Who would have thought that my mother’s caution to “Wear clean underwear and socks, you never know when you will be in an accident…” would be a catch phrase for air travelers in 2010. Regarldless of the other innovations in science and technology, you still need to take off your shoes to pass airport security. Moreover, the new “advanced imaging technology” used for full-body scanning will undoubtedly prove your mother right about the need for clean underwear.
According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, the Department of Homeland Security has been unable to develop a technology that can see what’s in your shoes short of scanning your shoes once you have removed them.
If we were TSA employees, we would opt to work the early-morning shift, when the odds are better that travelers’ socks are clean. At the end of the day, toe-jam pollution at the security check point must be at critical levels. Are they sure they can’t find leading-edge technology that will allow some of those people keep their shoes on their stinky feet (and you know the travelers to whom we are politely referring)? It seems to us that developing such technology would be worthy of a Nobel Prize
If we did not love travel and the countries we visit so much, we would likely hide at home and hope that no calamity befell as we sheltered under the bed. Of course, even then we would still be wearing clean socks and underwear, so maybe we should just go to airport and explore someplace new.
In a serious note, we believe that travel is one of the elixers that will help make this world a better place and we will continue to do our part. We’d write more but we are off to JC Penney to restock our supply of socks and shorts!
By the way, see our article on Shoe and Foot Care During Travel for some great tips on taking care of your tootsies during travel.
The Republic of Ireland’s Justice Minister indicated that the threat of attacks by dissident Republicans in Northern Ireland is now as high as at any time during the thirty years of the “The Troubles”. See this story for more details.
For those of you unfamililar with the situation, there are many factions in Northern Ireland that are not in favor of reconciliation between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Religion and political persuasion are cited as the major differences causing “The Troubles”.
The attacks by various dissident groups increased dramatically in 2009, although the actions have been confined to Northern Ireland. Those of you planning travel in the Republic of Ireland should experience no difficulty with “The Troubles. However, if you are going to travel in the north of the Republic and want cross into Northern Ireland to explore Belfast, the Giants’s Causeway or the Bushmill’s distillery, you should exercise caution in the portion of your travels inside of the borders of Northern Ireland. Check local news, avoid towns where there has been recent activity and avoid any area planning a parade.
The goverment of the United Kingdom has raised the country’s Terror Threat Classifcation from Substantial to Severe. The Severe ranking indicates that an attack is highly likely. The reason for the increase in classiciation is that a government meeting on Yemen and Afghanistan is being held in London next week. Although there is not intelligence that an attack is being planned, the government is being cautious and indicating that an attack is likely. See this article in the Gulf Times for more information.