## August 17, 2006

### Okay, terrorists, time to train your face to go blank and to stop that fidgeting.

They're watching you. And I approve, even as I feel sorry for all the nervous, fear-of-flying, I'm-having-an-affair, I'm-scared-of-that-job-interview, I-need-a-cigarette, I-hope-there-aren't-any-terrorists-on-my-plane ordinary people who now have one more thing to worry about: They're watching you. Is that making you fidget and move your eyebrows into the wrong position? You'll need to answer a few questions....

By the way, is anyone being crass enough to speculate about the effect of the London liquid-bomb scare on the box office for "Snakes on a Plane"? Oh, you think I am?

Karl said...

My fiance' came home the day of the crackdown in London and hadn't seen the news. She'd received an e-mail from an airline she was to be flying a few days later and started reading off the list of things that were now prohibited in carry-on baggage. I turned to her and said, "Is 'snakes' on there?"

-kd

If I'm ever on a plane and snakes are a problem, I hope the Pilot has the wherewithal to drop the cabin temperature to, oh, freezing, and put those cold blooded things on ice.

Oh, I'm sorry -- did I expose a gaping, glaring plot hole?

The Drill SGT said...

It's about FFFF'ing time. Profiling by itself is not discriminatory. Everybody does it all the time in all your social interactions. What are the odds that if I go up to that strange girl there and chat her up that she'll be willing to give me her number? That's profiling based on a complicated set of variables.

If Profiling of passengers generates a LOWER hit rate (probability) of terrorists in the profiled set than the probability of a terrorist in the general population, then you have discriminatory profiling.

The problem is that the sample size is so low that the statistics become very weak.

Take the simplest, crudest example. Are you more likely to find a terrorist among 12 Egyptian male college students flying to the US as part of an exchange program or 12 60 YO, Irish Nuns returning from the Vatican?

that's just common sense. Playing the odds. smart police work. whatever.

Icepick said...

MM, what if the pilot and cabin crew are the first people bit?

Also, how long would it take for the cabin temp to get low enough to have an effect? And what if the snakes look for warm places to hide, such as up people's pant legs?

Plot hole? I think not! More like ... plot opportunity!

Dave said...

"Are you more likely to find a terrorist among 12 Egyptian male college students flying to the US as part of an exchange program or 12 60 YO, Irish Nuns returning from the Vatican?"

Clearly, the nuns.

Have you ever seen the Irish on the sauce?

Oh, wait, that's profiling. Never mind.

Jim said...

Has anybody asked what there is to keep a terrorist from putting his bottles of binary liquid explosive along with a timer in his checked luggage? Or from giving his new "friend" a boxed pair of "fine single malt scotch" bottles to take home?

And Drill Sgt: Profiling, like discrimination, is fine when a private person does it and always bad when the government does it.

It's too damn bad terrorists aren't as dumb as our government.

Medopine said...

Snakes on a Plane was locked on my schedule ever since I heard SLJ was in it.

I'm even flying on Saturday and I'm STILL going to see it on Friday night!

And what if the snakes look for warm places to hide, such as up people's pant legs?

Yet another reason to wear shorts on a plane!

Icepick said...

MM wrote: Yet another reason to wear shorts on a plane!

But then you'll freeze with the snakes. Really, there are no good options here!

But Shorts on a Plane! sounds like a horror movie that Ann would avoid....

Ann Althouse said...

Speaking of shorts, yesterday, I saw that classic scenario where a cop is walking up to a car he's pulled over for speeding, and the cop is wearing shorts. How is that supposed to project the necessary authority?

PatCA said...

I guess searching the water bottles was all that was needed here: http://www.forbes.com/home/feeds/ap/2006/08/17/ap2957422.html

Smilin' Jack said...

Ann Althouse said...
Speaking of shorts, yesterday, I saw that classic scenario where a cop is walking up to a car he's pulled over for speeding, and the cop is wearing shorts. How is that supposed to project the necessary authority?

As long as he's wearing a gun over the shorts, there should be no problem.

Re SOAP: quicker than dropping the temperature would be depressurizing the cabin. The passengers have oxygen masks, the snakes don't...end of problem.

the pooka said...

I was at the gym the other day, and an old REM song came on:

"That's great,
it starts with an earthquake,
birds and snakes, an aeroplane
Lenny Bruce is not afraid."

(Actually, look at the lyrics for that whole song. Eerie.)

All I can say is, if there's no Lenny Bruce look-alike sitting calmly among the film's screaming passengers, they missed a great chance at a subtle pop-culture reference.

Jeff said...

Thanks alot Madisonman. Now I know there will be snakes somehow involved in this movie. Way to ruin it for me.