daredevils

#daredevils

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Yellow Cabs in NYC. Wikipedia photo from Ferdinand Stöhr (<a href=https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0/>CC BY-SA 1.0</a>)
Yellow Cabs in NYC. Wikipedia photo from Ferdinand Stöhr (CC BY-SA 1.0)
One day during rush hour, jazz pianist George Shearing (who had been blind since birth) found himself at a busy Manhattan intersection, waiting for someone to help him across the street. After waiting for some time, he was finally tapped on the shoulder. Unfortunately, it was another blind man, seeking similar assistance. What did Shearing do? "What could I do?" Shearing later laughed. "I took him across—and it was the biggest thrill of my life!"
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Demonstration 'Iceman' Wim Hof, March 24, 2007, Rotterdam. About Wim Hof........... 'The Iceman' One of Wim's world record attempts took him to the North Pole, where he held his breath for about 6 minutes and 20 seconds below the ice. Image courtesy of Innerfire website (MountEverest.net) In January this year, Wim Hof ran a half Marathon (21 km) above the polar circle in Finland. He wore only a pair of shorts and no shoes. The ground (snow) temperature was 35 below. In a few months time, he'll try something similar on Everest's north side. The expedition, led by Dutch Werner de Jong, will try to set a new world record as Wim attempts to climb parts of Everest wearing only shorts. Everest altitude training: Hanging by middle finger between hot air balloons This is not your regular stunt. Wim already has 9 world records, and has trained hard for many years to withstand cold, much like some monks do in Tibet. Wim can actually regulate his core heat to control the temperature of his skin. Something of a medical enigma, Wim is able to withstand cold that could kill or seriously injure other people. On Everest, Wim will also put to use his free style climbing skills - which he once demonstrated hanging between 2 hot air balloons by his middle finger at an altitude of 1500 meters. Once back inside the basket, Wim finished by climbing to the top of the balloon. Credit: Aad Villerius (www.flickr.com/photos/daaynos ) from OudBeijerland, Netherlands. (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>)

Demonstration 'Iceman' Wim Hof, March 24, 2007, Rotterdam. About Wim Hof........... 'The Iceman' One of Wim's world record attempts took ...(more)

In 2002, Wim Hof swam more than 188 feet beneath three feet of ice in sub-zero water wearing only a bathing suit and goggles to clinch a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. Why goggles? Because in an earlier record-setting swim, Hof had almost died after having difficulty finding the exit hole—because his retinas had frozen solid. * Focusing requires the shape of the retina, which acts like a lens to focus incoming light, to be changed by tiny actuator muscles. In 2021, David Vencl set a new record for under-ice swimming -- of 80.9 meters (265 feet).
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Richard Branson at the 2010 Time 100 Gala, photo by David Shankbone <a href=https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>(CC BY-SA 3.0)</a>
Richard Branson at the 2010 Time 100 Gala, photo by David Shankbone (CC BY-SA 3.0)
When they were young, Richard Branson and Nik Powell (a childhood friend and Virgin Group co-founder) often played "chicken" with cars. Branson's character was evident even then. "No guesses," Powell remarked years later, "for who was last to move."
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World Trade Center
The WTC in 1980.
Wikipedia photo from Gerd Eichmann (<a href=https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/>CC BY-SA 4.0</a>)
The WTC in 1980. Wikipedia photo from Gerd Eichmann (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Having jumped from several mountains and buildings around the world, BASE jumper Thor Alex Kappfjell was no stranger to the unpredicatble winds which swirl around the world's tallest buildings. Still, hoping to tackle each of New York's tallest towers, he first leaped from the Empire State Buildings's 86th-floor observation deck, landing on Fifth Avenue, before collecting his chute and calmly hailing a cab (narrowly evading capture by police). Just three days later, the mad jumper rappelled down the side of the Chrysler Building on a fire hose and jumped from one of the steel eagle-head sculptures jutting from its 61st story. Again he rolled up his chute, hailed a taxi and escaped before the cops arrived. Kappfjell, now a ...
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In July 2003, 28-year old French solo rower Emmanuel Coindre attempted to row across the Atlantic from America to France. The trip did not exactly go as planned. After Coindre's boat capsized just 100 miles into the journey, he had to use a satellite telephone to call his mother for help.  His mother called the French coast guard who called the US coast guard, who rescued him and brought him ashore.  * In 2019, Coindre crossed the Atlantic Ocean from east to west in 57 days and 19 hours, becoming the only person to complete seven solo ocean rows, and completed his 8th solo crossing of an ocean in a leg-powered craft called a Hydrocycle.  
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Bob Tony Hawk. Credit: Tinou Bao (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0">CC BY 2.0</a>)
Bob Tony Hawk. Credit: Tinou Bao (CC BY 2.0)
Tony Hawk's three sons inherited their father's wild streak. "One time I found [the youngest one] in the kitchen, when he had just learned to walk. He had this little chair he'd push around the kitchen to try to get up into the drawers. And I found him in the drawer. He turned around and he had a hammer in one hand, an ice pick in the other, and a light bulb in his mouth. And he looked at me like, 'What? What are you gonna do?'"
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Aerial view of the "Horseshoe Falls" and the Hornblower Niagara Cruises boat in Niagara Falls, Canada. View from Skylon Tower. Credit: Wikipedia user Thomaswm (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>)

