Why Are These People On Top of the Washington Monument?

Yesterday, daring structural engineers went up the Washington Monument and rappelled down the monolith to inspect each individual stone for any damage that happened during the earthquake. It looks ball shrinkingly fun.

According to WAMU 88.5, there are climbing experts inside the monument "monitoring the pulleys and anchors that fasten the rappelling system" that wraps around Washington's tip of the 555 ft obelisk. I guess that's safe enough!

The engineers are armed with mallets, masonry tools, bags, digital cameras and...an iPad. I guess if there's nothing like hanging off the Washington Monument while playing Angry Birds? More seriously, it's super neat that they're using common technology to survey and catalog the damage. The engineers are expected to keep inspecting the monument until mid-October. Hope they stay dry! [WAMU 88.5, BoingBoing, Image Credit: Dan Ruff's Flickr]