Skydiver Felix Baumgartner, or as I call him "The World's Most Fearless Felix" was disappointed this week when his Red Bull Stratos Project, (an attempt to break a 52-year-old skydiving altitude record) was postponed by dangerous winds.The jump has been tentatively rescheduled for Sunday. He needs to be careful about weather conditions, as if he rips his suit, which could happen easily, he could be subject to something called "boiling blood" syndrome. By the way, that isn't "I'm so mad it FEELS like my blood is boiling" syndrome, it's "if you submerged a pound of dry pasta in my blood, it would emerge six minutes later al dente" syndrome. So,dangerous, but hey- "Red Bull gives you wings," right? It's either that or Red Bull gives you wings, which you use to fly too close to the sun, and then plummet to your death as your blood literally boils." Anyway, we wish Felix nothing but the best this weekend and hope he comes to his senses and quits comes out of this OK.
In the meantime let's look back on five-famous daredevil fails that didn't involve boiling plasma:
5. David Blaine's "Dive of Death"
While David Blaine is
sometimes represented as a magician, he mostly seems to be a guy who
just hangs out in public and waits, usually in a somewhat uncomfortable
spot. So it was with the "Dive of Death" which in reality was some sort
of thing where Donald Trump maybe paid him to hang upside down for 60 hours? Or something? As though that wasn't stupid enough, he was captured by
several media outlets uh, not hanging upside down. So what exactly was the stunt? Not sure.
4. Evel Knievel at Snake River Canyon
On September 8th, 1974, the famous daredevil strapped into a rocket-powered motorcycle and attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon. The daredevil launched into the air and would have made it, but when his chute opened, the winds blew the vehicle back into the canyon. Oops. Luckily, Knievel survived with minor injuries.
3. The Lady Who Keeps Trying To Swim To Cuba
Diana Nyad is a woman on a mission. That mission is to swim from Florida to Cuba. She has tried and failed to do this feat four times now, most recently last August, a day before her 63nd birthday. I know, with the embargo, it's tough to get to Cuba from the US. But it shouldn't be this tough.
2. "Spiderman" climbs the New York Times building
In 2008, a French stuntman named Alain Robert scaled the North face of the New York Times building, and climbed all 52 stories to the roof, without the use of any ropes or climbing equipment. Once there, he unfurled a banner that read “Global warming kills more people than 9/11 every week.” While his climb was risky, you can't say it didn't come without its reward, since as a result of his action, global warming has totally been fixed by now. Oh, wait.
1. Annie Edison Taylor Makes People Think Going Over Niagara Falls In A Barrel Is Safe
Did you ever wonder why going over Niagara Falls in a barrel is a THING? I mean, why not go over in a canoe, or an empty tire, or a hollowed out pumpkin? It's a thing, because in 1901, a woman named Annie Edison Taylor, on her 63rd birthday, went over Niagara Falls in a barrel and survived. Why in heaven's name did she attempt this? (And, as a side-note, what's up with lady-adventurers when they turn 63?) Well, according to Wikipedia: " Desiring to secure her later years financially, and avoid the poorhouse, she decided she would be the first person to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel." Kudos, Annie. You know how many people have died trying since? A lot.
Photo Credit: UPI/Landov