Friday, January 19, 2007

More Signs of the Failure of our System of Higher Education

A writer for the student newspaper at the University of Minnesota, in what is supposed to be the first of a series, writes about his exposure to the 9/11 "truth" movement, by comparing it to... wait for it... Jenga.

Jenga is a popular Hasbro game from the 1980s.

It's a game of skill in which small hardwood blocks are stacked in a tower formation - 54 blocks arranged in 18 stories - and players remove one lower block at a time from the body of the building and place it on the top of the tower. The player who causes the tower to collapse loses the game.

The idea of the structural integrity of tall buildings is well represented.

But even if a Jenga tower does indeed fall, it will topple over and to the side - it will NOT neatly collapse straight down without resistance into its own placement, and in a beautifully symmetrical fashion, like a certain cluster of humanity's finest feats of structural engineering in Lower Manhattan were somehow wont to do on a crisp, clear morning nearly five and a half years ago.

Then to make it worse, he continues this silly metaphor to to completely misrepresent the events of 9/11.

It was clear that mere moments before their respective virtual implosions - nine to 10 seconds before in each case, actually - the 110-story steel structures had shown no signs of imminent collapse, such as characteristic sagging or tilting.

There were relatively sequestered fires visible in the crash impact zones - between the 78th and 84th floors of the South Tower, and between the 93rd and 98th floors of the North Tower, according to USA Today - but the towers stood stalwart as ever, with no worrisome leaning or shaking.

Uhh, excuse me?

No sagging or tilting?

To quote the NIST report summary:

At 10:06 AM, an NYPD aviation unit advised that WTC1 would come down and that all emergency vehicles should be moved away from it. At 10:20 a.m. observers in NYPD helicopters said that the top of the building was leaning; and at 10:21 a.m. they said that WTC1 was buckling on the southwest corner and leaning to the south.
Maybe he should spend more time reading the scientific study of the collapse, and less time playing children''s games?

The author writes about his reaction to the events of that day:

September 11 was my second Tuesday in college, and I can remember standing with at least a hundred fellow students in front of a hastily arranged TV projection in a classroom in Murphy Hall, completely disoriented by the nauseating pictures I was seeing.
Hmm, maybe we should read something into the fact that he still has not graduated, nearly 5 and a half years later....

Update: Since some people were asking what his major was after my admittedly snarky "5 1/2 years" comment, according to his myspace page, it is theater arts. I am not going to say anything...


At 19 January, 2007 09:17, Blogger CHF said...

the 110-story steel structures had shown no signs of imminent collapse, such as characteristic sagging or tilting.

How can people lie like this?

Do they not think they'll get caught?

At 19 January, 2007 09:29, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, not that I'm bragging, but I've been in College since June 2000.

At 19 January, 2007 09:49, Blogger James B. said...

LOL Roland. It was early, and I hadn't had any coffee yet, I was feeling especially snarky. I got my BA in 2 1/2 years, all you slackers should be able to keep up. ;-)

At 19 January, 2007 09:51, Blogger Richard said...

I shot a lengthy email to him last night briefly covering what he said. Hope it made a difference.

At 19 January, 2007 09:54, Blogger Alex said...

Yeah, that's not really an insult, it depends on what he's studying.

Also, the Janga analogy is better than most of the crap that these fools come up with. The only part where he fails miserably is in not realizing that, unlike a Janga tower, the WTC actually has a tiny bit of open space inside. You have to wonder whether he's ever actually been inside any sort of building before.

At 19 January, 2007 10:01, Blogger James B. said...

A search of the UM website shows the author appearing in a Midsummers Nights Dream, so I would assume he is a liberal arts major of some type. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

At 19 January, 2007 14:49, Blogger Simon Lazarus said...

If you watch the coverage of 9/11, and take a good look at each tower 10 minutes before, up to the collapse, you will see the buckling which accompanies such a collapse.

Anyone who doesn't see it is delusional.

At 20 January, 2007 00:12, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL Roland. It was early, and I hadn't had any coffee yet, I was feeling especially snarky. I got my BA in 2 1/2 years, all you slackers should be able to keep up. ;-)

Hey, no offense taken. I'm graduating in May. Besides, I had to change my major twice because of grades.

At 20 January, 2007 11:01, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did that dumbass Fetzer claim to teach at Minnesota. I see he left some contagious idiocy when he retired.

At 20 January, 2007 22:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey now, his idiocy didn't rub off on everyone. I am also a student at the University of Minnesota, and I read this paper regularly. Thanks for pointing this out to me, guys. I plan on writing in to the paper now to make sure that his nonsense is addressed appropriately. It might also give me a good excuse to publish a link to the 9/11 Debunker Guide in our student paper!

At 20 January, 2007 22:37, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A U of M student has already written this letter to the editor:

Adri's recent column, "The Jenga hypothesis, or how I learned to start worrying" is completely moronic. First off, his "Fisher Price My First Theory of 9-11 Skepticism" is just a rip-off of some other idiot's theory. His comparison of an actual building to a Jenga tower just adds another layer of stupidity. Each floor of a Jenga tower is made of solid wood, obviously, and can't collapse straight down.

A building is, shockingly, mostly empty space, and therefore can, and usually does, collapse straight down. The analogy is completely unjustified.

The original theory is badly flawed too. Do you know how much 12 stories of the WTC weighed? Me neither, but it's a lot. The idea that the lower floors would have been able to slow that entire mass is ludicrous. The lower floors may have slowed the descent of some of the debris, but couldn't nearly lengthen the entire collapse. As for his mysterious, jacket-forgetting Swedish friend, I don't think he was qualified to decide whether the collapse was possible or not.

There are other problems with the column too, but I think I hit the main ones. It's sad to see people buy into internet videos and conspiracy Web sites like this. Adri's article is an embarrassment to the Daily.

At 20 January, 2007 22:48, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha, the funny thing is that I just figured out that I know the guy who wrote that letter. I have another ally at the U of M!

At 21 January, 2007 06:23, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I have another ally at the U of M!"

I'm sure you have plenty of allies at U of M, the problem is getting them to speak out.

This idiot Mehra is promising more articles. If you want to comment on his current piece of trash or any future ones, apparently you only have one shot, so make it your best.

At 21 January, 2007 09:15, Blogger James B. said...

I suggest the author contact the University of Minnesota Department of Civil engineering to get their opinion on his "Jenga Hypothesis". That should make for an interesting article.


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