Do not discard brain -- war on terror poster

Today's Wellington Grey comic says it all: "Warning: In Case of Terrorist attack, do not discard brain." He's selling posters. We need to put these up everywhere. I've just had a British Airways purser threaten to arrest me, my wife and baby because my wife endangered the plane by saying "bullshit" when confronted with a "safety measure," while complying with the measure. Warning: In Case of Terrorist attack, do not discard brain. (via Schneier)


  1. I’ve just had a British Airways purser threaten to arrest me, my wife and baby because my wife endangered the plane by saying “bullshit” when confronted with a “safety measure,” while complying with the measure.

    I always get put in the “suspect” line, including the “puffer machine”, because I ask “Why is this necessary?” before complying with any “security [theater] measure”.

  2. Good luck finding a bin to discard your brain in in British railway stations – we haven’t had them for years. Some IRA threat or other, Paddington or Euston I think.

  3. Its a well known fact why the bins disappered in british rail stations.

    The IRA? Don’t make me laugh!

    Its just that the station masters/staff wouldn’t empty them because its not their job. They had to employ qualified bin emptying staff.

    It was cheaper just to remove the bins and claim ‘terrorism’

  4. #4: Explosives detector. Blasts you with little jets of air and then electronically sniffs what comes off.

  5. Takuan – you can’t bait us with BA – they’re hated here as much as anywhere – try another tack :O)

  6. bait YOU? Oh no, this is ordinary jihad. Let BA become famous for what it is. Every person persuaded to fly with a competitor is one more drop of justice.

  7. The top terrorist symbol is the radiation symbol; the bottom is the biohazard symbol, but what is the middle one?

  8. Hi needs to sell 3×5 electrostatic stickers, not posters! I’ll buy 100 of those and put them up all over the place in airports!

  9. Takuan – you’re so vitriolic against the UK that one might even suppose you were an ex-pat. Clarify please…

  10. It’s not about discarding brains or common sense but the permissive nature of letting the government strip you of your rights. It’s the old frog in a cauldron thing. Unless enough people refuse to comply, there is really no reason why government shouldn’t make life easier on itself by making life harder on you.

  11. @Sertrel: It’s the US Army’s chemical weapon hazard symbol. Most other countries and organizations use a skull and crossbones for same (viz. the symbol you’ve probably got on your bottle of laundry bleach).

  12. I just had my own security theater incident last Friday. I was doing some freelance work for a local company and was walking towards the door at about 2:30. The receptionist stops me and says: “You can’t leave the building”!


    “Well the cops are here and are looking into something and they have requested that no one leave just now.”

    A little digging around and I find out that a “suspicious package” was delivered, and for my own safety the police would prefer if no one left until they check it out.

    So I have a coffee chat with some co-workers and wait. It is now 3:30 or so, and no more information is forthcoming, so I mosey back to reception an ask to speak to a police officer.

    The officer is extremely polite and friendly, but is quite clear that no one is to leave the building. I ask if I am under arrest. The officer replies no, and hints that if I leave and get sick because of the yet unknown contents of this package, he (as in the police department) would be held liable. He also informs me that their hazardous materials experts are stuck in traffic and have yet to arrive.

    While I am talking a couple of people walk into the building and are immediately informed that they are stuck and cannot leave.

    So I ask the reasonable question, “How long before you have a definitive answer as to I will be able to leave?”

    “Probably within the hour”.

    “OK I’ll give you until 4pm, but if you don’t know any more about this package’s contents by then I am leaving”.

    Before the officer can say anything, a company manager pipes up and says: “You could be here all night. You cannot leave” I re-state my position that they have half an hour. I also ask if we are going to get free pizza. The officer laughs but the manager does not.

    Fifteen minutes later the all clear is sounded and I never got the opportunity to push the issue. The building has about six swipe card controlled exits, and as far as I could tell, only the front door was being watched. So it’s likely I would have just quietly slipped out one of those…

  13. “So it’s likely I would have just quietly slipped out one of those…”

    Unfortunately police officers have a long list of charges that they can stick on someone who gives them a hard time. Anything from “disturbing the peace” to “disorderly conduct”. Just because the officers didn’t feel like doing paperwork didn’t mean that they couldn’t have laid something on you if you tried leaving. Fighting it in court would have been a nightmare, too.

  14. @25
    Just survey the situation, come to your own judgment and then act. No point in a real situation – or potentially real situation – in risking your safety listening to fools. Either find a door or window or pull a fire alarm.

