Friday, May 02, 2008

On elevators.

It's funny to me how some articles seem to really grab people's attention. I was thumbing through a copy of The New Yorker recently when I came across a piece entitled Up and Then Down: The Lives of Elevators by Nick Paumgarten. Only because I work in a hotel (always going up and then down) did I think it might be of minor interest to me.

The piece opens and closes with the story of a man who found himself trapped in an elevator for forty-one hours. While that is quite the attention grabber, most of the article is about the history and technology of elevators. Not necessarily fascinating stuff, but in the week or so since the issue came out, I've seen many bloggers writing about it. (It really is a fascinating read.) Of course, the very-dedicated-to-all-things The New Yorker, Emdashes, wrote about it, but people who rarely if ever write about the magazine are writing about that story. Maybe elevators captivate us more than I suspect. (Just, hopefully, not for forty-one hours at a time.)

Anyway, if you haven't read it yet, please do. It really is pretty amazing. What's really making the rounds on the Internet is the time-elapsed video of Nicholas White, the man who was trapped for the better part of two days in the elevator. I'm transfixed watching it. Four frames: three empty elevators and his, documenting his every move. Click here to watch the video.

Of course, the Web being the Web, there is now a very funny parody video of the above.

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