Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Silly String Goes to War Against IEDs

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the silly-to-serious dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 460

Luban Doyle writes "In an age of multimillion-dollar high-tech weapons systems, sometimes it's the simplest ideas that can save lives. Which is why a New Jersey mother is organizing a drive to send cans of Silly String to Iraq. American troops use the stuff to detect trip wires around bombs, as Marcelle Shriver learned from her son, a soldier in Iraq."

cancel ×

460 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

President Bush will love this (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146134)

New slogan? "Iraq: It's a Party Over There!"

JAPS ATTACK PEARL !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146578)

Sneaky little devils. I predict their defeat within four years.

This was on The Daily Show 2 days ago (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146142)

They're also using bees. (Seriously). Silly string and bees.

Re:This was on The Daily Show 2 days ago (1)

Jonah Hex (651948) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146414)

I'll bite, how the hell do they use bees? I barely have time to read /. at work, no time to watch the Daily Show at home.
Jonah HEX

Re:This was on The Daily Show 2 days ago (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146484)

To sniff out explosives. Yes, I'm serious.

Re:This was on The Daily Show 2 days ago (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146558)

They use dogs with bees in their mouths, and when they bark they shoot bees at you.

It's a devastating weapon.

Re:This was on The (Internet more than) 2 days ago (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146790)

lol---Windows fanboys.

Shipping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146152)

How can one ship this stuff without hiring a private shipper if the post office won't accept aerosol cans?

Re:Shipping (5, Funny)

Random Destruction (866027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146182)

Its for the war on iraq!!

If they don't accept it they're TERRORISTS!

Re:Shipping (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146204)

Um, they hire a private pilot? Like it says in the article?

Re:Shipping (1)

BVis (267028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146364)

Read TFA. The Postal service won't ship it by air.

New in the war on terror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146158)

Slinky's and Super Balls... Pretty cool idea, you've got to hand it to our GI's.

Re:New in the war on terror (0, Troll)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146296)

WHOA! SOmeone not claiming our soldiers are morons, on this site? Thats new.

Anyways. You do have to give it to them, they will improvise when they need to. It has happened in every long-term conflict that the US has been involved in. Soldiers will come up with their own small was to thwart the enemy.

Re:New in the war on terror (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146418)

WHOA! SOmeone not claiming our soldiers are morons, on this site? Thats new.

Whatever. I havn't seen anyone claim that, ever. It isn't the soldiers fault they're fighting a pointless war that their leaders forced them into.

Re:New in the war on terror (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146716)

It isn't the soldiers fault they're fighting a pointless war that their leaders forced them into.

Sure it is. They could always stand up against those politicians who are sending them over there.

Re:New in the war on terror (1)

Twanfox (185252) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146782)

So could you, should you be a citizen of the United States.

KarmaKarmaKarmaKarmaKarmaChamelion (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146164)

I come when blown
I come when Bloooooooowwwwwn!

IED? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146172)

Infra-red emmitting diode?
Intermittent Explosive Disorder?
Institute for Educational Development?
Institution of Engineering Designers?
Innovative Electronic Designs?

I'm sure they once called these "booby traps". What's the obsession with acronyms?

Re:IED? (2, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146244)

WTOWA? IDK.

Re:IED? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146264)

probably:

Installed Explosive Device.

But yes, I want to joint
DAWATS (Do Away With Acronyms They Suck) too.

Re:IED? (4, Informative)

sarahemm (707486) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146310)

Improvised Explosive Device :)

Re:IED? (0, Troll)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146400)

The reason for the acronyms is that they make the idiots at the White House sound more competent and knowledgeable than they actually are, expecially when they are forced to explain that troops are being killed by booby traps.

Re:IED? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146474)

booty traps?

Re:IED? (2, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146570)

That's what I said! Booty traps!

Re:IED? (2, Informative)

arniebuteft (1032530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146350)

Improvised Explosive Device.

Military also uses VBIED a lot - that's Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device.

Re:IED? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146532)

Improvised Explosive Device.
Me + nonstop flight to Iraq + All-You-Can-Eat Chilli.

Re:IED? (1)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146506)

Actually it's "improvised", not installed.

Most of us would call them booby traps.

Re:IED? (1)

timtwobuck (833954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146340)

Improvised Explosive Device. Its a homemade bomb.

Re:IED? (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146426)

That whooshing noise you just heard? That was the joke flying by at Mach 2. Wait a moment, you'll hear the sonic boom...

