Fun With Cannons

Terrifying weapon, or delightful plaything? You decide!
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Europeana

What is it about a huge barrel that makes you want to climb in or on it? 

I don't know, but let me tell you, you're not the first human to experience the feeling, according to a great set of photos posted on the Europeana history blog.

Just look at that guy up there. Even his mustache is smiling.

German marines love barrels, too. (Check out the guy peeking out from the viewport.)

Basically a sitcom waiting to happen (Europeana). 

British shipmen did them one better, though, sitting on this massive weapon mounted on a super-Dreadnought ship.

That's a big gun.

Turn-of-the-century ladies love cannons, too, in a genteel way.

Annapolis Naval Academy cannon (LOC)

The mascot of the Queen Elizabeth battleship turned the gun barrel into a catwalk.

Cat on a cannon (Europeana).

And, of course, who could forget that goats love barrels!

Goat on a cannon (Europeana).

As a weapon, a cannon is terrifying. As a climbable sculpture, it's hilarious!

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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 Web site 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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