The US Department of Homeland Security says that its "government brainiacs" are on the verge of rolling out an airport bag scanner which would avoid the need to separate frustrated travellers from their "liquids, gels, sprays" and even "spreads". Fearless and surprisingly unbuttoned inhouse investigative journal DHS Science and …
As another boon to the DHS, will they not also fry your harddrives, credit cards and memory sticks? M in 'MRI' being for Magnetic after all. Or are they not powerful enough ?
Ultra low field
The magnetic field used by the LANL MRI is not much stronger than the earth's magnetic field, so it isn't likely to fry harddrives or credit cards. Since the low static magnetic field implies a low Larmour frequency, the excitation pulses are not likely to harm most electronic devices. The low frequency is also what enables the scanner to scan through aluminum cans.
Having said that, I'd be interested to see if the LANL device works as well as claimed.
Airport's won't like it.
Imagine the lost revenue if this does work.
Not being forced to spend £3.50 on a 500ml bottle of 'pop' in departures, all in the name of security?
Leeds Bradford will be forced to close it's doors.
My grudge with this too
It has long been my complaint that while the free market is reasonable it seems entirely unreasonable to lock a bunch of people in a room, having deprived them of all their liquids, and offer to sell them the same same liquids at vastly inflated prices.
I think they should have forced the airports into providing clean drinking water on the other side of the checks and allow us to bring empty containers we can refill.
I felt the same way, until the last time I traveled with my employer who made the observation that she does that all the time; she takes an empty bottle in her hand luggage and fills it at the convenient drinking fountains located next to the lavs beside the boarding gate.
Sure enough, I tried this and wasn't dragged off for a beating and internal examination by armed thugs masquerading as security. They even let the deadly bottled H2O board the plane with me. Is it wrong that I feel just a teeny bit subversive for pulling off such a heist?
Of course that does assume the greedy buggers haven't taken out all the drinking fountains so as to force you to buy your water at vastly inflated prices. It also assumes the water is safe to drink.
re: in fairness
Well, you've still got the urinals if they take out the fountains.
I wonder what effect this will have on your iPhone of Crackberry?
"Remember 2005, when you could still board a plane with shampoo in your bag, toothpaste in your purse, a can of soda in your hand? Do those fluid memories hurt right down to your denture cream?
Washington feels your pain."
In that case, Washington, why don't you roll back your draconian and invasive airport security?
It's never helped catch more than a handful of individuals, most of whom would have been lucky to kill themselves in the dull "pop" their terrorist devices would have made.
Meanwhile, at the other side of the Pacific...
Last year, I was going to take a domestic flight in Japan, and I arrived the security control without noticing I was carrying a bottle of water.
The Japanese security girl asked me for the bottle, and I thought, 'There goes to the trash..." No. She put it in a little machine that was next to the X-ray scanner, scanned it, green light, "there you are, your water bottle, sir..."
Sure, the DHS is going to change History with its scanners...
Ah, but you forget
There is the date the rest of the world invented something and the date an American invented it. Or should that be patented it?
I did the same thing transiting through Narita airport in Japan - and it was wonderful. And in the years - years! - since then, I keep wondering when TSA is going to get some of those...
Don't know what they were using, but it was certainly not a bulky monster-sized MRI. I had a colored Nalgene-type bottle - scanned right through it, gave me a green light, and off I went with no delay.
The TSA could learn a lot from that airport, actually. Everyone I saw going through security was polite and efficient.
The scanner probably measures the dielectric constant of the liquid. For more information, Google "Tex Yukl".
Yup, they generate some pretty impressive magnetic fields. "Accidentally" leave your biometric passport in your bag and you;re set :o)
I have a solution to the queue issue tho' - just rename them back to their original name - NRI. All the tabloid readers will run a mile.
Given how utterly pointless the ban on liquids is, they could stop spunking even more money up the wall, and remove the ban.
Or just don't bother
On a flight from Luton in Oct 2007 I was all ready and prepared with everything in containers no bigger than 100ml, small plastic bags for it all, etc etc etc.
Then in the general "please take that off, remove metal stuff, walk through, put your shoes there" type faff to get through the security area I forgot to separate my small clear pastic bag of stuff from my ruck sack. The ruck sack was x-rayed but no one spotted it so I was waved through security with barely a "Good Afternoon Sir".
I forgot because I was completely thrown by the complete lack of any queue - and that's probably why - a complete lack of proper security screening....!
Paris, because she'll delight in inspecting anyone's fluids (etc)
The little Japanese water-bottle scanner
For all the readers here who understand security theater, I'm surprised to see multiple comments about how great it is having their water bottles taken away, put in a magical scanner with a beeper and a green light, and being returned to them. You have no idea what that scanner did or didn't do. The US TSA might, and that might be why they don't use that.
Paris, because I'm sure she approves.
Yes, it is a little magic machine which beeps and gives a green light to everything entering it.
Hey, a magic box that makes lights and sound? Oh my! Think of the children!
Jokes aside, I would like to know more about this box.