Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gravity pulls!

Before the ink on my last blog dried, I received a new suggestion for a superior selection of a choice spot for "the mother of all free falls:" the Glass Bridge, also known as the Skywalk. This is supposed to be on a site within the US' Grand Canyon, looking down on the Colorado river.

To be fair, know that this is a new project under construction that has suffered some setbacks and it is slated for a grand opening toward the end of the year 2006. Mark your calendar and get your airline ticket if you want to be the first in line for a spungy jump. However, remember that the pictures you see below are "artist's rendering" of a "soon to be built" structure. Let's hope they do not run out of cash in the middle of the construction that is taking place right at this moment.

Of course, I cannot let this candidate off the list I already cited in my previous blog, so here it is:

You can see in the insert that a jump from this beauty easily dwarfs all that from the top of all the known skyscrapers of the world. To scale, the US' Empire State Building on the left is seen with its puny 1,252 feet. To the right is the tallest building in the world, Taipei 101, towering at a mere 1,671 feet. But look at this:

Do you see the tiny Colorado river below? You think you can hit it? Or will you miss it? Did you consider wind shear? Now, a new calculation is in order. It will take you a LONG, LONG, LONG 15.6 second to cover the whopping 4,000 feet of height. By the time you reach your destination, you should be traveling at the speed of 350 miles per hour. Thankfully, we are on earth, and the precious air we use to breathe slows you down to about a mere 130 miles per hour or so, depending on your weight and a few other physical constants contained in the consideration paid to what physics calls "terminal velocity." That hurts!

Do you know what I think? This structure is catered for insane people! It has a glass bottom, sticks out 70 feet into nothingness, you have to pay to be scared to death stepping on the glass bottom cantilever with no cable support from above or beam support from below. Make sure you do not wear your hat on a windy day and hang on dearly to the glass side rail!

A positive final departing note: I am sure that the mere fact of taking one step out on this structure and look down once will be enough to erase all dark thoughts from your mind. Suddenly, you will think that life is so beautiful and please, please, please, let me get back to the safety of the rock side. What was I thinking?

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