Asking For a Friend: What Does It Take to Pull Down a Statue?

Go Nakamura via ZUMA

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I have an engineering question. As we all know, the violence this weekend in Charlottesville originated in a proposal to move a statue of Robert E. Lee that was erected in 1924. That got me wondering: what does it take to pull down a statue like that? If I had, say, a big pickup truck, could I tie a cable around the statue, attach it to the trailer hitch, and gun the engine? Would that bring it down? How about two pickup trucks? Or does it take a lot more power than that?

How about smaller statues? Would it work on them? It would be illegal and potentially dangerous, of course, so probably it’s better for cities to just take down the statues on their own.

But I’m still curious.

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This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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