That’s my tongue trailing 40 feet behind me?

January 26, 2010

Boy, am I pissed!

According to a Reuters story, some guy is going to step out of a capsule lifted 120,000 feet by a balloon and leap to Earth, becoming the first man to break the sound barrier without an aircraft.

Why the heck didn’t I think of that?

jumper combo 490

So now THIS guy gets to have the fun of plummeting so fast he won’t be able to hear himself scream, because his own shriek will just follow along behind him.

jumper statue 240This of course is just exactly the way the Good Lord meant for us to travel.

While the story estimates the trip down will take roughly 21 minutes, I gather it could be a lot briefer if something goes wrong with his parachute.

What is WRONG with people these days? Our story says this latest stunt is being sponsored by a beverage company.

I’ll tell you one thing. If I ever do something like this, the sponsors had better be a beverage company that makes 100-proof bourbon, along with an adult diaper maker, and they’d better have huge supplies of their products available for me throughout the event.

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Top left: Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner is seen after jumping from a transport plane above Dover at the start of his freefall across the English Channel between Dover and Calais, in 2003. REUTERS/Helmut Tucek

Top right: Baumgartner celebrates after his successful free fall across the Channel in 2003. REUTERS/Bernhard Spoettel

Right: Baumgartner, prepares to jump from the arm of the Christ the Redeemer statue on top of Corcovado mountain, overlooking Rio de Janeiro, in a 1999 photo. REUTERS photo

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74 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Bob… you value your blog writing too much to endanger it with something as ridiculous as a 12000 feet free fall…
Its ok… we understand and love you better now…
Say, can we have that party now?

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Gravity has a way of showing up when you least expect it. In the military, I had to help dig out a tank that had — shall we say — a “hard landing” when its parachute didn’t open. I also saw a couple of helicopters after hard landings. Those experiences opened my eyes to the full meaning of 32 feet per second, per second.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Shra, the problem with the party idea is, you all live too far apart. You’re in Estonia, egeria is in Nepal, CrowGirl lives in Nebraska, LMR lives in Mexico… And I think there are also some guys who comment and probably live someplace, too.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Oops, forget that last message. I should keep that stuff confidential.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

I don’t know, Bob. I seem to remember, back in my CALLOW youth, the following being my side in a conversation or 40:

DD: Could I have your phone number, I could give you a call.

DD: Oh, you don’t have a phone. Could I have your address? Maybe I could stop in and see you sometime?

DD: What do you mean you don’t live anywhere?

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Can a human body even reach the sound barrier at terminal velocity in a free-fall unassisted?

I mean… I like airplanes!

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Your diaper comment got me to wondering. Maybe a fall like this would help me with my bowel problem.

Posted by T54 | Report as abusive

Well, the good news is that he’ll be going fast enough that they won’t have to dig him a hole…

Posted by justK | Report as abusive

He has to go very high, to where the atmoshphere is very thin, where the molecules are farther apart. There, his terminal velocity will be much higher than at normal parachuting elevations, e.g. 10,000 feet. Plus, he can dive to lower the resistance.

You know, I have never cared for the term “terminal velocity.” It sounds so … terminal.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Jeez … they sent monkey’s whizzing (deliberate choice of words) through the atmospshere in capsules. Get the guy a heat shield … like a Kevlar Depends.

I wonder what kind of doughnuts he eats?

Posted by justCAM | Report as abusive

Doctor Doll… that was teaching….

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Blame the teaching on me Shra, I asked. :p

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

My bad. I’m an incorrigible pedant.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

You mean like you plow the land for the lord and master and have no power of your own?

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

How is this NOT a sign of the Apocalypse?

Posted by Ampo | Report as abusive

A very good point, Ampo. I’ve added the Apocalypse tag the this item. I guess I’m just getting jaded…

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

When you say beverage company, it appears to be Red Bull, which consists of sugar and caffeine and made-up-ness. Bourbon would be infinitely better for this event.

Also, where is Nebraska ? Do they have snow and swineherding ?

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

No, Bob. Silly goose. I’m either suspended or projecting. That’s okay. With peasant, pendant, penetrant, and pedant, I don’t know whether I’m coming or going!

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

No Unca, I was referring to a peasant….

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Of all the places in Europe, he had to place me in Estonia!!!!!
And what’s with all the P stuff… I am trying to think of something clever, but am all choked up today… so, help me God… oh, God cant help me, he’s busy trying to get off that “monkey” off his arm…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Shra, Estonia is not bad at all, if you don’t mind a little cold every now and then –sort of between September and May.

Nevertheless, I confess I had no idea they had moved Mt. Isa to Mexico. Is that considered an improvement?

