The difference is the clock. Body meets Windy City sidewalk in 12 seconds. From an airplane's cruising altitude, you'll have almost enough time to read this entire article. By now, you've descended into breathable air.
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You sputter into consciousness. At this altitude, you've got roughly 2 minutes until impact. Your plan is simple.
You will enter a Zen state and decide to live. You will understand, as Hamilton notes, "that it isn't the fall that kills you—it's the landing. But at what? Magee's landing on the stone floor of that French train station was softened by the skylight he crashed through a moment earlier. Glass hurts, but it gives.
So does grass.
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Haystacks and bushes have cushioned surprised-to-be-alive free-fallers. Trees aren't bad, though they tend to skewer. With their mucky, plant-covered surface, even more awesome. Hamilton documents one case of a sky diver who, upon total parachute failure, was saved by bouncing off high-tension wires. Contrary to popular belief, water is an awful choice. Like concrete, liquid doesn't compress. Hitting the ocean is essentially the same as colliding with a sidewalk, Hamilton explains, except that pavement perhaps unfortunately won't "open up and swallow your shattered body. With a target in mind, the next consideration is body position.
To slow your descent, emulate a sky diver.
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Spread your arms and legs, present your chest to the ground, and arch your back and head upward. This adds friction and helps you maneuver. But don't relax. This is not your landing pose. The question of how to achieve ground contact remains, regrettably, given your predicament, a subject of debate. A study in the journal War Medicine noted "distribution and compensation of pressure play large parts in the defeat of injury.
But a report by the Federal Aviation Agency argued that shifting into the classic sky diver's landing stance—feet together, heels up, flexed knees and hips—best increases survivability. The same study noted that training in wrestling and acrobatics would help people survive falls. Martial arts were deemed especially useful for hard-surface impacts: "A 'black belt' expert can reportedly crack solid wood with a single blow," the authors wrote, speculating that such skills might be transferable.
The ultimate learn-by-doing experience might be a lesson from Japanese parachutist Yasuhiro Kubo, who holds the world record in the activity's banzai category. The sky diver tosses his chute from the plane and then jumps out after it, waiting as long as possible to retrieve it, put it on and pull the ripcord. In , Kubo—starting from feet—fell for 50 seconds before recovering his gear. A safer way to practice your technique would be at one of the wind-tunnel simulators found at about a dozen U.
But neither will help with the toughest part: sticking the landing. For that you might consider—though it's not exactly advisable—a leap off the world's highest bridge, France's Millau Viaduct; its platform towers feet over mostly spongy farmland. Water landings—if you must—require quick decision-making. Studies of bridge-jump survivors indicate that a feet-first, knife-like entry aka "the pencil" best optimizes your odds of resurfacing. The famed cliff divers of Acapulco, however, tend to assume a head-down position, with the fingers of each hand locked together, arms outstretched, protecting the head.
Whichever you choose, first assume the free-fall position for as long as you can. Then, if a feet-first entry is inevitable, the most important piece of advice, for reasons both unmentionable and easily understood, is to clench your butt. No matter the surface, definitely don't land on your head. In a "Study of Impact Tolerance Through Free-Fall Investigations," researchers at the Highway Safety Research Institute found that the major cause of death in falls—they examined drops from buildings, bridges and the occasional elevator shaft oops!
If you have to arrive top-down, sacrifice your good looks and land on your face, rather than the back or top of your head. You might also consider flying with a pair of goggles in your pocket, Hamilton says, since you're likely to get watery eyes—impairing accuracy—on the way down. Given your starting altitude , you'll be just about ready to hit the ground as you reach this section of instruction based on the average adult reading speed of words per minute.
The basics have been covered, so feel free to concentrate on the task at hand. But if you're so inclined, here's some supplemental information—though be warned that none of it will help you much at this point. Statistically speaking, it's best to be a flight crew member, a child, or traveling in a military aircraft. Over the past four decades, there have been at least a dozen commercial airline crashes with just one survivor. Of those documented, four of the survivors were crew, like the flight attendant Vulovic, and seven were passengers under the age of That includes Mohammed el-Fateh Osman, a 2-year-old wreckage rider who lived through the crash of a Boeing jet in Sudan in , and, more recently, year-old Bahia Bakari, the sole survivor of last June's Yemenia Airways plunge off the Comoros Islands.
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Crew survival may be related to better restraint systems, but there's no consensus on why children seem to pull through falls more often. The Federal Aviation Agency study notes that kids, especially those under the age of 4, have more flexible skeletons, more relaxed muscle tonus, and a higher proportion of subcutaneous fat, which helps protect internal organs.
Smaller people—whose heads are lower than the seat backs in front of them—are better shielded from debris in a plane that's coming apart. Lower body weight reduces terminal velocity, plus reduced surface area decreases the chance of impalement upon landing. The ground. Like a Shaolin master , you are at peace and prepared.
You're alive. What next? If you're lucky, you might find that your injuries are minor, stand up and smoke a celebratory cigarette, as British tail gunner Nicholas Alkemade did in after landing in snowy bushes following an 18,foot plummet. If you're a smoker, you're super extra lucky , since you've technically gotten to indulge during the course of an airliner trip.
More likely, you'll have tough work ahead. The borderline male will concoct all sorts of lies to throw you off his scent, when he's screwing another woman. There will be out of town business trips, nights out with "the guys," lunches or dinners with clients, etc. You guys could have some real knock-down, drag-out fights about this, and you might kick him out or he could leave for awhile, only to crawl back with his tail between his legs, begging for reprieve from emotional exile.
He may promise never to do it again, and you'll want to believe him--but remember that story about the scorpion and the frog? If you are the wife of a Borderline or Narcissist, and you've finally decided to leave after trying for years to make your marriage work , he'll likely collapse into inconsolable depression. What men never seem to comprehend, is that when a woman's given everything she can, there's no turning back.
He might even get sick or injure himself on a frequent basis, to elicit your care and concern--and get you off his back for expecting more out of him. He could also blame You for his "need" to be with other women.
follow This man-child can't tolerate any form of rejection. This discord typically provokes his rage, which lands you right back into an abusive cycle. Grown adults have the ability to connect intimately in other domains of their relationships spiritually, emotionally, cerebrally, etc.
You'll feel objectified in this type of relationship. Some of these males can't climax with you face to face, or with their eyes open. During intercourse, he might prefer to orgasm only when you're turned away from him or he can penetrate you from behind. Might he have latent homosexual tendencies, given emotional trust could never be solidified with Mother? My guess, is yes.
Waif traits are common among men who live off the generosity or sympathy of females.
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No self-respecting male can let a partner support him long-term; if he does, he's sitting on some unresolved rage concerning women. He's like Peter Pan--he never grows up. On some level, they know that most women will eventually reject them, due to their lack of financial responsibility or success.
It helps them avoid real closeness and commitment. You might want to be a totally different female than the one s he grew up with--but that doesn't fit his emotional profile. A waif-like male could be considered The Quiet Borderline. You might regard him as effete, as he can seem relatively devoid of masculine essence if you didn't know better, you'd swear he's gay! He's soft-spoken, passive, and avoids confrontation of any kind.
He could be drawn to strong, independent women, if his mom was domineering or controlling--but they're not sexually attracted to him. They may embrace him as a friend, but getting naked with this guy would feel akin to climbing into bed with a gal-pal.