Skip to comments.Olathe official calls radio station prank "a terrorist attack."
Posted on 04/03/2002 11:39:44 AM PST by zeugma
Olathe, Kan. (AP) -- A city water official says a radio station April Fools Day prank that caused some residents to think their water supply was unfit for drinking and even bathing was akin to "a terrorist attack."
Jerald Robnett, the city's superintendent of water protection, said his department received calls from 150 customers Monday after KQRC reported the water contained "high levels of a naturally occurring substance," dihydrogen monoxide, that causes increased urination, profuse sweating and wrinkling of hands and feet. Boiling the water long enough would get rid of the substance, however.
City officials said about 30 residents called 911.
Technically, radio personalities Johnny Dare and Murphy Wells had their facts straight. Dihydrogen monoxide is a scientific name for water. It can cause the "symptoms" described, and boiling will make it go away.
But the April Fool's Day gag upset Robnett so much that he said, "It's a terrorist act as far as I'm concerned.
"It's like going to the airport and shouting that you have a gun. It's stupidity."
City Manager Michael Wilkes called the joke irresponsible and said it jeopardized public safety.
KQRC program director Neal Mirsky said that as soon as the station realized there was a problem, "we pulled the plug on it."
"We didn't intend for any of this," he said. "We thought a couple of people would go to work without a shower."
Dare and Wells, known for their stunts, announced the "contamination" at 6:30 a.m. and revealed the prank about 8 a.m.
That's no kidding. Even if you didn't know what the scientific name for water is, just hearing the symptoms would have tipped me off.
Once again, I find myself wishing they would move the State line about 20 miles WEST...
I agree with the majority of the other posters that these people have to be a product of the public school system. Just another reason among many as to why my wife and I will homeschool our children.
No, it's like going to the airport and announcing that you have arms.
Anyone who got freaked out about this report deserved exactly what they got. If they're angry about it, it's only because they didn't like having to admit to themselves that they're abject morons.
Did you follow the links to the Friends of DHMO? LOL!
I wish I had thought of it first!
My son did. He heard it and told me about it. Once he explained what dihydrogen monoxide was I thought it was funny.
No, it just shows how abject elitist some people here can be. Please excuse your Mom who never studied physics in college, but was too busy making a home and raising you and supporting your Dad to learn the scientific name for water. Sheesh. The person who inflicted this fraud upon people should be ashamed. Practical jokes are okay for physicists and rocket scientists, but not everyone out there has a college degree or the mental capacity you might have. Joking about terrorism is one thing, but laughing at and belittling the victims is equally reprehensible.
That dog won't hunt. That H2O is the chemical formula for water is one of the most basic facts of science taught in elementary school. If somebody doesn't know it, it's either because they never attended school or because they were aggressively obstinate in refusing to learn anything about science. It's nearly impossible not to absorb it from the popular culture alone. People should be ashamed not to know it.
They can get away with it, however, because while society is not willing to countenance illiteracy or ignorance of basic arithmetic, it actually encourages and applauds a complete ignorance of science. Case in point: here you are defending it.
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