TSA wary of airbags; SSA wary of misinfo; Air Force wary of Ash

A sampling of the best posts from the federal blogosphere during the last two weeks

Note to Self: Leave the Airbag at Home
Transportation Security Administration
April 22, 2010

Some cost-cutting ideas are more trouble than you can imagine.

Some people living in Europe have figured out that it is cheaper to buy replacement automobile airbags in the United States — and cheaper still to carry them back on the plane to avoid shipping costs.

Unfortunately, the airbag actuator — the gadget that makes it possible for airbags to inflate quickly — works along the same lines as a solid rocket booster, according to Blogger Bob at the Transportation Security Administration. It is considered hazardous material and is prohibited on passenger aircraft.

A better option? Bite the bullet and ship it. “Even though it will be more expensive to ship, it will save you a lot of hassle in the end,” Bob writes.

“Co-workers or annoying neighbors may be referred to as airbags,” he adds, “but they are not considered hazmat.”

On the Defense Against Misinformation
Social Security News
April 25, 2010

The blogger at Social Security News tried to untangle a mass of misinformation on a blog called "Living in Guanajuato" before finally giving it up as hopeless.

The post in question suggests that U.S. citizens living in Mexico would have difficulty receiving their Social Security checks. Among other problems, the Guanajuato-based blogger says the federal government will seize the U.S. bank accounts of U.S. expatriates and make it difficult for them to receive payments in a Mexican account.

“I am concerned that the person writing this may not know what he or she is talking about,” the SSA blogger wrote in an initial response. However, shortly thereafter, the blogger posted an update saying that "Living in Guanajuato" got everything wrong, and “I am sorry to have posted another person's nonsense.”

Air Force Medevacs Find Path Around Ash
Air Force Live
April 22, 2010

The Air Force was not about to let last month’s eruption of a volcano in Iceland interfere with the care of military service members wounded in the Middle East.

The problem was that Ramstein Air Base, Germany, a connecting point for many wounded personnel headed back to the United States, found itself under the ash cloud spreading across northern Europe, writes Tech. Sgt. Phyllis Hanson, who works at the Air Force Public Affairs Agency.

However, as soon as Air Force weather specialists saw what was unfolding, the service shifted some cargo and tanker planes from Germany to locations in Spain, well south of the ash cloud. “This decisive diversion enabled the aeromedical evacuations to continue — ensuring the wounded warriors were still able to get to the U.S. with little disruption,” Hanson writes.

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