Join 3,494 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The Bottom line
January 15, 2003 2:29 PM   Subscribe

Hot seat. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time, when the staff at this radio station had one of those dynamic, 'brainstorming' sessions, to dream up 'wacky' new competitions for their listeners... Now they're going to have their asses sued.
posted by apocalypse miaow (52 comments total)

 
What a bunch of dumb asses. (can I say that here?)
posted by MaddCutty at 2:37 PM on January 15, 2003


Would it have killed you to include an actual description of the link? How about links to other stupid stunts that radio stations have pulled? There are plenty, you know. And how about a link to something about the well-known effects of touching dry ice to human skin?

</jerk>
posted by UrbanFigaro at 2:38 PM on January 15, 2003


"...the well-known effects of touching dry ice to human skin"

Apparently not well-known to listeners of BRMB.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:40 PM on January 15, 2003


UrbanFigaro: Surely you know how to use google?
(I'm a big fan of one-link posts btw).

I hadn't even heard about this, even though I live in Birmingham and regularly visit Broad Street. Maybe it'll be in the papers tomorrow...

BRMB also caused controversy by having the first marriage of two strangers via radio
posted by BigCalm at 2:43 PM on January 15, 2003


I'm not sure where this hatred of the single link post came from, I love em. Stop whining.
posted by zeoslap at 2:46 PM on January 15, 2003


UrbanFigaro, closing the tag didn't help.
posted by quonsar at 2:48 PM on January 15, 2003


I know exactly how this happened: everybody knows dry ice hurts, but people on the street were asked to participate, and they assumed that because it was a special case (for a radio show!), that something must be different and it wouldn't really hurt. You always assume there's some guy there whose presence makes it safe to do stupid things.

I know this because it's probably what I would think if I were in their place.
posted by Hildago at 2:49 PM on January 15, 2003


sorta reminds me of this case, although the radio personality and those with him were let off.

oh, i'm sorry UrbanFigaro, i didn't include a description with the link.
posted by poopy at 2:50 PM on January 15, 2003


So, if I see this correctly, they must have dragged contestants to the chair, forced them to sit on it and then strapped them down to make them stay there for long enough to cause these injuries, right?

When are people going to understand that they are responsible for their own safety before blaming others for their stupidity? When hell freezes over, I am afraid.
posted by dg at 2:52 PM on January 15, 2003


As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!!
posted by stonerose at 2:56 PM on January 15, 2003


In order to make it up to UrbanFigaro, I feel I should offer to become his personal Google butler. For any link posted on MeFi, I will personally email him a selection of chocolate covered, silky smooth link descriptions.
posted by apocalypse miaow at 2:57 PM on January 15, 2003


I was happy to know that other countries have dumb-ass radio DJs. I had always assumed that was an American thing.
posted by monkeyman at 3:00 PM on January 15, 2003


>When are people going to understand that they are responsible for their own safety before blaming others for their stupidity?

What say it were a glass of transparent blue liquid they were asked to mow down?

Most of us would assume it was blue kool-aid (hard to find...) -- but if it were anti-freeze would you be saying the same thing?

Since both of these drinks totally suck in taste, just like sitting on dry ice would totally suck, I put it to you there's really no difference.
posted by shepd at 3:04 PM on January 15, 2003


I'm not sure where this hatred of the single link post came from, I love em. Stop whining.

I bet it's not the single-link nature of the post that UrbanFigaro was objecting to, zeoslap. It's just that it was a link to a news story that offered almost nothing to chew on. Yet another radio station pulling a moronic stunt is worth pointing out as new and noteworthy on the Web? Here's what I think is a relevant comment from Matt in the MeFi FAQ:

"Whenever I hear a big story like "they caught the sniper" or "some kids shot up a high school" I wait patiently for the followup info that gets to the heart of something interesting and worth discussion and thought. Usually it takes a few days, sometimes a week. Luckily, some very interesting information came to light just a day later.

"And that's the type of news post I can get behind. Hidden in an obscure corner of the web was a true gem, and added something abundantly human to an otherwise meaningless tragedy."


