TSA bans snowglobes. TSA, meet Archimedes.

Discuss

103 Responses to “TSA bans snowglobes. TSA, meet Archimedes.”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I hate snow globes almost as much as I hate the TSA – so I find this to be a good thing. If we can’t get rid of TSA, at least we can reduce snow globe proliferation.

  2. Angerwine says:

    The reasoning behind his ban may be faulty, but I think it is a blessing in disguise.

    • The Chemist says:

      I might understand if you were talking about allowing cellphone calls on flights (may that abomination never come to pass) but you’ll have to explain what’s so bad about snowglobes. I’m not really crazy about them, but mostly they just sit there.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is police-state stuff — and we shouldn’t put up with it whatsoever. Organize, people. These goons don’t know when to stop. They’ll just keep coming at us. It’s for the Rich, understand?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thus brings an end to the sale of one of the most enduring tourist souvenirs in history.

    • Anonymous says:

      Remember Swiss Army Knives? A forgotten one in a pocket of my purse sent one TSA guy into ecstatic delirium. Now I buy an item of clothing at my destination and must bite the tag off.

      Surely Magic 8 Balls are next.

  5. Ideal Gnome says:

    Quite an amusing song on the topic here:

    http://www.last.fm/music/Atomic+Horsebox/_/Air+Guantanamo

    Very funny!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great article.
    Btw, 2 weeks ago the London Gattwick security confiscated 2 snowglobes so I know how stupid this “security” measurement is. Oh yea, they also took away some toys for my nephew. It was a small soft plastic shield and “sword” which is some sort of replicas from the Tower of London. They said that although it is not metal or sharp or whatever, it can still be a bit scary. ROFL!! :D

  7. gobo says:

    Last year, I was flying out of LAX with a small jar of the famous relish from Bob’s Big Boy. TSA guy found it in my bag and said, “This is a liquid, you have to discard this.” I said, “Actually it’s more of a solid, since it’s relish.” He turned it upside down, watched the red goo slide around inside the jar, and said, “Well, okay.”

    Somehow the ambiguity of it all scared me more than getting away with flying with a liquid.

  8. med1972 says:

    Relevance? You expect TSA agents to take the time to calculate the volume of liquid in your snow globe?

    md

  9. Anonymous says:

    What annoys me is when they tell you you can’t take your bottle of water on the plane, and they fully acknowledge that it is, in fact, water. You can drink it, you can let them smell it. It’s clearly water…but no.

  10. Anonymous says:

    TSA officials can’t be bothered with the most basic concepts of logic (or law, or compassion for that matter). Why would you expect them to spend a few minutes analyzing your snowglobe’s volume?

  11. med1972 says:

    Very simple: snowglobes are filled with a liquid that, if it were to exceed 3oz in volume, might blow up a plane. It’s dumb, like the whole liquids ban thing, but it’s there and we cannot reasonably expect TSA agents to measure the volume of the liquid in a globe. Much easier to just deny. Put the damn thing in your checked luggage.

  12. Jewels Vern says:

    I can’t imagine why any self respecting citizen still travels by air.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because it takes too long to cross the Atlantic Ocean by bus?

    • Anonymous says:

      Jewels,

      I travel by air simply because taking a camel or donkey from New York to Sacramento might cause me to miss my connecting llama to my ultimate destination. Air travel is a necessity for many.

    • Anonymous says:

      …because here in the US, we don’t have all of the high-tech transportation infrastructure that you have in most other countries. We have to fly.

  13. Whatnot says:

    Luckily, Charles Foster Kane can afford to charter a private jet.

  14. Man On Pink Corner says:

    In other news, volume is not measured in ounces.

  15. taiki24 says:

    Damn! There goes my genius plan to blow up an airplane with a…………………. snowglobe…..

  16. Patrick Dodds says:

    Ah, god bless the TSA – small boys in long trousers.

  17. Anonymous says:

    i had a hilarious conversation with the tsa in may of this year when i called them ask if i could bring a stuffed jackalope on the plane with me from san francisco to the netherlands where i live.

    it took them a while to figure out what it was (ie. an imaginary animal composed of two real animals, courtesy of paxton gate) and i was told i couldn’t take it on the plane because of the antlers which are considered sharp objects…

  18. oasisob1 says:

    @Jewels Vern: Those pesky oceans, combined with limits on the amount of time I may have to travel to a particular location (and back) on the other side of one such ocean, sort of forces the issue with me. We don’t always have a choice.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I am an avid snow globe collector (lame, I know, but fun!) and the TSA has never allowed me to carry a snow globe through security. Didn’t matter what size. They always just said “no”. I gave up trying a while ago. It’s a boon to snow globe sales at the airport near the gates.