Re:IED? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146772)

Wait a moment, you'll hear the sonic boom...

Don't you mean Waveform Originating Oscillating Sub-Harmonics?

Society: Bound by email chains (5, Informative)

.c (115916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146344)

You have to love email forwards disguised as news articles.

This has been floating around for years -- I first saw it as a piece promoting British Special Forces ingenuity. Our very own Bruce Schneier [schneier.com] mentioned it (and the suppressed Cockeyed piece [cockeyed.com] ) around this time last year.

What do you expect? (3, Funny)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146366)

It's the military. The same group that calls a zipper a "sliding interlocking fastener".

No, I'm not kidding.

Re:IED? Don't say Booby Trap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146402)

I'm sure they once called these "booby traps". What's the obsession with acronyms?



Because Slashdotters have, ummm...how do I say this nicely, a different view of what BOOBY trap means?

Re:IED? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146432)

Booby? Are you serious? That's not PC.

Re:IED? (4, Funny)

MachineShedFred (621896) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146472)

In the post Janet Jackson FCC gestapo tactics landscape, anchors on CNN are afraid to use the following terms:

boob
booby
boobies
tit
titties
fun bags
dirty pillows
natty-sags

I'm sure there are plenty more. This is the reason for the INAs we're hearing (Improvised Non-sensical Acronyms) such as "IEDs".

Re:IED? (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146678)

At least they're Very Apt Germane Improvised Nonsensical Acryonyms

LOL, you said booby!!! (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146480)

In todays politically correct society where there is a fear of lawsuits and an assumption that any word that can be taken in a childish context will be. For example in my organization: Primary Management System was renamed because the acronym was PMS. The Financial Unit reports were renamed because some manager couldn't ask for the F-U reports with a straight face. And most recently a data translation application had its name changed because someone tried to pronounce the acronym as "La-tee-dah-tol".

-Rick

Re:LOL, you said booby!!! (3, Funny)

jomama717 (779243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146710)

As a consultant a few years back I worked on a product called GIS which ~half of the clients (the naive ones I guess) pronounced "jizz", with the unfortunate consequence of me sometimes being referred to as the "jizz expert". Hard work maintaining a professional air at one of those meetings...

Re:LOL, you said booby!!! (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146758)

You should try working with a mechanical engineering R&D unit - hearing a certain 50-60 year old guy talk about bushes, flanges, bolts, nuts, greased nipples, shafts and so on in a very proper English accent sometimes makes it really difficult to keep a straight face..

Re:IED? (4, Insightful)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146626)

I'm sure they once called these "booby traps". What's the obsession with acronyms?

When's the last time you referred to memory as Double Data Rate Random Access Memory rather than DDR RAM? If you work with something every day, you tend to shorten things. You also define terms more specifically than general usage (RAM vs memory).

An IED is a booby trap consisting of a rigged Device containing a large amount of Explosives in a fairly jury-rigged fashion (i.e. Improvised). It's not uncommon to find multiple anti-tank mines stacked together or even unexploded bombs. When talking about risks and countermeasures, it pays to be specific. Just like you wouldn't refer to large artillery as a "gun" when describing it to someone else, because it is too imprecise without qualification. A "gun" could be anything from a pistol to a 155mm howitzer. This is the same reason Lawyers define a bunch of "useless" jargon and acronyms; They can put a precise meaning on it for their purposes. Now, the military does have a huge number of acronyms, and maybe more than are needed, but it is just as specialized an occupation as practicing law.

Now, IANAL and I did not RTFA or GP, but AFAICT, we are now a nation of acronyms, especially TLAs. If you don't like it you can STFU while I LMAO <JK>.

Government should pay (3, Insightful)

nuggz (69912) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146174)

Why isn't the government providing the tools the military needs.

Additionally there should be a significant discount if they make a nice large contract

Re:Government should pay (0, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146232)

  1. Why isn't the military just shipping crates of silly string over there themselves?
  2. I found the following quote from the FA particularly chilling:

"If I turn on the TV and see a soldier with a can of this on his vest, that would make this all worth it," said Shriver, 57, an office manager.

Talk about being a television-programmed drone. Personally, I think it would be all worth it if you saved a life. Seeing it on television means jack shit, just like seeing that one video of a bomb going down a chimney that we saw replayed about 3495235927 times during desert storm.

Obviously, this doesn't detract from what the woman is doing, but it's frightening nonetheless. It's not real unless you saw it on television.

