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"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes, which can be made, in a very narrow field." -Niels Bohr

These words frame the OH CR4P! blog, a place which encourages engineers to discuss, reminisce, and learn about mistakes, failures and mishaps made by those who have become "experts" the hard way.

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November 16, 1996: The Buffalo Jumbotron Accident

Posted November 16, 2006 8:23 AM by Steve Melito
Pathfinder Tags: engineering failures

On this day in engineering history, a Sony Jumbotron collapsed at Buffalo's HSBC Arena. The eight-sided, $4-million scoreboard fell onto the ice hours just hours before a National Hockey League (NHL) game between the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins. The accident happened minutes after the Sabres finished practice, when technicians moved the Jumbotron remotely. No one was injured, but the hockey game was postponed.

The Sony Jumbotron is one of the largest vacuum fluorescent displays (VFD) ever built. The largest model ever used was 33 feet tall and 110 feet wide – and cost $17 million. Because of the Jumbotron's size, its resolution is relatively low. Each display element consists of three or six cathode ray tubes (CRT), each of which represents a pixel. Computer-driven message centers can program announcements or advertisements, and show game-related graphics.

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Previous in Blog: November 7, 1940: The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapses   Next in Blog: Thanksgiving 2006: Smoked, Fried, or Roasted - But Not Burned
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