  20. Man On Pink Corner says:

    Cory, the whole concept of fluid ounces as a measure of volume is only valid for water. If the snowglobe in question were actually known to be full of water, nobody would care about it to begin with.

    • Daneel says:

      Well, that would be true, if fluid ounces worked the way I think they should do, and varied in volume depending on the density of the liquid in question, but they don’t.

      They are a fixed volume equal to 1 ounce of water at a fixed temperature (62°F or 17.2°C, it would seem, according to wikipedia).

      It’s confusing, and isn’t helped by the fact that in North America, ounce is used when they mean fluid ounce.

      This is complicated further by the fact that 1 US fluid Oz != 1 imperial fluid ounce, and then on top of that 16 US fluid ounces = 1 US pint, whereas there are 20 imperial fluid ounces to the imperial pint.

      As an aside, this makes US car mileage figures look much worse than they really are in comparison to British ones, because a US gallon is ~20% smaller) – I was once asked by an American colleague if the reason we had larger gallons was because we had 5 quarts to the gallon instead of 4…

      Ah, the imperial system, gotta love it.

    • The Chemist says:

      Volume is not consistent measure of any liquid, including water. Volume is affected by temperature and pressure. The idea that a fluid ounce is not meant to be used to measure anything but water, as opposed to being defined by a quantity of water, is wrong. Actually looking to the US measurement system for anything consistent is wrong, but that’s another issue entirely.

    • Caroline says:

      I agree scientifically, but TSA is happy to apply the “3 fl oz” limit to milk, mouthwash, hand lotion, toothpaste, lip gloss, and perfume, as well as every other identifiable and unidentifiable liquid, so it makes no sense to start quibbling about its applicability to snowglobes.

      They mean “the volume occupied by 3 fl oz of water,” if that will make your detail-oriented nerd brain happy. (No insult intended. I’ve got a detail-oriented nerd brain myself.)

  21. Ted8305 says:

    Why does the TSA still allow breast implants of greater than 3 fluid ounces? They don’t even check to make sure passengers’ bladders and bowels have been voided.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I recently returned from NYC after a glorious shopping trip and showing of the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Show via American Airlines. The Rockettes were the best. I purchased a Rockettes Snow Globe as a souvenir for myself. Thinking it was fragile I put it in my carry on to keep it safe. Well it was confiscated. My friend and I never even thought about the “liquid” in the snow globe as being not accepted through carry on. I know the individuals didn’t want to take it from me but that was the rules they followed. They suggested I run back to check-in to see if I could have it checked on the flight. I went to the counter and this was not possible. The agent could see my disappointment and did take my name, address and phone number suggesting she may have it sent to me. I was hopeful. That was Nov 27th at Laguardia Airport and I have not seen anything come yet. Lesson learned I guess. I just have to wonder what happened to it really!! Oh and to top it off, while I was at check in the 2nd time, my friend waited at the gate of our flight. It boarded early and when I returned the plane was still there but they said it was too late to board. We had to wait 3 more hours for the next flight to leave. Shelly, Cambridge, Ontario Canada

  23. vyvyan says:

    Just did a quick math
    3 US fluid ounces = 0.0887205887 litre = 88 ml.
    radius of sphere = (0.0000887205887*3/(pi*4))^(1/3) = 0.0276680532 meter = 2.8 centimeter ~ 1.1 inches

    A ball with 2.2 inch diameter is really small object, and most of snow globes will actually be larger. On the permissible volume, they have rules by their side but just saying that they can’t determine is plainly stupid. The should be send back to get primary schooling first.

    PS: Sorry, I don’t feel at home with Imperial system.

  24. veggiespam says:

    It has been this way since at least Sep 2006. I believe I read the TSA’s thinking was along the lines of the inability to take a sample of the liquid inside, as you could still bring tiny (3 fl oz) snow globes onto the plane. They usually do not take samples of your shampoo for bomb-worthiness, but they nevertheless have that option. Sealed globes remove that possibility.

