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(   April fools DJ's say water supply contained dihydrogen monoxide, City official says prank was akin to 'a terrorist attack';   ( divider line
    More: Stupid  
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11379 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Apr 2002 at 9:50 AM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

188 Comments     (+0 »)

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2002-04-03 09:53:08 AM  
So? I do dihydrogen monoxide every day. Good stuff too.
2002-04-03 09:53:29 AM  
Sounds like the dumbass city official fell for it.
2002-04-03 09:54:18 AM  
H20. Oh boy oh boy! My water has WATER in it!
2002-04-03 09:55:09 AM  
"It's like going to the airport and shouting that you have a gun. It's stupidity."

No... it's more like going to the airport and shouting "Hey there's a plane coming towards us!"

Jeesus. They should look at their calendar, see that it's April 1, laugh, and get over it.
2002-04-03 09:55:13 AM  
mmmm...nothing like a nice glass of dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) first thing in the morning. The people who think that this should be equated to a terrorist attack should be removed from the gene pool.
2002-04-03 09:55:26 AM  
How the hell is this a terrorist attack? He damagaged what? He hurt who?

Americans are losing their sense of humor.
2002-04-03 09:57:04 AM  
I posted 'BAN DIHYDROGEN MONOXIDE' on a joke e-mail list about 7 or 8 years ago, and a bunch of people gave me all sorts of grief for putting "tree hugger environmentalist stuff" on their joke list.
2002-04-03 09:57:38 AM  
The stupidity of the weak minded never ceases to amaze me. First of all it's bad enough that this prank would work on people. Sure it's been years since I've had chemistry, but come on.

Yelling that you have a gun is nothing like like what these guys did. Going to the airport and yelling that there's a mass exposure of epidermis is more like it.

I wish I didn't enjoy getting mad at people so much.
2002-04-03 09:57:52 AM  
Now, if you do have any chemistry background, you could easily figure out that that is water. However, it was pretty dumb for the DJ's to do that. In my book that's like the radio show that anounced martians had landed. I forget who that was now for some stupid reason, even though I really know it. It was a joke, but not everyone would know that.
2002-04-03 10:00:15 AM  
Blah blah blah what a bunch of crybabies. Its funny that anyone would fall for that terribly bad joke.
2002-04-03 10:00:55 AM  
hehe...that's a good one.
2002-04-03 10:01:03 AM  
it was april fools. how stupid are these people?
2002-04-03 10:01:44 AM  
Even if you're concerned, WHY CALL 911??? That's an emergency line reserved for people who need immediate assistance, not poison control or the police department. "I need an ambulence here, now! I just heard something scary on the wireless!"
2002-04-03 10:02:29 AM  
I've just lost all faith in the future of our species.
2002-04-03 10:02:40 AM  
DJs =

City administrators =
2002-04-03 10:02:46 AM  
Sos, it's not like saying that the Martians had landed, because they were telling the truth. I agree, people who got all upset and started calling are just dumb.
2002-04-03 10:02:49 AM  
it seems like lawmakers and public officials are going to be throwing around the words "terrorist attack" any time something comes to thier desk that rubs them wrong. It is not an act of terrorism that 30 pople were so stupid to not realize that what the radio was referring to is H2O. I think the words "terrorist attack" will become the new buzzword in polotics
2002-04-03 10:02:59 AM  
You can't really expect people in Olathe, Kansas to know what Dihydrogen Monoxide is can you?
2002-04-03 10:03:05 AM  
I've often thought that if you put a flashing neon sign above a door that said "Keep out - those who enter this door will be shot and killed", then you should be legally able to shoot any fools who walk in.

The human race is headed for ecological disaster because there's no longer any method for culling the weak and stupid.
2002-04-03 10:03:28 AM  
Snopes, eternal source of wisdom that it is, says that the dihydrogen monoxide prank has in fact been pulled a number of times in the past, the first allegedy by a student as paret of a school project. I do believe it also mentions something about Sos's martian attack, but I couldnt be arsed to look it up so whether its the War of the Worlds broadcast im thinking of or not remains a mystery. Someone with stronger initiative go look it up and post a link.
2002-04-03 10:03:42 AM  
oops, try that again -

City administrators =
2002-04-03 10:04:55 AM  
Orson Welles
2002-04-03 10:06:58 AM  
The problem was actually the people. About 120 were so gullible that they called the city all day to express concerns. The radio station stopped the prank and apologized.