And, Dr. Doll, I find it somewhat mysteriously fitting that in this case we call it terminal velocity… If there were enough meds and doughnuts in the world to make me try that one out, I’d drop dead within the first two or three nanoseconds of the fall… perhaps even before the fall.

Posted by justM | Report as abusive

We’re sorry, but Egeria can’t come to the blog right now. She was last seen running out of the office into the Himalayas, screaming and laughing maniacally.

We’ll send a search party after lunch, or afternoon tea…or supper. Wait, it’ll be dark by then. Make that after breakfast tomorrow…no, elevenses. We’ll go after elevenses.

Signed,

E’s secretary

Posted by egeria | Report as abusive

Touching how warmly appreciated E is by her office-mates.

Posted by justM | Report as abusive

She has her OWN Secetary for God’s sake!!!!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

I wish I did have a secretary! In reality, my secretary is just my other personality.

I really did want to run screaming from the office today. I didn’t do it in the end…but I wanted to.

And if you only knew the trouble I had with my cow-irkers! I could start a blog of my own!!

:S

E.

Posted by egeria | Report as abusive

I would like to leave a message for E when she gets back.

Her Blueberries are ready to be harvested.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Hey!!! Did you guys find each other on FB? Crowgirl found me!! :)

E, i know what you are going through dear… I so freaking do!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Blueberries? You mean cabbages, corn and daffodils my dear ;) Unless you’re talking about Island Paradise…

yeah…I just realised I play waaaaay to many FB games. FarmVille, Farm Town, Island Paradise, Treasure Madness, Mafia Wars, Castle Age, Lexulous, Texas Hold ‘Em Poker and Bejewelled Blitz.

I. I think I have a problem…:))

Shra, I’m going to hunt you down tonight after I’ve played my FB games. That’s my evening’s entertainment sorted :D

E.

Posted by egeria | Report as abusive

Um, I’m not sure “hunt you down” sounds good… That’s the same kind of threat that got me put into Witness Protection….

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Having your own secretary isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. First of all, they tend to come up with little nicknames for you, such as “Dr. Doll,” “Icepick,” and “Wizard” (when they know darn well that the Wizard was a “good man, but a bad wizard.”)

Second, they will refuse to call you by the nickname of your choosing, such as “Dr. Wonderful,” “Master,” “The Great Santini,” “Salsa!” (my favorite), etc.

Third, they will schedule you to be in THREE PLACES at the same time. Oh, that’s right I (purportedly) did that. Nevermind.

Fourth, er, third, they will refuse to take the blame for a mistake you (purportedly) made. (Like Salsa! would ever make a mistake.)

Well, at any rate, secretaries can be a pain when it comes to the name department.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

I am not familiar with Island Paradise E so it must have not been your farm I flew over that was growing blueberries. I knew I should have made that right at Albuquerque ;)

I have asparagooses waiting for harvest when I get home from work which is blessedly in a couple of hours.

I have not stalked….

er.. hunted down…

um.. i mean.. looked up anyone here on FB yet.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

ifly,

Asparagus…stalks. Good one.

Take it from one who has been stalked on FB, it’s no stalk of asparagus. This stalker was a friend in high school of a young woman who repeatedly asked me out (and I repeatedly turned down) and, yes, stalked me in high school.

One of my partners said I should expect to find this person some night in my shrubbery with a butcher knife.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

That’s plenty scary, Doc. Thank God I didn’t go to high school!

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Madagascar Bob. I live in Madagascar now. Not Mexico.

Posted by LMR | Report as abusive

I suspect then Doctor D. that your stalker would be quite thrown off should you remove your shrubbery.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Hey, I’m just an older guy who isn’t very smart. Are we talking in euphemisms here?

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Well, ifly, since (I’m told) I have nice hedges, I sure would hate to lose them. Yes, I am often complimented on my hedges and beddings!

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

What’s a euphemism? Is that some strange sexual practice that we don’t know about in Mt Isa … or in Madagascar?

Posted by LMR | Report as abusive

Hmm… nice hedges or stalker waiting for you with butcher knife.. quite the dilema.

I agree with you then Doctor D, keep the hedges. The world needs nice hedges!!

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Just what I get for logging into OE first thing when I get to work…..

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

What the hell ELSE are you going to do first thing when you get to work?

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

good point.. humble appologies, your honour…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Sorry, guys, you lost me with those euphemism things… bushes, hedges, beddings…

My poor brain overheated with so many big words and smart phrases… whatever is left of it, that is.

Posted by justM | Report as abusive

I hear you, M. Suffice to say, I cultivate my gardening skill a lot.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

“We are the knights who say ‘NI’ and you must get us a shrubbery! I nice one.. and not too expensive!”

