Blowing the feathers off a chicken

In a 1975 monograph called Chicken Plucking as Measure of Tornado Wind Speed, Bernard Vonnegut considers what might happen to a dead chicken if it were fired from a cannon. He explains: “One way of estimating the wind in a tornado vortex is to determine by experiment what air speed is required to blow all the feathers off a chicken, a phenomenon known to occur in severe storms.” …

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.

BONUS: Another Bernard Vonnegut project: The smell of tornadoes.