Followups: TSA, Seat-Backs, Giants-Dodgers

1) Before your next trip to the airport, in fact before your next trip to anyplace other than where you are at this moment, you have to read Jeff Goldberg's account of the new TSA "pat-down" procedures. This being a family-values part of the Atlantic's web site, I'll leave it at that. But go read it now.

2) A former airline employee says that obeying flight attendants' commands to "place your seat back and tray table in the full upright and locked position" is not purely about establishing the attendants' dominance over the passengers, dog-trainer style, so that passengers will obey quickly if there's a real emergency. This reader says:

Despite your reader's delightful cynicism, the FAA requires seatbacks to be put in the upright and locked position for evacuation purposes. It's the same reason you have to keep your bag under the seat in front of you, and not under your legs. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for passengers to get out of a burning airplane. The only time this might be an issue is at takeoff and landing, hence the rule.

This was my first question to my boss several years ago when I had a gig in the safety department of a US airline.

3) From Parker Donham, of Nova Scotia, a followup on how a Dodgers fan can sympathize with the Giants (previously here), with bonus observation of how the latest streaming-audio/ iPhone technology has recreated some of the old magic of "seeing" a baseball game on the radio. It's at Donham's "Contrarian" site, here. He also mentions something I should have, which is how much Vin Scully, the "Voice of the Dodgers" broadcaster for the past 60+ years, has shaped and enriched the experience of baseball, and life in general.

UPDATE 4) (Constitutional scholar) Garrett Epps's analysis of the Constitutional thinking of Tea Party scholars is also very much worth reading.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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