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back to article Felix Baumgartner sadly turns out to be blinkered FOOL

How disappointing. Felix Baumgartner, the steely-sphered Austrian who recently supplied us all with much quality entertainment by leaping out of a balloon 128,000 feet above New Mexico to break the all-time world altitude skydiving record, turns out to be a blinkered fool. In an interview with the Telegraph last week which has …

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WTF?

I wonder how he feels

about extravagant corporate sponsorship of activities that do little to "save the planet".

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Re: I wonder how he feels

My thoughts precisely- I understand the suit alone cost $200,000. Wouldn't this money be better spent saving the planet?

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Windows

Re: I wonder how he feels

Yep, Andrew!

IDEA!!!

We raise the airline flight tax to save the planet and then we can spend it on....

Erm...erm...erm...

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Re: I wonder how he feels

Made in Worcester, MA, I understand (not 30 miles from my own abode). So, his space suit has actually put money in the pockets of my neighbors, which could be considered saving a small portion of the planet['s population]...

//point stretched to the breaking point, I believe

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Re: I wonder how he feels

I like the fact that he doesn't seem to have realised that his *space* suit, the one that he used for his jump, was made because people on this planet wanted to go to space.

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Windows

Re: I wonder how he feels

Indeed, imagine that he didn't have a space suit to do the jump, like the suits that where designed, becuase pilots, engineers and scientists, a few generations ago, wanted to go and visit other planets..

Fuck it, lets get him to do the jump again, this time without a suit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I wonder how he feels

Let's give him an airrcaft that suddenly stops working at Mach-Stupid horizontally, spins at near-blackout-inducing Gs, and he has to find the eject lever and give it a good pull.

In a "traditional" flight suit and pressure helmet with an upgraded high-spec but untested seat, bless those aerospace engineers and their curiosity. :P

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Re: I wonder how he feels

The traditional reply is that it's the company's money to be spent as it sees fit - conveniently ignoring the fact that the government's money is our money to be spent as we see fit.

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Mushroom

Most pointless Article I ever read in The Reg

The military and the spooks are going to make sure all on their own that space will be explored.

Like any foray backed by the military-industrial complex, its all about mining rights, exploitation rights:

Resources and their desired result: Money, to which all humanity bows in the most preposterous way.

I don't mind if Baumgartner spends 200k on a suit or if Nasa spends 20 Trillion of tax payer's money, building a mining outpost on Mars, for which all the mining rights will go to private companies. It always works like this. If you don't realize that, you're blind or just brainwashed.

Money is the mental excrement of humanity, with interest being the all pervading stink of it, enabling many antisocial humans to get carried by everyone else.

So, waste that shit on the most far out stuff, and maybe the stink will dissipate in outer space.

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Well said.

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Hardly.

We get a vacuous little rant like this from Mr. Page every time anyone suggests, y'know, not raping the planet senseless. For me, it greatly undermines the validity of the Register as a worthwhile new outlet.

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Well, Lewis (in typical style) sees a particular tack and runs headlong in that direction, regardless of any signposts along the way.

Felix can be criticised for many things (like jumps he claimed as firsts but were done before), and of course being Austrian, however he's not condeming space travel (per se), but he's saying that the money which is spent on going to Mars to help us understand the earth would be better spent directly on finding about the earth, he goes on to say that Curiosity cost $2,500,000,000, taxpayers money, did they get their monies worth?

Personally, I think Felix is wrong, but that doesn't mean his sentiment isn't valid (however hypocrtitical).

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What's bothering you Lewis?

The fact he is advocating taking money from space exploration, or the fact hes advocating using the cash to fight MMGW?

I think we should be told

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Trollface

Re: What's bothering you Lewis?

For most of the skeptics even if MMGW exists who cares? This world is just a drab evil limbo meant to test them until they go to the real world promised to them where they worry about taking care of the place.

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Re: What's bothering you Lewis?

It's not really about the environment, but exploration and spirit of adventure. Without those things, the guy just spent millions on a publicity stunt for his sponsor. Did the thoughts about our planet and environment enter his mind then? So is it OK to spend money on self-aggrandizing record attempts, but not on space exploration? What a fucking hypocrite!

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FAIL

Re: What's bothering you Lewis?

...or the fact hes advocating using the cash to fight MMGW? [citation needed]

According to both the Reg article and the interview, Baumgartner advocates using the money for "saving the planet" -- a phrase so vague as to be practically meaningless.

In neither piece is there a direct reference to climate change or global warming. The closest is Lewis's jab at renewable energy, which is a proposed solution for issues other than global warming, and which raises concerns for reasons other than whether on not AGW is real or not.

Looks like you may want to take your blinkers off, Mr. Naughtyhorse.

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Re: What's bothering you Lewis?

Maybe cause he singles out what is simultaneously the most benign, inspiring and financially irrelevant thing we do and paints it as "that thing we do instead of saving the world" – while simultaneously doing something dramatically more fun and useless using the tools and intellectual product of those he pisses on.

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Re: What's bothering you Lewis?

The best way to save this planet is to get Homo Sapiens off it.

If we can crack space exploration on a commercial scale, we will have no lack of resources to exploit, because pretty much everything we need to survive is spinning about up there in space, mostly in the form of large, easily processed, lumps.of rock. And that includes carbon, metals and even water ice.

By cutting our species' umbilical cord with Gaia, we need no longer worry about Climate Change, or any of that stuff, because it won't matter any more. Our species will have left its cradle, so we can let the planet's ecosystem rebalance itself of its own accord, without any need to meddle with it, or even artificially twist it to our own requirements — an increasingly popular refrain from some of the more extremist environmental Chicken Littles, despite their attempts to word it in more palatable phrasing.

