Letters from the Lunar Outpost

The prudent see only the difficulties, the bold only the advantages, of a great enterprise; the hero sees both; diminishes the former and makes the latter preponderate, and so conquers.
- Lavater, Swiss Theologian and Mystic (1741-1801)

Sometimes, the perfect solution comes in the form of a viral email by unknown author.

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Here’s a solution to all the controversy over full-body scanners at the airports: All we need to do is develop a booth that you can step into that will NOT X-ray you, but WILL detonate any explosive device you may have hidden on or in your body. The explosion will be contained within the sealed booth. This would be a win-win for everyone. There would be no government employees looking at naked images of your spouses and your children, no need for racial profiling and the device would eliminate long and expensive trials for the would-be terrorists.

I can see it now: you’re in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly thereafter an announcement comes over the PA system, "Attention standby passengers, we now have a seat available on flight number 42."

Sure the idea is worth a good laugh, but if there was actually a feasible technology that could set off any form of explosive while still remaining safe for all the innocent passengers passing through, I would support that solution whole-heartedly!

And each time the machine does its job, is there anything that can match the feel good story of a jihad bomber who blows up no one other than his own stupid ass?

 

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15 Responses to Solution to the Naked Body Scanner Controversy

  • The only potential problem with this is if someone planted explosives on you. Unlikely? Yes. But hell, someone will try it. Also, so much for an investigation afterwords..
    PLUS: *BOOM*
    -“Mommy, what was that noise?”
    -“Nothing dear, let’s board the plane.”
    Explaining to kids that we are killing people without trial is a little… harsh, no?

    • Well, pretty hard to imagine how a terrorist could get an explosive device inside a person’s clothing without their knowledge.

      You do raise an interesting question in asking what does it teach our children if we’re willing to snuff the attempted terrorist right on the spot, but perhaps it provides parents with a teachable moment where they can let their kids know the dangers of being brainwashed by hateful ideologies.

      For the terrorist who won’t be stopped, incarcerated and put on trial, we’d be doing him a favor in helping them get to paradise and his 72 virgins all that much quicker.

  • Sounds great until the cigarette lighter you forgot about blows jangly bits off.

  • “perhaps it provides parents with a teachable moment where they can let their kids know the dangers of being brainwashed by hateful ideologies.”
    Killing people without trial seems to be a pretty hateful ideology to me. Anybody remember the unalienable right to life? It’s right there in the US Declaration of Independence. Only through the due process of law can anybody be deprived of their life (discounting natural causes and criminal acts).

    On the idea in the main post, this was pretty much the subject of the book “The Trigger”, by that master of SciFi Arthur C. Clarke, in collaboration with Michael Kube-McDowell. It’s a pretty good exploration of the idea of blowing up explosives before they can be used, though it treads on the fingers of that damn second amendment that you Americans seem so obsessed with.

    (Seriously, you get your independence from a crazy class-based monarchy, write an amazing declaration of independence and then Constitution and Bill of Rights jammed full of great ideas like ‘all men created equal’, ‘unalienable rights’, separation of powers, an elected head of state, accountable representatives, separation of church and state, free speech, due process, etc., then you stick in that bloody second amendment that instead of getting used to protect against a potentially corrupt government is simply used as an excuse to put deadly weapons within reach of you common-or-garden psychopath. Sigh)

    (Yes, I do envy you getting rid of a braindead monarchy. Us poor Brits are still cursed with the bloody thing)

    • I have to say, complaining about the monarchy over here is like complaining about the coccyx. Sure, it’s functionally redundant, but that’s sort of my point. It’s there because it was, and isn’t yet not, if you follow. And hey, we get an extra bank-holiday and the occasional round of fireworks out of it, so all to the good.

    • Dearest Alan, just how would it be killing anyone that wasn’t in the process of killing themselves, just without all the innocent lives lost? There is no “alleged” terrorist here. Aren’t trials to determine facts (hint: they’re not for giving mass murderers a platform in which to pronounce their religion superior and everyone else must convert or die)? They had a bomb on them- fact! They were trying to board an aircraft -fact! No bomb, no boom, welcome aboard and have a pleasant flight!

    • “Killing people without trial seems to be a pretty hateful ideology to me. Anybody remember the unalienable right to life?”

      Trial, noun: the act of testing something

      The booth tests to see if they have any explosives on them. If they are attempting to get a bomb on a plane, that is intent to commit mass murder.

      Seeing as how technically they would have to put up a sign alerting them to it, wouldn’t even be murdering them. It would be suicide. They see the sign “if you have a bomb, you gon’ die, bitch.”, they have two options: a)don’t go through with bomb b)go through with bomb.

      You cannot argue that this is wrong, without openly admitting you’re a troll. Or literally have a mental illness.

  • Good solution you got there!! while it still needs some refinement. Suppose booth catches a suicide bomber, alright it blows him inside the booth keeping others safe but now that booth is now dirty with flesh and blood, it will take some time to be clean so that other passengers could be scanned in it.

    Other problem would be with passengers even they know they don’t have bomb in them might fear to go inside such booth, so much mental torture for not so strong hearted but innocent passengers, not fair.

    Anyway things are getting better technology is evolving which would sense even a tiny particle of explosive from body and set off alarm all this without scanning your body using x-ray.

  • funny! but my god, can you imagine the cleanup?…

  • What you think those machines take photos? There is a drain at bottom.

  • I don’t see any issue with it killing someone without a trial. It isn’t really murder, more like suicide. If you jump off a 100 story building, you know you’re going to die. If you go in a bomb exploding booth with a bomb on you, you know you’re going to die. It’s not like it would be a surprise, they’re not going to label it the “Magic Fun Happy Booth.” Knowing this country’s love for redundancy I’m sure there will be countless signs warning you what’s about to go down.

  • How about we just detonate each passenger *in case* they have explosives? Saves the hassle of creating the necessary technology!

    Also “…the machine does it’s job…” should be “…the machine does its job…”.

    • Good eye finding the stray apostrophe there! Not sure I get the point about why you’d want to blow up a bunch of innocent people, though.

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