  25. dainel says:

    What we need a is a new plot to blow up airplanes using other types of non-liquid explosives.

    For example, we can use a phone. Scoop out all it’s innards and replace with a simple LCD screen and button battery. The phone can appear to turn on, but do nothing else. Fill the rest of the space with gunpowder.

    We will have 10 people boarding the same flight. They will buy tickets in pairs, all requesting seats near the back of the plane. Once on board, they pool all the explosives from all the phones, and blow it up inside the toilet bowl. The shrapnel will bring down the plane.

    They will then ban mobile phones, and maybe get rid of the toilet bowl on the plane.

    Then we will have another plot to compact powder explosive in the shape of shoe soles, so everyone will have to check in their shoes with their luggage and walk on the plane bare foot.

  26. Marshall says:

    You would not believe how difficult it was for me to explain to customs in the US exactly what a snow globe is, and why I had a tiny liquid filled sphere with an elephant inside in my luggage when I came back from Thailand last year. It was like these employees, who work in travel, who do nothing but sift through people’s souvenirs and underpants all day have never even heard of one.

    I think they’re cloning the TSA folks in some underground lab, because I never seem to meet one who has any concept of reality whatsoever, or any ability to reference anything other than their given task in the most absolutely thoughtless way.

  27. GadgetGav says:

    How long do we have to wait before the Obama Administration puts someone with a brain in charge of the TSA. You would think that it would even count toward their ‘jobs saved or created’ totals if they could make the flying experience more bearable and more people did it. I suppose against that there would be the layoffs of the Thousands Standing Around (TSA) that would count in the negative column.

  28. Anonymous says:

    The only thing mock-worthy in this story is the idea that they can’t determine how much liquid is inside a snow globe. (What they mean is that they don’t want to take the time to determine it.) If they really think that liquid carried onto a plane is a threat, then it really isn’t absurd to think it could be a threat regardless of what sort of container (a can or a snow globe) it is in.

  29. Ephraim says:

    We all know that these liquids are dangerous. That’s why they just put them all in a lovely bomb proof Rubbermaid plastic trash receptacle that will withhold any explosion and keep the world safe for democracy.

    • loraksus says:

      “That’s why they just put them all in a lovely bomb proof Rubbermaid plastic trash receptacle”

      Yes, one that just happens to be full of all sorts of happy things that would work pretty decently as shrapnel.

      And happens to be located in a confined area where a good number of civilians standing around along with a large number of screening personnel and a majority of screening equipment.

      *sigh*

      Security theater, nothing more.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Indeed the formula for the volume of a sphere is four thirds times Pi times radius cubed (google volume of a sphere). As other commentors have said there is likely a wall thickness of “n” mm which could be calculated by subtracting the inner radius from the outer radius assuming you know the wall thickness. However even if you don’t know the inner Radius, you can still assume it’s less than 3oz if the outer Radius yields a value equal to or less than a sphere of 3oz volume. Three ounces can be converted to ml using 29.5735296 ml per an ounce as a ml equals cm cubed.

    Given that TSA agents are mostly ex-cons and high school drop outs who wouldn’t know Archimedes from the Arch Bishop of Cantebury, you could just give them a refrence diameter which could be easily measured with calipers or a simple “Your snow globe must be smaller than this to fly” reference cards like they have at a roller coaster. Then again that might just reaffirm what the really think of the publics intelligence. Has anyone brought up with them yet the fact that snow globes are factory sealed and often shatter proof? I wonder what the brick-a-brak lobby thinks of this whole affair?

  31. Steven D. Krause says:

    I got stopped by security in Vegas in August 2008 because of snow globes in my carry-on and my choice was to figure out how to mail them or to check the bag. I wrote about this on my blog:

    I opted for the checked bag route, and I was escorted around back toward the gate by a TSA person, who was perfectly pleasant about it all. “Snow globes,” I said to this woman. “Really?”

    “Yeah, I’m sorry about that,” she said. “They tell us we’re supposed to be on the look-out for them, actually.”

    “Yes,” I said, “because if we are allowed to pack snow globes in our carry-on luggage, then the terrorists win.” She kinda smiled at that.

