December 31, 2012 at 7:40 am
Photo by redjar / by CC BY-SA 2.0
I had already taken off my jacket and placed it in the plastic tub for the x-ray machine at the airport when the TSA agent told me I could leave it on. Ok, weird, I always thought I had to take that off, but whatever. Then I started to take off my belt and my shoes and the TSA agent told me that no, I could leave those on, too. All I needed to do was put my suitcase and backpack on the conveyor belt.
“I don’t have to take my laptop out to be scanned separately?” I asked her.
“No, this is pre-check. Just put your bags through the x-ray machine and walk through the metal detector,” as if I was the person acting totally cuckoo here. I wanted to say, “Don’t you want to scan my liquids separately? Don’t you want to check my shoes for explosives? Don’t you want to take naked pictures of me with your backscatter machine?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?! ” [...]
January 16, 2012 at 7:46 am
Photo by Sean MacEntee / by CC BY 2.0
I feel privileged to live in an era in which we have machines that fly. Every time I travel on an airplane I think about how jealous my ancestors would be that I can travel halfway across the country in the time it probably took Pheidippides to run the first marathon (and then fall over dead). I also think about how surprised my ancestors would be that we’re able to take something as amazing as manned air travel and view it as a total pain in the ass.
Granted, I am frequently one of those people, usually when I can’t find an outlet to charge my dying phone in the airport, or when the line to board the plane is at a standstill because someone is trying to cram their bag into a too-small overhead compartment. Just like anything miraculous, it becomes dull once it’s commonplace. I’m sure the people of the future will view their weekly business trips to the moon colonies with similar tedium.
All that said, [...]