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Mom Arrested After Son Makes Dry Ice "Bombs"

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the mr.-terrorist-wizard dept.

Crime 571

formfeed writes "Police were called to a house in Omaha where a 14-year-old made some 'dry ice bombs' (dry ice in soda bottles). Since his mom knew about it, she is now facing felony charges for child endangment and possession of a destructive device. From the article: 'Assistant Douglas County Attorney Eric Wells said the boy admitted to making the bomb and that his mother knew he was doing so. The boy was set to appear Tuesday afternoon in juvenile court, accused of possessing a destructive device.'" She's lucky they didn't find the baking soda volcano in the basement.

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Sounds familiar. (5, Insightful)

Leebert (1694) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756238)

This lets me tell one of my favorite stories (which probably isn't all that funny.)

I have a friend who is a physicist. He was hanging around with his brother, who worked at a bookstore. They were doing essentially the same thing, but with liquid nitrogen, behind the store. After one particularly loud bottle explosion, they went back into the store, only to hear a loud pounding on the door shortly thereafter.

Opening the door, they were faced with a Baltimore County police officer, who demanded an explanation. My friend started to explain: "Oh, it's OK Officer, I'm a physicist..." As if that explained everything. Which, to be honest, probably does.

I make that joke more often than you could imagine at the physicists at work.

But in all seriousness, this continues what I've been calling the "war on curiosity". Recently, I accidentally picked a flight that had a stopover (that's what I get for clicking through the website too fast.) So while I was bored and waiting on the plane, I wandered up next to the front row of seats and peered into the cockpit. I was there for a minute or so, until the flight attendant came up in a fairly huffy attitude, and told me that I couldn't congregate in the front of the plane. Which was on the ground. With the engine shut off. With the wheels chocked. And the pilot sitting in his seat.

I'm afraid anymore to walk to the end of the platform and look down the subway tunnels. I'm afraid to take pictures of bridges. I'm afraid to be just plain curious, because it's apparently abnormal and suspicous. It's getting ridiculous. And it's going to come back and bite us in the butt.

Re:Sounds familiar. (4, Funny)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756288)

I didn't know you could congregate on your own...

Re:Sounds familiar. (-1, Troll)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756320)

yo mamma...

Re:Sounds familiar. (5, Funny)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756648)

"An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one." — George Mikes [] .

I reckon an Ankh-Morporkian can congregate alone, but my national stereotypes aren't up to picking a real nationality for it.

Re:Sounds familiar. (-1, Offtopic)

tibit (1762298) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756886)

LOL. Worth modding up!

Re:Sounds familiar. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756996)

It could depend on how often you shower.

Re:Sounds familiar. (5, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756324)

I'm afraid anymore to walk to the end of the platform and look down the subway tunnels. I'm afraid to take pictures of bridges. I'm afraid to be just plain curious, because it's apparently abnormal and suspicous. It's getting ridiculous. And it's going to come back and bite us in the butt.

You say this as if it is an unintended, rather than intended, consequence of how our society is organized.

Re:Sounds familiar. (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756490)

Its going to bite even the overlords in the ass too. An ebbing tide lowers all boats.

Re:Sounds familiar. (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756592)

That would not be a problem if their goal is greater *relative* wealth and not greater *absolute* wealth.
It would also not be a problem if the lowering of all boats is an intended consequence of a foreign power with significant domestic political influence.

Re:Sounds familiar. (5, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756736)

The war against American intellect is not affected by any outside foreign power as far as I can tell, unless of course you count the Vatican and they are at best a minor player. No, it waged internally be people who's power base relies on people not asking questions and just doing as they are told. It is domestic conservative and religious organizations that are poisoning the American spirit and sapping the will to learn from the people.

Re:Sounds familiar. (2, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756810)

And if you believe it is solely that, you'd be mistaken. The domestic liberal organizations have as much to blame on that front as the others.

Re:Sounds familiar. (5, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756938)

Lest one think of me as doing a projection of things...

"The children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming, where everyone would be interdependent."
-John Dewey

“Ninety-nine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed customs. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual.”
-William Torrey Harris, U.S. Commissioner of Education from 1889-1906.

"Our schools have been scientifically designed to prevent over-education from happening. The average American [should be] content with their humble role in life, because they're not tempted to think about any other role."
-William Torrey Harris, U.S. Commissioner of Education from 1889-1906.

