Still here. But mostly in 140 characters.
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Friday, February 24, 2006
 
American Takes Gold in Enthusiast Freestyle Ballet

Helping to ease the taint of Bode Miller, the U.S. Winter Olympic team has won another gold medal. Competing in the debut of Enthusiast Freestyle Ballet in Torino, Mark Jefferson, 52, came out ahead of a talented international field. Herbert Nordstruck of Liechtenstein took silver, followed by Miguel Raton of Spain.

The sport of Enthusiast Freestyle Ballet combines a breathtaking mix of stamina, athletic skill, and artistry. In this event, coaster enthusiasts do a wide variety of difficult artistic maneuvers on kiddie coasters that have trouble getting up the lift hill. For instance, the "row the boat" maneuver is a required short program element. Although it is unusual among Winter Olympic competitions in that it does not involve snow or ice, and would seem a more natural fit with the Summer Games, organizers placed it during the Winter Olympics to avoid scheduling conflicts with the major operating season of the majority of the world's kiddie coasters.

Although the artistic marks of the three medal-winners were comparable, it was the incredible physical prowess of Jefferson that helped him edge out his competitors for the top position, as he executed the first competitive landing of the extremely difficult "quad lasso imitation/double inverted butt-spank to the back of the vehicle" move during an international competition.

"I've been landing it in practice pretty consistently the past couple years," said the victor. "But I always seemed to mess it up in major events on the World Cup circuit, so I was planning to play it conservative here. Then, when I saw Herbert's score go up on the board, I knew being conservative wouldn't get me the gold. I decided to pull out all the stops, and either get the gold or fall and probably lose any spot on the podium. I'm glad the risk paid off."

"This event used to be primarily about beauty and artistry," said commentator Dick Button. "The reality in recent years is that the competitors who don't attempt the major combination elements while riding kiddie coasters, such as the thing where you pretend to crack a whip over the ride to encourage it to go faster, are getting left behind. It's an evolution to a more athletic side of the sport. I'm definitely curious to see how many competitors will be prepared with that new move at the next Games in Vancouver."

--JCK

Posted at 6:33 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Thursday, February 23, 2006
 
Coaster Enthusiasts Demand Olympic Recognition

A group of coaster enthusiasts has spearheaded a campaign to include new events in future Olympic Games. According to the Coaster Sport Association (CSA), events such as the Alpine Slide (singles and doubles), Dance Dance Revolution, and Coaster Marathon are deserving of Olympic status. We recently obtained a copy of a letter sent from the group to the International Olympic Committee (IOC):

Dear IOC:

We formally request the inclusion of Alpine Slide, Dance Dance Revolution, and Coaster Marathon to the next games. These are valid athletic contests. Alpine Slide requires speed and control, Dance Dance Revolution already has a petition supporting its inclusion, and Coaster Marathon is an incredible test of stamina and the ability to withstand the putrid body odors of fellow participants. To those who say these are not true sports worthy of Olympic consideration, let us look at some "events" currently being contested in the Winter Games as a comparison:

Curling: The first major problem with this rubbish is that it is clearly nothing more than shuffleboard on ice. Would you pay to see shuffleboard? Nope, didn't think so. Second, it looks completely ridiculous. Grown people running around scrubbing ice with brooms! If they want to earn a few bucks, we'll happily let them put those world-class skills to use sweeping up our driveway. And just have a look at the composition of some of these teams...if your championship squad can feature a teenager, Gramps, and a scrawny Harry Potter look-alike who weighs under a hundred pounds soaking wet, it might make for a perfectly serviceable Scattergories match, but not an athletic competition.

Doubles Luge: This is where two hefty people wear skintight rubber-fetish costumes, get into the horizontal reverse cowgirl position, and flop around like a two-headed beached whale in heat, is not something we ever want to see again. Our eyes! They burn!

Freestyle Skiing: Make up your mind! Is the idea to ski fast, to make your knees look real purty together, or to do stupid human tricks up in the air? It just doesn't seem right that you can make up a sport out of thin air by cramming everything you can think of into one event. Reading a book on the toilet is an equally useful form of multi-tasking, but no one is claiming you should get a medal for it.

Snowboarding Halfpipe: In our proposed sports, no one has to protect their tender ears from hearing post-event interviews with morons who keep saying "whoa," "awesome," and "dude" in varying combinations. Additionally, this doesn't count as an actual sport because real athletes are pumped up and full of adrenaline for the big competition, not mellowed out and suffering from the munchies. Get your patchouli stink out of our Winter Games, snowboarding ruffians!

