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Weather control Thu, Jul 20, 2006
I hope it doesn't rain tonight. 

And China agrees.  In order to have perfect weather during the 2008 Olympic Games, the Beijing Weather Modification Office has been shooting chemicals into clouds via anti-aircraft guns.  The chemicals actually make it rain sooner, which also increases the chances of it clearing up sooner.  It sounds about as reliable as weather prediction (i.e. not reliable), but it's better than nothing. 

In some ways, I could see how this is a bad thing.  Shooting chemicals into the air sounds like a bad idea.  But what if they were good chemicals like oxygen or hydrogen?  Then there's the whole argument about not playing God.  I can see the reasoning behind that, but it hasn't exactly stopped us from doing things in the past (crossbreeding, in vitro fertilization, etc.).  And what about the idea of a butterfly flapping its wings in Africa and causing a hurricane in Florida?  How does that translate to pummeling clouds with artillery shells?  Sounds like the end of the world to me. 

But at the same time, I could see it as a good thing.  I'd like to play basketball after work today.  If it rains, I won't be able to play.  If it rains, I won't get to go in the pool tonight.  If it rains, it'll affect my weekend plans at Busch Gardens.  If it didn't rain on August 14, 2004, I would've gotten married on a beach.  So many things are dependent on such an unpredictable and unavoidable occurrence.  Wouldn't it be nice to have a little bit of control? #entertainment


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