Diamond Experiments

Law enforcement DNI

Writing on The Moon

Posted March 24, 2023

Hello once again! I’ve been doing a bit of traveling lately and haven’t had time for writing — that’s a story for another post — but I would like to share something that I’m very excited about.

Who doesn’t like lasers? What an absolute staple of mad science; Whether you’re burning something to a crisp, mutating some poor creature beyond recognition, superheating chemicals, or just engaging in some classic theatrics, they simply never disappoint. Image ID: A gif of a plasma globe. End ID.

So, you can only imagine my excitement when a certain package arrived yesterday: The final components I needed for a laser-focused project!

I didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to get all these parts together, though I suppose most manufacturers produce them solely with pure firepower in mind rather than distance...ah well. It was still much cheaper than trying to make the whole thing from scratch.

The laser came out better than expected, really: powerful enough to shoot something thousands of miles away, small enough to be mounted atop a telescope, and still capable of administering 3rd degree burns.

I’m sure you already know what I’m intending to use this thing for. (Not...murdering people.)

I absolutely love how the mad science community has practically turned the moon into a communal whiteboard. Just about every time I view it through my telescope, I’m greeted by a brand new collection of messages engraved onto the surface. The impact of lasers may always kick up moon dust and bury any older writings, but the impermanence of it all is something I appreciate.

Moon-engraving, despite being on the niche side in terms of popularity, has been around for decades upon decades. It’s a fun story, so here’s another bit of mad science history! [woo]

Obviously, humanity has always had a fascination with making some sort of imprint upon the moon’s surface; just look at the U.S. flag, still up there ~200 years after the country fell.

I believe it’s human nature to want to deface something, just for the sake of saying “I was here!”, like a child scribbling on their school desk. Or cave paintings. They’re not so different.

If memory serves, the first person to engrave a message into the moon was Dr. O’Hexadecimal. Not a mad astronomer, but a mad engineer and an artist!

Dr. O’Hexadecimal was quite the fan of laser engraving, but loved vandalizing private property even more. You could hardly walk down the streets of his hometown without seeing his face engraved into the side of a building or a historical statue reduced to rubble, and city officials had it out for him.

Us mad scientists know our way around the law, of course, but the repeated legality squabbles left a sour taste in his mouth. To him, his engravings were public art, and it was shameful of the city to shun his works simply because of property laws.

So, he turned his sights to the canvas no one owned: the moon! Image ID: A gif of the moon cycling through all of its phases. End ID.

The laser he used to make his first engraving was allegedly just a souped-up version of his usual laser engraving devices, very slow and cumbersome. So the story goes, it took hours upon hours to complete the engraving.

As for what his message was, though…

Well, you can go look that up for yourself. I’m not putting that on my website.

Engraving messages into the moon’s surface has been a thing in the mad science community ever since. Maybe not as popular nowadays than it once was, sure, but still there. Only a matter of time until we’re engraving stupid things into each and every terrestrial planet in our solar system!

Anyways, back to my own laser adventures.

Upon locating a nice little writing space for myself, right next to something written in Spanish and someone’s drawing of a cat, I made my first contribution to this celestial whiteboard: A smiley face.

It’s apparently very hard to precisely engrave a message into a surface over 200,000 miles away. No idea how others manage to write out intricate messages into the moon, because holy shit.

I must have spent a solid 20-30 minutes carving arbitrary lines into the moon before I felt like I had a steady-enough control to do anything otherwise. If anyone in the world was also viewing the moon during this..no you weren’t. Tell no one. Image ID: A gif of an astronaut repeatedly doing flips. End ID.

Within the first hour or so, my wife eventually noticed the literal laser beams being shot from our second floor balcony. Good thing she loves lasers! :)

Being the sweetheart that she is, she made some hot cocoa for the both of us, and we spent the next few hours writing things into the moon.

It was like a scene from a romantic comedy, except with lasers and the looming threat of getting the cops called on us.

I let her have a turn engraving a message of her own, of course. She went 5 whole minutes before drawing something...crude up there and I revoked her laser privileges. A fun night all around, regardless. Image ID: A gif of a rocket ship basting off. End ID.

If you have a good view of the night sky tonight and a telescope, look up at the moon, you may just see our names engraved up there ♡

Stay curious!

- Dr. Diamond