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10 December 2006

schnappsQ: Lenny + Spike's Zero-Friktion Thrill Park on Planet Hoon

click, maybe it gets clearer

Okay, you know I don't like to talk much about Planet Hoon. It has some absolutely spectacular and really cheap ethnic food (I love the vèëéèèëéèèëéè) and some of the nastiest goddam music clubs in the whole Dwingeloo-2 Galaxy.

But the fact is, Hoon makes me sort of uncomfortable, and I don't like to visit it very often. (Unless there's a really great music act there which is banned from playing on Vleeptron because of the Youth Music High Standards & Morals Act).

Hoon sort of doesn't have very many Laws or Rules. It's a Wild and Free sort of planet, like the USA used to be, and like Tallin is.

So it's hardly surprising that my backpacking Youth Acquaintances from Earth, Lenny and Spike, ended up on Hoon.

I just got an e-mail from the boys. Somehow they hooked up with AaaaaaahnDrayUh, one of the student deejays at WOZQ-FM who is on an extended sabbatical from her studies at the new Engineering Department of Smith College, down the road from my house in Northampton. Like her new buds Lenny & Spike, she found the Zeta Beam somehow and ended up on Hoon. She's sort of sweet on Spike, but when Spike isn't around, Lenny will do. Sometimes they're all around.

Like most WOZQ deejays, she sux as a student, but she's really smart, and she showed Lenny and Spike how to cook up a gizmo that cancels all Friction within 200 meters.

No shit, she really did that.

And that's how Lenny + Spike's Zero-Friktion Thrill Park was born. So far it's got 3 really awesome rides, and no seatbelts or confinement bars or safety headgear or liability insurance. they sell cheap beer and peppermint and cherry schnapps, they don't ask for i.d., and whenever it's warmer than -322C, they have outdoor music concerts under the 4 or 5 moons of Hoon with some really bitchin rad phat acts.

Here's the rough sketch for their 4th ride.

2 or 3 or 4 or 5 teenagers shove themselves into a Sphere and get locked in. then Spike or Lenny gives the sphere a little nudge, and it rolls onto the track, and everything that happens after that is entirely a function of Gravity. (Hoon has Gravity, it's a Law there.)

But No Friction between the sphere and the track. AaaaaaahnDrayUh's gizmo nulls all the Friction. So that sucker can really pick up some Speed.

However, as you can see, the original design for a Straight Down Ramp track was REJECTED by the Hoon Thrill Ride Inspector. It was just too fucking slow.

Now AaaaaaahnDrayUh has to figure out a different kind of track that will be faster than a Straight Down Ramp.

In fact she has set herself the
Challenge of designing a track which will get the Sphere from its starting point at P(0) to the subsequent point P(1) in the least possible time.

Maybe you're as smart as AaaaaahnDrayUh, or maybe smarter. And Lenny and Spike would really appreciate it if you could solve this PizzaQ, so they can get their new Thrill Ride approved by the Inspector.

They don't give away pizza, but if you can show age i.d. they're giving the winner 3 miniatures of fruit-flavored schnapps. That stuff kix ass!


Mike said...

Lots -o- questions.

1. What's the angle on that rejected track?

2. Are P(0) and P(1) fixed in space, or would a change to the shape of the track affect the positions of those two points?

3. What would these two guys consider a "Babe", cause I'm pretty hot you know, and some guys swing that way (hey, 50 cents is 50 cents)

Bob Merkin said...

Hey Hey Hey is this Married Mike? Congratulations!

1. The Rejected Track was just a straight line down ramp.

(Lenny and Spike are simple sorts of guys and figured a straight ramp would be the fastest track.)

P(1) is below P(0), but not directly below. They're horizontally displaced.

(So you can't just drop the sphere straight down; the ride needs a track that the frictionless sphere always rolls on.)

And the Thrill Ride Inspector says no matter what the angle of a straight-line ramp -- it's Too Slow.

In other words,

* at least one other shape track would be faster than a straight ramp, and

* one particular track shape would be faster than any other track shape.

2. P(0) and P(1) are fixed in an x-y Cartesian plane as the ordered pairs

P(0) = {x(0), y(0)}
P(1) = {x(1), y(1)}

As noted above,

x(1) > x(0)
y(0) > y(1)

and they never change position.

Only the track connecting them can change. You can design any shape track you like, but the Challenge is to find the track that gets the Sphere from P(0) to P(1) in the shortest possible time.

Gravity on Hoon works just like gravity on Earth.

3. Okay, you get the 50 cent discount. But bring some babes with you.

Mike said...

OH, you're talking about a Brachistochrone curve! Ironically, they mentioned this in Spiderman 2. :) Originally solved by Johann Bernoulli, and later made harder by his little brother (isn't that just like a little brother). Sheesh, are you in the habit of asking questions that Galileo got wrong?

Yes, this is Married Mike. :) Thank you! One of these times, Amy and I are going to have to make you pay up on all this pizza we're earning. You'll have to drop by the Biggest Little City in the World. We'll buy the beer. :)

Vleeptron Dude said...

Oh! pardon years of delay, but ... I never got a chance to tell you that *I* the uptown hi-tone cineaste never SAW any of the SpiderMan franchise movies (and I thought the comic books sucked, too).

Consequently the Vleeptron Ministry of Pizza & Fruit Schnapps did not realize it was asking a question whose answer is known to the occupants of nearly every Airstream and Winnebego in the Trailer Park, who gather round the barrel fire on cold nights and discuss the brachistochrone and other famous historical problems. To pass the time, they trisect arbitrary angles, double the cube, and extract higher integral roots.

Remember this is Hoon, and the Dwingeloo-2 Galaxy, so Lenny & Spike quickly learned to expand their swinging directions to accomodate all 6 known sexual identities and orientations and genders. (Amy won an early pizza by knowing the nature of Mozart's perversion. She also issued a stern warning, I think a reflection of her professional training, against doing what Mozart did. She also, I think, quoted her Mother on this subject.)

But now I very much want to notify all Trailer Park movie fans that the newest issue of Cahiers du Vleeptron -- post is like 8 November 2015 -- is devoted to the Quadruplex Multi-Odeon-12 blockbuster in general, featuring international reviews of "Jurassic World," in which mutant monster dinosaurs and assorted mad bioengineers and boy teenagers who like to neck with girl teenagers wreak havoc on a whomp-butt successful Thrill Park (a division of Ingen).

This fine blockbuster won my heart by having many teenagers (all guilty of all kinds of annoying teenage stuff) devoured savagely by the mutant dinosaurs.

PizzaQ (1 slice plain): What band played at the opening of the new crazy wild rollercoaster in "Rollercoaster" (in Sensurround (tm)). PizzaQ Honor Rules suspended ... STREAM & WATCH THIS GREAT MALL MOVIE NOW!

Oh and notice that this special issue of Cahiers du Vleeptron is Horizontally Expanded to accomodate the anamorphic format.

Jeez ... did Peter Parker really discuss the brachistochrone problem? Unglaublich.