s skippy the bush kangaroo: return of the mooninites invades boston!!

skippy the bush kangaroo

Friday, September 21, 2007

return of the mooninites invades boston!!

boston is apparently still a little skittish 6 years after the fact. an mit student wearing home-made computer jewelry on the outside of her jacket was arrested at logan airport today. asspress:

an mit student with a fake bomb strapped to her chest was arrested at gunpoint friday at logan international airport, officials said.
except that it wasn't "strapped to her chest," but pinned to her coat.

photo ap/lisa poole

star simpson, 19, had a computer circuit board, wiring and a putty that later turned out to be play-doh in plain view over a black hooded sweat shirt she was wearing, said state police maj. scott pare, the commanding officer at the airport.
except that other reports have the play-doh in simpson's hands, not on the circuit board.

pare said authorities had not determined a motive. simpson was charged with disturbing the peace and possessing a hoax device, and was to be arraigned in east boston district court later in the day.
gee, could the motive be, "wearing neat art that stodgy old people don't understand"?

"she's extremely lucky she followed the instructions or deadly force would have been used," pare told the associated press. "and she's lucky to be in a cell as opposed to the morgue."
this we have to agree with. tho it's obvious to anybody with a healthy sexual identity (that leaves most repubbbs out) that the young woman was only wearing geek jewelry, we do question her common sense.

even before 9/11, skippy, a stand-up comic by profession, refrained from doing hi-jacking jokes while going thru airline security (he wouldn't even say hello to anybody named jack). tho it's obviously the same out-of-touch paranoia that allowed cartoon characters to bring bean town to a halt earlier this year, one would do well not to tempt or provoke that simmering outrage.

what we are amazed at is the cornucopia of headlines labeling the geek computer art as a "fake bomb." that pre-supposes motivation in simpson's mind, and the commanding officer of logan security said himself that we don't know her motivation.

of course, this would have taken an open mind and sophistication of generational fashion beyond anything any repubbb could achieve, but we like c-net's approach - it was computer fashion:

simpson was wearing a black sweatshirt that had a circuit board with wires, green led lights and a 9-volt battery attached to it. when an airport employee asked about her shirt, simpson walked away without answering so the employee called the authorities, the boston globe has reported.
[ed. note: therein lies simpson's mistake]

the back of simpson's sweatshirt said "socket to me...course vi," a reference to mit's electrical engineering and computer science program.simpson is a second-year student in the electrical engineering and computer science department of mit's school of engineering, according to the mit web site.
salon's machinist blog (from whence we got the pic) has this to say:

this is my speculation only, but it seems quite possible that rather than intending to deliberately walk into logan with a fake bomb, simpson might instead have rolled out of bed with an art jacket she often wore around campus and slipped it on in a rush on her way to pick up a friend -- forgetting that she was heading into the all-fear-all-the-time black hole that is u.s. aviation.

what's the evidence for this? for one thing, as xeni jardin points out in boing boing's marvelous roundup on the story, simpson is much into making cool, out-there techie stuff, things like a jacket that lights up. her own web site is currently offline -- click here later -- but you can check out some of simpson's handiwork at her instructables profile and look here for one of her recent school projects.

simpson describes herself this way on the web:

in a sentence, i'm an inventor, artist, engineer, and student, i love to build things and i love crazy ideas.

in a paragraph; i'm currently studying computers and how they work at mit. i play at a student-run machine shop called miters. before that, i lived for a long time in hawaii, while traveling the world and saving the planet from evil villains with my delivered-just-in-time gadgets.
a woman from instructables.com who knows simpson tells boing boing that simpson's friends at mit "say she wears the hoodie on a regular basis -- it's just unfortunate that she had it on while trying to pick a friend up at the airport. mit students don't really do mornings, or worry about what they're wearing, so i can't imagine she'd even think about her clothes before heading out to pick up a friend at the airport before 8 a.m."
we don't do mornings either, and we also wander around in a daze, caring less what we look like until about 5 pm, when we actually become aware of our surroundings and look in the mirror.

if she did it to provoke a response (and that doesn't seem to be the case), she certainly got one, and we can't really condone her actions. however, if she was just wearing some weird crap that computer geeks wear, then we say, call the aqua teen hunger force as character witnesses for her trial.

addendum: bad tux the snarky penguin has a "bomb not-bomb" visual guide for the law enforcement of boston over at mockingbird's medley.

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posted by skippy at 6:47 PM |


I lived in Boston when I was 17-19, and I can tell you there is a *lot* of tension between the young, nerdy, punky college-kid types and the middle-aged, working-class, Archie Bunker types.

I'm assuming the Boston Police force are made up of the latter, as that's the only possible explanation for the 'she's lucky we didn't shoot her' type comments and the complete inability to see things like this from alternate points of view.

Although, there were some cool cops I met in Boston. Especially the one who once told me about a time a kid on acid thought he (the cop) was Batman.
commented by Blogger Vanessa, 11:22 PM PDT  
Unfortunately stupidity is usually not a crime. Otherwise Bush would be in Guantanamo for life and this girl would get a smack upside the head from her mother.
commented by Anonymous sean on li, 10:13 AM PDT  
I make jewelry out of motherboards and decorate my walls with ancient VCR parts.

Where do I turn myself in?
commented by Anonymous tata, 11:08 AM PDT  
Over at Mimus' place I have a tutorial for the Boston Police Department: Bomb vs. Not-Bomb. It has lots of pictures on it, since apparently the meat-heads on the Boston P.D. have the IQ of a turnip and their lips would get tired with actual writing. And yes, it WAS art. Her name is "Star". The LED's are in the shape of a star. Duh.

The War On Art(tm) continues, sigh. Except this time, with sub-machine guns used as the weapon. Sigh.

- Badtux the Geeky Penguin
commented by Blogger BadTux, 3:21 PM PDT  

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