LAFAYETTE, LA – With the heavy rains quickly approaching the Acadiana area over the next few days, the Cajun Navy can take heart in the fact that their new naval destroyer has been delivered to them in their efforts to help the local populous.
Thanks to plenty of donations to the Cajun Navy after last year’s August floods, the group were able to purchase the $1.8b Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyer, and it seems that it has been completed just in the nick of time.
“We were loading up the trusty yet old wooden boat onto the back of a truck when the contractor called”, explained Cajun Navy member Robert Kraft, “He said that it was ready for usage and that he’d parked it in a Youngsville neighborhood with the keys in the ignition. It couldn’t have come at a better time, what with Harvey hitting the area as it has done.” Read the rest of this entry »
Natalie Musumeci reports: A former kindergarten teacher in Texas is accused of having sex with four students –- two of whom she bedded at the same time, according to reports.
Heather Lee Robertson, 38, who taught for the Hudson Independent School District, was arrested Saturday on four counts of an improper relationship after cops opened an investigation into her sexual affairs with pupils, the Lufkin Daily News reported.
Robertson copped to the sex rendezvous and told police that she did not “require” the boys she slept with to use a condom because she was unable to have children, according to the news outlet.
Before police arrested Robertson, also a former high school teacher, they questioned students they believed were involved with her.
One student told police that his affair with Robertson began after spring break with the pair “chatting and sexting” on Snapchat, the newspaper reported.
Robertson allegedly asked the boy to come over to her apartment to have sex, and the boy asked if a friend could join, the boy told police. Read the rest of this entry »
Yaro Steinbuch reports: Married Texas teacher Sarah Fowlkes couldn’t wipe the smile off her face for her mugshot after being accused of romping with a 17-year-old student, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Fowlkes, 26, was suspended from her job as an anatomy and physiology teacher at Lockhart High School after turning herself in to police Monday – hours after celebrating her birthday with her hubby.
The beaming blonde allegedly engaged in “sexual content with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire” of the student, the Daily Star reported.
Detectives launched the investigation on March 10 after getting a tip from a school administrator. The probe led them to the boy, who had been in touch with Fowlkes, cops said.
Dissidents are using USB drives to smuggle information into authoritarian regimes.
“The struggle for freedom is one that used to be about who has more guns. Now information is a key component in making sure the government doesn’t get away with winning the day with its narrative and pushing what governments tend to do, which is the use of fear to control the population.”
But if you were looking for something truly disruptive at SXSW, look no further than a group of activists using tech to spread information to citizens oppressed by authoritarian regimes.
“The people out there they don’t have satellites, they don’t have internet, they have nothing,” says Abdalaziz Alhamza who escaped Syria and co-founded Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently. “To be stuck with only ISIS propaganda, it will affect them.”
Alhamza and dissidents from Eritrea, Afghanistan and Cuba were brought together by the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) for a panel discussion called “The Real Information Revolution.” Reason caught up with the group at the HRF booth on the convention floor, centered around a large wall of Kim Jong Un faces with USB ports for mouths. Attendees were invited to donate USB drives into the display. The drives will later be smuggled into North Korea after being wiped and filled with films and information from the outside world. Read the rest of this entry »
Raw video: Police neutralize man after he entered house and held 13-year-old girl hostage with knife in dramatic standoff caught on tape in Russia.
The drug-crazed man broke into a house in the city of Omsk in Omsk Oblast region, central Russia, where the girl lives with her grandmother.
Named only as Zhenya, he starts demanding drugs from the terrified family, according to local media reports.
Threatening her with a knife, the man made the girl call the police so he could demand drugs in exchange for her freedom. Police and a SWAT team rushed to the scene.
The clip filmed by a cop shows the tattooed junkie holding the girl on his lap. His hands are behind her, thought to have been holding the knife against her. Read the rest of this entry »
Avik Roy, the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity co-founder, discusses how Texas has not only become an economic powerhouse, but has maintained a sense of inclusion that doesn’t exist in many other states.
