Versatile duct tape now no-no for sealing ducts
Ventura County Star
April 17, 2002

BERKELEY (AP) -- When two scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory said duct tape shouldn't be used to seal ducts, they made national news.

Many reports took an amused look at the popular tape, which is used for a lot more than sealing ducts. The idea that the tape might not be good for its intended use struck many as hilarious.

But companies that make the tape weren't chuckling when the state issued emergency regulations based on the lab's study. The regulations prohibited contractors from using cloth-backed tape by itself to seal ducts.

Today, the California Energy Commission is scheduled to rule on an industry request for a three-year suspension of those regulations.

The request came from duct tape makers Tyco Adhesives and Shurtape Technologies, which are
questioning the techniques used in the study by researchers Max H. Sherman and Iain S. Walker in 1998.

The study said the tape is ineffective in sealing ducts because the heat shrinks and curls the tape, causing leaks. The scientists estimated the value of energy lost through leaky ducts each year in California at $400 million.

The tape makers and a trade association say that, when used as directed, cloth-backed duct tape works fine. The tape is approved by manufacturers for use only on certain types of joints, and always in conjunction with a plastic or metal collar, say industry proponents.

California's restrictions on cloth-backed duct tape became effective Jan. 1. The tape only can be used in conjunction with other sealing methods.

Copyright 2002, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved.

No relaxing restrictions on use of duct tape, says state
Ventura County Star
April 19, 2002

Sacramento- -- California has no intention of relaxing restrictions on the use of duct tape to seal air ducts.

In a unanimous 4-oh ruling, the California Energy Commission rejected a bid by tape makers to suspend restrictions on using the tape in building homes and offices.

The restrictions were imposed after a 1998 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study found the cloth-backed tape can shrivel up and fail when ducts get hot. That creates leaks that add up to millions of dollars in energy losses.

The emergency regulations forbid the use of duct tape alone to join factory built sections of flex ducting. Instead, the tape can only be used along with a sealant called mastic and collars made of steel or plastic.

Duct tape makers Tyco Adhesives and Shurtape Technologies appealed the decision, asking for a three-year suspension of the new rules. They complain the regulations discourage the use of duct tape at all.

The makers say the lab's testing techniques were inaccurate. The lab is now conducting another round of tests. A Tyco spokesman told the commission it may return in six to eight months to ask for another ruling.
(The Oakland Tribune)
Copyright 2002, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved.

“Bear-proof” suit to be put to the test
03 December 3, 2001, by Alison Motluk

A Canadian man and a three-metre, 585-kilogramme Kodiak bear will face off on 9 December, in an attempt to test a handmade, purportedly bear-proof suit.
The suit and its maker, Troy Hurtubise of North Bay, Ontario, won a 1998 Ig Nobel prize for Safety and Engineering and an entry in the 2002 Guinness Book of World Records for the most expensive research suit ever constructed.
Fifteen years of tinkering and US$100,000 have gone into the design, which incorporates plastic, rubber, chainmail, galvanised steel, titanium - and thousands of metres of duct tape.
The suit has proven itself to be virtually indestructible. It has survived two strikes with a 136-kilogramme tree trunk, 18 collisions with a 3-tonne truck at 50 kilometres an hour, and numerous strikes by arrows, bullets, axes and baseball bats. "I've never had a bruise," says Hurtubise.
But the suit has never come up against the very thing it is meant to protect against - a Grizzly bear. On 9 December, in an undisclosed location in western Canada, that will change. In a "controlled attack", the Kodiak, a larger, heavier subspecies of the Grizzly, will put it to the test. click here for the whole story

Follow-up Story: The Bear Wouldn’t Attack!
The first live tests of Troy Hurtubise's grizzly-proof suit have found that its best protective feature is its bizarre appearance. Hurtubise donned the suit and squared up to a 145-kilogram (320-pound) female grizzly last week but the bear just found it too weird.

When confronted by Hurtubise in the Ursus Mark VI suit, the bear smelled a human, but saw an alien. "There's no grizzly that's going to come near you in that suit," the bear handler told him, after he spent 10 minutes in a cage with the cowering animal.

