Canary in a coal mine
Posted by ESC on November 03, 2001
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 02 2001
Why canaries are flying off their perch
BY NICHOLAS WAPSHOTT
FORGET the gas mask. Forget the torch, the bottled water, the wind-up radio, the Cipro. The latest paranoid fashion accessory to hit New York is a canary.
Canaries have been flying off the shelves since the city became gripped by bioterrorism fever. New Yorkers believe that the birds will do for them what they have traditionally done for coalminers: sound the alarm, or drop dead, at the first sniff of an odourless gas attack.