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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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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