Public: Litter
Powerline Sneaker Remover   (+1, -1)  [vote for, against]

My town has numerous examples of powerline sneakers - a pair of sneakers whose laces were tied together and thrown up there to hang forever from the powerline. (I realize in Europe they actually bury powerlines, depriving you there of this art form.) Some (namely me) don't appreciate this art form, so I invented the Powerline Sneaker Remover, consisting of a spear-like object that can be thrown at said sneaker laces, slicing them in two and releasing the sneakers back to Earth. The cunning bit is how to provide quick enough cutting action to sever the laces on a single pass, without endangering the powerline itself. The soon-to-be half-patented solution is to build the front end of the spear into a wide Y shape, like the top of a slingshot, and install anode and cathode of a plasma arc generator, creating a plasma arc between the two end points of the Y. Plasma will have no trouble slicing the laces when a good throw is made. A camera and microprocessor will detect if the device is heading for the powerline instead of the laces, and shut down the plasma before any damage accrues. An optional sensor will be soon available to be installed for detecting neighborhood cats who might be in the way on the downward trajectory.
-- sqeaketh the wheel, Nov 25 2012

Pictures of sneakers on powerlines
[sqeaketh the wheel, Nov 25 2012]

Why bring them down ? Old-Tennies_20Street-Lights
[FlyingToaster, Nov 26 2012]

more reasons than I ever knew!!!
[xandram, Nov 26 2012]

(?) forked arrowhead http://www.medieval...2d-Forge-Black.html
for [norm] [pocmloc, Nov 26 2012]

Skip to the 2:00 mark.
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 29 2012]

There is an arrow tip called the guillotine that will decapitate a turkey. That would probably work.
-- nomocrow, Nov 26 2012

It is well known in many neighborHOODS that those sneakers signify that a drug dealer is in that area, so I'd be careful who's sneakers you shoot down!
-- xandram, Nov 26 2012

//more reasons than I ever knew!!! //
See? Who says the HB is not educational.
-- sqeaketh the wheel, Nov 26 2012

In this neighbourhood, sneakers on a powerline signifies that somebody got a new pair of sneakers.
-- FlyingToaster, Nov 26 2012

[bigsleep], thanks for the Whop! Song.
-- sqeaketh the wheel, Nov 27 2012

Just wang up the power for a few seconds, and the laces will melt or burn through.

Alternatively, you could do a good public service by removing them yourself, [squeak]. You will need a long lightweight pole which, for reasons of safety, should be made of a good conductor such as aluminium. Before using it to hook off the sneakers, it's important to touch it onto the wire to discharge the high voltage. After that, no harm will come to you.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 28 2012

[Max], I had to read those instructions twice to get their full impact. I was shocked that you would suggest using an aluminium pole. A copper pole would work much better, and I am heading out right now to try it.
-- sqeaketh the wheel, Nov 28 2012

// shotgun //

… or a flamethrower? Much quieter, more entertainment from accelerant-doused footwear flaming 'in mid-air' …
-- 8th of 7, Nov 28 2012

OK [Max], I am back, but it didn't go so well. Before I could apply the copper-pole method, some fool dressed up in some kind of sci-fi costume burned through the sneakers and the wires using a flamethrower!
-- sqeaketh the wheel, Nov 28 2012

-- 8th of 7, Nov 28 2012

//A copper pole would work much better// True, but copper is a bit unwieldly. If you're concerned, just remove your footwear and stand on damp ground.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 28 2012

//I was shocked that you would suggest using an aluminium pole. A copper pole would work much better//

Picture this [link] but with you between it and the ground.
Helicopter retrieval would be way more fun.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 29 2012

random, halfbakery