Sunday, August 13, 2006

Keeping Us Safe from Liquids

Here are some thoughts to ponder over your lemonade on this pleasant Sunday afternoon:
Over at
Cosmic Variance, Sean Carroll, a physics professor at the University of Chicago, offers this conundrum on the technical challenge facing those protecting our homeland security:
I know I’m on vacation, but this seems important: for the first time, the Department of Homeland Security has deemed an entire state of matter to be a national security risk.
While pondering how to protect ourselves from all things liquid, we can take comfort in some good news, via MSNBC, that the London plot wasn't quite as hatched as we had been led to believe:
In contrast to previous reports, the official suggested an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports.
According to a senior British official, an investigation into the plot had been underway for some months.

4 Comments:

Blogger jason said...

In contrast to previous reports, the official suggested an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports.

I hate being right all of the time.

6:03 PM, August 13, 2006  
Blogger FirstState said...

And what of this, from the same article:

"The source did say, however, that police believe one U.K.-based suspect was ready to conduct a "dry run." British authorities had wanted to let him go forward with part of the plan, but the Americans balked."

A "dry run" is where they take the explosives on the plane but don't detonate them. We decided that wasn't a good idea. You disagree, Tom? (Nobody cares what Jason thinks.)

8:31 PM, August 13, 2006  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

Jason:

It's a heavy burden but you carry it well.

Dave:

I'm happy to know that the plotters were caught well before they put their plan in motion and I don't think I offered any suggestion to the contrary. (As for whether the arrests were made last week or this, I have no opinion.)

As for the first part of my post, I thought a light touch from a physical scientist would be a welcome tonic in a climate in which fear can, at times, get the better of us.

I'm afraid that's as deep as my thinking got on this beautiful Sunday. I hope your day went well.

9:39 PM, August 13, 2006  
Anonymous Nancy Willing said...

I thought that a dry run would not have had the explosives on board, just a run through of procedures...maybe I am wrong on that one.

9:04 AM, August 14, 2006  

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