It's the ultimate man vs. nature face-off. Bill Gates, one of the most powerful men on the planet, appears to be taking on one of Mother Earth's most fearsome forces: the hurricane. An application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Jan. 3, 2008, lists Gates and 12 others as the inventors of a number of methods to control and prevent hurricanes. "Billions of dollars of destruction and damage is regularly attributable to hurricanes and hurricane-like tropical storms," the document says. "Thus, great interest has arisen in controlling these powerful storms." The document goes on to describe a process of using fleets of vessels to mix warm water from the surface of the ocean with colder water from greater depths in an effort to cool the surface of the water.