Here Comes Summer: Those Roller Rides in the Sky

A great rushing, rhythmic, onomatopoeic piece of machinery, the roller coaster distills our emotions and describes our physical boundaries. The achingly slow climb to the top, the high-speed plunge to the bottom; a moment of weightlessness at the crest; an instant of contorting heaviness from the G force in the valley; terrified anticipation when it begins, and grateful relief at the end.

No one is quite certain why careening through turns and careering down heart-stopping hills hold such a strong attraction for otherwise sane human beings. Some psychologists have suggested that riding a roller...

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