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Socrates

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EndersGame

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Hasn't something like this been done already by world record holder Felix Baumgartner with the Red Bull Stratos project?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Bull_Stratos



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EVILDAN

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Not sure of all the details but from what I've read so far. 
1. David Blaine will be holding onto the balloons that lift him in the air. How? Any harness or hookup? - No clue. 
2. I read that he was inspired by the kid lifting up in the air in the movie UP! So he didn't want to wear the parachute going up - he'll have to put it on when he's in the air. How? - No clue.
3. I don't think he's looking to break the sound barrier like Felix Baumgartner was looking to do. 
I'll be watching on YouTube from upstate NY. Should be interesting - It is David Blaine after all. 
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Chi Han

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
Not sure of all the details but from what I've read so far. 
1. David Blaine will be holding onto the balloons that lift him in the air. How? Any harness or hookup? - No clue. 
2. I read that he was inspired by the kid lifting up in the air in the movie UP! So he didn't want to wear the parachute going up - he'll have to put it on when he's in the air. How? - No clue.
3. I don't think he's looking to break the sound barrier like Felix Baumgartner was looking to do. 
I'll be watching on YouTube from upstate NY. Should be interesting - It is David Blaine after all. 


Based on all the interviews:

He will be wearing a harness, although he wants the visual of him holding onto the balloon.

He'll also have a parachute, although it will be hidden, he has to pass a certain point for it to be effective.

He's wanted to do this since he was a kid, has nothing to do with the movie Up.

Can't wait to see it.
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Barden

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on live now...

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EVILDAN

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Correction on my #2. 

From a news piece on the internet: "He said he was inspired to pursue the balloon flight after seeing the 1956 French film “The Red Balloon (Le Ballon Rouge)” as a child."
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EVILDAN

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That was pretty intense!!!!
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marko29

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I watched the whole daredevil stunt and it was really thrilling. I also watched Baumgartner when he did his jump and that was great. Although Baumgartner went higher because he wanted to break the sound barrier, Blaine didn't wear any protective equipment and took oxigen only in the late stages of the ascent so IMHO, Blaine's stunt has its own merits. At least for me. I wouldn't even dare come near a parachute ON THE GROUND!!! not to mention jumping with one on.
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Mike Powers

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Really enjoyed Blaine. Well thought out and well executed. No BS. He went to nearly 25,000 feet and had an excellent landing.

M
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GregB

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Yeah this was super fun to watch. I got pretty tense when he was putting on his parachute cause man, what do you do if he dropped it on accident?
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marko29

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¿Prick the balloons one by one?
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Rudy Tinoco

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Friggin, David. He knows how to grab you by the feels.

My palms were sweaty for about 15 minutes of it. When he nailed the landing, I was smiling and almost had a tear in my eye.
I’m happy for him and for his daughter. He is truly living life to the fullest and is so intentional about his daughter taking part in it all. “It’s all for you”, he said. And yet, he invites us into his journey.

I loved it! Truly magical!

Rudy

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SamtheNotasBadasIWas

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I did not really get that excited about this stunt because it has been done twice before by Larry Walters and Larry Walsh later. Walters did it in 1982 and got in trouble because he wasn't licensed and his rig, a lawn chair with balloons tied to it and a pellet gun to descend, flew into an airport's airspace. Walsh copied him years later. Bumgartner's jump was much more exciting, I thought, but that's just me.
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Rudy Tinoco

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamtheNotasBadasIWas
I did not really get that excited about this stunt because it has been done twice before by Larry Walters and Larry Walsh later. Walters did it in 1982 and got in trouble because he wasn't licensed and his rig, a lawn chair with balloons tied to it and a pellet gun to descend, flew into an airport's airspace. Walsh copied him years later. Bumgartner's jump was much more exciting, I thought, but that's just me.


Wow!! A lawn chair and pellet gun?
I need to look that up. Hadn’t heard about that until now.

Rudy

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A few reactions from me:

1. First and foremost, I really enjoyed it.  Entertaining to watch, and all the tech really helped us become part of the experience - that was really well done.  Read all further comments in light of a big overall positive.

2. It was a little on the long side, especially with all the build up. 3 hours - really?  And given how long it was, it would have been nice to have had some comments and reactions from Blaine and the team afterwards, debriefing the experience;  it seemed a pity that was entirely missing.

3. It's kind of amusing watching all these people helping a grown man getting dressed, as if he can't do anything himself.  It kind of flies in the face of what happens later: he can do a risky skydive, but the man can't dress himself? I fond that rather humorous.