  32. Fett101 says:

    *tin foil hat* What you don’t realize, Steven, is that she was quietly remembering your name to add you to the Suspicious Persons list.

  33. Enoch_Root says:

    With all the diligent security related to liquid explosives I sure hope they don’t forget about the solid explosives.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Ha Ha…

    In other news, the TSA submerges suspected terrorists in water and if they are able to withstand the submersion without drowning then they must be witches..I mean terrorists………
    ..

    Oh wait …the Bush administration actually already did that didn’t they……

  35. Anonymous says:

    According to Wolfram Alpha, 3 fluid ounces is equivalent to 5.41 cubic inches, and a sphere with that volume would have a radius of 2.766cm. Of course you’d have to add some for the glass.

    According to another site, mini snowglobes are typically 7cm in diameter (3.5cm radius). So most of ‘em probably do hold more than 3oz of magical exploding water.

  36. JoshP says:

    the dreaded tacky objet bomb may be foibled, but what happens when someone figures out how to create an exploding human. ?? then we’s screwed.
    well, they don’t let me out of my cage often anyway, but you get the point ;)

  37. Anonymous says:

    The TSA allows ice. Somehow they understand phases of matter but not other basic science. So in theory, you could freeze your globe. If it weren’t for the pesky expanding ice problem…

  38. Anonymous says:

    True story:

    Last month I flew from Dulles (DC) back to Boston.
    Those who know Dulles know there’s this basement kind of area where you wait in line to be de-shoed, x-rayed and scanned. The line winds along one of those artificial railing thingies (the ribbons that unwind from inside a stanchion and clip on the next stanchion). As we waited, a TSA suit went along the ribbon, very carefully lining up all the stanchions the way that Frank Burns lined up all the tabletop condiments in a M*A*S*H episode.

    So of course, after he went by, it was my job to move some of the stanchions out of line again.

    Small revenge!

  39. CosmicDog says:

    Well, that’s cute, but it wouldn’t work. An Archimedes tank would, at best, be able to help determine the volume of space taken up by the snow globe itself, but it would not be helpful in determining the volume of the liquid contained within the snow globe (due to the thickness of the glass and the fact that there are usually other things taken up space within a snow globe). I’m fairly certain that all but the smallest snow globes would displace more that 3oz of water (that’s only 1/4 of a soda can).

    It would be easier just to break it open and measure the liquid.

    • dequeued says:

      Uh, by measuring the volume of the container, you can know, at least, that the volume of water is *smaller* than the container, and that the volume of water couldn’t possibly be any larger.

  40. hallpass says:

    Whatnot FTW.

  41. Anonymous says:

    If you accept the TSA’s logic that liquids are dangerous, this seems like a fairly logical extension.

  42. Anonymous says:

    I was told (not by the TSA mind you, european airports are almost as bad) that what mattered was what it said on the package. So I couldn’t bring a near-empty pot of gel because it said “150 ml” on the side.
    I don’t think they’re interested in measuring…

  43. cameronh1403 says:

    I am so glad that the TSA makes it safer to fly by making it so much of a pain in the ass to fly. Still it’s a fun dog and pony snow to watch..

  44. SKR says:

    How about using a little math? I did this quickly, so I could be wrong. By my calculations a snow globe with a volume of 3oz will have a circumference no more than 6.8in or 17.4cm. I mean all they need is a board with a hole in it. Can the globe pass through the hole? No? Into the bin with it.

    That said, I’m glad they are keeping us safe from ugly trinkets.

  45. phoomp says:

    Not even Bush was able to make American bureaucracy look as stupid as the TSA is able to.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone thought of creating a “3 fuild oz” sticker…given TSA’s brilliance…this would work…probably on very large amounts of water too…

  47. Anonymous says:

    Connecting the dots, we begin to see proof of the truth. The government believes that water-filled snowglobes are potential dangers. This must mean that they know that water *can* burn/explode. This proves that the government & Big Oil *did* steal and hide the secrets of the automobile that could run on water.

    All these years that garage engineers have been trying to recreate what we had assumed was just an urban myth and the only thing missing was an igniter shaped like Cinderella’s castle…

  48. hallpass says:

    *BLINDING WHITE RAGE SUBSIDES*

    This happened to me at O’Hare about two years ago as I was returning from at trip to the UK. My wife bought a snowglobe for our neice, who collects them.

