David Blaine

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David Blaine (born David Blaine White on April 4, 1973 in Brooklyn, New York City, USA) is an American magician and stunt performer. He made his name as a performer of street and close-up magic. His father was Spanish-Puerto Rican and his mother, Patrice White, was Jewish of Russian descent.

Blaine began his career with street magic, performing card tricks and illusions such as levitation or bringing dead flies back to life. He used a small camera crew to record his act live in front of everyday people which provided the basis for his television specials, David Blaine: Street Magic, David Blaine: Magic Man, and David Blaine: Mystifier.

He later turned his attention to feats of endurance; these included being buried alive for seven days, spending 62 hours in a box made of ice, standing on a 22 inch (56 cm) wide platform at the top of a 90 foot (27 m) high pole for 35 hours, living in a transparent box for 44 days without food, and living underwater for 7 days.

Beginning on April 5, 1999, Blaine spent seven days buried inside a glass coffin at the bottom of an open pit in front of a New York City building provided to him by Donald Trump. On top of the coffin was another coffin of the same size filled with water. The surrounding area was covered in dirt. The coffin Blaine was in was barely bigger than he was. Passersby could watch him 24 hours a day. He was reportedly fed only 44 tablespoons of water each day. He emerged on April 12 on schedule.

On Monday, November 27, 2000, Blaine began a stunt called "Frozen in Time," which was covered on a TV special. Blaine stood in a closet of ice located in Times Square, New York. The ice was sculpted to fit his body, with little room to move. A tube provided him with air and water while his urine was removed with another tube. He was encased in ice for 61 hours, 40 minutes, and 15 seconds before being removed. The block of ice was on a stand, with space between the ground, and the ice was transparent, to prove he was inside the ice the whole time. He was taken to the hospital immediately after being removed because doctors feared he was going into shock.

Blaine's next stunt was called "Vertigo." He was to have started training for this particular stunt in Los Angeles, California, and was scheduled to board an American Airlines flight from JFK Airport to Los Angeles on September 11, 2001 at noon. Due to the terrorist attacks earlier in the day and a nationwide shutdown of airports, Blaine was forced to delay his training. On Monday 22 May 2002, Blaine performed the stunt in Bryant Park, New York City, where a crane lifted him onto a 90 ft (27 m) high and 22 in (56 cm) wide pillar. He remained on the pillar for exactly 34 hours and 23 minutes without food, water or anything to lean on. With his legs weak from standing atop the pillar for so long, he ended the feat by jumping down onto a landing platform made of a 12 foot (3.7 m) high pile of cardboard boxes.

On October 29, 2002, Random House published David Blaine's Mysterious Stranger: A Book of Magic. Part autobiography, part history of magic, and part armchair treasure hunt, the book also includes instructions on how to perform card tricks and illusions.

The treasure hunt, Blaine's $100,000 Challenge, was devised by game designer Cliff Johnson, creator of The Fool's Errand, and solved by Sherri Skanes on March 20, 2004, 16 months after the book's publication.

* The Official Solution
* The Winner's Tale

On September 5, 2003, Blaine began his 44-day endurance stunt sealed inside a transparent Plexiglas case suspended 30 feet (9 m) in the air over Potters Fields Park on the south bank of the River Thames in London. The case, measuring 7ft by 7ft by 3ft (2.1 x 2.1 x 0.9 m), had a webcam installed so that viewers could observe his progress.

The stunt became the subject of much press and media attention, due to many Britons' disbelief in David Blaine and his stunts.

Blaine emerged on schedule on October 19, murmuring "I love you all!" and was quickly hospitalized. He appeared gaunt and he claimed to have lost 54 pounds (24.5 kg) during his fast.

On May 1, 2006, Blaine was submerged in an 2.4 metres (8 feet) diameter, water-filled sphere (isotonic saline, 0.9% salt) in front of the Lincoln Center in New York for a planned seven days and seven nights, using tubes for air and nutrition. He concluded this event by attempting to hold his breath underwater to break the world record of 8 minutes, 58 seconds. Blaine also tried to free himself from handcuffs and chains put on him upon coming out after the week in the sphere. He seemed to have trouble escaping from the last of the handcuffs. Blaine apparently held his breath for 7 minutes and 8 seconds before showing signs of unconsciousness and being pulled up by the support divers, thus failing in his attempt.

Blaine did claim to have succeeded in setting a record for being fully submerged in water for more than seven days straight (177 hours), however this record is as yet unrecognized by any record-keeping institution.

It is expected that Blaine will suffer medical problems as a result of his stunt. Blaine has undergone multiple short hospital visits after the stunt ended and has entered an agreement with doctors from Yale University to monitor him in order to study the human physiological reaction to prolonged submersion. During the stunt, doctors witnessed skin breakdown at the hands and feet and liver failure.

In an interview on the Howard Stern Show on Sirius satellite radio, Blaine spoke of the week-long fasting he did before the "drowning alive" stunt, to prevent the need for defecation issues. For urine, he wore an external, condom-style catheter.

After Above the Below, Blaine told media that one of his stunts would be a "Dive of Death" from a helicopter hundreds of feet above a river. The jump was scheduled for his 31st birthday on April 4, 2004, but on April 1, three days before the jump was to take place, his publicist announced that the stunt had been cancelled.

* In a recent interview with Larry King , Blaine claimed his next stunt "will have no safety involved. It will be from point A to point B. Either you make it or you don't." King responded, "In other words you could die?", to which Blaine replied, "I'm not going to die because I'm going to prepare and train and be as serious as I can."

His next challenge will be that he will be to float 135 feet above the Brooklyn Bridge.

His mother passed away in 2002.

He dated Madonna, Fiona Apple, and Josie Maran.

He attended Passaic Valley High School in Little Falls, New Jersey. Blaine graduated in 1991.

* During his appearance in Last Call with Carson Daly, he "pulled" his heart out and fainted. The segment was staged but NBC almost cancelled the illusion. It was told that the audience was completely shocked and some members ran away crying or screaming.
* He has the concentration camp number of Primo Levi tattooed on his left forearm.
* He will soon be making his acting debut in the film Mister Lonely.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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