Saturday, February 20, 2010

Daivd Blaine

by Richard Crews
David Blaine is a remarkable man. He bills his primary vocation as "street magician": wearing jeans and a T-shirt, armed with a deck of cards (and followed by a camera crew) he has amazed passers by on city streets around the world, and even taken his "act" to primitive jungle tribes and desolate mountain villages. He says his performance abilities depend on long, arduous hours of practice over many years. He is fun to watch.

But more than being a "street magician," he also does "endurance stunts." These again often take long preparation and arduous self-discipline.

In this lecture at the TED series he describes the two-year ordeal of personal training he put himself through in order to break the world record for holding one's breath--a record he now holds at 17 minutes 4 seconds (the previous record was 16 minutes 30 seconds).

Regardless of any histrionics you may impute and deplore, I think this is an amazing study of the human condition and human potential.