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5 Helpful Holiday Travel Tips from the TSA Blog

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The holiday travel season is upon us! To make your trip through security easier, the folks over at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) blog have assembled a list of things to keep in mind when you’re packing. Here are the tips we found most helpful … and amusing. Happy travels!

1. Fruitcake is allowed in your carry-on.


"Contrary to popular belief, fruitcake is a delicious edible and permitted cake, not a WMD," writes Bob Burns on the TSA blog. Fruitcake joins a whole list of surprising things that are allowed on planes, which also include pies, cakes, bread, donuts, and turkeys (theoretically not a live one), though all may be subject to additional screening.

Foods that should be placed in your checked baggage or shipped include “cranberry sauce, creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, etc.), gift baskets with liquid or gel food items (salsa, jams and salad dressings), gravy, jams, jellies, maple syrup, oils and vinegars, sauces, soups, wine, liquor and beer.” Check out a full list of things that should go in your checked baggage here.

Eggnog is also allowed, provided it’s less than 3.4 ounces, fits in the quart-sized bag you put your toiletries in, and doesn’t contain alcohol. (It’s okay—you can just buy some on the plane and combine them in the air.)

2. Snow Globes are now permitted!

At least if they’re about the size of a tennis ball or smaller, and the entire thing, including the base, fits in the same quart-sized bag that holds your toiletries and other liquids. Your Christmas shopping just got a lot easier.

3. ”Double check your bag for guns. Seriously!!!”

Based on the TSA’s Week in Review posts, you should also probably also check for knives, swords in canes, fireworks, stun guns, brass knuckles, grenades (we’re looking at you, Wayne Coyne), and ammunition. TSA officers find all of this, and more, at checkpoints across the U.S. every day.

4. Don’t wrap your gifts.


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Wrapped gifts are allowed, but if a TSA agent needs to inspect a gift, your wrap job might get a shredding like the one the cougar cub in the photo above is giving his presents. “Our officers try their best not to mangle the gift wrap, but it’s not a guarantee, and it also slows down the line for everybody else when we have to do this,” Burns writes in the post. “We’d rather unwrap the gifts that are under our trees.” Make things easier on everyone and use bags instead.

5. Go ahead: Wear that ugly Christmas Sweater.

Bad fashion might be a crime, but it isn't against the law. Just know that any DIY creations that include wires and lights will probably require additional screening.

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Animals
Watch a Rogue Pet Dog Interrupt a Russian News Anchor on Air
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Last week, a Russian news broadcast briefly went to the dogs after its host was startled by a surprise co-anchor: a friendly black canine that wandered on set, announced its presence with a loud bark, and climbed onto her desk.

 

As TODAY reports, Mir24 TV anchor Ilona Linarte went off script for a few minutes, telling viewers "I've got a dog here. What is this dog doing in the studio?" After the initial shock wore off, she gave her furry guest a tepid welcome, patting its head as she gently pushed it off the desk. ("I actually prefer cats,'' Linarte remarked. "I'm a cat lady.")

Linarte’s query was answered when the TV station announced that the dog had accompanied another show’s guest on set, and somehow got loose. That said, rogue animals have a proud tradition of crashing live news broadcasts around the world, so we’re assuming this won’t be the last time a news anchor is upstaged by an adorable guest star (some of which have better hair than them).

[h/t TODAY]

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Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
SpaceX Is Sending Two Private Citizens Around the Moon
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Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0

Two members of the public are set to take an historic trip around the Moon, according to an announcement from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. As The Verge reports, the anonymous private citizens have already placed substantial deposits on the commercial space flight.

The private spacecraft company SpaceX revealed on Monday that the Falcon Heavy rocket will be launching with its Crew Dragon spacecraft in late 2018. The mission will consist of a circumnavigation of the Moon, passing over the body’s surface before traveling farther into space and returning to Earth. In total, the trip will cover 300,000 to 400,000 miles and take a week to complete.

A noteworthy part of the plan is the human cargo that will be on board. Instead of professional astronauts, the craft will carry two paying customers into space. The passengers, who’ve yet to be named, will both need to pass several fitness tests before they're permitted to make the journey. According to The Verge, Musk said the customers are “very serious” and that the cost of the trip is “comparable” to that of a crewed mission to the International Space Station. The goal for SpaceX is to eventually send one or two commercial flights into space each year, which could account for 10 to 20 percent of the company’s earnings.

[h/t The Verge]

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