You've got to love the innumeracy of the reporter on this article:
by Wednesday, the contamination had jumped to 17,000 parts per liter.
Ah yes, parts per liter. One of those quaint old-fashioned units of concentration, I guess, like horsepower per cubit. I wish someone could remind me how we convert to a more familiar unit like grams per liter, moles per liter, parts per million.
I suspect they mean 17,000 atoms per liter. Since a liter of water has about 3.33*10^23 molecules or 6.66*10^23 hydrogen atoms, That would make the tritium concentration 1 per 3.91*10^19 hydrogen atoms. I wouldn't count on getting rich by collecting the tritium.
They couldn't reboard the original flight because it had left before they were cleared by the FBI. An AirTran spokesperson claimed that the problem with rebooking on a later flight was that the family's data hadn't been updated in the computer file available to the gate agents. While this smells of blaming "the faceless nobody in the back room," it is well known that the airlines' chief weapon against their customers is the withholding of accurate information. In my experience the gate agents are frequently victim of such information control.
It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off. -- Woody Allen