The Light Sharpener

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Before people start thinking I'm incapable of cooking something on the dish, I also tried boiling an egg.

The color of an object greatly affects how quickly it heats up in the sunlight, so I wasn't too confident that the white egg in a glass jar of water was going to cook quickly.

A nice cast-iron pan would absorb heat faster, but it would be almost impossible to get a view of what was happening inside.

I clamped the pole to the side of the dish and waited for the water to boil.

It took four minutes. It was extremely gratifying to see the water boiling frantically.

It was steaming, but not at a particularly impressive rate.

I should have tried using black water.


After a few minutes, I decided the egg might be ready, so I lowered the water out of the focal point and dunked the entire jar into a bucket of cool water.

The bottom of the jar cracked off whole.


The egg was hard boiled. I cracked it open and took a bite.

The video above displays my deft one-handed egg-peeling technique.


Next I tried a lightbulb. I wasn't sure what would happen.


Not much of a show. It glowed white and gave off some smoke.

By 2 p.m., the sun had moved behind some trees, and the dish was powerless.


A few people have written to ask how I clean the dish, so I've included this photo.

There is no magic to it. I tilt it all the way forward and spray it down with a hose. In the video above, you are invited to watch as I spray a mist of water into the dish, hoping to reveal the cone of reflected light bouncing off of the dish.

No luck.



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August 9, 2007.   Terms and Conditions  Copyright 2007