The Nearer You Get to a Cop, the More You're Slip Sliding Away

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The New Scientist introduces us to the "riot slimer"–a device that will allow cops to make any groups of people they don't want standing up, fall down, with air, water, and polyacrylamide powder, which together make a slippery, non-toxic goo.

Sounds like an improvement, at any rate, over such previous non-lethal weapons-against-the-people as tasers or the more recent "magnetic acoustic devices" (sound as a weapon–Kate Bush called it years ago) in terms of heinousness.

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  1. I giggle at the thought of earthy-crunch WTA rioters all suddenly losing bowel control and projectile shitting.

    Hugh Laurie (Dr. House) is in the Experiment IV video.

  2. The correct headline is “I’ve been slimed.”

  3. I’m not sure the MRAD is all that heinous. It has to be less physically dangerous than tasers and arc stunners, and I’d guess the risk of permanent hearing damage is no greater than the risk of fracturing your skull when you slip on a wad of “riot slime”.

  4. Can we please get the scoops from Soylent Green?

  5. I feel so funky.

  6. Egon! Your mucus!

  7. Once all the protestors/rioters have fallen down, how do the cops get to them without doing the same?

  8. Really, hasn’t rioting in the streets and mass protests been played out? The only thing it ever accomplishes, no matter what the cause du jour, is to mildly annoy a few bystanders and to give the 11 o’clock news guy something to talk about.

    Just stop with the protests. No one cares.

  9. I have a problem with these less lethal devices, because less lethals allows law enforcement (I use that term loosely) to elevate the violence until lethal comes out. Tasers and tear gas get fired from things that look like guns. Police can point them at us and we are not supposed to respond with lethal force, and yet the police will respond to such pointing with lethal.

  10. Lemur: I agree. I think the new protest/riot should have everybody research their opinion and various arguments, then storm the mayor/senators/governors office and present them, one by one, by the hundreds.

  11. a slippery, non-toxic goo

    I can’t be the only one who thinks this must have, er, recreational applications.

  12. Kate Bush rulez.

  13. Lemur, I agree. Unless you can rally Gandhiesque numbers. Say, 2 million people in one place gets you some credibility. That or five hundred elephants. Gotta respect the group that could get five hundred elephants on the Mall.

  14. “Once all the protestors/rioters have fallen down, how do the cops get to them without doing the same?”

    Bulldozers.

  15. It’s kind of surprising what libertarians are blase about these days. Generally speaking, the more “non-lethal” a weapon is, the more authorities tend to use it, even and especially in circumstances that wouldn’t ordinarily warrant it. So the cop who might not have shot a peaceful protester for fear of being brought on charges just tasers – or slimes, in this case – at the least provocation.

  16. “So the cop who might not have shot a peaceful protester for fear of being brought on charges just tasers – or slimes, in this case – at the least provocation.”

    This is true. Taser markets their product as an alternative to close range lethal force. It is used as an alternative to wrestling a suspect into cuffs.

  17. “I giggle at the thought of earthy-crunch WTA rioters all suddenly losing bowel control and projectile shitting.”

    How libertarian of you. This merely brings to mind Jim Henley’s post from earlier this week on the death of small government conservatism: “Too much of what passed for the small-government right hated ‘the left’ more than they loved small government.”

  18. Why not just a super soaker loaded with Astroglide? Says right on the bottle that it’s very slippery.

  19. Gotta respect the group that could get five hundred elephants on the Mall.

    Pity the poor bastard who has to clean up after.

  20. Why don’t we have a code word hypnotically drummed into everyone’s subconscious, which, when spoken, will cause each person to fall asleep? Then cops could just shout the word through a bullhorn. I suggest Kltpzyxm as the word.

    I just know that this power wouldn’t be abused.

  21. “The correct headline is “I’ve been slimed.”

    from ghostbusters:

    “he slimed me”

  22. VM,

    And I suppose no one said “Play it again, Sam” in Casablanca, either????

    I looked at a shooting script, which says, “It slimed me”. Not sure whether Murray actually said “it” or “he”, but in any event I was clearly wrong. Still, even my wrong headline was better than Brian’s 🙂

  23. The use of tasers has gone down the slippery slope to an actual slippery slope!

  24. A mention of accoustic weapons and no one brings up Project X? Feh.

  25. I don’t think the slime is that bad an idea, except for the clean-up later. If, as they say, even vehicles can’t get a grip on it, I’m not sure the bulldozer idea is going to work. Maybe it breaks down over time, or you can firehose it away. Seems to me like the protesters will have trouble dispersing once they’ve been slimed, though.

  26. Uh, “Even vehicles should be unable to get a grip on the goo, the patent says. And because the gel is non-toxic, it should cause no permanent harm, besides a few bruised bottoms, that is.”

    I slipped on ice once and gave myself a pretty nasty concussion. I see the potential for a number of lawsuits and possible heads being cracked open.

    And do we really want vehicles that can’t get traction near a large group of people? That just sounds like a recipe for disaster.

    I still hate hippies, though.

  27. I giggle at the thought of earthy-crunch WTA rioters all suddenly losing bowel control and projectile shitting.

    You damn near made me do the same thing. Somehow I never realized that House was played by Hugh Laurie. Helps to have never seen more than an ad for the show, I guess. (I’ve avoided it because the name “House, M.D.” brings back bad memories of “Quincy, M.E.” — “Cut me, Sam! Cut me!”)

  28. “Sound as a weapon?”

    SWAT team says: “Deploy the Anthrax!”

    Also,

    Number 6/P Brooks,

    Zambonis would be funnier.

  29. Just carry around a bottle full of Nalco Polyclean 7–that’ll cut right through the goo. Polyacrylamide polymers are extensively used in treating wastewater, and are really hard to clean up. Water only makes them turn into a nasty clumpy gel.

    I can’t remember what’s on the Polyclean label, and the exact makeup is proprietary, but most of what you need to know is probably on the MSDS.

  30. The correct headline is “I’ve been slimed.”

    Comment by: Pro Libertate at May 5, 2006 12:31 PM

    I initially thought you were talking about one of the several Nickelodeon shows that had people getting slimed, I’m thinking Double Dare and You can’t do that on Television.

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