Friday, March 30, 2007

Occupant propelled amusement device

It was as the above that the forerunner of the Wheel of Death was patented in 1953. Today's NYT has a wonderful feature explaining how these devices work. Even smaller circuses seem to travel with a version these days. A young Wallenda and Bello Nock will inaugurate a version that splits in two to revolve in two different directions ("With the Greatest of Ease," byline Glen Collins). The print version has excellent diagrams; on line there's an interactive explanation of some sort, but I won't be able to access it today. The article confirms that the performers are weightless at the top of the spin, something I've always wondered about. I prefer acts done for the beauty of the motion, not for their elements of daredevilry; this is one that's always frightening, in whatever version, especially when the performer leaves the relative safety inside the ring and goes out to work outside it. This show is the one that will come to Austin next summer, not this one.


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