Book Article

Artistic License to Kill

Behind ''The Science of James Bond'' -- We look at Lois H. Gresh and Robert Weinberg's new book based on 007

Behind ''The Science of James Bond''

The most famous agent in the employ of Her Majesty's Secret Service has a weakness for fast cars, beautiful women, shaken martinis, and, of course, over-the-top gadgetry. In The Science of James Bond (paperback), Lois H. Gresh and Robert Weinberg separate the truth from the Dr. No-no's.

ROCKET MAN
The jet pack Sean Connery uses at the start of Thunderball was a real, functioning unit. But since the pack carried only enough fuel for 20-second flights, the concept never caught on.

HAIR-BRAINED SCHEME
Know all those tiny transmitters and cameras that Q devises for Bond? Top researchers are now working to embed up to 70 transistors in a ''cross-section of a human hair.''

FOOL'S GOLD
An atomic bomb detonated inside Fort Knox would not render the gold bars radioactive for 58 years, as supervillain Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe) claimed in Goldfinger, but would turn the bullion into liquid mercury.

PLANE TRUTH
Despite Goldfinger's horrific death, a bullet hole in the cabin of a plane cruising at high altitude likely would have little effect on its airworthiness.

Originally posted Aug 18, 2006 Published in issue #893 Aug 25, 2006 Order article reprints
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