Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Millennial Extremes 5: Skating the Edge

Pausing by a fjord road in Norway. Image Source: Dark Roasted Blend.

There were always intrepid people who pushed beyond safe and well-trodden paths. Explorers, saints, pilgrims, warriors, conquerors, settlers.  It will take their kind of daring to one day colonize Mars.  The fluid values of the Millennium seem to generate existential questions that are answered, in some quarters, by extreme sports.  People have never had so many chances to push beyond their psychological, physical and environmental boundaries as they have now.  They have more high-tech equipment and more opportunities to get to places where they can test themselves.  There are whole sub-cultures geared toward challenging these limits, see just a few of them below the jump.  For those who prefer to challenge themselves from their living rooms, video games are producing environments that simulate the same experiences.

The Pulpit Rock hike, Norway. Image Source: Dark Roasted Blend via Susi Varming.

Climbing/hiking area in in Xian (Mt.Huashan), China; this link tells more about the area. Image Source: Weblinks.ru via Dark Roasted Blend.
Climbing/hiking area in in Xian (Mt.Huashan), China; this link tells more about the area. Image Source: Weblinks.ru via Dark Roasted Blend.
Climbing/hiking area in in Xian (Mt.Huashan), China; this link tells more about the area. Image Source: Weblinks.ru via Dark Roasted Blend.
Rock climbing. Image Source: Extreme Freestyle.
A drop performed by the Russian dirt biker Ben de Roni (read more here). Image Source: Dark Roasted Blend.

Parkour, an extreme sport of French origin, aims to find the most efficient way to hurtle through the urban jungle. Its origins go back to the early 20th century, but it really gained notice in the late 1990s.

Rush Hour, David Belle's BBC One Parkour commercial (2003). Video Source: BBC via Youtube.

The term 'free running' as a distinct sport, related to parkour, which was so named in the 2003 Channel 4 documentary, Jump London. Free running employs more artfulness in jumps, while parkour demands efficiency first.

Latvian Oleg Vorslav and friends free running. Video Source: Youtube.

Ice Climbing in France. Image Source: Thunda Funda.
Cliff diving. Image Source: Hippo Hostel.

In 2008, Norwegian skier Fred Syversen unintentionally set the world record for cliff jumping, when he missed his line and dropped 351 feet (see reports here and here). When he landed, he punched 2 metres into the snow. His drop is in the video immediately below.

Syversen's 2008 world record cliff drop. Video Source: Youtube.

Jeb Corliss, wing suit demo (Thanks to J.). Video Source: Youtube.
From Billabong Odyssey (2003). Mike Parsons surfing. Video Source: Youtube.

Tyler Bradt set a 189 foot world record at Palouse Falls for a whitewater kayaking drop in April 2009. National Geographic:
There isn’t a lot that scares Tyler Bradt, so before he steered his kayak off the lip of eastern Washington’s Palouse Falls and dropped 18 stories amid water rushing at 2,000 cubic feet per second, he recalls his mind running gin clear, just like the current. “There was a stillness,” says the 22-year-old extreme kayaker. “Then an acceleration, speed, and impact unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. I wasn’t sure if I was hurt or not. My body was just in shock.” So was everyone else. The previously held record for kayak descents, set only weeks earlier, had been off a 127-foot fall in the Amazon.
Bradt's 2009 world record, remeasured at 189 feet, at Palouse Falls. Video Source: Youtube.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta discusses extreme kayaking with Tyler Bradt. Video Source: CNN via Youtube.

See all my posts on Millennial Extremes.

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