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Roller Coaster

June 19, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
It was not exactly Mr. Toad's wild ride. More like a roller coaster ride. An octopus attached itself to a female dolphin's belly and went for a short ride off the island of Kalamos in the Ionian Sea. This unusual behavior was observed by Joan Gonzalvo of the Tethys Research Institute in Milan, Italy, who wrote about it on his blog . Gonzalvo photographed a dolphin jumping out of the water with what appeared to be something attached to its...
June 2, 2012 | By Jon Healey
It's been almost three years since the U.S. recession officially ended, but the country remains stuck in a roller-coaster economy. The table above from the Bureau of Economic Analysis says it all -- economic growth speeds up, then slows down, then speeds up, and now it's slowing down again. It's as if there's some kind of invisible ceiling that we can't break through. What's worse, the ceiling isn't all that high -- GDP growth between 3% and 4%. If the United States is to recapture the low unemployment rates of the mid-2000s, before the subprime mortgage meltdown, it needs a sustained run of GDP growth that's solidly above 3%. In the first three months of 2012, by contrast, GDP grew a meager 1.9%.
May 27, 2012
If you go Cedar Point, 1 Cedar Point Drive, Sandusky, Ohio; (419) 627-2350, . Must: Cedar Downs Racing Derby, one of the last racing carousels in the world. Miss: The miserable Mantis stand-up coaster, which left my head aching. Kennywood, 4800 Kennywood Blvd., West Mifflin, Pa.; (412) 461-0500, . Must: The Sky Rocket is ideal for kids transitioning from junior coasters to metal monsters. Miss: Garfield's Nightmare, a glow-in-the-dark comic strip makeover of the 1901 Old Mill ride that ruins the park's oldest attraction.
May 27, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
SANDUSKY, Ohio - As an amusement parks blogger, I have visited most of the big theme parks in Southern California and central Florida, but my roller-coaster résumé was a little thin when it came to the parks in between. So last summer my wife, Nancy, our 11-year-old daughter, Hannah, and I climbed aboard more than 70 coasters in 10 days at theme parks in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We each had established a few rules for our journey across America's Coaster Belt. Hannah was willing to ride coasters reaching 65 mph, topping out at 200 feet and going upside down three times.
May 9, 2012 | By Helene Elliott
Phoenix Coyotes Coach Dave Tippett knows how electrifying the atmosphere at Staples Center can be when the Kings are successful in the playoffs. Before this season they hadn't won a first-round series since 2001, when Tippett was an assistant to Andy Murray and created a power play that was among the NHL's most potent. With the Coyotes and Kings soon to meet for the Western Conference title, Tippett will experience that atmosphere again, but from a different bench and perspective.
May 4, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Billed as the world's tallest water ride, the $26-million Divertical at  Italy's Mirabilandia theme park will combine a shoot-the-chutes flume and a roller coaster track with an offshore powerboat racing theme. PHOTOS: Divertical water coaster at Mirabilandia Debuting June 16, the Divertical water coaster will feature an innovative elevator lift system that carries the 10-person boats to the top of the 197-foot-tall ride. From there, riders will descend a 45-degree water flume at speeds topping 65 mph. After a tidal wave-like splash, the train will continue along a coaster track over air-time hills and hairpin turns before dropping into a second splashdown pool.
May 2, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times
Six Flags Magic Mountain will reclaim sole ownership of the Roller Coaster Capital of the World title with the announcement that arch-rival Cedar Point will remove one of its 17 coasters before the start of the summer season. PHOTOS: Cedar Point vs. Magic Mountain Citing declining ridership and increased maintenance costs, Ohio's Cedar Point said it will remove and demolish the 1979 Wildcat coaster to make room for the upcoming $6-million Luminosity nighttime spectacular, which is set to debut on June 8. PHOTOS: Luminosity nighttime spectacular at Cedar Point "Cedar Point remains committed to being the roller coaster capital of the world," the park said in a statement.
March 29, 2012
MOVIES Watch the terrifying, inspiring and deeply weird roller coaster ride that is underground rocker Bobby Liebling's life. As the founder and lead singer of the almost-made-it 1970s metal band Pentagram, Liebling blew every shot at fame he got with drugs and outrageous behavior. The filmmakers who made "Rock School," pick up with Liebling in his later years and follow his attempt at a comeback in a new documentary called "Last Days Here. " Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. 10:30 p.m. Fri. $12. (323)
March 28, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Real Madrid plans to open a $1 billion soccer-centric theme park on a United Arab Emirates man-made island in January 2015 that celebrates the history, triumphs and hubris of the richest football club in the world. PHOTOS: Real Madrid Resort Island in the Middle East The 100-acre Real Madrid Resort Island  will feature a roller coaster that extends out over the water, a SeaWorld-style dolphin show and a hologram soccer movie inside a climate-controlled theme park.
March 13, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
A racing wooden roller coaster debuting this spring at a Chinese theme park will feature a first-of-its-kind element in which riders in dueling trains reach out toward each other and attempt to exchange high-fives. Dubbed the High Five by the American ride designers, the wooden coaster opening in April at Happy Valley Wuhan will be officially known as Dragon Wings. Riders traveling in parallel trains along banked tracks during the unique High Five element will tilt inward 90 degrees, allowing their upward raised hands to almost touch during the near-miss moment.
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