DSCN5974-eagle-close Apparently, exploding underpants are to be banned on planes from now on. Security experts say that they never expected anyone to try this, but now that someone has they will look there too. They are considering banning exploding vests as well, but won’t bother until someone actually tries it.

[Sorry – couldn’t find the “war is pants” pic. This will have to do. Or you could take a more relaxed view -W]

[Speaking of underpants – don’t forget Felix -W]


  1. #1 Antiquated Tory

    Goodness, where did you get that picture from?

  2. #2 P. Lewis

    It’s probably not a good time to take this for your in-flight reading for the foreseeable.

  3. #3 wrpd

    Thank jeebus my asploding socks are safe. For now.

  4. #4 John McKay

    Exploding underpants don’t kill people; people kill people.

    You can have my exploding underpants when you tear them from my cold, dead loins.

    When exploding underpants are outlawed only outlaws will have exploding underpants.

    When the Nazis came to power the first thing they did was confiscate people’s exploding underpants.

    Fear the government that fears exploding underpants.

  5. #5 Sam Spade

    Interesting. You call this a science blog but of your last ten posts, five are all about you! I’ll not be back.

    [A fair point. I’m afraid the next few are probably going to be about wiki, not science. My thin-ish excuse is that there is little science about at the moment -W]

  6. #6 P. Lewis

    Actually, in response to Sam Spade (who I’m sure won’t be sadly missed if he carries out his decision not to come back), there’s a lot of science in exploding underpants. Thankfully for those on Abdul Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab’s flight, the engineering aspects of setting off the PETN explosive were found to be wanting.

  7. #7 Phillip IV

    If exploding underpants are banned, will atomic wedgies remain legal?

  8. #8 JCH

    This takes terrorism to a new, never-seen-before level. It’s one thing to commit suicide for the cause, but to lead with the family jewels is beyond the pale.

  9. #9 Steve Bloom

    Hey William, here’s some new science to blog on. AFAICT the whole PRISM enterprise has gotten remarkably little attention, which I find odd considering its relevance to our future climate.

  10. #10 Eli Rabett

    The advantage of growing up in a large, rough city, is that you accept risk and learn how to evaluate it and deal with it, how to identify serious risks, how to avoid them, how to figure out who is selling shinola (assuming you make it to adulthood). Sorry, but this is being exploited by the underpants wetters. What we have to do is figure out the trade off between risk and being able to function.

    Setting off PETN is not rocket science (ok). Why did the two clowns who tried it fail. Everytime Eli deshoes at airports he thinks that the monkey wrench effect WAS the goal. He not eagerly looks forward to derobing in the future.

    [Why they are so rubbish at setting it off does seem to be the big mystery (unless they took your suggestion about underpant wetting seriously :-) -W]

  11. #11 dhogaza

    Everytime Eli deshoes at airports he thinks that the monkey wrench effect WAS the goal.

    I posted on another blog that the terrorists win each time they get caught …

    They don’t even have to blow stuff up any more.

  12. #12 Jim Norton

    As usual, they are over-reacting to the last attack. When are they going to figure out that these people do not use the same tactics twice?

  13. #13 Art

    Eli Rabett – I think your failing to give the “underpants wetters: their due. It is clear that the underwear bombs failed to go off because they were damp. And who is in charge of dampening underwear?

    I salute the 741st Panty Wetters (Soggy Bottoms)and the 404th Keyboard Commandos (Ranting Jingoists) who despite the diaper rash and blisters on their fingers continue to fight the good and keep us safe.

    That … and the passengers who noticed a guy trying to set his underwear on fire.

  14. #14 wildlifer

    The rest of us concur with not wanting to see you derobing in the future. :-)

  15. #15 dhogaza

    File under “security measures are only as weak as those who don’t implement them” …

    WASHINGTON – The suicide bomber who killed seven CIA employees at a remote outpost in southeastern Afghanistan had been invited onto the base and had not been searched, two former U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Thursday.

    A former senior intelligence official says the man was being courted as an informant and that it was the first time he had been brought inside the camp. An experienced CIA debriefer came from Kabul for the meeting, suggesting that the purpose was to gain intelligence, the official said.

  16. #16 Vinny Burgoo

    Years ago, a friend was approached by a swarthy, smiling man who said, ‘I have hotness. Feel my pants.’ She assumed that he was trying pick her up but it now seems likely that he was boasting about the success of an early experiment with exploding underwear. Should I tell MI6?

    [No, tell the Laundry (hey, that’s a double-entendre. You have read Stross?) -W]

  17. #17 Eli Rabett

    in the words of the kung fu monkey, as Eli was saying before derobing (ok, Ms. Rabett was around)

    “Wait, Arent You Scared?”

    Errr, no. And if you are, you frankly should be a little goddam embarrassed. . . .

    I am just not going to wet my pants every time some guys get arrested in a terror plot. I will do my best to stay informed. I will support the necessary law enforcement agencies. I will take whatever reasonable precautions seem, um, reasonable. But I will not be terrorized. I assume that the terror-ists would like me to be terror-ized, as that is what is says on their nametag, rather than, say, wanting me to surrender to ennui or negative body image, and they’re just coming the long way around. . .

    Maybe it’s just, I cast my eyes back on the last century …

    FDR: Oh, I’m sorry, was wiping out our entire Pacific fleet supposed to intimidate us? We have nothing to fear but fear itself, and right now we’re coming to kick your ass with brand new destroyers riveted by waitresses. How’s that going to feel?

    CHURCHILL: Yeah, you keep bombing us. We’ll be in the pub, flipping you off. I’m slapping Rolls-Royce engines into untested flying coffins to knock you out of the skies, and then I’m sending angry Welshmen to burn your country from the Rhine to the Polish border.

  18. #18 Rattus Norvegicus

    Eli, one correction. By the 1940’s it would have been “welded by waitresses”.

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