Aerial view of the "Horseshoe Falls" and the Hornblower Niagara Cruises boat in Niagara Falls, Canada. View from Skylon Tower. ...(more)

On July 15, 1961, Nathan T. Boya went over Niagara Falls in a steel ball he had helped to design, called the "Plunge-O-Sphere." Boya survived (with minor injuries) and won a measure of fame, appearing in Ripley's Believe It or Not and a later IMAX feature. Boya (who was born William Fitzgerald) did his best to cultivate a daredevil image. Indeed, when the media began to investigate his background, he disappeared from view, at least in part because he was afraid that his true occupation would be revealed. Boya's day job? Though he claimed to be self-employed, he was in fact an IBM maintenance man.  * During his plunge, Boya opened his hatch so he could "get a view." Because stunts on ...
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Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower, seen from the Champ de Mars, Paris, France. Credit: Benh LIEU SONG (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>)
Eiffel Tower, seen from the Champ de Mars, Paris, France. Credit: Benh LIEU SONG (CC BY-SA 3.0)
In 1911, a suburban tailor named Reichelt, who had invented a bat-wing cape that he believed would enable him to fly, applied for permission to fly from the Eiffel Tower. The proprietors of the tower reluctantly gave permission, provided that Reichelt obtain police authorization and that he sign a waiver absolving the tower proprietors. Incredibly, the police gave permission. At eight o'clock, on a cold December morning. Reichelt—accompanied by a handful of well-wishers and press photographers—climhed to the level of the first platform, stepped over the edge, and plunged to his death. [Reichelt was born a century too soon. In July 2003, Felix Baumgartner, wearing a specially-adapted suit with a wing-like carbon fibre fin attached to his back, jumped from ...
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A BASE jumper. Image via pixy.org (public domain)
A BASE jumper. Image via pixy.org (public domain)
In August 2013, wingsuit BASE jumper Steph Davis lost her husband, Mario Richard, when he was killed in a jump in Italy. Though she quit BASE jumping after the accident, Davis soon returned. She did not want to endure life, she said, she wanted to enjoy it. On New Year's Eve 2013, Davis revisited the cliff in Arizona from which she and Mario had jumped together exactly a year before. Though she was scared, after pushing off, she felt a sense of release. "There is no way to avoid risk in life," she later said. "The real risk is in making your life small."  In 2018, Davis married another jumper, Ian Mitchard.
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Drahtsteg pedestrian hanging bridge, in the Zillertal Alps, Austria. Credit: böhringer friedrich (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5">CC BY-SA 2.5</a>)
Drahtsteg pedestrian hanging bridge, in the Zillertal Alps, Austria. Credit: böhringer friedrich (CC BY-SA 2.5)
Evolutionary psychologist Andreas Wilke notes that adolescent males often do silly things to show off and cites a study which found that young men who wore VR goggles and crossed a simulated dangerous bridge did so faster in the presence of female onlookers. "Physical risk-taking," The Economist explains, "sends a signal to a potential mate that the risk-taker is fit. Lest this encourage more men to hurl themselves off cliffs, the research also shows that the value of this can be overstated: men overestimate the extent to which females value their engaging in non-heroic risk-taking, such as bungee jumping or risky sports, says a 2005 study by G. William Farthing…"