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"We're about 20 minutes away from the point where Clarke's law kicks in and technology becomes indistinguishable from magic."
- Peter Watts

High-Frequency Oven  
  This describes the essence of a microwave.  

Heinlein didn't invent the idea of the microwave oven; Raytheon patented it in 1946 - see the entry for microwavable food for more details.

Theoretically every ration taken aboard a Patrol vessel is pre-cooked and ready for eating as soon as it is taken out of freeze and subjected to the number of seconds, plainly marked on the package, of high-frequency heating required.
From Space Cadet, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Scribner's Sons in 1948
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