Thursday, 11 October 2007

You might as well live

Excellent New Scientist article on means of dying, from lethal injection (not of concern to Grapes 2.0 readers) to ze geeohteen. It has some marvellous sentences, pulled right out of context:

A single penetrating wound to the femoral artery in the leg might be less painful than multiple fractures sustained in a motor vehicle crash.
So that's probably the one to go for.
Beheading, if somewhat gruesome, can be one of the quickest and least painful ways to die - so long as the executioner is skilled, his blade sharp, and the condemned sits still.
So try to remember.
A high fall is certainly among the speediest ways to die: terminal velocity (no pun intended) is about 200 kilometres per hour, achieved from a height of about 145 metres or more. A study of deadly falls in Hamburg, Germany, found that 75 per cent of victims died in the first few seconds or minutes after landing.
Well which is it -- seconds or minutes? I think it would make a difference, as you lie there like a woollen sack full of jam while passers-by gawp.
They eventually adopted the "long-drop" method, using a lengthier rope so the victim reached a speed that broke their necks. It had to be tailored to the victim's weight, however, as too great a force could rip the head clean off, a professionally embarrassing outcome for the hangman.
Not to mention the red face for the prisoner.

The poast title comes from here.