Monday, February 27, 2006

What's this powder?

Headline from this past Sunday's newspaper: Powder in dorm analyzed
byline: Sylvia Moreno The Washington Post

I submit this story as evidence that the constant banging of the drum of fear by the current administration and associated blowhards is turning us all into nincompoops too scared to think for ourselves. From the article:

" ... A student discovered the powder Thursday in a roll of quarters she was using to operate washing machines ... "

A powder? In a laundry room?!? Say it ain't so! Could it possibly be the dreaded Tide with Bleach Alternative?!?

The student was "weirded out" and called in dorm officials who subsequently called in university police followed by health officials, known in post-9/11 parlance as the "Special Operations Hazardous Materials Regional Strike Team"—complete with haz-mat suits and masks. There was a picture included and, I'm sorry to say, none of the Strike Team members in the photo were seen holding a random brassiere or pair of panties ... although I would not have been surprised if they were.

Allegedly, an initial test revealed the powder to be ricin, not Tide. However, all other tests "gave inconclusive or negative results." Am I alone in thinking this was a bit overblown and the initial test was positive for the sole reason of justifying the excessive response? Of course later tests are going to be negative: the panty raid is over, boys!

All you dorm residents out there be careful with your baby and foot powders. Who knows when a roommate will be "weirded out" and out your hygiene habits outed by the Strike Team.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Oh, the irony

I found this while surfing around looking at the latest Palm OS games and apps. Names and urls have been withheld to maintain the dignity of the webmaster. Typos involving dictionaries are one of the many things that make me laugh out loud, sometimes a giggle and sometimes a guffaw. This one earned a slightly audible snicker.

As it appeared on the website:

Concise Oxford English Dictionary and MSDict Viewer 7.30 - popular dictionary on Plam