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austin_dern

September 2017

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Making my humor blog's big weekly pieces be a bunch of how-to articles this month has strangely relieved me of my deepest problem: thinking of what to write. Have you seen what I've written recently? Try this if you haven't.

Let's get back to Cedar Point Halloweekends. That's a fun time and place to be.

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Mean Streak, several weeks after its closure, and partly torn up for its renovation. The roller coaster train underneath is from Maverick.


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Old West-themed building near Maverick, which itself is at the end of the Frontier Trail. The 'White Water Coal Co' suggests to me the White Water Landing log flume ride, itself taken out a decade-plus ago to make room for Maverick. There's several bits of park decoration that have increasingly faded White Water Landing logos or references but since they're all in the Old West part of the park that just makes them fit the theme better.


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Entrance to the Frontier Trail at night on Halloweekends. For the Halloween season the trail is dressed up to this steampunk walk-through attraction and making the trees look like that is part of the show.


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Entrance gate of the Steampunk thingy on the Frontier Trail at Halloweekends. It hasn't got started quite yet, which you can tell because there's not lasers shooting out of the eyes.


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Brass-plated (well, painted) swan on the Frontier Trail as part of the cyberpunk thing. The swan had been part of the Swan Boats ride; others of the swans were sent to Michigan's Adventure. This one went into seasonal performances instead.


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Rally of the haunted-house/haunted-walkthrough-area performers at the Luminosity stage. This was new this year, with all the performers gathering for a good send-off just before the witching hour of 8 pm.


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One of the performers on the Luminosity stage, set up outside the Iron Dragon roller coaster, in a show that we were a little too far away to hear quite clearly what was going on.


Trivia: In the early 1940s Orlando Scott offered lie-detector screenings of potential employees to high-volume clients at $15 per interviewee. He pledged to test for ``integrity, intentions, loyalty, competency, intuitiveness, stability, alertness, efficiency, ambition, vocational stability, sabotage, etc''. Source: The Lie Detectors: The History of an American Obsession, Ken Alder.

Currently Reading: The Global Transformation of Time, 1870 - 1950, Vanessa Ogle.

Wrapped up another week on my humor blog. If you aren't reading this on your favorite RSS reader or already, here's a helpful reminder:

Some more puttering around from the reunion weekend last year:


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The main fountain in the Richmond (Indiana) rose garden. Just a really splendid example of making water fall, I thought.


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And a detail of the water fountain: that art deco-y eagle(?) perched on the inside of the fountain. I like the style.


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And then here's a bit of chainsaw sculpture by the Richmond rose garden.


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At the Glen Miller park on US 40 --- the former National Road --- is one of a dozen Madonnas of the Trail, monuments to ``the spirit of pioneer women'' erected in the 1920s by the Daughters of the American Revolution. It also happens to be near the spot of the first toll gate in Indiana, marked on the base of the statue as well as on a historical marker nearby. No, it's not named for the missing bandleader. It's a glen named for original owner John Miller.


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[profile] bunny_hugger spots someone as she tries taking a photograph of the Madonna of the Trail.


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Really interesting pile of late-Victorian house that's seen better days but maybe is being renovated? It's across the street, to the west of the Madonna of the Trail, right where she can glower at it.


Trivia: In 1842 London had eighteen public gasworks and twelve public gas companies, burning about 180,000 tons of coal annually to supply gas to about 134,300 private burners and 30,000 public or street customers. Source: The Age of Paradox: A Biography of England, 1841 - 1851, John W Dodds.

Currently Reading: Creditworthy: A History of Consumer Surveillance and Financial Identity in America, Josh Lauer.

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I'm happy with the last week in my humor blog. Are you? Here's your chance to find out, by reading one or more of:

Now let's continue with photographs of [profile] bunny_hugger's reunion weekend last year.

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In search of origins: Carpenter Hall, where the English department that [profile] bunny_hugger started at was, and where the Philosophy department that she ended at was. (None of the professors she'd worked with were in, although the English professor who'd been her first mentor was having her retirement party and, stunningly, remembered her.)


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More origins: the philosophy department at Earlham, shaded and mostly quiet for the weekend.


