yet you chose *my* comments to say that this was not a humorous subject...

 

If you thought the water gun remark was humor, you'll need to call your HMO and ask for an immediate funny bone transplant. The side of any high-pressure water gun says the exact same thing as the common laser pointer ("Do not aim at face or eyes").

 

The middle power lasers that go into laser pointers (like the IIIa that's in my laptop bag) are fairly harmless except for direct and meaningful exposure. The low power lasers (like the class II you find in the really cheap keychain ones) are pretty negligable and you'd actually have to force yourself to take damage because your natural reflexes would force you to stop looking before enough time had taken place if it were even a malicious kid.

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Direct from the World Health Organization:

 

W.H.O. Laser Pointer Search Results

 

Class 1 lasers have an output power that is below the level at which eye injury can occur.

 

Class 2 lasers emit visible light and are limited to a maximum output power of 1-milliwatt (mW). A person receiving an eye exposure from a Class 2 laser will be protected from injury by their natural blink reflex, an involuntary response which causes the person to blink and turn their head, thereby avoiding eye exposure.

 

Class 3A lasers may have a maximum output power of 5 mW. This limit restricts the power entering a fully dilated human eye (taken as a 7 mm aperture) to 1 mW. Thus, accidental exposure to a Class 3A laser should be no more hazardous than exposure to a Class 2 laser. However, Class 3A laser pointers are hazardous when viewed with an optical aid such as binoculars and are therefore not suitable for the general consumer.

 

Class 3B lasers have an output power up to 500 mW, sufficient to cause eye injury. The extent and severity of any eye injury will depend upon several factors including the laser power entering the eye and the duration of the exposure. Class 1, Class 2,

 

Class 3A and Class 3B lasers do not have sufficient power to cause a skin injury.

Edited by thorin
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Only 3 types of people need a Class IV laser:  metal workers, scientists, and evil geniuses.

I used to work with a Class IV laser (now I only deal with Class II stuff) and you could cut a 2" thick (or more) steel plate with it if you were so inclined to crank it up to full power (and risk losing your job :P ). It was in a fully contained enclosure with safety interlocks and lexan guards designed to absorb the frequency of light that it produced so that no reflection/scatter light could escape. That's because not only can a high power, unfocused reflection/scatter beam burn skin (as noted in a post above) it can also set stuff on fire. I'm not a steel worker or scientist so I guess I must be an evil genius :):):o

 

PS - A Class IV laser pointer, now that would definitely belong to an evil genius (or Jedi Knight ® <_< )

Edited by clan_Barron
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I know my sister (30) has some permanent eye damage from some stupid kid that bought a laser pointer at our state fair.

 

Wyatt W.

So did your sister look into the laser beam for an extended period of time? How did the laser pointer damage her eye?

It was at our state fair a few years ago (at the height of the laser pointer popularity) and some kid shined it in her eye. I not sure how long she looked at it, but I think she tried to figure out where it was coming from so it may have been in her eye for a little while longer than just a passing glance. She claims to see a line whenever she blinks, she also went to an optometrist about the problem and he said the laser pointer is a likely cause of her problem (I have to ask her next time I see her whether she remembers what the injury was called).

 

Wyatt W.

I don't really want to doubt what you are saying either but ...

 

First if it is really a problem have your sister go see an ophthalmologist one that deals with cornea cases, not an optometrist.

 

Also the doctor she did see said the laser pointer is "a likely cause" but there could be others, right.

 

But I do have to say that would be the first time I have heard of anyone getting damage from something other than direct, fairly close, and somewhat prolonged exposure.

 

Does anyone not think in our society of excessive regulations that if there was a sniff of these things causing problems that they would not be outlawed or regulated in some way? Hell they regulate spray paint and as one person said earlier glue.

 

And yes people it is a case of parents being parents and not "friends" to their kids. And to not expect the rest of society to care or be parents to the snot nosed delinquents they have set loose on society because they are too busy with the rest of their self-indulgent life and had kids only because they needed that to round out the family photo on the desk or whatever poor excuse it was.

I talked to her and she said it was called "floaters", she also said that it is not as much of a problem as it once was. I was also not aware of the difference in eye doctors, and just put the one I thought it mighty have been.

 

I personally think laser pointers are cool (I bought one that I could use rechargeable batteries in just so I could use it all the time). But I sometimes wonder when the right age to give some one a pointer. For example I am an assistant scoutmaster and there is this one kid (high school and not some one I normally would call stupid) that keeps trying to jump in my laser beam just so it's in his eyes. If he had the chance he would stare in it as long as possible.

 

Wyatt W.

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For example I am an assistant scoutmaster and there is this one kid (high school and not some one I normally would call stupid) that keeps trying to jump in my laser beam just so it's in his eyes. If he had the chance he would stare in it as long as possible.

