-> "Science has eliminated distance," Melquiades proclaimed. "In a short time, man will be able to see what is happening in any place in the world without leaving his own hours." A burning noonday sun brought out a startling demonstration with the gigantic magnifying glass: they put a pile of dry hay in the middle of the street and set it on fire by concentrating the sun's rays. Jose Arcadio Buendia, who had still not been consoled for the failure of his magnets, conceived the idea of using that invention as a weapon of war. Again Melquiades tried to dissuade him, but he finally accepted the two magnetized ingots and three colonial coins in exchange for the magnifying glass.