A local fire marshall in Virginia cited “excess testosterone” as the cause of an explosion that rocked a legal blogging conference in Arlington, saying levels at the time were at “five times the acceptable levels for safety.”
No one was physically injured by the explosion, which knocked down a wall at the Comfort Inn and shattered windows two blocks away, although a majority of the conference attendees continued to complain about being treated indifferently by emergency response personnel and by their colleagues.
It is not clear what caused the testosterone build up, though conference organizers say it may have started with a small slight that one nationally-recognized blogger felt when a regional blogger sat at the same table during lunch. That, combined with a contentious breakout session entitled “Do You Have the Balls to Be a Real Blawger — And Lawyer?” apparently led to dangerous levels of testosterone building up in an adjacent ballroom. A question to a panelist that used the word “derivative” apparently led to the ultimate explosion.
The fire marshall’s report also noted that the lack of a “safety release” valve also contributed to the explosion. “Normally, in similar conflations, there’s a safety release, such as punching, tackling, or throwing bottles,” the report said. “We see that in bars, VFW halls, and the like, but apparently these guys don’t have such mechanisms, or at least they were absent at this event.”
The chaos apparently did not affect women bloggers at the conference, who continued to blog during testosterone escalation and shortly after the resulting explosion, publishing hard-hitting posts that were right on point.