Anti-terrorist demonstration in Jinan, China. (BigPicture)
When the lovable Segway was unveiled, who would have guessed that its chief street use would be a platform for cops and soldiers. Here’s Paul Saffo on the phenomenon:
It is always fascinating to see once-cuddly technologies turn dark. Consider the Segway, that sweetly geeky gizmo that was supposed to drive autos out of our cities and save the planet. Well, Segways have arrived, but instead of transporting happy auto-eschewing citizens on their daily errands, the Segway has become the personal chariot of cops adopting the gyro-stabilized two-wheeler for patrol and crowd control work. Seqway-riding security dudes are turning up at airports and convention centers, and now are finding their way into the security mix at lock-down events like the G8 Summit and the upcoming Beijing Olympics. No cuddly here, just pure menace, like the rent-a-samurai in full battle rattle riding a nobby-tired industrial Segway at the this month’s G8 summit (pic below). Watching the transformation is like discovering that one’s favorite teddy bear has fangs and a taste for human flesh. Before long, I’ll bet we’ll see squads of Segway cops in full riot gear running down fleeing demonstrators at some future anti-globalization demonstration.
Some of the pics Saffo has collected and captioned:
The G8’s rent-a-samurai and his timid sidekick.
I wonder how the Segway handles recoil? (Flickr)
The Ventura county sheriff’s gyro-bomb squad. (Segway)
A Segway with training wheels for the vertically challenged.
Last one to the Dunkin’ Donuts is a rotten egg!
And a few others:
In Mexico City (Jason)
You need a good belt. (Wilisms)
Nice off-road tires at Yale University (Yale)