Re:Government should pay (0)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146250)

Because Haliburtain, Lockhead, Boeing, or any other multi-billion defense contractor doesn't make it?

Now if Lockhead could create something which does the same thing but use lots of exotic process and chemicals so they can charge $5,000 per can, then the government may be interested.

Re:Government should pay (5, Funny)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146434)

hell, if Lockheed could create something which does the same thing and uses the same mundane process and chemicals, they can charge $5,000 per can, and the government may be interested.

Re:Government should pay (5, Insightful)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146552)

If Lockheed did make it, it would be glow-in-the dark for night time use, would be packaged in such a way so that it didn't explode (throwing shrapnel everywhere) if it got punctured, and would use a chemical so that the cans wouldn't explode if they heated up to 120 degrees in the Iraqi sun.

And yes, there would be a steep price tag because there would be a very limited volume (only 140,000 troops in Iraq), and they'd have to recoup R&D costs. Different rules apply in the military.

Re:Government should pay (2, Funny)

Brewskibrew (945086) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146304)

We also need to send pallets of Silly Putty for training Iraqi militas to fingerprint insurgents and cases of sugar-free Trident for detecting bubbles of mass destruction.

Re:Government should pay (4, Insightful)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146320)

"Why isn't the government providing the tools the military needs. Additionally there should be a significant discount if they make a nice large contract"

Or more likely you'd see the birth of the $100 can of silly string in camo colors as approved military issue.

Re:Government should pay (2, Insightful)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146546)

Yes, they would cost much more. But not because of price gouging. Because the military adds all kinds of specs, testing and certification to things that drive the price up.

Does it really make a difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146362)

Even if the government does pay, where do you think they'll get that money from? I'll tell you: you, your neighbors, that New Jersey mother, the company that makes Silly String, and basically every other American individual or organization. So in the end, it really isn't the government that pays anything.

Re:Government should pay (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146416)

You try filling out a requisition form for $10,000,000 of silly string, and submit that to the Pentagon. See how far you get;)

Re:Government should pay (5, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146468)

Req. Order #12308-129

Item Description: Can, Aerosol, 12 oz., String, Silly, Camouflage
Quantity: 100,000
Destination: US Army, Baghdad, Iraq
Status: Approved
Comment: Can be weaponized as flame thrower if we purchase optional birthday cake.

Re:Government should pay (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146550)

That was awesome, thanks ;)

Re: Almost perfect Req. order. (4, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146788)

Except in military usage, it wouldn't be called "silly". (This, besides being pejorative and politically incorrect, might infringe upon trademark.)

Expect instead "long-chained nontoxic polycarbon semi-liquid fast drying compound."

Also, some of your information seems to be missing. Accounting forwarded the following rejection notice:

Please supply

Department
Cost Code
Category type
Expected use rates for prepaid asset scheduling
Routing number
Authorized sign-off official

Re:Government should pay (2, Insightful)

zentinal (602572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146548)

However, ask for ten million aerosol delivered methacrylate [wikipedia.org] IED detection units (ADMIEDDU) and it will breeze right through.

Re:Government should pay (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146488)

Obviously ... they do ... have you checked the US budget lately ?

Re:Government should pay (4, Interesting)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146510)

Why isn't the government providing the tools the military needs.

Because this isn't about military procurement - the story is only partly about evolving military tactics (if there is a real need for these items, any self-respecting logistician would do whatever it takes to get them into the hands of their unit).

Mostly it's about people on the home front trying to feel like they are contributing. In that sense it has more in common with the campaign to knit socks [historylink.org] in WWI or recycling [about.com] in WWII.

Re:Government should pay (5, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146724)

Because to make sure that the contractors are not cheating the government they would have to spends years and months putting it out for a competitive bids, writing specs, and following regulations.
To give you an example the USMC wanted to buy the software my company produces.
It had tried several and like ours the best. So they wrote a spec that our software fit and put it out for bids.
The request for bid came in a BOX that weighed 50lbs! Mind you this was off the self software that thousands of other people where using everyday.
Fine we did the paperwork and summited a bid at a low price. A competing company then submitted their software for the bid and lied that it would meet the specs. We lost the bid by $50. Of course our yearly support contract was $500 a year less for that number of seats than the winner.
Fine three years latter the other company was out of the business because frankly their software sucked and it started all over again.
We won it this time but the government wasted well over $100,000 on software that was now useless.
There are so many rules and regulations in place to stop abuse that it extremely painful to get anything done.
Back in the late 90s a lot of pilots bought their own GPS and laptops because the Air-Force hadn't installed the integrated mil-spec units yet.
In the 80s they bought radar detectors for the same reason.
This isn't really anything new. Soldiers have been buying supplemental equipment since David spent his allowance and a state of the art sling and extra hard stones.

