Today's the anniversary of Thomas Edison's vicious electrocution of a live elephant in order to prove the dangers of Nikola Tesla's alternating current and the safety of his competing direct current.
When the day came, Topsy was restrained using a ship's hawser fastened on one end to a donkey engine and on the other to a post. Wooden sandals with copper electrodes were attached to her feet and a copper wire run to Edison's electric light plant, where his technicians awaited the go-ahead.
In order to make sure that Topsy emerged from this spectacle more than just singed and angry, she was fed cyanide-laced carrots moments before a 6,600-volt AC charge slammed through her body. Officials needn't have worried. Topsy was killed instantly and Edison, in his mind anyway, had proved his point.
A crowd put at 1,500 witnessed Topsy's execution, which was filmed by Edison and released later that year as Electrocuting an Elephant.
The Wall Street Journal reports that human error is still a factor in potential cockpit door breaches.
Charles Ross recorded himself removing stop signs for sweet, sweet YouTube views. He found an audience in the local police who pranked him back with a 3rd-degree felony charge.
Advances in Atmospheric Sciences reports that flying is going to get more and more turbulent, even at cruising altitudes, because of climate change:
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