Pulling an Icarus

One of the most famous stories in Greek mythology is the one about the flight of Icarus. Daedalus, a master craftsman, and his son Icarus were imprisoned in Crete by King Minos after Daedalus gave Minos' daughter, Ariadne, a clew of string in order to help Theseus survive the Labyrinth. Daedalus came up with an escape plan and built two sets of wings made from melted wax and gull feathers. Before they both took off from the island, Daedalus explained to his son the rules for safe flying, but Icarus got so excited that he rose too high and got too close to the sun. The heat from the sun melted his wax wings, and Icarus plunged to his death in the Aegean Sea below. The moral of the story is often said to be “Be humble and know your limits”, or “Don’t defy your place in nature” (I personally think the true lesson here to be learned is “Just wait for Michael Scofield”), but it seems like we humans can’t take a hint, and so we keep on trying to pull an Icarus stunt.

So what are your current Icarus options?

Your obvious options are paragliding or hang-gliding. A much cooler option is a jet-pack, but it can make you feel like James Bond only for about a minute before it runs out of fuel. You can also try a jet-wing like Yves Rossi did when he crossed the English Channel a few weeks ago, but only for about 10 minutes and it’s a very noisy ride. If your goal is becoming a real bird-man the way Daedalus intended, there’s only one way to go – wingsuits. If you think flying low on ice is crazy, try these loco mountain buzzers. And if you think these were dangerous, you should know that several dudes around the world are currently working on wingsuit landing.

* Image by Frank Frazetta.

~~~
p.s. If God had meant for us to fly, he would have given us better airline food.

20 comments:

Ezmeralda G said...

Cool one, dude

Uri Kalish said...

Hey girl, long time no talk!!!
Don’t mind if I tell everyone where the name “Esmeralda G” came from…
A few years ago we were looking for a bass player to the band and I had an idea. Think of a rock band with a very bad female bass player. This woman is so bad that she only knows how to play one note – I chose the note G, so she could use the enchanting “Esmeralda G” as her stage name. When the band performs live, most of the time there will be no bass at all since other notes need to be played (and she doesn’t know how to play them), but every now and then when a G note needs to be played, Esmeralda G will come forward in a very dramatic gesture to a heightened spot on the stage known as “The G Spot”, play the G note and come down again. I think it’s brilliant, I can’t believe you turned down my offer? We could have been famous…

Inbar Shani said...

I like the p.s

Uri Kalish said...

Yeah, one of my best postscripts.

Oren Ellenbogen said...

dude, the p.s is brilliant. really. ;)

Uri Kalish said...

I know :)

EeHai said...

Really nice to read your post here. What will happen if we are able to fly? Will we be able to see more things and learn more things faster? Or maybe we will turn worse faster. Just a few thoughts....
maths is interesting!

Dano MacNamarrah said...

I love the opposite of flying: SCUBA diving. To float in the ocean's deep waters is about as close to pure happiness that I may ever experience.

GumbyTheCat said...

Love the Michael Scofield reference. I don't watch too much TV anymore but for some reason I am totally addicted to "Prison Break".

Dano MacNamarrah said...

Oh, also Uri, my blog got "tagged" by another blogger, so in turn I've tagged others, including you. To see what the heck I'm on about, feel free to stop by and see if you'd like to participate.

sciencedefeated said...

I would choose a hovercraft. Other than that I would definitely wait for Scofield, although that would mean a lot of people would have to unnecessarily die...

People in the Sun said...

That wingsuit video is cool, but probably not as cool as an Ezmeralda G live performance.

GraceMags said...

of course i love your brilliant post but the latest news just caught my eye. congratulations!

guys here who are less brilliant than you earn thousands out of their blogs. maybe you should go professional. you already have hundreds of fans. oops, am i pushing you to do an Icarus? hehe

BillyWarhol said...

I see that JetPack is finally coming out*

do they even serve Airline Food anymore?? I didn't even get Peanuts last time!!

what was that Red Bull one that did the English Channel a coupla years ago??

;)) Peace*

"Δημήτριος ο Ταξιδευτής" said...

nice your post
and the links
and the Frazetta pic..
10 out of 10
keep up the good posting

Robin Easton said...

I am laughing my head off! But boy you sure gave me ideas for flight, I was just going to sky dive with a friend, but now I more options to consider!!!! LOL :) :)

You are VERY funny!

sciencedefeated said...

I would still choose a hovercraft!!!!

Karen ^..^ said...

Turbulence is a HUGE warning sign for staying on the ground. Sharks are a huge warning sign for staying off the ocean.

Kinda makes you wonder what the world would be like if everyone just stayed put and didn't fly, or float. Hmmm...

And would we ever have the internet and would we know of other countries, even?

Interesting...

image editing said...

Totally cool!!!!!!!!!!

livesmartbook said...

Doing a base jump in a winged suit is on my list of to do items. It surely will top the paragliding off the mountains in Aspen, CO. Although, that was a great time as well.