Thanks be to the Flying Spaghetti Monster for the Cronk of Higher Ed. That is all.
Researchers at the U.S. Marine Academy’s civil engineering labs have determined that the designers of the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge were not responsible for that structure’s spectacular 1940 collapse.
“It’s those videos,” commented Dr. Ramsey Archer, head of the research team. “Millions of people have seen footage of the bridge’s gyrating plunge over and over again, ad nauseam. Very cool to watch, but it’s lousy science.”
Dr. Ramsey’s idea was to have cadets, as the Marine Academy’s students are known, build a 1/200th scale replica of the bridge and reproduce the winds that destroyed it.
The research team did not offer any firm theories as to what caused the original bridge’s demise.
“Maybe terrorism,” said Capt. Hale Vessel, associate chair of the Marine Academy’s civil engineering department. “Or maybe the paint they used corroded the cables. Who the heck knows? Anyway, at least nobody died. Though it is a shame about that little dog.”
Students participating in the study received credit for a senior practicum in structural mechanics, a course colloquially known as “Hoist and Duck.”
“It was a great opportunity,” commented one of the students. “And almost as much fun as blowing things up.”