Figure Skating: Yeah, you heard us. Figure skating. It's a lovely artistic achievement, not sports. Just in case you were wondering, we're well aware that if skating wasn't in the Olympics, we'd have been denied the opportunity to stare transfixed at Kristi Yamaguchi's flawless rear end for hours upon hours in 1992, but the flip side is that we wouldn't have had to listen to Scott Hamilton yapping like a rabid chihuahua for the past two decades, either.

As you can see, there are plenty of sports in the Olympics that are not actually real sports. You should get rid of some of these and add the real sports of which we have spoken. Thank you for your consideration, bitches.

-The Coaster Sport Association


--JCK

Posted at 1:52 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006
 
Modern Art Exhibit Criticized

Mass MoCA, the contemporary art museum located in North Adams, Massachusetts, is currently hosting a major new installation. "Carston Holler's Amusement Park" consists of five working carnival rides, except that these rides are greatly slowed down to befuddle and distort the perceptions of visitors. According to Indepth Art News, "Slowing their velocity, light patterns, and music Holler unsettles the viewer's mind much as conventional amusement parks unsettle the body through radical changes in gravity, direction, and bodily orientation."

However, the exhibit has garnered its share of controversy, as several major art critics have panned "Amusement Park."

The installation was savaged by Reginald Delacroix of the New York Art Gazette, who stated that he "would categorically never pay admission to a carnival that runs its attractions this slow." He added that "the ride cycles are so short and so tame that the thrills are sucked out of the very air itself and beaten into submission."

"If my grandmother and her pet poodle could ride a Scrambler and think it's cute," he added, "then the ride sucks."

Piling on was Lars Kupecki of the St. Paul Radical Installation and Performance Art Dispatch: "This artist had a chance to make a real in-you-face and unique artistic statement. If he had run the Gravitron at the speed and length that they do at the county fair, there would be vomit and urine splattered all over the insides. That would have been a shot across the bow of the conservative, close-minded public. But he played things safe, and sold out to the pandering bourgeois American museum-goer by presenting clean, unchallenging art pieces that run so slowly, not even a seasick five-year-old with food poisoning would be tempted to uncork his digestive tract. Boring!"

Other reviewers were not as savage, but their reviews were at best mixed. Said Gunther Dieskau of the Denver Art and Architecture Quarterly, "I am unsure about this project. It's eerily beautiful, and the drastic slowing of all aspects of the rides places one into a curious dream state where one has a remembrance, but a quite rearranged or distorted one, of the colors and sounds of youth long ago. So in one way it's profound and engages one in a great deal of philosophical retrospection. But I can't help but notice that the bumper car cycle is even shorter than the one at Lakemont, and the Twister had such a pathetically slow and lame program, it didn't develop any of the lateral forces or tight spins that park guests really enjoy. In that respect, it's a great letdown."

Even members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts were unimpressed. Attending the opening of the installation in the (completely unfulfilled) hope of getting ERT, despite a previous bad experience attempting to ride art in Belgium, the members were disgruntled. One summed up the project succinctly: "Those flat rides look like they're being run by Six Flags."

Carsten Holler's Amusement Park runs at Mass MoCA through October, 2006.

--JCK

[Editor's Note: For further important coaster art news, read about the National ERT Museum, the National Roller Coaster Museum Gravy Exhibit, and the winning bid for the architectural design of the ACE National Roller Coaster Museum itself.]

Posted at 3:51 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Enthusiast Kicked Out Of PKD

Paramount Kings Dominion security guards were surprised last night when they came upon Eric Supher, a West Virginia enthusiast, climbing the structure of the park's Mack bobsled coaster Avalanche.

"We don't usually have too many trespassers that far into the park, and if they are there, they're usually trying to climb up the Volcano mountain," said spokeswoman Johanna Gudio. "But this fellow Supher was getting to the top of the lift hill and had some sort of little sled with him."

Supher, who took part in an exclusive ARN&R interview, said he was "just practicing the skeleton," an ice race featured in the Winter Olympics. "I've been really getting in shape and I figured with a little practice, I could maybe get on the team before the end of the Olympics."

He said that prior to the guards coming upon him, he had made it down the 200-foot course in as few as four minutes.