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

What’s with the rhymes, eh?? Someone gave you a limerick to read?

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

How did you know, ifly? I am “Randy the Shrubber.”

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Monty Python and the Holy Grail Shra… are you not familiar?

Talk about euphimisms… Randy the Shrubber. The Shrubber Randy. Even being on the east side of the pond I get a snicker outta that one.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Ifly, you left out “the randy shrubber….” Can’t believe you overlooked that one, or was it intentional?

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Sorry, Pilotboy, I am not… (has a pityful look in her eyes and has her lower lip turned down, looking really really sad, which is actually very cute)

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Oh wait wait wait… I meant west side of the pond. Dammit I keep making a wrong turn at Albuquerque.

I make sure all the airplanes I fly come equiped with GPS in case you were gonna ask.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

I hate it when I board a jet and overhear the pilot say “Oh, darn it! I can’t do anything right!” I also hate to hear my dentist or MD say “Oops!” I know what “oops” means.

A friend of mine watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail with his new wife. He loved it. She hated it. And afterwards, she hated him. That movie needs to come with a warning.

Shra, I know that look. Seen it! Seen it! It is an adorable look. I also admire the contemplative look with a corner of the lower lip lightly clenched between the teeth.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Hold on, Doc. We’ve been down this road before with Shra.

She’s a great person, but she has a serious tic involving her eyelids, she has some green stuff like mushy peas or whatever behind her ears, and now there is this lower lip problem seemingly due to a bad batch of Novocaine.

Honestly, as nice as she is, the woman has some very bad luck with her face.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

It works out well for me Doctor D. I flip on the GPS and say “I wanna go here!” The GPS in turns says “Ok, go this way!” Then I flip on the autopilot and say “I wanna go this way!” In turn the autopilot says “Right away sir!” And off I go.. second star to the right straight on ’till morning.

And no I did not leave out The Randy Shrubber intentionally. Randy the Shrubber puts “Randy” as being a pronoun. The Randy Shrubber puts “Randy” as an adjective. I was attmepting the euphemis while keeping the same word forms.

Perhaps I thought too much about it.

Shra, you must see it!! Funny funny stuff. Get back to me when you have done so then we shall discuss cuteness. :)

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Ifly, it worked out well. I appreciate you playing the straight-man role for me. I’ve been meaning to talk to Bob about that. Bob, when do I get a straight man to set up jokes for me? Oh crap! It just occurred to me that I’m Bob’s “straight man.”

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Who what where when and huh?

I think that one went over my head at an altitude I am not qualified to fly up to yet. :p

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Milton Berle played a great straight man on the muppets to set up Statler and Waldorf jokes. Here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGfx3QAV6 4M

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Bob, if you keep saying such stuff about me, you will lose a commenter here…. (Very sensitive about my looks today… )

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Shra, I thought about reporting this R. Basler guy as abusive, but I figured the Blog Guy would be on top of it.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Thanks for that, Doc… I shall have my revenge, soon… Blog Guy… I shall return!! (Disappears into the fog, after waving off her silvery cape..)

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Shra, thanks for bringing the conversation back to reasonably understandable words, phrases and contexts. All the euphemisms, allusions, and innuendo were making my brain boil.

In fact, it did… and I came up with three -THREE- big words today!!!!

Back to my meds!

Posted by justM | Report as abusive

[...] 10. That’s my tongue trailing 40 feet behind me? [...]

What words were they, M??? I am lost in the fog actually… Can anybody hear me????

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

We can hear you, Shra….

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Then get me freaking out of here!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Shra, big words for me, at least. You know, with the reduced mental capacity I’ve been given in this funny farm…

Posted by justM | Report as abusive

Shra, Are you out of the fog yet? If you are, we might together push this post into the top 3 of the most commented ones and gradually kick out the gun nutters one!!

Posted by justM | Report as abusive

I am still struggling here, M… mind handing me a torch? and Gun nutters… well, they can ride the Mr.Fake Bake’s bummy bum bum…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Shra, torch, beacon light, rescue team all coming your way.

Posted by justM | Report as abusive

I am still waiting……

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Didn’t you get it? Let me call FedEx to see where the parcel is…

Posted by justM | Report as abusive

You sent me a parcel!!! Whatever happened to good old personal rescue!!!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Sorry, I got lost in the fog, so I called FedEx. They SAID they’d deliver anywhere!

Posted by justM | Report as abusive

Don’t believe it Shra; you cannot FedEx a rescue team.

Posted by Billl | Report as abusive

I knew it Bill…. been rolling my eyes here forever…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive