I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.

29 Responses to “Lethal weapons from duty-free stores”

  1. legsmalone says:

    That’s some nice translator work going on down there.

  2. Is it just me or was that the hardest article in the world to read and understand ?

  3. David says:

    Does commenting on this thread cause homeland security to keep tabs on you?

  4. Preston Sturges says:

    I was in the Tokyo duty free shop, and they were selling big ceramic bladed butch knife sets.  I said to my buddy “We’re past security and just about to board our flight, and here they are handing out butcher knives!”

  5. Timothy Krause says:

    Remarkable is also a club that he made a gift, what magazines, floss, a leather strap and tape.

    That’s some impressive found poetry right there.

  6. carborundum says:

    Some awful translation indeed – let me at least tidy up the citation:

    “As well as making a bomb, Booth had no trouble making a simple bow and arrow from goods purchased in a shop at the airport. He used an umbrella, a hair dryer, socks, a leather belt and condoms. He avoided working with items which were too obvious, such as lighters and spray-cans of deodorant.

    He also managed to make a crossbow from an umbrella, floss, a toy “grabber”, a wheeled suitcase, a straw and sellotape. Using a straw, cotton-wool balls and a piece of metal from a remote control helicopter, he produced a blowpipe and darts.

    Also remarkable was a club he made from a souvenir, some magazines, floss, a leather belt and sellotape. On testing it proved strong enough to smash a coconut into multiple pieces with a single blow.”

  7. peregrinus says:

    I recall reading some junk thriller back in the 80s about a superspy who had 400 ways to kill you on an aircraft with simple things like a credit card, a pen, a tie, etc.

    Every time they’ve ratcheted up Zekurite in our airports I’ve recalled that, and looked around the stores in wonder at the number of simple things you could use to perform the undesirable.

    • Boundegar says:

      Shibumi.  It’s an awesome book, even better when you know it’s satire.  When I was 20, I didn’t get that but I still loved it.

  8. vonbobo says:

    Remarkable quite and surprising security, and danger for travelers all.

  9. Heartfruit says:

    I’m sure many of us have played the makeshift weapon game while waiting for airplanes.  I know I once had a pair of children’s safety scissors confiscated at security and then went to buy a drink and saw giant glass Snapple bottles for sale and started counting all the better ways to cut someone or something that I saw then to use children’s safety scissors. 

    • nixiebunny says:

      I was wondering about that issue when I was looking at the 10 inch meat carving knives in the restaurant at the gate. It would be rather easy to snag one.

    • Preston Sturges says:

      The TSA went diving into my bags because the x-ray spotted some very small scissors.  The guy pulled them out but I managed to get them back by pointing out  that they had rounded tips

  10. Frederik says:

    Correct translation:
    Researcher turns airportshop items into bomb
    Non of the weapons he makes is a bomb though. Still a really funny lecture.

    • chgoliz says:

      Alcohol + bottle + strips of cloth + one book of safety matches (allowed in carry-on) = molotov cocktail. All a wacko would have to do is buy a duty-free bottle of the cheapest alcohol and re-purpose a t-shirt. That’s a bomb, right there.

      • And a Manx kitten is a tiger.

        Ethanol has a relatively low energy content per milliliter when compared to gasoline, and 80 proof hard alcohol is only 40% ethanol to begin with.  You could do better with a bottle of 151 proof rum, but we’re still only looking at a relatively cool alcohol fire.  It’d freak people out, and a specific person doused with the stuff and lit on fire could be in trouble– but liquid ethanol is not an explosive, and it’s not even a particularly effective incendiary.  (In principle, if it could be vaporized and then ignited, you could get an explosion out of it– but there’s no easy way to vaporize a liter of ethanol.)

        • chgoliz says:

           A crossbow made out of dental floss, straw and tape probably isn’t the most powerful weapon either.

      • teapot says:

        The “cheapest alcohol” would likely not work as liquor only becomes flammable at room temperature when it’s above 50% ABV (100 proof+) but there are plenty of liquors sold above that.

  11. chazmotic says:

    Did they let their cat take over for the weekend?  Besides a bomb knew Booth also easy to make a bow and arrow of stuff he had bought in a shop in an airport. 

  12. Ian Wood says:

    In a test showed:that so firmly,…that he,with a single blow!A coconut,in several parts stores.

  13. Urbane_Gorilla says:

    Geez! What’s wrong with the old 8 D Cells in a sock club….It works in prisons… Or to emulate the Stanley Knives that the TSA works so hard to eliminate, buy a disposable plastic razor, go into the toilet on the plane and cover the smoke detector,  bust the blade out of the head, heat it and press it into the plastic handle of the disposable razor! Instant craft knife and super sharp…Unless you use one that your girlfriend shaved her legs with…I have no idea how that ruins a razor, but it does.

    The TSA is a waste of time.

    • Beanolini says:

      What’s wrong with the old 8 D Cells in a sock club

      An acquaintance of mine favoured a bag containing a couple of tins of baked beans. His rationale was that ‘you can’t get arrested for carrying your shopping’.

  14. timquinn says:

    I once made a lethal weapon from a box of chocolate covered macadamias and a dozen copies of a Robert Ludlum novel. Can’t remember which one, they’re all alike. Funny thing, I wasn’t any where near an airport . . . 

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