Thursday, October 8, 2009

Now That's Thinking With Your Dipstick Jimmy!

A dipstick is a device used to measure the amount of a liquid in a container or to dipped into a liquid to perform a chemical test on that liquid.

The device is usually inexpensive and quite accurate.

Now imagine a dipstick for the planet. Would give a new meaning to 2 quarts low.

But thanks to Tel Aviv University’s Department of Geography Professor Eyal Ben-Dor, the Earth now has a dipstick.
Tel Aviv University’s Department of Geography has invented a “soil dipstick” that takes the temperature of Planet Earth and forecasts the health of forests and farms, according to department Prof. Eyal Ben-Dor. “Through a small hole in the surface of the earth, we can assess what lies beneath it" by using the Optical Soil Dipstick, he explained.

Prof. Ben-Dor said the diagnostic device measures the health of the soil. The new instrument, already in use in California, can tell geographers which parts of the world are best for farming and can also be used to catch polluters of the environment.

Current soil testing procedures require bulldozers and cost millions of dollars, but an Israeli-designed dipstick will cost only about $10,000 for each application. The dipstick currently is in a prototype stage and might be available for commercial use within a year.

The thin catheter-like device gives real-time, immediately accurate and reliable information on pollution and the all-round health of the soil. Analyzing chemical and physical properties, the dipstick outputs its data to a hand-held device or computer.

Prof. Ben-Dor said the device can help farmers pursue “precision agriculture” by allowing them to know if their crops are getting the right blend of minerals. The dipstick also can be remotely and wirelessly networked to airplanes and satellites.

"Soil mapping is a national undertaking," Prof. Ben-Dor observes. "It takes years and millions of dollars' worth of manual labor and laboratory analysis, not to mention exhausting headaches with government authorities and ministries. For a fraction of that energy and money, and with a staff that has minimal training, the Optical Soil Dipstick could do the same job, and could continue doing it on a yearly, monthly, and possibly even a daily basis. The headaches would be gone, and we would finally get an accurate picture of the earth's crust in these environmentally critical years."
Can you picture the commercials now. Instead of an annoying Scotsman hitting you with a dipstick, you get an annoying New Age Gaia hitting you with the dipstick (although a few men I know would enjoy that.). Or some guy placing the dipstick in the ground, then screaming out: "She's 2 quarts low, Bob!". They could be endless.

But the benefits will be great for humanity.

And it is another invention to benefit humanity from the nation the world hates: Israel.

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