If you’ve looked at the newspaper recently, or had a peak at the 548.000 news articles Google News has assembled about him just in the past week, you may have heard of today’s hero, Felix Baumgartner.
Not only has Mr. Baumgartner reached the incredible heights of being featured on this blog, he also broke a couple of world records the other day – reaching the highest altitude for a manned balloon flight, parachuting from a higher altitude than anyone before, reaching the greatest free fall velocity, and achieving the most completely unnecessary world records simultaneously. Hooray for Felix!
With the help of a team of esteemed scientists and engineers, and naturally the energy drink company Red Bull, who also famously sponsored Albert Einstein and the pavement marker guy*, Baumgartner boldly leaped out of his balloon and sped towards earth at 834 miles per hour, or approximately 7.84 times faster than the top speed achieved by My Esteemed Colleague Dave’s trusted Volkswagen Jetta could theoretically reach.
For someone who has trouble looking down off a ladder I would hypothetically climb on to change a light bulb, a guy hovering 24 miles above the earth in a balloon, jumping off, breaking the sound barrier and free falling for about 4 minutes to come out smiling and holding an energy drink on the other side seems pretty damn cool.
He may have become a household name just in the past week, but Mr. Baumgartner (I just love saying that name) has been in headlines before with stupid, dangerous, completely pointless and probably pretty fun stunts.
“Fearless Felix”, as he is intriguingly nicknamed, previously held the records for both the highest parachute jump off a building, flailing off the top of the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, as well as the world’s lowest ever BASE jump, taking a tumble off the famed Jesus statue in Rio, Brazil. But you know, I could have done that. The difference being that I didn’t.
So when a guy who appears to be such a fearless badass turns out to be named Felix Baumgartner, we are understandably delighted. That’s not exactly your average silly Hollywood action hero name. Now that Felix is the most famous parachuting Austrian guy in the world, we welcome him to the archives of the Funny Names Blog. Welcome, Felix.
*they did not