A Hung Man is Good to find, A hanged man, Not So Much

Shoelace-mistaken-for-noose-causes-racial-uproar-at-Michigan-state-university. Further investigation revealed that the offending knot (pictured above) did not possess the prerequisites for a “Hangman’s Knot.” A University spokes weasel took one has shot saying.  MSU spokesman Jason Cody said in a news release, adding that the shoelaces “are packaged in a way that someone could perceive them to look similar to a noose.” 

Someone could look at Jason Cody and perceive that he had a pair of balls and the ability to holler “Bullshit!” They would be wrong.

In the interest of education, I have included a short U tube presentation on how to tie a hangman’s knot. Contrary to popular belief a hangman’s knot did not have to have thirteen wraps. It had to have an odd number to make the know finish off properly. Six to eleven was considered sufficient.

During the Nuremberg Executions, the United States Army experimented with the knot and the placement of the knot. The theory was that the large knot would aid in breaking the condemned prisoner’s neck or at least knock him unconscious. The Army conclusions are not available. However, in article http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/3042/isthere-an-official-u-s-manual-on-how-to-conduct-a-hanging we gain some insight into how the Army did at Nuremberg.

It turns out that gravity is the solution. It’s not the fall but the sudden stop that completes the task. Hangman used to use a three-foot drop. They found out that many clients survived the initial fall only to strangle to death over the next twenty minutes.  In England, the condemned often tipped the hangman, in an attempt to avoid such an eventuality. Executioners kept notes, talked among themselves, and eventually came up with “drop tables” that favored a long drop of six to nine feet. The drop tables took into consideration the prisoners weight, height, and build to arrive at the appropriate fall distance.

I don’t know how far Tom Ketchum fell, but while in custody he allegedly gained fifty pounds.

Executions are still more of an art form than a science, Saddam Hussein’s half-brother, Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, using a drop of nearly eight feet and yanked his head off.

So for the benefit of University of Michigan students let’s recap.

The hangman’s knot is a knot, but not all knots are hangman’s knots.

It is the drop that finishes the task. Step stools and chairs are probably inadequate for the task. Also, keep in mind that modern ropes have a stretch factor built in, you must keep this in mind in your rope selection. Hanging is one of the only ways you can go organic. Just make sure that ropes made in foreign countries are free trade certified. Some organic ropes to consider sisal, manila, hemp, and cotton.

I’m going to help Jason Cody, University spokesperson, and ball-less wonder and suggest his statement should have been. “Our investigation has revealed that an incredibly stupid and immature student is unable to differentiate between a shoelace knot and a hang man’s knot. This is understandable since the only requirement for entry to our fine institution is the ability to sign student loan documents. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that this student will be any brighter for having attended the University.”

Hanging it’s not just for outlaws!