How the Raygun Got its Zap

I love thzape border between science fantasy technology and reality, so rayguns and fictional lasers hold a strong fascination for me. (I have a growing collection of phasers and other space guns…) It was with this mindset that I embarked on my search for the origins of rayguns in fiction, toys, and pop culture. A friend suggested a title to me, “How the Raygun Got its Zap” and I immediately got it from the library.

As soon as I read the intro, I realized that the book was not actually all about rayguns, but rather about the fascinating and convoluted history of optics. I laughed and read it anyway. And it was completely worth it.

I may not have fully understood the equations that occasionally showed up in the text, but the concepts were easily understandable, and the scientists and experimenters featured were interesting and relatable. It doesn’t hurt that I had an obsession with prisms, light, and lenses as a child, brought on by early exposure to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album cover, and my dad’s insistence that I study Issac Newton. Or that I spent a couple of my teenage years staring through telescopes at the night sky, and quite a few more squinting through the viewfinders of various cameras. Or that I now spend my hours at work running cutting and engraving lasers.

In the end, this book fit almost seamlessly into my life experience while inspiring me to more formally study and investigate optics. I have a couple of the referenced books on hold from the library, impatient for them to become available.

Moons and photoshop

A while back, I was prepping some stuff for making pins, and got a bit carried away with functions of photoshop I’m not very familiar with (I’m an AI user, not PS) but they were kinda pretty, so I saved them anyway, even though it was initially a mistake.


I think Callisto was the first, and Io soon after.


I tried several other moons and planets, but none were quite as appealing as these two.