back to article Robot deputy blasts possibly explosive Mexican beans with CANNON in 'controlled explosion'

A robotic deputy from the San Diego Sheriff's Bomb and Arson Unit took no chances with a suspicious parcel full of potentially exploding Mexican beans yesterday, blasting the package with a "cannon" in a "controlled explosion". Local police spokesman Lieutenant Greg Koran told media that a postman making his rounds noticed …

  1. Ole Juul


    Good thing they got it stopped.

    1. DropBear

      Re: Ticking?

      Everybody's just so quick to judge these days... I hear those beans need periodic humidification to stay alive - maybe it was just a misguided attempt at some emergency care! It's a "water cannon" after all...

  2. DJO Silver badge


    What is it over there, 1970? I doubt if anybody has used a mechanical timer in a bomb for at least 40 years as electronic ones are more rugged, reliable, cheaper, easier to use and I'd better stop incriminating myself now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ticking?

      No, no, no, you have it all wrong. According to Hollywood movies, even electronic bomb timers fitted by otherwise silent war ninja's will emit a loud "BLEEP" when enabled, and will proceed to blip every second of their short life away, yet are never heard by the opposing party until they blow up. They automatically become more audible, though, if the official hero is trying to find them.

      They come from the same outfit that sells computers that make noises during execution of tasks, moving windows, announcing results and generally bleep with every keystroke - in other words, the sort of machine that nobody in their right mind would buy (ah, hang on, that is *exactly* the sort of machine that would come out a mass procurement exercise by government - it is realistic after all)..

      So ticking it is. Or bleeping.

      1. jphb

        Re: Ticking?

        And, of course, atom bombs are always fitted with a flashing count-down timer - who for?

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. jake Silver badge

    Overt paranoia.

    The so-called "terrorists", who will never affect me & mine in any way, shape, or form in our day-to-day lives, are winning in the eyes of the world.

    Sad, that.

    1. g e

      Re: Overt paranoia.

      Oh that poor, defenceless, frightened nation.

      Whenever we watch 'The News' in our house (UK), we say 'Let's check what we should be frightened of today'. There was first frost this morning, so presumably it will be 'The Coldest Winter Ever'. Again.

      Having said that, though, one of our guys is very late in this morning as he takes the train so....

      1. Anonymous Blowhard

        Re: Overt paranoia.

        "Having said that, though, one of our guys is very late in this morning as he takes the train"

        Implied question is answered in statement.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Stop me if I've told you this before, but may years ago, when limpet mines were the damager of choice in South Africa, I attended a conference on bomb disposal and casualty management, in general a rather gruesome event, but lightened by a bomb disposal guy explaining how they dealt with limpet mines. They positioned a small ring charge of plastic explosive around the flange into which the detonator was screwed, the detonator usually having a ring on the end. They attached a piece of nylon cord to the plastics detonator, with a loop to the main detonator ring. They then attached the other end of the string to a car, accelerated away, and the plastic blew the detonator free of the mine, the loop of string yanking the detonator clear of the mine casing.

    It seemed a bit extreme, but one wag in the audience yelled out "Why don't you just unscrew the detonator?" Everyone laughed, and the presenter chuckled and said "Well yes, someone did that once."

    He continued "We all took cover, and he unscrewed , and unscrewed and unscrewed for what seemed like forever, and eventually, he turned around in triumph with the detonator in his hand, shouting 'I've got it!' when it went off." He paused for a moment. "Boy, did he need to change his underwear."

  5. Graham Marsden

    "American EOD teams indulge in a bit of overkill"

    Oh come on! They've got all these cool toys, can you blame them for wanting to get them out and give them a go?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone else see the irony...

    in the name of the heroic spokesman in the 'War on Terror'/Vegetables (delete as appropriate) having the surname Koran?

    I'm sure someone (answers on a postcard) will see that as evidence of some sort of government conspiracy against immigrant veg!

  7. ElectricRook

    no kill like overkill

    There is absolutely no kill like over kill. Then again, if you've got explosives, a license to play with them, and are earning say $100/hr why not go ahead and do the job. You also earn the vital R&R fodder (Ranking & Rating) so that you can prove your worth to the big boss i.e. I safely detonated X suspicious packages last year with no casualties.

  8. ma1010

    True story of another bomb scare

    Years ago when I was in college, someone found a "suspicious parcel" in one of the buildings. Campus police bravely moved the package over to the Health Center and X-rayed it. The X-ray revealed what looked like cylindrical objects with a lot of wires. Now this is getting serious! So they moved the parcel out to the quad, cleared everyone away, attached a rope to the parcel and gave it a hard yank, breaking it open and scattering the contents.

    The parcel contained a couple of large egg rolls and container of chow mien. They had just ruined the janitor's lunch.

    1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: True story of another bomb scare

      Two boys playing street soccer with a vaguely spherical, rust coloured object. Passing veteran recognises a Mills bomb. Confiscate said hand grenade and puts it in his car's glove box (Austin 1100 - tells you how long ago this was).

      About a fortnight later the veteran delivers the Mills bomb to his local police station. It is then used as a paper weight for the desk sergeant's in-box for another 14 days until the EOD team are finally summoned.

      The team leader decides that the ammunition is so unstable that it must be blown up in situ.

      Lost his explosive license!

  9. Ugotta B. Kiddingme


    Would those be Klingon or Romulan?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I don't do suspension of disbelief very well, and my first thought on being persuaded to watch "The Dark Knight Rises" was that the obvious way to deal with a fusion bomb is with a suitable disruptor. Perhaps the arming of the US police with relatively heavy ordnance is to deal with precisely this scenario, various people on the Government not having realised that the McGuffin was a completely fictional device.

  11. imanidiot Silver badge

    Kill, overkill, who cares

    The parcel was probably going to get destroyed one way or another. Maybe some bomb disposal guy decided what's worth doing is worth overdoing.

  12. raving angry loony

    Too soon.

    Personally, I've found beans to be explosive WMD (weapons of mass disgust) only AFTER I've eaten them. Maybe their mileage varies?

  13. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    'controlled explosion' my arse!

    Lets see how 'controlled' it is. Try stopping one half way through.

    You don't get a 'BA' without a 'NG'

  14. YetAnotherLocksmith

    Would the X-ray machine not have killed the bugs anyway? That's how they sterilise various things.

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      "Would the X-ray machine not have killed the bugs anyway?"

      Depends if it's set to "look" or "kill"...

  15. Tom Czerniawski

    I wonder how effective this water-based disruptor might be as a close-range personal defense weapon.

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