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The Found Walrus
Peacekeeper
Level 5: 1071 points
Alltime Score: 2527 points
Last Logged In: March 20th, 2011
TEAM: El Lay Zero TEAM: SFZero Animal Posse TEAM: LØVE TEAM: Casting Call TEAM: Game of Deception TEAM: N's a Crowd BART Psychogeographical Association Rank 1: Commuter The University of Aesthematics Rank 2: Dealer Humanitarian Crisis Rank 1: Peacekeeper Biome Rank 2: Ecologist Society For Nihilistic Intent And Disruptive Efforts Rank 1: Anti


retired



25 + 105 points

Overkill by The Found Walrus, Waldo Cheerio

July 1st, 2008 5:29 PM / Location: 34.007967,-118.4896

INSTRUCTIONS: Take a childhood pastime to the extreme.

Extreme Kite Flying

Kite flying is fantastic to a five-year-old, but usually loses its appeal: once you have the plastic up and flapping really not much else can be done with most kites. Stunt kite flying, though, is a much more exciting (one might even say extreme) variation. I've been a stunt kite junkie for a few years, and recently taught Mr. Cheerio. His training was enlivened by a visit from a police helicopter, which, apparently, found our kite interesting, and tightly circled it a few times. I wish I knew if they were doing a threat assessment or just admiring Mr. Cheerio's prowess. He landed quickly and the fuzz departed.

(Waldo: My theory is they had a birds-eye view of a crowded beach, and the pilot was frantically pointing at the ground, shouting to his passenger "No, right there! Look where I am pointing. The guy flying the kite! I found him!" On that basis, the police helicopter pilot took the childhood pastime of finding Waldo to the extreme, by finding him from a freakin' helicopter on the entire California Coastline.)

Later I actually discovered that my 250-feet lines are 50 feet above the legal limit, but I can't think of any sane reason even aerial policemen would be educated in the finer points of stunt kite law.

I'm very fond of my current kite, and would sorely hate to lose it -- I had to train Waldo on the Plan B kite, just as a precaution against losing it (or him) in the crowd.

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Generally one is supposed to steer with hands, but (fortunately?) I broke my left hand a few weeks ago and have had to try flying from the hip. This works surprisingly well.

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This begged an important question. If I can competently fly a stunt kite by tying the lines onto my pants, are there any other alternative, and even more extreme flying methods?

Elbows...
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Feet! This turned out to be an amazingly good workout for my legs. The wind was strong enough that being dragged along by my feet was a very real and sandy problem.
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Knees...?
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Knees lying down.
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The natural effect of experimentation is crash landing. It's hard to steer with knees.
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Kites have a long and distinguished history of kite-on-kite bloodsport (where the aim is to sever the other kite's string), but I don't know of anyone else who uses them to dive-bomb friends. The blue kite is unsuitable for this pursuit: it gets up to 70 mph, and the carbon-fiber poles would likely give someone an EXTREME contusion. Using a lighter kite (below) we had planned for me to knock Mr. Cheerio's hat off, but after he was accidentally beaned by the kite he somewhat lost enthusiasm for the idea and took over flying (and unsuccessful dive-bombing) instead.
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This left another vital question. If I could fly with my feet, could Mr. Cheerio fly blindfolded with spoken instructions? Apparently yes! We had no blindfold, as such, but Mr. Cheerio's hat is surprisingly versatile. (Waldo: I would like to thank all of you who have helped me recover my lost hats over the years, I continue to lead a rich and fulfilling life because of good samaritans like you.)

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- smaller

Super Deluxe Gourmet Stunt Kite Extreme

Super Deluxe Gourmet Stunt Kite Extreme

Mr. Cheerio flying blind. This picture is only first because it had the most interesting looking thumbnail, and we wanted it to appear on the praxis page. An argument can be made that this was the most dangerous thing we tried, and therefor most extreme, but by that logic we should have put up a picture of driving on the Pacific Coast Highway as the most extreme part of the task. So lets just go with that first explanation, and forget you read through this caption before the others.


The Anatomy of Extreme

The Anatomy of Extreme

Here you can see the stunt-kite just before take-off. The pink-tipped string attaches to the right wing, yellow to the left. Pulling on that side causes the kite to bank in that direction, and spin that direction until you even out the tension between the two lines. There are carbon-fiber struts keeping the wings nearly taught. The real magic is in the adjustable struts, that connect the middle of each wing to the long strut in back, which pushes the fabric of the wings up from the strut, giving the kite it's curvature and a great deal of it's lift. Changing the angle of those little struts changes how easily the wind spills out from under the kite; forget to do this in a high-wind situation and the kite will literally tear loose at 70mph and go destroy democracy or some such.


