NEW: Read Michele McPhee's "Schools baby kids born under lucky Star."
Stop with the sympathy for MIT student Star Simpson.
It’s international news that the 19-year-old was arrested in Terminal C at Logan International Airport with a fistful of Play-Doh and a circuit board attached to her hoodie, which was emblazoned with the words “Socket To Me” scrawled on the back.
She was surrounded by state troopers, some wielding machine guns, after she made a spectacle of herself asking inane questions of Massport employees while picking up her 42-year-old boyfriend at the airport.
Then Simpson told authorities she was “surprised” she landed in jail.
After all, she wrote on her Web site that she spends her free time “saving the planet from evil villains” and loves “crazy ideas.”
What? She’s 19, not 9.
She would have been even more surprised if the police - rightfully - opened fire and turned her little art project into a scene that would have made last week’s screeching from just-tasered University of Florida student Andew Meyer look like a kid being tickled.
There is absolutely nothing artistic about scaring people in public places, even if her father, Hugh Simpson, told the Maui News in Star’s native Hawaii that he was “proud” of his daughter.
Then he boasted that his daughter went to a park after she was freed on $750 bail to “stretch her arms because she had been in a small room for hours and hours.”
I hope she gets used to it because stupidity is not an excuse for criminality; an “art project” to attract prospective employers that terrorizes perfect strangers should certainly be a deterrent from Star Simpson ever landing a job.
Star Simpson and her "art"
Look at MIT student Star Simpson's "art."
In my opinion, it's not art and Simpson isn't an artist.
It's a crime and she's a menace to society. Trotting around wearing her "art" at Logan was stunningly irresponsible, incredibly reckless, and amazingly stupid.
BOSTON -- An MIT student wearing what turned out to be a fake bomb was arrested at gunpoint Friday at Logan International Airport and later claimed it was artwork, officials said.
Star Simpson, 19, had a computer circuit board and wiring in plain view over a black hooded sweat shirt she was wearing, said State Police Maj. Scott Pare, the commanding officer at the airport.
"She said that it was a piece of art and she wanted to stand out on career day," Pare said at a news conference. "She claims that it was just art, and that she was proud of the art and she wanted to display it."
Simpson was charged with disturbing the peace and possessing a hoax device, and was to be arraigned in East Boston District Court later Friday.
"I'm shocked and appalled that somebody would wear this type of device to an airport," Pare said.
Simpson was "extremely lucky she followed the instructions or deadly force would have been used," Pare said. "She's lucky to be in a cell as opposed to the morgue."
...The battery-powered rectangular device had nine flashing lights, Pare said. Simpson also had Play-Doh in her hands, he said.
The phrases "Socket to me" and "Course VI" were written on the back of sweat shirt, which authorities displayed to the media. Course VI appears to be a reference to MIT's major of electrical engineering and computer science.
FAKE BOMBS AREN'T ART.
FAKE BOMBS AREN'T ADVERTISEMENTS.
FAKE BOMBS AREN'T PUBLICITY STUNTS.
Instead of wearing a fake bomb at Logan International Airport, source of the hijacked planes used by Islamic extremists to destroy the World Trade Center, Simpson should have showed up at Columbia University next Monday.
She could proudly display her little art project when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is welcomed to the campus by Columbia University president Lee Bollinger (212-854-9970) to deliver his speech at the World Leader's Forum.
Let her "perform her art" there, not at an airport.
Let her show off where terrorists and IEDs are appreciated.
..."She was immediately told to stop, to raise her hands and not to make any movement, so we could observe all her movements to see if she was trying to trip any type of device," Pare said. "Had she not followed the protocol, we might have used deadly force."
Pare said Simpson took a subway to the airport, but he was not sure if she had the device on at that time.
She told authorities she was at the airport to greet someone arriving on a flight from Oakland. Authorities verified information as to the name of the passenger she was greeting, and said he had already left the airport.
"She did seem a bit upset that she was in custody. However, she was rational, and she did answer all questions as required," Pare said.
Simpson was upset?
Star Simpson can join Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens on the team of MAJOR LEAGUE IDIOTS.
UPDATE: Simpson released on bail.
Check out some of Simpson's other work.
Read Team Three/ Journal.
