This is the story of missed opportunities.
Silly String has no website.
Capacity LLC hides the story on their site.
Soldiers in Iraq undoubtedly died because it took a year for this problem to be resolved – thanks to bureaucratic stupidity.
This story would have been a perfect opportunity for social media to make a difference – if the parties involved had only known how to use the free tools available online today.
Silly String can help soldiers detect deadly invisible trip wires of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Yet It took nearly a year for Marcelle Shriver, the mother of a soldier stationed in Iraq, to get 80,000 cans of Silly String shipped to servicemen and women because the string comes in an aerosol can. Aerosol cans are considered a hazardous material, and can only be shipped by specific companies.
Capacity LLS of New Jersey, one of the companies authorized to ship aerosol cans to Iraq, heard that Mrs. Shriver had 80,000 cans of Silly String stockpiled in a warehouse, and came to the rescue. But they have the story buried on their site in PDF documents which have to be downloaded to be read.
The sad thing is that Silly String has been used in this way for more than 40 years, and yet the shipments were delayed and deaths surely happened as a result of this bureaucratic BS.
According to Wikipedia
“Silly String and similar products have long been used by American and British forces to detect tripwires for explosive booby traps. To use it in this manner, the soldier stands in the doorway and sprays the material over the suspect area. If the string falls to the ground there are no tripwires. However, if there is a tripwire, the string will be suspended in the air without pulling the wire.”