Terrorist Attack hits London, City on Alert

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I also want to extend my condolences to all Londoners. I have a sister on sabbatical there - She studies old manuscripts in your libraries, and the first I heard of this was in my email box this morning. She's fine and staying holed up in her flat for the day.

Be safe, the world is offering you it's sympathy, hugs, shoulders to lean on - We'll get through this ongoing mess.
 

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wolram said:
Afaik, only Kings cross is closed, and a major part of the system is unaffected
so people will be able to get home may be later than usual.
I bet services will be near normal tomorrow, as the londoners give the pond
slime the one fingered salute.
Looking at the map Astronuc linked to helped clear up how much is and isn't affected. It looks like they planted them all right along the path where multiple routes overlap; probably increasing their chances of there being trains near the explosion when it happened.

I'm glad to hear people won't be stranded as I was envisioning, though I'm sure it will be a much longer than usual commute for many who have to use alternative stations/routes.

Of course the inconvenience of commuting is minor compared to the loss of life and serious injuries people have suffered. Senseless murder of innocents. It's disgusting, and I can't think of a more cowardly approach, to kill unarmed, unsuspecting people. The modern-day equivalent of shooting someone in the back.
 

alexandra

Pengwuino said:
But did they every actually "promise" anything before?

Hopefully this will shut up the idiots who think the US is bad for calling Al Qaeda the bad guys. I think its rather obvious who the bad guys are after this...
Have you ever read the classic Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Pengwuino? 'Bad guys' are created - they don't just appear for no reason.

EDIT: Just in case anyone gets the wrong idea - I do NOT condone these actions in any way, but I dispute Pengwuino's summary of it because it does not take the actual situation into account. If recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq had not occurred, this horrific, senseless and cowardly event would not have occurred either. Please don't jump on me for giving my considered response to Pengwuino's summary.
 
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pattylou said:
I also want to extend my condolences to all Londoners. I have a sister on sabbatical there - She studies old manuscripts in your libraries, and the first I heard of this was in my email box this morning. She's fine and staying holed up in her flat for the day.

Be safe, the world is offering you it's sympathy, hugs, shoulders to lean on - We'll get through this ongoing mess.
I'm glad your sister's okay. The truly horrible thing about these kinds of attacks is the randomness of it. What Wolram said is right - this kind of thing doesn't get the British down. There's probably some victim joking about coming home legless again, a bunch of lads about town saying they've had a blast, a commuter saying the tube is getting worse and worse... it's the Dunkirk spirit... but in London instead of Dunkirk. You can't kill that with any amount of explosives. In fact, the one-fingered salute should be elevated to the status of national identity. Fug the terrorists. We fugged em off before, we'll fug em off again.
 

Math Is Hard

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I was very sad to hear the news this morning. London is such a wonderful city. I hope my friends there are OK.
 
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El Hombre Invisible said:
There's probably some victim joking about coming home legless again, a bunch of lads about town saying they've had a blast, a commuter saying the tube is getting worse and worse... it's the Dunkirk spirit... but in London instead of Dunkirk. You can't kill that with any amount of explosives. In fact, the one-fingered salute should be elevated to the status of national identity. Fug the terrorists. We fugged em off before, we'll fug em off again.
:smile: Love those come-backs. LOL!
 
alexandra said:
Have you ever read the classic Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Pengwuino? 'Bad guys' are created - they don't just appear for no reason.

EDIT: Just in case anyone gets the wrong idea - I do NOT condone these actions in any way, but I dispute Pengwuino's summary of it because it does not take the actual situation into account. If recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq had not occurred, this horrific, senseless and cowardly event would not have occurred either. Please don't jump on me for giving my considered response to Pengwuino's summary.
The true monster in Shelly's Frankenstein was society, not the 'monster' created by Frankenstein. But yes, you're right. I think if Pengwuino has ever come across people saying the 9/11 (or Madrid) terrorists are anything other than bad guys, then those people are fools. The truth is that we created the environment in which these people would emerge, and our methods aren't exactly heroic either.
 

Astronuc

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alexandra said:
EDIT: Just in case anyone gets the wrong idea - I do NOT condone these actions in any way, but I dispute Pengwuino's summary of it because it does not take the actual situation into account. If recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq had not occurred, this horrific, senseless and cowardly event would not have occurred either. Please don't jump on me for giving my considered response to Pengwuino's summary.
It's hard to say - we cannot turn back the clock.

Consider the sequence:

September 2001 Terror attacks on World Trade Center in NYC and the Pentagon.

October 2001 The US invades Afghanistan

December 2001 The War in Afghanistan is over

March 2003 US invades Iraq

. . . .

Invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq came after the attack on US.

