Has it really been seven years already?

1/31/07

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        the Attorney General showed no mercy

        The Attorney General showed no mercy to the two guys who placed these around town as part of a marketing campaign for a TV network. Our ever alert law enforcement responded as it they were bombs, as they should have but then the guys were treated as though they had placed bombs and they had not.

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        Traffic Counter

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        But did the Attorney General also show no mercy to the city parking department when the police had to respond to their "traffic counter" a month later?

        Diagnostic Exercise

        It highlighted the inability to communicate between departmental silos! How else would they know that the police department and fire department don't bother talking to other city agencies?

        That's because they sat and

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        That's because they sat and watched the hoopla and let it escalate out of amusement. Hasn't the marathon bombing cured the apologists if their hipster amusement at the squares who don't watch cartoons?

        No.

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        No.

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        No they didn't

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        As soon as they heard news that it might be related to their work, they reported it to the promotions company that hired them to do the work.

        That promotion company was slow to act and so was the TV network before ultimately owning up to the marketing campaign. The two guys doing the work became fall guys for a "well, *somebody* has to be responsible!" attitude from the legal machinery that suddenly found itself "detonating lite-brites" instead of defusing a terror attack.

        And if anything, the marathon bombing shows exactly why it was security theater and completely useless to string those two guys up for their marketing gimmicks. Did it deter them from bombing the marathon? Nope. Did it demonstrate that our police force were capable of stopping an attack before it happens? Nope, they were entirely reactive to other people calling in the light boards, and the marathon bombing pretty much puts the exclamation point on that. The "apologists" are using the marathon to say "I told you so"...but that doesn't stop us from pouring millions more into more armory for our troopspolice to react tostop the next bombing.

        So, we've preempted a non-terrorist act, and reacted after an actual terrorist attack was carried out. The system is 0-for-2, so I don't know what you're defending.

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        yes they did

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        They contacted the marketing company instead of the authorities and were photographed in the crowds watching the bomb squad FILMING them. They helped contribute to the escalation by not informing the authorities in a timely manner. From the wikipedia article someone thoughtfully linked:

        "Friends of Peter Berdovsky received an e-mail from him at 1:26 p.m. which alleged that five hours into the scare, an Interference Inc. (the marketing firm that created the campaign) executive requested Berdovsky "keep everything on the dl."[6] Travis Vautour, friend of Berdovsky, stated: "We received an e-mail in the early afternoon from Peter that asked the community that he's a part of to keep any information we had on the down low and that was instructed to him by whoever his boss was."[16] Two hours later, Interference notified their client, Cartoon Network.[6] Between 2 and 3 p.m., a police analyst identified the image on the devices as an Aqua Teen Hunger Force cartoon character, and the police concluded the incident was a publicity stunt.[2] Turner Broadcasting System issued a statement concerning the event at around 4:30 p.m."

        The incident started in the morning.

        I realize people desperate to be the only ones in the know feel an emotional connection to this story but it didn't have to go as far as it did that day - I really don't care how many years you were watching the damn show before everyone else heard of it.

        And to all the people amused by the LED blinking lights and Lite Brite references, ask someone from the 40's what the Nazis attached bombs to - they weren't spheres with fuses cartoonishly sticking out of the tops. Or better yet, ask the guys in Iraq and Afghanistan now what gets booby trapped now? The bomb squads have to treat suspicious items as suspicious until they're proven not to be. They were doing their jobs.

        So were the guerrilla marketers, who were creaming in their pants that this happened. Shiny signs are only seen by people walking by - this was international news. I thought at the time and still do that they loved that it went this far and caused a panic - all for a stupid movie. They probably didn't mean for a bomb scare to happen but once it did, they let it happen more until it went too far and then it was too late. They deserve scorn.

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        Haha

        I remember seeing them around MassArt/Wentworth back when I was in school. Knew what they were right away and could not believe the embarrassing response from our city. Fun times!

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        So you're saying that all Boston

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        emergency responders should be given a crash course in recognizing characters from whatever cheezy "flash in the pan" likely to be cancelled after six episodes Cartoon Network shows are airing at any given time?

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        If by "cheezy 'flash in the

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        If by "cheezy 'flash in the pan' likely to be cancelled after six episodes" you mean very popular TV show that had been on for 6 years prior to this event, then probably.

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        Yup.

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        6 years prior to the event, plus another 4 afterward! 10 seasons, 130 episodes total.

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        But wait! It showed that our

        But wait! It showed that our city was taking the threat seriously! It meant that if and when a *real* terrorist attack came, there was no way they could possibly slip by our defenses!! Oh, wait. Never mind.

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        No, but their management needs a self check

        Reading articles at the time, emergency responders told reporters that after the first device was found and dismantled, the workers in the field recognized they were nor bombs, but the ball (and panic) was under way so they were told to continue to treat them all as bombs, cuz you never know. So something that could have been an hour long incident (can you say 'unattended bag') turned into an all day panicked frenzy.

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        Yes, I agree that the City's response was quite overblown

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        And my comment was mainly directed at the "I immediately knew what they were" remark the previous poster made. Now, I do enjoy most animation, including a number of the newer shows on Cartoon Network and the like. However, this incident was the first time I'd heard of the Moonites (or whomever they are). Also, I've seen (and liked) a number of shows on Cartoon Network that seem to vanish after a short run, hense the "flash in a pan" remark.

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        Ten seasons and a movie

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        But, hey, who's counting?

        In the meantime, maybe being able to determine whether it has bomb components or not before blowing it up for having "lights and exposed wires" might be worth teaching them first. Cartoon characters might be too advanced to start out with.

        I already knew what they were

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        I had been walking by one of those foolish things somewhere in the Fort Point area on my way to work for over a week, realizing full well that it had to be some kind of advertisement or amateur looking art installation. Then some alarmist saw one somewhere and decided it must be an explosive device, alerting the authorities and causing the T to come to a standstill and throwing the city into a panic. Is this what people think IEDs look like? Terrorists seldom use little cartoon figures.

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        But it was SINISTER!

        It had WIRES and BATTERIES!

        It had also been up there quite a while before this ... my office was in the Navy Yard then and I'd seen it several times before - I thought it was graffiti.

        But, hey, at least I found a sane source of information in UHub!

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        Too bad it wasn't a cartoon LED Muhammed

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        That would have really cheesed off everyone. In addition to the local constabulary chasing them down, the Mullahs would have issued a Fatwa against the boyos for insulting the Prophet. Something to offend everyone.

        The Mooninites

        were some of my favorite ATHF characters, close behind the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future.

        Ahhh, yes

        Arrived on a red eye that night/early the next morning to scope out grad schools and places to live with the wife. Glad we missed the actual craziness (we would never have made all of our appointments with all the road closures) but it was interesting hearing this as the only topic of light conversation everywhere we went. A few months later, all this craziness was ours full-time, and we haven't looked back since.