Do him a favor. Laser him in the eyes until he is blind.

 

This way, in 5-6 years, he won't have the sight necessary to jump in front of a train like a daredevil.

 

Be prepared to explain yourself though. His parents obviously haven't taught him to behave, so I'm sure the logic of your actions will escape them too.

 

<_<

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IT IS TOTALLY THE PARENT'S RESPONSIBILITY TO DECIDE WHAT IS SAFE FOR THEIR CHILD TO PLAY WITH AND WHAT IS NOT.WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY WHERE PARENTS WILL GIVE THEIR CHILD ANYTHING THEY WANT JUST SO THEY DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN TO THE WHINING AND CRYING.PARENTS HAVE TO LEARN TO SAY NO.WHY IS THAT SO HARD??SO THEY ONLY ONES TO BLAME WHEN THEIR KID BURNS THEIR EYES OUT WITH A LASER POINTER OR DIES OF A HEART ATTACK AT THE AGE OF 12 BECAUSE THEY WEIGH 400 POUNDS ARE THE PARENTS AND NO ONE ELSE.LEARN TO SAY "NO YOU CAN'T HAVE THAT".PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

There's no need to YELL.

 

Thorin

i wasn't yelling.it just makes me sick that parents let their kids do whatever they want,and if something bad happens,they are quick to blame society,tv ,video games,music,manufacturers or anyone but themselves.when they obviously are not being parents.they would just rather put them on anti depressants than deal with them.and people wonder why kids are so messed up.

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Only 3 types of people need a Class IV laser:  metal workers, scientists, and evil geniuses.

 

Every laser I have worked with for the last 6 years has been class IV.

 

I'm not a metal worker. . .

 

I'm not a scientist . .

 

I must be an evil genius!!! <_<

 

My view is that lasers are not toys, they are a tool much like knives and screwdrivers. Tools should be given the respect they deserve. People with the maturity to use the tool should be allowed to do so. Those who do not yet have the maturity to use a given tool should not be allowed to do so, or only under direct supervision of a responsible person.

 

Edited to remove a snipe.

Edited by Laserman
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You, sir, do not own a cat.

 

<_<

Actually have three cats; nine year old, a two year old, and a 3 month old. My prefered toy with them is the old fashioned string and paper. I know, I know they could hang themselves or get a paper cut. :) :) :P:o

 

BTW, they do all know the joy of chasing the red dot around from the time of kittenhood on. My wife let me know very early on that she does have the maturity to use the "drive the kitten crazy tool" and sometimes the hardest but best thing to say is 'yes, dear'. I have made it very clear that if the laser is pointed in the wrong direction it will no longer be available.

Edited by Laserman
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As for children's access to the pointers, that is a parental responsibility and is little worse than handing them a high-pressure water gun (same eye warnings on the side of that too).

I was one of the only people in the thread taking the initial poster's comments seriously but still pointing out the total lack of alarm for this topic..yet you chose *my* comments to say that this was not a humorous subject...

 

Sorry, I didn't mean that your comment was jokey. I meant them other guys when I

said this is not a humorous subject. And I meant to show that children's

handling of the pointers is not really okay, through the rest of my post. (From

the laser safety guy.)

 

You can say that it's not potentially that harmful for kids to have Class IIIa lasers. If

that's what you're saying. Is that what you're saying? Because I disagree.

 

Lasers are not as obviously dangerous as, you know, other crap kids hurt

themselves with. Warn how you want, even some smart kids will damage

themselves permanently. It's inevitable; some kids just have to do whatever

seems the stupidest thing they can do at the moment.

 

I don't think they should MAKE laser pointers with lasers more powerful than

Class II. Because, well, is it necessary? I'm not saying I want to protect people

from themselves in general -- But I'd like to feel that stuff that can hurt ME in

the hands of idiots in the movie theaters wasn't freely made and sold. Do laser

pointers need really strong lasers? I disagree with your feeling that IIIa is fairly

harmless except for direct and meaningful exposure.

 

What if your blink reflex is on the blink? (Ha ha, get it?) Or, for whatever

reason, your eyes are more delicate temporarily or something. It's just that,

since it's your EYES we're talking about, I'd hate to have to find out after

permanent damage had been done.

 

And I mention the myriad (five is not a myriad) other laser classes to say that

who gives a poo about most laser pointers, it's the Class III we should avoid.

 

Maybe it won't harm you to have evil children (children of the evil geniuses?)

shining these in your eyes. But if it did harm you, tough luck? No! I say, beat the

children!

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Thanks annekat for your description of the various types of lasers.

 

The laser pointer that was the cause of this thread was made in China and is listed on the box as being a Class II Laser Product; Laser Diode; Wavelength: 630 - 680nm; Max output <3mW. As the power output could be >1mW, I guess it could be classified as a Class IIIa!

 

Thanks also to geoSquid for your references.