Re:Government should pay (5, Interesting)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146760)

It's near-impossible to predict exactly what troops on the ground need before you actually get there. Therefore, American soldiers have always innovated in the absence of the right tool for the job. In World War II, soldiers fighting in France were getting bogged down in hedgerows, which were basically dunes. Aerial photos did not reveal the three-dimensional structure of the hedgerows, so the soldiers were not prepared for such a battlefield. Defending Germans would lay in ambush behind every hedgerow, and American soldiers going over the top of the hedgerows were mowed down by German machine gun fire.

Initially, GIs tried to dynamite the hedgerows so they could attack from a more concealed position. Though this met with some success, it took up too much dynamite. Other GIs tried to drive tanks through the hedgerows, but those got stuck and wouldn't reliably penetrate the hedgerows. Eventually, the soldiers welded on a long metal rod onto tanks. The tip of the rod contained a barrel of explosives that was detonated once the tank shoved the rod into the hedgerow. The "Rhino" saved many American lives by creating a fast and safer way to secure hedgerows in France.

The current administration should be faulted for many things. However, not being able to anticipate Silly String as a precious wartime commodity should not be one of them. I mean, no one would have thought that this would have saved American lives -- and in fact, it was only the innovation of the American soldier that created such a need for a child's toy.

I'm pretty impressed. (2)

SpecTheIntro (951219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146180)

That's a really ingenious use of Silly String. I just hope it continues to work.

Me too. (2, Interesting)

DG (989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146440)

In fact, I'm going to teach that to our guys tonight.

Who'd've thunk I'd pick up a tactical tip from Slashdot?

DG

Re:I'm pretty impressed. (1)

zeromorph (1009305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146456)

Mee too, I really like it.

But will O'Reilly now publish "War Hacks: Warfare for geeks"?

(BTW I still recomment not to wage war, and do something meaningful. ;-)

Re:I'm pretty impressed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146668)

Well it has continued to work since it was revealed this SAS where doing it over a year ago. I guess it is newsworthy now Americans are doing it.

Re:I'm pretty impressed. (1)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146692)

I think the only problem I can imagine with the trick is that you get a relatively small amount of string out of a single can. If you coat every room you enter with this stuff, you'll go through a lot of cans really fast. Can't this stuff be imaged? I would think an infared emitter and a camera to detect reflection off the wires would work too. I guess that assumes the tripwire is actually metal, but I'd think thread or fishing line would be detectable too.

I could also see the terrorists increasing the sensitivity of the trip wires if they learn of this tactic, enough that the weight of the silly string will set off the bomb. Which might also be a benefit, provided it explodes while the guy is trying to set the trap up.

Boom! (2, Funny)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146216)

1,000 cans of the neon-colored plastic goop are packed into Shriver's one-car garage in this town outside Philadelphia
Just needs one unstable can, and BOOM! One explosion in a spaghetti factory. :)

Re:Boom! (1)

TheWizardTim (599546) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146696)

LOOK! Up in the sky! The Flying Spaghetti Monster choose to show himself!

Poor Choice of Icons (4, Insightful)

DumbSwede (521261) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146258)

OK call me overly sensitive, I usually am against Political Correctness, but this is a serious issue. DEADLY serious.

I'm glad this low tech method of booby trap detection is being used. My nit however is in leading the article with the "It's Funny, Laugh" icon.

There is a humorous element in using a humorously named children's toy for sure, but I still chafe at the juxtaposition of the Monty Python foot with something that is in actuality so far removed from humor.

Military Grade Silly String (1)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146284)

Let's make it in olive green and sell it for ten times as much!

How fitting! (1)

orzetto (545509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146556)

Let's make it in olive green and sell it for ten times as much!

Now that would be silly... The thing is supposed to be well visible so it detects booby traps. Making it camouflage-colored is hardly going to improve its performance. Again, it would be so fitting... "Silly String in stupid format for an idiotic war!"

Re:Poor Choice of Icons (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146360)

You didn't think Slaughterhouse 5, Catch 22, or Blackadder Goes Forth were funny?

Re:Poor Choice of Icons (1)

DumbSwede (521261) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146504)

I think they were dark humor yes, but fiction.