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The mastodon skeleton that's one of the prides of the campus's museum.


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The giant beaver skeleton that's one of the centerpieces of the campus's museum, and the focus of legends about the fire at the library that forced a professor to run, in his nightshirt, into the flames and carry out the skeleton.


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Also at the museum: the skeleton of a giant sloth. Which is more giant than you realize. This isn't a trick camera angle; I was holding it at my normal eye level and it was still a good five feet up.


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Less stunning: a taxidermied raccoon on display at the museum. Which may not be anything that special, but isn't that a cute face?


Trivia: In November 1903 the Wright Brothers discovered their Flyer was 75 pounds heavier than they had expected. They also discovered their propellers produced about fifty percent more thrust than they had expected, a pair of errors that cancelled one another out. Source: Taking Flight: Inventing The Aerial Age From Antiquity Through The First World War, Richard P Hallion.

Currently Reading: Acceptance, Jeff Vandermeer.

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And my humor blog? It got through the week, the way most of us did. As your RSS feed had it:

So what did we do for my birthday last year? We spent it ...

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At Kokomo's: the bumper boats ride, on the left, and in the distance, their roller coaster, the Serpent. The family entertainment center gives off every sign of having been ready to become a minor amusement park before the 2008 fiscal crisis reminded us what happens when we let Republicans run things. Notably, there's a lot of space between most of the amusements and the roller coaster, enough space for a Ferris wheel, a Musik Express, a Scrambler or other attractions. Maybe someday ...


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Me getting arty: since those low-angle shots on golf balls worked so well at the Lugnuts ballpark, why not try it at a proper miniature golf course?


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[profile] bunny_hugger on the Kokomo's miniature golf course, which we visit one or two times every year and never tire of because it is so weird and challenging and bizarre. I mean, the thing has water hazards you're supposed to drop your ball into. What's with that?


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Breezy day at the miniature golf course: tall grass at Kokomo's, with ripply water hazards behind, and even the roller coaster in the extreme distance.


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Once again, I get arty. The view from the ground of what had clearly once been part of the water hazards of Kokomo's miniature golf course, but that was channeled off and made dry. The golf course shows many signs of alteration over its history, not all of which can be put into an obviously logical narrative.


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The last thing your miniature golf ball sees before becoming a one-stroke penalty.


Trivia: The Latin zodiac sign Sagittarius, the Archer, was in Sanskrit `Dhanus', and in the Babylonian scheme `Name of God'. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.

Currently Reading: Sail and Rail: A Narrative History of Transportation in Western Michigan, Lawrence Wakefield, Lucille Wakefield.

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And how's my humor blog going? It's been like this:

And now let us lay Mean Streak to rest, last month.

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The start of the funeral procession, moving from the now-closed Mean Streak to the rides graveyard at the front of the park. The blurry figure on the track is one of the trains on a return leg, going on even after the eulogy for the ride has been completed.


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The mob: all these many people moving with the pallbearers, putting Mean Streak to its official rest.


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And yet another train still running on Mean Streak, as we hung back towards the end of the pack.


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Last view of Mean Streak, as we decided we didn't want to wait for the final train of all to run, and we also didn't want to miss the official burial at the front of the park. Yes, there's another train still running on the track (look at the center-left).


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Construction people hustling the ride's entrance sign through the pack of funeral onlookers. They didn't actually knock anyone over, but came near enough, and my attempt at warning [profile] bunny_hugger they were coming didn't help her prepare in the slightest.


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Mean Streak's main entrance sign, set in front of its ceremonial pillar in the rides graveyard, and in front of an open grave. Something or other was put in during the ceremony; we couldn't hear a thing anyone was saying, and the crowd was too big for us to actually see what was being put in.


Trivia: Ancient rock and meteorite evidence suggests Earth's original atmosphere had about as much neon as nitrogen. Today there is about 60,000 times as much nitrogen as neon. Source: Oxygen: The Molecule That Made The World, Nick Lane.

Currently Reading: A Gambling Man: Charles II's Restoration Game, Jenny Uglow.

