skyhook

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skyhook

1. A long cable that is attached on one end to a person or object and on the other end to a large balloon that floats high into the sky. The cable is subsequently "caught" by a slow-moving low-altitude aircraft overhead, which lifts the person or object into the air. Used especially in reference to military or spy agencies, who used such devices to extract people or things out of dangerous territories. The spy was trapped behind enemy lines, so the Agency decided to use a skyhook to get him out safely.
2. Any hook or harness attached to a cable that is suspended from a helicopter or airplane and used to transport people or objects through the air. They had to use a skyhook to lift the sedated elephant out of its enclosure in the zoo. Rescue services are going to airlift the injured man the nearest hospital, so we'll have to prep his spinal board for the skyhook.
3. In skydiving, a particular type of mechanism that is used to deploy one's reserve parachute in case of a malfunctioning main parachute. He was so focused on getting his parachute to open correctly that he didn't have enough time to open the reserve with his skyhook.
4. In rock climbing, a small metal hook attached to a strap used to help a climber secure a hold on small or slippery grips or to allow them to rest mid-climb. Thank God I had that skyhook with me! My arms got so tired near the top that I don't know how I would have made it if I didn't have the chance to give them a break. I always bring a skyhook with me in case it starts to rain during my climb.
5. In basketball, a specialized hook shot that is typically shot from a greater distance from the basket. With his great height and precise aim, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was able to turn the skyhook into one of his most effective shots once he got inside the three-point arc.
6. A figurative hook suspended from a nonexistent crane, as needed to lift or hoist someone or something in an impossible manner or location. If I eat any more of this pizza, they'll need a skyhook to get me out of this place!

sky hook

n. an imaginary crane; an imaginary tool. I can’t get this thing outa here without a sky hook.
See also: hook, sky
References in periodicals archive ?
Now Ducati has gone and spoiled the fun by making the skyhook a reality.
These riding modes instantly alter the performance using clever electronics to affect the engine character, the ABS, the skyhook and the traction control.
Changing to the sport setting boosts the engine to 150bhp, reduces ABS to level two, traction control to level four and adjusts the skyhook suspension accordingly.
Suddenly you realise this is not the TV, this is not The Skyhooks, this is not the rut of conditioning, this is not the roundabout you cannot get off.
Space elevators, or skyhooks, present another option, which also help ameliorate a growing problem with space garbage, especially if the skyhooks can be used to replace satellites in some functions, such as communications or Earth observation.
His principal criticism is that, in one way or another, these men invoke what Dennett calls a "skyhook" -a miraculous force or process that gets snuck in the back-door to explain some aspect of design in the world (whether a Bauplan or Universal Grammar).
Dennett apparently sees red whenever adaptationism is questioned because he suspects a plot to sneak in a skyhook. If you don't like adaptationism, what do you think explains all this engineered design?