Eleven years ago today, I was in Disneyland. I found I had just as much fun as a 27-year-old with two kids as I’d had when I was six, despite now knowing the true cost of a Churro on the grounds (I think it was something like $45).Yesterday I unearthed a relic of Disneyland’s past. Today I thought it might be fun to queue up for a few more.
The PeopleMover was a big attraction in Tomorrowland when it opened in July of 1967. Its name summed up its purpose admirably – these were little cars on a track, and they moved people. Think roller coaster, but with no inclines, no sharp turns, and speed that would ruffle nary a stray hair. The PeopleMover was presented as the public transport of the future. The cars never stopped; you stepped on or off the ride via a giant rotating platform at the station. But it was all very safe.
Almost. There was a tunnel on the ride, and about a month after the launch of the PeopleMover, some 17-year-old tried to jump from one car to another in the tunnel. He was killed in the process, much like the 18-year-old who tried it in 1980. The ride closed in 1995. And despite a grass-roots effort to get it re-opened (seriously, this is the cause some folks have chosen to dedicate themselves to), it won’t – partly because of schmucks like these who have forced stricter safety regulations to be put into place. Read more…
Wikipeida is not merely a wonderful resource for information and finding out if old celebrities are still alive (you go, Abe Vigoda!), but it can also be employed to shatter childhood wonder. Gone are the days when some guy in a top hat can convince me that there are otherworldly powers all around, and that some humans can actually control the unspoken energies of magic.
Now we have the internet. The Age of Knowledge may dispel many mysteries of the universe, but it comes at a cost for those of us who love magic. You can look up how Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear. Google will gladly reveal how he walked through the Great Wall of China. You can learn any of the standards – the interlocking rings, the woman cut in half, levitation… it seems the only way to really hang on to that sense of wide-eyed rapture about magic is to limit your internet usage to pornography.
Which, if done correctly, can seem magical.
Then there are the card tricks. Wikipedia offers a handful of them, complete with how they’re done. This entire article is one big sloppy dollop of spoilers, so if you want to keep your innocence pure, close this page and take my advice with the porn.
The article dealt to me by Ms. Wiki today looks like one of the cruddiest card tricks ever. It’s called the Acme Of Control, and it would take quite a showman (or showwoman) to convince me that this isn’t stupid. You start by showing the audience two cards. Two specific cards that you have pre-determined. You’ve taken duplicates of those cards and pre-stashed them wherever you want the reveal to be: your pocket, taped to the underside of the dog, inside your spectator’s underwear (that could be tricky). Someone in your audience tucks the two cards you showed them into the deck and shuffles it. What a surprise – the cards are taped to the dog’s wiener. You are magical, cruel, and some may say you’re somewhat disturbed. Read more…
In lieu of doing factual research on a topic – school just ended, and I feel like giving my brain a rest – I will instead be presenting blatant, unchecked opinions. Those are always so much more fun than facts anyway.
Ms. Wiki assigned today’s article to the University of Virginia. Rather than pontificate on its rich 200-year history, its triple-A credit rating, or its notable alumni (Edgar Allen Poe, Tina Fey, and Steelers’ linebacker James Farrior, to name but three), I’m going to instead take a more personal approach.
The popular website RateMyProfessors.com allows students to arbitrarily assign ratings and comments to their professors. So to all present and future Cavaliers, this can be a valuable resource for you. The internet is never wrong, so pay attention.
Drama 387: Prof. Richard Herskovitz
This is a film studies class, apparently with a focus on independent filmmakers. One critic warns, “Prepare to meet some subpar filmmakers, since he doesn’t know any real ones. He brings them to class and everyone feels awkward since no one liked their movies.”
I’m totally on board for this class. An uncomfortable discussion with 50+ students trying desperately not to tell the guy behind the podium that his movie made them want to pluck their eyes out with a long skinny fork and dip them into a pot of cheese fondue? Who wouldn’t want to witness that? It would be like taking a music appreciation class with guest lecturer David Lynch. Read more…