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Stanley in Space
September 21, 2012 5:12 PM   Subscribe


 
Is it by train?
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 5:24 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I laughed at the moment when the balloon busted and the train went to a sad face.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:25 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


MFW you are 18 miles up and your balloon pops. I know that feel Stanley.

In the future all space exploration should be done by tiny toy trains. It would be totes adorbs to see them rolling around mars.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:26 PM on September 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


Here is my question and I always think this when I see videos like this -

I know the odds are, like, statistically negligible, but what if that thing comes tumbling down through the sky and like, crashes through my windshield and murders me to death?

Or my kid is going up the slide at the playground and a train from space falls on him?

I saw some guy lose his GoPro out a plane the other day somewhere and was thinking the same thing.

Does that ever happen? Or is it just such a needle and haystack thing that out in the middle of the country like this it's just kind of like, "That'll never happen."

I worry a lot. I guess I'm a worrier.
posted by kbanas at 5:28 PM on September 21, 2012


kbanas, from the YouTube description:

Quick note on safety
I'm getting so many comments regarding safety that I think I should write a quick note to let everyone know of the precautions I took before launching Stanley into the sky.

First off, I called the FAA 15 minutes before launch (per their instructions) so they could make sure no planes fly into the flight path.

Second, the box was only 2 pounds and made of foam core, with a wooden dowel to hold Stanley in front of the camera.
I spent two months monitoring the winds with this website http://weather.uwyo.edu/polar/balloon_traj.html to pinpoint the general area that he would land. For safely, I launched him from a location that I knew would bring him down into farm land. The prediction website was only 5-10 miles off, so he landed safely in a corn field, far away from any towns.

I didn't want Stanley to be a murderer. Plus I wanted to make sure my son got Stanley back. :)

posted by jontyjago at 5:31 PM on September 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


Quick note on safety
I'm getting so many comments regarding safety that I think I should write a quick note to let everyone know of the precautions I took before launching Stanley into the sky.

First off, I called the FAA 15 minutes before launch (per their instructions) so they could make sure no planes fly into the flight path.

Second, the box was only 2 pounds and made of foam core, with a wooden dowel to hold Stanley in front of the camera.
I spent two months monitoring the winds with this website http://weather.uwyo.edu/polar/balloon_traj.html to pinpoint the general area that he would land. For safely, I launched him from a location that I knew would bring him down into farm land. The prediction website was only 5-10 miles off, so he landed safely in a corn field, far away from any towns.

I didn't want Stanley to be a murderer. Plus I wanted to make sure my son got Stanley back. :)


Oh whatever. If he really wanted to be safe, he would have spent FOUR MONTHS monitoring the wind. Who only monitors for two months? I guess if you're an amateur with absolutely no concern for the safety of others.

...Ok, fine, that's pretty good, I guess, as far as these things go.
posted by kbanas at 5:33 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


These things have a parachute (of sorts) - you can see it draped over the box when the kid comes out of the corn. That, coupled with there general low density of the instrument package, means that even if you dropped it on a crowd of people it's unlikely to do much damage.

The biggest danger to humans is the motion sickness you'd get if you tried to watch the whole fall sequence.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:45 PM on September 21, 2012


What I want to know is did dad have a back-up Stanley in his pocket throughout the entire operation?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:47 PM on September 21, 2012 [9 favorites]


I laughed at the moment when the balloon busted and the train went to a sad face.

Man, if I were that train, I wouldn't be making my sad face, I'd be making my "OH GOD OH GOD WHYYYYYYYY?!" screamy-face.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 5:49 PM on September 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Not to mention my "I AM DEAD FROM HYPOXIA" face.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 5:50 PM on September 21, 2012 [9 favorites]


I was kinda wondering how stanley could open his mouth to yawn at the beginnning, but was not screaming while he plummeted back to earth.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:53 PM on September 21, 2012


I was kinda wondering how stanley could open his mouth to yawn at the beginnning, but was not screaming while he plummeted back to earth.

You're a four-year-old's toy, you learn to keep your shit together.
posted by mhoye at 6:01 PM on September 21, 2012 [43 favorites]


These things have a parachute (of sorts) - you can see it draped over the box when the kid comes out of the corn.

Isn't that just the popped balloon?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:09 PM on September 21, 2012


Dad sends his son's favourite train, Stanley, into space
I think that could have been phrased so it didn't sound like sheer bloody-minded spite.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:17 PM on September 21, 2012 [9 favorites]


That kid is adorable.
posted by sbutler at 6:23 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think that could have been phrased so it didn't sound like sheer bloody-minded spite.

For he so loved the internets
That he gave his only begotten son's train
So that all those who watched
Would have briefly-lasting awesomeness
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:34 PM on September 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


I thought this was going to be the toy train equivalent of 'nasty dad shooting up a computer'.

This was just wonderful, thanks. The kid sure loves his train(s).
posted by pymsical at 6:35 PM on September 21, 2012


Fantastic. Love the facial expressions. I watched it with my son who kept asking "will it be ok, will it land, does he lose it?" A very emotional experience for us, watching this movie.
posted by greenhornet at 6:59 PM on September 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Speed reading led me to read this as "Father sends his favorite son, Stanley, into space."
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:05 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Normally I wouldn't be a fan of modifying documentary footage to make something "better", but I can't imagine a 4 year old seeing this movie of his train and not completely losing my shit.

And then going to high school and loving my dad.

And college.

And my own kids.