 

That was the sort of info I was interested in.

 

It just seemed incongruous to me that pocket knives and multitools are banned cache items but that lasers pointers were not on the list.

 

As for all the red necks out there I hope you all feel better now.

 

It has been an interesting thread. <_<

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<color tag removed>A guy in my area stared into one for two hours and his eyesight returned after a week or two.  I don't think that they are as dangerous as people think.<color tag removed>

why in Gods name would some one do something so stupid?

 

Or maybe did I just answer my own question?

He's working towards a Darwin Award :)

 

Thanks also to geoSquid for your references.
I can't believe you didn't like the W.H.O. information <_< jk

 

Thorin

Edited by thorin
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:) I recently uplifted a laser pointer from a cache and had a little play with it. From reading all the information on the box it came in I think these things are more dangerous than multitools and pocket knives in the hands of children, and as such should be a banned cache item. Kids just won't be able to stop themselves from pointing them at others and there is apparently a very definite serious eye danger. What do you think? My local $2 shop has these things for sale so I guess they are very common everywhere. :laughing:

They are just fine, all caches should have them :lol:

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I don't think they should MAKE laser pointers with lasers more powerful than Class II. Because, well, is it necessary?

I have used both a Class II and Class IIIa pointer for lectures/presentations. If the room is dark, either is effective at pointing to the screen if the screen is not too far away. If the situation isn't quite that optimal (screen further away, not as dark so people can take notes, etc), then the Class IIIa beats the Class II by far in my experiences.

 

Beyond that, I want one of the green IIIa ones (which are potentially more damaging than the red IIIa because the eyes are more sensitive to green!). But don't worry about them killing eyeballs in a cache near you...they retail for $80 and up.

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A study was done at the Mayo Clinic in which people who were slated to have an eye removed due to cancer volunteered to have class IIIa lasers shined into their eyes for periods up to 15 minutes. Then the eyes were examined extensively on multiple occasions while still in the owners' heads, and (presumably) afterward with an electron microscope. They found no abnormalities. Their conclusion: "The risk to the human eye from transient exposure to light from commercially available class 3A laser pointers having powers of 1, 2, and 5 mW seems negligible."

 

Check out the abstract:

Laser pointers and the human eye: a clinicopathologic study.

 

Too bad someone didn't do a study like this when I was a kid. My parents promised me a set of lawn darts for my 7th birthday, but they were banned a couple of months before due to a bizarre, unfortunate, isolated incident. (Lawn darts, not my parents. Unfortunately.)

 

As for whether or not this subject is humorous, no one has lost an eye yet so we can still legally find it funny.

 

-Ethan

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It just seemed incongruous to me that pocket knives and multitools are banned cache items but that lasers pointers were not on the list.

The volume of complaints received by Groundspeak about knives found in geocaches led to banning them in the Cache Guidelines. There has not been a tremendous volume of complaints about laser pointers. For a sport that started with only three rules ("take something, leave something, sign the logbook"), the list sure has grown, but it grows in response to complaints, either from the community or from land managers. I'm not aware of any desire on Groundspeak's part to generate a definitive list of every item that might be "dangerous" if left in a cache.

 

In cases not directly addressed by "the rules," the hope is that common sense will prevail. Through forum topics like this one, readers can develop their own sense about what trade items are generally considered unacceptable.

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I found the different classifications of lasers rather interesting. The Armys M1 family of Main Battle Tanks use a class IIIb laser range finder. We are only allowed to arm the laser on ranges. Even though the lasers operate in the invisible spectrum (1.06 microns) and have a pulse that lasts only 8 nanoseconds we still take all the precautions. Newer tanks use a class IIIb laser that is declared "eye-safe" but we tend to still treat it as a direct fire weapon system.

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The Armys M1 family of Main Battle Tanks use a class IIIb laser range finder.

 

Please lets ban M1 Abrams tank rangefinder equipment from caches. I wouldn't want my young nephew getting ahold of one of those! He only has an old surplus Russian T-54, but if he was able to retrofit it with state-of-the-art rangefinding equipment...THAT could lead to an eye putting-out.

 

-Ethan

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Just a laser story: West bound on I-40 after dark, Boss, Salesman in front of car. Me, salesman's wife and 16 YO son in back. Son had a small "toy" laser and had been shining it out of the window ect. Us not paying any attention to son and did not notice him shining it out of the back window at a semi. We did notice when the semi roared up beside us honking his air horn and forced us off the road onto the shoulder. Son gave up his laser quickly

 

Would Love to find one of the small ones in a cache. I promise not to shine it at ANY semi drivers. Ha, Ha. :D

 

epaul

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If we banned every single item that had some sort of 'inherent' danger, we'd all be naked and living in stasis without the ability to touch the ground or anyone/anything around us.

 

Water is dangerous. You can drink too much and die. You can also drown in it.