2002-04-03 10:07:26 AM  
"In my book that's like the radio show that anounced martians had landed."

That was Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" broadcast, which was true greatness.
2002-04-03 10:08:24 AM  
A few years ago a Washington DC city official got fired for using the word "nubianrdly" while discussing the city's budgeting process. While it's obviously an unfortunate homophone, it has nothing to do with African-Americans. It's synonymous with "stingy". But apparently the facts took a backseat to reactionary ignorance.
2002-04-03 10:08:52 AM  
War of the Worlds

by H.G. Wells

(I like to yell "movie" in a crowded firehouse, but since 9/11 all the firemen are really jumpy)
2002-04-03 10:09:14 AM  
Although they were idiots in pulling this, they were in fact simply playing off the fact that 90% of Americans never really paid attention in science class.

I use the same line in my business (I own a carpet restoration business). People will look at a stain, then look at me and ask what I'm going to use to get it ouy.

I'll scratch my chin, 'hmmmmm' a little bit then tell them I'm going to use this "specialized hydrogen/oxygen compound" (water) and an "abrasive fabric" (a rag) and "utilizing friction and heat" (scrub) the stain should come out.

Most of the time, if they are even still standing there, they are going "Ooooo Ahhhhh" and I know I have them. Silly sheep.
2002-04-03 10:09:29 AM  
Hilarity ensues. Town surrenders.
2002-04-03 10:09:49 AM  
FYI: Taking a dihydrogen monoxide in public is really frowned on by the police
2002-04-03 10:09:56 AM  
Just today, moderators on changed the word nubianrdly in Diogenes's post to Nubianrdly!
2002-04-03 10:09:57 AM  
It's offical...people in Kansas are idiots.
2002-04-03 10:10:00 AM  
What a dizap shizat.
2002-04-03 10:10:14 AM  
Dihydrogen monoxide? That stuff's dangerous! I heard you can even die form too much of it!
2002-04-03 10:10:16 AM  
dont you all realize. The american dream is not for us all to be free realize our maximum potential and succeed. Its for the 90% of normal people to be constantly dragged down to the bottom 10% of society that nature would killed off in the first two weeks.
2002-04-03 10:10:49 AM  
So much for the publick educashun sistim in that town.
2002-04-03 10:10:57 AM  
If there is dihydrogen monoxide in our water, the terrorists have already won!

If stupid was illegal these people would be doing life without parole.
2002-04-03 10:11:21 AM  
Mindwolf good point

ZombieWoof also a good point!
2002-04-03 10:16:01 AM  
About 10 years ago at a Greensboro, NC station (WKRR, I think) a DJ/Morning show guy named Brad Krantz tried to do the typical April 1 joke on someone.

A caller friend had given blood earlier in the week & Brad Krantz then calls this person, pretends to be a Dr. and tells this person that she has AIDS.

Whew,...boy howdy, that was some fun. Yeah.
2002-04-03 10:16:06 AM  
Let us not also forget that the human body can only tolerate total immersion in dihydrogen monoxide for a few minutes before death occurs.
2002-04-03 10:16:09 AM  
I apologize for the length. (Never have to do that in real life) This way nobody has to cut and paste. This is from about the kid who did it as a science project.

Dihydrogen monoxide is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and kills uncounted thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, and possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte imbalance. For those who have become dependent, DHMO withdrawal means certain death.

Dihydrogen monoxide:

is also known as hydroxl acid, and is the major component of acid rain.
contributes to the "greenhouse effect."
may cause severe burns.
contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.
has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.
Contamination is reaching epidemic proportions!

Quantities of dihydrogen monoxide have been found in almost every stream, lake, and reservoir in America today. But the pollution is global, and the contaminant has even been found in Antarctic ice. DHMO has caused millions of dollars of property damage in the midwest, and recently California.

Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:

as an industrial solvent and coolant.
in nuclear power plants.
in the production of styrofoam.
as a fire retardant.
in many forms of cruel animal research.
in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
as an additive in certain "junk-foods" and other food products.
Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal. The impact on wildlife is extreme, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer!

