651: Bag Check

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Bag Check
A laptop battery contains roughly the stored energy of a hand grenade, and if shorted it ... hey!  You can't arrest me if I prove your rules inconsistent!
Title text: A laptop battery contains roughly the stored energy of a hand grenade, and if shorted it ... hey! You can't arrest me if I prove your rules inconsistent!

Explanation

In this comic, Cueball argues with a TSA agent at an airport security checkpoint over the TSA policy of prohibiting airline passengers from bringing liquids or gels in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces (100 ml) in their carry on items. To prove his point, Cueball points out that modifying the lithium ion battery in his laptop computer to be an explosive poses a more plausible risk to the aircraft than carrying an innocuous bottle of water. The joke is that now the security team is even MORE worried about him specifically and will take away his laptop and most likely detain him for questioning.

The TSA responded to this comic in a blog post and Randall Monroe expounded on his intent in its comments.

Transcript

[Cueball and Megan are at a security checkpoint in an airport. A guard is holding an open backpack and a bottle of water, and Cueball is arguing with him.]
Cueball: But if you're worried about bombs, why are you letting me keep my laptop batteries? If I overvolted them and breached the cells, it would make a sizeable explosion.
Megan: Oh god.
Cueball: It's okay, dear. In a moment he'll realize I have a good point and return my water.
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