Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Ever Present Threat to Things Flying through the Air


                                                 Orv and Wib and the first air fatality

Ever since Wilbur and Orville noticed that somebody could get hurt on, in, or under, a flying machine, mankind has taken 'the willies' about the notion of being smashed to death when an aluminium foil flying device  comes in contact with anything harder than itself. Indeed one of the scarier thoughts, and the subject of a number of  'thrillers' and actual murder plots, is to have something explode in a plane ... and fire its human contents into the open air and at great height. As some wag said of such things, 'it isn't the fall (if you've been spared the blast) that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the bottom'.

In the bad old days, when people weren't so easily 'radicalized', a notice on the wall often took the place of somebody with a gun as 'security' - in train and bus stations and airports, But those 'old ways' have changed.

                                                 Old fashioned 'nukuler' test site warning


To-day we are constantly reminded, as our forebears apparently weren't,  that life can be extremely transitory (as if it isn't) and that we need to be aware, very aware. Well somebody standing on the ramparts of our freedom needs to be aware, anyway.


                                               See the large cloud? The 'drone' didn't do it


And so, to-day, in a growing number of places, the fear that somebody can slip something explosive into a very difficult place,  has forced some of our defenders to ban all electronic devices - above a certain size, from being 'boarded' onto an aircraft with a passenger attached - at least from a small number of all-of-a-sudden 'very dangerous' air hubs.  If previous instant is any guide,  such 'prevention' will grow into a pound and  then a ton of cure - very soon,  everywhere.  For aren't 'they' out to get 'us' where ever we, and they, may be found?  If we plug one rat hole,  won't they only open another?  They used to just plant explosive  in luggage and detonate planes  but we've made that 'too hard' for them to do. They've tried exploding shoes and explosive underwear - should we be surprised that they've figured some molecular way of getting it into a functioning laptop or IPad?  Christ,  the ARE trying to kill us all, aren't they?

   
                                     You could get maybe three or four grams of Boom-boom in there.


But never mind that, if they can get a bomb into your electronics, or their own, and get it onto an aircraft, it won't be any less dangerous in the cargo hold than it would be under your seat - at least personally, in a very direct way. (see the falling from great height reference above.)


To me the new precaution doesn't make a lot of sense, or as much sense as checking electronics for traces of explosive - they do - and making sure they actually work - they don't.  Some folk are saying, to-day, it's actually a 'safety measure' about exploding lithium batteries. That begs the question about what makes lithium batteries getting on  planes at 6 specific airports more dangerous than the lithium batteries getting on planes everywhere else?  Some of these batteries have been known to burst into flames.  I'm pretty sure that 'fire on board the aircraft' is probably lesson two in the aircraft safety training program - right after 'fastened seatbelts' and just after 'barfing'.


                                 
                                                     checking for explosive earbuds

Some other minds are saying it's 'airline competition' at work.  But who's losing here?  The business class? They regularly rent their 'own' plane for international travel and despite what's said at the other end, their baggage stows where their baggage goes. And many places they're VIP enough to have it and themselves whisked-off the airport tarmac with a police escort - unchecked and untroubled by customs and immigration. Frankly, Scarlett, I can't see the competition at work here, unless only some airlines flights are involved and not the travelers  from those 6 'hell-holes'  - with what could be 'kinetic' electronics.


                                         No bombs on this baby - unless it's assassination

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