Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Got a Rocket in My Pocket


Turned down as an applicant for the first "Teacher in Space" flight offered by NASA in hopes of reviving a somewhat flagging space program (fortunately, as it turned out!), I've always been interested in maximum g-force. Roller coasters are about all I can manage, despite the fact that space tourism has, well, taken off, so to speak. At a dollar per ride, the Zippin' Pippin is about as thrilling as it gets locally. Traveling to major amusement parks is a possible plan, but sticker shock concerning admission prices might be a determining factor...I DO love roller coasters, though.
Many people I know are convinced that death awaits them while engaging in such an activity, but the truth is that lightning-strike deaths occur more frequently. According to the BBC, the odds are 300 million to one that a person will die as the result of an amusement park ride. It is estimated that in this country between 1994 and 2004, riders climbed aboard amusement park thrill rides 1.7 billion times...and the industry average was four deaths per year. Compare that to the average of 39 deaths per year in this country as a result of lightning strikes, and one begins to have a clear picture of the overreaction of those namby-pambies..
For the rest of us, it's the thrill of sudden acceleration or the liver-lacerating shaking of wooden coasters or the sudden plunging drops that take the scream and shove it back down our throats that is the allure. But, if you think you've had the biggest and the best...think again.
Ferrari Land, an amusement park in Abu Dhabi modeled after an Italian racetrack, features the Formula Rossa: a ride that accelerates from 0-62 mph in a scant two seconds and reaches maximum speed at 149 mph over the course of the ride. OMG! But that pales in comparison to a ride at Fuji-Q Highland Park in Japan. This baby, using a jet-assisted compressed air launch will hurl passengers from 0-107 mph in an artery-busting 1.8 seconds. yes. seconds.
Like fabulous drops that have your colon slipping out of your mouth? Go to the Six Flags park in Jackson, New Jersey, and you can be treated to a ride on the Kingda Ka coaster and plummet 418 feet on one drop. The scream won't even leave your lips on this one.
However, the best may be yet to come. In production but not yet bought by any amusement park is something called the Vomit Comet, pictured above. This ride screams along a rail, shoots straight up, then falls backward. OK, this is not a new concept; however, the effect guaranteed by this ride is that the riders will experience weightlessness (just like the astronauts) for 8 seconds.
Try counting slowly to 8, and you'll realize that it is a seriously LONG time. Look for this ride somewhere soon!
But don't eat lunch before riding on it.

2 Comments:

At 6:37 PM, Blogger UpsideDown Kate said...

You did NOT just use OMG in a post!

Besides the egregious use abbreviations, I'm so glad my daughter is a roller coaster fan (she went on her first last summer), I was scared I'd always have to do it alone as Jesse gets positively green.

 
At 6:37 PM, Blogger UpsideDown Kate said...

You did NOT just use OMG in a post!

Besides the egregious use abbreviations, I'm so glad my daughter is a roller coaster fan (she went on her first last summer), I was scared I'd always have to do it alone as Jesse gets positively green.

 

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