Where science and tech meet creativity.

Disney LandLet me preface this by saying I am sometimes a bit crazy. After AAPT and ASP, I decided I needed a brain break. The ASP conference ended at 3pm Sunday, and having checked out of my room at 2pm, I hatched a crazy plan to go to Disney. And I did. I rented a car from Ontario airport (Enterprise will not pick you up on Sundays if you are in Claremont, CA), drove to Disney, and by 5:30pm I was inline for Space Mountain. I stayed at the park until 1am riding rides and mentally writing a blog entry I now don’t have the mental energy to write. Just shy of 2am I was in my rental car on my way to LAX, and at 2:42am I found my self confused at Enterprise at LAX. They close at a reasonable hour, and have people turn cars in at a nearby hotel after hours. This actually made me feel much happier – rental car places in industrial parks are scary! That said, it took me two tries to find the place the car actually went. A shuttle ride later, I found myself at LAX at 3:45am or my 6am flight. This gave me just enough time to grab coffee and a bagel, check in, get stopped in airport security for dressing stupid (metal bits in my clothing I didn’t realize would lead to some very personal frisking), and find my gate. I had a 45 minute wait (enough time to charge my iPod, which I’d drained at Disney).

Had I, like my more sane colleagues, gotten a hotel room for the night, I probably would have saved about $40 (ignoring my compulsion Mickey purchases), but I don’t think I’d have had nearly as much chaotic silliness. Adventures are good.

And tomorrow this blog will return to hard science for a while .

But before leaving these adventures behind, here are a few Disney reflections:

  • If you are clearly listening to an iPod, the characters won’t try and hug you
  • If you are listening an iPod, it will be practically easier if you run you headphone wire through your clothing so there are fewer things for wildly gesturing children to accidentally loop around a limb.
  • If you ever actually went as fast is would seem to be implied if you assume the things that look like stars on space mountain are stars, you’d measure your speed in lightyears / second, which just ain’t gonna happen.
  • I still haven’t figured out how the “Haunted House” works. I’m thinking really clean glass, but . . .
  • They added an animatronic of Johnny Depp to “Pirates of the Caribbean”, and it is much better actuated than any of the other Pirates. I have to wonder why Disney doesn’t invest in wowing us with all new tech on Pirates and “It’s a Small World.”
  • They serve really bad coffee at Disney
  • Far too many girls want to be princesses. More should want to be pirates 🙂
  • A large number of boys want to be Buzz Lightyear – I think this is a good thing.
  • It is really neat how tilted a room with a video screen projecting forward motion can give the physical sensation of acceleration.
  • The bobsled ride is gonna make a great homework problem (Why do the circles need to get bigger as you go down the mountain if your seats are inclined and you want to be gentle on human bodies?)
  • It was fun to learn I could still go 36 hours straight and be functional-ish after 4 hours sleep (although the ish part is greater than it used to be)