Baked Goods Are Trying to Kill You: The Case of the Cupcake Bomb

Feeling fat? Do you hate all baked goods after spending the weekend wrapping yourself around the outside of 17 different kinds of pie, cake, and perhaps even fruitcake if you got drunk enough? It's not your guilty imagination: baked goods really are trying to kill you. Two different and alarming incidents over the last days have led us to the conclusion that mankind's greatest enemy is an unassuming mix of flour, sugar, water, and fat that apparently now should be stored in safety next to the mining explosives.

First, there was the TSA mini-crackdown on cupcakes whose frosting, as one agent in Las Vegas said, constitutes a gel or liquid and therefore a threat. "The TSA supervisor, Robert Epps, was using really bad logic -- he said it counted as a gel-like substance because it was conforming to the shape of its container," said Rebecca Hains, the Massachusetts woman who tried to bring the potentially lethal cupcake onto the airplane in a glass jar. That's after a far more blasé agent in Boston let her pass with not one but two apparent cupcake bombs. And yet, people are getting annoyed with this hero TSA agent left and right. The Atlantic's James Fallows explains why: "That the story involves cupcakes ... makes it seem preposterous. But of course the underlying illogic and random-seeming combo of hyper-vigilance and 'oh, never mind' attitudes defines 'security theater' more generally."

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

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