Up In The Air
I made it back safely from the IBM Industry Summit (which I’m still digesting), but just barely.
No sooner than the whole “don’t touch my junk” TSA screening methods episode started playing out across the Internet waves did I have my own travel episode — only I was still in the air when mine happened.
We were about 90 minutes out of Barcelona heading, I would assume, west towards the Atlantic Ocean, when our captain came on the loudspeaker and announced briefly that we had an unruly passenger on board, and that we were going to be forced to make an unscheduled landing.
Now, I didn’t major in geography, but I knew that Madrid was back the other direction (east), and I also knew our Boeing 767 was also probably still pretty loaded with fuel. Wait a minute: It’s not a good idea to land big planes with lots of fuel still on board!
But, the American Airlines captain landed the plane heavy, and beautifully, I might add.
It wasn’t long before we displaced the unruly passenger, a woman who apparently was on medication and emotionally troubled, but who also made the fatal mistake of threatening one of the flight attendants.
I thought they should have just locked her in a bathroom and let her think about her misdeeds all the way to New York, but hey, the captain was in charge, not me. And the American flight crew, from the cockpit all the way to the back of the plane, did a great job handling an entirely uncomfortable situation.
But the point was, we were already up in the air.
So, good luck with the whole screening thing, but for some folks, there’s clearly a lot more needing to be screened than their junk. Psychotherapy scanners, anyone?
Fortunately, that Barcelona trip should be my last one for 2010, and I’m looking forward to having my feet on terra firma for a few weeks.
Meanwhile, if you’re wondering what the guv’ment does with all those scanned images — they’re not supposed to do anything with them, that’s kind of the point — well, Gizmodo has a few pics to share with you.
Apparently, they unearthed some 35K images from a Florida Federal courthouse scanner used to screen visitors to the courtroom.
The video in their post shows some 100 images saved by the Gen 2 millimeter wave scanner from Brijot Imaging Systems that were obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request. The folks look like naked blobs from Ghostbusters.
To which I ask, can that evidence be used against the marshals in a court of law? And will said marshals, in turn, have to undergo an overtly physical screening when they enter the courtroom?
I don’t know about you, but video conferencing and LotusLive e-meeting software are sounding better and better every day!