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Author: Subject: Alarmism first! - reality check later on...
Elawr
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[*] posted on 6-8-2007 at 17:12
Alarmism first! - reality check later on...


I saw a newsclip on aol.com describing a recent terrorist plot to blow stuff up and kill people with bombs made from liquid ingredients available at the local drug store. Also shown is a violent-looking test blast with fireball and shock wave, while the narrative details how one of these OTC liquid bomb things contained in, say a soda pop bottle, when detonated by a "small electrical charge" on a plane would "kill thousands" Fade to video of jetliner being blown to smithereens - oh wait, ok that was from the investigation of the Lockerby downing years ago. But still scaring the crap of you!

OK...so, what pray tell OTC liquids could one use to fabricate a bomb with yields approaching (as the above leads you to believe) a small nuclear device? Maybe a whole crapload of vinegar and NaHCO3 all shook up? Better stock up now.

But seriously, are there really Walmart precursors and easy syntheses of real explosives? I don't mean fuel-air or BLVE mechanisms nor peroxide-based things like AP already deemed unfeasible for the average terrorist.

I should go stock up on Barbasol and Listerine now.

[Edited on 6-8-2007 by Elawr]




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The_Davster
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[*] posted on 6-8-2007 at 17:19


I am pretty sure the media is just stupid.



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Elawr
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[*] posted on 6-8-2007 at 17:26


DUH....ya think? :D



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Magpie
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[*] posted on 6-8-2007 at 17:34


I saw that on the evening news on TV tonight. What I thought was funny was that they showed a section of drugstore shelves containing hundreds of products. Then just so would be terrorists can't learn anything they blurred the picture. :D

Now, as you say, how can we make a bomb out of toothpaste or multi-vitamins?

[Edited on by Magpie]




The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
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The_Davster
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[*] posted on 6-8-2007 at 17:39


I have given up being angry at such things. What do you expect from people who get a 'degree' in 'journalism', and from people whom I know who are trying to get such a 'degree' they take writing courses, as learning facts about what they actually report on is beyond most of them. All they learn is how to make a story sound important, and no substance behind it. Like this story for instance.



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evil_lurker
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[*] posted on 6-8-2007 at 22:35


Its a simple fact, sensationalism sells.



Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.
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quicksilver
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[*] posted on 7-8-2007 at 05:21


There is nothing wrong with speaking your mind to these nit-wits. not that it would make a difference but calling the general manager of the station and explaining that such sensationalism is LAUGHED AT by most anyone with any science background what so ever _MAY_ have some impact. If they discover that their story made them a laughing stock, it might make them do some homework next time. The tone of the call, if set in a bored and tired affect make have greater impact then emphatically explaining the details.

EXAMPLE: "The next time you want to do a piece that deals with chemistry of (such & such), contact me. It will keep you from making a jackass out of your news program". -"Oh, really? What do you mean?"
"Your news feature was highly inaccurate. It made you appear less informed than your competitors. I'll help you out (for a small fee: never for free)....but you really DO need some real help. That was sensationalist and inaccurate."

Who knows, you may make some $ as a consultant.....If you can prove that they goofed and that most anyone can see their error.

[Edited on 7-8-2007 by quicksilver]
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Sauron
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[*] posted on 7-8-2007 at 06:06


The Lockerbie bombing was done by a national intelligence service (Libya's) and the device employed was military grade HE (Semtex, IIRC, which is to say PETN plasticized with vegetable oil, Semtex being the trade name given to it by Omnipol, the Czech arms dealers (state owned) who during the Iron Curtain days were major suppliers to international terrorists of all stripes.

Some journalists of course do not wish to be confused with facts.
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[*] posted on 7-8-2007 at 08:24


Quote:
Originally posted by Sauron
The Lockerbie bombing was done by a national intelligence service (Libya's) and the device employed was military grade HE (Semtex, IIRC, which is to say PETN plasticized with vegetable oil, Semtex being the trade name given to it by Omnipol, the Czech arms dealers (state owned) who during the Iron Curtain days were major suppliers to international terrorists of all stripes.

Some journalists of course do not wish to be confused with facts.


I had tickets on this flight. Due to confusion on my part regarding the time change between Stuttgart and Frankfurt I missed the flight.......... Because of this screw up my wife and I are still vertical.

Joe
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Sauron
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[*] posted on 7-8-2007 at 09:18


A moderately entertaining B-movie a few years back whose title escapes me for the moment concerned a pair of modern cowboys confronted with unknown, but ancient, subterranean predators who tunnel through the ground at high speed and who proceed to start eating people. These giant, wormlike carnivorous things seem well nigh unstoppable till they run up against a survivalist couple with a well stocked gun room in the basement, who manage to kill one with an elephant gun.

