The red wire. No, the Blue!

I especially liked when they described the look of the aftermath of the bomb and said “It looked as if a bomb had gone off.” and “In the casino pit the tables had turned.”

I think you are referring to this Darwin Award incident. It was actually Israel that decided to switch earlier, and apparently a lot of people had confused schedules because of it.

Most people presumably just were late or early to meetings and whatnot, though, which made it matter less for obvious reasons. Explosives are less forgiving of scheduling errors.

Not quite correctly, I think. The writer uses it as a gaudy synonym for “exit.” A vomitorium is a particular kind of exit that goes through a rank of seats, like at a theater or stadium, forming a throat that vomits people out.

Don’t be silly. One of the very first instances of this, I remember the countdown stopped at “007”. He would have had plenty of time to get out of the room. :slight_smile:

A more sombre screwup? The Sikh terrorists that blew up the Air India plane near Ireland also planted a bomb westbound that killed a Narita baggage handler. The still unanswered question is about timing - did they intend to blow up two planes on he ground, one in London and one near Japan? OR two planes in the air, one Near London and one near Tokyo? Regardless which plan, it seems they could not count time zones correctly and one or the other was off by an hour or two.

It was not uncommon during ‘the troubles’ for the IRA to blow themselves up on the way to plant a bomb. These were referred to as ‘own goals’.

Seems more like propaganda which has been accepted uncritically. “
A “Look at how dumb them muzzies are”. Since these theoretical bombers have been smart enough to get past security but too dumb to understand the concept of daylight saving time?
Plus if I understand it, timers don’t care what the local time is, they are like stopwatches, they work on time gone by since activated.

Let’s say we make a plan that the bomb will be in place at 11:00 and go off at 11:15. I the bomb maker set the timer for 2 hours at my local time of 9:15 but that is 8:15 Israel time. Then the person placing the bomb needs to place it at10:00 Israel time. If there is confusion about Palestine time vs Israel time then there can be problems using a timer.

Apple famously had issues with daylight savings time a few years ago causing problems for people who relied on their phone to give them the correct time. So it is not jut dumb muzzies who have issues with daylight savings time.

Bomb makers don’t normally arm the bomb until its ready to be used. Not the smart i.e alive ones anyway. So yeah I doubt the story.
In any insurgency, lots of idiots blow themselves up by accident, being self-taught and all.

In general, the people using the bombs are not the people making the bombs. Bomb-makers are too valuable to send out on missions.

Not so much stupid as miscommunication. “Plant this bomb at 11:00”. The bombmaker has ideological blinders on, it does not occur to him that dedicated fellow travellers would use Israeli time, even though the others do so because you have to if that is the environment you live and work in.

I remember reading how freezing the detonator with a liquid nitrogen spray was what bomb squads were doing in the 90’s and I’ve seen a bunch of movies copy that in their bomb disarmament recreations.

And it’s not as if actual armies haven’t screwed up thanks to their failure to synchronize their clocks.

Does anyone know the first use of this trope? There’s a 1974 movie called Juggernaut that ends with a “cut the blue wire” scene. Awesome cast (Richard Harris, Omar Sharif, Anthony Hopkins), and pretty good overall, but the ending is infuriating if you think about it a bit.

I’m still reading the story of the Harvey’s casino bombing. I heard a very good podcast on it a while ago. One thing I’ve not heard, once the culprit was captured was any wiring diagram or instructions found that revealed if there was a way to disarm the bomb using the switches on the panel? Could the bomber have given instructions on how to deactivate the bomb?

If I were to make a bomb, it would totally have a big LED countdown, which would be completely inaccurate.

Back in the early 80s, master forger Mark Hofmann got into financial trouble, he killed one document collector with a bomb and then set another one, killing the wife of a business associate of the collector in an attempt to distract the police.

He had a third bomb which he was apparently going to kill one of two other associates of his. (One of whom grew up around the corner from me and was my older brother’s age. He would come to our house for cub scouts.)

Unfortunately for Hoftmann, somehow the plans fell through and as he attempted to handle the bomb, he blew up, severely injuring him. It was triggered with a mercury switch, and Mark had already armed the bomb. Also unfortunately for him, the wires, (red and blue?, were internal to the box.

According to the stories written about it, the bomb had been manufactured as non-disarmable. The guy who built it claimed to have made it shock-sensitive, so moving it would make it detonate. But a photograph of the bomb shows an array of toggle switches on the outer casing. The builder offered to basically “sell” the switch configuration that would disable the shock-detonation feature (and allow the bomb to be transported to a remote detonation site) for $3 Million.

Hogan’s Heroes, “A Klink, a Bomb, and a Short Fuse”: Col. Hogan has to cut a wire to defuse a bomb that landed in the camp.

Klink: “If you knew which wire it was, why did you ask me?”
Hogan: “I wasn’t sure which was the right one, but I was certain you’d pick the wrong one.”

IANABT, but I worked with ex-bomb techs (State LEO) for about ten years. They seemed to favor either bomb containment (with a trailer-mounted vessel) or water disruption in place. It depended on whether they were comfortable in moving the device.

Less preferred were detonation in place or some other exotic method (liquid nitrogen). Detonation in place was usually reserved for older, less stable explosives (like really old dynamite) that couldn’t be moved safely.

The guys I worked with said they would never try to “cut wires” unless it was absolutely the last option (e.g., the device is attached to an individual, which was hardly ever seen here in the US).

Very recent: Mysterious Floating Package Sparks Bomb Scare, Turns Out To Be NASA Experiment is a funny story, where I honestly believe the malefactor was trying, genially, to do the right thing.

And man that looks like a don’t-cut-the-wire thing right out of Hollywood. And which evil no-goodnik wouldn’t think that writing “NASA” would be great cover?

Also NASA was stupid for the design of the package to begin with.