“Individual talent is too sporadic and unpredictable to be allowed any important part in the organization society. Social systems which endure are built on the average person who can be trained to occupy any position adequately if not brilliantly.”
-Stuart Chase, The Proper Study of Mankind, 1948.

"A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare."
-Justice H. Walter Croskey, 2008.

Both sides are very guilty of fostering their agendas and neither side of that crowd is going to be at all helpful towards the American Intellect; and it's been ongoing for a long, long time if you look at the comments from Harris and Dewey.

Re:Sounds familiar. (2, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756852)

This isn't just a one sided political happening. While I will agree that some conservative thought demands that people "don't ask questions," we also face liberal thought that severely punishes "asking the wrong questions."

Re:Sounds familiar. (5, Interesting)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756956)

To a large degree the war was started by (mostly) well meaning people at the end of the 19th century who had just lived through the Industrial Revolution and concluded that interchangeable, standardized humans would revolutionize society (for the better) in the same way that interchangeable, standardized components revolutionized manufacturing. Back then the 20th century's two biggest examples of progressivism, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union had not yet seen the light of day. This is back when most people believed in a neat, orderly universe created by the watchmaker god. All living things could by precisely classified into a uniform hierarchy. Their view of the universe did not allow for chaos, quantum physics and ring species. As it turns out, they were wrong but the less-well meaning elements certainly aren't going to let go of the power without a fight (or a collapse).

Re:Sounds familiar. (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756664)

Today's overlords don't really have much choice. The machine [] was built in the beginning of the 20th century and there's probably no way to shut it down until events run their course.

Re:Sounds familiar. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32756786)

Do you think they care? If the ebbing tide only impacts their children or grandchildren they're only going to care a little...maybe. If it impacts generations down the line- they're not going to care one whit because it doesn't affect them.

Re:Sounds familiar. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32756404)

Think having citizens who aren't curious will be bad?

Our industries, or what's left of them, will be much less competitive in the future. Even our politicians will be less creative in solving problems.

Re:Sounds familiar. (4, Insightful)

Skater (41976) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756420)

I'm afraid anymore to walk to the end of the platform and look down the subway tunnels. I'm afraid to take pictures of bridges. I'm afraid to be just plain curious, because it's apparently abnormal and suspicous. It's getting ridiculous. And it's going to come back and bite us in the butt.

As a railfan, I hesitate to take pictures of trains outside museums for similar reasons. Plenty have been accosted or detained for doing nothing more than taking pictures of trains from passenger platforms and similar places, and Amtrak put out a policy recently that makes little sense. Last summer I took a picture of a train that I'd just ridden for two hours (not Amtrak), and I actually felt nervous about it for a moment afterward. I've taken some pictures inside DC's Metro stations from time to time without a problem, but the thought of having the police show up crosses my mind every time I do it.

Of course the solution is to take more pictures of trains so that feeling goes away. But that just increases the odds I'll get some attention from the police over it.

Re:Sounds familiar. (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756642)

Most likely you are on a list already.

Re:Sounds familiar. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32756678)

A couple of years back, I was flying for the first time to Detroit. Over there, I would meet a friend who flew in from another airport and who would be there for the first time as well.

To be able to agree on a place to meet, I wanted a floor plan of the airport. It took me about a week before I actually googled for "detroit airport floor plan", because doing so gave me the uneasy feeling that some DHS/TSA person could consider this as preparation for terrorist activity and that it could get me picked up/out.

Re:Sounds familiar. (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756868)

Wouldn’t it make more sense to just Google the airport’s official website [] ? It has a maps & directions [] section with layout plans of the terminals... took me about 5 seconds to find it in the left-hand menu.

Re:Sounds familiar. (2, Interesting)

Leebert (1694) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756782)

Plenty have been accosted or detained for doing nothing more than taking pictures of trains from passenger platforms and similar places

I feel your pain... I'm an aviation geek, and I'm waiting for the day I get shot for standing on the top floor of the BWI parking garage with my scanner listening to ATC while watching departures from RWY 15-R.

Re:Sounds familiar. (2, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756934)

Just take the photo and don't worry about it. Even if you're stopped, offering to delete the photograph should presumably satisfy most security/police, and while it's not solving the problem you'll at least have photographs for the 99.9% of times you're not stopped.

Re:Sounds familiar. (1)

whitedsepdivine (1491991) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756450)

It not just being curious enough to make the bombs, it is also being smart enough not to get caught.

