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Feeding Anxiety

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Some things just don't bode well. Still, given the number of color-coded alerts and vague warnings we've all experienced in the last few years, it's hard to know what to do, other than feeling a few jitters, about the 7,500 pounds of fertilizer stolen in Huntington Beach on Friday.

This UK government pamphlet suggests that fertilizer containing less than 28% ammonium nitrate is not potentially explosive, which matches the FBI's claim about the fertilizer stolen here. Still, could the ammonium nitrate be isolated to make a bomb? A friend who is a chemical engineer interprets the FBI's announcement: "I think what they mean is that there was not enough nitrate in the 7,500 pounds of fertilizer to make a serious quantity of explosives." The British do seem more worried about potential thefts of ammonium nitrate than our own FBI seems to be demonstrating in public.

The Department of Homeland Security has just offered funding to protect a long list of LA-area targets. Just in case, we hope they offer particular protection for Los Angeles International Airport, which was the target of the New Year's Eve 2000 plot foiled at the Canadian border, and Disneyland, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.