Hurtubise has been tinkering with his bear-proof garment for 15 years and has been the subject of a television documentary and the recipient of an IgNobel prize. The grizzly test was supposed to be the first live encounter, and was part of a trio of try-outs in British Columbia, Canada. click here for the rest of the story

Duct Tape Repairs Antarctic Exhibition Sled
This news item was published Feb. 11, 2001 by the StarTribune:
The Bancroft-Arnesen Antarctica expedition, already delayed by bad weather and then a lack of wind, came to a temporary stop Thursday when one of their sleds was torn by sharp glacial ice.
Ann Bancroft, 45, of Scandia, MN, and Liv Arnesen, 47, of Norway, are attempting to become the first women to cross the continent by ski. They stopped less than halfway down the 80-mile, 8,000-foot-high Shackleton Glacier after ice ripped a three-foot tear on a sled that is carrying 250 pounds of food and equipment, Arnesen reported by phone to their expedition headquarters in Minneapolis.
They repaired the sled with duct tape and a wooden pole and searched their maps for a safer path to avoid heavily crevassed portions of the glacier where temperatures had warmed and then dropped below freezing, producing razorlike snowdrifts.
Fifty miles down the glacier is the Ross Ice Shelf, a floating slab of ocean ice bigger than France. Once the two reach that, they will officially have become the first women to cross the continent by ski and sail, but they still will need to use their parasails to cover 470 more miles to reach the U.S. base McMurdo Station. (by Jerry Zgoda)
Alligator Caught After Wandering Onto School Field
POSTED: 6:42 a.m. EDT August 27, 2002
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- An unwanted alligator has been shipped to Pender County after being captured at a Wilmington high school.

A wildlife official and a crew that included maintenance workers and a teacher used duct tape to bind and muzzle the animal at Ashley High School. It was then carted away to Holly Shelter Game Land.

Jimmy English, who is authorized by the state to remove wild animals, says developers filled in a lake popular with alligators to build the school. Now, there are only retention ponds at the site.

The incident was the latest in a busy week for wildlife officials. They've received six complaints requiring the removals of three alligators during that time.

Duct Tape recommended for biohazard prevention in "The New Yorker"
A "Talk of the Town" article, the 10/15/01 issue of "The New Yorker" endorsed duct tape as a key component in biohazard protective gear: "It's your best friend," Schwartz said [Bruce Schwartz is a warehouse manager of a company selling gas masks and other protective equipment in Manhattan.]. "You can use it to seal up your windows so nothing can seep in. You can use it to secure your bootees and gloves to your suit. It's the greatest." "Hey, do you guys have duct tape at home?" the salesman asked them [customers]. "Because that's your best friend right there."

To view the entire article, click here:
See more duct tape biohazard control; click here.

Would-Be Thief Is Duct-Taped to Pole
December 14, 2004, 5:14 PM EST

GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- A would-be thief got a taste of his own medicine in Guyana when he was caught and attached to a utility pole with the same duct tape he intended to use to bind a family and rob them, police said Tuesday.

Sabanah Gravesande, 13, was watching television at her home Monday in the capital of Georgetown when two men entered her family's house and tried to tape her mouth shut, police said.

Neighbors heard her screams as she and her grandmother scuffled with the men, authorities said. Neighbors came to their assistance and caught one of the unidentified men, tying him by the neck to a nearby utility pole with the tape until police arrived and took him away.

His legs and hands were also duct-taped as hundreds of people looked on, some openly guffawing at the spectacle.

Police said they would charge the man later this week, indicating that he was a cocaine abuser trying to raise money to support his addiction.

from The Associated Press feed

Live Alligator Shipped; UPS Probes
ATLANTA (AP) - The United Parcel Service is investigating how it shipped a live 5-foot alligator overnight to New York City.
Workers who checked out a leaking box on a company truck Thursday found the alligator, its snout and feet bound with duct tape.
"He was not very happy,'' UPS spokesman Norman Black said Friday. (Yeah, but he got there, thanks to Duct Tape!)
New York animal control officials seized the 40-pound alligator, which was not injured.
Atlanta-based UPS prohibits the shipment of live animals. Black declined to say where the animal originated or how the package was labeled. "Somebody lied to us about the contents of the package,'' he said.

P.S. It is interesting to note here that UPS doesn't allow packages to be secured with duct tape. I wonder if they will rethink this decision now that they all still have their limbs after dealing with the secret cargo? --- The Duct Tape Guys
Duct Tape Helps Wink Catch Some Winks While Alligator Awaits
A man who got lost in a Florida swamp made sure he didn't get attacked by alligators while he slept - by taping himself high up in a tree. Gemini Wink had been using duct tape to mark his trail when he went off on an alligator trek, reports the Tampa Tribune.
After taking lots of pictures of the reptiles he realised he was lost and night was falling. So to make sure he didn't get nipped in the night, he climbed a 40 foot tree, secured himself with the duct tape and went to sleep.
Police found him, still up the tree, after friends had grown worried when he hadn't returned from his walk. Police started a search, and eventually found him quarter of a mile away from his friend's house. Wink says: "I'll definitely visit again although I'll probably stay out of the swamps."