Re:Sounds familiar. (2, Informative)

nopainogain (1091795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756738)

I'm gonna teeter between devils advocate and sound rationalist. We live in weird times my friend. There are people out there who arent just trying to see how high mentos shoot the cola. I speculate that even recreational fireworks will be much more legislated in the near term. Sadly, shows like mythbusters that entertain and amuse with fun examples of destructive forces are becoming ground for research material. I love watching them blow crap up in safe testing ground but someone somewhere is taking detailed notes of blast radii.

Soccer Ball (4, Interesting)

Tisha_AH (600987) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756740)

We did something similar in our teen years while working at a recreation center with a soccer ball.

Having found a spare soccer ball and with one of those desktop mounted air pumps we would put an increasing amount of pressure into the soccer ball and then the guys would bounce the thing around the gym. This went in stages, a little more pressure, the guys would go back to kicking the ball around the building, then back for more air pressure...

After seven or eight of these cycles of increasing pressure in the soccer ball it took on a distinct metallic sound when bouncing. The soccer ball had about 115 PSI in it and the guys decided to kick it around the hallway that connected several of the rooms in the recreation center. I was watching the fun and one of the guys kicked the ball and it hit the edge of a table and was bouncing up and down on top of the table. From 25 feet away I could hear brittle cracking sounds coming from the ball... At the last instant I have the picture of one of the guys running away from the ball with a look of fear on his face. Right at that moment the ball exploded like a bomb.

The sound of the explosion just left my ears with a buzzy, ringing sound as the guys are laughing their asses off. Quickly they grabbed all of the soccer ball shrapnel and hid it right as the senior citizens group was pouring out of their meeting room. There were retirees who must have served in WW II who were looking for the 250 pound bomb crater or airplane crash, asking furious questions about where the bomb went off.

To their credit, the guys just looked quizzically at the senior citizens and said "what noise?".

Doing a post mortem on the soccer ball one of the sewn panels failed and ejected the air bladder from the ball. The soccer ball skin was turned inside out. There were tiny little shards of rubber ball liner everywhere.

Kids do stupid stuff. Outlaw CO2 (since it is a greenhouse gas and eeevil too). Adults will not stop the never-ending quest by kids for things that go BOOM!

Re:Sounds familiar. (4, Insightful)

I'm not really here (1304615) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756760)

Seriously, this type of slapdown on curiosity, creativity, and exploration makes me want to cry. It reminds me of the fall of the galactic empire in Asimov's Foundation series - a degredation of the desire to learn new things... People don't want children to dream and invent, they want them to memorize, regurgitate, and keep the status quo.
An example of the insanity: I love model rocketry. I can build small rockets with no one looking at me sideways (but when I move up to the C or D engines, and buy in large quantity, I start to get odd looks), but I don't want to build small rockets. I want to build large rockets, with radio controlled fins, a wireless video feed, and much stronger engines (either solid state or even move into simple liquid fuels). Now if I were interested in this say 50 years back, this would be odd, but not unheard of, and certainly not slapped down by local law enforcement. In today's age, if I started messing with liquid fuels, or built rockets over 6 feet tall, I would likely get harassed by local law enforcement (or more likely my neighbors would call for them), assuming I could even get the proper permits to be allowed to build the thing... permits to build something with my own two hands and then test it out on my friend's private property (a farm)? CRAZY, and wrong.
I hope we get out of this funk and get some new chemistry and engineering excitement back into our children. Sigh.

Re:Sounds familiar. (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756926)

In Baltimore, a series of loud bangs is indeed probable cause (and for good reason too), given that it has an "actual" crime problem. Good on the officer for investigating.

Just noisy (4, Interesting)

Titan1080 (1328519) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756244)

We used to have a lot of fun with these in high school. We would put them under the bleachers during high school football games. Harmless fun... Mostly...

Re:Just noisy (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756340)

We used to throw them in my friends in-ground pool, high concrete walls all around the outside of the pool area made it sound much louder to the people inside the house at the time.

Re:Just noisy (5, Interesting)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756394)

You can do it harmlessly, but by point of contrast, a couple kids in my high school did that, and actually hurt a teacher who got hit by shrapnel.

Throw out your fire extinguishers. (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756272)

The cops are onto them.

Pfft, I can top that. (4, Insightful)

Becausegodhasmademe (861067) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756278)

I reckon about 90% of all Slashdotters made/did way more dangerous things when they were younger. I certainly did and I look forward to doing them with my kids too! It's like a ritual part of childhood in my family!

