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8 Theme Park Rides I Wouldn't Wait in Line For

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There are many places I want to visit in my lifetime: Paris, Australia, and Montreal, just to name a few. All of these places have attractions I would like to see. In Paris, there are mimes and the Louvre. In Australia, there are wombats and boxing kangaroos. In Montreal, there are nightclubs and Canadian people. There are some attractions, however, that I don't need to see. For example...

1. The Cannonball Loop
Action Park, Vernon Valley, New Jersey

If you put a full water bottle on a string and swing the bottle quickly in a circle, the water will not spill out. But the same rules of physics don't hold when humans are substituted for water. The Cannonball Loop was a waterslide with a loop-the-loop at the end, and the few riders that did have a go at it before it was closed down were generally injured. Rumors have it that crash test dummies were decapitated during testing, and that park workers were paid to act as guinea pigs.

2. The Human Catapult
Middlemoor Water Park, Woolavington, England

Count on the country that invented powdered wigs and Marmite to give us a giant human catapult. Visitors to this dangerous UK attraction would pay $66 dollars to fly at sixty miles per hour into a waiting safety net. Unfortunately for 19-year-old Oxford student Kostadine Yankov, the ancient technology was not quite brought up to modern standards. The ride was closed in 2002 when Dino died as a result of injuries sustained from missing the net.

3. The Alpine Slide
Action Park, Vernon Valley, New Jersey

From the makers of The Cannonball Loop comes the Alpine Slide, another seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time feat of engineering. Alpine slides can be safe; however, Action Park did not take the necessary steps to make sure that their slide was up to par. Their one main safety feature allowed visitors to choose between one of two speeds: snail-pace slow or ridiculously fast. Other well thought out features included hay at tight turns to protect riders who flew off the cement and fiberglass track. In the year between 1984 and 1985, the ride resulted in 14 fractures and 26 head injuries. During the time it was operational (it was shut down in 1998), the ride also resulted in at least one fatality.

[You really need to read WeirdNJ's thorough history of Action Park.]

4. Space Journey
Ecoventure Valley, Shenzhen, China

I generally like the things that come out of China: the plastic cars I played with as a kid, my t-shirt, and my roommate. The Space Journey, however, is not one of those things. Unlike my shirt or my roommate, the aptly named ride contains twelve spinning pods that simulate a space journey. In the summer of 2010, the ride malfunctioned, killing six people and injuring another ten. Witnesses spoke of noise, smoke, fire, and spraying machine oil. According to one witness, "all the cabins but the one we were sitting in were destroyed. Some people fell onto the rail and some fell on the ground. Some people died instantly and were just hanging dead in their seats."

5. Hundeprutterutchebane
BonBon-Land, Denmark

The name roughly translates to "Dog-Fart Switchback," but absolutely nothing is lost in translation. This dog poop themed roller coaster, replete with realistic dog and dog poop, features speakers that make farting noises as visitors pass by.

6. Cage of Death
Crocosaurus Cove, Darwin, Australia

With a name like Cage of Death, what could possibly go wrong? At this attraction, spectators enter behind an acrylic barrier submerged in a crocodile tank to get up close and personal to some of the world's largest saltwater crocodiles. Although the Cage of Death has no reported fatalities, the proximity to hungry crocodiles seems like an accident waiting to happen.

7. The Great Expectations Boat Ride
Dickens World, Kent, England

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Great Expectations, one of the greatest books ever to come out of England, was certainly never broken. Nevertheless, someone felt the need to turn the book into a riverboat ride. The owner describes the ride as "dark, smoky, moody"¦ full of smells and mist." The description evokes images of bogs or swamps, both very unpleasant places.

8. Dragon Challenge
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida

I'm sure this ride is great. In fact, I know it's great, because I rode it several years ago when it was still called Dueling Dragons. It's the exact same ride, albeit with a difference entrance and probably a longer line.
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What are your favorite and least favorite theme park attractions?

