Speed Reads

don't look down

Why the 1WTC window washers were up there in the first place

When two window washers were left dangling from scaffolding outside the 69th floor of One World Trade Center, many people wondered: In our high-tech world, why are humans still doing such a dangerous job in the first place?

It turns out that when it comes to window washing on tall buildings, a human touch is actually better than a robot's, expert Craig S. Caulkins told the New York Times.

"Buildings are starting to look like huge sculptures in the sky," said Caulkins. "A robot can't maneuver to get around those curves to get into the facets of the building."

At a news conference Friday, window washer Juan Lopez joked he might stick to washing windows closer to the ground, but Juan Lizama said he would be happy to get back up there.

One reporter asked the men a particularly pressing question: "Did you take a selfie?" Nope.