Remembering The ‘World’s Most Dangerous Amusement Park’

Amusement park safety has been a hot topic this summer. After a deadly fall from a Six Flags roller coaster in July, even minor injuries have been making headlines. But are amusement parks really as dangerous as they used to be? A new documentary sheds light on what Mashable is calling “The World’s Most Dangerous Amusement Park,” a New Jersey waterpark called Action Park that closed in 1996. Inside this lawless park, which seemed to be staffed mostly by intoxicated teenagers, were nonsensical attractions like:

  • The “Cannonball Loop” slide, which had a complete loop at the end.
  • A winding cement track called the “Alpine Slide” that children barreled down on carts while people tried to spit on them from a chairlift that ran above it.
  • A rope swing called “Tarzan swing” where men regularly exposed themselves to onlookers.

Seriously, is this place for real? We went to Twitter to do some investigating, and found many people recalling-and even lamenting-their injuries at the park:

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Ouch, sounds painful. Although these people walked away with minor injuries, at least seven people died at Action Park during its existence. Watch the first half of the documentary above, and the second half after the jump.
The Most Insane Amusement Park Ever – Part 2 of 2 by insane-amusement-park

Empire State Building: Movie Star

Wikimedia Commons

Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to Empire Rising by Thomas Kelly, a novel set in 1930 just as construction on the Empire State Building is beginning. Although the narrative centers on a love triangle in New York, the real star of the story is the landmark.

This might be the Empire State Building’s biggest role yet, but the building is no stranger to the big screen. The skyscraper has been used as a backdrop in more than 100 films, usually to establish that the story is, in fact, taking place in New York. Here are some highlights from the Empire State Building’s film career:

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Long Layover? Pick Up a Free Book at the Airport

westher, Flickr

Although there are plenty of ways to pass the time at an airport, nothing is quite like getting lost in a novel or guidebook. Unfortunately, if you forgot your book at home (or failed to load your e-reader), newsstands often don’t have much in the way of selection. But the good news is, an increasing number of airports are staking a claim on the lending library trend.

USA Today reports local libraries are using airport storefronts and kiosks to lend paper books to travelers during their layovers. Some are also setting up stations for e-book downloads. In several cases, the libraries provide a relaxing place set aside from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the airport-and more often than not, there’s free WiFi. Here are a few places where you should be on the lookout for a good read:

National Airports with Libraries

  • Cherry Capital Airport, Michigan
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Florida
  • Harrisburg International Airport, Pennsylvania
  • Manhattan Regional Airport, Kansas
  • San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library, California
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington

International Airports with Libraries

  • Schiphol Airport, Netherlands
  • Helsinki Airport, Finland

And if you’re looking for some inspiring travel reads, here are the 25 Best Contemporary Travel Books. You might want to pick those ones up before you head off on your trip, though.

[via Skift.com / USA Today]

3 Tools For Finding Friends On the Road

Facebook.com

In the age of smartphones and social networks, it seems rare that anyone would ever be lonely. But technology doesn’t always fill the void for some good old fashioned personal contact. When you’re on the road, these tools and social sites can help you find a friend in a city full of strangers — and in some cases, you might end up saving money, too.

Graph Search
Good For:
Anyone on Facebook
In case you haven’t noticed, the search bar in Facebook now allows users to search and sort through information within your friend network. Sure, you can use it to check out which of your friends are single, but it’s also a tool that can help you find out which friends now live in certain cities or countries. Maybe one of your college buddies got a job in Washington, DC and you didn’t realize it. Or, perhaps someone you know recently visited the city. “People who uploaded photos taken in Washington” and start your detective work.

Friends of Friends Travel
Good For:
Solo female travelers
Whether you’re looking to find a place to stay or just share a cup of coffee, you no longer have to do it with random strangers. This website intentionally limits users to friends and “friends of friends,” making it easy to find trustworthy travel partners. It’s an especially good tool for solo travelers who might be a little apprehensive about using services like couchsurfing.com, which can sometimes be a mixed bag. At least now you’ll have a friend to vouch for their buddy — and you won’t have to browse thousands of couches to find them.

Grubwithus
Good For:
Hungry business travelers
For those who just want to meet up for a meal, Gubwithus can connect you with strangers who have similar interests (and I’m not just talking about a shared love of pizza). The website allows you to join different groups — options include tech junkees, book enthusiasts and ladies only — and then meetup at pre-arranged dinners. It’s a great way to not only meet new people, but also try new restaurants. Right now, Grubwithus is only available in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle.

Is This The Death Of The College Visit?

YouVisit.com

Would you enroll at a university without ever setting foot on campus? A new website, YouVisit.com, is making it easier to scope out colleges by offering virtual guides and professional photos for hundreds of campuses. Prospective students and their parents can scope out everything from the college green to the inside of dining halls — and they don’t have to pay a penny for the service (or, for that matter, travel expenses). It’s kind of like other armchair travel websites, except aimed at aspiring freshman.

Will the website completely replace college visits? Not likely. There’s just something missing from the tours that one can only get when actually on campus. But it might make the process of choosing a college a whole lot more affordable. The website can certainly make it easier for prospective students to narrow down their choices. Right now, 400 campuses in the United States, Europe, Africa and Latin America are online — so if you’ve been dreaming of getting a degree overseas, here’s your chance to take a look.

[via Los Angeles Times]