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Poor Ling can't see through the crowd of spectators again. Never mind. He takes a weird contraption out of his back-pack, and sets it level on the ground.
Out of the back-pack he produces a second device. This is much like a large hand drill, with a big gear ratio. He inserts it into the first device
and starts turning the drill, very slowly at first, then faster and faster.
After 5 minutes of furious hand-work, Ling stops cranking (yes, cranking, I said!). A little clutch allows whatever is inside to continue rotating, and satisfied that all is well, Ling lifts the assembled device and unlatches the single telescopic leg underneath.
As the leg extends, he lifts the device up into the air, and flips out little horizontal pegs every so often. Once at the right height, the leg is locked, and Ling climbs up the pegs and sits on the top of the gyroscope casing.
Apart from a little bit of cranking whenever the precession gets a bit too much, Ling can look over the others without obstruction.
Damn, he thought, I forgot the cupholders. Well, there's always Mark 2.
Segway based ladder works from the other end, by moving.
[Ling, Apr 18 2006]
"A leg up": meaning
[Ling, Apr 19 2006]
(?) What it might look like
Precessional movement not shown [Ling, Apr 19 2006]
The original Ling...
And it's not Kung Fu Hustle, although that's a great movie - It's Kung Pow. You need to watch both of them... [normzone, Oct 26 2011]
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||"whatever is inside" must be very heavy. Poor Ling probably cannot see over the crowd because his backpack weighs 300 lbs, pinning him to the ground like a bug.
||This is sort of like an upside-down unicycle?
||Poor Ling is poor, but not stupid: he gets his servant to carry the backpack. But the gyroscope 'only' weighs a mere 50lb.
||Yes, it's like an upside down unicycle as far as there is a wheel type arrangement at the top, but it is arranged so that the axis is vertical. Like a spinning top, but with a looong point.
||Regarding "a little bit of cranking whenever the precession gets a bit too much": that sounds like you're saying that precession is a result of the gyro slowing down. Is that the case?
||That sounds distinctly like a trap, but I'm safe up here. The faster I spin my gyro, the more stable it gets. But if I concentrate too much on the show, or fall asleep, the gyro slows down and things get more wobbly.
||Not intended as a trap: I don't have much practical experience with gyros. I've never made a gut level connection between slower rotational speed and greater precession. (increased speed=>greater stability does "feel" right). Now I'm going to have to go look at equations...it's way too early for that today.
||Half, try it with a bicycle wheel.