Re:Pfft, I can top that. (2, Insightful)

singingjim1 (1070652) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756478)

potato and tennis ball guns made from tennis ball cans (they used to be metal) and duct tape, and using lighter fluid to launch projectiles and friggin long way. We were 12!

Re:Pfft, I can top that. (2, Interesting)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756734)

I had a friend whose parents had an acetylene torch, and we would fill balloons full of a mixture of acetylene and pure oxygen and set them off with fuses of nothing more than newspaper. We accidentally (yes, accidentally) set off like three of them at once and the concussion wave broke an empty fish tank that was nearby (and we could barely hear anything for hours... it'll probably give me tinnitus when I'm older...).

It was awesome, but then my friend lived in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nothing but trees for acres.

Re:Pfft, I can top that. (1)

nopainogain (1091795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756962)

i introduced the basic elements of gunpowder and increased fuel power to my friends potato cannon back in the late 80s by using ground up activated filter carbon, WD40, and aerosol hairspray (when that was still around). Made the cannon much more potent, loud, and heated the outside of it up a lot. yes, late 80s, i AM that old

Re:Pfft, I can top that. (1)

somaTh (1154199) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756650)

On a similar line to the dry ice - The Works (TM) and aluminum foil.

Is it illegal to make/possess thermite at home? I mean, it's not an explosive, even by this cop's definition.

Re:Pfft, I can top that. (1)

Comen (321331) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756834)

I got kicked out of 11th grade for the year, and had to go to a "excluded student school" for that year cause I made a device that would shock people out of a camera flash. it was total BS.

Home Chemistry has been dead for a long time... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32756286)

Of course, this is actually part of my hometown's attempt to make it completely undesirable to live here.

I've heard that next week they will start cracking down on rubber band "guns", too...

Wow! (4, Interesting)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756292)

Is popping balloons also illegal in this neighborhood?

Re:Wow! (1)

Trisha-Beth (9231) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756500)

Sure. Bubblewrap too.

Re:Wow! (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756536)

Only if they contain gas or liquid... :p

SLightly more pressure than a balloon. (4, Insightful)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756940)

Contrary to the humorous jokes about popping balloons, mentos and coke, etc- these do have significant explosive force. When they're at full pressure they can maim. While the first google search of "dry ice bomb accident" turns up a youtube video of a small bottle, one can also see videos from Mythbusters where they used 2 liter containers.

Very quickly you can see that putting one of these inside of a mailbox can do serious damage.

These are no different than the drain bombs of my 'youth' when kids were stuffing them in mailboxes everywhere. Those did cause serious injuries- given the reaction of the lye and the shrapnel from the explosions.

Should Mom be charged? No, she shouldn't, and there should be some common sense applied. But since a 14 year old can't exactly buy dry ice (at least not at the places I fill my CO2 tanks at) then she was supplying him- and if she wasn't supervising him doing this... there is a degree of recklessness that needs to be addressed.

Maybe she doesn't understand how dangerous these things can be? I doubt the kid was wearing a face shield with gloves and an apron to protect himself incase of premature detonation.

As a society we all would pay if this child was injured. That's the overriding concern- and society would be screaming right now if the police had showed up, said "Oh, OK, keep at it" and left... and then the kid was in an accident and cost (lets say an eye) his sight.

You can't have it both ways.

Education is dangerous (5, Insightful)

grimsnaggle (1320777) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756296)

Society needs to figure out that it can't have it both ways. You can't desire educated kids without giving them the freedom to explore, particularly so long as the damage they do is limited to their own lives and property. Alpha double plusses require a large bottle, right?

Re:Education is dangerous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32756456)

I'm guessing that it is part of the plan to dumb down America. I know that there isn't a lot of smarts left to beat out of the curious types, but there clearly is a workable plan in place to do just that.

On the plus side, we will be saving huge amounts of $$$ that we currently spend on education.

Re:Education is dangerous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32756762)


Re:Education is dangerous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32756694)

Well you are correct, we don't want to educate kids today. We apparently want them to take Ritalin, shut up, take no responsibility in raising them and then teach them to be creationists. Because thinking outside what the bible says is bad. Seriously do you really want a bunch of kids running around thinking, do you? do you?

Good (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756302)

Kids these days should be playeing theoir superninendoes and not making chemical thigs thatcould be terrorism or pornogrify. SHUT UP.

