Mark Frauenfelder at 11:39 am Wed, Sep 5, 2007
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Daniel says "If anyone ever asks you for the definition of irony, you can show them this photo I took about a mile from my apartment." Link
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder.
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From http://www.stuff.co.nz today – so is this ironic ?
Heater sets fire station ablaze
BY JEAN WHITE – North Shore Times | Thursday, 6 September 2007
Firefighters got a big surprise when the alarm went off at Devonport fire station.
The flames were coming from inside their own building.
The alarm rang out at 10.15pm on August 17 at the station on 23 Lake Rd after a fire began in one of the bedrooms.
A firefighter hung a towel on the back of a chair in front of an electric wall mounted heater. The towel caught fire and then the fire spread to the bedding, curtains and carpet.
Firefighters say no one was in the bedroom at the time of the fire and the door was closed.
The heat from the fire activated the sprinkler system which contained the flames to the bedroom.
The sprinkler system also triggered the alarm which alerted firefighters who quickly put out the fire.
A senior firefighter says it shows complacency can happen even among firefighters, and says the fire has prompted the service to remind the public about the heater-metre rule: Don’t place anything combustible within a metre of a heating unit.
He says the fire also shows the value of sprinkler systems.
The placement of fixed heating units in fire stations is now being reviewed.
Wow I work for Helping Hand Fire and Water Restoration and whats more ironic is to have a fire damage recovery company come in afetr and clean-up….aaaaaaaaaaaaah
Well I work in a fire protection company and usually we install the fire suppression systems in industrial kitchens(restaurants and stuff). So they wouldnt really have a fire suppression system installed in there or w.e. That and also the fact that they have many Flamable Containers and liquids in storage that may explode if exposed to flame. So yea sorry to ruin all your fun.
Thanks, Mark, but my name is Daniel, not David. :)
Okay, I’ll be the pedantic bastard that argues that the photo isn’t really ‘ironic.’ Irony is a conflict between what is said and what is meant, or in a dramatic/situational sense, what is expected to happen and what actually happens. The picture would only truly be ironic if the building was purported to be fireproof. I blame Alanis Morisette for ruining a whole generation’s definition of irony.
They are a victim of their own insurance fraud.
$5 says it was either a prank.
I think the fact that it purports to be a fire protection company fits the irony bill nicely.
The fire station in Jericho, Long Island, burned down a few years ago. Not only did they rebuild it, but they also built a new, larger one right across the street. So now the fire department that was so good it let itself burn down has two monuments to it’s ineffectiveness.
Reminds me of the time the “Fireproof Door” company burned down by me.. (although the building had been abandoned for years, it was still amusing to see the sign go up in flames.)
Most people would assume this building was fireproofed by the fireproofing company.
I think that it’s impossible these days to even say the word irony without someone bringing up alanis morisette and calling your use incorrect.
Bender Bending Rodriguez said it at the end of season 4:
“The use of words expressing something other than their literal intention” – now that, IS, irony!
It doesn’t look like the building was damaged very badly. I’d say the picture is pretty appropriate.
Pedantry in defense of the proper definition of irony would be quite worthy of colloquial scorn were it not for the fact that contemporary America has largely lost the ability to understand the meaning of ironic suggestion. In the arts, clear intention has become common to the point of an aesthetic vulgarity and, as a result, the virtues of subtlety and finesse have largely vanished. Furthermore, artistic content which has as its main purpose the exposition of an an essential paradox–for instance between civilization and instinct–comes to be critically viewed as some kind of statement either for or against an imagined cause.
In the above picture, what would make the scene ironic would be to relate the image of the burned out insurance company to that of an unexpected image so as to lend the second image added meaning in association with the first. Without the added layer of meaning we have only cynicism and humor.
By the way, I actually did enjoy the photo and got a good chuckle from it!
No, that’s an unfortunate coincidence.
Ironic and awesome. I’m a big fan of stories about fireworks factories exploding, which are not so much ironic. As long as I see one of those stories every few years, I know everything is right in the universe.
The common misuse of the word “irony” is literally killing me.
“the ironing is delicious”
I think it is ironic rather than ‘Alanic’.
interesting to note that although Alanis rightly gets a lot of criticism for the song.. isn’t righting a song about irony that contains no irony slightly meta-ironic?
the horrible truth is that she might have out-ironed the pedants.
The common misuse of the word ‘literally’ is not killing you
While perusing this picture, I thought it inferred a lot of irony. In fact, it begs the question, “What was the real purpose of the business inhabiting this building?”
Just In case this company is still around, I think I should comment to protect their reputation. I live a couple of blocks away from this location. The building that burned was a C.P.A. office, during the clean up after the fire, the facade was removed to reveal the signs of the previous businesses that were there.
That being said, I couldn’t resist getting a couple of shots myself.
Thats like the DEA agent teaching gun safety and shooting himself in the foot while teaching.
Now thats Ironic Dont you think? It’s like RAAAIIN on your wedding day! LoL
Sorry had to do it.
5. an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.
There is more at http://www.dictionary.com but I think this picture fits the definition of ironic.
“It might have been … expected” that a fire protection company would be the last place to burn down due to the availability of fireproofing materials to them and their knowledege of proper application of fire-proofing methods. The burning down of their building, the “outcome of events” were “contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.”
I’ve never heard the Alanis Morissete but looking at the lyrics, it definitely gets irony wrong. Unfortunately, in trying to correct people, many people use too narrow a definition and end up being wrong themselves in shooting down a perfect valid example.
Wh gvs $#!% wht th “prpr” mnng f rny s? Gt lf!
@PORK MUSKET – “what is expected to happen and what actually happens.”
I would expect a fire protection company to be pretty good about not catching on fire, hence irony.
Fire sprinklers save lives, property, and water – pass it on!!
It looks like Ace did not practice what they preached/sold…..