Wrapped up another week on my humor blog. Here's what ran, in case you missed it at the time:

So Cedar Point has announced what they're doing with the former Mean Streak, and what the new ride's name will be, and it defied my expectations by not being Vicious Streak or what it should have been, Winning Streak. Instead it's completely non-streaky. The name is Steel Vengeance, and the ride comes with a backstory about it being the personification of JRPG lawmakers come to seek revenge on Maverick, the next-nearest roller coaster, that's a representation of a horse. Unanswered: wait, vengeance on a horse?

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And the entrance to Mean Streak's queue for our second and last ride on it that day. I notice with sadness that the approximate wait time for this, the last chance anyone would have to ride this, was still only 45 minutes.


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Green train returning towards the entry queue. Please admire what I did with light and color there.


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From the vast infield of Mean Streak. Again, please admire what I did with light and color there.


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Yellow train climbing the second major hill of Mean Streak.


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Footers for the roller coaster with suspicious-looking pink dots of spray paint. Note the other footers that don't have dots on them. This means something.


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Mysterious wooden post marked RMC 118 stuck into the ground near one of the footers. This means something. Well, specifically, the RMC all but surely means Rocky Mountain Construction, since RMC is the outfit that turns wooden roller coasters into steel coasters. I'm not sure if Cedar Point had announced RMC was doing the conversion at the time, but it's kind of like guessing that maybe the voice actor doing that wacky-sounding cartoon animal was Frank Welker? The 118, who knows what that could mean?


Trivia: New York City adopted the orange, white, and blue of the 17th Century Dutch Flag for its own city flag in 1915. Source: The Island At The Centre Of The World, Russell Shorto.

Currently Reading: A Gambling Man: Charles II's Restoration Game, Jenny Uglow.

Another successful week of humor blogging! I mean that it was done at all, not necessarily that what happened was what I might have wanted to have happen. Anyway, if you didn't catch it on your RSS reader device of choice, you can still see what I had, here:

Now back to our penultimate ride on Mean Streak, last year:

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Part of the return leg of Mean Streak, as seen from the queue within. Good chance most of this structure is still there, but it'll look different.


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Looking more directly up at the launch station and part of the return leg of Mean Streak.


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Underside of Mean Streak's launch platform. I can make out the mechanism for the gates guarding the entry queues, but don't blame you if you can't. They're a series of slight metal pipes about one-third from the top, all laying horizontally and joined by vertically aligned bolts. This lets them all open and close simultaneously.


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The end of the queue, which wasn't all that long. Notice the alarming sign all ready for use on top of the trash bin.


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Anticipation. Mean Streak's trains would descend into the station, a sign that the ride really was built higher than it needs to be. All that potential energy of an extra ten-foot-or-so drop was used for nothing except rattling the superstructure.


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Mean Streak Henry, who'd ridden this roller coaster more than 16,000 times according to the sign in the station and his T-shirt. He was there, far as we can tell, all day, filling in a second seat for lone passengers. He was in high demand that day.


Trivia: The word ``resolve'' meant, by 1398, ``to dissolve, to break up''. By 1571 it had extended to include ``break up, dispel, or remove'' as an a doubt or difficulty, which leads to its current meaning. Source: Semantic Antics: How And Why Words Change Meaning, Sol Steinmetz.

Currently Reading: The Money Men: Capitalism, Democracy, and the Hundred Years' War Over The American Dollar, H W Brands.

Want to know how my humor blog kept up its regular postings despite my cutting corners to make time for that Pinburgh event? I'm not going to own up to it but maybe you'll work things out if you study what I did post. Since last Thursday it's been:

And now in photos back to Cedar Point, in September, and the last day of Mean Streak as an operating roller coaster. Cedar Point still hasn't announced what exactly they're doing with its skeleton. We know the rough plan, but not all the details.

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Our best parking spot ever at Cedar Point! We got there early to make sure we'd get in on time for the Mean Streak Farewell ceremony, and this got us to the park more time before opening (in the evening, as it was a Friday in September) than we'd ever done before. So we got in the first row, behind only the Preferred, the bus, and the handicapped-access parking.


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Cedar Point's main entrance, decorated for Halloween (above) and with the display sign telling everyone of how Mean Streak was closing for good. They're almost ready to start letting people swarm into the park here.


