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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
One year the fad was telephone booth stuffing. Then came ice cube tossing. Last winter it was seeing how long you could stand in a shower. (Victor Bass, a University of Chicago freshman, stayed in a dorm shower 48 hours, earning thereby the title "Victor the Prune." He has since been topped.) Until just recently the reigning fad has been marathon softball games. Teen-agers in Tom's River, N.J. lasted 55 hours 45 minutes. The score: Oak Ridge 506, Suburban Park 456.
Now Jeff Newburg, 17, of Sparta, Wis. has given us a fad more cultural than marathon softball. He perched on the roof of a drive-in restaurant and sang I'm Henry VIII, I Am for seven hours 45 minutes. He quit after singing it 1,001 times, saying he was tired of the whole thing.
ON THE OTHER HAND
Only about 40 California condors, largest land birds in North America, are left. In a move to protect them, Governor Pat Brown has signed a bill doubling the penalties for killing or injuring a condor. Now an offender can get a year in jail or a $1,000 fine, or both.
As the governor was signing the bill the state was being asked to support a proposal to build a dam. The dam would destroy the Ventura County area in which many of the condors live.
Italians have a saying, "Chi va piane va sano e va lontano" (who goes slowly goes safely and goes far) but Walter Mussner, 20-year-old Italian skier, had no ambitions for distance. Seeking pure speed, he donned his long, grooved skis last week for the one-kilometer race at Cervinia, Italy, plummeted down the specially iced glacier track, skidded into a protective barrier at over 106 miles an hour—almost the velocity of a sky diver in a free fall—and was killed.
This sort of skiing is less a matter of skill than of aiming oneself in the right direction—straight down. It has about as much relation to competitive sport as going over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
UNBREAKABLE SPORTS RECORDS
When television brought sports into the living room the spectator became even more sedentary than when he had to go out to the ball park and climb all those steps. And now he can "spectate" with his eyes closed. Sports on a plastic platter are being served in ultrahigh fidelity, stereophonic, full-dimensional sound.