Will this fly?

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Will this fly?

Postby Sic Pup » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:08 pm

I've been tossing the idea about for the last couple of days of building/bringing 1 or 2 PVC traction catapults for use on deep playa.

1) Will it be permitted? I've found precedents (albeit on a much grander scale):

1998 Camp Ingenium Diabellein ...in the medieval tradition, "an ingenious contribance to throw across", will feature a human- powered trebuchet (catapult). U-Hurl. Bring forth retrievable objects and targets and project them into Outer Space.

1999 Camp U-Hurl/Ingenium Diaballein returns to the playa, ready to hurl your favorite objects across the desert. Bring over that spare watermelon, and let the trebuchet (a form of catapult) cast it free (at least temporarily) of the surly bonds of gravity.

1999 Art - Trebuchets 50 lb objects thrown 500 feet - toss (away) that reflect their perceptions of today's cultural flaws/problems/evils.

2001 Tribe / Camp Break Stuff - come and destroy shit, and launch household appliances out of a catapult.

2007 Art - Warwolf Trebuchet flaming pianos

Yet weapons are a BLM prohibited item here and catapults seem to fit the description:

"Weapon means a firearm, compressed gas or spring powered pistol or rifle, bow and arrow, cross bow, blowgun, spear gun, hand thrown spear, sling shot, irritant gas device, electric stunning or immobilization device, explosive device, any implement designed to expel a projectile,"

Does anyone know whether the precedents predate these rules or if prior permission was granted? In short, do you think this will "fly"?

2) Interactivity - most of the precedents were counterweight driven trebuchets and at most the user loaded and/or aimed the device and fired. The catapults I'm considering are human powered in that 1 or 2 individuals will have to swing the short end of the throwing arm down towards the playa to propel the object attached to the other end.

3) What were you expecting here? They would be placed on the deep playa. They would not have pockets or cups by which anyone could load anything but rather a bolt on to which a sacrificial sling would be securely tied around a tennis ball or a lighted swishy (for lack of a better term - a small baseball sized soft rubber thing that lights with motion). The catapults would not be movable or aimable other than the control of distance dependent of force exerted. There could be landing areas marked off warning of potential incoming projectiles. They would be manned when operational, when not operational the bases would remain and throwing arms would come back to camp with me.

4) Moop - the thought of 2 catapults was originally so one would not have to retrieve spent ammo, I could provide just one projectile that one unit could fire and those wishing to use the second unit would have to wait until it retrieves it to fire. Failing that a tally would be kept so no projectiles go unaccounted for (one thought was to shoot the swishies at night and allow passersby to keep them if they wanted). Obviously, once I build the catapult I will need to evaluate ammo for proper weight to maximize distance and minimize concussions.

5) Restrictions - I'm traveling from the East Coast, solo, in a small vehicle so I don't have a lot of options in terms of how big or how many units I could bring. I originally envisioned a large multpult made out of 6" x 6"'s, all rustic looking to shoot flaming projectiles at the Trojan Horse....then I woke from my pipedream.

6) I'm tossing around other elements such as a playa dartboard where shots would receive scores depending on accuracy (which would require at a minimum walkie talkies or some communication method), one manned side the other side triggered by an accurate shot that would return another tennis ball or else someone will be taking a stroll if they want to fire the thing, skeet catapult (need I say more?).

The right half of my brain tells me stop being so fucking pedantic and do this and the left keeps telling me I'm nuts for even considering this.

All comments, opinions, snark, negativity, admonitions, encouragement, derision, thread drift, youtube videos, demotivational posters, pie charts, or infographics welcome. I don't want your money or tickets just your thoughts.
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Postby Major Krash » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:12 pm

I do not speak for anyone but myself, however in the 10 years I have gone Art such as this has not been an issue legally (Indeed, Apokiliptika had a simple elastomer catapult used to hurl simulated nuclear bombs at City targets - essentially no different than what you describe except in scale and we were on a city street!)

The biggest concern I see is MOOP potential (what if they launch one and do not go get it?). Ours launched maybe 25 feet last year....
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Postby TomServo » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:18 pm

They did the rocket in 1999, why not? as long as you clean up the mess. Id check with BMORG first though.
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Postby Elliot » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:21 am

:D
Provided I am able to go this year, I may be able to contribute a piano. :twisted:

If not this year, then certainly next year.

One option is to remove the iron guts of the piano and toss only the cabinet (with keyboard) for the visual effect.
:D
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Postby VeganChoirGirl » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:39 am

Check with BMORG or get this registered as an art project. If there is question about it being a prohibited item there is a chance you could be held up in D lot by the gate until the gate staff feels satisfied that the item in question is allowed in the event. Especially because this sounds like a large item.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:11 pm

Elliot wrote::D
Provided I am able to go this year, I may be able to contribute a piano. :twisted:

If not this year, then certainly next year.

One option is to remove the iron guts of the piano and toss only the cabinet (with keyboard) for the visual effect.
:D


+1
Yeah, the iron guts are too much fun to play with.
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Postby Sic Pup » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:50 pm

Thanks all, I appreciate the input.

I'm going to move forward, build a prototype for my own curiosity, play around with it, solidify my thoughts and go from there. I checked out the application deadlines and there's time.

As much as I'd love to do pianos I don't think I'll end up there. Ultimately my motivation for doing this is to interact with others not really to provide another spectacle (although those aren't necessarily mutually exclusive are they?). I'm finding myself thinking about children playing as a RoP, I don't know, maybe huge slingshots are more in order.

Uh oh, I just searched for human slingshot on youtube....
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:12 pm

By "traction catapult" do you mean something like this?
Image

Unless you amp up the scale, it wouldn't hurl anything but a toy piano.

It would certainly be interactive.
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Postby Sic Pup » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:39 pm

Precisely, I was thinking tennis balls and swishys.... ha ha.

But the piano idea made me focus on what I wanted to accomplish so it's all good.

...besides flaming pianos are so 2007

BM 2006
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F92FQdnLlSc[/youtube]

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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:55 pm

So, I guess this is the era of cheap pianos. For a good portion of the 19th century and into the 20th pianos had a certain class meaning--I guess leisure to learn to play, a way for daughters to perform that wasn't vulgar, the family gathering around to sing. So, what do they mean now? Are they hopelessly old-fashioned and quaint? or just sort of needless and embarrassing?
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Postby socks » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:04 pm

Cryptofishist I have a piano that was made in 1905 that i would not trade for gold.
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Postby Bounce530 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:34 am

Yeah! Lets fill up the trebuchet with Ipads, pods, peeds, etc. and send those things to a firey death, then we can go back to the time of pianos, and newspapers and such.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:39 am

I suspect that anyone who wants a good piano can find one for free or very cheap, although there might damage needing repair. I'm basing this on Elliot's experience and trying to extrapolate. I think we (everyone, not just burningman) are probably killing a lot of perrfectly good pianos, and that in a generation or two they will look at us like we're crazy. Although keyboards have been around for 30 or more years, and, I assume, getting "better" all that time. And pianos take up a lot of room and need care.

I just find that interesting, and incidentally, I left that second r in deliberately, although it started as a typo.
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Postby Elliot » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:19 am

:D
I'm with Fishy and Bounce and Socks! (Ned Ludd lives!)

Most of the problems with real pianos would be solved if they had decent wheels, so they could be moved more easily.

But some -- maybe many -- are beyond repair, and best used for "fun".

(Warning; thread drift in progress.) :lol:
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:24 am

theCryptofishist wrote:... a way for daughters to perform that wasn't vulgar...

:D

Just make sure you police your MOOP. :)
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