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Guy in the center wearing the black t-shirt issued to commemorate the closing of Disaster Transport, back in 2012. Going to go ahead and guess he's a roller coaster enthusiast and that he got one or more rides on Mean Streak that final day it had.


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[profile] bunny_hugger stopping off in the Rides Graveyard, part of the park with monuments to park rides that have since been taken out. There would be one for Mean Streak added to the graveyard that day. Note the ``fallen'' Sky Ride car number 13 in the background. The graveyard is underneath the path of the Sky Ride.


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Oh, yeah, we did wander past the petting zoo/historical farm and they had the turkeys milling about.


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What I had assumed at the time was merely a test run of Mean Streak, but which I now see carried people! Don't know if they were park employees or VIPs who were getting special access to the not-yet-open ride, or if the ride were actually open that much sooner than its scheduled opening time for the night. I think the official announcement was that it would only run from the park opening time of 6 pm to its funeral service at 7 pm, but it was open to us before 6 pm and maybe it was open even sooner?


Trivia: The American War for Independence resulted in a desperate shortage of alkali in Great Britain, as imports from North America and Spain stopped. Source: The Lunar Men: The Friends Who Made The Future, Jenny Uglow.

Currently Reading: Sabrina The Teenage Witch: Complete Collection, Volume 1, Editor Victor Gorelick. (I haven't had much reading time this past week.)

PS: How July 2017 Treated My Mathematics Blog, my regular statistics check.

I'll poke back in to Michigan's Adventure right after pointing out what you've overlooked from my humor blog the past week. RSS feed mention et cetera.

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Outer bunny worried she'll come out looking silly when I finally caption this.


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Panoramic image of the main bulk of Michigan's Adventure as seen from the station of the Zach's Zoomer roller coaster, one of the park's three wooden coasters.


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Space tearing open and letting untold terrors break through and fall into the lagoon at Michigan's Adventure.


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Panoramic view of Michigan's Adventure around the lagoon, which Cedar Fair built for the park. The roller coaster on the left, Thunderhawk, was moved from Geauga Lake outside Cleveland when Cedar Fair closed that. The wooden coaster to its right is Wolverine Wildcat, a near-clone of Knoebel's Phoenix, which is one of the all-time greatest roller coasters. (Wolverine Wildcat is braked a little too much to be all-time great.)


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View of marshy lands and, in the distance, Shivering Timbers, the main (mile-long) wooden roller coaster. This is as seen from the train ride that's the only way to get along the west side of the lagoon; the park is otherwise arranged as a big C shape, and you can't walk a loop around the rides


Trivia: Railroad charters in 19th Century Maine commonly included the explicit purpose of being ``for the protection of the Northeastern frontier''. Source: The Story Of American Railroads, Stuart H Holbrook.

Currently Reading: Sabrina The Teenage Witch: Complete Collection, Volume 1, Editor Victor Gorelick. I'm not actually sure this is the best person to credit the compilation for, but there's a lot of credit given on the early pages and I'm not sure who actually masterminded the project.

PS: Why Stuff Can Orbit, Part 13: To Close A Loop, another piece of my orbital-mechanics puzzle.

What's there to show for another week of progress humor blogging and comic-strip explaining? The chance to tell you all about this:

Next, finally: my pictures from the closing day of Michigan Adventure's season last year, in early September, which is how far behind I'm running. Maybe I should pick up the pace some.

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Michigan Adventure's Mad Mouse roller coaster on a much more normal day, although at a pretty nice angle that makes it look as though it has a steep drop off the lift hill. (The ride is nearly horizontal at that point. The fun of a Mad Mouse ride is lots of sharp turns.)


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The front entrance of Michigan's Adventure as seen on its closing day for 2016. Cedar Point's front entrance got a major --- and fantastic --- renovation a few years ago when the GateKeeper roller coaster was put in, and we got to wondering if and when Michigan's Adventure would get a similar modification.


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And this is why an update to the entrance seemed likely: detail of the Snoopy figure on the Michigan's Adventure sign. That, must say, doesn't really look good. We somehow haven't been to the park yet this season so can't say if it's been replaced or repainted.


