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Stopping Car Bombs in Iraq

Believe it or not, my father is the leading medical researcher on intestinal gas (which has earned him the moniker the “King of Farts” — see here, and here). Two of his fart-sniffing employees recently earned the honor of “worst job in science” in Popular Science magazine for their efforts on his behalf.

Which I suppose makes him a rogue physician.

But, that is not the point of this post. Anyway, he has good ideas on lots of topics, not just gas. We got to talking about the current situation in Iraq and he made the point that we should have some technology for figuring out which cars are loaded with car bombs.

So let me throw some questions out to those who are knowledgeable in this area:

1) How much explosive is in these cars they are using to blow things up? Are these cars packed full of explosives? How much would the explosives weigh relative to the natural weight of the car? Would a car packed with explosives have a much higher density/weight per wheel than the typical vehicle?

2) Are there existing technologies for measuring the density of an object at a distance that could be used to remotely detect these vehicles?

3) Could we use sensors in the road to pick up indicators of vehicles with lots of weight per wheel?

4) Are there visual clues, like the weight of the explosives making the vehicles ride really low?

5) Any other great ideas for how to identify car bombs from a distance?

If the readers of this blog show half as much talent on this topic as they did on searching out the origin of the term “Chicago Black Sox,” we may save some lives in Iraq.