Saturday, January 31, 2004
A great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks
Though I have accepted that this is not to be, I am gripped by a profound despair when I think of what might have been. In such moments, my only solace has been the sure knowledge that my government has committed itself to the development of earthquake weaponry. Since I fully expect to be President one day, the government's development of these technologies promises to restore to me the twinkies and other pleasing snack cakes which are my right.
So I am understandably upset by reports like this one. The main news is positive. Researchers working under a grant from the National Science Foundation have discovered that when quartz-rich rocks abrade against one another during earthquake-like conditions their breakdown produces a mineral gel. The presence of this gel reduces friction and can significantly increase the energy released by seismic activities.
Obviously, this research has important ramifications for the development of effective earthquake weaponry.
And yet, our government is sleeping at the switch. Rather than provide these ground-breaking researchers with the funding and support appropriate for their work, the National Science Foundation forces them to conduct their research on a shoe-string budget. According to the press release, "Future experiments will take advantage of a salvaged 100-horsepower BMW motorcycle engine."