December 2006 Archives

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  • The Perfect Human - "He remembered the next checkpoint would leave only a marathon and two 10Ks left to go. He knew he could run each leg, and that helped him achieve the whole"

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Links for 21 Dec 2006 []

About travelling

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I'm back from my short trip to the Boston area. Did you miss me? I thought so. What follows are just a few snippets of things that I noticed on this 3 day trip.


If the hotel says they cater to the business traveller, what this really means is get out your credit card. These hotels tend to charge. A lot. For everything. You want internet? $10/day or the low price of $4 for 30 min. And most of the time it isn't even wireless. Are you thirsty in the middle of the night? Doesn't that $4 bottle of water sitting there look really tempting? No? Well how about the $2 pop machine down the hall, how's that sound? We have a (not really that) great breakfast buffet for the (not really that) low price of $18.

Liquids. On a plane.

I have a few rants about the TSA (we're from the government, and we're here to help), but this one comes first. You may recall a few months ago when there was a "credible bomb threat" dealing with liquid explosives that caused all liquids to be banned from the passenger cabin of airliners. Since then the TSA has adjusted their policy to the new "3-1-1" rule. Basically they allow you to put as many 3oz bottles of liquids in a single, one quart, clear ziploc baggie.

First off, do you know how hard it is to find 3oz bottles of your normal toiletries? All the manufacturers seem to make things in 3.2oz, 4.1oz, or 5+oz. I know. I looked. If you're lucky, you normally use one of the few brands that makes a travel/trial size of 1oz.

Secondly, they make you take this out of your carry-on luggage and put it through the x-ray machine separately. What good does this do??? They don't visually inspect it--even if they did, I'm not sure the slightly over minimum wage employees would even know anything about chemicals--and they have the same x-ray equipment they've had since before August. It doesn't sample the liquid or do any other sort of chemical analysis. Why x-ray it? You can't even get enough liquids on a plane to be a viable explosive without these limits.


I called this section insecurity because airport security is a joke. It's not consistent and it doesn't really do anything but inconvenience the non-devious people. I got on my flight to Boston from O'Hare International Airport--one of the world's busiest airport (it tends to trade with Atlanta). Apparently I had an 8-9" long 3/8" socket extension in with my laptop. You know how I know this? They found it on the way back. That's right, the world's busiest airport didn't think it was that big of a deal, or was too understaffed/undertrained/underpayed to find it. Bubba at Podunk--er Providence--Rhode Island airport found it and told me that it couldn't be longer than 6". So apparently I can't get enough force when it's 2" shorter and I'm trying to bludgeon someone with it? Puh-leaze. It's not even sharp. What bothers me the most is that the rules are inconsistent and you never know what you're going to get.

If you really wanted to get something through security to do something bad, I'm not convienced that the TSA would catch you. Right now it's a very reactionary process. We hear about the possibility of liquids being used as explosives, so we ban liquids. What else is out there that we don't know about? How are we going to stop it? I think the better way to think about security is not through technology scanning luggage and people, but more through psycholgical evaluations of people--but that may be some sort of "racial stereotyping" or something.

I think that's enough for now. I may post a second part with more rants/complaints/comments later.

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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