Dear Boston Police: Try “Google”

Not a month after the Aqua Teen Hunger Force incident in which Boston Police shut down the city to blow up a number of promotional blinking ads, it seems the Boston Police Bomb Squad is bucking for promotion again today. This time, they blew up a suspicious package in Boston’s financial district, that turned out to be a traffic counter placed there by the City’s own Transportation Department.

How is it that no one bothered to try to identify the device before blowing it up? I mean, I understand that faced with a possible bomb, caution is required. But couldn’t someone take a picture with a cameraphone and see if someone in the City could identify it beforehand? How about a Google search?

In fact, let me suggest a new protocol for first responders to deal with any unusual circumstance:

  1. Open a web browser
  2. Go to
  3. Type a description of the object in question
  4. Examine the results for a match.

It’s that easy. It even works for other circumstance when you don’t know what you’re looking at. Take the recent case of the immigrant who was denied entry until he removed a medical device from his posterior that the customs officials thought might be used to smuggle drugs. It’s called a “seton”, and despite the fact that the doctor at the airport had never heard of it, a Google search for “seton” and “anal” immediately returns a nice detailed result on the device and the medical reasons it is used.

Come on guys – it’s just not that hard.