[ExI] Behavioral Screeners

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Apr 5 17:44:12 UTC 2008


> ...On Behalf Of Damien Broderick
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Behavioral Screeners
> At 09:15 PM 4/4/2008 -0700, Spike wrote:
> >They only *wanted* to blow up planes...  Good chance that would cause a
crash, for the in-flight 
> >inferno would be very difficult to extinguish.

Damien modestly opined:

> I know zero about aircraft design, but this suddenly 
> frightens the heck out of me--once you're dealing with a 
> potentially indefinite number of religiously inspired 
> would-be martyrs, there must be a vast number of ways to 
> crash a plane...

Well not really.  Surely bare-handed aspiring martyrs would find it
difficult indeed, assuming they cannot penetrate the easily-reinforced
bulkhead to the cockpit, first with sturdy structure, second with Mister
Magnum, FortyFour Magnum.

> I wonder if it might be necessary to strip 
> search *everyone* boarding, and not allow *anything* to be 
> carried on board by passengers...

Actually I think that is coming, but not to the US first.  I could see it
starting in England and open-minded Holland, then becoming eventually
standard practice everywhere radical Presbyterians don't like.

> ...maybe not even their own clothing...

With that notion you may have hit upon the way to save the airline industry.
They would sell skerjillllions of tickets with that alone.  People would
make round trips for no reason.  Hell, even *I* would enjoy my otherwise
boring business trips.  Furthermore, that could keep the really hard core
radical Presbyterians off the plane, they being far too proper for such
friendly skies.

> Copious entertainment can be provided now to each seat...

Understatement.  Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "copious
entertainment provided to each seat."

> ...even (amazing!) *text* on screen from something like the google 
> scan of the world's libraries, ...

Would *anyone* still able to concentrate on the world's libraries?  I have
*never* seen anything in a library that could compete.  

> and new magazines, blogs, etc...  

There has never been the magazine or blog interesting enough to get a
minute's attention from me under those circumstances, pal.
> I wonder if luggage might be sent in separate planes, perhaps 
> robot-controlled? Damien Broderick

That is a helllllll of an idea man!  A remote controlled or autonomous
dinghy plane that follows the passenger plane, the luggage (and clothing)
plane gets diverted, think of the fun we could have with that.  Of course
the lines to the restrooms would stretch the length of the cabin.  But I

Back to the original point, the scenario that I imagined was the one of a
prole starting a fire with some kind of accelerant.  Plain old ethanol might
be the liquid of choice, for a radical Presbyterian or a member of the
Wright-guard might be able to create a plastic form-fitting bladder of some
sort that looks like an ordinary beer-belly, thereby get several liters of
the stuff aboard, for the metal detector wouldn't complain, nor would that
wand they use to get all proctological on randomly selected passengers.  The
back of the envelope calcs would look like this.  

Let me temporarily jump into English units because a mole is close enough to
a cubic foot for single digit BOTECs.  A typical passenger B737 main cabin
is about 100 feet long and perhaps 13 feet in diameter, so close enough to
10000 cubic feet of proles, so that's a couple thousand moles of oxygen.
Now, just to see if I still remember how to do this:

C2H5OH is ethanol, right?  C2H5OH + 3O2 -> 2CO2 + 3 H20  Does that balance?
Ja, OK.

So about 2000 moles of oxygen would require 2000/3, about 700 moles of
ethanol, and a mole of ethanol is 2*12+16+6*1=46 grams, so about 30000 grams
or about 40 liters of ethanol (about ten gallons for the anglophiles among
us) would burn up the oxygen in a jet passenger cabin and never mind any
explosion or the subsequent conflagration started with other flammables on
the plane itself, and this all without even breaking out a pencil or looking
up anything on the web, the raw material readily available at your better
liquor stores for a hundred dollars.

I looked up and found that the B737 is about 3500 cubic feet for passenger
and freight combined, so now we are at 3 gallons, but it is likely waaay
overkill to assume a prole would need to stoichiometrically consume all the
oxygen in an aircraft to cause it's midflight demise.  I can imagine a third
of that, plus the subsequent heat would be murderously sufficient, so now a
single gallon of ethanol smuggled past the vilified overworked and underpaid
rent-a-cops could slay a hundred or more infidels. 

>From that perspective, I am pleasantly amazed no one ever tried to take down
a plane this way back in the bad days when they let proles carry flammable
liquids on board.  I will not complain a bit about not being allowed to
carry that stuff now.  Soon we may be invited to fly the naked skies of
United.  {8^D

Point: if it is this easy for us to think of these notions, the bad guys are
thinking too.  {8-| 

We need to think ahead of them. 



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