Mooninites

By - 2/2/07 - 8:28 am

You know what would really suit the mood right now? Yep! A recasting of apocalyptic '80s German pop. Spatch provides the lyrics:

Ninety-nine white vans arrive
All with TV crews inside
Everyone's a news reporter
Everyone's a Chet or Nat
Breathlessly they cause a panic
Are these bombs or just Satanic?
Suddenly the bloggers cry
"Wait a minute, those are Mooninites!"

By - 2/1/07 - 8:16 pm

Casey Ross reports Turner Broadcasting has hired O'Neill and Associates (you know, Thomas P. O'Neill III) to handle public relations. O'Neill also does PR for Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff, yes, the people who gave us the Big Dig. Read more.

By - 2/1/07 - 7:43 pm

Boston Police have released a chronology of yesterday's events, which occured as Washington and New York police were reporting suspicious (non-mooninite) activities and included New England Medical Center security officers reporting an apparent pipe bomb left by a guy who fled yelling "God is warning you that today is going to be a sad Day." Read more.

By - 2/1/07 - 4:58 pm

Jay Fitzgerald is getting fed up:

... The 'starving artists' are pulling out a 40-year-old Lennon-McCartney schtick of being flippant about, like, wow, everything, dude. Next it will be framed as a Police State vs. Oppressed Artists drama. The mere sight of them makes it tempting to overreact by shoving them on plane headed for Guantanamo. But ... but that's exactly what they'd want and so we shouldn't do it. Let's determine their motives first. If it was indeed misguided marketing, so be it. Let 'em go with a fine and free bar of soap. ...

OK, so now I'm watching Kate Merrill on Channel 4 whining:

It was probably the most useless and unusual press conference I have ever been to. ... Why they wasted everybody's talking about hair, we may never know the answer to that.

O RLY, Kate? So why did you stick around? Couldn't find anything original to report on? Maybe I should switch to AD GONE BAD on Channel 7.

Michael Gee fumes:

Their bad. Had the two simply committed another of the city's ever-increasing homicides, relatively few people would've given a damn. But give Tom Menino a chance to show off his cement head, by God, you're going to pay. ...

Auntie Scotch is set on edge watching Menino on national TV:

They way I see it, Tom is like a retarded younger brother - it's okay for ME to make fun of him, but if an outsider makes a crack I'm going to have to ask them to step outside.

Say, speaking of mayors, we haven't heard much from Joe Curtatone over in Somerville. We go now to Juniper Pearl, reporting live from Somerville:

By - 2/1/07 - 1:54 pm

Is it my imagination, or are the stories in the local media filled with especially juicy "I can't believe they said that!" quotes from your basic Area Men and Area Women? Mike Mennonno wins the prize (so far) for the best re-interpretation of one of these quotes.

By - 2/1/07 - 1:28 pm

The Herald reports:

The two devices found in an office at Tufts-New England Medical Center and attached to the Longfellow Bridge yesterday morning were not the marketing devices that sparked a daylong panic in Boston, but simulated pipe bombs, police officials said last night. ...

Via Carpundit, who knows many of the cops trying to secure all those devices yesterday:

By - 2/1/07 - 12:55 pm

As much as he doesn't like the young'uns hating on Tom Menino and the police, our very own homegrown homeland-security consultant, David Stephenson, says authorities need to pay more attention to them:

... I'm struck by how clueless the authorities are about dealing with the kind of mobile networked "smart mobs" that are at the heart of my networked homeland security strategy -- and were clearly the target of this viral marketing strategy gone bad, bad, bad.

By - 2/1/07 - 12:41 pm

A Google News search on "post-9/11 world" Boston around 12:30 p.m. brought up nearly 1,200 results:

Enough, already

By - 2/1/07 - 8:53 am

LiveJournal B0st0n will no doubt have details of this morning's arraignments in Charlestown. Boston.com reports on the rally outside the court. The second suspect, Sean Stevens, is also a video artist. The guy auctioning off one of the devices says he will donate some of the money to their defense fund.

