Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Most Ridculous Quote...

...that I have read in a long time is, in my opinion, this one:

"You see powder connected by arrows and chalk, you never know... It could be a terrorist, it could be something more serious. We're thankful it wasn't, but there were a lot of resources that went into figuring that out."

This comment was reportedly made by New Haven Connecticut Mayoral spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga regarding a trail of "flour" (as in the stuff with which you bake bread) that was laid out by some runners who were part of a group for whom they were marking a running trail; see:
Race Planners Charged for Causing Bioterror Scare at Connecticut IKEA. But wait, it gets worse, not comment wise by action wise.

So what happened, someone saw them doing this through an IKEA parking lot, and they called police, apparently as I see it, in a panic. The next thing you know IKEA is evacuated. (Now, I wonder, why evacuate the store when the powder is outside?) The police begin a "massive" full scale investigation of suspected chemical or bio-terrorism, instead of looking into this sensibly. Even police from surrounding towns responded.

Someone else responded too. Once the guy who left the trail heard about the commotion, he returned to the scene and told police it was a trail made out of flour so other runners could follow. I guess that means it was biodegradable, not bio-terrorism. Now the guy and his sister, who helped him leave the trail, have been arrested on first degree of peace felony charges. I don't know about you, but it seems to me that the police who handled this matter are the ones who should be charged with breach of peace. To evacuate a store, to call in other police departments, to cordon off the whole area, and to do whatever else they did without first seeking the guy who left the trail for an explanation was totally outrageous as I see it. Apparently all they would have had to do was follow the trail - and would you think they would have done that in order to see if the guy and his sister were still leaving a trail! Hell if they were terrorists, wouldn't the police want to catch them at it, and prevent them for doing more of it! Well it was not reported that that is what the police did since the guy had to come back to explain his actions of his own accord. This seems, on the reported facts so far, to have been a totally blown out of proportion response by New Haven Police officials. Now to save face what do they do, charge the powder sprinklers with a felony, and expect restitution from them for the overblown police response! An amazing piece of police work in its seeming lack of professionalism, and apparent out and out incompetence.

All the best,
Glenn B

Today In History - Some Real Boomers...

...were heard in different parts of the world. On this date in 1346, the English were the first Europeans to employ cannon on the European Battlefield. They were used against the French at Crecy, needless to say: The French lost again. The main effect of the cannon was to distract the enemy, and put fear into his heart, whereas the victory has been attributed to English archers.

Another loud boomer on today's date, and one much more fatal than the English use of cannon at Crecy, was the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. The eruption, and resultant tsunami killed an estimated 36,000 people. According to the website: Today In Science History @ "The huge amount of volcanic dust thrust high into the stratosphere eventually travelled around the world. The dust blocked sunlight causing temperature drops and chaotic weather patterns for several years afterwards." Funny how a sun blocking pollutant in the atmosphere back then caused global cooling, and similar carbon dust is supposedly contributing to just the opposite now. I'll have to consult Al Gore the Grand Poobah of Global Warming on this one!

Just when you think things cannot get worse, we are reminded that shit happens, so maybe it is best to try to enjoy what we have right now, and of course, to try to remain prepared for the worst.

All the best,
Glenn B