Magazine article Review - Institute of Public Affairs

Taking the Plunge

Magazine article Review - Institute of Public Affairs

Taking the Plunge

Article excerpt

As part of the IPA's ongoing exploration of Self Reliance, we are continuing to uncover surprising trends in and out of the workplace, both at home and abroad.

People are taking control of their lives like never before. And it touches all parts of their lives from one end of the spectrum (the more sedate employment revolution) to the other (a death-defying belief in themselves leading to increased risk-taking and little regard for authority).

WHAT IS YOUR BASE NUMBER?

If you have leapt, unattached, from a Building, Antenna, Span (for example, a bridge) and Earth (for example, a cliff) with nothing but a parachute (and possibly some toilet paper handy) then surely you have one. Sound crazy? In March this year, the 1,000th person actually registered for theirs. In a 'sport' that's only become popular in the last 30 years, it's not a bad effort. BASE-1 was awarded in 1981, which means that there has been an average of 42 registrations per year since then. Being an unregulated, in fact mostly illegal, hobby, it's hard to gauge participation rates, but it's estimated that there are over 3,000 people currently willing to see the road come towards them or watch a jagged cliff face fly by so badly that they will break the laws set in place to preserve their own lives to do so.

There are instances, however, where this kind of behaviour is permitted. Bridge Day 2004, held at the New Puver Gorge Bridge in West Virginia, where BASE jumps from the bridge are legal once a year, saw an increase in jumpers from the previous year by 13 per cent to about 450 in the one place. Perhaps these Einstein-inspired thrill seekers are merely seeking to slow the ageing process by a good tenth of a picosecond or two (-0.000000000001 seconds)? This might be a nice advertisement for this year's International Year of Physics, but with modern life expectancy already soaring past 80 years, it does seem unlikely. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.