Tag Archives: airports

Gone in Sixty Seconds: This Tow Truck Must Have the Speed Record

Hit the jump for video from the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport of a security tow truck removing a parked car IN LESS THAN A MINUTE by forklifting the car onto the truck’s tow bed. Not only is it much faster than the traditional way, but possibly safer for the car as well.  Ingenious.  How come we don’t do that everywhere?  The tow truck may have been an element of heightened airport security, as the video was apparently shot in August 2015, just two months after three suicide bombers attacked Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, killing 41 people and injuring 239.  The YouTube user who posted the video (link below) said the truck drove by every five minutes. Continue reading Gone in Sixty Seconds: This Tow Truck Must Have the Speed Record

Map of Airport WiFi Passwords From Around the World

Just a pretty cool resource to have handy whenever you’re traveling.  Need to make a quick WhatsApp call to your relatives while using the wifi at an international airport?  Or just need to stream some Netflix you forgot to download before-hand while waiting for your connecting flight?  No problem.  This map’s got you.  It’s now also available as an app for your phone.

A Map Of Wireless Passwords From Airports And Lounges Around The World (Updated Regularly) [via FoxNomad]

Craziest Weapons People Have Tried to Take Through Airport Security

So it turns out the TSA documents some of the weapons, fake weapons, and other prohibited items it takes off people passing through airport security and posts them on the agency’s Instagram account.  With more than 650,000 followers, Rolling Stone has ranked it as the fourth best account on Instagram.  (Clicking on each of the photos below will take you straight to how it appears on Instagram).

#TSATravelTips – Don’t pack your homemade replica suicide vest. The traveler who packed this vest in his checked bag at Richmond (RIC) stated it was a prop intended for use in a live-action role-playing game (LARP). TSA explosives experts raced to the checked baggage room and the airport police were called immediately. Fortunately, the explosives experts determined the vest posed no danger. It has yet to be determined if the officer who searched the bag needed a change of clothing.


This 4-bladed throwing star was discovered in a carry-on bag at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO). These must be packed in your checked bags. Sorry Prince Colwyn. #Krull


Is this some kind of confangled rotisserie contraption for turkeys? Nope. These are Sai. If you’re a #TeenageMutantTurtle fan, you’ll know the Sai as Raphael’s weapon or choice. If you still have no clue, a Sai is a weapon used for striking, bludgeoning and punctures. Whatever it is you use them for, please know they must be packed in checked baggage. These were discovered in a carry-on bag at Boise (BOI). #TheMoreYouKnow


While about to receive a pat-down after opting out of body scanner screening, a Chicago O’Hare (ORD) traveler remembered that he had a throwing knife necklace under his shirt. All knives are prohibited and concealed knives can lead to fines and arrest. #TSAGoodCatch

Hit the jump for more crazy photos.
Continue reading Craziest Weapons People Have Tried to Take Through Airport Security

Lie Detecting Machines Being Tested at Canadian Airports

Imagine stepping off on an international flight, and as part of the normal disembarkation process, speaking to a computer-generated avatar who asks you questions about your travel.  This is no simple automated process, however, but a lie-detecting artificially intelligent system that  uses eye scanners, motion and pressure sensors to detect the tell-tale physical signs of lying.  This exact scenario is playing out at a few Canadian airports as part of pilot testing with the Canadian Border Services Agency.  The system, called  Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessment in Real Time, or AVATAR, asks passengers a series of questions, ranging from “Do you have fruits or vegetables in your luggage?” to “Are you carrying any weapons with you?” Rather than just simply recording yes or no answers, the system can detect changes in physiology and behavior during the interview to determine which travelers are more likely to be lying.  Those flagged as such are then referred to secondary screening by a live person.

The future of airport security? Lie-detecting robots being tested to help secure borders from terrorists, criminals and smugglers [via The Mirror]

WhatsBusy Shows Security Wait Times Before You Get to the Airport

Whats-Busy-Screenshot1Website WhatsBusy can show you how long you can expect to stand in line at any major airport depending on when you plan to arrive. Plug in what airport you’re flying out of, on what day and when you plan to arrive at the airport, and WhatsBusy will use historical data from the TSA and the airlines to give you an estimate of how long security wait times will be to help plan for the best time to arrive. In addition to the website, there is a free WhatsBusy iPhone app for download.