Re:Good (4, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756408)

Maybe if you had blown some shit up as a child you'd be a better troll today.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32756682)

I used to do stuff like this all the time when I was a kid. We (it was a conspiracy) used to burn stuff (nothing that was alive) and see if we could get things to explode. Carbide was a lot of fun. Also, amazing what you can do with even small amounts of gasoline and other flammable solvents. This was all good fun. It is a normal part of growing up. We never had the cops visit (we were smart enough or lucky enough to avoid alarming the neighbors.)

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32757004)

maybe he did and got hit in the head a few times by shrapnel and as a result can't spell good anymore

Hyperbole or stupidity (4, Interesting)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756314)

So dry ice in a plastic soda bottle constitutes a "bomb" these days? I mean, I suppose you could "put an eye out" with it, but it's not really what I would call a "bomb". Are the police just stupid, or is the prosecuting attorney delving into hyperbole?

Re:Hyperbole or stupidity (1)

crunch_ca (972937) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756482)

Next thing, it will be making desserts [] .

Re:Hyperbole or stupidity (5, Insightful)

Cookie3 (82257) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756656)

Back in 1999, a teacher at my High School was injured because a kid thought a dry ice bomb in a trash can would be a "funny" prank. I don't know how much dry ice was placed in the soda bottles -- I suspect they were 2L bottles -- but he put several bottles of dry ice in different trash cans around the school: []

It's not mentioned in the article, but the teacher did suffer lacerations on his face -- an inch or two to either side, and he might have actually been blinded.

I don't see how you can not call it a bomb. It's a device that explodes. Improperly placed (or designed), and it can hurt innocent bystanders. Putting dry ice and water in a sealed bottle can *ONLY* result in an explosion. What else would you call it?

Re:Hyperbole or stupidity (3, Insightful)

Cornelius the Great (555189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756660)

Dry ice in a soda bottle can be dangerous (especially if you point the cap at someone), but certainly not an act of terrorism.

It's funny how this story gets brought up right before the July 4 weekend- I can't buy any of the fireworks that I used to play with as a kid. I set off dry ice bombs at my high school with no police action resulted (this was before Columbine). I remember going out into the wilderness with a .22 rifle and hunting by myself at the age of 10. Had this been recent, my parents would be in the same boat as the mom in TFA.

We're depriving our youth of the dangers and the excitement resulting from a combination of intelligence, curiosity, and access to a lot of cool chemicals and explosive materials. Now that Darwin has been defanged, we're a nation of pussies.

I better go dismantle my potato cannon...

Re:Hyperbole or stupidity (1)

alta (1263) | more than 4 years ago | (#32757002)

I hereby invite all /.ers to my house for July 4th. The only requirement is you have to bring your own fireworks, beer and copy of the constitution? Why the constitution? Because too many people have never read it so they don't even realize our rights are being eroded. Anyway, I live in alabama, I have 2 acres of land and there are 5 fireworks stands and a fireworks warehouse( 2 miles away.

See you there, and someone bring me some yengling, blue moon or sam adams.

Re:Hyperbole or stupidity (5, Interesting) (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756672)

So dry ice in a plastic soda bottle constitutes a "bomb" these days? I mean, I suppose you could "put an eye out" with it, but it's not really what I would call a "bomb". Are the police just stupid, or is the prosecuting attorney delving into hyperbole?

When I was 13yo I had a friend in middle school that had recently returned from an out of state 4th of July vacation, and came home with a ton of illegal-in-my-state fireworks. I convinced him that it would be a great idea to bring a backpack full to school so we should shoot them off.

Suffice to say that he did bring them, and we skipped the last class of the day and ventured out to the track and field long jump pit. Then, in a blaze of glory we lit off a backpack full of m-80's, black-cats, whistlers, smoke bombs, etc. Just about the time our hearing was returning, we noticed that all 4 grade level principals were rushing us.

At the end of the day, we were yelled at by 4 school principals, 1 school superintendent, 1 county sheriff, 1 deputy sheriff, 4 city police officers, the city bomb squad, the county SWAT unit, the fire chief, the paramedics, and last but not least our parents. I had to pay $400 to sit through a 6hour juvenile delinquent rehab seminar.

The best part is that my poor friend cried the whole time, while I laughed almost hysterically. Now, I told you that story so I could tell you this story: when I my father was 13yo, his neighbor had a son the same age, and they would often go hunting and fishing, and exploring together. The neighbor would often give his son and my father a crate of dynamite and simply tell them "you boys be careful, now!"

The think-of-the-kids mentality is almost solely responsible for this pussification of the USA. Won't someone think of the adults!?!?