Where's the "something interesting" in the news story linked above? There is none. Please don't confuse criticism of lazy news story posts with attacks on the idea of single-link posts. It's an important distinction, but one that a lot of people overlook.
posted by mediareport at 3:06 PM on January 15, 2003


Fair point mediareport, but on the other hand many of the responses here have added to the original post, and created interesting angles.
Sometimes I find the multiple link posts a little contrived - but surely it isn't worth falling out over?
posted by apocalypse miaow at 3:10 PM on January 15, 2003


Most of us would assume it was blue kool-aid...
Most of us have never seen kool-aid (sp?) of any colour, so would certainly not assume this. If I was handed a glass of transparent blue liquid as part of a radio competition, I would have to be pretty naive to assume that it is something I would normally drink.

I put it to you there's really no difference.
I agree. If you are stupid enough to drink an unknown substance offered to you by a perfect stranger on the street, you deserve to suffer the consequences. In fact, that was my point.
posted by dg at 3:19 PM on January 15, 2003


and resulted in four people being sent to hospital for treatment for serious injuries

The hospital! THE hospital! Use your godDAMN articles!!!

Angliophile though I am, I just had to get that off my chest. Or bum. Whatever.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:26 PM on January 15, 2003


Most of us have never seen kool-aid (sp?) of any colour, so would certainly not assume this.

[Samuel L. Jackson voice]

But you're aware there's this thing called Kool-Aid, and it comes in different colors?

If I was handed a glass of transparent blue liquid as part of a radio competition, I would have to be pretty naive to assume that it is something I would normally drink.

But the point is, I believe, you wouldn't assume it was anti-freeze or something else that could seriously hurt you. You'd assume it was something that tasted "gross", just like the people in the contest probably assumed the dry ice would just be uncomfortable rather than dangerous.
posted by Hildago at 3:27 PM on January 15, 2003


"...the people in the contest probably assumed the dry ice would just be uncomfortable..."

You know what happens when you ASSume, don't you?

That's right, you make an ass out of Uma Thurman.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:36 PM on January 15, 2003


They actually got the idea from a New Zealand radio station who tried a very similar stunt with similar but less serious results. You'd think they would have realised that switching from real ice to dry ice was not going to improve matters.
posted by Flitcraft at 3:44 PM on January 15, 2003


WolfDaddy, I may have forgotton some of my grammar, but wouldn't the lack of an article indicate a the generic form of hospital (ie: he doesn't know which one) rather than a specific hospital?

Oh, and dg, let me lend you a helping hand on Kool-Aid. It also makes a good hair dye.
posted by shepd at 3:45 PM on January 15, 2003


the first marriage of two strangers via radio
Second, actually - "Two Strangers and a Wedding was based on a similar blind date wedding in Australia last year organised by a Sydney radio station. The Birmingham organisers hope that the similarities stopped on the wedding day. The Australian newlyweds, Leif Bunyan and Glenn Emerton, separated within weeks."

...the people in the contest probably assumed the dry ice would just be uncomfortable rather than dangerous.
So many potential Darwin awards, so little time...
posted by dg at 3:46 PM on January 15, 2003


Most of us have never seen kool-aid (sp?) of any colour

Wait - there's no Kool-Aid in the UK? Are you sure? I'm appalled. And if that's really the case, why don't Brits have better teeth?
posted by boomchicka at 3:54 PM on January 15, 2003


shepd, you're probably right, but it's a uniquely British affectation that I find, for some reason, annoying instead of quaint.

Also, we don't have enough pictures of Truman Capote around here. So my post was really just an excuse to link to one. I think.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:56 PM on January 15, 2003


Yes, boomchicka, no Kool-Aid in the UK (it's in the Kool-Aid FAQ), but they do have bubbly lemonade (Oh man, I could really go for some of that now... and it isn't like the over-flavoured crud in North America).
posted by shepd at 4:26 PM on January 15, 2003


Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
posted by rushmc at 4:31 PM on January 15, 2003


MetaFilter: we don't have enough pictures of Truman Capote around here.
posted by yhbc at 4:32 PM on January 15, 2003


The fact that it was an endurance test was the kicker, so they get on the ice, brrrr cold ass, but then after a bit it's not so cold, in fact you can't feel anything and there they are dangling some prize if you can stay on the longest which because you have a numb ass think you can win. Problem is your ass is disintegrating.....

