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A really high shine
May 16, 2008 9:14 AM   Subscribe

Photos of cleaning crews on the Space Needle (via.)
posted by 1f2frfbf (62 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
*climbs carefully down from office chair, closes eyes, hugs carpet fibers*

Why can't robots do this stuff? Robots without cameras.
posted by DU at 9:25 AM on May 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


I have to go sit down.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:25 AM on May 16, 2008


Part of my anatomy just "puckered" looking at those photos (as it did in this recent thread, especially the crane video).
posted by ericb at 9:25 AM on May 16, 2008


They're wimps compared to these old-timers... one strap. One. Strap.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:31 AM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why do I click on these links. Why.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:34 AM on May 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


I would have to wear a diaper while i was doing this
posted by poppo at 9:38 AM on May 16, 2008


I think even people who are thrilled by, rather than terrified by, heights would find this job a bit disconcerting.
posted by caddis at 9:48 AM on May 16, 2008


How much do they make?

It's not enough. It's not NEARLY enough.
posted by psmealey at 9:49 AM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Absolutely amazing. I did some climbing (on walls mostly) in high school, and I remember the coolest part was when we repelled off the top of one of the buildings. Scared me half to death every time I did it, but once you're hanging their, securely, it's great. That first drop though.

Anyway, I wish I had the nerve and skills to do this.
posted by Hactar at 9:52 AM on May 16, 2008


"So, what do you do for a living?"

"I clean buildings."

"Sounds dull."

"Yeah? It's not really."
posted by ColdChef at 9:57 AM on May 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


I used to be terrified of heights. I've since mostly gotten over it, although I do get the occasional touch of something like vertigo when I'm up high. I've gone skydiving, and I'd do it again. But this. This is another thing altogether.

Are they up high enough to guarantee death on impact, though? That's the real hitch, for me, and why I won't bungee jump. Something goes wrong there, and boom, I'm crippled. Skydiving, something goes wrong and well, I had a good run.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:57 AM on May 16, 2008


DU: My first thought exactly. Why ca't' there be a Roomba for this job?

shakespeherian: I feel the same way. I know how I'm going to react but I click it anyway.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:58 AM on May 16, 2008


Sweet. This guy looks like a Bond villain.
posted by echo target at 9:59 AM on May 16, 2008


ca't'?? How the hell did that happen?

Why can't there be a Roomba for this job?
posted by Ynoxas at 9:59 AM on May 16, 2008


I eagerly look forward to photos of window cleaners working on the CCTV building in Beijing. Especially that one part. You know which one.
posted by LionIndex at 10:26 AM on May 16, 2008


"The company doing the work, Karcher GmbH & Co., has done similar high-profile jobs around the world, all at no cost...their web site says that these projects are good publicity for their cleaning products. Here's a sampling of some other projects they've done, including the Statue of Liberty and Berlin's Brandenburg Gate."*
posted by ericb at 10:28 AM on May 16, 2008


That is bat shit insane. I don't mean it's crazy, I mean there's a lot of guano up there!
posted by Pollomacho at 10:33 AM on May 16, 2008


Are they up high enough to guarantee death on impact, though?

I don't know, but perhaps. I remember the first time I went to the Space Needle it wasn't nearly as high as I thought it would be. It seems really tall in pictures, but when I got up close to it, it really did seem a lot shorter.
posted by cashman at 10:34 AM on May 16, 2008


I absolutely can't imagine someone falling from that height and NOT dying.

I tip my hat to those brave souls. I don't think there's any amount of money that could get me to do that.
posted by davidmsc at 10:44 AM on May 16, 2008


Skydiving, something goes wrong and well, I had a good run.

Skydiver freefalls 12,000 feet and lives.
posted by ericb at 10:49 AM on May 16, 2008


Skydiver freefalls 12,000 feet and lives

Sure, but that's news because it's so outrageous. If I fell from 12,000 feet, I would probably not survive. But it would probably be pretty awesome on the way down.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:56 AM on May 16, 2008


Dying is not the worst part about falling from a high place. Knowing you are about to die is.
posted by DU at 10:56 AM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


The fall isn't so bad, the sudden stop at the end, however...
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:03 AM on May 16, 2008


those shots are really quite amazing.

if you like this kind of stuff, you might enjoy the aerial shots of vincent laforet as well.

the fifth image in the new york moments category on his portfolio website is one you may have seen in a million or tw blogs. it features two guys working on the antenna above the empire state building.
posted by krautland at 11:10 AM on May 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


Thanks for not posting this just before the Washington primary. I'm paranoid enough as it is.
posted by Kinbote at 11:31 AM on May 16, 2008


I'm not acrophobic, but goddamn. Please hold me, mommy.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:32 AM on May 16, 2008


Dear god krautland, I actually gasped out loud when I saw that antenna pic.

