Today’s Illustration: Are You Having Fun Yet?

Here is the advertisement for the amusement park ride called “Free Fall” . . . . 

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“The Freefall is an amusement ride developed by Giovanola and marketed throughout the world by Swiss company, Intamin. 

Two generations of this ride were developed. First generation Freefall rides can be identified by the angled supports at the base of the lift tower.

Second generation Freefall rides were identical, but the tower’s base structure on those variants did not taper outward.

It was a common ride at major amusement parks until the late 1990s, when the classic freefall rides began being replaced with larger, higher-capacity Drop Tower alternatives.

Since then, Freefalls have been disappearing from midways, to be replaced by the newer-technology rides such as the Intamin Giant Drop (2nd generation), Gyro Drop (3rd generation), and the S&S Power series of compressed-air tower rides.

Currently, Demon Drop at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom; Hollywood Action Tower at Movie Studios Park, Italy; Freefall at Rusutsu Resort, Japan; Free Fall at Central Park, Japan; and Free Fall at Nagashima Spa Land, Japan; are the only remaining Intamin first generation Freefall rides in operation.”  wikipedia

 

“The ride can accommodate up to four riders, and consists of three main sections; the loading and unloading station, the lift tower, and the drop and run-out track. Riders are loaded into a gondola type car near ground level at the station and secured with over the shoulder harnesses. The gondola is then moved backwards horizontally to the rear base of the lift tower and then climbs vertically to the top of the tower in 7.2 seconds. Once there, it slides forward and hangs over the drop track for a few seconds. Without warning, the car is released and riders drop 60 feet in less than two seconds before experiencing the deceleration g-forces as the car enters a pull-out curve which transitions the vertical fall into a horizontal brake run. As the gondola rolls through the brake run to slow down, the riders are facing the sky. Once it stops at the end of the run, a mechanism swings the top of the car down, and the gondola moves in reverse at a downward 45 degree angle to another track where it returns to an upright position. It then returns to the station in reverse traveling below the brake run track.”

How safe is it? 
Two-incidents.

Illinois

On May 22, 1984, an accident occurred on The Edge, a first generation Freefall ride at Marriott’s Great America (now Six Flags Great America) in Gurnee, Illinois. A supporting cable snapped, and the mechanism’s anti-rollback devices failed to stop the car from plummeting nearly 60 feet to the bottom of the tower. Contrary to public belief and rumor, it did not crash down on top of another car and no one was killed in the accident. Three teens were treated at a local hospital and released. To prevent this type of accident from recurring, Intamin doubled the number of anti-rollbacks on the tower and the ride programming was changed so that a car did not enter the elevator shaft until the previous car has completed its descent from the tower. This change slightly lowered the ride’s capacity. The Edge re-opened after having been refitted, but the stigma associated with the accident caused ridership to be low and it was eventually closed and removed in 1986.

Ohio

In 1999, four teenagers were injured after two ride vehicles on Mr. Hyde’s Nasty Fall collided at the now defunct Geauga Lake amusement park.

The ride is up for sale this week.

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Key Biblical Concepts:

  • fear
  • danger
  • risk
  • life and death
  • free will
  • trials
  • self-inflicted trials
  • survival
  • emotions
  • fun / “joy”
  • bodily warnings
  • conscience
  • unexpected
  • drama
  • etc

. . .. . . . . .  . . . .

Key Useful Phrases:

  • the stigma associated with the accident caused ridership to be low
  • A supporting cable snapped
  • anti-rollback devices failed
  • Contrary to public belief and rumor
  • prevent this type of accident from recurring
  • Without warning
  • accident caused ridership to be low
  • programming was changed
  • nothing but net
  • free fall
  • “attraction”
  • etc.

There are different ways to use this illustrative material. 

#1) The simplest method is to merely reference as much of the material as you think necessary in your introduction to establish the theme . . . . 

The articles and pictures on this ride indicate and stated that (include what you find helpful) . . . . .

Purposefully seeking out a free-falling event seems is counter-intuitive.  Jumping off from a high location sets off all kinds of bodily reactions.  The body begins screaming that you are in trouble and something bad is about to happen very quickly. 

All of us have probably had heard that screaming voice as a ladder move unnaturally or even gave way.  These events trigger the emotion of FEAR. The mind quickly seeks survival mechanisms such as reaching out, looking for a better way or place to fall, looking for or grabbing something on the way down, quickly – in microseconds – trying to plan your place of landing.  We are seeking a way to survive, and our natural instincts help us survive.

Nevertheless, we somehow like the feeling.  While it doesn’t make sense to jump off of a perfectly solid structure, people make that choice at amusement parks and other freefall activities.  While the body interprets such as danger, we force our will to do it anyway!  While such a danger paralyzes some, others are excited about taking the opportunity.  While some are so risk-averse that they stay away from most all amusement rides except the kiddie-train, others scour the country for the biggest, highest, or most thrilling new ride. 

That is what our God-given conscience does.  It tells us that what we are about to do is dangerous, wrong, good reason to reconsider.  This God-implanted spiritual mechanism sets off a series of mental reactions and warns us that some bad may well happen if we take this “jump..”  The more we know and understand the Scriptures, the louder the reactions. . . . 