4. They really did hype it up, trying to emphasize all the dangers.  I realize it was a stunt and things could go wrong.  But even so, it seemed a bit over the top at points, as if they were deliberately exaggerating things to make it seem more scary than it was.  They had a whole team around him, and even if he'd flaked out they would have been able to bring him down safely by controlling the balloons.  

5. The fact that the location was changed from New York to Utah just a day or two before launch makes you wonder if some elements were just staged, and that was the plan all along.  With so much careful preparation of so many elements, surely you don't just change locations a day or two beforehand.  

6. Similar are the scenes where he's being shown the landing zones just an hour before launch and doesn't seem to understand what he's seeing.  Don't tell me Blaine hasn't scoped out the possible landing zones in a carefully prepared stunt that has supposedly been ten years in the making, or doesn't understand what his team is showing him on a screen, when even I get it as a viewer.   David is a showman par excellence.  How much of this and other things were all just theatrics?

7. One thing that did surprise me was how `panicky' Blaine himself seemed at points, because this time we got a fully live experience that showed it all.  Not the ice cool dude that he sometimes makes himself out to be.  Even the "Can I have a sip of water?" line that became a repeated theme.  He seemed very human, very fallible.  

8. No offence intended, but the whole thing just before launch about invoking holy people in the earth and sky and mother nature and praying for their help was a bit weird. Surely Blaine doesn't believe any of that nonsense.  And if there was a tight time window, why give precious time for primitive incantations?  

9. They really played up the father-daughter part of the narrative.  That was touching and all, but you have to wonder about the girl's mother, and Blaine's relationship with her.  I don't know the whole story here, but here we have a man who breaks the limits of human endurance, but how about his endurance in human relationships?  If you're a guy who is still married to the mother of your children and are faithful to her until death, you're showing a level of true endurance that Blaine seems to lack.

10. I was secretly hoping for something even more magical, e.g. that he'd suddenly levitate in the sky, or even vanish.  This is David Blaine after all.  But I guess in the end this was more about a stunt than about magic.

11. As a stunt, this begs comparisons with Felix Baumgarner's record-breaking achievement in 2012 with the Red Bull Statos project [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Bull_Stratos ].  Baumgarner used a helium balloon to get 39km up, then jumped and broke the sound barrier while free falling, eventually landing with a parachute (video here).  In my opinion that was arguably even more impressive as far as human limits are concerned, whereas Blaine's stunt was more about aesthetic beauty.

12. It would have been nice to have seen some references to achievements similar to Blaine's attempt.  For example, read the story of Larry Walters who used a patio chair and 45 helium balloons to fly over 15,000 feet. It sparked many imitators, listed on the Wikipedia page [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawnchair_Larry_flight ], and it's well worth reading over some of those.  Many of them seem as impressive if not more impressive (or crazy) given the absence of support teams like the one Blaine had.

13. The disclaimer at the end seemed a bit ridiculous: "This production was filmed in strict accordance with all CDC and SHA Covid protocols and safety guidelines including testing, social distancing, use of PPE, quarantining, disinfecting and good hygiene practices."  Really?  This seems a little absurd given (a) the much greater dangers Blaine has taken on by his stunt; (b) the lack of social distancing and other protocols that seemed to be in place, besides the occasional mask.

14. I love how Blaine giggles like a little kid.  This sense of childlike wonder is what magic is all about!

Criticisms and nitpicking aside, it was still great entertainment, and I enjoyed watching it.

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James Nelson

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I enjoyed it. It was an awfully long time to be hanging by one arm.
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CharlieR

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FYI, the record doesn't belong to Baumgartner anymore. Google executive Alan Eustace went higher and with no capsule -- or the hype. See:

https://www.airspacemag.com/space/04_fm2017-alan-eustaces-jump-1-180961678/


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EndersGame

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieR
FYI, the record doesn't belong to Baumgartner anymore. Google executive Alan Eustace went higher and with no capsule -- or the hype. See:

https://www.airspacemag.com/space/04_fm2017-alan-eustaces-jump-1-180961678/

That is a great story.  Thanks for sharing that.

These kinds of other stories do put Blaine's achievements in a proper context.

I was somewhat surprised to discover that cluster ballooning is an extreme sport that is more common than I realized.  Blaine is hardly the first to do anything like this, and there are even others who have come back down to earth from a cluster balloon ride with a parachute.  Reading through the list of imitators of Lawnchair Larry is particularly illuminating. 

