Foucault Pendulum Update

FOUCAULT PENDULUM UPDATE….LA Times reporter Bob Pool goes the extra mile and does what I didn’t: he picked up the phone and asked Edwin Krupp, the director of the Griffith Observatory, why the pegs were missing from their Foucault pendulum:

Krupp denied rumors that health or safety inspectors were responsible for initially banning observatory workers from the pendulum pit. Instead, observatory officials themselves decided to change the procedure after repeated pit entry began damaging the enclosure’s decorative stone and glasswork, he said.

Well….OK. Pool also reports that the observatory folks are busily constructing a brand new peg setter upper: “It will be radio-controlled, using the same type of technology found in remote control toy cars. An arrow will also be used to show where over the pit floor the pendulum was previously swinging.” I was hoping for a specially trained chimpanzee to swing down into the pit and reset the pegs in order to earn banana rewards, but I guess this will do instead.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation