You can take a hot air balloon ride over just about anything, like riots, Klan meetings, raves, an American Legion tricycle parade, Adam Rich's house, whatever - and enjoy a champagne breakfast either in flight or on the ground (if you weren't fatally shot, that is). I once did that over the Serengeti, during a sunrise in March. There weren't any migrations or maulings going on below; actually, there wasn't much to look at. We had breakfast and mimosas after landing, and I talked to the balloon guy, who was from Orlando. Then one of the Rovers got stuck in the mud.

I would not recommend going with Icarus balloons in New Jersey, judging solely on the name. Just hope they fail in delivering an Icaran experience.
In golf, a ball is said to balloon if it rises strongly at the end of its flight as a result of being hit into a strong headwind.

The reason for this is that a well-hit golf ball will have significant backspin on it. This backspin causes the ball to act as an airfoil as it travels forward in the air. The air pressure above the ball is less than the air pressure below the ball, and this causes the ball to rise.

If a golf ball is hit into a strong headwind, the spin causes the ball to rise more than if there was no wind. This will result in the ball rising higher in the air, and thus "seeing" more of the wind. Ballooned shots will fall well short of the desired distance. Some will actually stop their forward motion entirely, and come backwards at the end of their flight!

I find that, for me, the 6-iron is the club most susceptable to ballooning. The long irons fly low enough to avoid rising all that much, and are struck with sweeping blows to impart less spin. The short irons fly quite high by themselves.

I'm walking down George Street, at Rutgers, when something flickers in the corner of my vision. Looking up, I see something that makes my heart twist and my stomach turn -- something on fire, far above in the night sky. I can't estimate its altitude, initially, but whatever it is, it's going down, fast, and breaking apart as it goes.

I watch it as it falls, along with many others suddenly stopped on the sidewalks, craning their necks upward. After about five minutes, there's a collective sigh of relief. It's not an airplane. It's ... a balloon. A mylar helium balloon. Its small size confused us all in our perception of distance; a small flare a few hundred feet up is easily confused with a large one at much higher altitudes, especially in a strong wind and without stars to provide a fixed background.

The balloon fell to the ground, the mylar still burning, and people gathered around to watch. Some commented on how the danger could have been quite great had there been leaves on the trees, others on the probable cause of the fire; the leading theory being someone deliberately lighting a long wick and releasing it... the balloon ascended until the mylar caught.

Everyone was shaken up a bit. North American society isn't really used to flaming wreckage falling from the sky.

The Balloon spell in the SquareSoft game Secret of Mana is one of the cleverer ways I've seen the "hold monster" spell implemented. Rather than holding a being by a mysterious unseen force, the spell conjures up a huge helium balloon and ties it to the subject's wrist. With that much tension on the rope, it's all the victim can do to stay on the ground, much less attack you.

Slightly unrealistic, however, is the fact that a "ballooned" monster stays rooted to the spot even if whacked with a battle axe. If the tension on the rope is keeping the monster just barely above the ground and thus unable to effectively escape, then a hard blow with a weapon (any weapon) ought to send them sailing away like those big balls in PilotWings 64.

Incidentally, the balloon gets bigger and more stylized as your Sylphid magic skills progress in level. At levels 1 and 2, it's an ordinary red balloon, but becomes a larger red balloon, and finally a blue Mickey Mouse-like (with whiskers) balloon at the highest levels of experience. The game effect is a longer duration of paralysis.

Attempting to pop the balloon and free the victim (for example, by shooting arrows at the balloon) does not seem to work. Nor does casting spells like Gem Missile (which should pop the balloon with the barrage of crystal shards) or Fire Bouquet (which should either catch the rope on fire or heat the air in the balloon so that it expands and bursts it). I believe it is safe to conclude that the bytes used for those flashy SNES graphics edged out the ones needed for complexity and delightful DevTeam-style game behavior.




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We asked Chuck Palahniuk for a balloon. He didn't have any. We asked Robert Rankin, but he didn't have any either. We tried to find one at the fun-fair, but none were in sight. We even asked JayBonci for a balloon, but MySQL doesn't support helium-filled tables.

I have no balloon.

Bal*loon" (?), n. [F. ballon, aug. of balle ball: cf. It. ballone. See 1st Ball, n., and cf. Pallone.]

1.

A bag made of silk or other light material, and filled with hydrogen gas or heated air, so as to rise and float in the atmosphere; especially, one with a car attached for aerial navigation.

2. Arch.

A ball or globe on the top of a pillar, church, etc., as at St. Paul's, in London.

[R.]

3. Chem.

A round vessel, usually with a short neck, to hold or receive whatever is distilled; a glass vessel of a spherical form.

4. Pyrotechnics

A bomb or shell.

[Obs.]

5.

A game played with a large infated ball.

[Obs.]

6. Engraving

The outline inclosing words represented as coming from the mouth of a pictured figure.

Air balloon, a balloon for aerial navigation. -- Balloon frame Carp., a house frame constructed altogether of small timber. -- Balloon net, a variety of woven lace in which the weft threads are twisted in a peculiar manner around the warp.

 

© Webster 1913.


Bal*loon", v. t.

To take up in, or as if in, a balloon.

 

© Webster 1913.


Bal*loon", v. i.

1.

To go up or voyage in a balloon.

2.

To expand, or puff out, like a balloon.

 

© Webster 1913.

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