How can I make a biodegradable adhesive in a paintball-like form-factor that's durable but would break if thrown.

Scenario: you're riding your bike. A car cuts you off. You have a little hopper full of these balls and have the presence of mind to get one out and throw it at the car. It sticks to the car. When the driver gets home, he sees it. Inside of the clear adhesive is a laminated piece of paper or something durable with a link written on it. The driver goes to the website and reads instructions about how to be a better bike-friendly driver. They wash the adhesive off with no damage done to the car. They become more conscientious drivers.

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Brilliant idea. The idea of tagging idiotic drivers has been around for a while, but your take is pretty unique and I like it. My personal thought was lobbying the municipality to allow the use of paintball markers and some sort of code. I.e. Red means the guy was doing something dangerous to others. Blue means the guy was holding up traffic. Yellow means you suspect he may be guilty of a fashion crime... etc. Of course, we may see an awful lot of very colorful cars on the road in our future. Back to your idea... The paper might not need be laminated. It all depends on what substance you embed it in. Water-based goop will likely destroy it, but there are other chemical alterntatives. Of course, this changes the problem of cleanup but it might not be that bad. I'm thinking glycerin or a petroleum jelly should be safe enough for this. The outer shell can be moulded in half-sphere molds, and assembled later. Depending on your shell material, they would either be pushed together like capsules or fused together. The material would have to be thin and light and strong enough to handle but weak enough to break with a quick toss.
I've often wished of a way to digg-down bad drivers, or digg up good ones. If there was some sort of network transponder in each car and you had some kind of heads up display that showed data on the cars in your area, you just had to pick a car and rank up or down that person. You could also instantly see what kind of driver a person is. You could use this to determine weather someone accidentally cut you off, or if it's something they do all the time. Probably reduce road rage as people could digitally punish the offending driver versus following them and beating the stuffing out of them later
A thin paste made of cornstarch or flour can become quite sticky when cooked to translucency.

I see a few problems, though:
  • A speeding car will be long gone by the time you notice it, decide to launch the ball, get the ball out, and launch it
  • If by some chance you were successful, the driver is quite likely to whip out a cell phone (while still speeding along, of course) and call the police on you
  • It might also turn out that the driver of the car in fact is a police officer
There are some places where people are encouraged to report drivers making illegal manuevers. The hard part is getting the plate # or identifying them in some other way. Either way, it's theoretical more than anything.
how about a handlebar-mounted camera to get the plate #
Actually, that's a good idea. A very wide-angle or fisheye lens on a durable video camera would capture a lot of information about anything in front of you, including what it was the other driver did wrong (video evidence). Even better would be a set of cameras covering behind you and beside you as well. There's no reasons one couldn't hack it together out of some cheapo digital cameras (or webcams and a portable computer). My old HP camera could record continuously for something like 27 hours with a 2gb memory card. The primary problems are power and durability.
DrBrown8 years ago
We live in age of road-rage. If he didn't care about endangering you the first time, he might be inspired to try another crack at you. If you really intend to do this, first go to your old Super-Man comics, enroll in the Charles Atlas body building program advertised in the back, and trade the ten-speed in on a Fat-Boy.
jtobako8 years ago
You forget the part where the bicyclist is arrested for throwing things at cars, or is sent to the hospital because someone didn't instantly realize that the glue was temporary and beat the whosit out of them. Nice idea, but the world doesn't work that way: )