The attack in London coincided with the opening of G8 - which was well know in advance. If the G8 summit had been in another country, presumably the attack(s) would have been in a major city or cities there.

In the end, we (collectively the world) has to find a path away from violence. Easier said than done.
 
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I thought the events of today were sickening enough until I read the comments from bicycle. How thoughtless, surely he can't be allowed to remain on these forums with such senseless voicing against the victims and their families and friends.

I agree that this has nothing to do with the olymipics. This has been very well planned and the time is too short and two great for an olympic protest. Although it will have affect the progress of the preperations. And yes there were extensive plans in place to extend the tube line out at least, as well as other projects.

I believe this was timed to conincide with the G8 but for the reason of the war on terror than what the G8 was in place for. I think a terrorist attack on the uk was inevitable and the alliance of blair to bush provoked fear for the public because of this.

I have to admit I was not moved by the twin tower attacks, and thought the american opinion was too extreme and too reactive, perhaps even they asked for it. Now its hit home, I can see why america reacted the way it did, even if I do still think perhaps the war could have been handled differently.

I hope the reaction to the "london bombs" is not as half-cocked as the war on iraq and afghanistan, but that the intelligence works toward locating these terrorist groups and taking them out.

I think the bus bomb was an accident. Apparently the first tube explosion was thought to be a power line surge, after a couple more explosions the whole underground was shut down. Perhaps the terrorist on the bus caught wind of this and blow themself up there and then on the way to a station. I think the bus was a 207, does this stop near a station on the cirular or hammsmith and city line?
 
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Bicycle tree may be infected with Lyme disease.

If I recall correctly, the organism that causes Lyume Disease (Borrelia burgdorferei) can, after a time affect the nervous system. This is why I asked Bicycle tree to please stay in touch with his/her doctor. I didn't want to mention it directly, I assume Bicycle tree is capable of learning on his/her own, how this organism can affect physiology.

Since the organism can affect the nervous system (not sure if the CNS becomes involved), and even just since BT has been sick for some time with fever and rash - I think his/her comments re: terrorism should ... maybe be ignored. I commented on them - and maybe shouldn't have.

Bicycle Tree - please continue your antibiotics, don't skip any, and stay in touch with your doctor.
 

Moonbear

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Delta said:
I think the bus bomb was an accident. Apparently the first tube explosion was thought to be a power line surge, after a couple more explosions the whole underground was shut down. Perhaps the terrorist on the bus caught wind of this and blow themself up there and then on the way to a station. I think the bus was a 207, does this stop near a station on the cirular or hammsmith and city line?
That's possible, that the bus wasn't planned, but there was no place to go with the remaining bombs, so they just set them off on the bus. Alternatively, it could have been to provide pictures for the media. I can't pretend I in any way understand how a terrorist thinks, but it's possible that they planned that one for the sake of press photos. If you're trying to make a statement, the downside to explosions in subways is the only photos you'll get are of the casualties being carried out, nothing showing how much damage you caused inside, at least not photos that will be broadcast around the world in a matter of minutes. The bus is visible and easy to photograph.
 
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physics4ever said:
Yes we are talking about 7 people dead. Would you go on and on about obesity if I mention disasters other than terrorist attacks? I could talk about the Tsunami. Or better still, something that happened in my city, an earthquake a few years ago in which more than 4000 people died, in which I saw buildings collapse before my eyes on my way back home from school, not knowing whether my house was still standing and my parents were alive.
I don't think somehting like obesity can even be compared with disasters like these, which happen all of a sudden, which you have no control over.
Sunayana.
Actually, you can build defensively against earthquakes.

A disaster of 4000 people dead is a real disaster, although not one that should change the course of a nation if it occurred in a big nation. 7 people dead is a lesser matter.

pattylou said:
Terrorist attacks have ripple effects ---- Like wars with tens of thousands of people dead and no exit strategy.

Even if no one died, even if the attacks had been thwarted, a massive plan to attack the Tube etc is huge news.
This is exactly what I mean. Why is terrorism big news? Because people overreact to it. The War On Terrorism is big news and a big problem, mainly because it damages our economy which causes stress to and reduces the health of millions of Americans. If people didn't have such huge reactions to statistically very little problems, we wouldn't get in senseless wars like that.

BT, the only reasonable explanation I can come up with is that you or somebody you know is obese, and you're pulling a "woe is me" stunt. Stop. You can't compare human life.
Actually, I am in good shape, and although I do have a couple aunts who are too fat, most of my family is also in good shape. I am concerned about obesity because it is a huge deal. Good health is one of the really basic fundamentals of a good life.