Ugh.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:34 AM on May 16, 2008


*breathing into bag*

I love my job, I love my job, I love my job, I love my job, I promise I will never again say I hate my job, I love my job, I love my job.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:36 AM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's crazy. And the Space Needle isn't that short: 605 feet is plenty to totally pancake you. You would probably bounce 10 feet.
posted by owhydididoit at 11:44 AM on May 16, 2008


Let me guess. By looking at those pictures I find myself on a government hit list. And even though I soon become wise to their operation and I infiltrate their deadly organization to expose them, I am murdered and then framed for the assassination of a major political figure, making it seem as this was part of their plan all along?

Nuh uh. I've seen that flick. Nice try 1f2frfbf, if that is your real name.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 11:48 AM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know it's cheesy and all, but as a resident of Seattle, I have to say: I think the Space Needle is fuckin' awesome.
posted by tristeza at 11:50 AM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


If I fell from 12,000 feet, I would probably not survive. But it would probably be pretty awesome on the way down.

The trick is to aim for somebody you dislike a lot.
posted by DreamerFi at 11:52 AM on May 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


> Skydiver freefalls 12,000 feet and lives.

Then there was the guy who bailed out of a disabled WWII bomber, fell 22,000 feet without a parachute and crashed through a train station's glass skylight...and lived to tell the tale.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:56 AM on May 16, 2008


Then there was the guy who bailed out of a disabled WWII bomber, fell 22,000 feet without a parachute and crashed through a train station's glass skylight ... and lived to tell the tale ... myth busted on a national TV show.
posted by AirBeagle at 12:14 PM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Very cool link. I painted houses for a while, and I really don't do well with heights... so I'd force myself to go up the 40-foot ladder just to be, well, manly or something. I could do it, but I. Hated. Every. Minute.

I salute these Space Needle guys. And I don't envy them one bit.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 12:20 PM on May 16, 2008


Did you even read the article you just posted?

"The MythBusters researchers were able to confirm that an airman did survive a 22,000 ft fall, but the question was whether or not the explosion was an element of the story."
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:20 PM on May 16, 2008


I should add ... I was up on the Space Needle Sunday myself doing the gawky, cheesy, camera-toting tourist thing. It was scary and spectacular and gave me a new appreciation for what these guys are doing. Thanks for the link. Awesome.

But $16 to ride the elevator to the top?! Yeesh!
posted by AirBeagle at 12:21 PM on May 16, 2008


Yes, Card Cheat, I read the story ... and also watched the episode, which had more detail. Did you?
posted by AirBeagle at 12:23 PM on May 16, 2008


I didn't see the episode, but the article you linked to clearly states that the only element of the story that was being debunked was the "saved by an explosion" part.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:26 PM on May 16, 2008


"busted: although they believe the story about an airman surviving a 22,000 foot fall to be true, the amount of explosive damage they witnessed led them to believe that there was no way that a explosive shockwave could cushion a fall."
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:29 PM on May 16, 2008


Our city's wonderful tower. One of the few things with real imagination ever conceived by the city mothers and their friends. I do like the old needle. Note: at photos 6-8 that could we be seeing the horrid, juicy remains of a gull suicide? The poor thing, being a bird, can't just jump off the Needle or the Aurora Bridge, it must thwack itself with some effort.
posted by yazi at 12:33 PM on May 16, 2008


I don't believe I said the story wasn't true. I posted a link that pointed out that an element of the story was busted on a TV show Mythbusters. My bad. I should know better than to try to point out fine details to a NewsMax reader.

Again, thanks for the link, 1f2frfbf. Spectacular!
posted by AirBeagle at 12:40 PM on May 16, 2008


I've had quite a few freefall jumps in my time, and 5 static line. All from nice, safe (read high) heights. Then I had one 300 foot bungie jump - I've had mild vertigo ever since.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 12:42 PM on May 16, 2008


Ah. So you copied and pasted my exact words and added "myth busted on a national TV show," but didn't mean to imply that the story itself wasn't true, even though I never mentioned the element of the story that was mythbusted. I see.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:49 PM on May 16, 2008


The Card Cheat and AirBeagle: enough, boys!
posted by Turtles all the way down at 12:52 PM on May 16, 2008


ericb, somehow I missed the crane video the first time around. I bailed at the start of the pull-ups and have just returned from a short walk outside. Palms still sweating like crazy. EEEK.
posted by CaptApollo at 1:02 PM on May 16, 2008


Awesome. I'd love that job... thanks for the pictures! I heard about this on the news promo the other night, but missed the story.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 1:17 PM on May 16, 2008


DO NOT WANT.
posted by Debaser626 at 1:18 PM on May 16, 2008


605 feet is plenty to totally pancake you.

