Tuesday, February 18, 2003
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
Pass Me the Reality Check, Please?

Yet another morning when I turn on the radio and hear about something that sounds like a terrorist attack - that isn't. The subway arson fire in Daegu, South Korea that's killed over a hundred people with many more missing turned out to be the work of a "lone nut," so to speak - a 46-year old man with a history of mental illness reportedly started the fire by setting alight a gallon jug of flammable liquid.

How did a jug of anything flammable - gasoline, alcohol, etc. - spread throughout the subway train and line so quickly? Aren't there some sort of sealed doors between trains to prevent something like this? On the CTA trains here in Chicago, the cars are separated by about two feet of junction space, with each door securely latched. Even if one door is opened, there is a pressure-relieving gap that would seem to prevent most of the blast force from entering the next car? Perhaps the subway cars are closer together in Korea's system - but still, it seems like an awful lot of fire for a single jug of accelerant. What on earth was in the jug?

Even stranger, the man who started the blaze is in custody: suffering from burns, but very much alive. How can that be?

Do you ever get the feeling that the world is so saturated with heightened terror anxiety that some crackpots are now taking it upon themselves to start disasters - without waiting for the terrorists to act? It's like they can't stand waiting for the "other shoe to drop", so they have to bomb something and get it over with.

Pet Peeve of the Day

When co-workers try to have conversations with you while you're sitting in a bathroom stall. Isn't there some sort of unspoken promise of privacy when you close the stall door? When I don't answer, or am not particularly talkative, I'm taken for being rude. I know guys are often accustomed to having conversations over the urinals, but personally, I prefer to not chatter about worldly affairs while I'm "occupied," thank you.