Direct Science Action

October 14, 2011

Rheanna Sand


My favorite sign from the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in New York so far was the one that said "YOU KNOW THINGS ARE MESSED UP WHEN LIBRARIANS START MARCHING." Go librarians! But what can science do for the courageous, pissed off 99 percent at Liberty Park? Well, besides getting out of the lab and joining them (which I would totally do if I was there), these new discoveries might come in handy. After all, this struggle could take a while.

1. Artificial muscles - all that linking arms and passive resistance be damned! What peaceful protesters really need is a few hundred feet of electrolyte-covered nanotube yarn to bind them together and to the occupied territory. Sure, this nano-yarn is designed for micro-fluidic chips, but why not supply the masses with fishing line that can create 1000 times the torque of an elephant's trunk?

2. Tiny cameras - nothing makes police brutality more unlikely to happen than millions of eyes watching, which is why bulky cell phones and cameras are often targeted for seizure or destruction. But try seizing a camera so small it could be sewn into your shirt! The tiny square on a chip has "angle sensitive pixels" that require no lens or motors, enabling the shrink down. The drawback at this point is resolution - a mere 20 x 20 pixels isn't going to identify badge numbers anytime soon.


Even vampires love tiny cameras!


3. Tiny radios - while the People's Mic has been a clever and effective detour around the "no amplification" rule, there would be a huge advantage to the group being able to hear each other. Why not outfit everyone with a radio earpiece? We already know that a nanotube can be made into the world's smallest radio, so why not make a million of them into earbuds and let communication flow freely without disrupting poor, annoyed Wall Street?

Now, whoever is reading this, wherever you are, make your voice heard tomorrow on October 15th in solidarity with OWS!



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