It's been a good week for … having a head for heights

It's been a good week for … having a head for heights

There was a day when I would traipse up the Scott Monument without batting an eyelid, or scale Wallace's equivalent with equal nonchalance.

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You don't really appreciate the benefit of youthful equilibrium until it leaves you … usually high and dry halfway up a tall building. For me, it was at the Torre del Mangia in Siena when vertigo hit. That was 10 years ago. Now, even the escalators in Buchanan Galleries are a dizzying challenge.

So I was more than a little queasy when I read of Chicago's new visitor attraction, The Tilt.

The Hancock Centre in the Windy City now boasts the gravity-defying attraction, which lets people lean out over the edge of its observation deck at a 30-degree angle.

For a princely $5, eight visitors at a time to the Hancock's 94th floor - dubbed 360 Chicago - can walk into a steel-framed box that gradually tilts to a 30-degree angle toward the ground, which is more than 1000 feet away.

John Peronto, a structural engineer who worked on the Tilt, said the wind speed at that height was one of the most critical obstacles to overcome.

"As the Tilt system moves in and out, there are three piston-like devices that push the actual steel frame outside the building about 50 inches, give or take, which creates the rotation of 30 degrees for the occupant," he said.

Sorry, but you can keep your 50-inch tilt ("give or take"). For thrills, I'll stick to escalators - when I'm feeling brave enough.

It's been a bad week for … baguettes

A supermarket chain has been forced to apologise for turning the Angel Of The North into a giant advert for a French stick. Morrisons used a projector to beam a 175ft-long baguette on to the famous artwork.

But the loaf, which had a the phrase "I'm cheaper", angered many people, who thought it devalued the artwork.

The move was criticised by Angel Of The North artist Antony Gormley, who has always wanted the artwork to stand isolated and unlit - he had a clause added to the original agreement when work on the Angel began in 1994, refusing permission to light the sculpture. The "philistine and disgraceful" stunt prompted outrage on social media site Twitter, with many criticising the supermarket for "cultural vandalism". Morrisons' misfire brings a whole new meaning to going for the messages.