Monday, July 25, 2011

On "Security Measures"


Upon entering a store carrying a full shopping bag from another store, the security likes to put a tiny piece of red tape across the opening of the bag. I have yet to see this done with any real effect. In most cases, especially in a bag that is rather heavy, this little piece of tape is not enough to hold the bag closed any longer than 30 seconds. This is extremely awkward for me. It is like an unwritten agreement between you and the security guard at the door that you are allowed in the store only on condition that the bag be sealed by their tape. I feel compelled to honour that agreement and often have to resort to holding the bag in an awkward manner in order to reduce the strain on the tape.

The other day, however, the guard at the door had used the tiniest piece of tape imaginable to tape shut one of the fullest bags I had carried in a while. Despite my best efforts, I was unable to keep the bag sealed, and I eventually gave up after the tape tore down the middle. With visions of a number of armed guards pouncing on me to escort me out of the store, I clutched the bag in a way that obscured the torn tape from view. Eventually, at the till, I had to get my wallet out of my pocket. Without thinking, I removed my hand, and the security guard saw the broken seal. I know she saw it - she was staring directly at it. And yet she did absolutely nothing. I walked out of the store, and tried to nod acknowledgement at her in and inconspicuous manner, and she did nothing. I had always believed that the tape was there to prevent you from shoplifting by putting items in the bag and claiming you had bought them at another store, but considering the evidence against that hypothesis, I am not so sure now.

Speaking of sealed bags and security, I am highly upset with the man at the security check at a certain UK airport who decided that the knotted heavy duty butcher bag that I had put my deodorant in was inadequate. He insisted that I actually pay for one of their inferior resealable plastic bags. I felt like explaining that the so called "seal" on such a bag is to stop solid objects from falling out, and is not water tight. I would not be impressed if the deodorant leaked (which mine tend to be prone to doing) all over my bag. In any other circumstance, I may even have explained this, but fortunately I remembered an important rule that I try to live by - keep on security's good side.
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

On an Official Sort of Announcement Part II


Due to me flying ten thousand kilometres from home to present a paper at a conference (read free overseas holiday), there will be no posts until at least the 24th of July. Unless you're lucky that is. I might just find time next week to type up a post or two. We'll see.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

On Perhaps Too Much Information


I am currently resisting the compulsive urge to extrapolate a fluid jet along a parabolic trajectory into the porcelain gravity-driven interface of a hydraulic bio-hazard disposal network.


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Monday, July 4, 2011

On a Rather Disturbing Thought


Consider a large group of people, all dressed in identical black and white suits, standing in the middle of an apparently open field in rather miserable weather. Every time you see them, some are just wondering around slowly, but most are simply standing there, looking around, but trying extremely hard to not focus on anything in particular.

If you are smart, you will pretend not to have noticed them, and just carry on with your business and try not to think about it any more. However, if you are unfortunate enough to have no control over what your brain chooses to think about (like me), your mind will immediately jump to one of a number of conclusions. One possible conclusion is the "secret service" option, and you may wonder which foreign head-of-state is currently visiting. If you like conspiracy theories, you may think "cover-up". Another possible conclusion that you may jump to is the "mafia" option - somewhere in the middle of that group, someone possibly has a shovel and is busy disposing of a body or two. The rest are just standing around to block the makeshift grave from view. There are few other explanations, especially during a raging blizzard, and most of them arouse suspicion.

It is for this very reason that I cannot bring myself to trust penguins. I mean, I like them. They are extremely cute and all that, but I would never leave my car keys where a penguin could reach them, and I most certainly would not let one into my house for any reason. Their general behaviour and actions are just far to suspicious for them to be up to any good.
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