Homebrew bomb detector in Pakistan

David Pescovitz:
My friend Mason Inman is in Pakistan for a month with his girlfriend Sarah who founded a company called SaafWater to provide affordable clean water for poor people in developing regions. Mason, a science writer for National Geographic News, New Scientist, and other publications, is blogging about his experiences in Pakistan. One of the things he noticed in use at hotels and also at the Karachi airport are homebrew “bomb detectors” like the one pictured here. From Mason’s post:


…We were happy to wind up at the Chancery Executive Guesthouse, with a stout wall and two somewhat scary guards, who lounge around on plastic chairs holding snub-nosed shotguns.

Before our taxi drove into the grounds the first time, they searched under our car for bombs with this high-tech device. It’s just a mirror on a stick, with a flashlight attached. This is what, in Sarah’s field of work, is known as “appropriate technology”: it’s only as complicated as it needs to be, and it’s easily fixable in-country.

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