C.C. Chapman ponders it all:

What bothers me most I think is as I stop and think about it is that I'm not only pissed at the agency who came up with the idea, but I'm also a little disappointed in Boston's Police. If these things have been up for a few weeks how come no one has noticed them until now. Don't we have Homeland Security people with big budgets running around the country protecting us? Thats what I keep hearing anyways. How did they miss this? Makes you wonder where all that money is going doesn't it?

Jeff Chausse: Gee, could all the indignation of the local authorities just possibly be redirected anger at their own foolishness?

... Sure, it's natural to be suspicious of unusual devices located around a city, but are you telling me that not one bomb squad member at any of the 28 locations was capable of realizing that the device (again, consisting primarily of an illuminated cartoon character) was not a bomb? Apparently, 9 other cities had no problem doing this. ...

W. David Stephenson, a homeland-security consultant, tells people like this: Grow up, twerps!

Perhaps the most clueless reaction cited by The Globe was a 29-year old blogger from Malden, who snarkily commented, "'Repeat after me, authorities. L-E-D. Not I-E-D. Get it?'" Well, no, kid: in Iraq the insurgents disguise IEDs as all sorts of benign devices, and, thanks to the "wizards" at Interference, Inc. (as with my post yesterday, no link to Interference: they don't deserve any more viral marketing on their behalf...), you can bet that now any sleeper cells in the US have tucked this particular one away: what kind of fun thing can we use to disguise a bomb as next time? ...

Here's the deal, kids: you want the iPods and all the cool things associated with 21st-century life, so you've gotta take the baggage of a post 9/11 world as well: grow up. And, to you, Interference, Inc.: drop dead...

More, oh so much more reaction:

By - 1/31/07 - 11:15 pm

And if you want to set up somebody the bomb, you can now buy one on eBay.

By - 1/31/07 - 10:25 pm

ZebblerPolice have arrested Peter Berdovsky (not "Berdvosky" as several media outlets have it) of Arlington for placing up to 38 LED mooninites around the Boston area. Evidence could include photos and a video from his Web site showing him and friends putting the things up:

Up she goes

Up she goes

Ironically, right under the photo/video links is a link to a series of videos he did in 2005 exploring "the words and images that news media use to induce a state of fear in the viewers."

Berdovsky, 27, graduated Mass. College of Art in 2005, is a VJ and is also known as Zebbler.

He is a native of Belarus whose mother still lives there. In this blog post, he recalls the day he was visiting his grandmother when Chernobyl melted down a few hundred kilometers from her house.

How long before somebody sets up a defense fund for him? Probably not very long. And when can we expect arrests at the company that actually thought up the scheme? And a commission to examine whether, just possibly, officials overreacted?

By - 1/31/07 - 4:34 pm

Deval Patrick: "There is not a reason for anyone to panic, but there are reasons for us to be vigilant."

But Patrick, Menino and Police Superintendent Ed Davis aren't saying what the things they recovered are. Davis referred to "an individual" as being to blame; said there might be more news later this evening.

Davis said police are still being vigilant around state and city buildings, hospitals and bridges.

Menino called the things "bombs" several times before correcting himself; said whoever's to blame is not going to like what's going to happen when they're caught.

By - 1/31/07 - 3:15 pm

Update: Channel 4 reports a big hoax involving mooninites. The Weekly Dig points to the upcoming Aqua Teen Hunger Force Movie.

Huh?

Channel 4 managed to capture some images of the thing the bomb squad blew up at Sullivan Square this morning. Kind of an odd etching on an IED, no? Thanks to the folks at B0st0n LiveJournal, we can now report it's a depiction of a mooninite - a successor to the creatures from "Space Invaders."

Compare to this image of a mooninite from Adult Swim's Aqua Teen Hunger Force:

Oh, Jesus!

Now look at the Flickr images Brian dug up of LED circuit boards that show flashing mooninites:

This, this and this

Somebody might have some 'splainin' to do.

By - 1/31/07 - 1:20 pm

Update: The Globe and Channel 4 now report that officials are finding these things all over the place. Storrow Drive is shut down. The Red Line is shut down between Park Street and Kendall.