Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Jelly Roll

5:45 PM -- When you do a lot of security research, as I do, you occasionally turn up something sticky. Here's an article that turned up on BBC News earlier this week:

    A large area near the town of Halle, Germany was cordoned off after a "flabby red, orange and green substance" was found by the road, Reuters reported.

    Fire officers in protective suits spent two hours inspecting the substance before concluding it was jelly.

    "The fire brigade always has to assume a worst-case scenario," a fire brigade spokesman told the news agency.

    "We conducted a variety of tests and figured out it was jelly."

    The spillage was traced to a wedding party. The newly-wed groom, who was woken up and informed of the alert, promised to clean up the mess.

Okay, I have a series of questions about this story:

1) Who reported this potential hazard? Smucker's? How paranoid do you have to be to see weapons of mass destruction in a pile of goo by the side of the road? What's next, mines in the Hellman's?

2) What the heck are the Germans eating over there? If I saw "a flabby red, orange, and green substance," I don't think I'd put it on my toast, even if it happened to be on the breakfast buffet at Shoney's.

3) The fire brigade spent two hours examining the substance and "performed a variety of tests" before determining that it was jelly. Exactly what tests did they perform? "Well, first we put it in a centrifuge, then we tried it on an English muffin." And how did this take two hours? Did they watch two episodes of Emeril first, just to be sure they spread it right?

4) The spillage was eventually traced to a wedding party. Okay, I've been to a lot of weddings, but I don't recall one where any sort of fruity condiment was served, much less a "flabby red, orange, and green substance." I mean, who was getting married, Courtney Love and Jiminy Glick? If somebody served such a substance to me at a wedding, I'd take back my Mixmaster.

Seriously, are we getting a little too paranoid about security these days? Maybe we should spend more time looking for criminals and less time investigating gooey substances. Lighten up, everybody. And let the jelly roll.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading