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Silly String saving lives in Iraq

Party product delivers low-tech booby trap detection.
 
 
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The Freakonomics Blog explains why a mother is sending Silly String to her son in Iraq:

Because [Silly String] might be a lifesaver: a soldier can spray the Silly String to look for trip wires around bombs. According to this A.P. article, “Before entering a building, troops squirt the plastic goo, which can shoot strands about 10 to 12 feet, across the room. If it falls to the ground, no trip wires. If it hangs in the air, they know they have a problem. The wires are otherwise nearly invisible.”

Silly String is not standard issue yet. So families and Silly String manufacturers are teaming up to supply the troops. The product has to be specially shipped to Iraq because the cans are pressurized.

[Freakonomics]

Lindsay Beyerstein a New York writer blogging at Majikthise.

 
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