Tagged With parachutes

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Video: What happens after you pull the parachute and land safely on the ground? Well, it's gotta get packed up. BASE jumper Sean Chuma shows us how he packs up a parachute and it's a lot of freaking work. There's so many different folds of the 'chute and ties of the cord and they're all mindful of each other with the overall goal being to make the entire parachute pack symmetrical and easy to deploy.

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Video: The drop doesn't seem to end. And that's because the jump is off a 1110m cliff in Norway. At that high of an elevation, that free fall will feel like it's going on forever. It's probably long enough to make you question what the hell you just did over and over again. It's probably long enough to have your life flash before your eyes a couple times through. It's probably long enough to maybe even forget the craziness of what you're doing.

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"The Saga of the Skydiving Beavers" sounds like the title for a quirky children's book, but it's also a fitting epitaph for a strange, true story of an unconventional approach to habitat resettlement. In 1948, Idaho's Fish and Game service decided the best way to keep beavers away from growing urban centres was to strap them into old surplus World War II parachutes and airdrop them in the backcountry. The weirdest part of this story? It worked.

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In the broad spectrum of goofball ideas out there, attaching piping fresh toasties to colourful little parachutes and tossing them out of a window to someone's open arms ranks pretty highly towards the Yup, That's Pretty Damn Silly end of things. And yet! Jafflechutes exists, and it does exactly that. What a wonderful world.

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Seatbelts and airbags in cars save passengers lives. Parachutes save people who, for a variety of reasons, exit a plane in mid-flight. So why aren't parachutes provided to passengers on commercial airline flights, in case of emergencies?

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"It's not the fall that kills you," as the saying goes, "it's the sudden stop at the end." Humans are a rather splattery bunch when dropped from a sufficient height, but that hasn't kept us out of the sky. Instead, we've spent centuries perfecting the process of controlled falling to make the stop after any fall as soft as possible. The result: the modern parachute, a canopy of silk and nylon, and engineering genius.