If putting a slide on a skyscraper seems a little extreme, how about a roller coaster?
If there's one those of us who live on the internet can agree on, it's that outside sucks. It's nothing but roads, buildings, sprawling forests, breathtaking vistas -- you know, lame stuff like that. But outside used to be so much fun, didn't it? Swinging around the jungle gym and rollerblading down the street were the best part of your day. It was only a matter of time before someone got their heads together to make all that boring stuff fun again. To that end...
One thing Silicon Valley has made clear is something everyone secretly already knew: Every adult wants their office to be Chuck E. Cheese. Not to be outdone by their wimpy neighbors to the north, the owners of LA's US Bank Tower have symbolically thrown Facebook's ping-pong balls right back at them and declared "Oh yeah? We're putting in a fucking slide."
Your move, Zuckerberg.
The SkySlide, which will extend from the 70th to the 69th floor, will have a glass bottom so you can fully appreciate being anywhere other than on the streets of Downtown Los Angeles, capturing that surprisingly large demographic of people old enough to have conquered their fear of heights who still giggle at the number 69.
Oue Limited/Skyspace LA
And giggle because sliding makes your soft parts feel funny.
The clearly superior alternative to elevators is just one part of the biggest makeover the building's had since Independence Day. Those two floors are being entirely converted into what they're calling the SkySpace, which will include a bar on the 70th floor and an observation deck on the 69th (hee). So you can get drunk, whiz down the slide, and take in the stunning views of the San Fernando Valley. It's like a fancier version of your regular Thursday night at the local elementary school.
The rather unimaginatively-named Skyscraper will be the tallest roller coaster in the world when it opens in 2018, as well as the tallest structure in Orlando, quite literally towering over the Suntrust Center (a puny, embarrassing 400 feet). You can virtually experience it firsthand in this video, which shows passengers dangling sideways and upside-down 570 feet above Orlando, testing even the stupidest child's trust in theme park engineers and fear of gravity.
Okay, so it's not really a skyscraper -- there's nothing inside except the Skyfall, the world's tallest drop ride, which looks like what your subconscious would do with your memory of riding the Frog Hopper in the middle of a nightmare. It's all part of the SkyPlex, the result of Orlando deciding they didn't have enough theme parks. The aerial entertainment center will also include the SkyPlaza, an open-air promenade of restaurants and shops. After that, they ran out of things they could put "Sky" in front of.
Renewable energy is great and all, but wind turbines are just super ugly, you guys. Can't we save the planet and have nice things? Maybe we can if a Swedish architecture firm succeeds in its crazy plans for a vertical wind turbine. With just a few small adjustments, they insist they can make existing buildings double as wind power plants, "open[ing] up possibilities of how buildings can produce energy." Oh, and also make them look like a Dr. Seuss creation.
A tower, a palace, a tall furry phallus!
That's what the firm intends a Stockholm residential tower to look like after it's finished with it. Yes, you can live in a Truffula tree house. Those hairy fingers waggling off the "Strawscraper" are in fact thousands of thin straws that gather energy from the wind. This design actually has a lot of advantages over traditional wind turbines. It's not capable of doing much more than gently slapping a passing bird, and its bristles don't need much wind to be rustled, sucking in the maximum amount of energy. In other words, its floppity feelers flick to and fro, regardless of gusting and gales from Orebro, which our avian allies appreciate so.
The Matterhorn and other mountain-themed rides are always popular theme park attractions, but when all's said and done, they're still only fake mountains. It kinda takes you out of your Cool Runnings fantasy, you know? But the Dolni Morava resort in the Czech Republic is an adventure park built on top of an actual mountain, featuring real bobsled runs, a water park, and an "adrenaline park" with 40-foot swings and climbing towers. The Czech are hardcore, you guys.
We don't even know what's going on here, but we're sold.
The crowning jewel of Dolni Morava, however, is the SkyWalk. (Hey SkyPlex, there's one you didn't think of!) Perched atop the mountain, the wooden walkway twists and turns almost 200 feet up into the air like a literal stairway to heaven. It took nearly an entire year to build, mostly because -- no joke -- the workers kept getting enveloped in friendly little clouds.
Once you get to the top, there is, of course, a slide that will take you all the way around the structure to the ground ... and back up, and back down, and back up, and back down, until your mom needs to carry you home and you fall asleep in her arms.
A funny thing happens to our brains over the summer: No matter how reliably the winter is going to suck, people will forget how to drive in it. The result is thousands of grandmas going 10 mph, determined to keep you from getting to work on time. Which is arguably better than the alternative (i.e. a fiery death via car crash). Your mileage may vary, of course. You'll be less affected if you live in, say, Southern California than you would in Canada. An Edmonton city councilor once joked "Why don't we just crack the fire hydrants open, flood the streets, and let people skate to work in the winter?" Because Canada is a magical place, decades later, his question has been answered with a resounding "Fuck yes."
"Aww skate, skate, skate!"
A 400-meter path has transformed the Victoria Park area into a Charlie Brown strip. It makes perfect sense, really. If people can walk and bike to work, why can't they skate? The "Freezeway" -- so named because it would be downright un-Canadian not to call it something adorable -- may even expand along an 11-kilometer stretch of land currently being used by cyclists and pedestrians.
The Edmonton Freezeway
"Wait, isn't that what it's like there already?" -- all non-Canadian readers
Not everyone is getting into the spirit, however. Councilor Mike Nickel called it "the stupidest idea I've heard," arguing that the money could be better spent improving the city's infrastructure or something lame like that. It was hard to tell; he sounded an awful lot like a muffled trombone.
The Las Vegas of the United Arab Emirates, otherwise known as Dubai, is already home to a number of outlandish attractions, boasting the world's tallest tennis court and plans for an underwater hotel. Apparently, in a bid to out-ridiculous the ridiculous capital of the world, but somewhat lacking their creativity, one dude looked around and thought, "Got it -- underwater tennis court."
8+8 Concept Studios
That's a long way to go for some pun about "nets."
That guy is Polish architect Krzysztof Kotala, whose plans include a seven-court arena under an enormous glass dome under a man-made coral reef (to attract the maximum amount of nature to flip off, of course). It's a long way from reality, unfortunately. There are a few teensy problems to overcome with any underwater structure, like where the hell to put it and how to make sure its inhabitants aren't doomed to the fanciest of watery graves. This has made raising the exorbitant funds needed for the project a bit difficult. According to the latest reports, however, Kotala insists he's in talks with investors, adding his detractors to the list of wildlife he intends to conquer.
Manna is allergic to outside, but she makes the best of it by hanging out on Twitter all day.
Deep inside us all behind our political leanings, our moral codes and our private biases, there is a cause so colossally stupid, we surprise ourselves with how much we care. Whether it's toilet paper position, fedoras on men or Oxford commas, we each harbor a preference so powerful we can't help but proselytize to the world. In this episode of the Cracked podcast, guest host Soren Bowie is joined by Cody Johnston, Michael Swaim and special guests to discuss the most trivial things we will argue about until the day we die. Get your tickets here!
For more insane buildings, check out The 5 Craziest Buildings Ever Proposed With A Straight Face and 6 Impressive Works Of Architecture In The Middle Of Nowhere.
Also, follow us on Facebook, and we'll play underwater tennis together.