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.
Last month, London's Gatwick airport (the second busiest airport in the UK) was closed for several days after drones were sighted in its airspace.
A man with knife made a bomb threat at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam today, and was ‘overpowered’ and arrested by Dutch police. Departures and Arrivals in the airport’s hall 3 were evacuated, but have since reopened. Here’s what happened.
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