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And then to reinforce the thought of maybe new signs being a good idea: detail of the sign showing the same sort of wear and minor rust damage.


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The eternal frustration. Michigan's Adventure had put in a coffee stand, but we never saw it open all 2016. Peeking inside we could see the evidence of a stand maybe being in working order, but it was never a spot we could get coffee or any other hot drinks.


Trivia: When James A Pollack, of the Viking 1 imaging team, told a press conference on the 21st of July, 1976, that the Martian sky was pink and the wrongly-color-corrected images of the previous day were misleading, he got (friendly) boos and hisses. Source: On Mars: Exploration of the Red Planet 1958 - 1978, Edward Clinton Ezell, Linda Neuman Ezell. NASA SP-4212.

Currently Reading: Prime Mover: A Natural History of Muscle, Steven Vogel.

PS: Why Stuff Can Orbit, Part 12: How Fast Is An Orbit? and a scary bit of mathematics we dub approximations.

Let me take a break here to share stuff that's been on my humor blog the past week. I've spent a good part of it posting some Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan fiction from a decade-plus ago. It'll be finished tomorrow.

That said, how about that Calhoun County Fair?

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Poor little chicken, all deflated and set out on the cage floor between shows.


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Poor little chicken, aware that I was saying something about her and worrying that it was worse than it actually was.


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``Can I help you?'' Turkey is not at all sure about being on camera, especially my camera.


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Turkey decides to do something about my camera once and for all!


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From the fair's historical museum section: the pre-2003 corn dog frying machine. It's not an industrial-grade machine; that they got in 2003. This was their homemade contraption for frying up corn dogs and I'm charmed by it.


Trivia: Insurance companies wanted to charge $35,000 to cover the 1947 move of the 200-inch mirror from Pasadena, California, to Palomar, well outside Caltech's budget at the time. The journey was eventually insured for $1,800. Source: The Perfect Machine: Building the Palomar Telescope, Ronald Florence.

Currently Reading: Barnaby, Volume 3, Crockett Johnson.

PS: What Would You Like In The Summer 2017 Mathematics A To Z? The request lines are open! Featuring art from [personal profile] thomaskdye!

Tags:

What's kept my humor blog going the past week, besides some recycled material and a string of silly apologies for not posting my monthly statistics roundup? Pretty much that. Here's what you've been missing out on:

Last summer during the slow periods, and it's amazing to think we had slow periods, we popped over to the Blind Squirrel tavern to put in some game scores. To make the trip less obviously a ploy for pinball ratings points, we also stopped in at Michigan's Adventure on what proved to be the busiest day we had ever seen there, ever. Let's watch.

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An not-at-Michigan's-Adventure picture and one from my iPod Touch since I had that on me: the former location of Emil's and a bunch of other buildings dating back to the 1920s, cleared out and obliterated and levelled to the sidewalk. They've since put up most of the replacement building here; this is what it looked like when it looked like after you hit 'bulldoze' on SimCity.


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The most crowded and busy day at Michigan's Adventure that we had ever seen. In the center top you can see a little yellow angular thing; that's the Mad Mouse ride, and that was historically as far back as [profile] bunny_hugger ever needed to park. The entrance to the park isn't even visible from here, which is wild.


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Shivering Timbers, Michigan's Adventure's big wooden roller coaster --- more than a mile long --- well out along its path, about where we had parked. The surrounding areas are strikingly unurbanized and, you see, marshy.


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Michigan's Adventure began life in 1956 as Deer Park, a petting zoo. The petting zoo side fell away over the decades as rides came in, and the name turned to Deer Park Funland before being finally abolished in the 1980s. For the park's 60th year they put in a new petting zoo, named Funland Farm. People can come up and see animals and braid their hair and put adorable little booties on their hooves.


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``Can I help you?'' From the Funland Farm petting zoo in Michigan's Adventure and if this picture doesn't make you fall in love I don't know what will.


Trivia: ENIAC cost $650 per hour in electricity when it was not running. Source: Eniac, Scott McCartney.

Currently Reading: Sky Island, L Frank Baum.

It's a day late but here's the roundup of my humor blog pieces, as brought to your Reading page or your RSS feed. Thanks for being around for it all. I spent a lot of this week in a low-impact mode, looking over old stuff and adding a little bit of commentary to it.

