December 21st, 2010

Killing with a sheet of paper.

 The hopeless nature of the TSA quest to forbid weapons may be illustrated with a simple sheet of typing paper.  Take a sheet out of your printer. Roll it up into a cone with a point on one end and a 2-3" wide base. Hold the wide base in your hand and (carefully) jab something with the pointy end.

The cylindrical body of your new paper "dagger" is fairly resistant to sideways pressure, while the point can do real damage if directed against soft tissues. The strength of a single paper sheet is limited, so two or three may be used for a stronger construction. A manila envelope would be stronger yet, as the two sides are connected and the paper is thicker.

A plastic binder would be stronger yet. If a material isn't pliable enough for rolling up, folding it into a three or four sides pyramid would work as well. The flared base end would act as a pommel, keeping the hand from slipping from the impact of a stabbing motion.

A sheet of paper can be a weapon. A terrorist can use it, as can a counter-terrorist. As long as TSA is focusing on weapons, they are missing the real weapons -- the human brains. ANYTHING can be turned into an offensive weaponized tool. Unfortunately, very few tools can be improvised be defenders quickly enough to make a difference. TSA policies are further stacking the deck in favor of hijackers.

High-resolution scanners and the airport perverts.

As we know from comparing instant capture digital sensors to scanning camera backs, scanners usually have much higher resolution. 3D scanners have higher effective resolution yet because they can supersample each pixel. We now have a confirmation that the scanners used by TSA have high enough resolution for a Penthouse centerfold spread and are being used for similar purposes.

This message came in the email a couple of day ago:

Yesterday my 5'2" 140# 38 DD-fiancee had to go through the pervoscan to go to the gate to pick up her daughter. She was stopped and questioned about the T shaped object in her abdomen; the scan was so detailed it showed her IUD-not to mention her unmentionables!
 
Each part of the "T" of the intrauterine contraceptive device is 3mm thick. In other words, the scanners used by TSA are detailed enough to detect a 1/8" object inside a passengers' genitals -- at which point TSA agents question them about the details of their privates! Seems to me that this is far beyond the most depressing predictions by Orwell or Kafka.

If you have technical details of the scanners used by the TSA, I would like to see it to confirm my guesses as to their capabilities. In the absence of such information, we can make certain assumptions about the potential for misuse. We do know that TSA is lying to us by claiming that their equipment shows little detail and only of the skin surface.