Ahmed Mohamed, the Texas-based ‘clock boy,’ picked up his supposed clock from the Irving police in an evidence bag marked ‘hoax bomb.’
Obama’s hug came one day before the boy’s family surprise announcement that they would migrate to the Muslim theocracy of Qatar, and only 10 days after the boy hugged the genocidal Islamic dictator of Sudan.
The boy’s hug was made on the same day that he declared his homeland is the Islamic theocracy of Sudan.
The boy did not bring his non-functional “clock” on his Islamic show-and-tell to his progressive allies in New York, Qatar, Saudi Arabia — yet another Muslim theocracy — then Sudan and then to Obama’s White House. He did bring his suspect device to his Irving, Texas, school on Sept. 14, causing his teachers and the local police to suspect the supposed clock was a crude hoax-bomb. The “clock” is actually a dismantled table-clock, stuffed into a metal-looking pencil case.
The clock-in-box is non-functional because the screen can’t be seen when the box is closed. The suspect device is also hazardous, because the 120-volt power system is exposed. Read the rest of this entry »
“I don’t believe that the president will have the opportunity to meet with meet one-on-one with Ahmed Mohamed.”
— White House press secretary Josh Ernest
Charlie Spiering reports:
…It appears that President Obama may not meet personally with Texas student Ahmed Mohamed at tonight’s Astronomy Night at the White House, according to White House aides.
“I don’t believe that the president will have the opportunity to meet with meet one-on-one with Ahmed Mohamed,” Earnest confirmed during the White House press breifing. He explained to reporters that there would be “several hundred” students and teachers and scientists attending the event.
Mohamed still plans to join the group of children who attend the evening event, but he might not end up with a photograph with the president. Obama is expected to deliver remarks at the event, but will not likely remain for the duration of the event….(read more)
The original story was about a controversial package in a school setting, but it was quickly claimed to be a homemade clock.
If so, the clock itself (not the presentation) might be cool as the White House said. If not, the world may be propping up a plagiarist who flaunted the piece of crap in an intentionally controversial way (suppositions). This video challenges that the clock was homemade by showing a nearly identical package being prepared in about twenty seconds (screws and simple fasteners were excluded for brevity here).
Ahmed Mohamad did not invent, nor build a clock. He took apart an existing clock, and transplanted the guts into a pencil box, and claimed it was his own creation.
“Is it possible, that maybe, just maybe, this was actually a hoax bomb? A silly prank that was taken the wrong way? That the media then ran with, and everyone else got carried away? Maybe there wasn’t even any racial or religious bias on the parts of the teachers and police.”
Without dating myself – fast forward a bunch of years, and I’m the same way. I’ve even picked up an engineering degree over the course of those years. I don’t have to only imagine how things work anymore, I have a pretty good understanding now.
When shopping for electronic devices, my first instinct is to see if there’s a way to build one myself (and, I frequently do!) When something of mine breaks, I don’t send it back, I take it as a personal challenge to get it working again.
If I fail, I still salvage useful parts – they might come in handy to fix something else later. This aspect of myself – being both methodical, and curious – hasn’t changed a bit over the years.
So, this story about a 14 year old boy in Texas that was arrested on suspicion of creating a bomb hoax (who, apparently just wanted to show off his latest electronics project to his teachers) that has blown up (no pun intended) all over the news and social media, caught my attention immediately.
“The shape and design is a dead give away. The large screen. The buttons on the front laid out horizontally would have been on a separate board – a large snooze button, four control buttons, and two switches to turn the alarm on and off, and choose two brightness levels.”
Not because of his race, or his religion, the seeming absurdity of the situation, the emotionally charged photo of a young boy in a NASA t-shirt being led off in hand cuffs, the hash tags, the presidential response… no, none of that. I’m an electronics geek. I was interested in the clock! I wanted to figure out what he had come up with.
“He again claims it was his ‘invention’ and that he ‘made’ the device…Here it is on Amazon, where it’s clearly labeled as being 8.25 inches wide. Our eBay seller also conveniently took a photo of the clock next to a ruler to show it’s scale – about 8 inches wide. The dimensions all line up perfectly.”
I found the highest resolution photograph of the clock I could. Instantly, I was disappointed. Somewhere in all of this – there has indeed been a hoax. Ahmed Mohamed didn’t invent his own alarm clock. He didn’t even build a clock. Now, before I go on and get accused of attacking a 14 year old kid who’s already been through enough, let me explain my purpose. I don’t want to just dissect the clock. I want to dissect our reaction as a society to the situation.
“I don’t want to just dissect the clock. I want to dissect our reaction as a society to the situation. Part of that is the knee-jerk responses we’re all so quick to make without facts.”
