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Thursday, January 11, 2007


Holy shit. I can't beleive I actually read that whole thing. How boring.

@jorge: it isn't that the terrorists have won, it's that our government has failed us by perpetuating propaganda that benefits their private interests. in either case, the people still lose.

Down at the pet store they're selling equipment to build your own ant-hill. It includes "ant racks" ;-)

i thought the whole thing was a sad commentary on the absurdity of security theater until I got near the end and found out that it is actually President Bush's fault.

Thanks goodness that it is actually President Bush who is at fault for everything unpleasant or annoying about daily life.

One wonders how those who despise the President are able to cope with the idea that there may be something, somewhere that is bad and is not his fault.

You've been quoted on Bruce Schneier's blog:

Is there any small print on the packages saying "Note: this is a graphic design presentation and does not contain actual rocket fuel?" You'd be amazed what a disclaimer can do.

While I agree it does sound silly I can see how they would have a point with regards to the 'chemcially' labeled items (like Ne etc). Simply becasue if the FedEx delivery guy got in an accident having containers with chemical labels come flying out the back of the truck might slow down any emergency response (you know people might see these things at the accident and then you have to check the hazardous records etc). Having said that I fail to see how shipping a hit of "Certainty" would ever be a problem.

Just to amplify what Leslie said...

Your joke stuff is really funny, and I like your purity gag. Reminds me of dihydrogen monoxide. (dhmo.org)


There are pretty strict labeling rules for shipping chemicals and compressed gases, which are in place for good reason (emergency response, primarily). These are promulgated by the Transportation Department, by the way, not Homeland Security. And in my experience FedEx generally declines to ship hazardous materials, although UPS and Airborne accept hazardous shipments regularly. My speculation is that that FedEx doesn't care to carry the liability insurance that would require.

I really doubt it had much to do with fears of terrorism, even though the FedEx rep mentioned bomb-making materials. Given that he knew that at least one of the labels was wildly inaccurate, it stands to reason he might be skeptical about the rest of the shipment.

And while I know your gas = air was not compressed, and the containers wouldn't hold much pressure, most people shipping gas ship it compressed. Compressed gases, even nitrogen, can cause a lot of damage if the container is punctured and flies around; they can displace oxygen and cause asphyxiation; and (with the exception of hydrogen and helium) they get cold when they expand and can cause frostbite.

I am a die hard Democrat and Liberal, and I realize that the items you attempted to ship were a joke. I get the jokes. But do you expect some high school drop out to get your joke about bottles you labeled Nitrogen and Oxygen? Perhaps you should have called the supervisor, or the 800 number, so that the dude could check the hazardous shipping regulations.

Here's a valid reason why he couldn't accept those items- even if they were nonsensical items.

Liability. I don't think the average postal worker wants to be held accountable for accepting a shipment of supposedly harmless containers that actually hold a lethal amount of nerve gas or a single gram of plutonium - something that can poison an entire city if let into the air.

In Europe it's illegal to take _empty_ bottles or any other container with you on the plane. Not because of the words on it, but because of the simple fact that they _can_ be used to transport liquids. I think empty boxes are still OK.


I loved the canned products. Especially gravity. Do you sell cans of Levity?

This is as funny as shooting at the police with a water pistol. "Ha ha. Get it? I was just kidding."

What a moron.

Thanks for all the good advice on disclaimers, accreditation, etc., for mailing these! (And, esp., for the anthrax joke from Germany.) When the store starts to mail more stuff, I'll make sure they know what they're getting into. Speaking of, I talked to the current store manager (I helped create the store and still work on it from time to time, but I'm not involved on a daily basis), and she said that they still haven't set up a system for mail order, but plans for that (and likely an online store) are in the works. If you want to be on the list for updates on that, e-mail celinerabago AT 826seattle.org.

TO EVERYBODY WHO WANTS TO BUY THESE THINGS ONLINE: How is he going to ship them to you..?

big bottles of Certainty and Uncertainty?

Nah, it's a big bottle of Uncertainty, and a little bottle of Certainty, probably with an eyedropper dispenser.

What can you expect when Texas requires a license to own chemical glassware, like erlenmeyer flasks?

I've been waiting for the SWAT team to kick in 826 Greenwood's doors. Thank God, for whom we fight every day, which is to say, sweet sweet black oil baby jesus, that they caught you now. Hopefully they will lower the threat color this week with putative under control.

Amazing! Yes, this is another example of the terrorists winning... but with Mussolini in the White House, what can you expect?

You ought to follow up by shipping a bottle of Perrier and labeling it prominently with the chemical analysis that appears on the label in small print. I'm sure that idiots will panic.

BTW, I used to live about 4 blocks away from 826 for 15 years (at 87th & Palatine). Truly a wonderful neighborhood.

I dont't know, but it seems like you may have struck a nerve or two with this one. What do you think?

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