Re:Hyperbole or stupidity (1)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756744)

He's probably missing one bomb conviction for the "all culprit types captures" achievement.

And they talk about us computer games players losing contact with reality. They wouldn't know reality if it came knocking.

A baking soda volcano is nothing... (5, Funny)

KarrdeSW (996917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756328)

The kid was probably plotting to wire a case of mentos and coca-cola to drench his neighborhood in sudsy death...

Be thankful (2, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756366)

Be thankful they weren't taking photographs too, or they'd be looking at 25 in PMITA.

Next to outlaw... Potato Guns! (1)

Swampcritter (1165207) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756390)

If you want to see more of the crude and actual childhood secrets that many of us did, you should see the Fark comments of the original post (yesterday):

There are lots of activities you can do with your teenage son, but helping him make bombs out of dry ice shouldn't be one of them. (

Watch out! (4, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756398)

If over pressurizing a container until it explodes is a felony, make sure your kids don't:

1) Blow up a finished juice box and stomp on it.
2) Blow up a plastic bag and hit it.
3) Blow up and pop a balloon.
4) Pop bubble packaging wrap.
5) Blowing and popping bubble gum.

Those are all variations on the same theme. Now I get it, dry ice "bombs" can cause injury if used without a tiny bit of common sense. But then again, a staircase can be deadly if used incorrectly. But yes, I see the "safety" factor, but a felony? Are we serious?

Re:Watch out! (4, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756670)

If setting people's houses on fire is a felony, make sure you don't light a charcoal grill. It's a variation on the same theme.

"destructive device" (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756444)

That's the weak point of this particular law. It's one of those "vague, let the officers interpret it" laws, so in reality, the law isn't determining if what you are doing is illegal, the officers are, and that's not how the legal system is supposed to work.

If they wanted to drag this out, I'm sure their lawyer could mount their main attack on "destructive device" and pull a win, because it would be trivial to show that the term could apply to a wide variety of things that no reasonable person would consider unlawful. Once you show a law can be used to convict even one innocent person, the law becomes unenforceable in court.

They probably will simply get the charges dropped, because the cops usually like having vague laws like that on the books because it allows them to make more flexible judgement calls. (which can be good OR bad for the public, and that's the problem) They won't want this to go to court because they'll lose their bad (but useful) law if it does. Or at least get a precedent set against it on the books.

Re:"destructive device" (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756712)

Have someone testify that the number of items in the court room that could be considered destructive measures in the tens of thousands (if not orders of magnitude higher).

Re:"destructive device" (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756958)

Bonus points if you can bring Chuck Norris in to testify that.

Re:"destructive device" (3, Informative)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756718)

Destructive devices are NFA items and are covered/controlled by the BATFE. The same BATFE that ruled that a shoe lace can make a machine gun [] ...

Re:"destructive device" (2, Informative)

siwelwerd (869956) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756746)

Once you show a law can be used to convict even one innocent person, the law becomes unenforceable in court.

Really? So since innocent people have been exonerated after having been convicted of murder, murder laws are now unenforceable in court?

Re:"destructive device" (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756866)

The problem, as I see it, isn't so much in letting the officers interpret it; it's fundamentally impossible for a code of laws to describe every possible scenario. The problem is that juries are generally instructed to not interpret the law, but merely accept the government's interpretation.

Re:"destructive device" (1)

Craigj0 (10745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756878)

> Once you show a law can be used to convict even one innocent person, the law becomes unenforceable in court.
Once they are convicted they are not innocent. That is why they made a law.

I comfortably survived these as a child: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32756446)

1. Flour dust in a closed container
2. Acetylene and Oxygen balloon
3. Acetylene and Oxygen trash bag ...
Add your own to the list

Another potential WMD (4, Insightful)

dcsmith (137996) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756494)

Wow - it's a good thing he wasn't caught releasing internally produced methane and igniting it. Mom could have been charged with feeding him beans.

A law I wish existed... (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756496)

"Enemy of freedom and democracy". Citizens could arrest legislators, judges, heads of state, and law enforcement persons for violating the principles of a free and libertarian democracy.

The charges would be adjudicated by all citizens of the town, state, or country (whichever scope was more appropriate). If a majority of those voting agreed to convict, then the person in question would be banished or, if he so chose, could cut down a tree with a herring.

Re:A law I wish existed... (1)

devnullkac (223246) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756720)

In many non-democratic states established in the last half century they call that "counter revolutionary activity." Not something I'm eager to see in the USA.

