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The Military Science

Microwave Pain Ray Keeps Frost From Killing Crops 278

An anonymous reader writes "Philip K. Dick's novella Project Plowshare was set in a world where deadly new weapons are 'plowshared' into consumer products. A few years after that book was set, defense giant Raytheon is spinning its raygun-like Active Denial System from a weapon into an agricultural tool to prevent frost from damaging citrus and grape crops."
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Microwave Pain Ray Keeps Frost From Killing Crops

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  • by jimmydevice ( 699057 ) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @07:58AM (#32708198)

    was proposed in a 70's IEEE publication I read while killing time at the computer center help desk as a student.
    It was thought at that time that microwaves could be used safely to heat the occupants directly, without raising the
    ambient temperature. Apparently this idea did not fly after later scrutiny.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 27, 2010 @08:32AM (#32708312)

    This answer is inadequate, and can be used to justify the production of weaponry for any regime from Ancient Greek Democracy to Hitler's Nazism.

    However, that does not make the argument false. In Nazi Germany there were people who did not particulary like hitler or the war doing military research (disclaimer: my grandfather was one of them). Either because they feared Stalin more than Hitler, or because they liked doing research better then dying at the east front. Those people were generally nither racist not fascist (and the US came to employ quite a few of them after the war. Remember Wernher von Braun?)

  • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @08:57AM (#32708412)

    Yea, um, you don't bring freedom and democracy with a gun any more than you bring religion with a sword.

    Bringing religion with the sword has been wildly successful. Islam, for example, is the largest religion in the world today precisely because of its military efforts in the first few centuries of its existence. Bringing freedom and democracy doesn't work as well because those things require voluntary participation of the group you're "freeing". If they don't want it collectively, then it won't stick.

  • by Ross D Anderson ( 1020653 ) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @09:16AM (#32708498)
    Having guns on board means they cannot dock at a lot of ports though
  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @09:20AM (#32708508)
    That's just plain ignorant. Islam is the largest religion in the world today, but not for that reason. Islam was primarily spread via traders. They'd go in to a principality and tell the local ruler that they'd cut them a discount if they converted. They'd also promise to share their technology with them. At that point in time the various Islamic centers of learning were advanced, I mean really advanced, compared with just about everybody else.

    That's the reason why there's so much diversity and it's such a large religion. It's not really that different from the local royalty in Europe deciding what religion the people of their township would practice.
  • by IICV ( 652597 ) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @01:35PM (#32709846)

    Islam, for example, is the largest religion in the world today precisely because of its military efforts in the first few centuries of its existence.

    While a lot of military expansion certainly did happen under Islamic leadership, it really isn't the largest religion in the world. Not even close.

    It's funny because that's a common Christian theme - that they're persecuted, that they're the underdogs, the minority, even when they have an overwhelming majority. It's a lot easier to feel self-righteous (another Christian theme) when you think you're downtrodden. Just look at the "War on Christmas"! Oh noes, WalMart greeters are saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas"! Help, help, we're being oppressed because a large company is acknowledging the fact that not everyone is Christian!

Prototype designs always work. -- Don Vonada