“The French explain it as L’Appel du Vide, or call of the void. Are they just French, or can the void really beckon you to kill yourself? New science on balance, fear, and cognition shows that the voice of the abyss is both real and powerful.”
Ten Meter Tower is a fascinating, short documentary about decision and doubt. A part of the New York Times’s Op-Docs, the project found 67 people from an online ad, who had never been on a 10-meter (33 feet) diving tower before.
I walked near another guy who was also looking up, and asked him if he knew what was going on (he didn’t). I explained that I saw all these folks staring up, but that I tried looking… and had no idea what they were all staring at.
“You can’t just be a good ice climber. You can’t just be good at altitude. You can’t just be a good rock climber. It’s defeated so many good climbers and maybe will defeat everybody for all time. Meru isn’t Everest. On Everest you can hire Sherpas to take most of the risks. This is a whole different kind of climbing.”
“Coming down… it’s like coming out of a cloud. You sort of come down it, and it just disappears and then you’re back on normal ground again. You think, ‘Jesus, what a different way of life down here than what it is up there.'”
It reminded me of the work skydivers will do, packing up their parachutes. All that equipment, and so much faith that it will take care of you high up in the air.
Using images taken from the building’s public open-air observation deck, this interactive piece lets you explore both the sights and sounds of London (quite literally). It’s impressive how much you can actually zoom in on a small section and the details you can spot, particularly when you remember that all the images were taken from high atop the structure. Definitely explore around and get lost a while, here.
Yesterday morning, as I was sitting down at my desk in the morning… I noticed two guys, slowly lowering themselves on a scaffold across the way. The office where I work is on the 7th floor, and I pretty much got a straight-on view of these two guys.
A week or so ago, we had people going up and down the exterior of our building – washing the windows that line our floor (facing onto Jackson). I’m fascinated with the guys who do this sort of work, as it involves a lot of manual labor done at a fairly precarious height. As they were coming down, I opened up the blinds to get a better view. Though this wasn’t the first time I’ve seen them work, it’s still pretty mesmerizing.
El Camino del Rey runs along a gorge in El Chorro, Spain. And it is, in a word: terrifying.
This is video of a technician free climbing 1768 feet to the top of a transmissions tower, for repairs. Just so you know, that’s higher than the Sears Tower! All the footage comes from a camera, mounted on the helmet of the technician. It’s a little wobbly in spots, but it really gives you the false sense that you’re looking…