Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hey Spies, Don't Forget the Scotch Tape

Hey all you James Bond wannabes, ready to pack for you next mission as you venture down your career path and gain a license to kill?  Don't forget your funny jet pack, your inflatable coat, your shoe phone, or your radio watch.  Add a new item to your list of spy supplies, Scotch tape.  Just get some of your standard every day tape.  You can get name brand tape or generic tape but just get some packing tape because you need wide tape.  Now as you are sneaking about an office building, if you see some frosted glass you'd like to peak through and have access to the side that has been treated, simply apply the tape to the treated side and you'll have mostly translucent glass.

The science behind it isn't very interesting.  Frosted glass is usually created by treating one side so it is no longer smooth.  The bumps and ridges in the treated side don't allow light to shine through perfectly.  Applying the adhesive from the tape to the bumps and ridges gives the glass a smooth surface again and allows you to see more clearly than before.  People report, and I believe them, that using any liquid on the surface will give the same general effect.

We don't have any frosted glass in our office.  We don't have windows in the bathroom, and there just aren't many interior windows to begin with that would need some privacy.  But I really really wanted to try this out.  Luckily I had some beach glass on my desk and of course I had a role of transparent tape.  So I dutifully attempted to apply tape to both sides of a curved piece of glass and see the results.  Unfortunately, I didn't make a whole lot of headway and small piece of glass doesn't do much when you try to look through it, but I'd say it seemed to help light through a little better.  I'm not a scientist or anything.

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