Day care sued after director duct taped child to a wall
HUDSON, Mass. (AP) - The parents of a child who was duct-taped to a wall at a day care center have sued the owner and several employees, saying the incident was part of a pattern of abuse.
The parents, along with two other families, sued A Place to Grow Inc. claiming their infants were also force-fed, exposed to infectious diseases and spent nap time with blankets over their heads.
Diane Davis, the center's director, and three employees were fired following the duct-tape incident.
According to a report by state investigators, Davis said she had been talking to a parent about the versatility of duct tape and decided to find out if it really did "work on everything." The child was not physically harmed.
The center was closed in March. Investigators said staff also quieted children by spraying water in their face and neglected to give some children their prescribed medications.
Suzanne Foley, the owner of the center, declined to comment on the lawsuits.

A Not-So-Clean Getaway
The bozo criminal for today wasn't aware of Bozo Rule #3254 which clearly states that, while versatile, duct tape isn't appropriate for every job. From Albuquerque, New Mexico comes the story of bozo Larry Hamilton who held up a dry cleaning establishment and then made what he thought was a clean getaway. Except for one thing, and that's where the duct tape comes in. Our bozo had used one strip of tape to cover up the license plate. He probably should have used two or maybe three pieces, as the tops and bottoms of the numbers were still visible. The clerk was able to decipher the plate and the cops tracked our bozo down less than two hours later. (source unknown - will credit if provided)
Duct Tape Assists in Hiding a Helecopter (almost)
A Massachusetts man, Antonio Santonastaso, was arrested for stealing a helicopter from a Norwood, Massachusetts flight school. Where and how can you hide a helicopter so nobody will notice? Santonastaso figured nobody would see it if he parked it in his neighbor’s cow pasture, put blankets and tarps over it, and wrapped the whole thing up with duct tape. Thereby, in his mind at least, making the helicopter virtually invisible. Didn’t work.--- from the Boston Globe May 31, 2000

Tuesday November 30 12:53 PM ET
Man Makes Mummy Out of His Wife
PHOENIX, Ariz. (Reuters) - Robert Horton either does not trust his wife or loves his money. In either case, he was not about to forfeit the $170 he had posted to get her out of jail. So, he took matters into his own hands. Faced with the sticky situation that she might not show up for a Monday court date, Horton grabbed some duct tape and went to work on Belinda, his 44-year-old spouse, trussing her up so that she looked like a ``mummy,'' police said.

He taped her mouth tightly shut, bound her legs from her ankles to knees and secured her arms across her chest at their Phoenix home. Then Horton, 52, placed his bound and silent wife into the family car, drove her to Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix and dropped her off at the security officer's desk as a sheriff's deputy watched in amazement.

``He said something like, 'Here she is,'' said Sgt. Dave Trombi, a sheriff's spokesman. Witnesses said she looked like a mummy.

Authorities said the woman was arrested Nov. 19 for investigation of obstructing a highway or public thoroughfare, aggravated assault on a police officer, failing to obey a police officer and resisting arrest. She was released five days later.

This time, there was no resisting. Trombi said she would not even talk to authorities once they performed the delicate task of removing the tape. Authorities said they were considering whether to bring charges against her husband.

Trombi said the moral of the story is a simple one: ``Read the warning on the duct tape label -- it's intended for everything other than human use or abuse.''

We’ve always held that Duct Tape in the wrong hands (or stupid hands, in this case) is a dangerous weapon. - Jim and Tim

Duck Tape Drunk Restraint
In a small town on the west coast of Vancouver Island, a roll of duct tape saved the day. One night after a local dance, a drunken stranger decided to steal the town's only fire truck in the middle of the night. Fortunately, the caretaker heard the commotion outside and chased the man down as he was about to drive away. The caretaker wrestled the stranger to the ground but he had no way to restrain him for any length of time. Another person came to assist and they found a way to restrain the stranger until the police could come the next morning. With no rope to be found, they duct taped the would-be fire truck robber to a telephone pole in the middle of the parking lot where he remained for five hours until the authorities arrived!! --- submitted by Glen Smith

From the Pioneer Press (Twin Cities, MN) Mon, Feb. 11, 2002
Surviving on Duct Tape, Adrenaline
by Tom Powers
Pioneer Press Columnist

It is well known that most guys have a fixation with duct tape. Why fiddle with tiny clamps or messy glues when a nice wad of duct tape will hold almost anything together?

