Thursday, January 15, 2004

Scientific Researchers: "Riding Roller Coasters Gives You Beer Goggles"

According to an actual published scientific article, roller coaster riding gives you beer goggles. Or, in scientific mumbo-jumbo, you undergo some "roller-coaster-induced excitation transfer."

The paper, written by psychologists Meston and Frohlich at the University of Texas-Austin, is titled "Love at first fright: partner salience moderates roller-coaster-induced excitation transfer," and is readily available in abstract form at Pubmed.

According to the research team, numerous amusement park patrons were approached as they were getting on or exiting a roller coaster. Quoting the abstract directly:

Participants were shown a photograph of an average attractive, opposite-gendered individual and asked to rate the individual on attractiveness and dating desirability. Participants were also asked to rate their seatmates' levels of attractiveness. Consistent with the predictions of excitation transfer theory, for males and females riding with a nonromantic partner, ratings of attractiveness and dating desirability toward the photographed individual were higher among persons exiting than entering the ride.

"This is good news for coaster enthusiasts the world over," stated American Coaster Enthusiasts Special Secretary in Charge of Insulting ACE Members and Assuring Them Their Opinions are Quite Unimportant Jeff Seifert. "We all know that it's basically impossible for these drooling herds of idiots to actually hook up and score with anyone.

"This study shows us that all any coaster enthusiast needs to do is shovel that bag of fried Oreos down the hatch, belch, fart, pull those black dress socks out of the flip-flops, and just grab a seat next to any random nubile babe or hunk of manbeef. No matter how horrifically unattractive the enthusiast is, as long as he or she drools on him or herself and assaults their seatmate with useless banter about sad, poor, lonely coasters after the coaster ride is complete, not before, they are almost certain to get themselves some trim."


[Author's Note: Who would have thought that the Pubmed website would be a veritable treasure trove of amusement value? But it is! In addition to the actual article quoted above, a brief search revealed 53 hits for "wanker," an article with authors named "Cock" and "Shanks," another article which seems to strongly imply that beavers prefer sticks that are moist, and one last one with a title a little too nasty to include in our pristine, child-friendly pages.]
SFGAdv's Pendulum Departure Boosts Career of Montreal Expos Outfielder

Tim Black, the eccentric General Manager holding the reins behind Six Flags Great Adventure, is widely known for his lucrative business deals that don't really, technically speaking, create any value for the company's stockholders. Known better as Great Adventure's "Crazy Uncle Who No One Invites to Dinner," Tim Black is continuing his trend of trading away his newly purchased flat-rides for small, insignificant objects, and this time Pendulum (a Huss Frisbee) is the one on the line.

Pendulum, which operated next to Great Adventure's popular LIM-launched coaster, Batman and Robin: The Chiller (which doesn't operate all that often next to Pendulum), was one of the several new flat-rides installed for the 1999 season. Still in its teething years, Pendulum just finished being disassembled and packaged for freight transport across the border. According to reliable sources, Tim Black traded the Huss flat in exchange for a near-mint Matt Cepicky baseball card with a 10-year-old Mexican boy in a transaction conducted entirely in a suburban New Jersey McDonald's restroom.

Regarding comitting a business deal with a child, Black insists that the boy made an offer he couldn't refuse, especially under the pretenses of the negotiation. "He was a fast talker. I wasn't too sure what he was saying since I mostly slept through Spanish in high school, but I could tell that he knew the score. Like most boys his age, I knew he went into that McDonald's bathroom with the intent of leaving with ownership of a Huss Frisbee." As for his half of the deal, Black reports that he is "quite pleased with the baseball card" and that he has "been meaning to start collecting those things."

Matt Cepicky, the Montreal Expos outfielder whose baseball card was involved in this bathroom transaction, says that this is the sort of thing that is going to give his career a kick in the right direction: towards the field. Matt hopes that the spread of his baseball card will give his bosses the incentive to allow him to play a few games in the 2004 season. Matt says that "this is the sort of thing that can make a guy a hall-of-famer."

Manual Ortega, the 10-year-old-boy who traded away his baseball card to Tim Black, plans to properly staff the ride in his backyard with operators and maintence personel.

Ortega is being considered to replace Black as Great Adventure's General Manager for the 2004 season.