    Due to some American Airlines aasshattery, we wound up with one of our check bags as a carry on after clearing customs.

    When we recleared security to catch our connecting flight the TSA discovered the snow globe and a Harrod’s Christmas pudding in the former checked bag.

    The agent had a spontaneous orgasm at the discovery of the Christmas pudding, which, in case you don’t know, is more of a fruitcake than anything liquid or gel like.

    I nearly got arrested arguing the case of the snow globe. They wouldn’t even let me drain the liquid.

    Disband the TSA immediately.

  49. TooGoodToCheck says:

    The inability to estimate the volume of a sphere is pretty crappy. However, you could totally do an awesome movie plot hijacking with a snow globe. The way to do it would be to fill it with something terrible (a volatile nerve agent or something) and set it up so that the globe can’t be opened without cracking it – maybe crazy glue it shut – so that security personnel can’t verify the nature of the liquid.

    In the air, movie terrorist shatters the globe, killing or incapacitating everyone on the plane, except the terrorist himself, who is protected by. . . whatever. magic.

    I basically never fly if I can avoid it. The Orwellian “the current threat level is orange. please report anyone suspicious” messages really start to get to me after a couple hours in an airport.

  50. Anonymous says:

    I haven’t flown commercially since the 1970s. Since that time I have driven to 49 states and all over western Canada. There’s a lot more of the country to be seen driving than flying. You travel through the small towns and get to stop in the local diners and cafes and talk to real people. The government can keep it’s stupid regulations and intrusive searches. As for me, I’ll continue to drive around the county and enjoy the scenery.

  51. Rick. says:

    @#*: A snow globe from Thailand. Now I’ve heard everything.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Thank goodness it would be totally impossible for several nefarious passengers to pool their 3oz each of liquid explosive to blow up a plane…

  53. Mithras says:

    Please check my math:
    3 fluid ounces = 5.4140625 cubic inches
    Volume of a sphere is V=4/3 pi R^3.
    5.4140625 = 4/3 pi R^2
    4.06054688 = pi R^3.
    1.29251222 = R^3
    R= 1.0892934
    So, a snowglobe that is less than 2.18 inches in diameter must contain less than 3 ounces of liquid. (This neglects the thickness of the glass and the fact that there are solid objects in the liquid.) I found a snowglobe tree ornament online that is 2 1/8 inches in diameter, but most snowglobes are larger than that.

    Assuming my math is correct.

  54. Anonymous says:

    The Volume of any sphere is:

    Volume = 1/6 * Pi * (Diameter ^ 3)

    You’re allowed 100ml, thus Volume = 100

    100 = 1/6 * 3.1415 * (Diameter ^ 3)

    Solving for Diameter gives: 5.76 cm

    So any snow-ball less than 5.8cm / 2.3″ across must be OK. This does not include allowances for the thickness of the dome, nor anything inside the ball. Obviously if the ball is a hemisphere (i.e.: half a dome) this value can be doubled.

    I guess high school maths is too much for them.

  55. Anonymous says:

    A sphere of volume 3 fluid oz (88.72 cc) has diameter 5.53 cm (2.18 inches).
    Wall thickness is fairly small, so probably any sphere over 2.5″ diamter is over 3 fluid oz capacity, and fails the 3 oz test.
    The TSA should inform snow globe holders of these sad facts.

  56. Anonymous says:

    blunt object, TSA? That sounds like a better reason…you can’t carry a snow globe because they can be used to bludgeon someone

  57. dequeued says:

    Not that I would expect TSA goons to be able to do basic algebra.

    I don’t even attempt to check baggage with my anymore, unless I really have to.

    Protip:
    You can ship checked baggage, for a small fee, with Greyhound or Amtrak, across the country.
    It’s way cheaper than using a courier, and far less of a hassle than trying to check it on a plane.
    And there are train stations and bus terminals everywhere, almost always near major airports and in major cities.

    For example, I had to ship some art materials that would have potentially been questionable if I had checked them on a plane when I flew from LA to NYC, so, at Burbank airport, I walked across the parking lot to the Amtrak station, dropped off my baggage to be delivered to Penn Station in NYC, and picked it up the next week.

    • The Chemist says:

      >>I don’t even attempt to check baggage with my anymore, unless I really have to.

      You do realize that this makes you highly suspicious to airline security?

