Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bad Days at MSP

Boy, they're on a roll over at Minneapolis-St. Paul International, huh? First, they detain six religious leaders for praying. Now they blow up a pregnant researcher's scientific device:

Anne Jefferson..., 27, a Winona native, recently minted Ph.D. and researcher in the geosciences department at Oregon State University, concluded a combined business and holiday trip to Minnesota on Sunday, dropping off a rental car at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport before boarding a plane to Portland, Ore., with her husband. By the time they arrived there, armed officers were waiting for them, and in the Twin Cities, portions of the Lindbergh terminal parking ramp had been closed for about two hours after authorities found a suspicious looking device in the spare tire compartment of the couple's rental car.

It was actually equipment that Jefferson had been using in her research on water temperatures in stream channels. She intended to mail it back to Oregon, but she just forgot about it. "I guess you could call it 'pregnancy brain,' " said Jefferson, who is seven months pregnant with the couple's first child. She had picked up the device, called the Stowaway Tidbit Temp Loggers, from the St. Anthony Falls Lab along the Mississippi River on Wednesday. The equipment includes several lengths of 1-inch plastic pipe filled with gravel, all linked to 15 flashing electronic monitors. She stowed it in the tire compartment to keep the gravel from showering all over the trunk.

Given her interest in preventing a mess, it's ironic that they blew that shit up - sorta: "Although Jefferson has since learned that some of the monitoring equipment, valued at $1,500, may have survived, she isn't sure if any of the data she collected since June can be saved." Thank god they didn't destroy her dissertation data, but I gotta ask how it is that, when they blow up possible explosive devices, they actually just blow up parts of them? I feel so safe now.