You all know about my fear of heights. Look what I found today — BASE jumping from the RenCen here in Detroit:
This makes my head whirl. Someone on the local forum where I found this pointed out it’s at least a few years old; it predates the riverfront improvements. Still. A friend told me once about his roommate, who did this crackbrain pursuit. (Does everyone know what BASE jumping refers to? Building, Antenna, Span, Earth.) He landed badly after jumping from a tall building in Los Angeles, perhaps because he didn’t have time to prepare, perhaps because security guards were chasing him and his buddies up the stairs to the top. In keeping with the agreement they all made ahead of time, the same buddies abandoned him at the bottom, so they wouldn’t be arrested. He screwed up his legs but good, and spent months in a rehab hospital learning to walk again. Good times!
This is the sort of activity that leads to terms like “testosterone poisoning.”
When I rode horses, I became acquainted with the idea there are certain equine personalities that are suited for certain jobs, and no amount of cross-training will ever overcome it. Fortunately, there are disciplines suited for nearly all of them, and thank God for that, because if there weren’t steeplechases left in the world, a lot of hard-charging jumpers would wither on the vine. Which is to say, I guess guys like this do stuff like this because there are no machine-gun nests to charge.
In my webby perambulations of late, I’ve found a bit of bloggage but no grand unifying theories, so let’s just cut to the chase, eh?
For you Chicagoans: Eric Zorn blogged Blago’s book so you don’t have to. Table of contents post here. Sample:
Blagojevich portrays himself as a great and noble and selfless man who fought for the people over the entrenched political interests. I believe this. What I mean by that is that I believe he sees himself this way — that he is nearly blind to his own personal failings.
Which suggests this book is going to be every bit as tedious and repetitive and uninsightful as the series of media interviews he gave in early January of this year. No self awareness. Just self justification.
Last September, here:
Quick tech question for some one who knows: There was a guy at the Dirtbombs concert Friday night with some thing I’ve never seen before. It looked like a horizontal mount for seven count ‘em seven identical digital cameras — Canon PowerShots, I b’lieve. He’d hold it up, they’d all twinkle their autofocus lights and fire as one. What the heck was it? And please don’t say “a horizontal mount for seven cameras.”
UPDATE: J.C. Burns and kind commenter DanG appear to have the answer: It’s how you get the ‘bullet-time’ effect…dollying dimensionally around a frozen or slo-mo image. The rig was similar to this, only wider and with an antenna-like thing above it that could have been a microphone. Think of an old-timey photographer’s flash bar; it was like that, only with cameras instead of flash powder. But I think they’re right — it’s for capturing that Matrix-y effect.
Not quite. Mystery solved:
Get yer old-skool 3-D glasses out … now! Most astute observers have no doubt seen local artist Chris Dean’s work somewhere around the city, whether it’s on those 1800 Tequila billboards or on the walls of the now-defunct CPOP Gallery. And if you’re a regular clubgoer, you’ve probably seen Dean himself at rock shows. He’s the guy lugging that unmistakable rig that includes seven digital cameras, which he uses to create three-dimensional “lenticular” images (you know, like those old Cracker Jack prizes). The artist recently switched from digital art to photography for a show — titled “D3D” — that debuts this Saturday.
A few of you asked when our 48 hour challenge film, “A Little Knowledge,” would be available for viewing. Here it is, on the imperfect 48.tv site, but there you go. You’ll need Flash, a fast connection and forgiveness in your heart.
Britney Spears was in town last night. The Freep critic was unimpressed; the News’, about the same. I’m wondering what the tickets cost. So far I’ve been pleased my own kid’s musical tastes ran toward the more alternative, i.e., less expensive acts like Paramore. Until I bought tickets for a show next month and paid a surcharge of about 40 percent. And I have to print them on my own computer! Now I see what Eddie Vedder was so pissed about.