TSA saves America from 16yo diabetic, breaks $10K insulin pump which totally could have been a bomb

You probably thought we covered all possible scenarios of TSA stupidity in our recent round-up post.

You thought wrong.

Via MSNBC today, the story of Savannah Barry, a 16-year-old diabetic girl who says the TSA broke her insulin pump. Savannah was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes four years ago, and her pump is a specialized medical device that can cost up to $10,000 to replace, according to MSNBC.


The Colorado teenager says TSA screeners forced her to go through a full-body scanner in Salt Lake City last week, breaking her $10,000 insulin pump in the process. According to Sandra Barry, Savannah’s mother, her daughter was coming home from a school trip when screeners required to her to go through a full-body scanner despite the fact that the girl had a doctor’s note describing her condition and stating that she should be given a pat-down rather than subjected to screening machines.

“Believe me, being 16 and female, she probably doesn’t want the pat-down but she knows that this is what’s required,” Sandra Barry told msnbc.com. “She tried to advocate for herself and they just shut her down.”

Read the rest

Did NYPD police chief violate code of conduct by lying about Islamophobic video?

Gothamist digs into whether NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly's statements and actions regarding the production of an Islamophobic propaganda film "screened on a continuous loop for over 1,200 NYPD officers" may have been a violation of NYPD conduct codes. If you're new to the story, first read this NYT item, then this followup. Read the rest

How tough is it to build a dirty bomb?

[YouTube Link]

On PBS NewsHour, Miles O'Brien reports on the threat that radioactive "dirty bombs" could pose to cities in the U.S., and what's being done to prevent a radiological attack from happening.

Boing Boing readers may find this segment of particular interest because it features two unique characters familiar to our community of happy mutants. First, David Hahn. Miles explains:

Hahn is the man who earned the sobriquet "The Radioactive Boy Scout" in 1995 when he came very close to building a breeder nuclear reactor in his backyard in suburban Detroit. I am serious as a meltdown.

There's a book about Hahn here, and a Harper's article here.

The NewsHour piece also includes Bob Lazar, the guy behind United Nuclear. BB pal Steve Silberman's epic profile of Lazar and his DIY science business is here, and I can't even count how many times we've blogged about Lazar's aerogel chunks and Neodymium "supermagnets."

Watch "How Tough Is it to Build a Dirty Bomb?" video on YouTube, read the transcript here, or download an MP3 of the audio here. Miles is on Twitter here, and so is PBS NewsHour.

A two-way chat between Miles and PBS NewsHour's web host, Hari Sreenivasan is embedded below—more backstory on how DIY science, anti-terror, and dirty bombs intersect, and how to separate the FUD from fact. And a related blog post from the reporter is here. Read the rest