The Doomsday Clock, a symbolic clockface maintained by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists to depict how close the human race is to annihilating itself with nuclear weapons, has been set at "seven minutes to midnight" since February 2002, in light of the 9/11 attacks, the availability of nuclear material to terrorists and rogue nations, the crisis between India and Pakistan, and the possibility of nuclear weapons in the hands of North Korea.  It was previously set to 9 minutes before midnight after India and Pakistan both made nuclear tests in 1998.

No doubt the clock-keepers have been monitoring the activities of both Iran and North Korea in recent days and months, and if Kim Jong-Il decides to light his candle, then we could be looking at a nuclear disaster threat symbolically measured in the time it takes to soft boil an egg.

How likely it is that the mercurial North Korean leader will fire his latest missile is anybody's guess — but when you give a child a loaded squirt gun, only the most disciplined of children can resist pulling the trigger.  I never knew a child that didn't delight in soaking someone under such circumstances.  Did anyone think of offering Kim Jong-Il an X-Box?  Some cotton candy?