Since the device employs the principle of "electrostatic magnetic ion attraction," it must be effective.
I'm still not convinced this is not an April Fool's prank with a calendar problem, but I guess if the world's leading expert on bombs (just ask him) tells you a divining rod can detect bombs a kilometer away (as well as ivory and truffles) and only costs $16,000, well, I got to have one!
It's worth it for the truffles alone.
(Do you have any idea how much it costs for me to maintain Snuffles my truffle pig?)
OK, this is too easy, and I figure a lot of bloggers will jump on the obvious, but that's not what I want to talk about.
I want to talk about our military's response:
“I don’t believe there’s a magic wand that can detect explosives. If there was, we would all be using it. I have no confidence that these work.”
Maj. Gen. Richard J. Rowe Jr, who " oversees Iraqi police training for the American military"
As reported by the New York Times, November 4
We tested it--we spent our hard-earned tax dollars and spent it testing a divining rod. Our DoD used the National Explosives Engineering Sciences Security Center at Sandia Labs to check out the claim.
And this is where I am supposed to sputter and spew about how tax dollars are wasted.
But I won't--because I teach science, and that is exactly how science works. You empirically test things. Especially things that are being sold to monitor checkpoints that might save the lives of our soldiers.
“Whether it’s magic or scientific, what I care about is it detects bombs”Maj. Gen. Jehad al-Jabiri
Head of the Ministry of the Interior’s General Directorate for Combating Explosives.
NYT, November 4
Go us! Despite our love of psychics, astrology, and Dr. Phil, our military still practices science.
If the Iraqi government wants to stake its citizens' lives on magical devices, that's their business. If they want to risk our soldiers' lives by ignoring science, that's ours.
Time to find a magic carpet and get ourselves home.
The photo is from the New York Times, November 4, 2009.