I'll leave the subject of single linked posts for another day..
posted by zeoslap at 4:49 PM on January 15, 2003


Look, I had a WART frozen off with that stuff-I cannot believe the station pulled such an asinine stunt-and I can't believe people were stupid enough to sit on it.
posted by konolia at 5:13 PM on January 15, 2003


shepd, don't think I don't recognize your being a smart-ass. Now draw me some sevens with the little bars through them, please. 7

Hey, a sentence where "your" and "you're" can be interchangeable and valid!! W00t!

What were we talking about again? Is that a train I hear?
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:20 PM on January 15, 2003


it's a uniquely British affectation that I find, for some reason, annoying instead of quaint

Um, it's the way the British talk. It happens to be different than the way Americans talk. And the Guardian is a British paper. Is there a problem?

shepd: Nothing to do with specific/generic; Brits say "to/in hospital" where Yanks say "to/in the hospital." Just a dialect difference (like NYC "on line" for everybody else's "in line").
posted by languagehat at 5:49 PM on January 15, 2003


The only problem, languagehat, is that you seem to be missing the soft subtle joshing tone I'm adopting when communicating this personal idiosyncracy of mine. Don't get all huffy. :-)
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:03 PM on January 15, 2003


WolfDaddy, I thought the 7's with the bars through them (which, by the way, I've used for as long as I can remember) was a *French* thing? Unless it's just a generally European trait...

And I can see both sides of the issue here...most people, upon being asked to do something whose consequences are relatively unknown--by an apparently reputable organization like a radio station--would probably assume that nothing terribly bad would come of it.

It's different than a total stranger offering you something, because you have no clue about their credentials. A radio station, on the other hand, you'd expect to act like the responsible, relatively public institution it is.

BUT--when it comes down to it, it's still the individual's fault for *voluntarily* agreeing to do whatever is being asked for the contest. Unless the station was actively being deceptive--and they weren't, they plainly stated that it was dry ice--then it's the fault of the individual.

Guess Britain has caught some of America's 'it can't be OUR fault, so sue somebody!' disease. Ick.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 6:06 PM on January 15, 2003


I occasionally got to play with dry ice as a kid, and it never seemed all that dangerous to me, despite the warnings. I even touched it with my bare fingers quite a bit and never got frostbite or anything. Based on that, I probably would have done the contest if asked, and ended up in the hospital like the folks in the article. (And I'm sure I probably would have felt mighty stupid afterwards, too.)

8-10 weeks in the hospital? Yikes. I'll never touch dry ice again.
posted by Potsy at 6:21 PM on January 15, 2003


Unfortunately, it is a growing epidemic, cyrusdogstar and it is hard to see where it is going to end.
posted by dg at 6:23 PM on January 15, 2003


Potsy - when I was little, my dad used to bring home this fantastic ice cream on dry ice from business trips. My sister and I loved playing with the dry ice; the best things to do with it were a) putting it in the toilet for that horror movie "smoke spilling everywhere" effect, and b) putting in a bucket of water in the backyard with soap to create a giant foamy mess. Neither of us were stupid enough to sit on it, though.
posted by GriffX at 6:37 PM on January 15, 2003


Neither of us were stupid enough to sit on it, though.

I doubt you could sit on regular old ice for long without some particularly nasty side effects.
posted by hama7 at 6:46 PM on January 15, 2003


Hey, I don't suppose these people qualify for Darwin awards, eh? I should think at least some of them rendered themselves impotent.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:49 PM on January 15, 2003


Woah there WolfDaddy...

I'm neither American or British. I'm from Canada, where we get to take the best of both languages and mash them into one boring sounding monotone.

Sorry if you felt I was being a hoser... Sometimes I just can't help it!