On the way back from Pittsburgh and Kennywood we dropped in at Cedar Point on the day the plans to close Mean Streak were released to the world. So we made our little hour visit there mostly about going to the giant wooden roller coaster and taking in a ride and getting some documentary pictures taken.

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Cedar Point's new water tower, under construction, and getting ready to replace the old water tower. We'd follow its progress over the season and I was surprised that the nearly century-old old water tower was still up when we visited the park in June 2017.


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Final approach to the Mean Streak! That is, the stretch of path leading up to the Mean Streak. We'd make another approach to it in September for the proper farewell and last ride.


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Mean Streak's entrance and some of the great big honking pile of wood that makes up the attraction.


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Some of the Mean Streak's switchback areas, capacity for a ridership that it just never saw these days. Also some of the gorgeous major hills that it's got.


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Some of the less glorious infield of Mean Streak, showing off some more of the wonderful hypnotically soothing supports to its great swooping hills and, on the left, the return leg.


Trivia: The Latin zodiac sign Libra, the Scales, was in Sanskrit `Tula', and in the Babylonian scheme `Balance'. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.

Currently Reading: The Gem Collector, PG Wodehouse.

PS: A Listing Of Mathematics Subjects I Have Covered In A To Z Sequences Of The Past on my less deliberately funny blog. Just observing.

What's on my humor blog the past week? Stuff from your Reading page, and maybe from your RSS feed, if you didn't want to wait for this. If you did, here we go.

Let's get back to Kennywood, because that is always a correct thing to do.

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Jackrabbit, Kennywood's (barely) oldest wooden roller coaster, rolling across frame.


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Kennywood's cute little aliens. Thee's a bunch of these statues, along with some of similar aliens loading (or unloading) boxes of fun from their spaceship, and a couple just lying about, near the flying saucer-themed Disk'o ride.


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Caught a nice angle on The Phantom's Revenge here. Also some good skies that it turns out were getting ready to rain on us.


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View of Thunderbolt (and in the distance the Turtle and The Phantom's Revenge) from the altitude provided by Ghostwood Estates's launch station. This is after it had basically got done raining.


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[profile] bunny_hugger very backlit and trying to show off the Turtle ride's animated neon sign.


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So if the rain has closed your Noah's Ark ride there's probably something wrong.


Trivia: After the discovery of Neptune in roughly the location where his calculations forecast, John Couch Adams declined a knighthood. Source: In Search Of Planet Vulcan: The Ghost In Newton's Clockwork Universe, Richard Baum, William Sheehan.

Currently Reading: DC Showcase Presents: Superman, Volume 3 Editors Dan DiDio, Mort Weisinger. That's the loopy Silver Age writing I love, like when Supes and Lex Luthor reminisce about the time Luthor attacked Metropolis with a atomic-powered spinny top.

You could be reading my humor blog as part of your Reading Page or Friends Page if you liked, or by whatever method of RSS you use. Or maybe you just like these posts because it simulates archive-binging once a week. Your business. Here's the most recent stuff:

Enough old stuff. Here's Kennywood pictures!

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The pizza stand in Lost Kennywood is decorated with these miniature wagons that, an information plaque explains, were used in the 1930s to showcase squirrels, rabbits, and raccoons as part of the park's free menagerie. It's up to you whether it says more about the park that they used to show off caged squirrels for Great Depression-era entertainment or that they kept the cages for decades just in case.


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The Turtle ride, one of only two Tumble Bugs known to still exist. In the distance: the Phantom's Revenge roller coaster (blue, left), and the Thunderbolt roller coaster (white, right), and across the river, industry and commerce.


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Statue of Kenny Kangaroo in the kiddieland area, near the SS Kenny miniature swinging ship ride. Yes, his nose looks weird compared to the way everybody draws kangaroos but you know, it's their thing.


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Detail of the entrance to the Racer Moebius-strip roller coaster. I was just caught by the sign: 'George wants you to scan the QR Code to learn about his role in the French And Indian War events while enjoying your day here at Kennywood'. There were a couple of these QR Code historical markers there, posted by someone unaware that nobody has ever scanned a QR Code.


