austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Dig the seagull fly across the sky

As we wandered about the other pier -- Funtown Pier -- we saw probably a better diversity of rides, although it would have been hard to have had more fun at that one than at Casino Pier. As we didn't get around to buying new tickets too we spent more time looking at the rides and logically deconstructing them, as for example the Arctic Circle Himalaya -- here, ``Arctic Circle'' is the name of the ride, and ``Himalaya'' is its genre. (Well, maybe not. Apparently it's called a ``Himalaya'' only by some manufacturers, and the same idea is a ``Music'' or ``Musik Express'' or a ``Silver Streak'' from other manufacturers.) The cars roll around the light display and the decor is inspired by polar bears and glaciers and penguins, which implies that the penguins are foreign talent.

There are also several Ferris Wheels, which I point out as a bit of pride since my graduate school, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, produced the person who invented the modern Ferris Wheel, George Washington Ferris. I grant that the name sounds like one you would make up if you had no idea that there was a specific inventor or what his name might be. You can practically hear every panic-struck cartoon child giving that name as a bluff. And we speculated about the meaning of a couple of tall towers, only to be horrified to learn they were part of the Sky Coaster. In this nightmarish ride, the passengers are strapped into a harness, the harness strapped to wires, and the harness swung from maybe a hundred feet up, down to precariously close to the ticket booth, and back up again, and only gradually lowered when, we assume, the ride operators' demands are met.

Other acrophobic-terror rides are the Tower of Fear (that may be tautological), and the Slingshot. I had been talking again about the Reverse Bungee only to discover that Funtown Pier had its own Reverse Bungee, here called Slingshot. Theirs is only a two-seater, rather than Singapore's three-seater, and I don't know if you can get a video CD of the experience, but it brought what spaceroo and I had ridden very dramatically home. It looked scarier here than the similar thing had by the Singapore River.

Trivia: In the wake of France's occupation of the Ruhr in 1923 and major flooding along the Siene, Pierre de Coubertin discreetly arranged for the 1924 Olympics to be relocated from Paris to Los Angeles in case of a general European war or financial collapse. Source: Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement, Editors John E Findling, Kimberly D Pelle.

Currently Reading: The Arms of Krupp, 1587-1968, William Manchester. Gads. It was depressing even given that I knew I was going in reading about the leading German arms manufacturer for the Second World War.


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