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US: Video PSA uses Internet meme to teach laser safety

A public service announcement (PSA) video, added to YouTube in August 2014, uses cute graphics and a catchy song to show viewers what not to do with lasers.

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In the video, various animated characters are shown lasing planes and going to jail, hurting themselves by misusing powerful lasers, aiming at police and getting shot, and otherwise having an ironic, unfortunate outcome.

”Dumb Ways to Blind” is modeled after “Dumb Ways to Die”, a November 2012 YouTube hit originally done for Metro Trains in Melbourne, Victoria. The Australian campaign “generated at least $50 million worth of global media value in addition to more than 700 media stories,” according to ad industry magazine The Age. It was viewed on YouTube over 84 million times as of July 2014.

The laser version is one of dozens of parodies and spin-offs. Unlike many of these which are done only for humor, “Dumb Ways to Blind” appears to have an educational goal similar to the original “Dumb Ways to Die”.

The FBI started a public awareness campaign in February 2014, and extended it in June 2014, that relied on more traditional media such as billboards, news stories, and videos shown in a few Midwest theaters. In contrast, the “Dumb Ways to Die” target audience seems to be persons on the Internet who may not be reachable by traditional media, and who respond to irony and humor more than warnings and threats.

From YouTube and the Wikipedia page on “Dumb Ways to Die”. As a public service, LaserPointerSafety.com has posted the video to YouTube, although we did not produce it -- we are providing a location where it can be viewed.


Find a plane or a chopper in flight; blind the pilot with your laser light.
It's not a joke, it's a serious crime; you could go to jail for a very long time.
[Chorus: Dumb ways to blind, so many dumb ways to blind, dumb ways to blind, so many dumb ways to blind.]

Point a mirror for a laser reflection; shine a blue beam with no eye protection.
Blind the goalie of the other team; stare directly into a laser beam.

Shine your pointer at a disco ball; watch the beams spin all around the dance hall; hitting dancers' eyes, they will scream and yell; and you might get to dance in a dingy prison cell.

Point at people while they drive; give kids a laser, leave them unsupervised.
Aim your pointer at an officer's chest; get shot at or put under arrest.

Use a laser beam to pop your pimples; shine it on your skin to make new dimples.
Invite all your friends to try some laser tattooing; smell and feel the skin and wonder what you were doing.
Two good eyes is better than one; be stupid with lasers you could end up with none.
[Chorus and fade out]