Offbeat

30
Jun

Oldest Theme Parks

BBC: Shaney Hudson writes about the first “Theme Parks” known, in a cool BBC travel article.

Why read the article? Apart from being a good light read, it actually imparts some very interesting and (I’m guessing) very little-known facts.

I’ll share a few spoilers here to whet your appetite for the entire article.

FTA: While most people assume amusement parks are an American invention, their roots are in fact grounded in the Old World. Many of Europe’s best-known theme parks are centuries old, evolving from upper class “pleasure gardens” — public spaces that included recreational activities in the 18th and 19th century — to established tenants of local culture.

So, what kind of time-frame are we talking here? How about: The earliest Theme Park still in operation today, “Bakken” near Copenhagen in Denmark, was first opened in 1583. Yes, they had rollercoasters and giant mice even back then no, no they didn’t. What they did have? Well, it seems you could drink from an invigorating natural spring water source and see the best shows and entertainments of the times. To really seal the deal you could also buy and see demonstrations of the hottest new trending products and services peddled by hawkers and vendors just like today. Ok, so there was no rollercoaster in 1583 but Bakken does still have an old wooden rollercoaster built in 1932!

How about this, want to know where the original Ferris Wheel was born?

FTA: The world’s oldest Ferris wheel, the Riesenrad, is located in Vienna’s Prater Park. The 212ft structure has been synonymous with the city since it was erected for Emperor Franz Jospeh’s Golden Jubilee in 1897 on the old Imperial hunting grounds. The wooden, wagon-shaped gondolas rotate on a large steel frame offering panoramic views of the city and surrounding fairground; the interiors are covered in graffiti left by lovers and rebels over the decades..

For a travel article, it’s a quick but more-ish read of some nicely organised info and a pleasant sense of history to boot. Worth a visit for at least a few dozen extra interesting and noteworthy facts whether or not you’re planning to travel Europe to see the oldest theme parks.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20120626-europes-grand-old-theme-parks

 

28
Jun

New theme park quirks – via Wired

Wired: Joseph Flaherty has a quick run-down on some interesting twists coming to theme parks this year.

My pick: Why go see the article? The roller coaster video.

First up, an extreme bent on the roller coaster called the X-Flight for Chicago where riders practically fly. Check out the video there. Second thing on the list, an odd ice cream dish called FruktSno which is shaved at high speed onto the plate giving a unique texture. Last of the 3 items examined is a weird little 3D scanner object.. your face on a Star Wars figurine.

Source: http://www.wired.com/design/2012/06/theme-park-design/

3
Jan

mental_floss Blog & 10 Notable Staircases

http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/17063

World’s most dangerous stairs! Catchy, fun and not recommended for anyone in consumer society who may be over the age of 60, or on drugs. (It’s a niche market). But I’d love something like this in my house. Maybe it’s because I like to try to walk upside-down the stairs.

3
Jan

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

http://www.huxley.net/bnw/

EXT. DAY. A SPACE STATION
George Orwell
Are we there yet?
Aldous Huxley
We need to up your dooooose of happy pez!
George Orwell
B b b but I am heppy 🙂
Aldous Huxley
You only THINK you are happy
George
Then, I don’t require extra therapy?
Huxley
No. Yes, you don’t and immediately
Orwell
Oh good for a moment there..
Electric jolt ZZZZZZZZZZTTTT
Huxley
There that was nice yes?
Orwell
Mawy had a wittw wamb.

Now that’s so much better.

Please stop reading propaganda – your GREAT grandchildren will thank YOU servant~!