Getting a globe through the airport

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/09/12 03:01 -04:00, original URI:

So anyhow...

You may recall how I won that award the other day.

It came in a box.

Well, actually, it came as an award. Magda put in a box so as to make taking it home easier.

Here is the box:

I was thinking about how lucky I was that I couldn't find a smaller bag to hold my stuff in -- I was pretty sure it would fit in my bag and I could avoid checking anything.

I should have realized that if everything seems like it is working out easily, then i don't fully realize what's going on....

You see, there is TSA.

The security folks at the airport.

We were approaching September 11th, back on the evening of September 10th, and I put my backpack into the x-ray machine.

The lady asked if the bag was mine, and after I admitted as much she told me she'd have to look in it.

"Before I do that, is there anything sharp in there?"

No, I assure her. Though it is very full....

So she opens the box to look inside:

Turns out the image in the box inside the backpack made them nervous.

The base is apparently made of some kind of lead-based acrylic that the machine casn't see through.

This tends to make them nervous.

She eyes the globe suspiciously, lifting it carefully while holding it with the care one would use to hold up a bir soon bound for the land where birds are eternally blessed.

"I tlooks like there's liquid in there. A lot. maybe?

Uh oh. I see where this is going.

"Not very much," I offer. Just enough to leace the sphere inside able to float free."

She is looking for seams in the sphere. I can tell she is wanting to open it up, but realizing this might be a one-way trip.

She looks at the globe again and mentions this seems like an unusual item to be traveling with.

I explain about the award and how I wouldn't usually be traveling with it; I'm heading home with it, in fact.

She nods.

"Are you Michael Kaplan?" she asks.

Oh crap. I think. If the TSA frisker reads my blog, my head will explode. In an airport. On the day before the anniversary of September 11th.

No, it turns out she just read it on the inscription on the base.

Thank God. and god. And all of the other gods and goddesses. My head really would have exploded, and an airport is terrible place for that since that would make me get used in some kind of al-Qaeda conspiracy theory or something.

She decided to let me go with the award.

I was sure she was going to make me check it or something.

I made it home okay.

The next day I unpack the award and place it on the desk.

I decide to take a picture of it.

This proves to be difficult, though. I want the inscription but I can't get it without getting caught in the reflection:

or else missing the bottom of the inscription:

Ah well, I give up.

Here is the globe part.

You know, just so you can see it for a moment:

And there you have it.

You might see how I subtly made sure India would show up; it turnws out that this is harder than you might expect of this globe that floats inside this sphere.

You kind of have to sneak up on it.

Notice how the globe has lines for country borders? That's awfully brave, ain't it? :-)

Anyway here ends the story of getting the globe from point S to point R.

I decided to blog about this since I had no real idea if anyone inside MS was gonna mention the award, since I was kind of "off the clock" when it was presented (if not when it was earned!). This way some people in the group get to hear about it either way!

Now I will get back to work. And blogging about actual stuff.

Though maybe I'll post some song lyrics over the weekend, what with Phylyp and John moving for it to happen, there are advantages to avoiding the vote....

This blog brought to you by(U+25d3, aka CIRCLE WITH UPPER HALF BLACK)

Programmerman on 12 Sep 2008 11:18 AM:

Try putting something black on the table in front of it -- some felt, a piece of clothing, anything that's black or very dark.  That way, it won't reflect so bad onto the award plate.  Then you should be able to take the picture you were trying to.

Congratulations, and thanks for sharing the story.

Tony Toews on 12 Sep 2008 5:38 PM:

Very classy award.  And the globe is very appropriate. Thanks for posting the pictures.

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referenced by

2008/11/08 'It's Not Easy' saying WTF to an 'Ant in Alaska'

2008/09/12 U+1d31d -- "She's So High" lyrics, as requested

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