Terrorism is NEVER justified. It is an unconscionable act of evil to attack unarmed or otherwise innocent people.
When have I ever argued this? Terrorism is an unjustified, unconscionable act of evil. So is Jeffrey Dahmer-style serial killing--but do we have a "war on serial killers"? No. Instead, we have a police force, the correct response for threats of that scale. The reason why have no "war on serial killers"? Deaths due to serial killers are insignificant.

The point: overreaction to terrorism is also unjustified. The war in Iraq is a direct result of a lack of perspective about terrorism.

The sense of perspective and rationality is that a city has been under attack. How can you claim that in a full light it is rather small and insignificant?
Because so far only 7 people died, and in that particular city 7 people die on an average of every 35 minutes.

So your saying if a thermonuclear weapon is detonated in Berlin, we hsouldnt care and it shouldnt be covered because hey, more people die from poverty or cancer or aids.
If someone detonated a thermonuclear weapon in Berlin, that would be statistically significant. Now this is a very good point. Nuclear terrorism can be statistically significant. This is why we need to focus resources on controlling nuclear weapons, and not pass things like the "Patriot" act to stop the small fry who can't actually hurt us, at the sacrifice of our natural rights.
 

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Delta said:
I agree that this has nothing to do with the olymipics. This has been very well planned and the time is too short and two great for an olympic protest. Although it will have affect the progress of the preperations. And yes there were extensive plans in place to extend the tube line out at least, as well as other projects.

I believe this was timed to conincide with the G8 but for the reason of the war on terror than what the G8 was in place for. I think a terrorist attack on the uk was inevitable and the alliance of blair to bush provoked fear for the public because of this.
Hi Delta, I hope you and your family are everyone Ok.

Don't forget AlQaeda always have attacked with some clear purpose. In Madrid they planned carefully their attack just before the Elections, in which they made Aznar's party to loose them. Now, it seems to me a double hit: one for belonging to Iraq's war club, and another targeted to weaken the image of London security about hosting the O. Games. Also, to say the truth this last issue would be more effective if it were done yesterday rather than today. I don't know.
 
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BicycleTree said:
This is exactly what I mean. Why is terrorism big news? Because people overreact to it. The War On Terrorism is big news and a big problem, mainly because it damages our economy which causes stress to and reduces the health of millions of Americans. If people didn't have such huge reactions to statistically very little problems, we wouldn't get in senseless wars like that.
We have to take care with our response to such events.

This would not include not discussing them to begin with. It *would* include using reason rather than emotion to chart a course.

This thread was started to raise awareness, the emotions that have been forthcoming from the majority of participants, is concern for Londoners. THis is not the sort of emnotion that needs to be railed against!

If Bush or Blair begins to talk about invading Europe to uproot the European branch of Al Quaeda - then a discussion of over-reacting becomes appropriate. Presumably in a new thread.
 
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The reason I am posting in this thread and not making a new thread about "the importance of preventing obesity" is that the point I want to make is that non-nuclear terrorism is insignificant compared to larger, curable problems such as obesity. 300,000 deaths/yr can be attributed to obesity in the USA. That's 100 times the death toll from the WTC attacks.

Some things are important, some things are less important. It is a test of your rationality to be able to distinguish the things that kill 300,000 a year from the things that kill a few hundred to a few thousand a year, and not to react instinctively and irrationally to images of bodies and fires. The history of pain of the bodies in a single hospital morgue is much greater than the pain experienced by the dead in any terrorist attack that kills 7 people.
 

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BT,
What you are saying makes no sense at all. It's like putting one foot on a frying pan and another in an ice box and saying that statistically you are feeling perfectly fine.

And it's 33 as of now and still rising. Not 7. And not that it would make any difference to you.
 
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Evo

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BT, I understand that you think it's better not to play into the terrorists hands by giving them the reaction they want, but it's coming off as unfeeling and uncaring of a very tragic event.

No, we should not give in to these insane terrorists, and this heinous act is sure to backfire on them by hardening the hearts against them of any that might have thought they had any justifiable cause. The world cannot let itself be terrorized into submitting to the fanatic beliefs of a handful of religious nuts.

Out of respect to the feelings of those affected by todays senseless tragedy, please refrain from further posts on this subject here. There is a thread in the politics section if you want to discuss the political aspects.
 

Astronuc

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BT said:
When have I ever argued this? Terrorism is an unjustified, unconscionable act of evil. So is Jeffrey Dahmer-style serial killing--but do we have a "war on serial killers"? No. Instead, we have a police force, the correct response for threats of that scale. The reason why have no "war on serial killers"? Deaths due to serial killers are insignificant.
BT, my comment "Terrorism is NEVER justified. It is an unconscionable act of evil to attack unarmed or otherwise innocent people." was not directed toward you specifically. It just happened to be in the same post in which I quoted you and offered comments.