The survivalists join the fight to escape the bad smelling things, and have a knapsack full of pipe bombs which they use will telling effect.

"What's in those things?" one of the cowboys asks.

The answer: "Household chemicals in the correct proportions!"
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[*] posted on 7-8-2007 at 09:33


Another pearl from "Tremors"

(Q) What do you have cannon fuse for ?

(A) For my cannon :D
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evil_lurker
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[*] posted on 7-8-2007 at 09:33


Tremors.



Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.
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Sauron
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[*] posted on 7-8-2007 at 13:24


Ah yes, that was the name of the flick. There was a sequel too, but it was not quite as amusing.

Altogether a strange pair of films, crossover between H.P.Lovecraft horror, not so urban cowboy and comedy-adventure.

After the shoot-out in the underground survivalist arsenal, with the dead monster hanging halfway out of the hole it had gnawed in the concrete wall, the male half of the survivalist couple walks over to the reeking thing and says "Broke into the wrong rec-room, didn't ya?"
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S.C. Wack
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[*] posted on 7-8-2007 at 15:01


It seems reasonable that they are being told of acetone peroxide, made on the spot. The reason for the carry-on restrictions for some time, old story. Don't tell them about UN and the 50 pound bags of urea-based fertilizers stacked to the ceiling that replaced the ammonium nitrate fertilizer removed years ago due to hysteria.

USA Today would describe ammonium nitrate cold packs as a dangerous loophole in chemical control that makes the terrorists praise Allah and urgently needs to be taken off the shelves, with quotes from mothers (whose eyes have not been blinded by the Democrats, BTW) already engaged in a campaign to get them removed.
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Sergei_Eisenstein
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[*] posted on 8-8-2007 at 02:17


I am a professor in Mind Control. I have brainwashed 10,000s of parakeets ready to be unleashed near the airport and fly into the engines of flying airplanes, effectively causing the planes to crash. Better start killing all the birds you can see, but especially those you can't, and pray the Lord I won't have contacted some Terrorists untill you have killed all avian creatures.



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sparkgap
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[*] posted on 8-8-2007 at 03:25


While you're at it, Comrade Sergei, how 'bout inoculating some of dem parakeets with Chlamydophila psittaci or Histoplasma capsulatum? :P

Back on topic... MacGuyver-esque as it may seem that one can make explosives from house chems so readily, it really is implausible at current standing.

I'd still watch MacGuyver reruns, though. XD

sparky (~_~)




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[*] posted on 8-8-2007 at 15:16


Oh come on, They made devistating pipebombs in Terminator from Amonnia, mothballs and Karo syrup.
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[*] posted on 8-8-2007 at 16:54


There were some parakeets at my door just a second ago trying to sell me some magazine subscriptions......(?)
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[*] posted on 10-8-2007 at 13:22


A plane can be crashed with just a piece of adhesive tape.
Where this is placed is what matters.

A Korean jet liner that flew from the west coast to Korea
was shot out of the sky by a russian fighter some years
ago when it overflew restricted Soviet airspace. The meander
was unintended , the result of entering the wrong data into
the navigational computer.

Then of course you always need to rely on the controll tower
for takeoffs and landings. A carefully contrived misdeed could
even be done remotely.

Remeber the film " Die Hard II "

.

whooOOPS.jpg - 13kB
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Sergei_Eisenstein
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[*] posted on 10-8-2007 at 14:03


The kind of image you attached is absolutely not unusual for busy airports such as LHR. There even are queues of several planes in front of you, waiting to take off; similar for landing. Everything depends on the control tower, but if something goes wrong, all eyes are directed to that place as well. So if you intend to kill an airplane full of people, taking control of the control tower is not a good option. Also, "acts of terrorism" usually don't want to kill people just for fun. They want to be in the news, and killing people "carefully" doesn't subcribe to that definition. Their actions are planned, and taking control of the airport doesn't do justice to their plans. Al Qaeda could have crushed the planes in the ocean as well, yet they chose some towers, out of all places possible in NY.

Quote:
There were some parakeets at my door just a second ago trying to sell me some magazine subscriptions......(?)


I warned you for terroristic plots in the near future! I sold my secrets to the CIA, and it's none of my business what they do with the parakeets.

