Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Knife Edge Wires

make telephone wires with sharpened edges
 
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How often have you spotted a pair of gym shoes dangling by their laces from an overhead telephone wire or other type of cable that spans the width of a street? These hanging shoes are often used to mark out drug dealing or other gang related territory.

Dangling trainers will become short lived with the introduction of Knife Edge Wires. These are transmission wires that have been generated in a flattened format instead of the usual round profile. The ribbon edges are then hardened and serrated.

From now on, the swinging action of anything draped over this type of wire will come to a comparatively rapid end, as the sharp edges of the wire gradually eats through the offending strands or laces.

xenzag, Jun 25 2020

Urban legend https://www.snopes....nguage-of-sneakers/
Debunking sinister sneaker stories [kdf, Jun 25 2020]

Related: https://www.google....mgrc=GgZ7MVgT4FTYcM
The Yandi Boot Tree [pertinax, Jun 25 2020]

Better yet... Old-Tennies_20Street-Lights
install lighting in old pairs of shoes, powered by induction, installed in the usual manner. [FlyingToaster, Jun 25 2020]

Dielectric Strength Values of Several Plastics https://omnexus.spe...dielectric-strength
[Voice, Jun 28 2020]

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       Sorry, no - for multiple reasons. You’d have to form a cutting edge even with insulating sheath on the wire. And keep it aligned so the sharp edge always contacts the laces. And maintain the edge & alignment over the entire length of the wire, which could be hundreds of feet per segment. And not interfere with signal or current, or physical strength.   

       And about drug dealing and crime? Urban legend (link).
kdf, Jun 25 2020
  

       First of all I have direct experience of living in streets marked out by hanging shoes by paramilitaries, some of whom I went to school with and played football with in the neighbourhood park. Secondly, the centre part of the wire that carries the signal is unaffected by having two serrated edges. A ribbon wire will twist and turn and never remain completely static, same as an elastic band won't maintain its flatness over distance. (Now I know why 8th took a break..... I may join him as this place is really tiresome now. There's little humour; or comprehension of irony. Come back Max!)
xenzag, Jun 25 2020
  

       Cue, arms race: kevlon-reinforced shoelaces
pocmloc, Jun 25 2020
  

       Bad for bird feet [-]
Voice, Jun 25 2020
  

       Workers would have to wear steel mesh gloves and body armor to avoid being cut.   

       Perhaps new cables could be sleeved in an electrically conductive product that insane current could be run through to temporarily heat it and burn through the shoelaces.
whatrock, Jun 25 2020
  

       Excellent, and educational. I've seen them before and didn't know how or why they got there. This will satisfy my curiosity and the point will be moot. Win-win I don't believe the other explanations.
blissmiss, Jun 25 2020
  

       A really edgy magnetic field material? to release electron hangups.
wjt, Jun 26 2020
  

       Surely a more logical solution is to mandate a minimum weight for shoes, to make them too heavy to throw over overhead wires or, if a person was successful in throwing them that high, heavy enough to weigh the wires down such that the shoes could easily be removed by someone of average height?
hippo, Jun 26 2020
  

       An alternative solution would be to have the cable covered by rollers. Without the friction of the laces on the cable, the shoes would become unbalanced and slide off immediately or after some time.
xaviergisz, Jun 26 2020
  

       This just made me want to hang a fluorescent tube from high tension power lines. Suitable heavy arrow, very non conducting cable and attached tube. And of course, a good shot.
wjt, Jun 27 2020
  

       //Bad for bird feet// Rubbish. I'm a life long member of the RSPB and would never post an idea that would be harmful to any bird. They might land on it and feel a bit uncomfortable then take off again, but birds are smart enough not to remain clinging on to something that is causing them an injury. Shoes, by contrast have little wit, and will remain until their laces are severed.
xenzag, Jun 27 2020
  

       //I'm afraid 8th has taken off to the same place as Max.// How do you know this? [kdf]
xenzag, Jun 27 2020
  

       Surely if we just removed the insulation from the wire & perhaps upped the voltage a little ordinary wire would suffice.   

       Assuming sufficient ocasional blusteriness to allow the shoes to bridge between two adjacent wires once in a while of course.
Skewed, Jun 27 2020
  

       Reminds me of a sad case or actually two. As an officer in the Israeli army, I was serving in the ancient city of Hebron in 1988 or 89. This city had expelled its Jews under the early Roman Christian rule around 300 CE and then had a small population of Jews under the Muslim rule since the takeover around 690. The Jews were allowed to go up to the 7th step of the Hassmonian and then Herodian fort on the "Cave of the Patriarchs". In 1929 the Arab mob slaughtered the Jewish residents of Hebron entering the religious school (Yeshiva) and the students believing they should continue studying the holy words just kept on studying while their throats were slit. The Jews fled, and then there were no Jews living in this Jewish city until 1967 following the Six Day War.   

       The renewed Jewish presence in the city was attacked time and again, and around that time there were three young American Jewish students murdered one of them stabbed in the stomach followed by a horriffic death.   

