Here's What People Tried to Sneak onto Airplanes in 2014

Nearly 2 million people pass through airport security every day in the United States, and some of them have packed things in their bags that they definitely shouldn't have. It's the job of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents to find those things, and if their annual year in review post is any indication, agents were very busy in 2014.

Last year, agents found 2212 guns in checked bags, a 22 percent increase from 2013. Disturbingly, 83 percent of the guns discovered were loaded. The record for most firearms found in carry-on bags was June 4, when 18 guns were found at airports across the country.

But it wasn't just guns that the TSA discovered: They also found things like a homemade avalanche charge, 140 novelty or inert hand grenades, an inert training warhead, and a WWII era blasting machine. And then there were the knives, which TSA agents found hidden in a highlighter and a neck pillow at Philadelphia International Airport; in a laptop's hard drive caddy at Dayton International Airport; and in a potato chip bag at Texas's Amarillo airport. And good thing no one bit into this enchilada that someone tried to take through security at California's Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport—there was an 8.5-inch knife inside!

Someone even tried to hide razor blades in a Scooby Doo greeting card at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport.

And, finally, a note to drug smugglers: Don't try to conceal your drugs inside a package of raw meat in your checked bag (San Jose International Airport) or in a hollowed out textbook (Philadelphia International Airport). The TSA will find them.

For more on what the TSA found in luggage in 2014, read the whole blog post—complete with crazy photos—here.

Afternoon Map
The Most Popular Infomercial Product in Each State

You don't have to pay $19.95 plus shipping and handling to discover the most popular infomercial product in each state: AT&T retailer All Home Connections is giving that information away for free via a handy map.

The map was compiled by cross-referencing the top-grossing infomercial products of all time with Google Trends search interest from the past calendar year. So, which crazy products do people order most from their TVs?

Folks in Arizona know that it's too hot there to wear layers; that's why they invest in the Cami Secret—a clip-on, mock top that gives them the look of a camisole without all the added fabric. No-nonsense New Yorkers are protecting themselves from identity theft with the RFID-blocking Aluma wallet. Delaware's priorities are all sorted out, because tons of its residents are still riding the Snuggie wave. Meanwhile, Vermont has figured out that Pajama Jeans are the way to go—because who needs real pants?

Unsurprisingly, the most popular product in many states has to do with fitness and weight loss, because when you're watching TV late enough to start seeing infomercials, you're probably also thinking to yourself: "I need to get my life together. I should get in shape." Seven states—Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin—have invested in the P90X home fitness system, while West Virginia and Arkansas prefer the gentler workout provided by the Shake Weight. The ThighMaster is still a thing in Illinois and Washington, while Total Gym and Bowflex were favored by South Dakota and Wyoming, respectively. 

Kitchen items are clearly another category ripe for impulse-buying: Alabama and North Dakota are all over the George Forman Grill; Alaska and Rhode Island are mixing things up with the Magic Bullet; and Floridians must be using their Slice-o-matics to chop up limes for their poolside margaritas.

Cleaning products like OxiClean (D.C. and Hawaii), Sani Sticks (North Carolina), and the infamous ShamWow (which claims the loyalty of Mainers) are also popular, but it's Proactiv that turned out to be the big winner. The beloved skin care system claimed the top spot in eight states—California, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas—making it the most popular item on the map.

Peep the full map above, or check out the full study from All Home Connections here.

A Florida Brewery Created Edible Six-Pack Rings to Protect Marine Animals

For tiny scraps of plastic, six-pack rings can pose a huge threat to marine life. Small enough and ubiquitous enough that they’re easy to discard and forget about, the little plastic webs all too often make their way to the ocean, where animals can ingest or become trapped in them. In order to combat that problem, Florida-based Saltwater Brewery has created what they say is the world’s first fully biodegradable, compostable, edible six-pack rings.

The edible rings are made of barley and wheat and are, if not necessarily tasty, at least safe for animals and humans to ingest. Saltwater Brewery started packaging their beers with the edible six-pack rings in 2016. They charge slightly more for their brews to offset the cost of the rings' production. They hope that customers will be willing to pay a bit more for the environmentally friendly beers and are encouraging other companies to adopt the edible six-pack rings in order to lower manufacturing prices and save more animals.

As Saltwater Brewery president Chris Gove says in the video above: “We want to influence the big guys and kind of inspire them to also get on board.”


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