Study Finds Slow Airport Security Has An Upside

Going through airport security is a lesson in patience for even the most Zen traveler, but the good news is that those frustratingly slow security screenings might actually be more effective. According to a new study, TSA screeners who take their time are more successful at identifying targets like weapons or restricted items.

The study pitted TSA agents against Ivy League college students to test how well each group conducted a visual search. The experiment was simple and tested natural search skills (searching for a particular shape on a computer screen) – so the TSA screeners had no advantage over the students. The results showed that the college students were faster at completing the tasks but the TSA agents were more accurate.Stephen Mitroff, the psychologist heading up the research, told NBC news that the TSA screeners were slower because they were more methodical, which is ultimately what led to better results. “Our interpretation is those who are most experienced have found their strategy and use it the same way over and over – whether you spiral through the bag or are zig-zagging left and right. If you’re always doing the strategy and always doing it consistently, you’re freeing up your cognitive resources – your other abilities to try to identify targets,” he said.

The research is part of a larger study being conducted by the Department of Homeland Security.

Video: A Week In The Life Of The International Space Station

The International Space Station is one of the wonders of modern technology. A series of interconnected orbital modules are home to a rotating crew of astronauts and cosmonauts plus a host of ongoing experiments. While the ISS only gets into the news every now and then, interesting things are happening there daily.

Right now three astronauts – two American and one Canadian – are on duty up there along with three cosmonauts from Russia. This video is a weekly update showing what they did last week. The main work has been preparing for the arrival of the Dragon spacecraft, which will bring supplies and take some completed experiments and waste back to Earth.

Besides that, the crew has been conducting experiments, doing maintenance work on their spacesuits, troubleshooting a partial communications failure, training with the robotic arm, and answering questions from the public back on Earth.

The three astronauts even got a break for Presidents Day. I didn’t know they got days off up there. I wonder what they do? Stare out the window a lot, I bet.

The weekly update gets uploaded every Friday and there are daily updates throughout the week. You can followed them on the ISS website.

For more about this giant orbital laboratory take this video tour of the International Space Station.

Taking travel photos with a homemade lens

My knowledge of photography is limited. I’m one of those “who needs a photo? It’s all in the mind” kinda people, probably because I’ve been using a crap digital camera for the last 5-years.

If I could take mind-blowing photographs, I’m sure that would change. Short on time, yet somewhat eager to try doing just that, I have often gone to check out professional cameras but looked at price tags and walked right out.

So when I saw an article on homemade digital hacks for your camera I saw hope! The lens is the most important (and most expensive?) part for your camera and this piece expertly tells you how to put together a fish-eye lense for $10. It looks pretty bad, but it also looks like it might do the trick.

True, the world of DIY Photography is large, but it seems so far ahead of me I often get lost when I scout those websites. The terminology, physics of light, situational photography — that stuff still hits off a tangent for me. I might start here though (I could borrow my dad’s old Pentax SLR), and if this homemade fish-eye lens produces even half a decent photo, there may be hope at kicking off an amateur DIY photography hobby.

[Via Vagabondish]