Walking across Niagara on a tightrope

That walk between the towers, something impossible to repeat now, was the most impressive walk in history, IMHO. He wasn’t doing it with any prior knowledge of media coverage, no tether, no net, it was art for art’s sake.

This widely advertised claim is technically true, but a bit misleading. In 1859, Charles Blondin did numerous walks on a wire across the gorge just below the falls. It’s hard to see how moving the wire a couple hundred yards upstream makes it something never done before.

Blondin was clearly a showman:

Did you send them any money?

Actually, the Australian woman whose bungee broke, causing a fall into croc infested waters was cool.

Any crocs in the Niagra?

I too was surprised to see the safety cable. It put me off a bit until cooler heads in the house prevailed. Now I think it is no more unusual than a NASCAR driver wearing a seat belt and probably not to take some safety precautions would be insane: SEVEN dead in that family is enough, already.

We Americans seem to be getting pretty demanding about our entertainment: does it have to reach the point of “blood and circuses” (to coin a phrase) before we are happy?

I for one am glad he made it across and I challenge those of you who are disgruntled with his donning a basic bit of safety gear, to ask yourself this: could you or anyone you know could do the same, harness or not?

With a good safety harness and a guarantee of enough money whether I make it across or not, I would give it a shot.

Also, with good safety harness and a guarantee of enough money whether I could fly or not, I would jump off a building.

It is?!

Well, um, not the sex part, just the documentary that mentions it. :wink:

In this case, yes. There was zero entertainment for me watching a guy with a safety tether walk over Niagara Falls. He may as well have done this 3 inches above the ground across a Walmart parking lot.


*Slooooowly *he walked . . . step by step . . . inch by inch . . .

My love for you deepens.

I rest my case. :smiley:

My GF selected this for lack of anything better to watch. We got about halfway through the 1 hour countdown when I announced that if she insisted on watching it, I’d be on the computer playing video games.

Tether or no tether, I don’t see the appeal of tightrope walking at all. Absent wind at higher elevations, it would be exactly the same as walking 3 inches above the ground across a Walmart parking lot, at least to me. What I mean is, there’s nothing inherently difficult or dangerous about tightrope walking. Sure, not everyone can do it (I certainly am way too clumsy and uncoordinated to try). But some of the other stunts they showed (motorcycle jumping, going over the falls in a barrel, etc) are dangerous stunts in and of themselves. The only thing about tightrope walking that makes it interesting is the fact that you face serious injury/death if you make the smallest mistake BECAUSE they insist on artificially raising the danger level by putting the rope hundreds or thousands of feet above the ground. It’s like watching a construction worker or furniture mover at his job, but saying “okay, if you make any mistakes, we’re going to release poisonous snakes on you”. So what’s the point?

Also, 3 hours? A one hour count down and two freaking hours of watching a guy walk on a rope? How is that remotely exciting? Announcer: “Okay, he’s started out. He’s deciding which foot to start off on. Okay, it looks like the left foot to start off. Now he’s putting his right foot in front of his left foot. Now the left foot in front of his right foot. Now it looks like he’s pausing for a minute. Now the right foot again…”. Yawwwnnnnn…

Has anyone aired a speeded-up version with “Yakety Sax” playing yet?

I suppose you would find it more interesting if the guy falls than if he doesn’t. By ‘interesting’ do you mean "fun ?

How do they get the wire across the falls? Its one long wire right? Do they tie it up at one end then helicopter it to the other? Or shoot it across with a canon?

a guy swims across the other side with it :slight_smile:

Typically, they start with something small, brought across by boat (or helicopter). That is used to pull a stronger line across, which then is used to pull the final cable.

I missed the stunt but tuned in just in time to hear the guy thanking God, and talking about how blessed he was, and how important it was to have faith, and… eh, let’s see what else is on. <click>

Well, of *course *it’s more interesting if he falls–why do you think people *watch *high-wire acts?