Who wants to start a fire with a boring old lighter? Show off your scientific survival meddle with this Parabolic mirror solar fire starter/lighter.
This solar-powered fire starter works off the principle of a parabolic mirror. The curved reflective surface of the mirror collects light (or sound or radio waves). Its shape of a circular paraboloid, focuses the incoming light wave along the axis. A coiled wire in the middle allows for placement of a rolled up paper, feathered stick, cigarette, etc. directly in the line of the intensely focused light. The result is very cool. Place a stick in the coil, aim toward the light, and wait for the smoke to start!
Note: You may have seen variants of this constructed of cheap shiny plastic. This model is a quality parabolic mirror made from solid polished aluminum!