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Memories of Action Park

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"You know you're from New Jersey," the chain email I receive roughly twice a year keeps telling me, "if you remember Action Park and were seriously injured there." I assume every state has a similar list. Not being from those states, I can't say for sure.

While I don't count myself among the casualties, I was briefly knocked unconscious during a tumultuous tube ride down the Colorado River Rapids. That was in 1995, the second consecutive year we were ejected from the Park. I was merely guilty by association, wandering around in a daze, possibly concussed. On those same Rapids, a friend decided to tackle the Action Park employee monitoring the starting line, taking her down with him.

This seems crazy in retrospect, but Action Park was a lawless place. A place where people drowned in the wave pool on a regular basis. A place that tested a full-loop water slide with crash-test dummies. A place where those crash-test dummies were supposedly dismembered. A place that bought the town of Vernon additional ambulances, to keep up with the volume of injuries.

How many people actually died at Action Park? Ask anyone born in Jersey between 1970 and 1984, and you'll hear a ranging toll. Twenty. Thirty-six. North of 100. But the real answer is only six. Let's review:

In 1980, a 19-year-old park employee was killed on the alpine slide. His car jumped the track and his head struck a rock.
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In 1982, a 15-year-old boy drowned in the Wave Pool.
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A week later, a 27-year-old man from Long Island was electrocuted after falling out of his kayak on The Kayak Experience.
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In 1984, a man died of a heart attack supposedly caused by cold water in the pool beneath the Tarzan Swing (the drained Tarzan Swing pool is pictured above, courtesy of Abandoned But Not Forgotten.)
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Later that year, an 18-year-old from Brooklyn drowned in the Wave Pool.
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In 1987, another 18-year-old drowned in the Wave Pool.

Action Park shut its doors in 1996, and has since reopened as Mountain Creek Waterpark, with an increased emphasis on safety. So far, no deaths have been reported.

I realize this is a pretty narrow topic. But if anyone has any good Action Park stories, we'd love to hear them.

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Little Baby's Ice Cream
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Food
Pizza and Cricket Cake Are Just Some of the Odd Flavors You'll Find at This Philadelphia Ice Cream Shop
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Little Baby's Ice Cream

Ice cream flavors can get pretty out-there, thanks to the growing number of creative scoop shops willing to take risks and broaden their customers’ horizons beyond chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Intrepid foodies can cool off with frozen treats that taste like horseradish, foie gras, and avocado, while Philadelphia's Little Baby’s Ice Cream is pushing the boundaries of taste with chilly offerings like everything bagel, Maryland BBQ, ranch, and cricket cake.

Cricket-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

Everything Bagel-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

As Lonely Planet News reports, Little Baby’s Ice Cream launched its first signature “oddball” ice cream—Earl Grey sriracha—in 2011. Since then, its rotating menu has only gotten quirkier. In addition to the aforementioned flavors, customers who swing by Little Baby’s this summer can even try pizza ice cream.

The store created the savory flavor in 2011, to celebrate neighborhood eatery Pizza Brain’s inclusion into Guinness World Records for its vast collection of pizza memorabilia. The savory, Italian-esque snack is made from ingredients like tomato, basil, oregano, salt, and garlic—and yes, it actually tastes like pizza, Little Baby’s co-owner Pete Angevine told Lonely Planet News.

Pizza-flavored ice cream, made by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

“Frequently, folks will see it on the menu and be incredulous, then be convinced to taste it, giggle, talk about how surprised they are that it really tastes just like pizza … and then order something else,” Angevine said. “That’s just fine. Just as often though, they’ll end up getting a pizza milkshake!”

Little Baby’s flagship location is in Philadelphia's East Kensington neighborhood, but customers can also sample their unconventional goods at additional outposts in West Philadelphia, Baltimore, and a pop-up stand in Washington, D.C.’s Union Market. Just make sure to bring along a sense of adventure, and to leave your preconceived notions of what ice cream should taste like at home.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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Warby Parker
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Space
Warby Parker Is Giving Away Free Eclipse Glasses in August
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Warby Parker

When this year’s rare “all-American” total solar eclipse comes around on August 21, you’ll want to be prepared. Whether you’re chasing the eclipse to Kentucky or viewing it from your backyard, you’ll need a way to watch it safely. That means an eclipse filter over your telescope, or specially designed eclipse glasses.

For the latter, you can just show up at your nearest Warby Parker, and their eye experts will hand over a pair of eclipse glasses. The stores are giving out the free eye protectors throughout August. The company’s Nashville store is also having an eclipse party to view the celestial event on the day-of.

Get your glasses early, because you don’t want to miss out on this eclipse, which will cross the continental U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. There are only so many total solar eclipses you’ll get to see in your lifetime, after all.

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