Man plummets 40km into small can of energy drink
A clumsy Austrian astronaut overnight fell 40km from a capsule attached to a helium balloon in the upper stratosphere and miraculously survived by landing in a small can of energy drink.
Forty-three year old Austrian Felix Baumgartner has set several precedents with his incredible survival feat, not the least of which being he is now the most interesting Felix since the popular but largely forgotten cartoon cat of the early-to-mid 20th century.
Incredibly, Baumgartner maintains that he actually meant to do the jump. By saying this, he has instantly become a pinup boy for a generation of people who believe that life is so dull, nothing is worth doing unless it nearly kills you.
There is a predictable backlash against the Austrian today from small-minded people who say the daredevil might have directed his taurine-fuelled bravado into solving world poverty, or even just building a nice library someplace.
Mean-spirited trolls on social networks say the exercise was little more than an expensive marketing stunt which will pay for itself 100 times over, despite the fact this highly technical scientific endeavour has vastly advanced humanity’s knowledge of tumbling from excessive heights.
The trolls argue that Baumgartner has garnered billions of dollars worth of free exposure on every major newspaper, website and TV show in the world for a sickly beverage laced with way too many icky chemicals and stimulants for the average healthy person.
Clearly, these critics are just jealous because they are too busy doing small-minded, trivial things like going to work and raising kids. They will never dream of travelling faster than the speed of sound with only a plastic suit bedecked in crimson bovine livery to protect them, because they have given up on all that is meaningful.
In a world where the highest mountain and the deepest seas have been conquered, Felix Baumgartner has reminded us all of the unstoppable human itch to promote products in dizzyingly dangerous new ways.
Truly this is a story of courage and bravado, a story which has no relation whatsoever to a fizzy drink that tastes like cheap deodorant and keeps half your brain awake all night while the other half drifts off from all the vodka.
Make no mistake, this is a grand day for human endeavour. That a person can start so high and fall incredibly so low - yet still survive - is an inspirational lesson for us all. Several Australian politicians are said to be among Baumgartner’s biggest admirers.
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