I was gently chided recently by Language Hat for not having posted for some 18 months. Commenting on an email I had sent him, he said : You ought to have a blog.”
A remarkable invention with immense humanitarian potential has led me into doing that, because I think the whole world – or at least my handful of Gentle Readers – should know about it. perhaps they can spread the word.
It is a very cheap, wind-powered, re-usable device to clear landmines by exploding them. Afghanistan alone is estimated to have 10 million concealed landmines.
A steel ball core with a GPS chip maps the safe path it creates.
It rolls on 150 bamboo stamen with cheap plastic springs and plates on them. When all are destroyed, the core remains and it is rebuilt simply with more bamboo and cheap plastic. It is designed for local people to be able to use and re-build.
Mine Kafon is “something which explodes” in the Dari language, according to Le Monde, where I saw it first. (Typically, because it has been selected for exhibition at New York’s Museum Of Modern Art, it was on a culture page…)
It is really worth a couple of minutes watching the inventor’s video and particularly the film below it, and reading his blog-notes at http://minekafon.blogspot.co.uk/