Picture of the Day: Qaddafi's American-Jet-Crushing Golden Fist Sculpture

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Muamarr Qaddafi spoke to (or perhaps at) the people of his country today on Libyan state television. Al Jazeera English rebroadcast the feed with a translator. Intercut with Qaddafi's various rantings and ravings, we were shown a few street scenes including this one of a sculpture in Tripoli. It shows a golden fist crushing an American jet, and may have been commissioned after Ronald Reagan ordered airstrikes on the country in 1986.

It's not the first time the sculpture has made an appearance on the world stage. Qaddafi managed to get French President Nicolas Sarkozy in front of it for a photo op a few years ago. The sculpture apparently stands outside a building destroyed by American forces during the Reagan-era raid and from which Qaddafi appears to be giving his speech.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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