February 1st, 2007


I, For One, Welcome Our Mooninite Overlords

VERY IMPORTANT ETA: The BPDNews, which is kind of an electronic feed that anyone can check into, makes note of the 1:02 p.m. simulated pipe bomb that was found in a desk draw at the New England Medical Center that occurred at the height of yesterday's chaos.

The simulated pipe bomb, while not a real pipe bomb, was a legitimate emergency situation, given that public safety people were spread out all over the city.

Once you read and absorb that piece of information, read the next few parts after that. It turns out there was a flurry of bomb threat calls into the Boston Police Department all right around that time. Some pointing to Lite Brites, but one pointing to the simulated pipe bomb found on the Longfellow Bridge.

More information in this post.


The Lite Brite That Menaced Boston. Photo from Boston.com

The Head-Slapping: Turner Broadcasting
It appears that both Turner Broadcasting and Interference Inc., the New York City marketing firm they hired, failed to get permits or permission to place magnetized Lite Brites around the city. This is in sharp contrast to two other cities — Seattle and Philadelphia — where apparently they (or someone else) did go through the permitting process.

In my mind, if C&C Convenience Store on the corner needs a permit to put out a stationary sign in front of their store advertising a 2-for1 beer sale, then Turner and its subcontractors sure as hell have to do it, too.

Turner and the Cartoon Network have owned up, apologized, and (reading between the lines) there may be restitution for yesterday's massive fuck-up. Good for them.

The Annoying: Local Officials
In the middle of yesterday's War of the Worlds-style Wellesian freak-out, a lowly police analyst was the first to call shenanigans. Nice to know that someone in the city government watches Adult Swim. In any case, the police analyst, upon seeing the Lite Brites that had menaced the city, spoke up.

This was about 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Even before that, the police figured out they were Lite Brites when they noticed the things they removed lit up when they were taken out of the sun and into a darkened space.

Somewhere this time, the artist who placed the Lite Brites around the city came forward, copped to what he did, and told the cops where to find them all.

Now, considering that the local officials appear to have known hours before Turner Broadcasting called to let the police department know the Lite Brites were not bombs and released a public apologyWhy the hell were they feeding hysteria?

No. Seriously. Between (let's be generous here) 2:30 p.m. and when the city of Boston officially called off the hunt for dangerous Lite Brites, city officials were issuing vaguely ominous statements, complete with dog-whistle phrases, instead of saying, "Whoa! Let's step back a little bit here."

The chest-thumping you heard last night? That was the dance of, "You made us look stupid. You gotta pay!"

The Infuriating and the Hopeful: Charging the Artist

The folks at b0st0n staged a rally for Arlington artist Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens of Charlestown, pointing out that the guys were hired to do a job, and that they aren't responsible for the chaos that erupted in Boston (that was due to Turner Broadcasting and the local pols). If Turner or its marketing company failed to get the permits or win permission from the city, put the blame where it belongs. Don't put it on the artist, Ktnxbi.

Also something that I think should be taken into consideration, Berdovsky stepped forward and copped to it without any prompting from police. He has cooperated and done everything the police asked him to do. Dude! So much for being honest. If the state or city has any balls whatsoever, they'll drop all charges against Berdovski and Stevens because, of everyone in this mess, they're the only ones who are truly innocent here.

Good on b0st0n for staging the protest this morning at the arraignment. Hope people are smart enough to listen.

For anyone who's interested in the whole sordid tale, check out the Boston Globe's online collection of the 2007 Boston Lite Brite Scare.

Sean Stevens (left), 28, and Peter Berdovsky, 27, today pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct and placing a hoax device that caused panic. Photo from Boston.com

ETA: It appears that Berdovsky and Stevens are being held on $2,500 bail each, and both expect to post bail later today. The good news? The judge thinks the state's case sucks, especially since the artists were only doing the job they were hired to do.

Don't forget to download Alice's Restaurant (link up above in this post). If you feel like it, pass the link on to others on your FList. I only ask that you explain that it's to show virtual support for Berdovsky and Stevens if you do. Okay. Yeah. Not much of a protest on my part. I just think it would interesting to see how far this goes.

ETA2: As it turns out, city and state officials may have had legitimate reasons for their over-reaction.
Jeff_Annie_Remedial Chaos Theory

Drive-by post: Outing myself

Yes, indeed. I just outed myself over on TwOP as someone who actually likes Kennedy.

Truthfully, by the end of S7, I liked her more than Willow.

Granted, introducing Kennedy in S7 sucked because she, like Andrew, stole time away from the characters I really cared about (Buffy, Giles, Xander, and Willow).

Despite that, I still like the character. Unlike Andrew. Whom I hate with the passion of a thousand fire-y nuns seriously dislike, mostly because ME kept shoving him down my throat and playing DEMAND LOVE when it came to Andrew.

First I'm a Xander fan. Now I'm a self-proclaimed Kennedy-liker.

Is it any wonder my corner of Buffy fandom is cold and lonely?

I fully expect to be ripped apart by Kittens over on TwOP.

Maybe I can distract them with catnip...

As It Turns Out: Boston Officials May Have Had a Very Good Reason to Over-React

It appears that one thing that has been overlooked in yesterday's great Lite Brite Chaos.

As it turns out, there were actually two legitimate bomb threats in two separate incidents yesterday.

While the pipe bombs were themselves fake, they apparently looked real enough. The reason why the Longfellow Bridge was shut down wasn't because of Lite Brites, but because of one of the fake pipe bombs. Same thing with the evacuation of a medical office for Tufts-New England Medical Center on Harrison Ave.

The police already have the a suspect for the Tufts case, but not for the Longfellow Bridge case.

When were the simulated pipe bombs found? Right around 1 p.m., shortly before city and state officials realized the Lite Brites didn't pose a danger.

Suddenly, the late-afternoon hysteria — not to mention the pissed off reactions — on the part of city and state officials makes a hell of a lot more sense.

While the city's safety people are scattered all over the city looking for Lite Brites, they had two simulated pipe bombs in two different locations in apparently unconnected incidents.

What's interesting is that there have been some commenters over on b0st0n claiming a connection to the Boston Police Department stating that there were legitimate bomb scares in the city yesterday, legitimate scares that got buried underneath the load of crap about the Lite Brites. These people have been pretty much either ignored or made fun of.

It took one Google minute to find this information out. Note that it's a very short article.

ETA: Information about the two legitimate bomb scares are starting to show up in round-ups about the Great Lite Brite Hunt of 2007. However, the information about the legitimate threats are buried almost at the end of the article.

Fox12 in Providence has a mention, but you'll have to read almost to the end.

NBC11 in San Francisco makes note of the pipe bomb that was found in the medical office basement, again buried in the middle of the story.

Just pointing out that there's more than one source for it besides some commenters on b0st0n and The Boston Herald.

ETA2: The BPDNews, which is kind of an electronic feed that anyone can check into, makes note of the 1:02 p.m. simulated pipe bomb that was found in a desk draw at the New England Medical Center.

Once you read that piece of information, read more. It turns out there was a flurry of bomb threat calls into the Boston Police Department all right around that time. Some pointing to Lite Brites, but one pointing to the simulated pipe bomb found on the Longfellow Bridge.