I desperately want to know what the flight crew was thinking

I need an explanation. Read this story of a flight that returned to the terminal and police came aboard to investigate a passenger, and please try to figure out what the problem was.

Here’s what we know: the passenger was black, he was reading a book with illustrations of Polish and Italian aircraft from post-WWI, and he had a fanny pack. For this, the flight crew engaged in whispered worries, had the plane recalled before take-off, and brought on police to inspect his book. It’s a mystery.

What possible wicked conspiracy could the flight crew have imagined was going on? Were they afraid of being intercepted and shot down by an Italian triplane summoned by an incantation using magical spell components tucked inside that fanny pack?

Check out the suspicious guy’s web page for clues. He worked with George Carlin for a while…obviously seditious.


You don’t believe airline personnel could be quite so stupid? Read this: in the wake of 9/11, a man was prevented from flying for reading an Edward Abbey book. Also, Harry Potter…but then, we all know Potter is a scary example.


Or read Bruce Schneier, the other blogging Minnesotan with a Friday Cephalopod. The cases described above can only be explained as hysteria and fear mongering, especially given the statistics.

John Mueller and his students analyze the 33 cases of attempted [EDITED TO ADD: Islamic extremist] terrorism in the U.S. since 9/11. So few of them are actually real, and so many of them were created or otherwise facilitated by law enforcement.

The death toll of all these is fourteen: thirteen at Ft. Hood and one in Little Rock. I think it’s fair to add to this the 2002 incident at Los Angeles Airport where a lone gunman killed two people at the El Al ticket counter, so that’s sixteen deaths in the U.S. to terrorism in the past ten years.

Given the credible estimate that we’ve spent $1 trillion on anti-terrorism security (this does not include our many foreign wars), that’s $62.5 billion per life saved. Is there any other risk that we are even remotely as crazy about?

Note that everyone who died was shot with a gun. No Islamic extremist has been able to successfully detonate a bomb in the U.S. in the past ten years, not even a Molotov cocktail. (In the U.K. there has only been one successful terrorist bombing in the last ten years; the 2005 London Underground attacks.) And almost all of the 33 incidents (34 if you add LAX) have been lone actors, with no ties to al Qaeda.

No weirder than any other religious story

That Jesus guy sure got around. This is a sign in Shingo, Japan, where they claim that Jesus settled down after escaping crucifixion.

Here’s the story:

When Jesus Christ was 21 years old, he came to Japan and pursued knowledge of divinity for 12 years. He went back to Judea at age 33 and engaged in his mission. However, at that time, people in Judea would not accept Christ’s preaching. Instead, they arrested him and tried to crucify him on a cross. His younger brother, Isukiri casually took Christ’s place and ended his life on the cross.

Christ, who escaped the crucifixion, went through the ups and downs of travel, and again came to Japan. He settled right here in what is now called Herai Village, and died at the age of 106.

On this holy ground, there is dedicated a burial mound on the right to deify Christ, and a grave on the left to deify Isukiri.

The above description was given in a testament by Jesus Christ.

I like how Isukiri “casually” let himself be tortured to death.

I also wonder if the people of Shingo intentionally put up the sign to screw with Mormon missionary heads.

Victory!

You may recall I maneuvered a few people into a little bet to help raise money for Camp Quest, in which they had to pay a few little forfeits if they ‘won’. Here’s Greta, JT, and Jen in a state of bewilderment: didn’t they win? So why are they facing this humiliation?

Bwahahahahaha!

A flat-earth challenge!

Here’s a compilation of arguments for a flat earth from 1885. I laughed, but this one demands a response.

Staunch flat-earther Wilbur Glenn Voliva (1870-1942) asked: “Where is the man who believes he can jump into the air, remaining off the earth one second, and come down to earth 193.7 miles from where he jumped up?” Hard to argue with that.

Wait, but I can argue with that! There’s something wrong with his calculations: I estimate that if I were stationary relative to the rotating earth for one second, I’d only travel about a quarter mile to the west. Disappointing.

Also, if the earth were spinning at 193 miles per second, a day would only be 2 minutes long.

There might also be something else wrong with his scenario, but who cares if he can’t even get the basic math right?