The Incredible Calculations That Keep Google's Project Loon Aloft

When we last checked in on Project Loon—Google’s moonshot project to blanket the world with internet-packing weather balloons—one had just circumnavigated the globe in a very quick 22 days. I just attended a talk at Google I/O and got some more info about the challenges the team faces in making this wild-ass project… » 5/29/15 9:00pm 5/29/15 9:00pm

Self-Sealing Water Balloons You Never Need To Tie

A water balloon fight is no fun when kids have to keep running back to their parents to tie the balloons for them. Using tiny elastics the Bunch O Balloons came up with a slightly better way to automatically tie 37 water balloons at once, but these Zorbz appear to have the best solution yet, automatically sealing… » 2/26/15 5:59pm 2/26/15 5:59pm

Guy in a lawn chair gets lifted by giant balloons like in the movie Up

Every person who has seen the movie Up and also enjoys dreaming about fanciful things every now and again has thought about flying away in balloons like Carl Fredricksen. Professional daredevil and crazy person Erik Roner just did it. He bought tanks of helium to pump up giant balloons to make him fly. » 12/23/14 2:03am 12/23/14 2:03am

I Can't Stop Watching These Parade Balloon Accident Videos

Like stock car races or primary debates, balloon parades are an alleged form of entertainment that's mostly just boring until something goes wrong. Fortunately, with balloon accidents the resulting injuries are primarily psychic in nature—measured in months of therapy for poor Jacob after seeing Pikachu disemboweled… » 11/27/14 3:30pm 11/27/14 3:30pm

It takes 90 people to wrangle a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon

Our annual day of helium excess is upon us. We speak, of course, of Thanksgiving and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. These giant floppy balloons, as tall as buildings and filled with 12,000 cubic feet of helium, are not graceful creatures. The average balloon requires 90 handlers just to get it down the street. » 11/26/14 4:45pm 11/26/14 4:45pm

Skateboarding through 5000 balloons looks like a whole lot of fun

If you think about it, ball pits are gross cesspools that hide violent bits of static charges and virulent diseases that smell like melting plastic. They are not fun. But that's because adults are not fun. For kids, there are few places better. This 5000 balloon pit is like a ball pit for kids, but for skateboarders. » 9/16/14 11:26pm 9/16/14 11:26pm

Disney Developed Software To Revolutionize Macy's Parade Balloons

The reason your favorite cartoon or movie character hasn't appeared in Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day Parade isn't necessarily because they're not popular, it might be that crafting an inflatable likeness has just been too difficult. But to ensure no fad gets left out, the folks at Disney Research have developed… » 8/11/14 10:44am 8/11/14 10:44am

Chat with the Man Who Unleashed 1.5 Million Balloons On Cleveland

Way back on September 27th, 1986, the city of Cleveland was taken over by 1.5 million helium-filled balloons. The photos are amazing. The aftermath was not. Tom Holowach, the project manager of Balloonfest '86, popped by Kinja to say hello, and has kindly offered to answer all your questions about the event. The sky's… » 4/22/14 5:28pm 4/22/14 5:28pm

That Time Cleveland Released 1.5 Million Balloons and Chaos Ensued

Balloons! They're fun, delightfully whimsical environmental disasters. And in 1986, a mass balloon release in Cleveland went really, really wrong, when 1.5 million helium-filled floaters were let loose into the sky, got caught in a storm, drifted down to earth, and caused a hell of a lot of problems. » 4/22/14 9:00am 4/22/14 9:00am