May 08, 2007

Buddy, can you spare a quarter for some international espionage?

Do my Canadian readers remember a few years ago when the Royal Canadian Mint issued a series of memorial quarters, with a bright red poppy on the front of the coin? It always looked unusual to me, with a red splotch in the middle of a traditional silver coin. But having read of Flanders Fields so many times as a child, I've always appreciated the poppies everyone would wear around Remembrance Day, and thought the colourful coins to be a clever and unique way to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers.

Well, it turns out that the United States Department of Defence was convinced that the coins were embedded with nanotechnology to spy on US Army Contractors. It was suspected that radio transmitters were embedded into the coins in order to track the movements of any individual who happened to be carrying one.

This level of fear and paranoia of the seemingly innocuous is one reason that in spite of all their so-called efforts to "promote freedom", the US is doing itself in. They live in so much fear, where every little thing from a Canadian coin to a tube of toothpaste is enough to provoke panic and dread. I'd feel sorry for them if they weren't so arrogant.


  1. Is that the actual coin? The poppy looks a little... pixelated.

    Nothing surprises me about the US government, anymore. [insert eye roll here]

  2. There was a time when I loved the poppy too but I don't care much for it now when nothing is said/done about the countless millions that are murdered in countries such as Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kashmir, the Phillipines, Sudan, Somalia and much more... as precious as one life may be, it's hard to wear a poppy that represents one transgressor when many innocent people have no remembrance attached to them other than their limbs detached from their bodies.

    As for this coin, sure, it looks cool but it secretly possesses a GPS unit as well which pinpoints where it is on the globe in order to identify US contractors and their locations... furthermore, if it senses it's in danger, little legs come out of it allowing it to 'escape' as well as a parachute in case aerial escape is necessary. Lastly, should the coin sense the opportunity, it can 'assimilate' beings by having protruding antennae inject nano-technology into the bloodstream turning the individual into a mindless cyborg bent on takeover.

    Fascinating little coin...

  3. I remember reading about the coins....and the idea of surveliance mechanisms in them...but I didn't believe it. And I never got to see the coin....I like it.

  4. a coin small and round
    strikes fear in hearts of giants
    who don't fear Allah

  5. //Warning//
    The following comment has nothing what-so-ever to do with the above entry. Do not be alarmed. The blog police have been notified, and are on their way. For now, remain calm. Do not make direct eye contact with the comment. It may become nervous, and even more irrelevant. In the case of extreme irrelevance, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Please make sure to place a mask over your own head first, before helping the person next to you. This comment may contain flashing images. Parental guidance is advised.
    //End of Warning//


    I had a sudden idea about how you could incorporate your C&H cartoon strip onto a blog. If you could somehow make it into an RSS feed, you could then subscribe to it via a widget in the sidebar. Some fixed templates have a footer area for widgets (like mine).

    What do you think? Would it work?

    iMuslim (your local, friendly, WordPress pimp)

  6. iMuslim: Yep, that's the actual coin. It does look a little pixelated, even on the actual coin; it's not just because of the image quality. I'm not sure exactly how they were grafted onto the coins, but I'm sure there was some digital silkscreening process that resulted in minor pixellation. It still looked neat.

    Nauman: The poppy is specifically about World War I. Anyway, I made a conscious decision to stop wearing the poppy when the Afghanistan war began. I remember when I had my last job interview with my current employer, it was Remembrance Day, and there were about twenty of us in suits in that office. I was the only one not wearing the poppy, which felt kinda weird... but clearly, they didn't mind.

    I'd love to see the little legs pop out of one of these coins.

    Ahmed: This is the first I heard about this, it's quite ludicrous when you think about it.

    It's a nice coin, though. The Royal Canadian Mint does good work. I find Canadian notes and coins to be among the nicest of any I've seen in the world.

    Hooptygoo: One of your better haikus! Good work.

    iMuslim: Your warning made me laugh. :) Especially the bit about the oxygen masks, I've pretty much memorized that whole spiel about aircraft safety by now.

    That's a possibility; I'd have to reprogram my Javascript thingie to produce an RSS feed, or maybe use Yahoo Pipes to do that, but it's really not worth the trouble.

    Besides, Blogger isn't so bad. There are a few things I don't like, like how there's a whole different screen for comments, and how comments can't be edited in the new version of Blogger, but overall it's been good to me. Protected posts are nice too, but I wouldn't see myself using them were I to go with Wordpress. In any case, I'm sure Google will address these shortcomings eventually.

    Wordpress is elegant and sophisticated, well suited for the more talented and dedicated bloggers out there. Blogger is great for random guys on the internet like me who like to spill out a few pointless anecdotes to whoever may be listening.

  7. furthermore, if it senses it's in danger, little legs come out of it allowing it to 'escape'

    That reminds of the film, The Thing, where that dead guy's head detaches from his body, sprouts legs, and becomes a separate little, alien critter. That film was just as gross, as it was entertaining. :)

  8. How come I've never seen this coin?! :(

    I love our special edition coins, though... I've got a whole collection of quarters and dimes that feature 'special' images... I remember when my old Islamic centre had its very first booksale, I was the 'cashier' and I took great pains to separate the 'special' coins from all the others - to absolutely no avail, because my dad came over, saw what I was doing, and dumped them back in when the rest of the coins.

    LOL @ Nauman and iMuslim! :D