Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rocket J. Squirrel, literally.

wingsuit base jumping from Ali on Vimeo.

Its amazing how creative, curious and absolutely nuts people are.  We've had parachutes for a while now.  According to Wikipedia:
The first implemented parachute was created in 1595 by the Croatian inventor Faust Vrančić, who named it Homo Volans (Flying Man). Twenty years later, he implemented his design and tested the parachute by jumping from a tower in Venice in 1617
Ok, so we have been playing with parachutes for almost 400 years.  And yet we are still figuring out new ways to mess around with falling.  These guys are flying across cliff faces, like surfers dragging their hand in the water, deep in the curl of a wave.  But the water is a lot harder in this case.  I am simultaneously thrilled and terrified by the whole idea.

But my question is "why now?"  The technology has existed for a while.  Is it cultural?  Do you need to have a certain number of base jumpers in order to develop enough rivalry for people to start getting "bored" by clearing the hard bits?  

Thanks to Boing Boing for posting this.

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