I'm not against finding humor in any situation, I'm sure the service men in the field are having a hay day with this. I have no truck with the various humorous riffs that will posted to slashdot. I just wouldn't lead with the humor icon when thousands and thousands of service men and civilians have been maimed and killed by IEDs. I personally think it is in poor taste. Maybe I'm wrong.

Re:Poor Choice of Icons (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146730)

Actually, both Vonnegut [wikipedia.org] and Heller [wikipedia.org] were writing from bitter, bitter real life experience. So, their stories were fiction (I assume that Vonnegut was never kidnapped by extraterrestrials), but they had the ring of truth.

Oh, it is in poor taste, absolutely, but so is most soldier humor.

Re:Poor Choice of Icons (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146540)

The conclusion to Blackadder Goes Forth was actually very emotional and poignant.

Re:Poor Choice of Icons (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146388)

See, you're missing the subtle irony of posting the Monty Python foot in an article about light-weight silly string. If the foot were to come down on a room with a tripwire, it would surely set off whatever device the wire was hooked up to. However, silly string doesn't have that effect. Pure brilliance on samzenpus's part!

Re:Poor Choice of Icons (2, Insightful)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146438)

I agree. There should be an icon for a "cool idea". Like a lightbulb with icicles on it (or something).

Re:Poor Choice of Icons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146508)

Your missing what's funny. Everything on Earth has a serious side, if you never laugh, you'll never be fully alive.
 
  A low tech method of booby trap detection, not funny, pratical and good. Funny is that in America's current wave of let's get super high tech weaponry out there, you've got everyman on the job, your tax dollars, almost everything has been chucked at Iraq by the US Govt with little success and who comes along to save the day Marcelle Shriver, New Jersey house wife. Now that's funny and I don't get how you don't find it so. One of the most pratical and useful things I have heard about in the US arsenal and you can get it from a dollar store. I'm not laughing at the soldiers, their duty, or US as a whole - I am laughing at the "shock and awe" inspiring high tech death machine that was supposed to come out of the US, maybe high tech death machine 1.1 will come out soon with the silly string upgrade included.

Glad to see Corp involvement (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146280)

Can you say free good PR? I knew you could.

Also doesn't silly string and a zippo = intpocket napalm?

And in a pinch (0, Redundant)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146298)

they can also use the silly string can with a lighter as an improvised flame thrower!

After all, the Geneva conventions don't apply when you're fighting terrists

Re:And in a pinch (4, Funny)

emor8t (1033068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146376)

It's like Napalm in a can! "I love the smell of Silly String in the morning!" Surfs Up!

Re:And in a pinch (0, Flamebait)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146430)

Now let's hear from you about how to make terrorists follow the geneva conventions, and for example NOT hide in the general population (which would destroy them immediately), not kidnap non-combatants, not kidnap any iraqi, not attack women, not throwing acid in people's faces, ...

So ... let's have it. Let's just post a notice on the local mosque "american army will face off with the terrorists, please meat us tomorrow on the meadow".

After all, this is the ONLY way to wage war allowed by the geneva convention. If any party declares not to follow the geneva convention (as both the shia's and the sunni's have done), the other party (that would be america) is no longer bound to protect the opponent's citizens, and can shoot anyone they like for any reason whatsoever.

So ... let's have it. How do you force the muslim terrorists (islamofascists, ...) to follow the geneva conventions ? That would obviously imply no longer having women wear the burqa, which can be directly verified.

Re:And in a pinch (1)

Falesh (1000255) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146664)

no longer bound to protect the opponent's citizens, and can shoot anyone they like for any reason whatsoever.

How sweet. It is just that attitude that will win the world over and stop populations waging gorilla wars against the US. Oh wait...

Re:And in a pinch (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146666)

I was being sarcastic, but I'll bite...

How can we claim the moral high ground if we don't follow the Geneva conventions?

If we're not bound by the Geneva conventions, then why arent Afghanistan and Iraq Neutron-Bombed already?

Re:And in a pinch (1)

emor8t (1033068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146742)

Umm. Not to editorialize but... How do terrorists "meat" us in the meadow? Sounds, uh, like something we don't want them to do.

Old news! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146370)

This was mildly interesting when it was reported about the SAS [thesun.co.uk] ages ago.

It has other combat uses too... (2, Funny)

weatherguy48 (757755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146442)

Seriously, silly string can be used during skirmishes as well.....has anyone ever gotten an eye-full of that stuff? Hurts like hell....