Part of that is the knee-jerk responses we’re all so quick to make without facts. So, before you scroll down and leave me angry comments, please continue to the end (or not – prove my point, and miss the point, entirely!)
For starters, one glance at the printed circuit board in the photo, and I knew we were looking at mid-to-late 1970s vintage electronics. Surely you’ve seen a modern circuit board, with metallic traces leading all over to the various components like an electronic spider’s web. You’ll notice right away the highly accurate spacing, straightness of the lines, consistency of the patterns. That’s because we design things on computers nowadays, and computers assist in routing these lines. Take a look at the board in Ahmed’s clock. It almost looks hand-drawn, right? That’s because it probably was. Computer aided design was in its infancy in the 70s. This is how simple, low cost items (like an alarm clock) were designed.
“Ahmed wasn’t accused of making a bomb – he was accused of making a look-alike, a hoax. And be honest with yourself, a big red digital display with a bunch of loose wires in a brief-case looking box is awful like a Hollywood-style representation of a bomb. Everyone jumped to play the race and religion cards and try and paint the teachers and police as idiots and bigots, but in my mind, they were probably acting responsibly and erring on the side of caution to protect the rest of their students, just in case.”
Today, even a budding beginner is going to get some computer aided assistance – in fact they’ll probably start there, learning by simulating designs before building them. You can even simulate or lay out a board with free apps on your phone or tablet. A modern hobbyist usually wouldn’t be bothered with the outdated design techniques. There’s also silk screening on the board. An “M” logo, “C-94” (probably, a part number – C might even stand for “clock”), and what looks like an American flag. More about that in a minute. Point for
now being, a hobbyist wouldn’t silk screen logos and part numbers on their home made creation. It’s pretty safe to say already we’re looking at ’70s tech, mass produced in a factory.
“Ahmed Mohamad did not invent, nor build a clock. He took apart an existing clock, and transplanted the guts into a pencil box, and claimed it was his own creation. It all seems really fishy to me.”
So I turned to eBay, searching for vintage alarm clocks. It only took a minute to locate Ahmed’s clock. See this eBay listing, up at the time of this writing. Amhed’s clock was invented, and built, by Micronta, a Radio Shack subsidary. Catalog number 63 756.
The shape and design is a dead give away. The large screen. The buttons on the front laid out horizontally would have been on a separate board – a large snooze button, four control buttons, and two switches to turn the alarm on and off, and choose two brightness levels. A second board inside would have contained the actual “brains” of the unit. The clock features a 9v battery back-up, and a switch on the rear allows the owner to choose between 12 and 24 hour time. (Features like a battery back-up, and a 24 hour time selection seems awful superfluous for a hobby project, don’t you think?) Oh, and about that “M” logo on the circuit board mentioned above? Micronta.
For one last bit of confirmation, I located the pencil box Ahmed used for his project. During this video interview he again claims it was his “invention” and that he “made” the device – but the important thing at the moment, at 1:13, we see him showing the pencil box on his computer screen. Here it is on Amazon, where it’s clearly labeled as being 8.25 inches wide. Our eBay seller also conveniently took a photo of the clock next to a ruler to show it’s scale – about 8 inches wide. The dimensions all line up perfectly. Read the rest of this entry »
This is pretty funny. Apparently it works best with USB plugged in, not via batteries, if you plan to really use it as a clock, rather than just a novelty count-down device. Why not have a couple of sticks of (pretend) dynamite for a clock? Wouldn’t the bomb be a wake-up motivator? …if you had this beside your bed?
For some people, there’s nothing worse than having to wake up in the morning, crawling out from beneath a nest of warm covers into the cold atmosphere generated by an air conditioner or inclement weather. These dreadful first few moments of the day are often further exacerbated by the annoying clang of an alarm clock. Now we will recommend you a novelty bomb-like defusable alarm clock. If you want that annoying noise to stop, you’re going to have to defuse the bomb on your bedside table. Well, the bomb isn’t really a bomb but it’s just an alarm clock designed to look like a bomb, complete with sticks of dynamite and colored wires.
Color: as shown in the pictures
Material: electronic components, kraft paper and rubber tape
100% brand new and high quality novelty bomb-shaped defusable alarm clock
With built-in rechargeable lithium battery, it can be charged via the provided USB charging cable
John Baichtal reports: Michael of Nootropic Design built the excellent Defusable Clock, which is an Arduino-compatible digital clock that just happens to look like a Hollywood bomb. Not exactly a surprise: the clock is so awesomely Hollywood that Hollyood came calling. The clock was featured as a bomb prop in the CW’s The Tomorrow People, with the expected factual errors pointed out in the video clip above. The Defusable Clock is available from the Maker Shed.