      Wow, you really can’t win.

  58. deusdiabolus says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, aren’t we overdue for some enterprising young soul to figure out the key to teleportation and eliminate all the headaches and frustrations of this ineffective system?

  59. Gilbert Wham says:

    If the TSA only hired people who could figure out how to calculate the volume of a sphere (without dipping it in anything), the world would be a much nicer place…

  60. John says:

    Seriously, why do people buy snow globes anyway?

  61. Anonymous says:

    TSA stands for totally screwed again another fine mess u gotten us into Ollie (AKA Georgie Bush)Georgie said Federal will make us safer look where it got us no where!!!

  62. blatantdisregard says:

    Visited Disney World in March and my son purchased an awesome Disney villains snow globe. Put it in his carry-on and of course got pulled to the side and was told snowglobes weren’t allowed as they contain liquid. Being an avid BoingBoing reader I knew it would be a lesson in futility to argue with the TSA agent. Asked what I could do and the apologetic agent escorted me to the Disney gift shop located directly adjacent to the security checkpoint where I shipped it home. It was a nice turn of events when I thought I was in for a thorough body cavity search.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Wouldn’t there be tell-tale signs of it being tampered with like residue, glue over a hole, or a bug-eyed bearded guy holding a F@##ing snowglobe? I’ll believe a lot more in TSA and the job they’re doing when the DRUG DEALERS QUIT GETTING THEIR LITTLE PACKAGES ON BOARD. Sorry for shouting.

  64. chris2001 says:

    At JFK airport I was forbidden from taking a snowglobe through security.

    I passed through TSA’s security barrier and bought another snowglobe at the concession stand on the other side. Literally within sight. Had anyone checked the stock of this snowglobe stand for explosives? I doubt it, because I used mine to hijack the plane out of sheer annoyance.

  65. greengestalt says:

    A favorite cartoon from a “Mad” magazine years back had a crazy man with a molotov cocktail and a lighter jump up and scream “We are going to Cuba!” on an airplane. The passengers just sat back, each imagining the fun of a vacation to Cuba, eating with Castro, buying tons of Havannas, imagining the kook in the Cuban “Justice” system (meaning “Dungeon”)… Then the stewardess comes in, and speaks: “Attention passengers, I called the Airline and they are charging each of you $912.13 for extra flight time…” The crowd goes rabid, rushes the guy, and throws him out mid flight!

    Likewise, I doubt any further attacks on the airport. The first ones succeeded because hijackings usually are only a time nuisance, but rarely are any danger to the passengers. Castro loves to toss kooks in his dungeons and treat passengers to a meal. And other kooks just get shot by snipers if they wait too long. 911 changed that, so any future hijackings will become #4s at best.

    But the airplane companies deserve no sympathy for their stupidity. And I wonder what will happen when that legion of “Minimum wage Hitlers” gets laid off either because the companies don’t want to go bankrupt, or because they do.

  66. benher says:

    I scuttled all my travel plans this winter to visit the US. It just isn’t worth the potential laptop-confiscation, de-liquification, ass-provocation, or snow-globe repossession. Enjoy your lack of revenue this holiday season ‘Mmmericuh.

  67. kingCookie says:

    …and in other news, humans containing over 3 ounces of fluid have been banned from flights.

    face firmly in palm

  68. Anonymous says:

    Actually, the TSA will accept liquids in containers up to 3.4 ounces! It’s because it has to be less than 4 ounces, and 3.5 rounded up is 4, so 3.5 is effectively 4 but 3.4 is not.

    So EVERYONE PLEASE re-do your calculations about how big a snow globe can be. I eagerly await your answer.

    Thank you

  69. peterbruells says:

    Okay, the TSA probably can’t submerge the globe in water because so much liquid on an airport is dangerous, but surely {4 \over 3 }\pi r^3 isn’t beyond their grasp?

  70. Anonymous says:

    This is not new – the TSA has been anti-snow globe since at least 2005 (I tried to bring one from SFO in April ’04 and they said it couldn’t come on the plane because they had no idea what type of liquid it contained…).

  71. teapot says:

    I once got stopped and had my ninja-star confiscated at Narita International Airport (Tokyo).

    Unbelievable!

  72. flink says:

    I suppose then that 2 ounces of nitroglycerin hermetically sealed inside a small bottle and then thrown against an aircraft window would be harmless.

