A 6-Year-Old Helped Design This Massive Spinning Water Slide


When their imaginations are allowed to wander freely, kids come up with some pretty far-out ideas. Take the structure in the video below: With tangled loops and impossible turns, it would fit right in if it were scribbled on the pages of an elementary-schooler’s notebook. But unlike some other physics-defying inventions dreamt up by kids, this concept is being built in the real world.

According to Attractions Magazine, the "SlideWheel" is a water slide in the form of a spinning bundle of tubes. It’s being constructed by wiegand.maelzer GmbH, and the German company credits the idea to a 6-year-old boy from Switzerland. The team's managing director and co-founder Rainer Maelzer told Attractions that the child described his vision for a "rotating waterslide" in 2012. Wiegand.maelzer GmbH patented the design and has spent the last four years making it a reality.

The tubes of the SlideWheel stretch 460 feet and can hold 12 riders spread out over three groups at once. A full rotation lasts 30 seconds, adding up to 90 seconds per ride of feeling like you're trapped inside a giant washing machine. The company writes on its website: "Because of the dynamic and unique motion within this slide, the rider gets the impression that the ride is more than twice as long."

While a prototype has been built, thrill-seekers won’t find the SlideWheel at water parks just yet. Wiegand.maelzer GmbH has just started closing deals with parks and continues to receive interest from sites across the world every day. The first version of the attraction that will be accessible to the public is coming to the IAAPA expo in Orlando, Florida, in late November. Get a taste of what the first riders can expect in the 360° virtual reality video below.

[h/t Attractions Magazine]

Forget Therapy Puppies—Michigan State Students Brush Cows to De-Stress for Finals


As more universities are coming to understand just how stressful the rigors of modern academics can be, many institutions have begun bringing dogs onto campus to soothe anxious students during finals week. At Michigan State University, students have a more unique option to help them de-stress: cow time.

According to Click on Detroit, the recent "Finals Stress mooove on out!" event gave students the chance to brush cows at Michigan State's Dairy Cattle Teaching and Research Center just south of the school's main campus. For $10, participants spent 30 minutes brushing one of the school's 200 dairy cows, an activity designed to relax both the human and the cow.

Not all students come to college with a working knowledge of large-ruminant etiquette, so MSU farm manager Andrea Meade was on hand to show students what to do, prevent them from accidentally spooking the animals, and answer questions about milking and dairy practices.

Studies have shown that petting dogs can help lower your blood pressure, but dogs aren't the only animals that provide people with a psychological boost. A number of animals have been found to help relax humans (though the effect tends to be greater when it's a familiar animal rather than one the person just met), including cows. One 2011 study in Norway found that after working on a dairy farm for 12 weeks, psychiatric patients showed lower levels of anxiety and depression.

And the cows need to be brushed whether there are students there or not, so the event presented a mutually beneficial situation. Many dairies employ automated brush systems to keep cows clean and stimulate blood flow, keeping them happier and healthier in the process.

You don't need to be a student to enjoy the calming effects of cattle, though. Upstate New York's Mountain Horse Farm's hour-long "cow cuddling" sessions let you pet, brush, and play with new bovine friends for $75.

[h/t Click on Detroit]

Tesla Drivers Now Have Access to a Library of Fart Sounds in Their Car

Spencer Platt, Getty Images
Spencer Platt, Getty Images

Tesla’s latest software update includes more than just a few technical tweaks. It also turns the electric vehicles into on-demand fart machines, according to Inverse.

Tesla’s Emissions Testing Mode lets drivers choose different fart sounds from the car’s touchscreen, giving electric-car owners a good sense of Elon Musk’s sense of toilet humor. There’s “Short Shorts Ripper,” “Falcon Heavy,” Ludicrous Fart,” Neurastink,” “Boring Fart,” and “Not a Fart,” all of which are named after some Musky in-joke. (The last one is a play on the Boring Company’s Not a Flamethrower.) Should drivers find it impossible to choose between all the sound effects, the “I’m so random” will shuffle through them automatically.

Users can program the fart sounds to play when a turn signal is activated or when the driver touches the left-side steering scroll wheel. You can see/hear it in action in a Tesla Model S here.

Farting functionality isn’t the only whimsical edition to the software. At this point, Tesla's in-car software comes with a variety of Easter eggs for users to unlock, including games, special lighting effects, and more. In addition to all the flatulence, this update includes a Romance Mode that brings up video of a cozy, crackling fire on the central console and prompts the car to blast the heat and turn on some sensual tunes.

[h/t Inverse]