Blog - posted on September 22, 2015

The teen tech-jihadi and the ticking timex of terror

Clock bomb

Kid takes an interest in learning, makes a clock, decides to bring it to school. Clearly, he doesn’t get it. Oh how naive he is. What did he think was going to happen? Extra credit? Win the science fair? If he knew what was good for him, he would’ve just stuck with the baking soda volcano like everybody else. Hang some styrofoam balls from a coat hanger and call it astronomy, and no one will get spooked.
Our education system is failing our children; they don’t know a lot of important life skills that they’re going to need later in life. Every child should understand that a pop-tart is the exact same thing as a gun, a finger is the same thing as a gun, and a stick being held horizontally becomes a weapon of mass terror as soon as you utter the word, “bang”.
Just because you see images on news programs of improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan that look like this:

Not a science project

This is what a real bomb looks like; note the lack of big numbers.

Doesn’t mean that’s what they actually look like. Sure, on a weekly basis people on the other side of the world make these things more than we make our own coffee, but that doesn’t mean they’re doing it correctly. They’re hobbling together some half-assed contraption that may not even explode, let alone clearly let you know how long you’ve got to disarm it while engaging in light banter with your partner that demonstrates what a cool character you are.
Kids need to understand that what they do, what they say, and what their intentions might be, become totally irrelevant when confronted by an adult that perceives them differently. If your principal watched too many road runner cartoons, you best not buy anything with the word ACME on it. Avoid hours of explaining how you managed to cram a miniature pterodactyl into your iPod, and how the stone records he plays with his beak are smaller now, and just hum that tune to yourself instead. If your teacher thinks grenades are shaped like a banana, you better not throw a banana into the faculty lounge. Even if you yell, “BANANA!!”, they’re still going to think it’s a grenade. And you’re going to jail.

I.E.D. image courtesy of Texas educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

I.E.D. image courtesy of Texas educational publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

This isn’t anything new; not too long ago students in Massachusetts were rightly warned not to place brooms between their legs or befriend black cats, for fear that their schoolmasters might keep them for an after school drowning. What good is it to avoid the measles by practicing personal hygiene, if you’ll just be burned at the stake for sorcery? It doesn’t matter what you know, if the people in a position of power above you are confused, they’re going to make you pay for it. If little Ahmed Mohammed walked into science class with a bowling ball and a sparkler, he’d have a bag on his head in Cuba right now.
Maybe they watched Die Hard one too many times, and think that all bombs have big countdown numbers, so we all know how close we came to disaster before snipping the blue wire. Maybe they think that a kid that decided to blow up the whole school would somehow draw everyone’s attention to the contraption he brought, and then drag his feet on the detonation part to give plenty of time to slowly piece it together and save the day. I wonder if at least one of the teachers subtly mouthed the words, “Let’s Roll!” to himself as he got out of his chair to investigate this homegrown Jihadi-Mathlete. I bet these teachers are the same people that run screaming from a fender-bender because they really believe in their heart-of-hearts that their Dodge Neon is seconds away from a fiery explosion right there in the Food Lion parking lot.
They were on top of that situation like W.O.P.R. on def-con 4; with the small oversight of things like evacuation of the school, separating the wild-eyed Mujahideen from his ticking timex of terror, and overlooking the lack of actual explosive material. I think we should start a new program: No teacher left behind.

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