Re:A law I wish existed... (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756808)

In many non-democratic states established in the last half century they call that "counter revolutionary activity."

I don't think that's right. That term is usually used by the post-revolution government to prosecute people, rather than applied by the non-governing populace to charge government officials.

i'd like to propose an arrest: (1, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756742)

any proponent of libertarianism who wishes to whittle away government regulations until the power vacuum is filled by corporations, who are not interested in our freedom or democracy at all

ive done all that (1)

sqkybeaver (1415539) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756504)

when i was younger my brother and i used to half fill 2 letre coke bottles and presurize to 9 psi and shoot them into the air, 20 years ago all the cops could do is tells us not to point them at peoples houses. the laws on the books are to broad. sure curiosity kills cats, but it puts kids and thire parents in to legal situations totaly unnesscary. at least the kid was supervised by an adult!

Re:ive done all that (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756932)

I'm not so sure you could consider 9psi as pressurized.

When Mentos is outlawed (4, Funny)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756508)

only outlaws will have Mentos.


Re:When Mentos is outlawed (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756862)

only outlaws will have Mentos.

They already do. If you've seen the Mentos commercials from 5-10 years ago, it's clear that those people deserved to be in the Gulag.

Re:When Mentos is outlawed (1)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756948)

Just had this cool metal image of an entire bank robbery done to the Mentos style music and commercial theme:

'Doo doo doo doo, doo-doo, do-Wah!'
It doesn't matter what comes, fresh goes better in life, and Mentos is fresh and full of life.
Nothing gets to you, staying fresh staying cool, with Mentos, fresh and full of life.
Fresh goes better, Mentos freshness, fresh goes better with Mentos, fresh and full of life!
Mentos, the freshmaker!

Then cut to one of the robbers hanging out the side window of the getaway car holding some Mentos and a huge smile.

watch out future scientists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32756534)

Lets hope the Omaha PD doesn't find out about any high school science fairs.

From the article. (4, Insightful)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756540)

Looks like the police got in on the fun too. " Police found and detonated an ice bomb in a plastic bottle." Yep, because we all know a dry ice bomb has to be detonated to be disposed of.

I wonder if I face child endangerment if my son mows the lawn? A minor wielding a gas powered spinning steel blade. That can't be good for children.

Re:From the article. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756972)

They ... detonated... a container full of dry ice? What's next, nuke Mars?

Should we do something about it, or just mock it? (2, Informative)

hedpe2003 (1735078) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756584)

Now, I recognize I do not know the whole story - but this kind of pisses me off, to be honest. It looks to me, like this was either an experiment or just plain fun. I recognize that the cops would be called for such a loud noise, but an arrest is ridiculous; and, it seems most people here agree. Should we do something about it, or just mock it?

Contact Juvenile Division []

Contact Criminal Division []

Friends of mine did the same thing... (1)

Bicx (1042846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756608)

... back when i was younger, except they used rubbing alcohol and chlorine. It was fun to watch, and it wasn't dangerous if you stood back and detonated them in a field. Basically there is a delayed reaction between the rubbing alcohol and the chlorine which gave about 10 seconds before changing to a deep yellow color and rapidly producing chlorine gas that exploded a soda bottle. This led to more experimentation that resulted in their creation of a PVC mortar-like cannon used to launch softballs about 70 yards. Talk about cool.

Peter Brady - undersupervised and troubled youth (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756630) []

(Note the video poster makes a Freudian decontextualization of the scene in his comments. Dude, sometime as cigar is just a cigar.)


destructive device? (1)

Billkamm (322282) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756690)

felony "possession of a destructive device"? I have all sorts of destructive devices in my house. A sledge hammer, a chainsaw, kitchen knifes, box cutters, crowbar, hedge clippers, scissors, etc... am I going to be in some sort of trouble?

Fireworks are banned here, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32756698)

IIRC, "possession of a destructive device" is legalese for "in posession of fireworks or their ilk". Not legal within city limits

Bill Nye (1)

wazzzup (172351) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756732)

I think Bill Nye should redo his entire show episodes filmed from a cave with a couple of bodyguards and AK-47's behind him.

C'mon people - when did we forget what it was like to be a boy? It's how we learn. Are taping several bottle rockets together to make it multi-stage and seeing what lights on fire with a magnifying glass going to be terrorist activities too? Do we need a 3-day waiting period for building a potato gun?

