The launching pad is typically built on a towering structure, like a skyscraper or crane, a bridge over a narrow canyon, or a geographical formation like a cliff. Another option is to jump from a hot-air balloon or a helicopter, both of which have the ability to hover above the earth. The free-fall and rebound provide the pleasure. When someone leaps, the cord extends and the person soars upward again as the cord recoils. This cycle of ups and downs continues until all of the kinetic energy has been released. A traditional practice on Pentecost Island in Vanuatu involves young men jumping from high wooden platforms while wearing vines attached to their ankles as a test of their bravery and transition into manhood. Land-divers purposely strike the ground, unlike modern bungee-jumpers, but the vines absorb enough force to render the impact non-lethal. A. J. Hackett cited the Pentecost land-diving ceremony as an influence, leading to demands for compensation from the islanders’ representatives for what they see as the unauthorized use of their cultural property. The automobile, which could fit 200 people, would have been pushed off a platform in the tower before bouncing to a stop. The designer engineer recommended that “eight feet of feather bedding” be placed on the ground below as a safety precaution. The Fair’s planners rejected the suggestion. According to James Jennings in his book “Observations of Some of the Dialects in The West of England,” published in 1825, the word “bungee” is derived from the West Country dialect of the English language, which is used to refer to “Anything thick and squat.” The term “rubber eraser” was first used in 1928.
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