Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Man Who Falls (Slowly) to Earth – Bruce Grierson

Rating: ****

Everybody dreams of having wings, or being able to fly. As it turns out, we’re halfway there.

Skydiving and BASE jumping are some of the most popular sports for adrenaline junkies, and Pascal Coude is considered to be one of the founders of BASE jumping. BASE jumping consists of jumping off of a stationary objet and deploying a parachute, but Cloude also wants to fly for as long and as far as possible. So it should be no surprise that he was also one of the first Canadians to get into a wingsuit in 2003. A wingsuit is a full-body suit with webbing between the arms and legs. According to Cloude, it feels very constricting on the ground, but the opposite in the air. The feeling of speed is now more horizontal than vertical because of how the wingsuit affects your aerodynamics. The next step: building a wingsuit that allows you to land without needing a parachute.

I found this article to be very informative and entertaining at the same time, because it showcases some incredible new technology and the possibility that it may be possible to hang in the air for longer than 30 seconds when skydiving. While this carries no useful information for trips, it is still a lot of fun to read. The one thing that I really didn’t like about this article was that immediately after reading it, I wanted one.

Grierson, Bruce. “The Man Who Falls (Slowly) to Earth.” Explore Sept/Oct. 2010: 50-54. Print

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