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Kennywood's historic carousel, taken from a low angle because I discovered how good that can make carousels look.


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[profile] bunny_hugger enjoying the Kennywood Grand Carousel and adjusting well to her right foot becoming a lion's paw.


Trivia: As British Secretary of State for War in 1914 Herbert Kitchener suggested that Britain delay its major war effort until 1917, by which time the Continental Armies would have exhausted one another in a standstill and the British Army would be fully trained and equipped. Source: The First World War, Hew Strachan. (Events outran this, mostly in how desperately Russia needed help to avoid collapse. It does seem to me like this is basically how the United States fought World War II in Europe, though.)

Currently Reading: Storm In A Teacup: The Physics Of Everyday Life, Helen Czerski.

I want to let people know about my humor blog, available on your Friends/Reading page, or in your RSS reader, and can't think of any fresh ways to do it. So here's the stuff that was posted there the last week:

And now let's return to the day at Kennywood!

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Lost Kennywood: one of the few themed areas, the park is themed to ... what amusement parks used to be. Behind it is The Phantom's Revenge, its taller steel roller coaster and the one with an entry queue that begins way over the other side of the park, like when a Roller Coaster Tycoon player realizes they forgot to account for the entrance.


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Our lone disappointment for the day: The Exterminator, the ride that always has the longest queues, was also the only closed roller coaster. We'd try a couple times and there was just no going there, alas.


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Wedding party! I was fast enough to get a glimpse of the bride and groom being shuttled around for what I suppose were photos for the wedding party.


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The general packed-ness of Kennywood. From the queue for The Phantom's Revenge here's the track of that roller coaster (green), the Turtle ride, the Thunderbolt wooden roller coaster, and just barely a glimpse of the Ghostwood Estates dark ride, plus, the Potato Patch French-fries stand. I got some pictures that also show off the valley, but the trees in the foreground are so much more interesting.


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Rides atop rides: the green track is all The Phantom's Revenge. The wooden roller coaster on the right is Thunderbolt, and you can see how the ground slopes down and how there's the far side and the industry on the far side of the river there.


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View of The Black Widow, the big spinning swing ride, from the spider-cavern entry queue. Not to brag but boy was I there at the right moment to view the support tower there.


Trivia: A pilot in the X-15 could not see any part of the plane except the cockpit and window. The plane's nose and wings were obscured. Source: At The Edge Of Space: The X-15 Flight Program, Milton O Thompson.

Currently Reading: Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers, Simon Winchester.

Welcome

Jun. 2nd, 2017 12:10 am
austin_dern: Inspired by Krazy Kat, of kourse. (Default)

I'd spent the weekend at AnthrOhio while stuff about Motor City Fur[ry] Con went along here, so that's part of why my humor blog had a low-key week. If it's not on your friends feed or on your RSS feed then this is what you've missed:

And now ... something I thought might never happen. This is the last of my Pinburgh picture selection. I hope you enjoy this little farewell tour and stick around for the next stuff.

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My final game: Spanish pinball company Recel's 1978 Poker Plus, which finally gives us a card-themed game featuring a woman cosplaying as a wasp-themed superhero.


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After the end of everything: one of the rows of games --- the front three part of a bank I had done pretty well in tournament play --- powered down for the end of the event.


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Outside the convention hall was this setup, ReplayFX's 1980s Living Room. Besides the wood-grained sets and Nintendo system there's all sorts of classic old-time fun, including vintage issues of TV Guide and ohter magazines. Notice on top of the TV is a storage box for audio cassettes, too. No idea what if anything was in there.


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Convention put to bed. All emptied except for staff, who're getting ready to move the very many games back where they ought to be. Except those two people in the bottom right playing games. Did you spot the FunHouse in the scene before [profile] bunny_hugger did?


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Post-convention photo of the game floor. The bank of pinball games on the right, between the dividers, were the games for the Intergalactic Pinball Championship, which we tried to finish on Saturday night and for which we didn't place. Did you spot the FunHouse in the scene before [profile] bunny_hugger did?


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Striking the main stage. This was where the A Division had its finals --- you can see there's still some confetti on the left side of the stage --- and where I had put in a quick game afterwards when the place was free.


