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TSA-blocking briefs keep your privates private

Men and women can both wear these undies with crotch-positioned shields that supposedly protect their special parts from the TSA's eyes--and radiation.

Protection for right there: Leaf my junk alone. Rocky Flats Gear

I just had a harrowing incident on a flight from New Orleans to Seattle. Due to a small electrical fire, my plane had to be diverted to Memphis; it then took another day and a half to get home.

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It'll cost you $15 each way, $25 round trip. Matt Hickey/CNET

But what got me more than the thought that my flight could crash was that in Memphis I had to deal with the indignity of going through one of the controversial new backscatter body-scanning machines. A person I didn't know got paid to scrutinize my scrotum. Lucky lady.

But I didn't like it. I felt like I was being virtually strip searched. That's why I'm in favor of these new briefs designed by engineer Jeff Buske. They're regular boxer briefs, with the exception of a fig leaf-shaped radiation blocker located right over your junk. TSA agents looking at your scan will see a shape of a leaf instead of your private parts. Smart, but we're still waiting to learn whether the TSA will let these underpants fly.

The radiation-blocking undies aren't just for modesty, though, as the guards allegedly protect your crotch from various types of radiation, too. (There's fear the backscatter machines could pose a cancer risk; in fact, some say the odds of getting cancer from backscatter machines is more probable than dying in a plane hijacking).

The skivvies, by the way, aren't the only radiation shield garb in the news today, as a new Belly Band is made to keep a fetus safe from radiation--including backscatter radiation.

The briefs are less than $20, unisex, and machine washable, but most of all they're a great idea. The Rocky Flats Gear site also has a variety of other designs and even bra inserts. I'm thinking it could be fun replace your fig leaf with a corporate logo, say Apple's, thereby selling out your nether region as ad space.

That said, I do wish this company just sold an iron-on guard, since the underwear I prefer is typically far, far more exotic than cotton boxer briefs.