Nasal pilates

The magic eight ball says, “check for bombs”

Three weeks ago, a self-described psychic called up the police to claim he or she had a premonition that a bomb would be on American Airlines Flight 1304. The airline cancelled the flight and sent bomb-sniffing dogs on board. They didn’t find anything, and as CNN reports:

The purported psychic’s call was “unusual,” conceded Doug Perkins, local administrator for the federal Transportation Security Administration director.

“But in these times, we can’t ignore anything. We want to take the appropriate measures,” he said.

My first reaction was, of course, what in hell is going on? Airline officials are halting entire flights because of a freaking psychic? But of course, there are good reasons for taking that type of call seriously — not least that the caller might be actually involved in the bombing themselves, ridden with guilt, and using this pretense as a way of letting the airline know what’s about to transpire. That’s a long shot, but if I were running an airline, I wouldn’t want to take the chance either.

(Thanks to Plastic for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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