Science: Great Leap Downward

Several hundred million peasants will rise like a mighty storm, a force so swift and violent that no power, however great, will be able to hold it back.

—Mao Tse-tung, March 1927

Was the Chairman prescient? Could he have anticipated by more than four decades an ingenious scheme just conceived by University of Alaska Geophysicist David Stone? If Mao had carried his maxim a little farther, says Stone in a tongue-in-cheek letter to Geotimes, China could have threatened distant enemies with mass destruction years before the development of nuclear warheads and long-range missiles.

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