Marcus Gaines is so obsessed with riding roller coasters he has spent more than $50,000 for the thrill of trying out new rides. The 39-year-old television cameraman says he spends about a month each year at amusement parks, and has so far ridden 1,099 coasters at 251 parks across 19 countries.
“Nothing give me as much of a thrill as a rollercoaster,” Gaines told the Daily Mail. The fanatic rides an average of 100 coasters a year, sometimes traveling abroad alone to try out new rides. On a recent three-week trip to China, he took on 70 coasters in 26 parks.
And at home in England, his obsession doesn’t stop. Gaines has ridden Nemesis at Alton Towers (the theme park that famously banned Speedos to “protect children”) in Staffordshire approximately 350 times.
Of course, Gaines has some competition out there if he’s going to try to take the crown for theme park king. Stefan Zwanzger, a man known as “The Theme Park Guy,” has traveled to 44 countries, including North Korea, in his quest to study different cultures and their playgrounds.
British farmer Winston Howes lost his wife Janet 17 years ago, but the lasting tribute that he created in her honor is only now coming to light. Last week, a hot air balloonist happened to be drifting over the Howes farm when he snapped the photo seen here. That image revealed a heart-shaped meadow that Winston has lovingly crafted over the years as a reminder of the love of his life.
The 70-year-old Howes says he came up with the idea of the meadow not long after Janet’s death. He tells the U.K.’s Daily Mail that it was a “flash of inspiration” and he soon went to work planting small oak trees – thousands of them. Over time, those saplings grew into tall, strong trees, creating a tranquil refuge in the process.
The living tribute to his wife spreads out across six acres of farmland and is bordered on all sides by a tall hedge. From the road, it appears to be little more than a large copse of trees, but when viewed from overhead, its secret is revealed. The heart is distinct and cleverly formed from all of those carefully planted trees. Access to the interior of the grove can only be gained by following a narrow trail that leads to the tip of the heart. That same tip points directly toward Wotton Hill – Janet’s hometown.
Winston says that he likes to go and sit in the meadow from time-to-time and just think about things. I’m sure it has been a source of quiet comfort to him over the years but now that the word is out, he may just see a few more balloons in the sky overhead.
[Photo credit: Adam Gray/SWNS.com]
Being trapped in a confined space with a person who is talking loudly on his cellphone is most certainly one of the circles of Hell. Perhaps no place is worse for such a scenario than a train. Be it a on commuter line like New York’s Long Island Rail Road or a travel rail like Amtrak, the last thing you want while stuck in that metal tube is to be near anyone who is blabbing away on the phone. But now one British railway company is taking measures to completely block cell reception in their railway cars.
According to the Daily Mail, British rail company C2C has begun coating some windows on their trains in a film that blocks cell signals. They designate one car per train as a quiet zone where phones, music devices and other electronics are not permitted and conversations must be conducted “quietly and with consideration for others.”
The film prevents train personnel from having to struggle to enforce the quiet zone rules. And passengers have been very supportive of the initiative thus far. Having once snapped at a person on the train for being too loud on their phone (and receiving a round of applause from my fellow passengers after my tirade was completed), I am not surprised by the rave reviews from C2C customers. And since the general public has proven itself incapable of considering the greater good when choosing its behavior, I am thrilled to see that technology is filling in the gaps left by thoughtless ne’er-do-wells.
C2C runs train service between Essex and London, so if you find yourself in that neck of the woods, drop us a line and let us know if you enjoyed your time in the quiet zone. As for the rest of you, keep it down to a whisper, put your phones on vibrate and maybe try reading a book on the train. Just turn the pages quietly, will ya?
If you ever needed a reason to not skydive, here it is. The UK’s Daily Mail got their hands on the helmet-cam footage of 25-year-old skydiver Michael Holmes…crashing.
Mr. Holmes is no stranger to the game: he’s completed over 7,000 successful leaps, and one less-than-successful jump.
Yep, you get to see, in full color, all 12,000 ft of his fall, after both of this parachutes failed. Amazingly, he landed in some bushes and survived the ordeal. There’s even a few seconds of him talking to his friend, who’s found him on the ground. But beware, the video isn’t for the faint of heart.