--GP

Posted at 3:48 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006
 
JCK to Acquire ARN&R

New Company to Deliver Industry-Defining Amusement Industry News, Fart Jokes

AbsolutelyReliable Towers. - February 22, 2006 -

The management of Absolutely Reliable News & Rumors (NYSE:ARNR) announced today that its board had recommended a merger with JCK Industries (NASDAQ:JCFK) in an all-stock deal valued at approximately four dollars and seventy-three cents.

The combination of ARN&R and JCK will provide customers a more powerful set of solutions for understanding, exploring, and laughing at the amusement industry and its aficionados. Together, the two companies will meet a wider set of customer needs and have a significantly greater opportunity to grow into new markets, particularly in the carnival and buffet segments.

"Customers are calling for a more centralized form of amusement news satire," said GP, chief executive officer of ARN&R, who will, as of the close of the deal, retire on a generous multi-million dollar consulting agreement. "By combining our powerful plot development, joke generation, and rapid response teams - along with the complementary aspects of our podcast, retail and stalker/boycott communities - ARN&R has the opportunity to bring this vision to life with an industry-defining vision."

"The synergies are just too great to ignore," said JCK, the new CEO of the combined company. "JCK Industries has been a leading supplier and subcontractor for ARN&R since November, 2002, and once we took over the catering for the executive dining room and erotic massage facility, it was just a matter of time before we acquired the whole thing."

The deal has passed regulatory approval, despite a lawsuit filed by Citizens Action League asserting that the new entity would have an unfair advantage in the amusement news industry. Attorneys representing ARN&R and JCK Industries successfully argued that the ThrillNetwork news was sufficiently hilarious to prevent the new ARN&R from holding a monopoly on the market segment.

--GP/JCK

Posted at 2:45 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Monday, February 20, 2006
 
ARN&R 1000th Post Party a Dismal Failure

"Um, weren't you supposed to send out the invitations?"

"No, that was you."

"Oh. Uh, what about making arrangements for the simulcast?"

"Uh..."

So were some of the fateful words exchanged between staff members at ARN&R today, as it began to sink in that the massive party planned to celebrate the accomplishment of 1000 posts was a dismal failure. It turns out that no one on the staff remembered to do any of the tasks they were assigned in order to make the grandiose celebration take place. No one arranged to pick up any celebrity guests, no one sent out invitations to the public, no one signed the contracts for the Rolling Stones, no broadcast equipment was set up for the simulcast, no food was made, and rumor has it that someone even forgot to buy cocktail napkins. The grand event is widely being disparaged in the industry press as a "catastrophic failure" and "a dismal flop."

According to some reports, the staff half-heartedly poured some champagne and sat in the AbsolutelyReliable Hot Tub for a few minutes, but the combination of despair over the party blunders, combined with the fact that someone also forgot to turn the heat on in the hot tub, led to all of them shuffling home hugging themselves and crying gently.

--JCK

Posted at 3:37 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Our 1000th Post!

Pop the champagne and strike up the band. This post marks exactly 1000 that we've made since our inception in 2002. We rule.

Posted at 12:06 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Sunday, February 19, 2006
 
This Stuff Writes Itself. No, Really.

We often declare that stories write themselves, but usually, we do a bunch of additions. Not this time. This ThrillNetwork story -- a feature story, no less, fed to Google News -- has one of the finest bits of amusement park related writing we can recall:
After riding Revolution, I walked around the park a bit and took a few photos. When walking around I found the parks last coaster, "The Dragon Wagon". They wouldn't let you on it unless you rode with a kid and since I didnít have a kid with me, I couldnít ride it.... Or could I? After I bugged the ride op a bit saying how "I came from Boston" and that I was in "ACE", she still wouldn't let me on. So I did something very dirty, something I had only read about online but had never done myself. Even though I didnít even know if it would work, it was worth a try. I told the girl Iíd give here a dollar if she let me ride, but I was I was then told, "I aint want ya money". Being the loser I am and showing my need to get the credit, I told her Iíd give her twenty dollars, and it worked! So after I paid up, I tried to get into the train to find out I didn't fit in it so well. I ended up sitting sideways on my knees without the belt clip on and holding my backpack, but I was "in" the train and I got my ride on the Dragon Wagon!

(Incidentally, what the hell is up with Thrillnetwork's links of words like "backpack" to ads for backpacks? Can this possibly be the advertising wave of the future?)

Posted at 12:29 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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