The American government has refused to ban the production, distribution, or use of this damaging chemical due to its "importance to the economic health of this nation." In fact, the navy and other military organizations are conducting experiments with DHMO, and designing multi-billion dollar devices to control and utilize it during warfare situations. Hundreds of military research facilities receive tons of it through a highly sophisticated underground distribution network. Many store large quantities for later use.

Origins: In 1997, Nathan Zohner, a 14-year-old student at Eagle Rock Junior High School in Idaho Falls, based his science fair project on a report similar to the one reproduced above. Zohner's project, titled "How Gullible Are We?", involved presenting this report about "the dangers of dihyrogen monoxide" to fifty ninth-grade students and asking them what (if anything) should be done about chemical. Forty-three students favored banning it, six were undecided, and only one correctly recognized that 'dihydrogen monoxide' is actually H2O -- plain old water. Zohner's analysis of the results he obtained won him first prize in the Greater Idaho Falls Science Far; garnered him scads of attention from newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, universities, and congresspeople; and prompted the usual round of outcries about how our ignorant citizenry doesn't read critically and can be easily misled. In other words, a tempest in a teapot.

Zohner's project wasn't original: spoof petitions about dihydrogen monoxide and other innocuous "dangers" have been circulating for years, and Zohner based his project on a bogus report that was already making the rounds of the Internet. Moreover, Zohner's target audience was ninth-graders, a group highly susceptible to allowing peer pressure to overwhelm critical thinking. Thrust any piece of paper at the average high school student with a suggestion about what the "correct" response to it should be, and peer pressure pretty much assures you'll get the answer you're looking for. Someone that age isn't very likely to read a friend's petition calling for the banning of whale hunting and critically evaluate the socio-economic and environmental impact of such a regulation. Instead, he's probably going to say to himself, "This issue is obviously important to my friend, and he must have some good reasons for circulating the petition, so I'll sign it."

That said, this example does aptly demonstrate the kind of fallacious reasoning that's thrust at us every day under the guise of "important information": how with a little effort, even the most innocuous of substances can be made to sound like a dangerous threat to human life. The next time you receive an ominous message such as the one warning you that sodium lauryl sulfate (a common foaming ingredient used in shampoos) causes cancer, with the "proof" being that this caustic chemical is also used to scrub garage floors, keep in mind that the very same thing could be said of another ubiquitous cleaning agent . . . dihydrogen monoxide.

Last updated: 22 June 1999
2002-04-03 10:17:41 AM  
2002-04-03 10:17:43 AM  
I think the joke comes at a time when we do need to laugh a little. I many people started to demand Cipro after we heard about anthrax mailings. Sure, we need to be more aware that the world and some fanatical Americans hate us, but do we stop living our lives?

Anyways, the joke was pretty moronic, but if it fooled some people, then it was pretty funny. It just shows that really we're just sheep and can't stop and think for a moment. If those people had...they would have realized the joke and probably had a good laugh after they were done being embarrassed.

As for the officials calling it a "terrorist attack"... COME ON!!! We give those terrorists too much mention, and the fact that it's become a catch-phrase for anyone who is caught off-guard is just plain dumb. In a true terrorist attack, we would never be able to laugh it off.
2002-04-03 10:18:15 AM  
City official didn't pay attention in chemistry class.

What a maroon.
2002-04-03 10:19:14 AM  
Here's a story about the word which Fark's overzealous filter database keeps mutilating--
2002-04-03 10:20:52 AM  
This just shows what type of stupid over-reactions people can have. According to the article, the DJ's never said anything about it being harmful or dangerous in any way. So some people were fooled, and called to make sure. But that does not make it a 'terrorist attack".
2002-04-03 10:21:51 AM  
Akin to a terrorist attack?

On a nation of morons, perhaps...
2002-04-03 10:22:09 AM  
Yes, everything is a terrorist attack. God bless John Ashcroft.
2002-04-03 10:22:51 AM  
KQRC 98.9 The Rock
Goooo team!
2002-04-03 10:24:49 AM  
I'm sure some people who live in the New Enlgand area remember the famous April Fools prank the DJs Opie and Anthony got fired for. They annoucned on the radio that the mayor of Boston was killed, when he was actually in Florida or something. But his wife and kid actually thought he was dead! Ha hahahaha. Man....good stuff.
2002-04-03 10:25:12 AM  
Wow - this is exactly my point! The word I cited above that got fark-filtered is not a bad word and has nothing to do with African Americans.
[image from too old to be available]
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