Today Is Family Time Day

So I won’t be here. If you have a family, why not spend time with them too? Unless, you know, you don’t like your family, in which case I guess you can just sit at home, dreading Thanksgiving from 11 months off.

But to keep you busy whilst I am away, a question:

So, ever been to a laser show? What’d’ya think?

37 thoughts on “Today Is Family Time Day

  1. Laserium, back in the late ’70s, at Griffith Observatory. I might have been the only unstoned person there. It was cool, though.

  2. I can’t remember it very well. I was in college. Pink Floyd music was playing. I might of been under the influence of a substance I no longer partake in.

    I think I said the words, “Ooh, Pretty colors.”

  3. the first time i saw a laser show, i thought it was really cool. each time after that, it was more of the same stuff and began to be quite a bit less impressive.

    we just finished up our Pancake Sunday over here, and are moving on to afternoon chores and baby naps. :)

  4. I’ve been to the laser show at Stone Mountain Park in GA. It’s not to be missed if you are ever in the Atlanta area. Lasers being bounced off the side of the southern Mount Rushmore plus drunk rednecks equals a whole lotta fun.

  5. COD@7 beat me to it. Stone Mountain’s laser show is one of the best I’ve seen. We try to work it in at least once a season! Ends up being a giant sing-along with several thousand people on the great lawn below the carving as the lasers play over head. Fun for all.

  6. My school had a laser show when I was a kid. Watching a laser show about how lasers work and also jets made my 11 year old brain explode.

  7. I got the chance to see Dark Side of the Rainbow done as a laser show. They gave us those fresnel glasses that multiplied all the lasers lights into thousands of twinkles. It was pretty cool.

  8. It was called LaseRock in Cleveland, at the old Allen Theater. They’d set up a planetarium dome and you sat in what I took to be reclining airplane chairs, set in concentric circles. Music was Floyd, Who, Earth Wind & Fire. A lot of fun and, no, no herbal amplification for me.

    Actually, I was more impressed a couple years later when Genesis introduced the computer-controlled Vari-Lite light show system to their concert performance. That was really cool.

  9. Too much of a Yankee to really enjoy the Stone Mountain show, although objectively, it’s really well done, and it’s worth seeing in an anthropological way even if you can’t get down with the not so subtle love of the Old South.

    But also, the one they do over the water and on the Tom Sawyer (or Huck Finn?) island at Disneyland (the real one) was fantastic when I went to that. I highly recommend taking advantage of the “current Disney flick” parade and the stage show, too. It was “Hunchback” for the stage show the last time I was there (yep, about 13 years ago), and was really fun.

    And no, Disney didn’t pay for this. I just kind of love Disneyland.

  10. Saw Laser Floyd back in ’84 or ’84 under the influence of, as Christopher put it, a substance I no longer partake in. What I remember most is enjoying the show and the substance quite a bit, thinking, “hey, this is pretty good stuff,” and then having it REALLY kick in on the way out of the planetarium. I was, as we put it at the time, “tore up.” Damn, that was fun, though.

  11. Laser Floyd, many years ago.

    What shocked me wasn’t the show — it was lots of fun — but discovering that sitting behind me was my (now late) friend L, who was blind. (Her husband J was describing the show to her very quietly. He was having fun, and if nothing else, she loved the music.)

  12. Several hundred times. I worked at our local show when I was in high school (Floyd, Zep, AC/DC, and an afternoon kiddie show on the weekends and Nutcracker at the holidays). If was fun at the time, but at this point in my tastes rates a solid meh. Athena might think its pretty cool, though.

  13. I went to a laser show at a planetarium in Denver, Colorado. This was in ’82, and I’ve wondered if they still do that show at the planetarium. I was enchanted with it. :)

  14. Caught an early one, Tangerine Dream somewhere in the 70s, enjoyed pretty little Lissajous figure projections, monochrome. Good music, good weed, good times!

  15. I don’t like my family.

    I hate the holidays with them.

    I DO dread Thanksgiving–it’s my most hated holiday.

