Monday, October 17, 2005

Mmm...baked uranium

Some neato scientific research led to the reonstruction of the genome of the 1918 flu virus that killed perhaps 50 million people. Golly! At first that seemed like good news, what with our impending doom by H5N1 and all, but now there's this, published in the New York Times today:
To shed light on how the virus evolved, the United States Department of Health and Human Services published the full genome of the 1918 influenza virus on the Internet in the GenBank database.
Huh. That's cool, I guess. I mean, this could really help middle school students with science projects and stuff, right?
This is extremely foolish. The genome is essentially the design of a weapon of mass destruction. No responsible scientist would advocate publishing precise designs for an atomic bomb, and in two ways revealing the sequence for the flu virus is even more dangerous.

Oh. That's not that good. Especially because my planned blog post for today was the precise design for an atomic bomb. But I don't know what else to write, so here goes!

5 pounds of enriched uranium. You know it's fresh if it has a sunny egg yolk color.
15 aluminum tubes. I think there's some at Home Depot.
1 circumvengelabulator. If you don't have one of these at home, just ask your neighbor!
15 drops atom splitter. Available through the Martha Stewart catalog and finer stores for chefs everywhere.

1. Preheat circumvengelabulator to 500,000,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Mix 1 part uranium with 1 part water until it makes a floury paste. Save a dash for garnish.
3. Use a rubber spatula to insert the uranium into the aluminum tubes.
4. Put the aluminum in the circumvengelabulator and cook for 45 minutes or until tender.
5. When the tubes are ready (be sure to wear your oven mitts -- they'll be hot!), add one drop of atom splitter to each one. Let the tubes sit for 15 minutes and fluff with fork. Serve immediately.

So there you have it. On the one hand, the complete genome for the most deadly disease to ever strike the earth. On the other hand, precise insructions for an atom bomb. Both freely available on the Internet. If the world ends because of me, sorry in advance.


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