    My Dear Sammich: Vitriolic? Moi? Please rest assured I checked my weapons at the door as per house policy. I have never, would never unleash my vitriol on these premises. As to an animus a la UK: not at all. I merely hate bullies and wish to kill them on sight. I do not see this as a failing. Surely you cannot extend the few deserving targets I have selected as some blanket condemnation of the land that gave us Monty Python?

  15. I think this is fantastic; so I went to the website, and you can buy all kinds of things with this great reminder, not just posters! I’m liking the messenger bag, and I’m thinking I might pick up some of the other items for christmas presents….
    i love boingboing…

  16. tres amusement, but what has that to do with British Airways seemingly limitless litany of crimes against paying passengers?

  17. While this is true I think I have a better corollary. In case of election season do not throw brain away. Do not be guilty of what I term a self-inflicted ideological lobotomy.


    You fool! You should have found a quiet corner, taken a nap and just billed all the time “stuck” to the company!

    When life hands you lemons, make sure they are clearly labeled as such, and if so, then make lemonade.

  19. Most other countries and organizations use a skull and crossbones for same (viz. the symbol you’ve probably got on your bottle of laundry bleach).

    Mine has a Mr. Yuk on it.

  20. Holtt #33

    Never thought of that. I work to live not live to work. All I wanted to do was get out of there and enjoy a beautiful crisp fall afternoon.

  21. I feel that part of the bad reputation of BA is caused by Heathrow, which is to airports as Birkenau is to vacation spots.

  22. I did wonder about the middle warning logo; it reminded me more than anything else of a front view of the Liberator from Blake’s Seven. Perhaps the warning is for in the event of attack by Space Terrorists…

  23. When 7/7 happened in London, my wife just ‘missed’ the blast near liverpool st and was at work in one of the banks. Phones were out but internet worked (yay), and she said there were rumours that no-one was to leave the building. I figured that being in a bank in the city should be about as dangerous a place as you can find, in case there were more attacks, so told her to slip out via the goods entrance in the parking garage, and follow the small alleys out of the city (thanks google maps!). And make sure no-one got a chance to officially tell her anything about having to stay in the building. As long as you don’t officially know, you can’t be liable right?

    I like civil disobediance as much as anyone, but in these cases I think it’s best to just quietly slip through the holes in the net.

  24. It’s a cool poster. But would have been more pertinent if it said “in case of terrorist threat” rather that “attack”.

    In an attack, I think anyone can be forgiven for losing their wits.

    It’s when under a vague (and probably imaginary) threat that we all need to get our shit together and “Keep Calm and Carry On” (as that other great poster tells us.

  25. Last time I went through airpost security it was BELTS we had to take off. As if I was planning on garrotting the pilot with my leather belt. What next? We have to sit there in our underpants, with our hands on our heads? Why not go the whole hog, and strip people and make then fly shackled, in orange jumps suits and head-sacks?

  26. Padster123 #41

    Excellent (if not original) idea! Others have suggested that passengers also be anesthetized. That way they can be stacked up like cord wood to maximize umm “seating” and security!

    If it turns out that a few die from medical complications, well we just explain to the grieving relatives that this is the price of freedom.


  27. Well, attack or threat it’s good to keep one’s wits about you. But it seems that most of the idiocy we witness is due to threats. Usually wholly imaginative threats. Terrorists might take pictures of a building, so anyone who takes pictures of a building might be a terrorist. Same kind of logic as “Ducks are birds, so if it’s a bird, it could be a duck.”

  28. Ha! Stupid liberals, you can’t tell me what to do! Here, I’ll show you. . . I just unlatch the cranium here, and. . . blohsh jhe sdiikjon foobubnnnnnnnuuuuuuh. . . (falls over).

  29. Poster #41 gave me a good laugh.
    Thank you.

    My wife who has Parkinson’s disease was taken
    away from me by airline security guards to check her
    out in a bombproof plexiglass enclosure.

    Her crime was that she had an “Ace bandage” on her knee.
    Yup! Ace bandages have little metal threads in them which flashed an alert of a hidden metal
    under her skirt.

    Then my luggage was flagged as inside was an
    electronic pill timer for my wife’s medication
    schedule that was given the puff test.

    No one had seen a Timex pill timer before.

    Hard enough traveling for us but glad we are so
    well protected.

    Returning back to NYC at a different
    US airport no one flagged the pill box timer
    or her Ace bandage, Nice!

Comments are closed.