Breakfast of champions
Solve TSA nudity and in-flight hunger with pancakes
For $170,000 a pop, you'd expect those controversial new TSA body scanners to see everything — and based on the strong protests of some travelers, it seems like they do. Hey, they don't call it Rapiscan for nothing.
And based on pictures the TSA is tweeting, they do see everything. You know, except breakfast food.
In November, the Journal of Transportation Security published an academic brief demonstrating that the TSA backscatter scanners have shown the ability to detect large objects with hard edges — guns, bricks of explosives and the like — but that research shows it has virtually no ability to detect flat objects without hard edges that could blend in with body tissue.
"It is very likely that a large (15–20 centimenters in diameter), irregularly-shaped, centimeter-thick pancake with beveled edges, taped to the abdomen, would be invisible to this technology," write University of California, San Francisco professors emeritus and authors Leon Kaufman and Joseph W. Carlson.
Yes, a pancake. And not just any pancake. The report states that a potential terrorist could pack as much as 320 grams of PETN explosive into an indetectable pancake of that size — that's four times as much as the Christmas bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was storing in his underwear and eight times as much explosive as the show bomber was packing. Look out for Aunt Jemima on the terrorist watch list.
Of course, for those average Americans who are less interested in jihad and more interested in keeping their junk under wraps, maybe a box of Bisquick is a good idea — Stephen Colbert certainly seems to think so.
Hey, it beats airplane food...