Are we getting a little too jumpy? Yesterday morning, about this time, when Leslie and I were getting up and ready to shower, the power went off for a few seconds. We initially thought nothing of it: there's a new tenant moving into an apartment in the building, and we figured they flipped off the wrong breakers while setting him up.
When I got out of the shower, I realized I had to re-set all the digital clocks that were now flashing 12:00 because of the power outage. I turned on CNN, only because they have always have the current time in the scroll at the bottom of the screen. The cable, however, was out - there was nothing on any channel.
Rather than assume that it was "just another" local power outage, and that it had interrupted cable service, I immediately figured that terrorists must have blown up a local power plant. I then turned to the radio, and tuned into the all-news station: they had sports on. It was nothing, but I was willing to assume the worst because of a short power outage knocking out the cable for a few hours.
I'm not the only getting jumpy. Later in the day, yesterday, I turned on the TV for a few minutes (to see if the cable was working again - it was) and just happened to catch a special news bulletin from the San Jose airport where a plane that had just arrived from Chicago was being detained. The report was that a man "of Middle-Eastern origin" had spilled a mysterious powder into the plane's ventilation system. The plane was being quarantined until they could all be tested for Anthrax.
It turns out that the "mysterious powder" was star shaped confetti that fell out of a greeting card sent by the suspect's girlfriend. This was one of three such air incidents around the country yesterday, and one of several Anthrax scares in the Bay Area alone.
"It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine" - R.E.M.
False Alarm on Flight to San Jose (Mercury News)