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8 of the Weirdest Gallup Polls
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Born in Jefferson, Iowa on November 18, 1901, George Gallup studied journalism and psychology, focusing on how to measure readers’ interest in newspaper and magazine content. In 1935, he founded the American Institute of Public Opinion to scientifically measure public opinions on topics such as government spending, criminal justice, and presidential candidates. Although he died in 1984, The Gallup Poll continues his legacy of trying to determine and report the will of the people in an unbiased, independent way. To celebrate his day of birth, we compiled a list of some of the weirdest, funniest Gallup polls over the years.

1. THREE IN FOUR AMERICANS BELIEVE IN THE PARANORMAL (2005)

According to this Gallup poll, 75 percent of Americans have at least one paranormal belief. Specifically, 41 percent believe in extrasensory perception (ESP), 37 percent believe in haunted houses, and 21 percent believe in witches. What about channeling spirits, you might ask? Only 9 percent of Americans believe that it’s possible to channel a spirit so that it takes temporary control of one's body. Interestingly, believing in paranormal phenomena was relatively similar across people of different genders, races, ages, and education levels.

2. ONE IN FIVE AMERICANS THINK THE SUN REVOLVES AROUND THE EARTH (1999)

In this poll, Gallup tried to determine the popularity of heliocentric versus geocentric views. While 79 percent of Americans correctly stated that the Earth revolves around the sun, 18 percent think the sun revolves around the Earth. Three percent chose to remain indifferent, saying they had no opinion either way.

3. 22 PERCENT OF AMERICANS ARE HESITANT TO SUPPORT A MORMON (2011)

Gallup first measured anti-Mormon sentiment back in 1967, and it was still an issue in 2011, a year before Mormon Mitt Romney ran for president. Approximately 22 percent of Americans said they would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate, even if that candidate belonged to their preferred political party. Strangely, Americans’ bias against Mormons has remained stable since the 1960s, despite decreasing bias against African Americans, Catholics, Jews, and women.

4. MISSISSIPPIANS GO TO CHURCH THE MOST; VERMONTERS THE LEAST (2010)

This 2010 poll amusingly confirms the stereotype that southerners are more religious than the rest of the country. Although 42 percent of all Americans attend church regularly (which Gallup defines as weekly or almost weekly), there are large variations based on geography. For example, 63 percent of people in Mississippi attend church regularly, followed by 58 percent in Alabama and 56 percent in South Carolina, Louisiana, and Utah. Rounding out the lowest levels of church attendance, on the other hand, were Vermont, where 23 percent of residents attend church regularly, New Hampshire, at 26 percent, and Maine at 27 percent.

5. ONE IN FOUR AMERICANS DON’T KNOW WHICH COUNTRY AMERICA GAINED INDEPENDENCE FROM (1999)

Although 76 percent of Americans knew that the United States gained independence from Great Britain as a result of the Revolutionary War, 24 percent weren’t so sure. Two percent thought the correct answer was France, 3 percent said a different country (such as Mexico, China, or Russia), and 19 percent had no opinion. Certain groups of people who consider themselves patriotic, including men, older people, and white people (according to Gallup polls), were more likely to know that America gained its independence from Great Britain.

6. ONE THIRD OF AMERICANS BELIEVE IN GHOSTS (2000)

This Halloween-themed Gallup poll asked Americans about their habits and behavior on the last day of October. Predictably, two-thirds of Americans reported that someone in their house planned to give candy to trick-or-treaters and more than three-quarters of parents with kids reported that their kids would wear a costume. More surprisingly, 31 percent of American adults claimed to believe in ghosts, an increase from 1978, when only 11 percent of American adults admitted to a belief in ghosts.

7. 5 PERCENT OF WORKING MILLENNIALS THRIVE IN ALL FIVE ELEMENTS OF WELL-BEING (2016)

This recent Gallup poll is funny in a sad way, as it sheds light on the tragicomic life of a millennial. In this poll, well-being is defined as having purpose, social support, manageable finances, a strong community, and good physical health. Sadly, only 5 percent of working millennials—defined as people born between 1980 and 1996—were thriving in these five indicators of well-being. To counter this lack of well-being, Gallup’s report recommends that managers promote work-life balance and improve their communication with millennial employees.

