This week has been a very busy one as we opened our doors (well, The Little Mule’s) not once but twice! Yep, four classes over two days. Phew!
On Tuesday we kicked things off with the Science of Rollercoasters. Our teacher, Michael Patterson, started off by sharing with us his love of rollercoasters and then went on to explain everything: where, when, why and how! For example, where and why did the first rollercoaster come into existence? It was a disused coal transporting railway at Coney Island called the Thompson Switchback Railway – travelling at a whopping 9.7 kph! And what is this proposed euthanasia rollercoaster? Yes, you heard me right, Euthanasia Rollercoaster! But more on that later.
By looking at examples of the design and experience aspects of some of the best rides from around the world, we discussed what makes these things exciting, scary and appealing. Did you know that the world’s tallest rollercoaster has a height of 139m, and the fastest one goes from 0 to 206 kph in just 3.5 seconds?! We watched cart-view videos of rollercoasters in action, putting all of these elements into effect; turns, corkscrews, loop-the-loops and that moment when you think you might crash into the other rollercoaster on Island of Adventure’s Duelling Dragons (now called the Dragon Challenge as part of the Harry Potter experience).
To finish off, Michael told us about the ‘Euthanasia Rollercoaster’ designed specifically so that your last few moments on earth are thrilling and exhilarating. Track designer Julijonas Urbonas, a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art in London, stated that the goal of his concept rollercoaster was to take lives “with elegance and euphoria”.
Our two top tips from Lorelei were sprouting – growing yummy, crunchy seedlings from a regular bunch of legumes – and the Neighbourhood Harvest map.
Finally, after Lorelei’s class her partner in crime Jacob McElwee taught us the ins and outs of brewing your own tasty beer at home. We got to check out the basic ingredients of beer – malt, hops, barley, water (and yeast) – and learned how to cook it all up to get a delicious beverage at the other end. We discussed the various recipes and techniques used to create different kinds of beer and did it all whilst sipping on some of his own scrummy produce. Delicious!