I guess in the end this was really all just a spectacle, alongside many similar achievements, many of which didn't have a large support team providing protective bubble wrap.  Perhaps we were taken in a little by the hype (I was anyway).  Blaine is a showman after all. 

But what made this achievement particularly noteworthy was the ability of technology to bring us right in alongside Blaine the whole way along, and experience the drama from his perspective.  And that was brilliantly done.

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Bulla

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersGame


8. No offence intended, but the whole thing just before launch about invoking holy people in the earth and sky and mother nature and praying for their help was a bit weird. Surely Blaine doesn't believe any of that nonsense.  And if there was a tight time window, why give precious time for primitive incantations?  



Wow. Why do you think its your job to insult people for their beliefs? You realize that Rudy here is a Pastor right? Are you going to say that his beliefs are nonsense too?

Regardless of what you believe, it is not your duty to go around and put others down for theirs. This is how racism and discrimination starts. I expected more from you. I liked reading your reviews. Sadly, this poorly constructed piece will be the last thing I ever read from you.

P.S. Oh, and btw, as you so politely put it yourself, NO OFFENCE! There, that should make everything better right? I mean that is what people do when they want to insult someone but are too much of a coward to accept the responsibility for their comments.

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EndersGame

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulla
Wow. Why do you think its your job to insult people for their beliefs? You realize that Rudy here is a Pastor right? Are you going to say that his beliefs are nonsense too?

Regardless of what you believe, it is not your duty to go around and put others down for theirs. This is how racism and discrimination starts. I expected more from you. I liked reading your reviews. Sadly, this poorly constructed piece will be the last thing I ever read from you.

Ironically these statements are doing exactly the same as what I'm being criticized for: they are judging me for my beliefs.  Seriously.

I'd respectfully request that I be allowed to hold the freedom to have my own beliefs, and the freedom of speech to express them.  And you have the freedom to disagree with them, and to express that disagreement.  If you or I believe that the ancient Egyptians were in error for believing that the sun was a god and for worshipping it, or if you or I believe that ancient scientists were in error for believing that the earth was flat, we should have the freedom to express that; that hardly makes us racist or discriminatory.  Or has political correctness gone so mad that we can't even say that any more?  

There's even a long tradition in magic for speaking out against supernatural or occultic beliefs, James Randi's "One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge" being one such much-respected example.  Derren Brown's series "Derren Brown Investigates" is another show that received praise for criticizing beliefs such as speaking to the dead, ghosts, mediums, and psychic surgery.  Making a statement that someone's beliefs are in error is hardly without precedent, unless you want to dismiss a whole branch of magic that has a long history.  That doesn't mean you have to agree with James Randi or Derren Brown's judgments, but they do have the right to make them, and making these judgments doesn't mean they are bigots.  I'd respectfully suggest that my comments about prayers to holy people in the earth and sky are very much in line with James Randi and Derren Brown's school of thinking about this.  I suspect David Blaine has a similar approach to them, and was likely just doing this for the sake of political correctness, in view of native ownership of the land where the stunt was being performed.

For the record, I happen to share Rudy's Christian beliefs and I accept the Bible as God's moral code for human conduct.  There's plenty of TV shows and films that make fun of my Christian worldview, or make a mockery of Christian priests and pastors, and there's plenty of people who tell me that my Christian beliefs are wrong or that the moral code I hold to is wrong.  I disagree with their assessment, but I respect the freedom for people to express their view about my beliefs; I hope they'll give me the same freedom.  I'm getting a little tired of seeing a double standard: on the one hand performing an ancient religious ritual gets positive air time and any whisper of criticism about this is instantly muffled, but meanwhile religious observances like Christian school prayer are banned in US schools, and Christian beliefs and ethics are constantly mocked and ridiculed.

I'm not prepared to enter into any further discussion about this.  I think we all know from experience that this kind of conversation will generate more heat than light, and won't be productive.  That's not a cop-out, it's just an attempt to keep things positive and on topic, and to remain true to the intent of what this magic forum is about: discussing magic.  I think it's only fair that I get to respond at least once to what I'm being criticized for, and say something in my defence.  But I won't comment any further on this, because I don't think that's helpful or appropriate for this forum. 

Let's please just get back to the topic on hand: reactions to Blaine's Ascension stunt.


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Bulla

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Reply with quote  #21 
I'm not judging you for your beliefs, I'm judging you by your actions. Hard to keep things positive when your reaction list is filled to the brim with negativity. Express your beliefs all you want, but I'm not going to keep quiet if you're going to project those beliefs onto other people.
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