Silly String goes to war (2, Funny)

British (51765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146462)

Isn't this the 2nd time war and toys have crossed paths? IIRC Silly Putty was made by accident in WW2, attempting to make an explosion. While no explosive was made, the designers pressed it on a newspaper photo and went "but hey! Look what you can do with Hitler's face!"

Let's look for other toys with the word "silly" in them to see if they are usful in military applications. I'm betting now there's some research funds diverting towards it.

Re:Silly String goes to war (1)

OfficialReverendStev (988479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146620)

21 minutes for Godwin's law. Incredible.

Silly putty, also, was not invented during WWII as an explosive. See article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silly_putty [wikipedia.org]

Gee an we can't figure out why we're losing.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146538)

Once again the people back home need to give the soldiers what they need to survive (Body Armor, Helmets, Silly String...), while our government is busy wasting millions of dollars on Raytheon missle systems that don't work... but then again who own stock in Raytheon? (hint: they run the White House....)

Smart Soldiers (1)

arniebuteft (1032530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146584)

Gotta give credit where it's due. I'm sure that this has saved more than a few lives, at the very least some serious injuries. Could the soldier who brainstormed this please stand up and be recognized... hooah!

I would think that this tactic would be harder for insurgents to get around... the tripwire needs to be there to work after all. You could make the tripline super sensitive, so the string itself sets it off, but that would put the soldiers further from the blast when it happened. Also, setting a super-sensitive tripline would hopefully kill a few more terrorists while they're setting it up.

The insurgents' next tactics will probably involve laser-armed proximity mines like in Star Wars: Jedi Knight 2. It's cool though, you just jump really high to minimize damage, then hit F5 a few times to heal...

Re:Smart Soldiers (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146750)

Humor aside, unless the T's can get their hands on a source of cheap, reliable optical sensors, I don't see this happening. These aren't technical geniuses over there, its a bunch of people with soldering irons and instructions written by some insurgent smart-guy who knew his stuff. They can't whip together something like that with the parts they may have lying around. Now, if they got their hands on a source of infrared sensors like they type used in motion-sensative outdoor lighting, and narrowed the detection area to a thin band rather than a wide area, they might have something, but I wonder how useful that would be in the desert.

Name Change (5, Funny)

writermike (57327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146586)

"Silly String?"

Couldn't we at least change the name to Freedom String-In-A-Can?

How much does silly string cost? (2)

ibbo (241948) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146598)

We used to use a metal coat hanger.

Untie the hook part and strighten it up. Make a finger loop at the top and curve it slightly at the bottom. Hold in font of you when walking, you will notice when it contacts something trust me.

The use of silly string is hardly enviromentally friendly and I see that US forces did not learn of the even cheaper trick from the Brits. Perhaps you dont have metal coat hangers in the US who knows.

I still think tin upon tin of silly string will amount to lots of $$$ though.

Ibbo

silly string (1, Informative)

JRturd (1036816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146632)

silly string is not only hours upon hours of annoying fun, but also highly flamable...looks like we've just discovered world's greatest weapon, now availabe at the local toys 'r us....i think i've just cut the US military budget by $50 trillion www.popculturepundit.com

I agree on the acronyms. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146636)

IED seems like some kind of pregnancy prevention device. Intrauterine Ectopic Destroyer?

Perhaps they're using silly string to detect Irreversible Entropy Delimiters? Or could the terrorists be employing Itinerant Ebola Dispersers? Are troops now forced to search the skies for planes deploying Incoming Exothermic Deliveries?

This is all too Enterprise for me. I've settled on Icky, Ewwy Droppings.

Finally (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146654)

The BSharps can put that whole "poisonous" thing behind them and start producing the silly string again!

Snow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17146676)

Could you also use spray on fake snow for this?

It's more in keeping with the season! :-)

Might be harder to clean up, though. I doubt that it sprays as far, either.

Slashdot tipping of the insurgents ;) (4, Funny)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146680)

"The military is reluctant to talk about the use of Silly String, saying that discussing specific tactics will tip off insurgents."

IIEDDD (3, Funny)

fuggo (806416) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146732)

Would that then make silly string an IIEDDD?

improvised improvised explosive device detection device

Not so silly string! (2, Insightful)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 7 years ago | (#17146770)

I'm glad to see something I have always considered to be completely useless and extremely annoying at the office come to such constructive use. Way to go American ingenuity!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>