Trivia: The term ``cash flow'', one of the key measures of a commercial project's prospects, was coined only in 1954. Source: An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power, John Steele Gordon.

Currently Reading: The History of the Calculus and its Conceptual Development, Carl B Boyer.

Despite catastrophe my humor blog kept on going, as you might have seen on your Dreamwidth friends page or on your RSS reader, or for that matter on your LiveJournal friends page if you still have one. And if you're just like normal and watch stuff from here, there's my normal weekly review.

And as we draw to the end of the last day of Pinburgh we go upstairs and look out from the bridge over the main floor. There we see:

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Panoramic photo of [profile] bunny_hugger taking a photo of the convention floor. From the pedestrian bridge over the center of the main floor.


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The main pinball floor as seen from the bridge, on the last day, when all the activity was over. Did you spot the FunHouse before [profile] bunny_hugger did?


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Video games and some more of the pinball games, from the opposite side of the bridge. In the lower left you can see the Attack From The Back modded pinball game, at least a bit; it's behind that big posterboard.


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Just people having fun. It may not be much of a scene but I like the composition. At the top right is the Black Knight 2000 with the frosted glass obstructing the playfield's view.


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Last hours of playing video games and some pinball.


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Quick view of the baseball park and one of the bridges as seen from the patio outside the convention center.


Trivia: The Bowery Theater, opened in Manhattan in 1825, burned down four times between 1828 and 1845. After that it survived another eighty years. Source: Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson, David S Reynolds.

Currently Reading: The History of the Calculus and its Conceptual Development, Carl B Boyer.

PS: Getting Into Shapes, some convex-polygon center-finding stuff. Practical!

No pictures right now. While I'm getting my new computer up and running, it isn't there yet. And while maybe I could post some pre-2012 pictures and caption those I'm not at all sure I can successfully upload pictures to Dreamwidth so don't want to deal with that. I'll have more pictures sometime later. Meanwhile, this was on my humor blog this week, despite the fiasco.

Also, you know what? Let me post this here before the postscript. I wrote a heck of a big post for my mathematics blog and it gets into some real physics and diff eq and all that.

Everything Interesting There Is To Say About Springs. You might learn stuff here!

Trivia: In a Saturn V's Mode II abort the Apollo Service Module main engine lifts the Apollo capsule away from the second- and third-stages to get clear. Then on separation from the Service Module the Command Module rolls heads-up, to a full-life entry attitude. (The capsule's shape and mass configuration let it generate some lift.) Source: The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture And Operation, Frank O'Brien.

Currently Reading: The Number Mysteries: A Mathematical Odyssey Through Everyday Life, Marcus du Sautoy.

Tags:

Didn't miss a day on my humor blog again, despite temptations. If it's not on your Dreamwidth Friends Page, or your RSS feed, then here's what you could see now:

Here's some more puttering around Anthrocon In The Off Season:

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The experience of everyone playing Nascar: play Nascar or just sit impassively waiting for the thing to finish? I'm being too hard on it; there's some fun stuff on the game. We just always played savagely hard tables. In front of it, the Gottlieb mid-80s game Car Hop that's entirely based on roller skates and short skirts.


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The classic arcade video game section was overseen by Car Dealership Santa.


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So when I saw this Journey arcade I thought it was a refitted thing where some obscure early-80s game got the faces of the band imposed on whatever the original sprites were. Not so: the original game included digitized pictures of the band, with the objective being to reunite them with their instruments. Well, would you think that was legit if you encountered it in the field today? Especially with the digitized heads of the band on sprite-cartoon bodies?


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Game console section, seen from a low angle so all the laser lights on the ceiling show. Also I show off my love for weird shadow and light play.


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Small UFO serving the game consoles.


Trivia: Jay Ward's last TV pilot was a show, Fang, the Wonder (?) Dog, conceptually a Lassie spoof. Source: The Moose That Roared: The Story of Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a Flying Squirrel, and a Talking Moose, Keith Scott.

Currently Reading: Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-40, William R Trotter.

PS: Excuses, But Classed Up Some instead of another Why Stuff Can Orbit post.