“In Texas, the Mexicans have always been there…. There’s not this sense that Mexicans are foreigners,” says Avik Roy, Forbes opinion editor and the co-founder and president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP).
Roy believes Texas, a majority-minority state, offers a good counter-example for libertarians and conservatives anxious about immigrants and non-Europeans changing American political culture. The Lone Star State is not only doing very well economically, says Roy, there’s a sense of inclusion that doesn’t exist in many other states.
“It’s not just a free state in the sense of policy, but there really is a sense that everyone feels, whether Anglo or Latino, that freedom has made their lives better,” Roy tells Reason’s Nick Gillespie. “This indigenous thing called Tex-Mex has been around for a very long time. It’s simply not treating the others as if they were others…that attitude makes a huge difference.”
According to Roy, who has advised politicians such as Rick Perry and Marco Rubio, one of the goals of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity is to challenge the conservative view that holds racial and ethnic minority groups can only be appeased through more statism and redistribution and should thus be written off when it comes to building political and economic coalitions. Read the rest of this entry »
Cortney O’Brien reports: “Indeed, it is impossible to think of any other group in the U.S. that is anywhere near as law-abiding” as concealed carry permit holders. So concluded the Crime Prevention Research Center following its new report, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States 2016.”
“With about 685,464 full-time police officers in the U.S. from 2005 to 2007, we find that there were about 103 crimes per hundred thousand officers. For the U.S. population as a whole, the crime rate was 37 times higher—3,813 per hundred thousand people.”
The center studied the rate of criminal offenses among concealed carry holders in Florida and Texas when coming to its conclusion.
The findings speak for themselves. Read the rest of this entry »
‘Tear up Texas,’ the agent messaged Elton Simpson days before he opened fire at the Draw Muhammad event, according to an affidavit filed in federal court Thursday.
“It would certainly be inappropriate for an FBI undercover agent or cooperating witness to provoke or inspire or urge a person to commit an act of violence.”
“Tear up Texas,” the agent messaged Elton Simpson days before he opened fire at the Draw Muhammad event, according to an affidavit filed in federal court Thursday.
“U know what happened in Paris,” Simpson responded. “So that goes without saying… No need to be direct.”
“I could imagine an undercover agent thinking it was just the hyperbolic rhetoric they are participating in, and it wasn’t an intent to go to texas and do harm.”
That revelation comes amidst a national debate about the use of undercover officers and human sources in terrorism cases. Undercover sources are used in more than half of ISIS-related terror cases, according to statistics kept by the George Washington University Program on Extremism, and civil liberties advocates say some of those charged might not have escalated their behavior without those interventions.
“The affidavit raises a lot more questions than it answers, and I would hope that overseers within congress and the Justice Department would want to take a hard look at the scope of this investigation.”
“It would certainly be inappropriate for an FBI undercover agent or cooperating witness to provoke or inspire or urge a person to commit an act of violence,” Michael German, a former FBI agent now at the Brennan Center for Justice, told The Daily Beast. “I could imagine an undercover agent thinking it was just the hyperbolic rhetoric they are participating in, and it wasn’t an intent to go to texas and do harm.”
“The affidavit raises a lot more questions than it answers, and I would hope that overseers within congress and the Justice Department would want to take a hard look at the scope of this investigation,” he added.
The texts were included in the indictment, released Thursday of Erick Jamal Hendricks of Charlotte, North Carolina. He was charged with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. The 35-year-old tried to recruit other Americans to form an ISIS cell on secret compounds and introduced an undercover agent to one of the Draw Muhammad attackers, according to the FBI.
But Hendricks did more than make a connection. According to the court papers, he asked the undercover officer about the Draw Muhammad event’s security, size, and police presence, during the event, according to an affidavit filed in court.
[VIDEO] OH YES HE DID: Texas News Anchor Does Pretty Darn Funny Impression of Hillary Clinton When He Thinks Cameras Are OffPosted: July 7, 2016
ALARMISM ALERT: Climate Change Consensus Increasingly Questioned Amid Government Crackdown on DissentPosted: April 11, 2016
“There has been quite an uptick in papers that question the consensus this year.”