8. THE WORLD IS BECOMING SLIGHTLY MORE NEGATIVE (2014)

If you seem to feel more stress, sadness, anxiety, and pain than ever before, Gallup has the proof that it’s not all in your head. According to the company’s worldwide negative experience index, negative feelings such as stress, sadness, and anger have increased since 2007. Unsurprisingly, people living in war-torn, dangerous parts of the word—Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria, and Sierra Leone—reported the highest levels of negative emotions.

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11 Times Mickey Mouse Was Banned
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Despite being one of the world’s most recognizable and beloved characters, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Mickey Mouse, who turns 89 years old today. A number of countries—and even U.S. states—have banned the cartoon rodent at one time or another for reasons both big and small.

1. In 1930, Ohio banned a cartoon called “The Shindig” because Clarabelle Cow was shown reading Three Weeks by Elinor Glyn, the premier romance novelist of the time. Check it out (1:05) and let us know if you’re scandalized:

2. With movies on 10-foot screen being a relatively new thing in Romania in 1935, the government decided to ban Mickey Mouse, concerned that children would be terrified of a monstrous rodent.

3. In 1929, a German censor banned a Mickey Mouse short called “The Barnyard Battle.” The reason? An army of cats wearing pickelhauben, the pointed helmets worn by German military in the 19th and 20th centuries: "The wearing of German military helmets by an army of cats which oppose a militia of mice is offensive to national dignity. Permission to exhibit this production in Germany is refused.”

4. The German dislike for Mickey Mouse continued into the mid-'30s, with one German newspaper wondering why such a small and dirty animal would be idolized by children across the world: "Mickey Mouse is the most miserable ideal ever revealed ... Healthy emotions tell every independent young man and every honorable youth that the dirty and filth-covered vermin, the greatest bacteria carrier in the animal kingdom, cannot be the ideal type of animal.” Mickey was originally banned from Nazi Germany, but eventually the mouse's popularity won out.

5. In 2014, Iran's Organization for Supporting Manufacturers and Consumers announced a ban on school supplies and stationery products featuring “demoralizing images,” including that of Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Sleeping Beauty, and characters from Toy Story.

6. In 1954, East Germany banned Mickey Mouse comics, claiming that Mickey was an “anti-Red rebel.”

7. In 1937, a Mickey Mouse adventure was so similar to real events in Yugoslavia that the comic strip was banned. State police say the comic strip depicted a “Puritan-like revolt” that was a danger to the “Boy King,” Peter II of Yugoslavia, who was just 14 at the time. A journalist who wrote about the ban was consequently escorted out of the country.

8. Though Mussolini banned many cartoons and American influences from Italy in 1938, Mickey Mouse flew under the radar. It’s been said that Mussolini’s children were such Mickey Mouse fans that they were able to convince him to keep the rodent around.

9. Mickey and his friends were banned from the 1988 Seoul Olympics in a roundabout way. As they do with many major sporting events, including the Super Bowl, Disney had contacted American favorites to win in each event to ask them to say the famous “I’m going to Disneyland!” line if they won. When American swimmer Matt Biondi won the 100-meter freestyle, he dutifully complied with the request. After a complaint from the East Germans, the tape was pulled and given to the International Olympic Committee.

10. In 1993, Mickey was banned from a place he shouldn't have been in the first place: Seattle liquor stores. As a wonderful opening sentence from the Associated Press explained, "Mickey Mouse, the Easter Bunny and teddy bears have no business selling booze, the Washington State Liquor Control Board has decided." A handful of stores had painted Mickey and other characters as part of a promotion. A Disney VP said Mickey was "a nondrinker."

11. Let's end with another strike against The Shindig (see #1) and Clarabelle’s bulging udder. Less than a year after the Shindig ban, the Motion Picture Producers and Directors of America announced that they had received a massive number of complaints about the engorged cow udders in various Mickey Mouse cartoons.

From then on, according to a 1931 article in Time magazine, “Cows in Mickey Mouse ... pictures in the future will have small or invisible udders quite unlike the gargantuan organ whose antics of late have shocked some and convulsed others. In a recent picture the udder, besides flying violently to left and right or stretching far out behind when the cow was in motion, heaved with its panting with the cow stood still.”

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