Simpson describes herself on her website:
"In a sentence, I'm an inventor, artist, engineer, and student, I love to build things and I love crazy ideas," the website says.
She forgot to include "terrorist poser."
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology student arrested at Logan Airport Friday accused of carrying a fake bomb, described herself as someone who loves "crazy ideas" and has been "traveling the world and saving the planet from evil villains (sic) with my delivered-just-in-time gadgets."
...Simpson said she is currently studying computers and how they work. For play, she wrote that she works at a student-run machine shop at the MIT Electronic Research Society.
MIT's "people directory" lists Simpson's e-mail, address, and phone number.
I think that information should be removed ASAP.
We wouldn't want some artist to stumble on to any of that information and use it in an artistic creation of some sort. That might cause Simpson the artist some distress; and you know how emotional artists can be.
Here is a sample of Star Simpson's photography.
Artist Star Simpson is a member of the MIT Hawaii Club.
From MIT's The Tech:
At Simpson’s arraignment earlier today, [Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Wayne] Margolis asked for a $5,000 cash bail. Margolis said the high bail amount was requested because Simpson had provided an address in Hawaii, not a local address; she had refused to answer questions while at Logan Airport; and she showed “a total disregard to understand the context of the situation she’s in, which is an airport post-9/11.” Simpson is from Hawaii.
Defense attorney Ross E. Schreiber said that the bail amount was “completely unreasonable,” telling the court that Simpson is a 19-year-old sophomore at MIT majoring in Course VI (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science). Schreiber said that there was no evidence Simpson acted in a suspicious manner or that she ever pretended the circuit board was anything but art.
Schreiber added that Simpson is the secretary of the MIT Electronics Research Society, was a National Merit Semi Finalist and captain of her high school robotics team, and was at the airport for legitimate reasons. Tim Anderson, Simpson’s boyfriend, confirmed to The Tech that he arrived at the airport this morning.
Schreiber said Simpson and Anderson are “not the type of people who go around seeking trouble.” He also added that Simpson is “doing very well” at MIT.
Bail was set by Judge Paul Mahony at $750. As part of her release agreement, Simpson must stay away from Logan Airport between now and her pre-trial hearing on Oct. 29.
MIT spokesman Greg Frost released a brief statement Friday afternoon.
"MIT is cooperating fully with the State Police in the investigation of an incident at Logan Airport this morning involving Star Simpson, a sophomore at MIT. As reported to us by authorities, Ms. Simpson's actions were reckless and understandably created alarm at the airport."
From the New York Times:
The trouble began when Ms. Simpson, wearing a lighted circuit board sewn to her black hooded sweatshirt, walked up to a customer service desk at Logan International Airport and asked about an arriving flight carrying a passenger she was to meet. A nine-volt battery was attached to the circuit board, and Ms. Simpson carried a wad of modeling clay in one hand.
The employee, fearing that the board was a bomb, “asked Ms. Simpson what was on her chest, and she didn’t answer,” Major Pare said. “Ms. Simpson then turned around and left the building.”
What was Simpson doing carrying around clay?
If you buy that her sweatshirt, adorned with a battery and circuit board, was just an innocent wardrobe choice, it takes quite a leap to accept that she would also be innocently holding clay.
Furthermore, when an airport employee asked her about the board, why would she not answer?
Why didn't she cheerily explain that it was something she designed for MIT's career day?
Why did she just leave?
There is no question that Simpson was behaving suspiciously.
...Various efforts to reach Ms. Simpson yesterday were unavailing, but [fellow sophomore at the institute Caine L.] Jette said he was confident that she had not meant to scare anyone.
“She’s not violent at all,” he said. “She’s just kind of kooky like that. Last year she shaved her head and donated her hair to charity. She’s a great girl.”
If she didn't mean to scare anyone, then why did she act scary?
Simpson's airport stunt wasn't a fun kind of "kooky." It was the sort of "kooky" exhibited by a thoughtless, selfish individual.
A "great girl" doesn't walk around an airport wearing something and holding something that would understandably cause people to fear for their safety.
Simpson's lawyer Ross Schreiber claims that the fake bomb charge is an overreaction.
I know Schreiber's role is to defend his client; but it must be tough knowing that al Qaeda is cheering you on.