- Title: USA: Magician David Blaine performs one million volt stunt in New York City
- Date: 8th October 2012
- Summary: BLAINE SURROUNDED BY VOLTS
- Embargoed: 23rd October 2012 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Entertainment,Quirky,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA8D2IPYSCDQIOBWH7V57BPIL8M
- Story Text: David Blaine goes toe-to-toe with one million volts of electricity.
The magician was elevated to a platform above a high-voltage Tesla coil, dressed in a 20-pound chain-mail suit, and proceeded to shoot purplish arcs of lightning out of his hands all in unison with music.
Blaine will stand on the 20-foot-high platform for 73 hours without food amid an artificial lightning storm crackling between low-current, million-volt Tesla coils.
As he walked to the stage through a crowd of curious spectators he seemed grateful for those in attendance: "Thank you for supporting this."
During a press conference earlier in the week, he described how this latest idea grew out of an image he had of himself at the center of a giant plasma globe. Realizing the idea would require him to exist in an airless vacuum - a feat beyond even Blaine's prowess - he adapted the idea to instead use Tesla coils.
Some onlookers called the event stunning, but still voiced their skepticism of how dangerous the volts are: "I don't know if he's really feeling something or if it's like those volts that you can touch and nothing happenings."
While others weren't sure he will actually be able to handle the long term effects of being exposed to so many volts.
"I think it's insane because they said it's a million volts, nobody could take that, nobody could take like more than 300 volts, people going to die right away, seriously," said Archie Plopimio.
However, Katie Oneill was simply just impressed.
"I think it's really amazing because it is sort of that like Harry Houdini sort of vibe that he just wants to sort of make people still believe that something can be really cool and it's free and it's just a spectacle, it's really beautiful," she told Reuters.
Stuart Weiss, Blaine's doctor, said the main risks of the stunt include exposure to the ozone and nitrous oxides that are a byproduct of ionized air, which humans should not inhale in large quantities.
A ventilation system will ensure Blaine has breathable air and a special visor in his helmet will protect his eyes from the ultraviolet radiation of the arcing electricity.
Because Tesla coils are noisy, he will wear noise-cancelling earphones that will also allow him to hear and communicate with people on the ground, including members of the public. He will suck water through a tube, urinate through a catheter, and has been fasting to avoid the need to defecate.
Intel Corporation is sponsoring the event to promote notebook computers that use its processor technology.
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