Q: I was once stuck in the Transportation Security Administration line behind someone who had purchased a souvenir snow globe for each of her six grandchildren. It did not end well. So, while I already know the answer, I'm asking this question as a public service: Can I bring a snow globe on a plane?
A: Actually, you can, if it holds less than 3.4 ounces of fluid and can fit in the single quart-sized zip-top bag of liquids and toiletries that you get to bring on the plane. This is new. TSA officials used to require you to check all snow globes (and even partially evacuated an airport in 2010 because they found a battery-operated snow globe in someone's carry-on), but they recently relaxed the rules.
Q: I went to a new exhibition at a science museum while visiting my family over Thanksgiving weekend. There were interactive elements that were clearly aimed at children, and some of them were very popular -- my daughter and I waited in line for over 30 minutes so she could try one of them.
What really bothered me, though, is that there were plenty of adults in line to do the activity themselves. They weren't even with children. I estimated that my daughter had to wait 5 to 10 minutes longer because of the adults in line in front of her. It did look like fun, but when it's crowded, shouldn't adults act like adults and let the kids go instead?
I wouldn't have dreamed of getting in line myself. And what about people who lunge in front of kids at a sporting event to catch a T-shirt someone tossed into the crowd? I saw that in person, too, recently, and really, I was appalled.
A: Regarding the museum, there is a difference between an interactive activity aimed at kids and one restricted to, say, kids younger than 12. Unless the museum posts age restrictions, the adults have just as much right to participate as the kids do. That said, I wouldn't have gotten in line myself either if there were little kids waiting. It would just feel selfish to me. If anything, I'd ask a museum employee when the line is shortest and plan to come back then.
The people diving in front of kids to catch T-shirts or hot dogs or what-have-you, however, are total jerks. (And they always act so proud of themselves, too. Oh, yeah, Mr. Awesome, it is such an achievement to prevent a 5-year-old from catching a T-shirt that was falling right into his lap. You are, clearly, an exceptional human being.) Sometimes, though, when this happens, the crowd starts a "Give it to the kid!" chant, and that gives me hope for humanity.