OR

#2) We can take a word or a phrase from one of the articles we have read and use it to drive home the point or create our BigIdea, which flows through the message.

Purposefully seeking out a free-falling event seems is counter-intuitive.  Jumping off from a high location sets off all kinds of bodily reactions.  The body begins screaming that you are in trouble and something bad is about to happen very quickly. 

One of the articles on this particular amusement park ride says this . . . .

“Riders are loaded into a gondola type car near ground level at the station and secured with over the shoulder harnesses. The gondola is then moved backwards horizontally to the rear base of the lift tower and then climbs vertically to the top of the tower in 7.2 seconds.”

Once there, it slides forward and hangs over the drop track for a few seconds.

Now listen to these next words . . . 

Without warning, the car is released and riders drop 60 feet in less than two seconds. . . . “

If the 7-second “elevator ride” was not bad enough, how about the 2-second ride down — but “WITHOUT WARNING.”  YOu know it is going to happen.  You are on the ride because you chose to have it happen.  You are not expecting anything else but the free-fall drop down — but the anxiety of WHEN it happens is apparently part of the thrill.  There is no countdown beep or voice.  You will be released to fall freely to the ground at a time unknown to you, but it is only for two seconds.  Purposeful “drama,” heightened by the anticipation of the coming drama

That is what some people call “fun.” 
And to some, it is a way to “amuse” oneself. 
That is why there are even such places called  “amusement parks.

For such riders, “without warning” is part of the ride.  They knew stepping on to that ride that everything would be done to push the adrenaline.  The “rush” increases as one waits for it to happen, to be surprised by what you understood was going to happen.

But “without warning” is not part of what some planned on when they made risky decisions in life.  Some did not plan on all the drama.  However, the drama and adrenaline come with some decisions and behavior in life — known or unknown to the participant. 

That is also what causes some to get themselves in deep trouble during life and living.  They are looking for something which breaks the mundane of living.  However, unexpected drama often comes “without warning.”  They had no idea as to what was about to happen — as did the freewill amusement riders who enjoyed the wait which was all part of the understood fun . . . . “Without Warning! . . . . .  

 

OR

#3) You can go analogical (Begin with using as much of the information as you deem helpful and then) . . . .
Note: Begin by highlighting some of the article’s interesting or key phrases because you are going to pull them down into the illustration — see articles on Tony Evans — He is a master at this.

An article on this ride says this  . . . . . 

“The ride can accommodate up to four riders . . . . Riders are loaded into a gondola type car near ground level at the station and secured with over the shoulder harnesses.

The gondola is then moved backwards horizontally to the rear base of the lift tower and then climbs vertically to the top of the tower in 7.2 seconds.

Once there, it slides forward and hangs over the drop track for a few seconds.

Without warning, the car is released and riders drop 60 feet in less than two seconds before experiencing the deceleration g-forces as the car enters a pull-out curve which transitions the vertical fall into a horizontal brake run.

As the gondola rolls through the brake run to slow down, the riders are facing the sky.

Once it stops at the end of the run, a mechanism swings the top of the car down, and the gondola moves in reverse at a downward 45 degree angle to another track where it returns to an upright position.

It then returns to the station in reverse traveling below the brake run track.”

All these movements are designed to drive the adrenaline and increase the “rush” of the experience . . . . .

How safe is it?  The article states . . . . 

On May 22, 1984, an accident occurred on The Edge, a first generation Freefall ride at Marriott’s Great America (now Six Flags Great America) in Gurnee, Illinois. A supporting cable snapped, and the mechanism’s anti-rollback devices failed to stop the car from plummeting nearly 60 feet to the bottom of the tower. Contrary to public belief and rumor, it did not crash down on top of another car and no one was killed in the accident — [That’s good to know?]. Three teens were treated at a local hospital and released. To prevent this type of accident from recurring, Intamin doubled the number of anti-rollbacks on the tower and the ride programming was changed so that a car did not enter the elevator shaft until the previous car has completed its descent from the tower. This change slightly lowered the ride’s capacity. The Edge re-opened after having been refitted, but the stigma associated with the accident caused ridership to be low and it was eventually closed and removed in 1986.

You see, in the Christian walk, God’s plan is not to drive the adrenaline and increase the “rush” by trials and difficulties in life.  His plan is to give rest, not rush

None of the biblically created supporting cables will ever snap, and no rollback devices will fail when you are following His will for life and living. 

While God’s people have died on the journey, no one was ever killed by accident in God’s plan and program. 

The divine programming never needs to be changed or adjusted because something didn’t work out in this-or-that situation. 

The divine venture’s capacity didn’t need to change whether it was Ester & Mordecai, or the millions crossing the Red Sea. 

Ridership is only low when those who are called to follow, don’t — when they don’t enter the promised land, but disobey.

 

 

 



https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1986-03-12-8601180746-story.html

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https://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/thrillrides/freefall/

https://www.upi.com/Archives/1986/03/12/The-Edge-a-131-foot-high-thrill-ride-that-injured-three/3898510987600/

 

Free Falling: the science of weightlessness

https://headrushtech.com/blog/what-free-fall-quick-lesson-physics.html

 

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