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Helium Marionettes

Sort of like a mini-airshow and a puppet show all rolled into one.
  [vote for,

My infant daughter loves helium baloons. Give her one and she'll spend minutes (that's hours in Adult time) lying on the floor happily thrashing it around. Clip it to her legs and the fascination grows.

Why not make Mylar puppets and inflate them with helium? The strings could be controlled with a Marionette-style crossbar for older children, or include clips for attaching each string to the corresponding shirt/pant leg.

Not only would this be fascinating to the child, but it would also be funny as hell for the adults watching the child.

justaguy, May 16 2005

(?) Start here http://www.boulevar...racter-Walkers.html
These are called "walkers". With some modification to create joints, and string attachment points, you're in business. [half, May 16 2005]

Helium Theater by [phoenix] Helium_20Theater
Seems redundant with this idea from last year. [krelnik, May 17 2005]

Here's a replacement to [half]'s link. http://www.balloons...ons/air-walkers.php
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Feb 05 2017]


       There are mylar balloons the size of small children. Having seen only one in person, I think they're called walkers because they are weighted just enough to keep them on the ground and will wander around the room at the slightest hint of a breeze. (The wandering was a bad thing in the context where I first encountered these balloons.)   

half, May 16 2005

       Brilliant! Thanks for the link!
justaguy, May 16 2005

       <only vaguely relevant but fun>Another fun thing to do with regular helium baloons. Tie a small weight (folded paper is fine) to the string, and trim it until it ***just*** balances the lift of the balloon. The balloon will now hover in mid-air, rather than hitting the ceiling, which is much more fun.
It will even tend to stabilise at a specific level in the room, because of the minute decrease in air pressure between floor and ceiling. Try it.</ovrbf>
Basepair, May 16 2005

       Even better, a lit cigarette. Saw that once at a bar in California (you're not allowed to smoke, so this was an easy way to produce plausible deniability).
justaguy, May 16 2005

       But the balloon would rise as soon as the first bit of ash fell off.
Basepair, May 16 2005

       Not so far as you'd think, actually...
justaguy, May 16 2005

       I still think that, after a while, you'd have a bunch of balloons floating somewhere near the ceiling, each carrying a fag of Damocles.
Basepair, May 16 2005

       The trick, apparently, is to start the burn at a low altitude... by the time it's out of reach, it's nothing but butt anyway. Feel free to experiment for yourself.
justaguy, May 16 2005

       That sounds like a good way to burn your eyes out. Besides, what does that have to do with helium marionettes? Oh, I see... they are smoking marionettes. Brilliant!!!
Mauve Herring, May 16 2005

       Not really... I think the point is that given a sufficiently large marionette, you could allow your infant to hover a foot or so off the ground while performing.   

       I'm lying. There was no real point to that tangent.
justaguy, May 16 2005

       I wonder just how many balloons would be required to float a kid. Hmmmm... I suggest it to the Mythbusters. Come to think of it, they DID try this on one show. It took about 2000 dime store balloons to lift a 6 yr old. Talk about difficulty in raising a kid. (Ouch - sorry, couldn't resist)
MauiChuck, May 17 2005

       Or just one "sufficiently large marionette", I would say. I picture the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Or Jennifer Lopez, albeit for different reasons.
justaguy, May 17 2005

reensure, May 17 2005

       Basepair, you once again impress me with the wide-ranging obscurity of your interests. I've been mucking about with ballasted balloons for years, and have only a few things to add.   

       For those who don't know, the balloons should be mylar (the new shiny kind), not latex (the rubbery old-fashioned kind) as a full mylar one does not change volume. I use clay as ballast, and take off a bit each day. I roll the clay in the filler flap-thingy and tape it up. Some designs, such as fish, look very surreal floating around. If you can get the plainest round balloons, you can place the clay in such a way that the balloon floats on its side like a flying saucer.
These are indoor "pets" for closed houses, but watch out for fans and heat sources.
Please do try this some winter day.
baconbrain, May 17 2005

       Enter Mr Gonflable.
skinflaps, May 17 2005

       Seems redundant with phoenix's idea to me, see link.
krelnik, May 17 2005

       Dangit! You're right, though mine was originally conceived on a much smaller scale.
justaguy, May 17 2005


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