Extreme Shorts

Extreme Shorts

All of this power is harnessed for the sake of a fashionably extreme way to keep one's trousers up. (Because I am forbidden from making reference to Shakira's hips in this caption. Court Order.)


Soaring Majestically

Soaring Majestically

With much trial and error, we were able to get a zoom-shot of the kite, such that you can just see the lines tethering the kite to The Walrus' pants.


How do these apples appeal to you?

How do these apples appeal to you?

Steering with her elbows, The Walrus is still the deadliest woman alive with a kite.


Elbows

Elbows

Elbows. This is more painful than it looks, but at least sitting down the kite can't drag me around much.


Imminent: Da Feet

Imminent: Da Feet

Transferring from elbows to feet, very carefully, to avoid an extreme nose-dive.


Would you believe second deadliest?

Would you believe second deadliest?

When else will you see a fully grown woman, rolling around on her back, kicking at the sky, laughing maniacally about how she could "kill them all"?


Weee!

Weee!

We considered making a spoof of this task, and have shots of the kite in flight, and shots of us holding the lines while doing increasingly absurd things, and then implying we were in fact able to fly the kite in such a position (reading, cooking, on a unicycle, on fire, in a human pyramid, FOR SCIENCE...) but chose instead to test what we could do to put strangers in the way of bodily harm, rather than show off our powers of creative photography. So here's proof -- The Walrus divebombing the Santa Monica Skyline, WITH HER FEET!


Thigh Master Extreme

Thigh Master Extreme


Well you can tell...

Well you can tell...

In the spirit of adventure, and possibly FOR SCIENCE, the Walrus attempted to steer with her knees, while also using THOSE VERY SAME KNEES to stand and balance. The first challenge was standing up...


...by the way I use my walk...

...by the way I use my walk...

Having stood up, the second challenge was to keep the kite from toppling you off-balance. Here we can see The Walrus is resisting the kite and has hopped left and turned against the pull...


...I'm a woman's man: no time to talk

...I'm a woman's man: no time to talk

The third challenge, having managed to avoid being slammed into the edge of the picture, is to take control of the kite by predicting its tugs and jerks and correcting for the tension on each line before it pulls you off-balance...


...Feel the city breakin' and everybody shakin'...

...Feel the city breakin' and everybody shakin'...

The final challenge, of course, in steering a stunt-kite with your knees, is finding your kite again in the impact-crater.


...and we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.

...and we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.

Not to worry though -- flying at the beach means you are most likely to crash into soft sand, or squishy human flesh, neither of which will keep you out of the air for long.


Training Kite

Training Kite

Waldo learned to fly on this lesser-kite. See how happy he looks?


Training Duck

Training Duck

Ducking to avoid an attack from Mr. Cheerio.


Well now, I get low and I get high...

Well now, I get low and I get high...

and if I can't get either, I really try. Got the wings of heaven on my shoes. I'm a dancin' man and I just can't lose. You know it's all right. It's OK. I'll live to see another day. That's all from El Lay Zero this week. Thanks for joining us.



21 vote(s)



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10 comment(s)

(no subject)
posted by teucer on July 1st, 2008 5:35 PM

Vote for non-disastrous contact with the police.

Non-disastrous contact
posted by Waldo Cheerio on July 1st, 2008 6:07 PM

Oh... votes for non-disastrous contact. Well then... I guess I won't be submitting that praxis then. Hmm... Thanks Dok, you've never steered me wrong.

(no subject) +2
posted by teucer on July 1st, 2008 6:27 PM

Disastrous contact is also voteworthy.

(no subject)
posted by The Animus on July 1st, 2008 11:48 PM

How could you even THINK destructive thoughts!? How dare you! That's not what SF0 is about, guys!

(no subject)
posted by Lincøln on July 2nd, 2008 1:17 AM

Ha.

(no subject)
posted by meredithian on July 2nd, 2008 10:14 AM

disastrous = destructive?

uh... ok

(no subject)
posted by The Animus on July 2nd, 2008 10:21 AM

Don't feed the troll.

(no subject)
posted by meredithian on July 2nd, 2008 10:43 AM

huh? i'm just confused. what does this have to do with kite flying, or this praxis? who is a troll.... you don't mean you, do you? i mean, just... what?

edit: er, sorry for the non-relevance. i think i missed something somewhere, but i'll keep it off your thread!

(no subject)
posted by The Animus on July 2nd, 2008 11:36 AM

It's alright. This is just my passive-aggressive way of saying there's aspects of SF0 I don't like. Took me awhile to figure out there's merits beyond these low points. So feel free to ignore me. My apologies to Waldo and The Walrus for mucking up their transcendant work with something so mundane as a failed flame-war.

(no subject)
posted by meredithian on July 2nd, 2008 10:17 AM

i didn't realize that extreme kite-flying even existed. cool.