— Anthony Watts
Even as Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude E. Walker demanded the free market think tank’s climate research and communications, a rising tide of evidence has challenged the narrative that increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are driving floods, drought and other disasters.
“As the body of evidence refuting climate alarmism continues to balloon, the question of how the IPCC can continue ignoring it becomes ever more glaring.”
— Engineer Pierre L. Gosselin
As of March 27, researchers had published 133 “consensus-skeptical” papers this year, bringing to 660 the number of such studies appearing since January 2014, blogger Kenneth Richard wrote on the skeptics website NoTricksZone.
“There has been quite an uptick in papers that question the consensus this year,” said Anthony Watts, who runs the influential WattsUpWithThat? website.
Studies published on his website and others include in the past few weeks include those that say:
• An exhaustive study published April 7 in Nature by University of Stockholm researchers examining hydrological patterns going back 1,200 years found that climate models cannot accurately predict extreme rainfall and drought.
• An article published April 4 in Nature Geoscience linked the melting of the Greenland ice sheets to hot spot activity within the Earth’s core, a finding that “must be included in studies of the future response to climate change,” said lead author Irina Rogozhina, a scientist at the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen in Germany.
• A March 21 paper by meteorologist Martin Hertzberg and chemist Hans Schreuder, evaluating figures behind the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “consensus,” concluded that “nothing in the data supports the supposition that atmospheric CO2 is a driver of weather or climate.”
“As the body of evidence refuting climate alarmism continues to balloon, the question of how the IPCC can continue ignoring it becomes ever more glaring,” said engineer Pierre L. Gosselin, who runs the NoTricksZone website and translates climate news from German to English.
In spite of that research — or maybe because of it — Democrats have renewed their efforts to clamp down on climate dissent.
Two weeks ago, 17 attorneys general — 16 Democrats and Mr. Walker, an independent — announced that they would investigate and prosecute climate-related “fraud,” citing investigations by journalism outlets accusing Exxon Mobil Corp. of stifling its own scientific research in support of the “settled science.”
While Exxon Mobil has denounced the accusations as “preposterous,” Mr. Walker followed up Thursday with a subpoena calling for the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s work on climate and energy policy from 1997 to 2007, including the nonprofit’s “private donor information,” the institute said. Read the rest of this entry »
Back in March of last year, fake news site The Onion issued a stark warning to the readers of Time magazine: “Brace for inevitable issue with close-up of Ted Cruz’s face.” And here we are, just over a year later….
When reached for comment, the Onion issued this statement to Time:
“We are committed to providing our 12 billion readers in over 500 countries with disturbingly comprehensive news coverage and upholding the very highest standards of journalistic excellence that all other lesser publications — such as your own — have long since abandoned.”
How Washington D.C. sees Ted Cruz
How Evangelicals see Ted Cruz:
How Texas sees Ted Cruz
How Milo Yiannopoulos sees Ted Cruz
How cannabis users see Ted Cruz
How LSD users see Ted Cruz
How PBS sees Ted Cruz
How Ted Cruz sees Ted Cruz
Happy birthday, Texas! State turns 179
On this day in 1836, Texas broke away from Mexico and became a republic.
On March 1, 1836, delegates from the 17 Mexican municipalities and the Pecan Point settlement met at Washington-on-the-Brazos to discuss independence from Mexico. Washington-on-the-Brazos became the ‘birthplace’ of Texas.
A committee of five people drafted a declaration of independence. One day later, the convention voted unanimously to accept the Texas Declaration of Independence. March 2 became Texas Independence Day, an official state holiday.
The official declaration was signed by 59 delegates, and five copies of the document were distributed to the Texas towns of Bexar, Brazoria, Goliad, Nacogdoches, and San Felipe. Read the rest of this entry »
Justice Scalia was referred to as a “conservative” justice, but his judicial philosophy was about ahdering to the Constitution.
Source: National Review
WASHINGTON (Reuters) David Shepardson reports: Alphabet Inc said Wednesday its self-driving car project will expand testing to Kirkland, Washington later this month, the third city where it is testing autonomous vehicles.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the cars on the road and understanding more about how self-driving cars might someday improve safety and provide traffic relief.”