The big question is, do you use a zee, or a zed in recognize?

Now, I've had english teachers that swear by the OED, those that prefer Webster's, and (shudder) english teachers that like Roget's. Help me, I think I'm turning tri-lingual!

[ Yes, I've always wanted to throw someone for a loop like that. Thanks! Does that count as a troll? Sorry. And I promise I will quit mentioning my country for a long time. :-) ]
posted by shepd at 8:10 PM on January 15, 2003


I would call withholding information pertinent to personal safety and health (especially with permanent side-effects) very deceptive.

The worst part is I'll bet they didn't consult anyone - a doctor or health expert or otherwise - at all.

But then the fault would still lie with them since they should have researched these things for the safety of their participants.

Whatever happened to music, sports and news?
Isn't there enough Reality-TV on TV?
posted by cinderful at 8:33 PM on January 15, 2003


a wee bit off topic:

but it's a uniquely British affectation

as shepd inferred, the "the" is dropped in Canada as well. FWIW Canadians pronounce "schedule" as skedule and shedule. kilometre (or kilometer) as keelomeeter and killomitr.

as an American living in Canada, it's been interesting learning another language.
posted by deborah at 8:52 PM on January 15, 2003


Getting further and further off topic...

The big question is, do you use a zee, or a zed in recognize?

Neither. You use an S in recognise, there is no zed in it.

Crazy yanks!
posted by sycophant at 9:46 PM on January 15, 2003


Can I call farkfilter on this posting?
posted by chipr at 9:59 PM on January 15, 2003


shepd: rebuttal mp3
posted by blue_beetle at 10:11 PM on January 15, 2003


shepd, I guess you didn't hear the soft subtle joshing either? Oh, dear, I think I'm going bananas.
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:46 PM on January 15, 2003


Wait - there's no Kool-Aid in the UK? Are you sure? I'm appalled. And if that's really the case, why don't Brits have better teeth?

Yawn....I thought fark was the place for tired, unfunny jokes?
posted by salmacis at 12:39 AM on January 16, 2003


The hospital! THE hospital! Use your godDAMN articles!!!

you know, their way does kinda make more sense... (unless there's only one hospital or it's clear we're specifically talking about getting to that building as opposed to the place where one is treated) we drop articles sometimes too - we don't talk about going to the school, for instance (except in cases already set aside above).

I could tell you were being lighthearted...
posted by mdn at 6:42 AM on January 16, 2003


To those of you who keep insisting that this was a matter of personal responsibility, I'd like to respectfully suggest that perhaps you've failed to thoroughly contemplate the situation.

If a magician asked for a lady volunteer, saying he would make her disappear, and then kidnapped the volunteer and locked her in his basement, would you also say that it was the lady's fault, and that the magician was not guilty of kidnapping?
posted by mosch at 7:48 AM on January 16, 2003


There are lawsuits against reality tv shows now, and its because of stuff like this. It's unfortunate that that's what it will take to stop the media from putting people in danger to get ratings.
posted by xammerboy at 8:47 AM on January 16, 2003


re: personal responsibility, everyone involved was clearly stupid, but the idiots who sat on the ice already had to have their bums removed etc, so it seems only fair that the organizers lose a little padding themselves.

I'm sure people did assume that the radio station would have made sure there wasn't a major health risk involved. People often assume authorities know what's going on; of course, they don't have any more of a clue than you do. No, there's not a vast conspiracy, because the fuckwits can't pull it together. They'd love to have one, but they're just not that competent.
posted by mdn at 10:09 AM on January 16, 2003


I thought the modern radio "shock jock" format was simply lowering the national (U.S.) IQ. Now I see it's lowering the international IQ, as well.
posted by kgasmart at 10:33 AM on January 16, 2003


People often assume authorities know what's going on
More fool them, then. Since when did a DJ become an "authority"? I continue to be amazed at how many complete fuckwits there are in the world. not you, mdn, I mean real people
posted by dg at 2:26 PM on January 16, 2003


« Older Losing the memories of a life....  |  "Madelyn Murray O’Hair In Hell... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments