A screen grab of a DieselDucy video showing a manually operated Otis elevator.
Just about anyone with an Internet-connected device has at one time or another watched a video on YouTube, the Google-owned service that allows users to post short films featuring everything from cats to catastrophes. Some of the content is truly interesting and informative, some of it is a way to kill time, and some of it is just junk — not worth the smartphone on which it was shot. Some of the videos, however, can be real gems, and writer Justin Peters at Slate found a few that a lot of us can relate to: what he calls “YouTube’s vast subculture of elevator connoisseurs.”
Peters, writing for the Slate feature “Watching YouTube,” discovered several fascinating posts where folks who love elevators have shared their passions. One, entitled “Schindler 300A Hydraulic Elevator – Barnes & Noble – Foothills Mall, Tucson, Arizona,” takes viewers on a ride/tour of a two-stop lift inside a retail store. In another, presenter Andrew Reams (a.k.a. DieselDucy) posted a before and after look at a modernized freight elevator at North Carolina State University. Reams, who has been filming elevators for decades, wasn’t too happy with the upgrade.
“Modernized. Yuck,” he says. “If this were a new install, I would like this, but I do not like what it replaced.”
Some of the videos Peters linked to have salty language, and one makes totally unjustified criticism (without explanation) of a certain type of elevator, but if vertical transportation is what gets you out of bed every day, YouTube has an elevator video for you.
A frame taken from video shows the moment a rat leaps toward a man who was trying to walk past it on an escalator at a shopping mall in Manila, Philippines; image from DailyMail.com.
Shoppers at a mall in Manila, Philippines, were forced to face their fear recently when a manic rat aggressively charged them as they walked down a stopped escalator, the Daily Mailreports. Video posted on the newspaper’s website shows the rat lunging at people as they try to make their way past, prompting the shoppers to jump and sidestep their way to safety. After giving several of the shoppers what appears to have been the jolt of their lives, the restive rodent is seen running down and off the escalator and under a nearby rack of clothing. No reason was given for the escalator being stopped.
One of the great attractions of getting out into nature is the opportunity for peaceful reflection. You think about your life — how far you’ve come and where you want to go. Watching these colored balls climb up and cascade down an escalator is a similar experience. It’s like watching a waterfall on a scenic hiking trail. It also makes me think of the nature of time as we mark the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. Like these balls, we travel up the escalator of time during the year, then bounce down to the bottom to start the ride again.
As you watch this mesmerizing video, I hope you are encouraged by the good things that happened this year and look forward to what the new year will bring. Happy New Year!