Murphy's Law: May 16, 2005


The war on terror has made it more difficult, and sometimes more dangerous, to remove old landmines. De-mining (removing or destroying mines) is a big business around the world. Millions of mines left over from past wars are in need of removal, and charities and governments are willing to pay for the de-mining effort. However, since September 11, 2001, its become almost impossible to fly the small explosive charges, needed to destroy mines once found (moving old mines if often too dangerous), to the countries where most demining takes place. So the explosives have to either be brought in much more slowly by ship, or fabricated locally. The latter option is often dangerous, because of the lack of skilled people, facilities and quality raw materials, for such delicate work. Another solution is a remote control gas torch that slowly melts through the plastic case of mines, cooks off the plastic explosive, and then sets off a small explosion when the detonator goes off. A set of twenty of these mine melting rigs (which includes an air compressor to put locally obtained natural gas in canisters) cost $12,000 ($600 per unit). The mine melting has worked in tests, but it will take several dozen units out in the field, working for a few months, to see how practical this approach is.


Article Archive

Murphy's Law: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close