It is hard to identify "serial killers" a priori. In societies, which value individual liberty and freedom, one is not investigated unless there is probable cause. All homicides are investigated by civil authorities, and if a serial killer appears invovled, every effort is made to locate and apprehend the criminal.

Deaths due to serial killers are significant - especially to the victim's family and friends.

Even one death due to homicide (or suicide) is one too many - and it is significant to me - statistical or otherwise.

If it appears that someone's life is in danger - I will intervene even at the risk of my own - and I have done so.
 

brewnog

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I've just finally found out that my other friend who lives in central London is ok too, as are all her friends. It was a close call for her, too; her current art exhibition is in the building opposite the bus bomb, but she couldn't get close to it due to the chaos caused by the earlier bombs! The world works in a funny way, sometimes.

El Hombre Invisible said:
What Wolram said is right - this kind of thing doesn't get the British down. There's probably some victim joking about coming home legless again, a bunch of lads about town saying they've had a blast, a commuter saying the tube is getting worse and worse... it's the Dunkirk spirit... but in London instead of Dunkirk. You can't kill that with any amount of explosives.
Very true. I've heard quite a few jokes (and seen some cartoons!) about this mornings' events already; many of them in pretty bad taste. The odd thing is, where such jokes might normally be so sick as to have them postponed for a week or so, it serves as a nifty form of relief. Even Blair and Livingstone's messages took the form "don't let the bastards grind you down".
 
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Wow - BT's stuff in this thread is a prime example of logic gone awry. Everything he says is internally consistent which allows him to feel a sense of "rational" superiority, but the problem is that some of his premises are just plain unsophisticated, naive, if not dumb.

BTW - one can incorporate "irrational" preferences into a rational framework. For example, risk aversion in economics.
 

russ_watters

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Stalin once said "One deaths is a tragedy - a million is a statistic."

Stalin was a sociopath.

While the media and public reaction is often out of phase with the true magnitude of a situation (plane crash vs car crashes for example), a terrorist attack is a mass murder, not an accident, and not consequence of a personal lifestyle choice. Mass murders, whether terrorism, school shootings, or whatever, are true intentional tragedies, deserving of every second of media attention and public outcry that they get.

P.S. - a million deaths is not a statistic, its a million individual tragedies.
 
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Moonbear

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russ_watters said:
Stalin once said "One deaths is a tragedy - a million is a statistic."

Stalin was a sociopath.

While the media and public reaction is often out of phase with the true magnitude of a situation (plane crash vs car crashes for example), a terrorist attack is a mass murder, not an accident, and not consequence of a personal lifestyle choice. Mass murders, whether terrorism, school shootings, or whatever, are true intentional tragedies, deserving of every second of media attention and public outcry that they get.

P.S. - a million deaths is not a statistic, its a million individual tragedies.
It doesn't even need to be mass murder. We get news reporting of every individual murder, at least locally. When it's a mass murder, it gets more widespread media attention because of the scale. And when it is a mass murder with a political message committed by a group that threatens people internationally, it becomes international news. The newsworthiness is not just that people died, but how they died. Beyond that, people are emotional and social beings, not computers; tragedy is not measured by cold, hard logic, but by the social impact.
 

russ_watters

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Moonbear said:
It doesn't even need to be mass murder. We get news reporting of every individual murder, at least locally. When it's a mass murder, it gets more widespread media attention because of the scale. And when it is a mass murder with a political message committed by a group that threatens people internationally, it becomes international news. The newsworthiness is not just that people died, but how they died. Beyond that, people are emotional and social beings, not computers; tragedy is not measured by cold, hard logic, but by the social impact.
Well, politically motivated or not, mass murders (of more than about half a dozen) generally get international attention. I still remember the coverage of the German copycat of Columbine (though I had to google to remember it was 18 deaths and in 2002).

The general point of your message I agree with though.
 
Delta said:
I think the bus bomb was an accident. Apparently the first tube explosion was thought to be a power line surge, after a couple more explosions the whole underground was shut down. Perhaps the terrorist on the bus caught wind of this and blow themself up there and then on the way to a station. I think the bus was a 207, does this stop near a station on the cirular or hammsmith and city line?
I agree. It was either a complete accident - i.e. they didn't mean for the bomb to go off at that point at all - or it was a last minute rethink. It's the only site where they think the bomber was still on the transport. It wouldn't be the first time some d1ckhead blew himself up with his own bomb. The bus was a number 30.
 

wolram

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I have only thoughts of hatred for the things that bring about mass murder,
and i am usual a rational person, but i just can not think of them as human,
if one of them has one or two stem cells still functioning and is able to
comprehend words, then i say to them, go back to your slime pool, i would
gladly bring the disinfectant to eradicate it from the world.
 

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