Friday, July 27, 2007


I'm way too lazy to consider any sort of a second job, but sometimes the job is so much fun, you just can't resist. Why not get paid to do something you love to do anyway?

There aren't too many opportunities to make money doing what I really enjoy - like playing mediocre golf, watching Mythbusters, and reading - but there are 35,000 people across China, some of them farmers, who right now are getting paid $100/month to fire anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers into the sky.

Sound too good to be true? Hardly! China spends up to $90 million a year on weather modification programs that include cloud seeding. They pass out shells with calcium chloride or silver iodide to the locals, and at a specified time, these lucky individuals load up their government-sponsored anti-aircraft weapons and lauch them toward heaven. I'm not exactly ready to swap my lot with that of an Asian peasant, but firing heavy artillery sounds like a great way to blow off steam after a long day of work.

The US National Academy of Sciences experimented with cloud seeding, and determined that after 30 years of trying, "there is still no convincing proof of the efficacy of intentional weather modification efforts" (source). But why should that stop anyone? Despite concerns that cloud seeding actually works, regardless of problems with silver iodide poisoning and soil contamination, ignoring the property damage and death caused by wayward munitions, the government of China has plowed forward - guaranteeing man-made clear skies for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

I wonder what it's like to live in a country led by delusional leaders, who have no concern for the well-being of their own people, and who waste taxpayers' money on worthless programs?



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