Monday, September 14, 2009

Bill Gates: Weather Master

This news is a bit late, but I'm catching up after awaking from my Dragon*Con-induced coma. At first I thought this story might be just another of my fever dreams, but the lack of green-skinned, multi-breasted sex workers spelled reality. Turns out Microsoft mogul Bill Gates and a team of scientists have filed a patent on technology that would seek to eliminate the danger of hurricanes. The idea is pretty simple: A fleet of barges would be dispatched to the waters ahead of a raging storm. There, they would use a system of conduits to both push warm surface water below the ocean surface while bringing deeper, colder water up. This would theoretically weaken the approaching hurricane, possibly saving lives and money and binding all those affected into a blood debt with Mr. Gates. But now that the broader scientific community has taken a look at the plan, holes are being poked. According to many experts, the plan just isn't feasible, despite the fact that its basic theory is sound. For one thing, hurricanes pop up too quickly to dispatch a fleet of barges from shore in time to stop them. This means the fleet would have to remain at sea throughout hurricane season. Even then, they would only be able to cool the water so much, and most of the weakening effect would be felt in the center of the hurricane. That means the outside winds would still be fast enough to cause damage and spin off other storms. In short, the cost of Gates' plan may be higher than the cost of damage caused by the hurricanes. Of course, you could argue that human lives can't be measured in dollars. But if anyone could measure the cost of a human life, it's Bill Gates. All his rulers are made out of hundreds! More details here.

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