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    Wednesday
    Apr302008

    Don't Hold Your Breath

    DavidBlaine.jpgThere's this magician guy named David Blaine who just set the Guinness World's Record for holding his breath underwater on the Oprah Winfrey show. He was able to hold his breath for 17 minutes and 4 seconds, which beat the previous record of 16 minutes and 32 seconds. Wow, David, that'll look great on your resume. Blaine (not to be confused with "Brain") was permitted by Guinness officials to suck pure oxygen for up to 30 minutes before attempting to break the record, although he only needed 23 minutes of the "good stuff". The article I'm referencing also said that David tried once to break the conventional record of 8 minutes and 58 seconds but he had to be stopped after he fell unconscious and started having convulsions.

    I find this whole ordeal very disturbing and it raises a number of questions for me:

    1. How does one get to be a Guinness Official? Can I get a job like that? Watching stupid people try stupid stuff? (Maybe I already have one...)
    2. At what point in life does someone decide, I want to hold my breath underwater for 17 minutes?
    3. Did the fact that Oprah ate a stuffed cabbage and bean dip casserole for lunch serve as any inspiration for David's feat?
    4. If I were to suck pure oxygen for a half an hour, what guarantee would I have that I wouldn't look like the girl who chewed the Blueberry Gum in Willy Wonka's factory? And why didn't anyone ever sue Willy Wonka for product liability issues?
    5. Does the guy who held his breath for 8 minutes and 58 seconds ever wonder why he couldn't just hang on for two more damn seconds and make it an even 9  minutes???

    David said his next feat would be to take on the record for sleeplessness, currently recognized as being 11.5 days., but the article concludes by saying Guinness no longer recognizes attempts to break that record due to health concerns. HELLO? Blaine passes out and goes into convulsions after holding his breath for 7 minutes, and that's okay? But Guinness won't let him try to stay awake for fear of--what?--he might accidentally fall asleep? Am I missing something here???

     

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