SOMEBODY CLOCK THAT KID: Growing up, I recall many a pier and bridge that had “No Fishing” signs all over the place. I’m betting many still do.
Oddly, those sites jumped back to mind as I tried make a connection with a recent, hugely-bizarre news story … a news story you’ll instantly flash upon, as I share how I can now openly fish in those barred places. Apparently, all I need to do is take a clear fishing lure, place some low-power LED numbers inside, add a battery, and seal it shut. Presto change-o, it is no longer a fishing lure but “a clock.”
“No, officer, I am not technically fishing here, I’m just inventively casting my ingenious clock into the water … for a school project.”
You must have heard about the 14-year-old Muslim school kid, Ahmed Mohamed, who brought an “invention” to school that looked so much little a bomb his teacher threw herself on top of it and told the rest of the kids in the room to save themselves.
OK, so maybe that’s not quite how it happened but the teacher was freaked enough to call in the troops. The teen was duly arrested.
In a freedom-of-inventiveness vein, I mocked the arrest – at first. Then, I got a close-up gander at the alleged “invention.” No way, dude. That’s a dummy bomb, if ever; presented by an alleged genius.
The wise-assed kid did nothing more than dissemble an everyday RadioShack alarm clock, embedding the exploded clock’s parts in an attaché case-type pencil box. He then pimped it out to pretty much look like your everyday urban terrorist bomb.
It exploded into his 15 minutes of fame, likely as he planned it to do.
The so-called invention was sub-amateurish; nothing more than a box filled with sundry electronic and computer components -- many of them nonfunctional, including an empty 9V battery connector. What’s more, the slapdash device is powered by household current, something no inventor in his right nondenominational mind would do in an experiment.
What’s more, in interviews following his arrest and release, the teen made a subtly incriminatory statement when he told The Guardian, “In middle school I was called a terrorist, called a bomb maker, just because of my race.” Just like that, his so called “innocent” clock stunt suddenly has revenge beaming forth from it.
Mohamed’s clock was not made for telling time but for evoking shock and awe.
However, if we want to rate Mohammed’s invention on that shock and awe value, he might deserve the instant-invite he has gotten to MIT. Yes, he did. Now, elsewhere, a kid has invented a humanoid automaton capable of making and serving delectable soufflés and he’s still on the MIT waiting list. Maybe if his robot had a bootleg LED clock in his chest …
My guess is Ahmed Clockmaker is now internally laughing over how many people were too stupid to see through his terrorism-mocking stunt. Oh, I should note that President Obama has invited Mohamed to bring his invention to the White House for due presidential acknowledgement. Hmmm.
Let’s hope Ahmed Mohammed won’t someday be shooting for 15 extra minutes of more impactful fame.
(I hate when people play stupid just to be politically correct.)