What’s Busy

Guns, Bombs, and Weapons You Can Build… At the Airport

Security researcher Evan Booth has gotten some notoriety recently for figuring out how to build an assortment of guns, bombs, and other weapons from items freely available from airport shops – even from those located in the terminal area past TSA checkpoints. He has published 11 of his designs on his site Terminial Cornucopia, many of which show some true ingenuity on his part. Booth claims he shared these designs with appropriate authorities prior to publishing them online for the entire world to see, but received no guidance on whether steps would be taken to eliminate their availability at the airport or mitigate the risk of them actually being assembled into functioning weapons. According to Booth:

What if Terrorists See This?!
That’s a great question. An even better question is: What if they already know all this? All of these findings have been reported to the Department of Homeland Security (TSA) to help them better detect these types of threats. Furthermore, the next time you fly, you’ll be flying as a more informed consumer (and taxpayer, possibly) — one who is more equipped to demand better, more appropriate airport security.

10 Guns, Bombs, and Weapons You Can Build at the Airport [via Wired]

Cocaine Found in Traveler’s Pumpkins

On Halloween last week, using scanning equipment the Canadian Border Patrol discovered three hollowed out pumpkins (shown above) in a traveler’s luggage stuffed with 4.4 pounds of apparent cocaine. The incident occurred at the Trudeau International Airport in Montreal.

Trick or treat? Canada seizes three cocaine-filled pumpkins at airport [via CNN]

Hollywood’s Sexiest Women in Uniform

Take a look back at this past year’s and years’ passed Halloweens of Hollywood’s sexiest women in uniform. (Also included are the outfits they donned for roles they were playing at the time). On the other side of the coin are the trouble-makers with the cutest celebrity mugshots. One guess who makes both lists.

Heidi Montag in uniform at a Halloween party in October 2008.

Two years before Montag in 2006, Paris Hilton wore the same police outfit for Halloween. (Her folks Kathy and Rick Hilton dressed up as cops this past year). If you are actually interested in seeing that though, you never should have passed the psych exam for this profession, and I weep for your children.

Pamela Anderson once donned a police uniform in a video ad for PETA that was deemed too racy for New York City airports. In the short and somewhat comedic video, she played the role of an airport security officer who denies boarding privileges to passengers wearing leather or fur coats.

In September 2008 Beyonce Knowles dressed in NYPD blue for her music video for “If I Were a Boy.”

Alyssa Milano wearing an (ahem) police uniform for an episode of NBC comedy series My Name is Earl. She appears in Episode Six of Season Three, and you can view the actual scene above as well (flash only).

It is a little debatable whether this shot of Paula Garces belongs here, considering that she appears to define herself here more based on what she is not wearing rather than what she actually is… but I doubt you’ll be complaining. Garces played a cop on FX’s gritty series The Shield and is perhaps best-known for her role as Harold’s love interest in the Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle movies.

Back in July, Denise Richards tweeted: “I’m starting to think we’re making a Porno with this wardrobe!” regarding her above outfit for a role on Spike TV’s Blue Mountain State. Not a bad idea, Denise.

Originally published on Nov 5, 2010

TSA to Use Molecular Scanners

Meet the Picosecond Synchronized Programmable Laser. News outlets have reported that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will within one to two years begin using the new device, a molecular scanner, as it is ten million times faster and one million times more sensitive than current scanners. It would be used at airports and border crossings to quickly identify explosives, dangerous chemicals, or biological weapons. The system reportedly works by firing a laser at the target (e.g. you) at a distance of up to 50 meters and then measures what is reflected back to identify traces of explosives on the target individual’s shoes or to possibly even drug metabolites in a person’s bloodstream. Even more intriguing is that the system is reportedly very fast, taking only one-trillionth of a second, and is quite portable, so that its use could be practical in a variety of environments. The target individual would never even feel that he or she has been scanned. The device’s inventors were reportedly subcontracted to work for the Defense Department by In-Q-Tel, a venture capitalist firm that specializes in technology for the CIA.