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Cruise Ship Pool

Sharks Afloat!
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Cruise ships these days have everything that human holidaymaker could possibly want...

Bars, pools, gymnasiums, casinos, nightclubs, sunlounges.

Scantily clad members of the opposite sex getting refreshed in a way that stirs thoughts of the possibility of copious quantities of sexual intercourse.

One thing they invariably do not have, however, is pool or billiards tables. This is a result of the motion of the cruise ship: a pool game on a boat is the only pool game that plays itself. (Thus divesting the Cruising Pool Shark of the opportunity to impress said members of the opposite sex with said Shark's smooth wrist action.)

Enter Cruise Ship Pool.

CSP's table surface is much like the top of an air hockey table, with small holes pouring forth a constant stream.

The balls are just more than hemispherical, that is: with one flat surface; and hollow, with a largish hole in the top of the hemisphere.

That flat surface is perforated to allow the air from the table to pass unhindered into the hollow centre of the 'ball' (and out its top) when the game is at rest.

However, behind the first set of perforations is a rotating disc; a disk with matching holes. When the second disk is rotated off-alignment, the 'ball' impedes the flow of air, and thus is lifted from the playing surface.

Each ball contains an actuator for the second disc, a small battery, and an uniquely identified transmitter/bluetooth/electronic communications thingamabobby.

The tip of the pool cue also contains a t/b/e-c-t.

The table contains three transmitter/receivers, and a computer which triangulates the position and velocity of the balls and the cue-tip at all times.

When the cue-ball is *just* about to be struck by the cue-tip, the cue ball is instructed to shut its 'vents', and it rises from the table.

And so on and so forth. When a ball is *just* about to be struck by the cue-ball, or any other ball, it shuts its vents, says its prayers, and prepares to be hammered down to the mysterious inner workings of the table.

To the appreciative drunken squeals/respectful shouts of the Pool Shark's erstwhile prey...

m_Al_com, Dec 12 2006

Royal Caribbean review showing picture http://www.cruisere...anceoftheSeas21.htm
Scroll about halfway down for a photo of RC's self-leveling pool tables. [krelnik, Dec 13 2006]

[link]






       Your premise is incorrect. I took a cruise last year on Royal Caribbean, and they had 2 pool tables in one of the bars near the back of the ship.   

       They used ordinary cues & balls, but the table top was automatically kept level by an internal mechanism, presumably some gyroscopic widget.   

       See link for photo.
krelnik, Dec 13 2006
  

       der!
Stork, Dec 14 2006
  

       (+) Premise, schmemise, this would still be pretty cool in a hippo's silent dodgy chimes kind of way.
jutta, Dec 14 2006
  

       <pedant> //erstwhile// ? They're still prey, aren't they? </pedant>
pertinax, Dec 15 2006
  

       The royal carrieban boat i went on had outdoor ping pong on one of the higher decks of the boat. it was the most rediculous thing I tried on the boat. the table was about 30 feet off the ocean and caught the full force of that 30 feet of wind.
bleh, Dec 15 2006
  

       It occurs to me that the entire system might be more reliable if the table could merely tell when to shut off air flow beneath stationary "balls" and when to turn it back on. Indeed, it might not need to turn the airflow back on, as the impact of a moving ball would likely knock it into a zone of airflow with enough force to get moving.   

       All the same, modern cruise ships have their own gyros, jets, and bow thrusters to virtually elmimnate rocking motions to begin with, and the gentle rocking simply makes for a slightly different game of pool, where the motion of the ship can be used as an excuse by those non-pool sharks, who are unfortunately getting clobbered, and still must have a good chance of preying on these hypothetical scantily clad members of the opposite sex which I have yet to see.
ye_river_xiv, Dec 17 2006
  
      
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