I spent an hour this weekend.....reading back and forth over this Texas story with the Muslim high school kid who brought his science project into the school, and folks got disturbed enough to call the cops. The cops looked at the project and temporarily arrested the kid. The general belief is that it was a suitcase bomb.
One segment of society wrapped their arms around the kid and made this all look like a bad mistake by the school and the cops. The other segment questioned the overall story and simply don't believe the kids story.
I looked at the 'kit' used....Micronta 63 756....a Radio Shack package. Anyone can buy it and assemble it. That was one of the great things about Radio Shack....they were always the place where you could buy nifty kits like this for understanding things and being a junior-junior engineer sort of person.
I looked at the way this kid built his project.....everything inside of a suitcase.....then proclaiming it was only a clock. Maybe he believes that, and just had some guidance from dad. But the method of which this was built.....all in a suitcase, so you can't read the time on it.....is basically ten minutes away from being converted to a bomb device.
Here's the thing....we live in a society where key components for any kind of explosive device can be built. There are probably over a hundred million Americans who could walk into Radio Shack....buy the various kits necessary, buy some other materials, and build this briefcase bomb device. You simply have to hope that some nutcase doesn't get peeved one day and do something stupid. That's our whole life cycle now....hoping that the nuts don't go to the next step.
As for the kid? I'd like to believe his story. It's just this odd thing.....why build a clock that you can't see without some significant action? Someone around this kid suggested this 'nifty' idea and just grinned as they suggested this method of design. The kid is naive....never asking any stupid questions. The kid might still be naive.....but you'd think he'd ask stupid questions now.
I think the science teacher in this school ought to flip things over and just require kids to manage some 'ant-farm' for six weeks. A lot safer, if you ask me.