Sturgeon’s Law takes some of its setting and tone from the James Bond movies. Here are some useful things about espionage I learned from watching Moonraker recently:

  • Never shoot a secret agent yourself, even when you’re brandishing a shotgun and he’s unarmed. Instead, have one of your henchmen hide in the trees and do it.
  • Make sure to stamp all of your spy gadgets with your secret-agent logo. That way, if you lose one of them, whoever finds it can mail it back to MI6.
  • Hovercrafts are an excellent way of outrunning your enemies.
  • If you have a security keypad, make sure that it echoes the password aloud when you type it in. That way, random onlookers can help you remember the password if you forget.
  • The appropriate place to keep a glass vial of deadly neurotoxin is in your shirt pocket. Don’t worry if you get into hand-to-hand combat; it’ll be fine.
  • If you’re attacking an unarmed man, don’t bother using firearms; a kendo staff should be fine. Also, make sure to yell before attacking (as in kendo) so that he’ll know you’re there.
  • If you’re looking at an organic-chemistry-style structural formula of a nerve gas, make sure to point out that it’s “the chemical formula of a plant.” That is a very incisive and accurate statement that will convince everyone of your knowledge of chemistry.