Frank Morton-Park ’10 gains momentum on the giant hamster wheel.

Frank Morton-Park ’10 gains momentum on the giant hamster wheel.

Running In Circles

Students install giant hamster wheel in SU.

March 1, 2010

Yet another enigmatic artifact has materialized overnight in the student union: this one is a majestic structure resembling a behemoth roller bearing, 12 feet in diameter, constructed from lumber and plywood and emblazoned with pictograms.

For several days, its purpose, mission, and meaning remained opaque. Then an intrepid physics senior plucked up the courage to step inside the enormous tube at the heart of the contraption, and reported a peculiar swinging sensation. This impression grew stronger as the student leaned forward to inspect the smooth face of the curved surface before him. Suddenly, with a groan and a shudder, the tube began to rotate. The student quickened his pace; the tube accelerated accordingly, roaring and clattering like a Lexington Avenue subway train; and the thunderstruck observers realized they were staring at a gargantuan hamster wheel.

After diligent inquiry, we finally tracked down English major Patrick McQuestion ’11, who confirmed that the surreal student group DxOxTxUx (Defenders of the Universe) was responsible for the engineering marvel, and shared some of the nuts and bolts. The tube sits atop 64 rubber roller bearings, made out of longboard wheels and 7-inch steel axles. The group spent six weeks constructing the device; final assembly in the SU required a marathon session of 20 hours. The group’s previous exploits include the see-saw couch and the couch swing, featured in previous issues of Reed. Plans are in the works to attach a dynamo to the wheel in order to generate electricity. 

Tags: Cool Projects, Campus Life, Reed History