Thursday, June 23, 2005
And yet it can still be
taken out by a well-placed BB
Up, up and away, in my beautiful,
and yet &%$@!-ed up, balloon.
This week's Invention of the Week award goes to something that scientists and inventors have been trying to perfect for centuries: The upside-down hot-air balloon. This would presumably come in especially handy in places where gravity works backwards.
According to Cameron Balloons spokeswoman Hannah Cameron, developing the upside-down balloon was "a tall order." For instance, she says, "the basket at the top is fake, and there is a real basket underneath, which is hidden by a special skirt that can be lifted as the pilot comes in to land." This solves the main problem that had stymied previous upside-down hot-air balloons, namely the pilot falling to his death or getting trapped inside the balloon and asphyxiating, which happened to more than a dozen volunteers during the rush to perfect an upside-down hot-air balloon during World War I.
Well, we're glad it has finally come to pass, unlike its ill-fated cousin, the upside-down hot-air assisted living facility.