Anything over 80 feet is usually pretty lethal.

I don't know what happened to me, when I was younger, I happily stood on the edge of the rooftop of the cable-car building at the Zugspitz on the German/ Austrian border and looked at the vertical drop of 10,000 or so feet straight down and didn't even bat an eye (despite the complete lack of railings by the edge).

Now I get uncomfortable standing on my second story roof if I'm not tied off.

perhaps my imagination just got better, or I became more acutely aware of what happens to a person when they hit the bottom, but at some point I got a lot more spooked of being up high.
posted by quin at 1:28 PM on May 16, 2008


perhaps my imagination just got better, or I became more acutely aware of what happens to a person when they hit the bottom, but at some point I got a lot more spooked of being up high.

I have heard that this feeling is the result not of the natural fear of falling, but of the fear of your own impulse to jump. Could be total bullshit, but it always resonated with me as an explanation.

When I was in school, I visited a friend's father who worked at the State of Illinois building in downtown Chicago (the James R. Thompson Center). If you don't know it, it's kind of a 13 story half office building under a glass dome, where all floors have ledges that peer over the drop to marble floor below. I made the mistake at peering over the edge when I got to my destination on the 10th floor, and even though I moved away from it, I had vertigo the whole time I was there. Was an odd feeling.

I have also had similar feelings when descending the huge 4 story marble staircase at the Museum of Science and Industry in Hyde Park. Made it worse that only a few years back, I learned that some idiot high school kid got killed when trying to slide down the railing and fell over the side. Having been there often, it gave me vertigo just thinking about it.
posted by psmealey at 1:48 PM on May 16, 2008


...the James R. Thompson Center

I Googled it to get a sense of the building. They have an interior shot.
posted by ericb at 2:30 PM on May 16, 2008


That building brings to mind the interior of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.
posted by ericb at 2:35 PM on May 16, 2008


That picture just brought it all back. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

I'm going to go to a very dark place now and drink a bottle of vodka.
posted by psmealey at 3:33 PM on May 16, 2008


Are they up high enough to guarantee death on impact, though?

The fatality rate for any fall of 60 feet or more is something like 98%.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 3:58 PM on May 16, 2008


I doubt anything will ever freak my acrophobic shit more than the mere idea of that utterly horrifying skywalk, though.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:34 PM on May 16, 2008


Seattle has yet to produce a fitting memorial to Kurt Cobain. Being that money is tight, I propose that we simply re-title existing structures and places as "memorials". I propose that the Space Needle be re-named the "Cobain Needle". Furthermore, that section of Capitol Hill now called "Pill Hill" because of all the medical centers be re-named "Hendrix Hill".
posted by Tube at 4:35 PM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


But can they clean my garage?
posted by ...possums at 4:45 PM on May 16, 2008


sweatypalmssweatypalmssweatypalmssweatypalmssweaty...
posted by bwg at 5:16 PM on May 16, 2008


That looks AWESOME. OK the cleaning bit would get tedious at some point I'm sure. But getting to climb out there and rappel down would be fun.
The crane video is a bit un-nerving because of the lack of harness or chute, but not just being up high. As long as I can have my harness and set safeties I'm good.
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:16 PM on May 16, 2008


Did you know that a building can be not cleaned since the 1960s, but repainted in the 1990s?

Reporters are awesome when they really reach for the overarching statement.
posted by jscott at 11:36 PM on May 16, 2008


Riffing on AirBeagle, one of my favorite tricks in The Parallax View is when they have the fight on the roof, and one of the bad guys falls down and rolls off.

The camera doesn't show you that he fell onto the balcony; it just looks like there's nothing there.

As for the Thompson Center in Chicago, a few people have committed suicide there (or have been assumed to have done so). It's also the final scene in Running Scared.
posted by dhartung at 12:55 AM on May 17, 2008


And you know what they're cleaning off with those high-powered sprayers? Crazy Rasberry Ants.
posted by nax at 1:56 AM on May 17, 2008


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