Saturday, August 21, 2010

A history of Ferris Wheels through the Ages

“Here we have the bamboo and silk wheel from the Fun Park of Emperor Bozhou, of the Honk dynasty. This wheel was known to have collapsed on two occasions, but it was rebuilt by the Ritual Clowns each time. A ride on it was one of the trials required for employment in the Fun Bureaucracy.

“The short-lived Honk reign was cut short by the Serious Rebellion, the Fun Park was destroyed by fireworks, and Bozhou’s red nose was ground to powder and scattered over its ashes.


“This wheel was to have been built by Archimedes at the command of the king of Syracuse, but it was converted into a defensive engine during the Roman invasion. Cicero claims that it was captured intact and shipped to the Circus Ludicrus outside the Emperor’s Summer Retreat near the Roman city of Florence, but there is no contemporary confirmation of this story.

“Leonardo da Vinci is said to have spent several years attempting to recreate this wheel during his residence in Florence, due to the popular tales about its abilities: it was supposed to be able to cloud minds, raise the dead, and reverse baldness, but of course later pictures of the great inventor clearly demonstrate that he can not have been successful in this endeavor.


“During the Derp period after the collapse of the tower of Babel, Ferris Wheels where frequently seen among the great cities of the Feral Crescent. Ur, Um, Huh, and Duh needed great building projects to show off their growing prowess in the new languages (which still had simple, quaint names like “Huh”, “Hurr”, and “What you say?”) [1]. Obviously the traditional works like towers and pyramids were considered to risky, so theme parks blossomed among the towns and villages.

“The primitive state of irrigation obviously made waterslides and wave pools impossible, but the engineers who survived the Babel disaster were able to quickly improvise Ferris wheels and drop towers from their memories of cranes and scaffolds.


“The Ferris wheels and other rides of Precolumbian Central America did not long survive the coming of the Europeans, and only their elaborate foundations remain. These were no amusement parks, instead the rides were tests of courage and skill, with spiked logs and huge stone balls[2] released onto the tracks of their wooden coasters in praise of Hahahapocthli and Ticklecoatl, the feather boa.”

-- Housepets

[1] "There’s debate over whether “Anchor What?” was part of a city-state amusement complex, or a religious training facility like those found in Central America. Traditionally it was said to have been founded by a lost vessel from the great Queng-Hohoho flotilla of military and merchant clowns during the Honk reign, but Whattish historians now argue that the Risible Emperor was inspired by their ancestors instead.

"The name, of course, refers to a classic Honkish practical joke involving a rubber anchor."

[2] "Despite the pop-science stories about alien intervention, these balls were obviously originally volcanic in origin, produced by geode-like crystallization around a seed, and only a small number were actually finished to trophy quality for the emperors and high priests. The average WeisGei or NyukNyuk monk kept nothing more than a common boulder to show for their death-defying ride."

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