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so - one question - you mentioned a lot of purple haired pierced hipsters - did the sunday you went happen to be 5/3/09? if so you happened upon the annual "Bats Day" event (http://www.batsday.net/home/home.html)

i haven't been to disneyland yet, partly because work gets in the way of actually going to Bats Day (and the amusement park is always more fun with a bunch of friends) but also because there aren't enough thrill rides to make me happy (hardcore coaster junky; i wish our physics class had gone to the amusement park for a day - i've seen those kids on my own trips, and they seem to be having a blast and learning a lot)

Went to Eurodisney once, with my Godson and his father...what I realised, more than anything else, was that this whole multi-million giant edifice and organisation had only one intended product...smiles!! Oh, yes, and a profit...but it's the smiles you notice most.
By the way, surely the Dive Devil has to describe an arc of a circle, not a parabola? Otherwise you'd get some badly grazed participants...

@John: You're absolutely right, and if you read carefully you'll note that I didn't say the Devil Dive described a parabola. That was the Tower of Terror freefall in the preceding paragraphs.... although I COULD have made the distinction more clear. :)

Why do you get "lifted up" in your seats at the beginning of the fall in the tower of terror?

I posted about this here http://blog.dotphys.net/2009/06/more-examples-of-weightlessness/

Quote...
"That doesn't sound very high unless you're the person hanging precariously from a harness at the top of it -- then it becomes very high indeed. I remember Gabe nervously remarking, "Um, gee, maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all..." Then the signal sounded, they released us and we plummeted, screaming, towards the ground. One half of a parabolic curve, served straight, no chaser!"

Not wanting to be a smartass, but the last bit seems to clearly suggest a parabola....

The wife just mentioned that the other nifty-shifty thing about the Tower is that the parameters of the story, the setup, the lighting and s/fx all change with *every* ride, so the chances of you getting the exact same ride experience twice is one in an extremely-large-number-with-lots-of-zeros.

The parabola might be the same, but nothing else about the ride is, ride after ride.

Cheers,

Erica

Hungry for Yuri? Have some Okazu!
http://okazu.blogspot.com

@Erica: Alas, that's the case with the version elsewhere, but the one at California Adventure is pretty much the same every time. Still a rockin' good ride though!

I have fond memories of going to Six Flags with my physics class long ago in high school. Intently watching a makeshift accelerometer while going around on a roller coaster was good fun (and educational!)

Man I want that dessert - edible sail? Are you serious? AWESOME!!!

Jennifer~ I read this a number of days ago, and had to come back and read it again because it is so entertaining and enlightening. It also has the "aroma" of Jennifer Ouellette. I can see you years ago, explaining stuff to me, and then cracking up about something. I love the bb gun part. Reading your stuff puts me in a great mood! I sent the link to some people also.

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.