There was something I found *bizar* while I was in the US. There was a difference between the CNN broadcasted in the US and the one I could see in Europe (I didn't know before). The news in the US was full of panic, and it was hard for me to watch their broadcast for minutes in a row. This kind of paranoia was alien to me. In contrast, the CNN Europe was much *softer* and not as mind-poisoning as their USA-afiliates. Ten years later, I can say that the situation I see today (home back in Italy) is very similar to the news in the US back then: evil everywhere around the corner, watch out for this, Satan at the end of that road. This is one of the things really hate, because I also see it has an effective effect on the people living around me. Even though there are no Arabs in miles around my vilage, nor any *nigger* in at least 50 miles radius, Al Qaeda is to be feared, and bombs might explose in the most remote mountain shed at any moment.




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[*] posted on 11-8-2007 at 09:47


Tell it to the people in the WTC, on the Madrid trains, and in the London tubes. Even paranoids have real enemies.

It is possible to have terrorists, even Arab terrorists, without hating Arabs. The Islamic world has more to lose from the likes of bin Laden than we do. It's their world he wishes to rule.

"Niggers" have nothing to do with it. You want to impeach America for racism? Italy's hands are not so clean. The Fascist record in Libya and Ethiopia is unforgotten and unforgivable. Or do Ethiopians not count?
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[*] posted on 11-8-2007 at 10:54


Tabloid journalism is alive and well ,
with the paparazzi tripping over each other ....
even having midair collisions between their helicopters ....

Now watch the birdie (s) .......crash !!!

There's a Kodak moment that tells the tale ,

No more news at five ....it's news right now ,
the stolen car on the freeway ....How exciting !!!!
What a public interest story . What a public service ,
and now for a message from our sponsor Viagra ,
for when the time is right :P

Real first rate yellow journalism gets its reward , huh .

There never was a pulitzer there , and did the
"big story" compare in interest or value with the lost lives ?

They learned nothing when Diana died in a Paris tunnel .

They are even dumber today than they were then .....
every day dumb, and dumber tomorrow , just stay tuned .
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[*] posted on 11-8-2007 at 16:37


Does anyone remember a movie call "The Running Man" staring the "Governator"? At the time, it seemed to be implausible fiction.

Now, unfortunately, it doesn't seem so implausible...
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[*] posted on 11-8-2007 at 23:22


@ Rosco Bodine - I am on your wavelength, as you probably realized by now. However, who ever cared about Diana, Prince Charles the Moronic and his much less moronic sons (or so it seems), Nicole Smith (?), and other earth shattering celebritities (sic!) whom the gutter press and TV regale us with? (The National Defiler - All the news that's Unfit to Print and Boring as Shit.)

WRT the 'breaking news' crapola, 9/10ths of these stories do involve things like house fires (all too frequent here due to lightning and poorly designed or abused electrical circuits), high speed cop chases made popular by various 'entertainment' style 'real police stories' shows, etc.. These merely cause one to break wind as the news 'breaks'! Deja vu, seen that, OK, so what?

In my childhood ther was real news. There was a real war on (WWII), not one of these half arsed police actions that cost an enormity in money and achieve nothing. The sources of news were the radio (BBC, once respected) and the newspaper (Times or Telegraph). No TV! I could read at <age 6 so I read and I listened. (Today= "don't let the child listen to that!") .

I am sure it was somewhat slanted against the Axis powers but allied setbacks on the fronts were fairly reported without undue panic. We had already been tested in London where I lived throughout the war, during the 1941=1942 air war. We won. The only time I remember partial panic was when the VI and especially VII missiles were first sent over in 1944. Fear of the unknown, a popular theme today. It soon passed - the things were randomly aimed and inaccurate anyway. Nearest one to land near our house (VII) was less than 1/2 mile. Blew the lock open on the front door.

On the main 'news' today they actually announce what will be on the news a day or two hence! Ergo, can't be news. And there's Eyewtness News, purposeless badgering of unfortunates preferably to the point of making them weep. And endless, endless, adverts. for Vaigra and uselsss medications for syndromes invented to sell them.... Yet I'm still fool enough to watch in the vain hope that there might be something important to report - like 9/11. But it'll be on first, you bet. Real news for a change.

Good Lord, I'm ranting again! Some time, Rosco, on some flimsy pretext, we must discuss power supplies. Perhaps in the Whimsey section? I don't have the key yet, must get it!

Regards and apologies,

Der Alte.
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Sergei_Eisenstein
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[*] posted on 11-8-2007 at 23:54


Quote:
"Niggers" have nothing to do with it. You want to impeach America for racism? Italy's hands are not so clean. The Fascist record in Libya and Ethiopia is unforgotten and unforgivable. Or do Ethiopians not count?


You're too funny. Where exactly did I accuse the USA of racism? I've tried hard and searched for it in my post, but I fail completely to see it. Perhaps you can help me?




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