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April 22, 2014 10:33 PM   Subscribe


 
Here's some more video of 1986's send off.
Watching the old video really made me think-'This is SO a pre-911 world'!
posted by QueerAngel28 at 10:49 PM on April 22


It looks like an atomic clown exploded
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:50 PM on April 22 [8 favorites]


Those photos are triggering an urge to check the latest prices on flat screen TVs.
posted by ceribus peribus at 10:53 PM on April 22 [6 favorites]


"I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never ever possibly destroy us."
posted by Kevin Street at 11:04 PM on April 22 [24 favorites]


Looks like a murmuration. Gonna be a good harvest!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:10 PM on April 22


I clearly need to get my prescription checked, as I first read this as "That Time Cleveland Released 1.5 Million Baboons and Chaos Ensued" and it became a whole different story in my head.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:14 PM on April 22 [28 favorites]


I don't think it would require nearly that many baboons for some good chaos. I'm pretty sure I could wreak havoc with as few as 1 million baboons.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:32 PM on April 22 [18 favorites]


From the comments: The Project Manager did an AMA.
posted by unliteral at 11:38 PM on April 22


No mention is made in the article of the toxic cloud of helium that enveloped Cleveland when the balloons burst, causing citizens everywhere to scream "Save me! Save me!" in hilariously high-pitched voices.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:39 PM on April 22 [21 favorites]


From the AMA (skipping through quite a few douchey comments from questioners), I liked this exchange:

Q: "How much helium do you think you've ingested in your lifetime?"
A: "I'd reply but the frequency would be too high for human hearing."
posted by Bugbread at 12:11 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


He has risen indeed!
posted by DreamerFi at 12:12 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Honestly, this event comes nowhere close to topping Cincinnati's aerial release.

Those folks in Ohio just know how to have a good time, you should see what Toledo has planned.
posted by HuronBob at 3:28 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


The video of the filling of the big net, where the everyone is filling balloons and just releasing them to join the others looks like some kind of alien pods returning to the mothership kind of thing.

This is so cool. I really like giant stupid projects which happen for no reason except to be giant and stupid.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:11 AM on April 23


For those of you skimming the article, several people died as a result of this event.
posted by odinsdream at 5:22 AM on April 23




For those of you skimming the article, several people died as a result of this event.

Well, two, perhaps. But even that is assuming that they wouldn't have died anyway if the search for the two boaters hadn't been interrupted by the balloons.
posted by Curious Artificer at 5:55 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


That idea was mental to begin with. The video reminds me in an odd way of the movie Cloverfield.
posted by GrapeApiary at 6:19 AM on April 23


I so wish I could have filmed that with a GoPro equipped quadcopter.
posted by smoothvirus at 6:48 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


The 80s was a hell of a drug.
posted by Flood at 7:04 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Funny. I had a discussion with my six year old not so long ago as to why I wouldn't let him release his helium balloon. "Balloons are made of latex which is a non-natural chemical compound. Latex is not biodegradable. If you let it go it will travel far, but eventually will end up as litter somewhere else and that's NOT OK."

And then I am reminded of stunts like this and I just shake my head at the futility of it all.

Next time "Yeah kid let it go. We're not going to live forever and there's no point in not treating the Earth like a rental car with full insurance."
posted by three blind mice at 7:18 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Apparently, these balloons were biodegradable, or so says an edit in the article.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:42 AM on April 23


From the comments, basically, it does biodegrade, but slowly enough that they're a hazard in the meantime.
posted by Sequence at 8:00 AM on April 23


This might be the best thing ever for 10 year old Captain Chesapeake.
posted by Captain Chesapeake at 8:11 AM on April 23


Misread this as 1.5 million baboons too! I was like, I don't remember that! Someone should write that story.
posted by Tesseractive at 9:30 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Someone needs to make a film with a pile of balloons. Perhaps filled with hydrogen. At the appropriate moment, flame happens. Maybe with intermittent sparkle/flash/whatever.
posted by Goofyy at 9:32 AM on April 23


Each balloon should be carrying a baboon. You can get the maximum geographical distribution for your chaos that way.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:35 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


How much lift does that many balloons generate? I was looking at the pictures and the netting they had holding them all down seemed remarkably flimsy-looking to me.
posted by tommasz at 10:43 AM on April 23


20 tons
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 11:03 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


As God is my witness, I thought balloons could fly.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:13 PM on April 23 [7 favorites]


And then I am reminded of stunts like this and I just shake my head at the futility of it all.

No. You use events like this to not only reinforce your already prejudiced ideas against doing anything, but also promote the idea that no one should bother doing anything at all, ever.

Please stop pretending that you would have it any other way.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:34 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


That Time Cleveland [Fill in the Blank] and Chaos Ensued.
posted by jonp72 at 6:09 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Wow, that's insane. I can't believe I haven't heard about this before now. I know it can never happen again but man, what I wouldn't give to be present for something like that.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:14 PM on April 23


That Time Cleveland [Fill in the Blank] and Chaos Ensued.

Burn on, big river, burn on.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:43 PM on April 23


And then I am reminded of stunts like this and I just shake my head at the futility of it all.

When I saw the link, I was aghast that a city would still do a balloon release like this. And then I read it happened in 1986 and thought, "Yep, those were the 80s alright."
posted by crossoverman at 8:01 PM on April 23


That Time Cleveland [Fill in the Blank] and Chaos Ensued.

Burn on, big river, burn on.


Yeah.


Funny.

  • Major river fires burned on the Chicago (IL), Buffalo (NY), North Canadian (OK), Jones Falls (MD), Schuylkill (PA), Passiac (NJ), and Rouge (MI) rivers and on the Houston (TX) Ship Channel throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Fires on the Chicago River were so frequent they became community events. Spectators gathered on bridges to watch the spectacle as if they were Fourth of July fireworks.
  • The Cuyahoga wasn’t even the only river fire in 1969.
  • Baltimore’s Jones Falls River exploded in 1926 (Man, it's hard just to live):
    a series of explosions . . . manhole covers blown into the air . . . a sheet of flame 40 feet high . . . setting fires . . . heavy smoke filled downtown streets . . . grease, oil and gasoline were being dumped regularly into the river. The city had a series of scares . . . police would . . . warn people not to toss their cigarettes into the river.
  • The 1969 Cuyahoga fire was out before the press reached the scene . . . No pictures are known to exist . . . The photos published in Time magazine were from the far sexier 1952 fire.
  • In November 1968 -- before the river fire -- Cleveland voters had approved a $100 million bond issue to clean up the river and lake. And taken a number of other actions to clean up the river and surroundings. With no help from the feds and sometimes active hindrances from the state government.
Randy Newman can jolly well stuff it on this one. Nevertheless, if he's ever in Clevo, I'd happily take him down the Flats and spring for a round of Great Lakes Brewing Co. Burning River Pale Ale to toast Cleveland entirely unearned infamy.

Sources posted by Herodios at 1:26 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


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