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I wanted to know if I could bring one of those little travel sewing kits in my carry on luggage and not have the people at the security checkpoint freak out - those needles are like 2 inches long and kinda pointy, they're deadly! So I did some searching and found the official list of prohibited and permitted items (pdf). I'm not sure if it's up to date since it says you can bring knitting needles and nail clippers onboard but they were still confiscating that stuff when I flew in february.

Anyway, I'm reading through the document and they seem to have ordered things from sane to insane in descending insanity.

Corkscrews: Yes
Toy Transformer Robots: Yes
Box Cutters: No
Ice Picks: No
Meat Cleavers, Swords: No
Spear guns: No
Axes and Hatchets: No
Cattle Prods: No (but it's my fancy cattle prod!)
Billy Clubs, black jacks, brass knuckles: No
Nunchakus, throwing stars: No
Plastic Explosives: No
Nitroglicerine in pill form: Yes, but only if accompanied by a note from your doctor.


Ah yes, the deadly Toy Transformer Robot. One might be ok, but try to bring an army of them on the plane. . .

And those damned nitroglycerine pills. Cripes, get a few undocumented angina sufferers together and all hell breaks loose. And now I'm wondering just how many nitroglycerine pills you need to mash together to get them to 'splode...

And then you can bring a bottle of wine... who cares about little nail clippers, when you can just break the wine bottle and cut throats at will... :)

It's probably a really bad idea but I'm tempted to pick some of the more sane "permitted" stuff - rounded end scissors for example - and take them and a printout of this list with me to the airport just to see what would happen. If it were just a trip to vegas or something I'd risk the delay but I don't feel like hazarding it on an international flight :)

How about a six foot tall toy transformer?

Tiff: It would have to transform into something carry-on size or smaller. Like a briefcase nuke.

Interesting Side Note: I actually flew without ID this last Xmas. It was one of those "crap, where's my wallet?" ten minutes before getting to the airport things. I actually called my airline, and they said (no joke) "You can fly, but they'll hold you for between four and six hours first, during which time you'll be interrogated." My BULLSHIT warning light came on, so I called TSA directly, and they said "We'll be conducting an extra thorough search on you, and that may delay you an hour or two." I wasn't sure if that meant an hour long search, or just an hour long wait to be searched, but visions of rubber gloves danced in my head. When I got there, they put me in a special line, went through my carry on, made me sit in a chair while they did a chemical wipe on my shoes, then waved the wand around me. Took an extra ten minutes. It's nice to know that I can fly under someone else's name if I ever choose to do so. Say Matt, care to go to LA under my name? Just for the weekend. I'll split the Big Heist loot with you when you get back.

Conversely, there are some VERY dangerous things you can bring on an airplane that the (in)security people wont even blink at. I just flew yesterday with a carryon/backpack with a Master-brand padlock looped through the zipper pull. (I use the lock for a locker when I go swimming.) Picture this: Loop the hasp of the padlock around one finger. Now swing your arm. Viola'! You've got a very nice (and waranted) blackjack. Inside the very same backpack was a U-bolt bicycle lock. Remove/unlock the "lock" part of that and you've got a two-pronged "sword" weapon -- the U-bolt typically has a camfer on the ends to allow it to slide home more easily. Other potential contraband in my backpack: - 100 foot long nylon tape measure. Could be used as a rope to tie people up. - 2 foot long TyRap fasteners. These are the same ones used by police to "handcuff" people. CAVEAT: There was no problem getting any of this stuff through security, but I was forced to remove my shoes, get a chemical wipe and get a personal wand. Apparantly the metal insoles in my workshoes -were- considered too threatening.

This is why I'm of the opinion that they should GIVE everyone onboard a nice big hunting knife if they don't already have their own. Two scenarios. 6 potential hijackers have box cutters and everyone else has jack shit - no resistance. But 6 bowie knives bent on taking over the plane versus 300 or so others bent on them NOT doing that, well math seems to work in the non-hijacking favor :)

Now I want a 6 foot tall toy robot that transforms into a bicycle lock/two pronged "sword weapon". C'mon people...my birthday is coming up...


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