Hurtubise, 34, insists his work can benefit others, including firemen, policemen and volcano explorers. The United Nations has asked him about his suit's potential use in clearing minefields. "For years I was thought to be a nutcase," he says. "Now I get the last laugh."
Next up: the 120-pound G-Man Genesis protective suit, which will feature a satellite mapping system and a forearm-mounted gun that fires rubber bullets. Hurtubise is also working on hockey equipment, including inflatable safety underwear—air Johns, he calls them—and a high-tech helmet. Had the New York Rangers' Pat Lafontaine been wearing such a helmet when he suffered the concussive hit that led to his retirement last year, says Hurtubise, "it would have saved his career." How does Hurtubise know? He put the helmet on and tested it. With a baseball bat.
Jerry Quarry (1945-1999)
Sad End to a Long Fight
It would be a shame if Jerry Quarry were remembered only as another Great White Hope, a crowd-pleasing pug who took high-profile beatings from Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Quarry was surprisingly fast, a hard hitter and a brilliant counterpuncher. His 53-9-4 record over 27 years as a pro included victories over Floyd Patterson and Earnie Shavers. In another era he might have worn a championship belt. He was also a warrior of tremendous heart—a quality that contributed to the darker side of his legacy.
Quarry, who died at 53 in Templeton, Calif., on Sunday, had been hospitalized six days earlier with pneumonia. He'd then gone into cardiac arrest. His family allowed him to be removed from life support on Sunday, but he was gone long before that. He had spent the final years of his life stumbling through a shadowy world of confusion and disability neurologists call dementia pugilistica. In the argot of the not-so-sweet science, he had been punch-drunk, his brain dying prematurely as a result of his taking so many blows to the head.
Quarry's plight had brought him back into the public eye in recent years. His was the classic tale of an aging fighter—a grim echo of his old foe Ali's struggles with Parkinson's syndrome. PEOPLE and CBS's 48 Hours showed Quarry, no longer able to live alone, being shaved and fed by his mother and his brother.
In 1983 the 37-year-old Quarry, then training for a comeback, was one of three fighters who underwent neurological testing for an SI story on brain damage in boxers. He showed no outward signs of dementia but performed poorly on several neuropsychological tests. A CAT scan that appeared with the article showed atrophy in Quarry's cortex as well as a cavum septum, a split in a crucial brain membrane. According to Ira Casson, the neurologist who performed the tests in '83 and has examined hundreds of boxers since, the latter condition is "the hallmark of what happens to these guys."
Casson recalls urging Quarry not to fight again. "He was living proof of what too many fights can do," says Casson. Yet Quarry fought three more times, including a final comeback bout in 1992, in which he was battered for six rounds by a club fighter for a purse of $1,050. "The damage is cumulative," says Casson. "The sooner you stop fighting, the better chance you have." Quarry never wanted to stop.
Risks for the Rich
A helium balloon big enough to fill the Astrodome flying 24 miles above the earth, A two-man crew wearing spacesuits and riding in a three-ton gondola with a life-support system similar to a spacecraft's. A fortnight of soaring at 80 mph in the uppermost readies of the stratosphere, where the air is .4% as dense as at sea level. Is this a bona fide quest to make the first nonstop, around-the-world balloon flight or just another daredevil stunt by a wealthy CEO, in this case Dave Liniger, chairman of RE/MAX real estate?