 

Clothing is dangerous. Some fabrics cause violent allergic reactions with people. You can also fashion a noose and hang yourself with enough of it.

 

There are always going to be stupid people who do stupid things with everything. If anything should be banned, it's them. Careless and ignorant people who have no concern for the safety of others, or how their own actions will dictate future activities for a multitude of people, are the type that get OHV trails closed. They are also the type that cause wildfires, and cause governmental bodies to take extreme measures in order to stop something without attempting to understand it, because their opinion has been so soiled by outright rude behavior.

 

In Phoenix, there was a land steward interviewed by a local slanted news outlet. She used it as a soapbox opportunity to slam Geocaching, and identified her mission as one that would see Geocaching banned everywhere. She was a steward in charge of a park system in town, and clearly forgot that it was public land, and she was trying to mandate policy as though it was her own private property. Oddly enough, other stewards stated that she was basically alone on an island, because her beliefs were did not model those of the other local stewards. She has since fallen off radar completely.

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He was trying to use a laser pointer but it wasn't working. I couldn't pass up the opportunity and got mine out of my pocket. Every time he would try to point to something, I would discreetly point to somewhere else on the screen. He thought it was his going crazy. He never did catch on.

Oh crap that's funny.

 

OP, sorry you are getting such a spanking. Just take your lickings and come on back. :(

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Stolen from Today's Cacher Magazine:

 

Sometimes I want to go back

Back to the beginning when it was new and new to me.

Way way back, before, when a new cache brought excitement

and anticipation

Do you remember?

I remember

Back when it was all just harmony and lyrics

Before it became rock and roll and big business

Before the background noise masked the laughter

Geocachers had interesting places to hide their treasures

and we marveled at the views

When one cache in a day was sufficient, and three was exhausting

Previous to that film canister secreted in the rubble of a shattered building

Before an unexceptional tree on an equally nondescript half-acre lot

was the objective

Once upon a time, when 100 finds made you remarkable

and 500 made you a fanatic

In those days when there was more community and less schism

 

Remember:

You discovered a park right there in your town

The stunning vista atop a mountain you had little reason to ever climb before

Sitting in the cool damp forest in front of an unopened cache box, enthralled

Slogging down the beach, the cold wind enraged,

and icy rain on the back of your neck

Sunshine on your face as you reemerged from the park’s tree line

Another hard earned notch in your belt

Did you wear a knowing grin while others wondered what you were doing?

Those days, you know?

When common sense was the primary guidance

When I didn’t have to second-guess

Or be second-guessed

When fun wasn’t complicated

When we were equals to our children in the passion of our sense of wonder

 

Are those days gone, is it all rock and roll now?

Has the hobby become the bottom line?

And does the bottom line need protecting at any cost?

Is mirth still part of the hunt, or is there no time for such frivolities?

The quantity fanatics cry for easier and easier ways

to call themselves geocachers

“Change it”

“No, no, this way is better”

“Make it safe, proper, and uniform”

The plants have more rights to the trails than you or me, in the eyes of some

Agonize over the choice of container, swag, and placement

Don’t do this because someone might do that

Let blunt reaction replace common sense

Someone is eating all the nuts and chips, telling us to be happy

with just the vanilla

The jagged edge is smoother now, less dangerous, and less adventurous

 

I remember

Geocaching will change but the geocacher will not

A game is a game and a game is to be played

I’ll hunt the easies on my lunch hour, and the toughies on the weekends

I’ll find some appeal in all caches regardless of the rating

Even if the hider was unaware of any such charm

I remember, you see?

I know what it was

I will not forget that a game that isn’t fun today shouldn’t be played

until tomorrow

And never by those who cannot allow themselves merriment

They will not change me

I will flirt with the sharp edge of the tenet with awareness

and acceptance of the risk

I will place adventure above anodyne and diversity over mediocrity

I will remember that the death of my sense of wonder

will mark the day I become “old”

 

I believe that was writen by Criminal, good job Crim :D

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If I remember correctly, there was a hubbub a while back because someone used a laser pointer as a TB. My feeling at the time was, if it is a class 2 laser, its not a big deal. If its a more dangerous kind, perhaps it shouldn't be in there. Of course, since I don't have a clue about such items, I don't know how many of the more dangerous kind of lasers would/could be in caches.

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I found a Nerf ball in a cache once. Heaven forbid if a child ever got hold of one, took a bite out of it and cholked to death. I can't imagine what the person was thinking when he put that in a cache.

I think there was a SNL sketch that had something like that... Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd... Hilarious.

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The only problem that I ever had with a laser pointer in a cache was the fight that broke out over who got to take it. My friend Seamus and I found a laser pointer in a cache that caused a huge battle to erupt. The battle was long and bloody, but in the end paper covered rock and Seamus got the laser pointer.

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