— Washington Governor Jay Inslee
Google said in a statement that one reason for the new site in the northwest United States is to gain experience in “different driving environments, traffic patterns, and road conditions.”
Kirkland has significant seasonal rain that allows for wet weather testing, along with hills that will allow testing of sensors at different angles and elevations.
Betsy McCaughey writes: Hillary Clinton chose Minneapolis — with its growing enclave of fundamentalist Muslim refugees — to announce her plan to combat terrorism on Tuesday. That’s like choosing Baskin-Robbins to announce your weight-loss plans.
Clinton offered little more than platitudes like: “We have to do more to address the challenge of radicalization.” Meanwhile, that challenge was right under her nose.
“Clinton saved her scorn for Americans, saying they should be ashamed for demonizing Muslims here. She called for ’empowering Muslim-American communities.’ But which Muslim-Americans is she talking about? Some Muslims are our friends, but others want to kill us. That’s true here — and worldwide.”
The city’s huge Somali refugee population makes it a symbol of the problem, not the solution. Some 30,000 have been placed there by the federal government. Many of them say they would rather live under Islamic religious law — Sharia — than American law, and resist adapting to American ways. Their ideology makes them ripe for jihadization.
“Moderate Muslims here are not a problem. But fundamentalist Muslims pose a high risk. Hillary cheerfully overlooked this distinction.”
Indeed, dozens of young men from this Muslim enclave have left to fight with radical Islamists in Somalia and Syria. “We have a terror recruiting problem in Minnesota,” reports Andy Luger, a federal prosecutor there.
The key to Hillary’s anti-terrorism plan is the empty hope that Muslims in America will self-police. “They are the best positioned to block anything going forward.” Don’t count on it. As the ongoing San Bernardino shooting investigation shows, even Muslims who aren’t stockpiling AK-47s can’t be counted on to report what their family members or acquaintances are doing.
Clinton saved her scorn for Americans, saying they should be ashamed for demonizing Muslims here. She called for “empowering Muslim-American communities.” But which Muslim-Americans is she talking about? Some Muslims are our friends, but others want to kill us. That’s true here — and worldwide.
“A Pew Research report tells us where the danger spots are. A shocking 99 percent of Afghanistan’s Muslims, 91 percent of Iraqi Muslims and 84 percent of Pakistani Muslims identify themselves as fundamentalists who favor Sharia law.”
Clinton took aim at Donald Trump’s proposal to suspend all Muslims from coming to the United States. But Trump’s idea is not as dangerous as Hillary’s insistence that anti-Muslim rhetoric is what incites Muslims to terrorism. That’s delusional.
“Equally jaw-dropping, 39 percent of Afghanistan’s Muslims say they consider violent acts such as suicide bombings always or sometimes justified ‘in defense of Islam.'”
Moderate Muslims here are not a problem. But fundamentalist Muslims pose a high risk. Hillary cheerfully overlooked this distinction. Read the rest of this entry »
‘Yet another example of such activists faking racist incidents.’
Richard Lewis reports: On Nov 17 Kean University students engaged in a rally to raise awareness for racial issues. The rally was entirely peaceful and was without incident until the group was informed of some threatening messages aimed at them via Twitter.
These messages included threats to shoot black students and a bomb scare. With an air of panic rising, things had the potential to turn hostile, and the police were notified. The twist? Their resulting investigation found that it was one of the activists who reportedly issued the threats.
24-year old Kayla-Simone McKelvey allegedly left the protest to use a work station in the campus library to create the Twitter account that issued the threats. Following that she returned to the group and notified the group about them. McKelvey will now face one charge of creating a public alarm with the case scheduled to start in two weeks.
In light of the revelation, Kean University issued the following public statement:
As a diverse academic community, we wholeheartedly respect and support activism, however, no cause or issue gives anyone the right to threaten the safety of others. We hope this information will begin to bring a sense of relief and security to the campus community.