       So I felt quite right in being the Jewish force watching over the small Jewish population. And at that time, the Arab residents were mostly friendly, many working in day Jobs in the Jewish towns, and most speaking good Hebrew.   

       At that time I felt we were a true democracy and that given the chance, the Arabs or more precisely the Muslims could live with us under fair rule with equality, better than anything they would ever offer us.   

       It was way before Goldstein, before the Oslo accords and at the beginning of the first Intiffaddah Arab uprising. They were throwing shoes on the electricity and telphone lines with attached PLO flags writing graphiti. A particularly large writing calling for the murder of Jews was next to a gas station on the new road to Jerusalem. In the gas station was the owner, an elderly respectable and quite heavy man sitting in a rocking chair. I spoke to him firmly with my gun in back, and gave him an hour to clean it up, thinking he'd send a worker of his. He came himself with blue paint (the color of the Israeli flag), and was going over the writing repeating the letters, making them even bigger. At first when I saw him I was surprised, but then when I realized what he was doing I was impressed, remembering the Life of Brian. He saw my smile and smiled back. But I told him I can't leave it like this. So I took the paint and wrote in giant Hebrew letters Rotzim Shalom (we want peace. It remained there for several years.) A day later the newspapers had big headlines about Shulamit Alony, the head of the left party saying that she was shown that the Arabs began writing Rotzim Shalom, and that it started in Hebron and was copied to many other places....   

       Later on that day we were driving through a nice looking area and I saw a large PLO flag dangling from a pair of shoes on a telephone line. Some kids had started building a roadblock but dispersed when we came. At the intersection a short man in his 40s remained. I asked him what he was doing and he, perhaps mocking my lame Arabic, answered that he was a teacher (I meant to ask what he was doing THERE). I told him to get the flag down. How? he asked. I gave him a long wooden stick we had in the jeep and I rolled a large metal barrel over. He got up on the barrel and started trembling. I remember myself thinking "what is he scared of". He picked the stick up towards the flag and then I realized he was afraid of being electricuted. I started saying that there is nothing to be afraid of, its not an electric line, and he's using a wooden stick but then noticed his wet pants. I'm embarrassed to say that I frequently change the ending in my mind to a hug that I gave him, but in truth he pulled the flag down, and the two officers, me and my collegue (who was an aspiring leftist polititian - don't ask me what he was doing there or why, I was a right- wing religious-party voter) embarrassed, drove off.
pashute, Jun 29 2020
  

       {Insert respectful silence here ... }
pertinax, Jun 30 2020
  

       ... huh, I feel like I've just had a beer with an interesting person at an airport bar half-way around the world.
bs0u0155, Jun 30 2020
  

       on the idea, You can hang a reasonable weight off shoelaces over a pretty sharp knife with no real cutting. Installer/repair technician injuries would certainly increase however. Maybe just have no overhead wires? There are so many in the US, you become blond to them, only a trip to England reminds me how ugly they are.
bs0u0155, Jun 30 2020
  

       //you become blond to them//   

       See!?! Another effect of EMF radiation! Hair discoloration!
RayfordSteele, Jun 30 2020
  

       Reminds me of the home made bolos I made with some bailing twine & two half bricks, the ones with the holes through them, that thing sat on those wires for four or five years before the frosts finally rotted the twine through.
Skewed, Jun 30 2020
  

       I would like the screen rights to [pashute's] life please.
blissmiss, Jun 30 2020
  

       //bailing twine & two half bricks,//   

       Bailing WIRE and you're onto a real weapon. There's something about the half-brick as a projectile. It might be just the right size/weight for a human throw, availability etc. As a younger chap I once made one disappear over the horizon. We welded a spark plug into an old cast iron gas pipe, filled it with oxy-acetylene mix and hammered a soft old half brick down inside with a scaffolding pole until we felt some compression. We hid, cranked the van and Whoooshhh! It wasn't mentioned on the news, so I guess we just bombarded a bit of field, it went an awful lot farther than we thought though.
bs0u0155, Jun 30 2020
  

       So it was you!   

       I'll send the bill!
pocmloc, Jun 30 2020
  

       Correction...I want the movie rights to [bs0u0155]'s childhood.
blissmiss, Jun 30 2020
  

       //an elderly respectable and quite heavy man sitting in a rocking chair//   

       The character you describe reminds of a Palestinian I was working with last year, here in Australia. Obviously not the same person (wrong generation, different life history), but he had a similar attitude.   

       It occurred to me that he might be touched by your story.   

       Would you be at all interested in making contact with him, if it could be arranged?
pertinax, Jul 02 2020
  

       The 'flag' story is funny. Any attempt at removing flags where I live results in twice as many being put up by the next day, and this can keep escalating. Flags are ephemeral and in my experience it's best to just look the other way when you see ephemeral things you don't like.
xenzag, Jul 02 2020
  

       [xen] do you play the "I spy book of flegs" game with extra points for seeing a new design that no-one has ever seen before?
pocmloc, Jul 02 2020
  

       I have seen many flag variations.....
xenzag, Jul 02 2020
  


 

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