It works on everything from water pipes to rake handles to coffee cups.

"Honey, there's a hole in my sneaker. Where's the duct tape?"

Now we discover that it also is an important tool in the Olympic sport of skeleton. Beginners often wrap themselves in the silvery wonder to make sure they don't lose a body part while careening down the frozen track.

"There is a lot of duct tape involved," said Chris Soule, recalling his own first run. "Arms, shoes, anything I could cover with duct tape. In the beginning stages, people will use it all the time."

That's because this is not a delicate sport.

"You could smash your head," noted Soule, a member of the U.S. men's team. "I've pulled a guy up off the track after he got knocked out."

They are the Olympic daredevils, sliding at speeds in excess of 80 mph, headfirst, down an icy, curved track. Beneath them is a tiny sled with runners so low that the slider's chin often touches the ice.

Bobsledders are virtually encased in their sleds. Lugers ride feet first. In skeleton, the sliders go face first. They wouldn't have it any other way.

"Bobsled is the champagne of thrills," said Jim Shea, one of Soule's teammates. "Skeleton is the moonshine of thrills."

"There is nothing like this!" said Tristan Gale, a 5-foot-2 pepper pot from New Mexico. "Everyone should try it at least once!"

Perhaps taken aback by the disbelieving looks directed her way, she added: "No, seriously."

Well, let me check my life insurance policy. I want to make sure I'm covered in case I depart this earth via an act of foolishness.

In fact, there is some debate as to why the sport is called "skeleton." One theory is that the sled sort of resembles a skeleton. Another is that's all that is left of you at the end of the run.

"Skeleton is the same in all languages," said Gale. "Say 'skeleton' in Europe and you get the same look you get here: 'You're crazy!' "

Members of the American team have several things in common. First, they admittedly are adrenaline junkies. They love the rush that accompanies their bullet-like flight down the track. They smile in delight when they talk about the G-forces that make it difficult for them to lift their heads during a run.

"You finish and your eyeballs are huge!" said Gale. "It's such a blast."

Second, they all experienced the same sensation at the completion of their first-ever run. That's the critical moment. Either people stagger to their feet, wait until they stop shaking and then hurry away as fast as they can. Or they want to do it again.

Members of the Olympic team all wanted to do it again.

"I haven't told my mother yet," team member Lincoln DeWitt said with a laugh. "She was pretty nervous until she saw it. Then she was really nervous."

"I have been cliff-jumping, mountain-bike racing, I've done a lot of crazy things," Soule said. "You really can't compare this to anything else."

Those with Olympic-level talent insist the sport is not dangerous. They know how to shift their weight properly to negotiate a turn. They also are experts at keeping their chins, as well as other important body parts, firmly attached.

"It's safer than people think it is," said Soule.

That could be true because most of us consider it about as safe as walking into a biker bar and announcing: "If somebody doesn't move that Harley from in front of my Oldsmobile, I'm going to kick some butt."

The competition takes place on Feb. 20, and the American team isn't favored to win any medals. Those probably will go to the Europeans. But that could change in a few years. The sport is rapidly gaining popularity in the United States.

That's not hard to understand. Picture a kid going down a hill on his sled. Is he going feet first or headfirst? Exactly. So it's a natural for youngsters.

In a few years, some of those boys and girls will make their first skeleton run at an Olympic tryout camp. They will start one-third or perhaps halfway up the track. Nobody ever makes his or her first run from the top. The heart palpitations would be too great.

From there, it's up to them. If they want to do it again, they have potential. And it's not a real expensive sport, either.

All it takes to get started is nerves, a sled and a few rolls of duct tape.
©Pioneer Press /

Duct Tape mends broken buckle, wins bronze metal for snowboarder Chris Klug
Of all the problems Chris Klug has faced in the past few years, a broken ski-boot buckle didn't rate very high. So instead of panicking when it snapped just before his Olympic bronze medal run, he worked a little magic with duct tape and a piece of metal and let 'er rip.
The buckle held. When he slid to a stop after blazing down the parallel giant slalom course, Klug could barely believe he had won an Olympic medal only 19 months after receiving a liver transplant. Philipp Schoch of Switzerland won the gold and Sweden's Richard Richardsson the silver. (from a story by Rachel Blount, StarTribune Staff Writer)

Glad simply to be alive, let alone at the pinnacle of his sport, liver transplant survivor Chris Klug put a whole new twist on the notion of an Olympic miracle.
Using duct tape to bind together a broken boot buckle for his final race, Klug persevered and won the bronze medal Friday in parallel giant slalom snowboarding. (from an AP story by Eddie Pells)