"Touching shuttle debris may cause bad spirits to invade your body!"

Tim May tcmay at got.net
Sun Feb 2 23:53:48 PST 2003

On Sunday, February 2, 2003, at 11:07  PM, John Kelsey wrote:
>> A real journalist would just roll his eyes and say "Look, folks, NASA 
>> wants these pieces to be aid in reconstructing the accident. There 
>> are no traces of liquid propellants and deadly chemicals on these 
>> pieces. And they certainly didn't stay hot for long. NASA is trying 
>> to get us to feed you jive so you'll be properly frightened and won't 
>> touch them.?"
> I recall a guy on NPR saying something like this, a bit more politely. 
>  Something like "The pieces surely aren't going to be dangerous, but 
> moving them is going to mess up the investigation of the crash."  
> Which presumably is what everyone with any technical background and 
> common sense was thinking when they heard the original warning, right?

The last laugh may be from the lawsuits. Yahoo reports "hundreds" of 
people reporting sickness, blah blah, from contact with the debris. 
Almost certainly all either bullshit or sympathetic magic, but the 
obvious result of the news outlets widely reporting "the space debris 
may make you very sick!"

Some fraction actually think they are sick, some fraction hope to share 
in a possible payout of billions by a backed-into-a-corner space 
agency, and some very, very tiny fraction may have actually touched 
some component which made them slightly ill.

Dumb fucks, all.

--Tim May
"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any 
member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm 
to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient 
warrant." --John Stuart Mill

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