The Internet is buzzing today over the story from the UK Daily Mail revealing a long list of words that the Department of Homeland Security monitors on social media and online media for signs of terrorist activity. As you might expect, the list contains words that are not surprising -- bomb, hostage, anthrax -- and some that might be. It has led to speculation among nerds that the government is clearly watching just about everyone.
Who is surprised by this? Raise your hand. If you raised it, we would like to offer you a way to make a million dollars through a West African prince. Seriously!
When perusing the list, there were a number that caught my attention, but here are the ten I found to be the most odd.
Next time you think to post about a shape you saw in the clouds or, God help you, a photo of said clouds, think twice, buster.
One can only assume they mean some sort of tsunami and not the horrible, now defunct Google Wave, because that would be truly scary.
8. San Diego
I get that it is right across the border from drug cartels, but it's funny to think of a city as relatively harmless-seeming as San Diego on a terrorist word watch list. It's like claiming Madison, Wisconsin, is a danger.
Guess my angry rant about the cancellation of Alcatraz got me the evil eye recently.
The only plot I see most people posting about on Facebook is the kind that is preceded by "SPOILER ALERT!"
What this list appears to not be.
Also, "swine" made the list. The only consolation is that foodies must rank way up on the most-watched list.
Snow, ice and even hail, I get. But is there any precipitation less threatening than sleet?
If you need it, don't ask the government. Also, don't talk about the Beatles.
1. Social Media
Maybe the best word on the list if it means people stop using it.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.