The Scream Test
Is a proper engineering solution to get you to your goal as quickly as possible.
Often the threat of a scream test is enough to get people thinking about the issue at hand which they would otherwise ignore.
Glad to hear someone still employs them when required (I don't think of them as the first tool in the box to use, but you should certainly have it in there somewhere to pull out when all else fails - mainly because it works when other methods are hamstrung by politics).
Oh, and he didn't swear? Are you sure this was Linus?