    The idea that they can actually protect air travelers is ludicrous. Suppose 12 persons each board an airliner and each person carries on board 3 ounces of one half a binary explosive. Each of the 11 visit the bathroom during the flight. The 12th then does so and combines the 12 portions into a nice-sized bomb.

    It’s not that I would want this scenario to occur, my issue is that the TSA is working hard to instill a sense of security where no security exists.

    Things are bad enough without the government blowing smoke up our asses.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is this a word problem?

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not even that bad- all you need is X people, each carrying some component of an explosive device, to get through security, and make a combination of flights to various other airports, where some hand their payload to some of the others, until one person has the makings of an explosive device. At that point, they’re already inside TSA’s security…

      As for all the volume of a snow-globe discussions. Um. Every snow globe I’ve seen is a half sphere…

      • Anonymous says:

        As Anonymous (#82) responding to Flink (#43) and Daniel (#95) surmised, a conspiracy could easily be created whereby individuals each smuggling an innocuous component passed TSA and assembled it elsewhere. It wouldn’t have to be assembled on the plane. It could be in the airport bathroom. With regards to liquid, after their 22 friends got passed TSA with a measly 3oz container someone could walk onto a plane with a 2L bottle filled with whatever. Who knows, maybe there’s a group out there already passing items around to each other waiting for assembly at a later time. Or guns already assembled passed from person to person waiting for the next big event.
        By the way, I found this blog because I almost missed my flight home from Vegas last week due to a few snow globes my wife and her friend packed in our carry-on.

  73. Daemon says:

    The thought has occured to me… have they ever made a restriction regarding the NUMBER of 3oz containers of liquids you’re allowed to bring on board?

  74. Anonymous says:

    Bah, the human body contains significantly more fluids. Do i have to leave that behind too?

  75. Anonymous says:

    Jewels,

    There are these horribly pesky things called oceans. Make driving damn near impossible unless you’re incredibly dedicated. Don’t even get me started on the underwater railways either. You think air travel’s unreliable and a pain? You ever try to catch the 3:18 out of the Marianas Trench? Terrible, I don’t mind telling you.

  76. tomorrowboy says:

    I’ve never had problems bringing water _onto_ a plane, just through security. As long as my water bottle is empty, or I’m willing to finish drinking it at security, they’ve always let me take it through and fill it up at a water fountain again on the other side. Of course I’m not travelling through the states.

  77. Dewi Morgan says:

    So because one spokesman says “I would think”, then it means they banned them? Sounds more like a Corey Headline to me.

    People are tilting at the wrong windmill here. USCIS are the bad guys, not TSA!

    Having been through the US border a few times now, I can confidently say that while the TSA might seem an unutterable evil for Americans who have only ever flown on internal flights, they’re nothing to everyone else. The luggage-check seems well run and efficient: they balance well the problem of getting large numbers of people screened as well as possible in limited time and fuss. Screening is no more arduous or inconsistent than other countries: luggage gets scanned, you go through an induction loop, if you go ping you get a going over with an induction paddle. Nothing new there, I had that back in the 80s on most flights to or from most countries. Airport screening methodology has barely changed in decades, from what I can see.

    Checking is thorough and has the same restrictions the world over, with the same inconsistencies. In my experience, Gatwick lets you keep your shoes on and your laptop in its bag; Heathrow is shoes off, laptops out. No idea why the inconsistency. Gatwick seems just more efficient and tightly run in most ways.

    The “list of stuff you’re not allowed in your carry-on” has always existed, but has been extended to include liquids and knives. Not a terribly arduous limitation to the vast majority of seasoned travellers.

    Immigration/passport control, on the other hand… huuuuge queue. Arduous interview. May be turned back for pretty much any reason. It’s THESE guys, not the TSA, that makes the US an utter nightmare to visit. It’s THESE people that make people avoid the country.

  78. Anonymous says:

    TSA = “TOTALLY STUPID AGENCY”

    Thanks GW Bush for the federal takeover of airport security. I love how people are whining about obama’s attempted expansion of the federal takeover of the health care sector when bush permanently poisoned airport security with affirmative action morons banning snow globes.

  79. Anonymous says:

    You are not taking into account the thickness of the glass/plastic

Leave a Reply