Monday, May 1, 2006

Houdini obsession inspires stunt

David Blaine's latest stunt is spending a week living in an acrylic sphere filled with water at New York’s Lincoln Center.

In a week, he will remove the device and attempt to hold his breath underwater longer than the record of eight minutes, 58 seconds. He also will try to escape from 68 kilograms of chains and handcuffs during the breath-holding finale, which will air live in a two-hour ABC special, David Blaine: Drowned Alive, on May 8 (8 p.m. EDT).

"As a kid, I always was obsessed with Houdini," Blaine explained Monday. "I don't think about death, but I am prepared for it," he said, adding that his only fear is "the fear of the unknown."

I have to admit I really love these David Blaine outdoor spectacles. I do think, in this regard, he is very much the modern Houdini.

Near the end of his life Houdini was doing similar "tests" of endurance, such as living for over an hour in a air-tight coffin underwater which contained only five minutes of air.

Blaine’s last New York stunt was surviving in a block of ice for several days, a feat Houdini himself was working on at the time of his death.

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