She'd prefer an astronaut

The nation is transfixed by the melodramatic story of Lisa Nowak, the lovesick lady astronaut (as a boy I dreamed of becoming an astronaut until I learned there’s no smoking in space). Police officials claim Nowak "stealthily followed the victim while in disguise and possessed multiple deadly weapons,” but then list the deadly weapons as “pepper spray, a BB-gun, a new steel mallet, knife and rubber tubing.”

Pepper spray is not deadly. A BB-gun is not deadly. A steel mallet has the potential to be deadly - so does a softball bat. If it’s an ordinary metal hammer and not a Donkey Kong-style giant clobbering mallet it’s misleading to describe it as deadly. Knives also have the potential to be deadly - so do matches. If the knife in question is a folding or utility knife, describing it as deadly is a gross exaggeration. Rubber tubing, even if used as a garrote, is at most less deadly than rope, and sane people don’t consider rope deadly. Must our authorities be dishonest about everything?

UPDATE: According to this tastefully headlined story in The Australian the BB gun was loaded “and set to fire,” and like my mother always warned carelessness with a loaded BB gun can easily lead to someone’s eye being taken out ("and if that happens you’ll never get to play with that damn BB gun again, Mister"). I remain baffled by the rubber tubing.


  1. I read a story on this earlier today. Details all seemed a little sketchy. Sounded like the media was just trumping everything up to make the story sellable. However, I will say that the picture of the lady did give off a creepy feel.

    By the way was that an intentional Hum reference in the title?


  2. Maybe she caught some alien germ up in space?

    That was a Hum reference, though I wouldn't descrbe myself as a Hum fan. A recent trend in titles here has been references to music of the 90's. Why I don't know,

  3. They may not be deadly individually, but the key word is 'multiple'. Imagine the tubing and the BB Gun in concert, and tell me Nowak's arsenal wasn't capable of death-dealing on a terrifying scale.

  4. Good point, she could combine them in MacGuyver like fashion, because astronauts are a lot like MacGuyver.

  5. At Rice U., my dorm was 14 stories high so we used to use rubber tubing to launch water balloons at 3 story dorms up to a 1500 feet away.

  6. Did Nowak have any water ballons? Maybe she planned on launching a few to soften her victim up for the BB gun attack.

  7. It all seems a little suspect.

  8. I bet you could've hooked her up with quite the hammer and knife, Stag.


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