It's amazing what a little bit of fear and fear-mongering (I'm talking to you the Fox News) will do to the way people interact with the world.

Idle hands are the devil's tools (1)

PackMan97 (244419) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756764)

This is nothing. Back in the day I lived in a state that allowed fireworks. Typically around New Years my friends and I would get some empty wrapping paper rolls, some bottle rockets and pretend like we had bazookas. Light a bottle rocket it, stick it in one end, watch it come out the other and go wherever you pointed it. I'm sure that was breaking some kind of law, but it sure was fun. Of course we were smart enough to go out into the woods where no annoying parents or busy bodies were around to see.

Gateway bomb... (1)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756792)

Ah yes - what we used to call the 'Tonic Bomb'. My first encounter with it was quite by accident - I used to make orange soda by putting a few cc of dry ice into a 2 liter bottle of OJ. I was eight years old, and fortunately my dad had the foresight to tell me, "You'd better do that outside." BOOM!!! with a CO2 vapor cloud that took a while to dissipate on that hot humid midwest summer evening.

Harmless? Hardly. It was a gateway bomb. A few years later (8th grade chemistry) I figured out that the oxy-acetylene tanks in our garage had a use far greater than fueling a cutting torch. Punching bag balloons with a real punch. Got in trouble for those. Probably because I set them off behind the police station.

Fortunately this happened in the 1980's, so I was not labelled a terrorist, and merely had to go to juvi court and promise to not do it again. And I didn't. Until I was an undergrad with unlimited access to whatever raw materials I wanted.

Bombs made as an undergrad, and since, have been bigger and better. But most importantly, safer. Today the thought of five cubic feet of primary explosive (72% O2 + 28% C2H2) in a balloon frightens me.

Some people are going to want to blow shit up. Many of these people will actually attempt it. Teach them how to do it safely.

I'm sure the kid will be better off (1)

colonelquesadilla (1693356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756822)

as a ward of the state. This is classified as idle, and it's easy to laugh at the absurdity of it. But seriously, the parent is facing child endangerment charges, as well as posession of a destructive device. That means likely serious jail time, and even more likely that the child will be taken into foster care, and almost certainly be treated very badly. Furthermore, he will grow up having had his life ruined by the law. Something relatively harmless becomes a series of good reasons to actually deploy destructive devices or turn to crime.

my mom would be serving a life sentence (2, Insightful)

alta (1263) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756836)

Wow, is this what we're coming to? When I was a kid (34 now) I did all kinds of stuff that would now get someone in my family put in jail. It's not like I never got caught, it's just that people understood what 'boys will be boys' meant back then. Sure I didn't personally make a bomb (I would have) but you could have locked me up many times over for incendiary devices, or as I got older, reckless driving.

It's sad that it's come to this. How many of the worlds smartest people did dangerous things when they were kids? How many electrical engineers played with electricity? How many fire fighters played with fires? How many SWAT team members shot guns and made bombs? How many architects, civil engieers or constructions workers built forts out of wood the re-appropriated from their neighbors fences? How many lemon-aid stand kids are now rich capitalists?

Our government now only promotes mediocrity, not excellence.

Destructive Device ? (1)

kjshark (312401) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756850)

I guess once police proclaim something a 'destructive device" all rights can be removed from anyone who happens to standing around. The law doesn't seem to be too specific as to how destructive something is, or what it could destroy. I have a devices which destroy wood. You know, saws, gouges, routers, drills, sanders. Think of the damage you could do with those. Much more than dry ice in a plastic bottle.

In other news (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756854)

kid farts, parents detained for manufacturing biological WMD

I won't even comment on this... (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756954)

The Police should jail themeselves. Everywhere!

magnesium (1)

AntEater (16627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756984)

I recall getting hassled by the local cops when my cousins and I decided to ignite a strip of magnesium in an empty parking lot. You'd think we were loading sticks of dynamite in a van by the way the officer initially reacted. That was about 20 years ago. I'd probably be looking at charges if it were done today.

Talk Back (5, Informative)

D66 (452265) | more than 4 years ago | (#32757008)

Criminal Division
1701 Farnam Street
Hall of Justice, Suite # 100
Omaha, NE 68183
(402) 444-7040

In situations like this, public outcry and shame against those who infringe on freedom is a useful tool. Shame is underutilized as a form of social change. We should change that and complain to anyone connected with this charge. Loudly. So rather than posting here impotently, Call the Douglas County Attorney's office and state that this charge is an assault freedom

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