Explosive Turning Point Clickers

Disclaimer: this is not a rant about the TSA. The TSA representative who searched my bag today was very professional, very courteous, and not a jerk in any way. I think he would also agree that I was totally composed, totally calm, and did not make a single snarky remark. But still …

Today while traveling to Traverse City I attempted to to avoid the hassle of checked baggage since I’m only gone for two nights, and since Delta/Northwest is developing a bad habit of sending my baggage to alternate destinations. I’m heading to an ETOM event and it seemed like a perfect time to bring a small carry-on in addition to my laptop backpack and just breeze through the airports without a care. Wrong.

I will be using the Turning Point clickers during my keynote address about Web 2.0 tomorrow at the Higgins Lake Retreat. I needed about 60 of them for this smallish event, which is mainly hands-on except for the keynote. I couldn’t bring the padded case for them since then I would have 3 carry-ons. So, I put about 10 of them in my backpack and placed the rest of them in two ziplock plastic bags in my other carry-on. Sure enough, those little devices looked like a problem to the bag scanner and my bag was pulled out of the line for a strip search.

After I explained to the TSA agent what they were used for, he determined that they needed to be swiped, much like they will sometimes swipe a laptop with a little white cloth disc that does something (or at least they want you to believe that it does). He determined that they needed to be swiped – INDIVIDUALLY. So, I had the pleasure of standing there while he rubbed the cloth over each and every one of the fifty potential explosives. Oftentimes I travel with anywhere from 250 to 400 of those little plastic pieces of nothing. Better arrive at the airport extra early for that next trip.

Of course, this makes about as much sense as the whole ziplock bags for your carry-on liquid containers. You can’t have a container larger than 3.4 ounces (or thereabouts – it seems to change from time to time). So, you can’t bring a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo on board, but you can bring four of those little 3-ounce bottles of the same shampoo as long as they’re inside the ziplock. BECAUSE THAT MAKES PERFECT SENSE.

5 Responses

  1. Why not use the attendees mobile phones for voting?
    They can SMS their vote directly to your presentation and toy can see the score while in presentation mode.
    I’ve used sms2vote it in my last presentations and it worked super!
    See for more info:

  2. Hi Willem, great to hear from you again. One aspect of the presentation is to have them pull out their cell phones after using the clickers for a while and have them answer a question using SMS via Poll Everywhere. I haven’t tried the one you mention, so I’ll definitely check it out. Thanks.

  3. Hi Barry, you made my day! Thanks to your post I took al look again at polleverywhere. I didn’t know that you can also vote through twitter. That makes the tool more intersting to us because textmessaging from the Netherlands can be expensive.
    Now I think that polleverywhere is better than sms2vote I told you about…

  4. Great story! Yes, the TSA does have their way with many items, including clickers.
    I also wanted to mention that TurningPoint not only creates hardware devices but also has an interactive ONLINE polling technology!
    Response Ware Web. This is an interactive website that anyone can use to respond to an interactive presentation- through http://www.rwpoll.com. Check it out!

  5. I always use TurningPoint in my presentations and have had some very detailed searches. Though swabbing every responder is bit over the top. I generally ship them to and from the site. I got sick of the TSA hassles!

    FYI – I switched to presenting in Mac Keynote a few years ago. Here’s my workaround (with screen shots) for Using Apple Keynote with TurningPoint ARS http://bit.ly/hSK2q

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