Friday, August 1, 2008
Cougar of College Park
Usually this blog focuses on the threat of trans-national terrorism – but major threats come in various forms. Reports of a cougar stalking the University of Maryland College Park (where, full disclosure, I am employed as a researcher) could represent more than a wayward large cat (strictly speaking cougars are not “great cats” because they don’t roar – although some great cats, like leopards, are actually smaller than cougars) – it could be a homeland security issue.
This appears to be an extraordinarily clever cougar, it was most recently spotted near the Center for Young Children - perfect prey for a cougar in search of an appetizer.
Although the brutal fact is that we are at the beast’s mercy. Cougars are lightning fast, whereas Terrapins are notoriously slow.
But there is reason to believe there is more going on. The University of Maryland is home to a number of sensitive projects and institutions. Most notably, one of the 13 DNS root name servers that run the internet is based at Maryland (exact location undisclosed – and possibly unknown.) Could the cougar be attempting to hijack the internet for purposes unknown?
This is particularly worrisome if, as many (or at least I) believe, the server has achieved an independent consciousness – like the super-computer in Colossus: The Forbin Project.
All things considered, our best bet is to attempt to negotiate with the cougar and come to terms with it. I have extensive experience with large cats (I’ll discuss this in a future post) so I will volunteer to be an emissary. As a tribute to our new feline over-Lord I am bringing several pounds of raw meat into my office.
So, let me address the cougar directly. If you are out there and scared, come to my office – I can offer you sanctuary (and possibly a research assistant position.)
If you can’t smell the raw meat, look me up in the directory, or stop by the main office of my lab.