So pass.
posted by jscott at 7:17 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, I can only speculate a dad this methodical had a second, carefully scuffed up second "stanley" in case Stanley Prime exploded on landing.
posted by jscott at 7:21 PM on September 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


@jscott: if you watch the video pymsical linked to, at the end he mentions that at that points they'd already gone through 4 Stanleys. Bet the parents have a spare on hand, and the loss of this one would have been no big deal.
posted by sbutler at 7:24 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The first tank engine into space....

They both should keep a close eye on Stanley - he looks OK for the time being, but might have come back in the process of...changing.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 7:39 PM on September 21, 2012


I'm nearly ready to call for a moratorium on the sending-everyday-objects-into-space meme then I realized: holy shit! Sending things into motherfucking space and filming it is something that is not only possible to do, but done often enough (with children involved) to actually be boring!

This is one of those "kids today will never understand what it was like before" moments.

Also, awesome dad is awesome.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:26 PM on September 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


These things have a parachute (of sorts)

Yeah, they clearly have a little chute in line between the balloon and the payload; you can see it at 25 seconds in and a few other places. This is pretty much standard.

Those chutes doesn't always work that well; it's not uncommon for them to get a bit tangled. But usually they at least provide a little additional drag on the way down.

Anyway, we haven't killed anyone. Yet, at least.
posted by brennen at 8:44 PM on September 21, 2012


These things have a parachute (of sorts) - you can see it draped over the box when the kid comes out of the corn.

Isn't that just the popped balloon?


If you go to 2:03 the olive colored thing on top the orange instrument package is the drogue chute and the sort of dead looking white thing on the ground dragging behind the kid is the remains of the balloon. (OR IS IT?)

Typically the drogue is orange to aid in recovery. If you do an image search for "weather balloon" you'll see a ton of them
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:52 PM on September 21, 2012


Stanley never went to space! If you look carefully at the freeze-frames around the time the balloon "pops" at 1:35 you'll clearly see blast patterns that could only have have occurred in a full-gravity environment. They couldn't fake everything! The video is clearly a FRAUD that living toy train was in a STUDIO the whole time WAKE UP SHEEPLE
posted by bicyclefish at 9:12 PM on September 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


Pro-tip: there's still gravity in space.
posted by ShutterBun at 9:15 PM on September 21, 2012


Toy Story + Children of the Corn = Could Have Had a Very Different Ending
posted by mochapickle at 9:20 PM on September 21, 2012


potsmokinghippieoverlord: Not to mention my "I AM DEAD FROM HYPOXIA" face.

Don't worry, he's a train. He doesn't need oxygen. He just needs friendship, or whatever it is that toy trains run on these day.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:59 PM on September 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


mochapickle: Toy Story + Children of the Corn = Could Have Had a Very Different Ending

If it was at all related to Pixar, it would still be adorable.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:02 PM on September 21, 2012


That frown at the balloon popping totally made the video. I immediately got the impression that Stanley was reenacting a Kerbal Space Program mission.
posted by NMcCoy at 10:04 PM on September 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm kind of sick of these superdads who send their little children's toys into fucking space and shit. When my kid was 4 I think I managed to construct a sort of rocket car from a kit that was propelled by blowing out a cork from a baking soda and vinegar reaction. It went like 40 feet and the kid was impressed, and we didn't make any videos of it at all. This guy is calculating wind patterns and hacking GPS out of old phones and his videos have whimsical god damned post-production oh we're all really impressed. Where does a person find the time for this kind of thing?! Do you not have to work and mow your god damned lawn? Show offs.
posted by nanojath at 10:21 PM on September 21, 2012 [13 favorites]


Do people ever have toruble recovering weather balloons? For example, what happens if someone else finds it and refuses to give it back?
posted by BiggerJ at 12:05 AM on September 22, 2012


Do people ever have toruble recovering weather balloons? For example, what happens if someone else finds it and refuses to give it back?

In my limited experience, you're a lot more likely to just have no idea where the damn thing landed.
posted by brennen at 12:09 AM on September 22, 2012


Pro-tip: there's still gravity in space.

But apparently not satire.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:53 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


my kid is going up the slide at the playground and a train from space falls on him?

She was walking
All alone
Down the street
In the alley
Her name was Sally
I never touched her
She never saw it
When she was hit by space junk...

--DEVO
posted by kinnakeet at 7:26 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like the comment up-thread about sending things into space getting boring. I find that I am getting distressingly cynical about people doing amazing things with the intent to make movies out of them to post on the internet; I began to realize this with that guy's wall-of-boxes for his cat, and then this one. Something like: the dad didn't do this to give his kid an experience, he did it to make a movie and get attention for himself. I am prepared to acknowledge that this makes me a heartless and bad person.
posted by not that girl at 8:37 AM on September 22, 2012


I am also heartless. I kept picturing the bits before and after the footage we see: "Here's a space book, play with the train on top of the book, okay?" "You found it? Now put it back and find it again so I can record you finding it."

Looking at his earlier videos, he has another one with the train only on Earth.
posted by RobotHero at 11:47 AM on September 22, 2012


I was wondering what the kid had done to have his dad punish him so harshly, but then I watched the video. To the moooooonnnnnn....Stanley.....to the moooooon!
posted by Chuffy at 11:49 AM on September 22, 2012


Oh, though I should add, I don't hold it against him. Making videos can be another thing they do together. It's just the way I'm geared that I can't not think about how it gets made.
posted by RobotHero at 12:12 PM on September 22, 2012


Never mind the space shit, how the hell did he animate that thing?

Also, it's not a fucking train. It's just a fucking ENGINE!
posted by run"monty at 12:49 PM on September 22, 2012




ARGH G*Pr* and their stupid SEO-seeking headlines again and again.
posted by andreaazure at 7:02 PM on September 22, 2012


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