    Thanks for making me think about 11 months from now.

  16. There used to be a Laserium(tm) at the old Hansen Planetarium in Salt Lake City back in the ’70s when I lived in Utah. It was fairly cool for the teenagers who just discovered weed.

    About 1975 or so, a strip mall cinema in Salt lake called Olympus Starship Theaters opened up and they had laser shows between each screening and as part of the previews. It got lame pretty quickly. The staff also had to wear these lame polyester Starship uniforms which looked like costumes from Space Patrol or Destination Moon.

    Currently, I live in Spokane. And in the summer there is a laser show projected on the face of Grand Coulee Dam. They open the spillways which creates a reflective screen of water on the dam. The show is kind of like every laser show–you can only do so much with three colors. But the size of it is amazing. One of the highlights is a “life sized” image of the Statue of Liberty.

  17. Let me get this straight. You’re not going to be blogging for the entertainment and edification of your adoring fans because you’re going to be spending time with your family? You really need to get your priorities straight, Scalzi.

  18. I was about 9 years old at the time, and I think I slept through it.

    Super Mario World was more entertaining for me.

  19. When I was in high school (late 80s), I used to go to laser shows at Bishop Planetarium. Pink Floyd, Zep… I think I went to a Cheap Trick show. I think I was the only one there not stoned out of my gourd, but I still managed to enjoy them. Bishop always did a great job of combining lasers, smoke effects, and projection with high-decibel, high-fidelity rock. It can be a real assault on the senses at first, but when it’s done well, it comes together to create an awesome experience.

  20. Don’t attend one in the rain, fog, mist or any other airborne particle that can refract the light from its intended target. Bad for the eyes.

  21. I almost forgot the best laser light show ever. Dublin, June 1985: U-2 was performing at Slane Castle–their first concert back in Ireland since they became world famous.
    I was visiting a friend in Ireland for what was essentially a month-long, coast-to-coast pub crawl.
    Dublin was having this massive street festival right in the heart of the city. For several days, tech crews were placing special mirrors on the buildings on O’Connell street. The plan was to have red blue and green beams shining and reflecting cool patterns all above the crowds.
    The day of the big show was, what the locals called a “soft day” meaning the rain was coming down more vertically than horizontally. Somewhere along the line, all of the laser projectors failed to work except the green one (naturally).
    The crowd around me started moaning that the light show was a failure, until some big fellow bellowed out:”Kee-rist wouldya lookatit! The feckin’ English colors crapped out and only our green works!!” At that, everyone in the crowd started laughing and cheering. The single color light show turned out pretty great.

  22. Caught Yes in Manheim Germany in 1985 at a huge hockey arena and they had a holographic laser show that would blow your mind. Really hard core advanced for 25 years ago.

  23. Time to seriously date myself!

    I went to the original-version Laserium show at the Hayden Planetarium in New York with my dad. Had to have been… 1974, 1975 or so, it was before we moved away to Maine. I still have the program brochure in a box here somewhere.

    The music was all classical/orchestral, pieces from Holst’s The Planets, Also Sprach Zarathustra (aka the 2001: A Space Odyssey theme), and other big weighty selections like that.

    So I was about 9 years old, and I thought it was 100% awesome! That kinda thing was still newfangled back then; Pong was kind of a mind-blower at that point, too. :)

  24. Saw the one at Stone Mountain. It was kind of neat, but also kind of surreal to watch a laser show projected onto a bas-relief of notable Confederate figures that was carved into the face of an enormous hunk of rock.

  25. Sadly, some of us don’t get the holiday and are at work today, just like any other day.

    I don’t recall ever going to a laser show.

  26. Jeff @ 33:

    Ha! Now I remember that in one of the laser shows I saw way back when, they had rigged up a laser-projected game of Pong.

  27. “Laser Wave” at the McLaughlin Planetarium in Toronto, way back in the early ’90s. A bunch of songs by “New Wave” bands (REM, Joe Jackson, Depeche Mode) while little orange lines flickered around the ceiling. It was overpriced, and sucked quite badly.

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