Go Figure

by Belle Waring on September 14, 2004

Truly great stupid questions never die:

By far the most outlandish proposal, and one of the most recurrent, was the idea to use a nuclear warhead to blow a hurricane out of the water.

“Hurricanes are bad enough without being radioactive,” Willoughby [a research professor with the International Hurricane Center] said. “Put that genie back in the bottle. Nuclear weapons are more dangerous than hurricanes.”

Some people just aren’t any fun. If only Giblets were in charge of the NOAA we’d see a lot more decisive action, I can tell you that.



Peter Murphy 09.14.04 at 11:35 am

Nice link, Belle. Apparently, olive oil kills hurricanes. So where’s Exxon Valdez when you need it?


Doug 09.14.04 at 2:59 pm

Comment redux:


Any question that lets the weather geeks write sentences like

“The heat release [in a hurricane] is equivalent to a 10-megaton nuclear bomb exploding every 20 minutes.”

or understatements like

“To change a Category 5 hurricane into a Category 2 hurricane you would have to add about a half ton of air for each square meter inside the eye, or a total of a bit more than half a billion (500,000,000) tons for a 20 km radius eye. It’s difficult to envision a practical way of moving that much air around.”

is a very good question indeed.


Des von Bladet 09.14.04 at 3:35 pm

Nanny statiste killjoys, isn’t it? Next they’ll be saying that it’s neither necessary nor appropriate to nuke the moon. I ask you!


Shelly Rae Clift 09.14.04 at 6:06 pm

And I here I was thinking that folks were coming up with creative excuses to nuke Florida in an election year. Silly me.


lightning 09.14.04 at 6:17 pm

When I need something to get really annoyed about (as if I needed anything extra!) I tend to rant about the mingboggling innumerancy of the Great Idiot Public. Give most people a bunch of numbers and they turn into the intellectual equivalent of small potted plants. Big numbers are especially bad — most people can’t tell the difference between a million and a billion.

This stuff gives a prime example. Hurricanes are *big*. For the olive oil example, I get about 800,000 metric tons of olive oil needed — fuggetaboutit.

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