Popular Mechanics ran a remarkable article offering its readers advice on how to topple statues and “bring that sucker down without anyone getting hurt.”
The article, written by James Stout, glibly starts out, “It hasn’t been a great past few weeks for statues” and then goes on to explain the best techniques to bring them down “should you happen to find yourself near a statue that you decide you no longer like.”
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Editors at the magazine seemed concerned about legal ramifications for running the article and added a disclaimer that said the article was only intended to “describe the physics and mechanics of removing statues.”
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“Popular Mechanics is not encouraging anyone to remove any statues. There is a risk of injury whenever you try to remove or destroy a statue, even if you were to apply information presented in this article,” the disclaimer read.
Ben Shapiro, the conservative commentator, tweeted, “I look forward to Popular Mechanic putting together a primer on how to make a Molotov cocktail.”
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Another Twitter user seemed to cheer the magazine on, and said, “Popular Mechanics is here with news you can use.”
The article goes on to interview experts who explain the physics behind toppling a 3,500-pound statue. One mechanical engineer said—all things considered—it would take about 70 people “with a bit of muscle.” If you don’t have 70 buddies, in some cases, using a butane torch could help weaken a bronze statue. The article also clarifies the best way to break the statue from its base. The article also mentions drilling a hole in a statue and pouring in liquid nitrogen.
The article reads, “And here’s a fun bonus: The liquid nitrogen will quickly turn to a gas and come shooting out of that hole you drilled, says Harrison, which will almost certainly cause a high-pitched squeal. “One could imagine it sounding something like the sound a confederate general would make if their feet were on fire.”
Chris Harrison is a chemistry professor at San Diego State University.
Joe Concha, the media reporter at the Hill, tweeted out the story and said, “Naah. They’re no activism in journalism…Popular Mechanics publishes how-to guide to take down statues ‘without anyone getting hurt.’”