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Roller Coasters...Vis-à-Vis Relationship Psychology

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Sometimes there's nothing more apt or consoling than a monstrous cliché. So, uh, life is like a roller coaster. I recently had to cover the history of Six Flags, and having logged time as a casting recruiter, I've scoured my share of theme parks looking for "hotties." All those hours spent in the spindly shadows of gigantic roller coasters got me curious about how they're built, maintained, disassembled, etc. One of my favorite rides at Magic Mountain--Flashback (née Z Force)--has been labelled SBNO (Standing But Not Operating) since 2003, but has since been disabled. Which got me thinking about what other diagnostic terms were common in the roller coaster world, and how those terms--in another context--might be misconstrued to apply to relationships. Fun with examples after the jump.

Standing But Not Operating

What it means in the roller coaster world: dormant coasters whose futures are vague due to any number of issues; however, they're still counted in inventories determining which parks have the most coasters.
Why it sounds like a relationship issue: let's be honest: everyone has a few lame ducks who bolster some anxious emotional inventory...
Anti-Rollback Device

What it means in the roller coaster world: it's the ratchet that makes the clicking noise as you're (slowly, excruciatingly) going up an incline; it'll save the day if there's ever a power failure or chain rupture--you won't be going anywhere.
Why it sounds like a relationship issue: anti-rollback devices can be people, surely, (they'll pick you up to go chanting or help you throw out items that've outgrown their sentimental value), but they can also be fierce new haircuts or a new set of locks: anything that prevents you from regressing.
First Drop

What it means in the roller coaster world: pretty much what it sounds like--the first major plummet on any given ride.
Why it sounds like a relationship issue: take your pick: it's any of those first minor blips that metastasize into a deal breaker.
Positive G's

What it means in the roller coaster world: when the gravitational forces exceed 1 G--usually on inversions & high speed turns, making it hard to clap your hands or make a facial expression.
Why it sounds like a relationship issue: anything they do that impairs your ability to properly respond (most likely this is a vice that comes across charming); at first, this talent/issue/thing of theirs makes you feel great (hence the positive), but ultimately it leaves you feeling weak and impacted.

Any you'd like to add? Or maybe actual names of roller coasters are more inspiring...

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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images
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Animals
Fisherman Catches Rare Blue Lobster, Donates It to Science
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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Live lobsters caught off the New England coast are typically brown, olive-green, or gray—which is why one New Hampshire fisherman was stunned when he snagged a blue one in mid-July.

As The Independent reports, Greg Ward, from Rye, New Hampshire, discovered the unusual lobster while examining his catch near the New Hampshire-Maine border. Ward initially thought the pale crustacean was an albino lobster, which some experts estimate to be a one-in-100-million discovery. However, a closer inspection revealed that the lobster's hard shell was blue and cream.

"This one was not all the way white and not all the way blue," Ward told The Portsmouth Herald. "I've never seen anything like it."

While not as rare as an albino lobster, blue lobsters are still a famously elusive catch: It's said that the odds of their occurrence are an estimated one in two million, although nobody knows the exact numbers.

Instead of eating the blue lobster, Ward decided to donate it to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye. There, it will be studied and displayed in a lobster tank with other unusually colored critters, including a second blue lobster, a bright orange lobster, and a calico-spotted lobster.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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Courtesy Murdoch University
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Animals
Australian Scientists Discover First New Species of Sunfish in 125 Years
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Courtesy Murdoch University

Scientists have pinpointed a whole new species of the largest bony fish in the world, the massive sunfish, as we learned from Smithsonian magazine. It's the first new species of sunfish proposed in more than 125 years.

As the researchers report in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, the genetic differences between the newly named hoodwinker sunfish (Mola tecta) and its other sunfish brethren was confirmed by data on 27 different samples of the species collected over the course of three years. Since sunfish are so massive—the biggest can weigh as much as 5000 pounds—they pose a challenge to preserve and store, even for museums with large research collections. Lead author Marianne Nyegaard of Murdoch University in Australia traveled thousands of miles to find and collected genetic data on sunfish stranded on beaches. At one point, she was asked if she would be bringing her own crane to collect one.

Nyegaard also went back through scientific literature dating back to the 1500s, sorting through descriptions of sea monsters and mermen to see if any of the documentation sounded like observations of the hoodwinker. "We retraced the steps of early naturalists and taxonomists to understand how such a large fish could have evaded discovery all this time," she said in a press statement. "Overall, we felt science had been repeatedly tricked by this cheeky species, which is why we named it the 'hoodwinker.'"

Japanese researchers first detected genetic differences between previously known sunfish and a new, unknown species 10 years ago, and this confirms the existence of a whole different type from species like the Mola mola or Mola ramsayi.

Mola tecta looks a little different from other sunfish, with a more slender body. As it grows, it doesn't develop the protruding snout or bumps that other sunfish exhibit. Similarly to the others, though, it can reach a length of 8 feet or more. 

Based on the stomach contents of some of the specimens studied, the hoodwinker likely feeds on salps, a jellyfish-like creature that it probably chomps on (yes, sunfish have teeth) during deep dives. The species has been found near New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and southern Chile.

[h/t Smithsonian]

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