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You know you can't have: liquids

If I'm to believe my parents, it appears that "liquid" was my first word. Sentimentality aside, I've always accepted that liquids would be instrumental in my life. But I was never sure how...I'm quite certain that everyone in this country is painfully aware of the apparently infinite guises of liquids-that-must-not-pass-airline-security. And it's possible that at one point or another, some of you have been informed of the necessity of a plastic baggie. Now, I'm so completely fine complying with federal safety guidelines, but I do find it irksome and maybe even troublesome when different airlines have their own, entirely changeable conceptions of what, precisely, constitutes a liquid.

For instance, today I was traveling with my one carry-on and purse, the contents of which revealed: a vial of eye drops and three different kinds of lip glosses (in my kind of OCD, I make my drug store purchases in triplication). And though I have--very recently!--booked travel out of almost all of our country's starting line-up of airports, I've learned to properly and even expertly utilize my baggie for any contraband, and I have never been sequestered for lip gloss (though, read on: I should have been). After they confiscated my triumvirate of glosses and my eye drops, I was free to leave, but then one of the officials returned my eye drops. (I later learned that under 4 fl. oz is okay, but all of my glosses were way under 4 fl. oz and eye drops are just--I don't know--much more representative of liquid! Maybe there was a special fatwa issued just for beauty gels today. Who knows.)

But it seems I actually was getting away with murder before, since according to this list of US Government Guidelines, you definitely can't have lip glosses of any kind. I once sat next to a woman on a plane who was bragging about all the kinds of liquids she still retained on her person, and people didn't really know what to say to her. Have any of you walked away from airline security confused about what just happened and/or have you ever "gotten away with" (in the inadvertent, you-did-just-X-ray-my-bag way) liquids/gels?

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Why Amelia Earhart Is Remembered as One of History's Most Famous Female Pilots
Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Amelia Earhart was a legend even before she mysteriously disappeared in 1937 while flying around the world. But the aviator's fame wasn't entirely based on skill alone. As Vox explains, Earhart's reputation eclipsed that of several contemporaries who were equally—if not more—talented than “Lady Lindy." So why did Earhart's name go down in history books instead of theirs?

In addition to her talent and courage, Earhart’s international fame could be chalked up to ceaseless self-promotion and a strategic marriage. It all started in 1928, when socialite Amy Phipps Guest and publishing juggernaut George Putnam handpicked the then-amateur pilot to become the first woman to be flown in a plane across the Atlantic Ocean. Earhart wasn't involved with the actual flight process, but the trip still established her as the new female face of aviation (and introduced her to Putnam, her future husband).

After completing the transatlantic journey, Earhart’s profile rose sky-high as she gave public lectures, wrote an aviation column for Cosmopolitan magazine, performed stunts like flying solo across the Atlantic (a feat that was first achieved by Charles Lindbergh in 1927), and endorsed everything from cigarettes to designer luggage. Her celebrity was ultimately cemented with her marriage to Putnam, who orchestrated savvy promotional opportunities to keep his wife’s name in the paper.

Learn more about Earhart’s rise to fame by watching Vox’s video below.

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The TSA's Top 10 Strangest Finds of 2017
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iStock

Airport security checkpoints are dull for everyone except Bob Burns, the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) witty social media lead. For the uninitiated, Burns—who’s also known as “Blogger Bob”—keeps track of the strange, hilarious, and dangerous things people try bringing on planes, and posts pictures of the more unusual items onto the organization's Instagram page. Among the many strange items Burns has encountered are countless knives and guns, a tiny dog trapped in a checked suitcase, a sandwich slicer, and even a life-size corpse prop from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Bob Burns, the TSA's social media lead
Courtesy of Bob Burns

To commemorate yet another year on the job filled with bizarre checkpoint finds, Burns recently created the video below. It highlights the top 10 weirdest TSA finds from 2017, which range from bladed metal knuckles Burns dubbed “Satan’s Pizza Cutter” to narcotics disguised as Christmas presents.

“We hate to tear open a perfectly wrapped gift, but as you can see from this [video], the contents of the gifts aren’t always sweaters, socks, and underwear,” Burns tells Mental Floss.

While making the video, Burns didn’t have pictures on hand of every single strange object he wanted to include. If so, he might have added a weaponized paint roller that was discovered inside a carry-on bag at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. It “looks like something out of a Mad Max movie,” Burns says. “It’s as if Mad Max wanted to paint the Thunderdome with the blood of his victims. It’s a paint roller wrapped in sandpaper and wire with nails protruding.”

A weaponized paint roller discovered by the TSA in 2017
Courtesy of Bob Burns

Other items that weren't captured in Burns's video that piqued the social media guru’s interest included grenade-shaped salt and pepper shakers and a knife concealed inside a container of Dove men’s deodorant. “Now I get why [the label] reads ’48 hours of protection,'” Burns says.

A knife hidden inside a deodorant container, discovered by the TSA in 2017
Courtesy of Bob Burns

Watch the video below to view Burns’s entire top 10 list of unusual checkpoint finds, and when you're done, check out the TSA's Instagram for more of his signature hilarity.

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