Thursday, October 23, 2008

Looks Like She Hit a Wet Spot

Once, there wasn't television. (Oops, forgot to tell you to sit down first.) The lack of TV meant it was much harder for people to make public asses out of themselves. Instead of appearing on Fear Factor or Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? or doing an interview with Katie Couric, they had to scheme. Friday is the 107th anniversary of one of those events as Annie Edson Taylor went over Niagara Falls in a barrel, not just the first woman but the first person to do so, one of the few evidence points that women aren't smarter than men after all. She did wisely chose to go over Horseshoe Falls, figuring that was luckier, and she lived to tell the tale even if the landing was kind of Erie. (OK geography nazis, I know that's backwards, but let me see you make a pun with Ontario.) She was smart enough to travel with a lucky heart-shaped pillow; 19 years after her feat the wily Charles G. Stephens equipped his wooden barrel with an anvil for ballast. Rumor has it that he bought the anvil from a Road Runner.



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