And from the "No Shit, Sherlock!" file
May 3, 2000 6:59 AM   Subscribe

And from the "No Shit, Sherlock!" file comes today's entry:

Inadequate wiring of logs and weak oversight of the building of a "complex and dangerous structure" were factors to blame for the deadly bonfire collapse at Texas A&M University last fall, an investigation commission said Tuesday.

Funny, I thought space aliens had done it, working with Elvis and Bigfoot.
posted by Steven Den Beste (3 comments total)

I think this all depends, really. My understanding of it was that the students were all crawling up the damn thing. Would the logs have fallen if the students weren't playing King of the Hill?

Was it the responsibility of the Log Wiring Technician to build it strong enough for students to climb on? Or just to build it strong enough to burn like a mother?

posted by furled at 8:54 AM on May 3, 2000

Well, the students have to crawl all over it to build it, and that's the problem. It doesn't build itself. And not only would it be too expensive to have contractors build it every year, it's actually a point of pride for the students (and alumni).

They just have to decide whether a point of pride is worth the risk to life and limb.
posted by dhartung at 9:21 AM on May 3, 2000

As someone more familiar than the average bear with the oddities that are Texas A&M traditions, I can tell you that 1) they have been building the bonfire for over 90 years,

2) The bonfire has only fallen twice pre-burn and the first time, no one was even around it,

3) While there always has been alcohol involved in the process (It's college students we're talking about), the building process is taken very seriously and the level of engineering talent pooled together for the process is unparalled in the "real world",

4) the media sucks. They painted this to be a frat-boy drunk fest akin to letting a 3 year old play with matches. They completely ignored points 1-3.

I know I'll get questions for #3 so let me explain. On even the largest projects, how many top notch structural engineers do you have on the project? Texas A&M is one of the foremost incubators of architectural and enginieering talent in the world. For each bonfire building event, you have most of the best of breed at the University involved as well as many standouts from the Alumni, who are producing every day in the real world.

I feel great sadness for all of those involved in this tragedy and am disgusted at the angle-straved reporters and those who cry in ignorance to tear down a proud tradition.

I'm a Longhorn (Texas), and have many friends and loved ones who are Aggies, although I don't usually let that slip out in conversation.

posted by fooljay at 7:46 PM on May 3, 2000

« Older Rich to get richer   |   Never, NEVER, NEVER tell someone Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments