States of matter

Recently we’ve heard about a supposed terrorist attack attempt involving the mixture of liquids in planes, to build explosives during the flight. As a consequence, the USA and the UK (at least) imposed serious restrictions on carrying liquids, gels, and cosmetics in general with hand luggage. You can’t take anything of that with you.

Now, it seems that the European Union is about to impose the same rules.

I don’t fully understand how we are supposed to fight DVT when one of the main advices is to drink lots of water during the flight. Maybe we’ll have to buy two or three dozens of those ridiculous micro-bottles they sell aboard at the price of Chanel nº 5. Frankly, my self-esteem could not overcome that.

One can always try to drink tap water at the toilet. But I suppose the threat will force us to eliminate taps from planes as well, since probably you can bring some kinds of powder that you can dissolve in water to make the liquid, and then you can mix the liquids to make the explosive… Thus, no taps aboard.

The problem is, we are 70% liquid. So… I know about some procedures for obtaining bodily liquids during the flight. This would allow a terrorist to dissolve the powder and… Well, it would be revolting, but if you are going to blow up a plane, probably that won’t stop you. Therefore, toilets could be also prohibited, since a terrorist would most likely be stopped if he tried to make his bombs in public following this method. (Personally, I would just clap, but I’m pretty sure someone would spoil the show).

There is an even scarier possibility: that a new policy states that every passenger must be dehydrated before flying with hand luggage. That definitely would discourage terrorists. Becoming a raisin (I mean, before the explosions) is not such an appealing idea.

But what really terrifies me is what will happen when someone notices that many explosives are actually solid. Probably solids will be forbidden in planes. For obvious reasons, gases are dangerous too. Only plasma passengers and ghosts will be allowed to fly.

Now, seriously. I can’t understand in what sense forbidding liquids improves our safety, what’s wrong with a particular state of matter. If there is something inherently risky in liquids in relation to bombings, something that makes liquid explosives impossible to detect in comparison with solid ones… somebody should have told us. Until that explanation arrives, I will keep thinking this is a stupid measure, only something the authorities do to look like they’re doing something, or (much worse) something whose aim is to deliberately scare us. If that’s not the case, could someone, please, PLEASE, stop treating us as idiots and tell us why liquids are more dangerous than solids in hand luggage?

5 comentarios to “States of matter”

  1. Tania-chan Says:

    The problem is, we are 70% liquid. So… I know about some procedures for obtaining bodily liquids during the flight. This would allow a terrorist to dissolve the powder and…Lol!Great post! But … what exactly is a ‘risin’?

  2. Esfer Says:

    I suppose it doesn’t improves our safety… but it improves people feeling of safety.

  3. Guti Says:

    Thanks, Tania 🙂 “risin” is… a mispelling 🙂 I intended to write “raisin” (uva pasa in Spanish). I’ve edited it.Esfer, I agree. But, in my opinion, with these measures people’s feeling of fear grows much, much faster than their feeling of safety.

  4. Tania-chan Says:

    A little off-topic…Ever since I read this post I kept thinking that the title of if was great, because I though it had two meanings:1) The obvious one, ‘Estado de la materia’ :)2) The one I invented, ‘Asunto de Estado’ (which does not define exactly the content of the post, but if you think of “asunto de estado” as something very important for a country …. well, it could be, couldn’t it?)The thing is that I knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t say what. Finally, I’ve realized what it is: ‘asunto de estado’ translated into English is “matter of state”, not “state of matter” (which is quite obvious, but I just didn’t realize till now :P).¡Cachis! Habría quedado genial que “state of matter” significara esas dos cosas, ¿eh? Pero bueno, culpa mía por haberme montado la película :P—-I hope you understand what I mean in this whole comment (it wouldn’t come as a surprise that you don’t, because it’s so late into the night and I’m a bit sleepy, hehehehe)

  5. Guti Says:

    It would be great, indeed. But I suppose I’m not that good at finding double-sense titles (I keep trying, though).Is it that obvious that the second meaning doesn’t work in this case? Well… these english speakers keep writing things in a bizarre order, so it comes as no surprise that we get confused so often 🙂


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