Oh Chute! How To Blow Up A Six Flags Ride | KERA News

Oh Chute! How To Blow Up A Six Flags Ride

Oct 11, 2012

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A thrill is gone, veep debate bingo, handspring world record and more.

The Texas Chute Out came tumbling down -- on purpose -- yesterday at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. The 225-foot tall ride was built in 1976 and has undoubtedly provided plenty of screams, laughs and smiles for parkgoers. And the demolition produced at least one strangely riveting video.

Thirty-six years is a good run for a thrill ride. This one’s being replaced with one almost double the size: The Texas Skyscreamer, a 400-foot-tall super-duper-family-swing, should be ready for riders next spring.

Side note: The Texas Chute Out was one of three rides based on the now-shuttered Coney Island Parachute Drop. The Great Gasp in Atlanta, and the Jump Tower in New Jersey are the other two.

I rode the Great Gasp every single time I was at Six Flags Over Georgia. Its lines were quick, and the view was always breathtaking. Sadly, it closed in 2005, which leaves only the Jump Tower standing at Six Flags Adventure in New Jersey.

-- Justin Martin

Debate Fun: The Veep Edition

When the presidential candidates squared off for the first time last week, High Five fans celebrated with a toast of politicocktails at the downtown Dallas bar The Chesterfield.

For tonight’s vice presidential faceoff between Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Joe Biden, our compadres at WNYC in New York have come up with a play-at-home game with a social media twist. It’s called Veep Debate Bingo, and you can tweet along using the hashtag #debatebingo.

PBS’ coverage of the debate, hosted by ABC’s Martha Raddatz, airs on KERA-Channel 13 starting at 8 p.m. NPR’s show starts at the same time on 90.1 FM.

-- Rick Holter

Two, Four, Six, 35: Hockaday Cheerleader Smashes World Record

There’s no ribbon-clad victory hugpile like the one when a 16-year-old cheerleader becomes internationally famous. See for yourself: Miranda Ferguson, a junior at Dallas’ Hockaday School, did 35 back-handsprings in a row to shatter the Guinness World Record of 32.

Cheer and gymnast vets might be slightly impatient with those who use the term “backflip” for any trick that moves backward. Miranda’s hands and feet hit the ground for each backhandspring counted. Two-syllabic, if you will.

This, my friends, is a standing backflip, and the record-holder for number of executions in one minute hit 36.

-- Lyndsay Knecht

Romney’s Ad Chief Was Born In Fort Worth, Worked In Dallas

Fort Worth-born Jim Ferguson was behind the “Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner” ads and co-wrote the screenplay for 1994’s Little Giants. Perhaps most impressively, he scrawls his to-do lists on his ankle.

The tattooed small-towner is now the creative director for Mitt Romney’s presidential ad campaign, which is how we came to know about his other achievements: Tim Madigan of the  Fort Worth Star Telegram wrote a profile on him.

Hadn’t heard about the tie? Don’t feel left out. Even folks in the tiny town of Hico where Ferguson grew up somehow missed it:

Given the focus on the battleground states, few people in Hico, or Texas for that matter, have seen any of Ferguson's recent creations, and back home he hasn't flaunted his current gig. In fact, Lynn Allen, longtime owner of the Koffee Kup, said he wasn't aware of Ferguson's ties to Romney until a reporter mentioned it last week.

"Usually we get the gossip around our coffee table," Allen said. "I'm surprised that no one has mentioned anything about it. I knew he was in public relations and had done some very good things." 

-- Lyndsay Knecht

Space Age: Building The World On ‘Think’ 

More than usual around here, architecture has made it into water cooler talk -- “Man, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science looks so weird!” -- and discussions amongst local kindergartners, who know the answer to the Museum Tower vs. Nasher debacle is really just Spiderman and a giant umbrella.

Appreciators seasoned and otherwise will enjoy decorated Canadian architect Brian MacKay-Lyons’ appearance on Think today. He’s in town to help judge the AIA Dallas Built Awards. The honors recognize work by Dallas artists, whether it’s here or elsewhere in the U.S.

Some area projects you’d recognize among the nominations: UT Dallas’ Student Services Building, Watermark Community Church, and the Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel.

Listen at noon. 

-- Lyndsay Knecht