This is yet another example of such activists faking racist incidents in a bid to generate sympathy and further their agenda. Read the rest of this entry »
[PHOTO] President Ronald Reagan Addressing NASA Employees During NASA’s 25th Anniversary CelebrationPosted: November 10, 2015
President Ronald Reagan addressed NASA employees during NASA’s 25th Anniversary celebration at the National Air and Space Museum, October 19, 1983. On stage, around the cake (left to right) are: astronauts Guion Bluford and Dale Gardner (hidden); Dr. William Thornton; Daniel Brandenstein; Richard Truly (hidden); James M. Beggs, NASA Administrator; Dr. Norman Thagard; President Ronald Reagan; John Fabian; Frederick Hauck; David Walker; Dr. Rhea Seddon; Ellison Onizuka; Dr. Anna Fisher; Dr. Steven Hawley.
Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975), Texas Panhandle, Route #66, c.1953. Oil on board, 7 x 10 in.
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 »
(Get this broadside!)
“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)
‘My perception is that the risk that a disgruntled student might bring a gun into the classroom and start shooting at me’
Source: The Daily Caller
Tick Tock, Tick Tock…
Daniel Payne writes: In just over a week, the Ahmed Mohamed clock controversy has become a global phenomenon: the young man brought a homemade clock to school and was subsequently arrested because school officials thought it looked like a bomb, leading to a worldwide outcry and hundreds of thousands of tweets, articles, and words of praise for the boy from Irving, Texas.
Ahmed has received commendation from the likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and even the president of the United States. Just recently, his family announced they will meet dignitaries at the United Nations; later, after a jaunt to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, they hope to meet with President Obama.
Mohamed has become an international superstar. But there are nonetheless several puzzling and troubling questions regarding his rise to fame. A great many people who have been mildly skeptical of this story have been denounced as “Ahmed truthers” and as people who are out to conduct a “smear campaign” against an innocent boy. But it’s actually reasonable and even necessary to be a bit skeptical of extraordinary stories such as this. You don’t have to have a vendetta against Ahmed to want the full story on the table, and asking honest questions about such a remarkable news event doesn’t mean you’re out to “smear” this young man.
With that in mind, here are six questions the media should be asking the Mohamed family to clarify some points that badly need it.
1. Why did Ahmed claim to build the clock if he didn’t actually build it?
From the beginning we’ve been told that Ahmed—a supposedly creative, clever, inventive young man—threw the clock together from parts in his bedroom in order to “impress” his teachers at school. Ahmed told Chris Hayes he put it together himself. He told the Dallas Morning News that he “made a clock,” elsewhere claimed “I’m the person who built a clock and got in trouble with it,” and claimed that the clock was “[his] invention.”
As it turns out, it’s almost certain he did no such thing. All the evidence points toward the conclusion that Ahmed didn’t build his clock at all, and instead just took apart an old digital clock and put the guts inside a pencil case. If this is true—and it almost certainly is—why did he claim he “built” such a device?
Photographs and videos of his workshop have shown a bench scattered with circuit boards, wires, and other electronic devices. If Ahmed is used to working in such conditions and with the guts and pieces of such technology, he should know the difference between “building” a clock and not building one. So what led him to claim he built something that, for all appearances, he didn’t?
The family of a Muslim teenager arrested after ‘homemade’ clock incident has withdrawn him from the Texas school.
Ahmed Mohamed’s father, Mohamed El-Hassan Mohamed, said he had pulled all his children from schools in the area.
According to Mr Mohamed the arrest had a harmful effect on the teen.
Ahmed’s arrest has been sharply criticised and the charges against him were quickly dropped.
Ahmed Mohamed ‘Homemade’ Hoax Exposed
“Ahmed said: ‘I don’t want to go to MacArthur,'” Mr Mohamed told The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday. “These kids aren’t going to be happy there.”
Ahmed has received numerous enrolment offers from schools, his father said, adding that he wanted to give him a break before making a decision.
[More – Mark Zuckerberg falls for clock hoax]
The entire family is set to fly to New York on Wednesday where United Nations dignitaries want to meet Ahmed.
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 »