By Nick StattPosted 10.03.2011 at 10:00 am 9 Comments
The 190-foot-tall whirling aerial swing in the Wunderland Kalkar amusement park, near the German-Dutch border, claims an unusual distinction: It's the only ride in the world constructed in a decommissioned nuclear cooling tower. (You can read our primer on nuclear power plants here.) In 1995, Dutch developer Hennie van der Most bought the defunct nuclear power plant from the German government.
A new, truly 360-degree 3-D display has been developed by researchers at Osaka University. The fog display is created by three projectors each beaming a different image into a column of thin fog, making the resulting image appear 3-dimensional from all angles. This technique means that viewers can physically walk around the display to see it from different vantage points without losing the 3-D effect.
This summer, Noah's Ark Water Park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, opens the country's only looping waterslide. The Scorpion's Tail gives you the thrills of a roller coaster without having to strap to a track (or wear a shirt)—and it uses sophisticated engineering to keep you secure as you slip any which way.
Riders stick to the walls because the loop travels a tilted angle, not a straight-up-and-down line that could drop people on their heads. Then there's the computerized control system, exit hatch and host of sensors to make sure riders splash out intact.