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Re: What's bothering you Lewis?

I'm pleased you think that all we need to do to get 5-6 billions human living in perfectly sustainable colonies off-planet is to mine a few spinning rocks.

Most people who work in the field know there might be one or two extra stages. But apparently you've solved all the hard problems already.

Congratulations. You should email them and let them know. I expect they'll be delighted and will be more than willing to shower you with fame and riches.

Wait - did I say 'perfectly sustainable'? Oh dear. That must make me exactly the kind of long-haired eco-hippy Page hates so much.

Yes indeed - we seem think nothing of trashing one habitat so we can build our own SuperSpaceHabitats[tm] to remind ourselves why trashing those is a bad idea.

Nice.

Hey - we could even import gas and oil specially to make ourselves feel at home, instead of using solar.

Because something that makes perfect sense up there can't possibly make sense down here, can it?

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Re: What's bothering you Lewis?

i take it you haven't read much Lewis then

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Meh

Re: in summary:

"Man who volunteers foolhardishly jumping from stupendous height is not world's greatest thinker"

Gee, you wouldn't say?

That said, I also think manned space exploration is stupid and futile, just done for the merrikan public. We've got robots, you know, that need far less in life support systems.

Werhner v Braun may have said that man is the only supercomputer that's cheap to make, but the definition of 'super' has moved on since then.

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Bit harsh

Jumping out of steel balls at 30,000+meters need balls of steel, but not huge numbers of brain cells, and, since he's taken Red Bull's shilling, he's probably shilling for them.

He expressed an opinion, which I disagree with, but as the commentator on Voltaire said "I disagree with what you said, but will fight for your right to say it". The usual comments about opinions apply :)

And besides, Red Bull is horrible stuff - I had a can once, and decided I preferred espresso.

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Re: Bit harsh

Let me correct that for you:

"And besides, Red Bull is horrible stuff - I had a can once, and decided I preferred espresso drinking my own urine.

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IT Angle

Re: Bit harsh

Are you Bear Grylls?

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Re: Bit harsh

Possibly. He certainly ain't Spartacus.

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Re: Bit harsh

dogged,

If your Mum had called you Bear, you'd drink your own urine too.

It's the only way to pass the time, when the camera crew have left you all alone, defenceless and isolated, in the honeymoon suite of the 5 star hotel - and they've run out of room service hookers...

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Re: Bit harsh

> If your Mum had called you Bear, you'd drink your own urine too.

'Cept he was born "Edward Michael Gyrlls"

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Re: Bit harsh

If it had enough caffeine - aye, probably :)

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Re: Bit harsh

>If your Mum had called you Bear, you'd drink your own urine too.

And probably shit in the woods.

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Pint

Re: Bit harsh

Indeed, I've been boycotting it for nigh on four decades now.

Beer, cause Red Bull doesn't hold a candle to it.

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Re: Bit harsh

I'm Spartacus !

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Re: Bit harsh

"That's it. Nobody drink Red Bull any more"

I'd always wondered that you were supposed to do with it.

But still, really?

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Re: Bit harsh

No, I'm Spartacus

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Re: Bit harsh

"Jumping out of steel balls at 30,000+meters need balls of steel, but not huge numbers of brain cells"

I said this before the stunt.

There are 2* types of people involved in this sort of exercise.

The first includes all the scientists and engineers who did all the work making it possible. They have spent years developing the suit, capsule, instrumentation, planning the launch, simulating the descent, and continuously adjusting the equipment and parameters to ensure it all works. They are incredibly intelligent and are what we should all be striving to be (or encourage).

The second is the idiot who jumps out of a balloon from the edge of space who could, essentially, have been replaced by a well trained monkey**. Unfortunately, it is this second type that gets all the glory and most people want to be like him.

Yes, he has balls of steel. But he is obviously not the sharpest knife in the draw and to say that space exploration should stop and the money put into "saving the planet" proves it. It also marks him as a hypocrite: As others have already said, they spent huge sums on that stunt. Could that money have been better spent "saving the planet"?

Part of me thinks he said that because he thinks that's what he's supposed to say, just like the girls in beauty contests who say they want world peace.

*Yes, I know there are also the people who supply the money, but they aren't part of the project, just it's backers (and more often than not hold the project back). All that's needed from them is their money.

**No offence meant to the trained monkeys out there: I'm sure most of them have more sense than to hurl themselves out of an aircraft like that.

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Anonymous Coward

* DRAWER

'sharpest knife in the DRAWER'

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Re: * DRAWER

'sharpest knife in the DRAWER'

Ooops! Sorry, my mistake. One day I will learn to re-read my comments before posting.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bit harsh

So, Teddy Bear Grylls then ;)

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Re: Bit harsh

Aren't we all Spartacus, each in our own special way?

Except for I ain't Spartacus, of course.

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Sure, why not?

And we'll each be crucified in our own special way. How come nobody ever remembers where the Spartacists ended up? Say what you like about the Romans -- they didn't fool around.

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Re: Bit harsh

"The second is the idiot who jumps out of a balloon from the edge of space who could, essentially, have been replaced by a well trained monkey**. Unfortunately, it is this second type that gets all the glory and most people want to be like him."

I dare you to say that to Aldrin...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: * DRAWER

Sharpest knife in the draw -- knife fighting draw -- i.e., a beta male reference.

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Re: Bit harsh

I doubt very much anyone was suggesting Baumgartner is anywhere near the same category as NASA astronauts. Baumgartner needed the balls of steel mentioned above, and a whole load of practice at skydiving etc. Astronauts need to actually operate the spacecraft and all have high level qualifications in seriously technical subjects. I see no comments (apart from yours) suggesting in any way that what Baumgartner did, however brave, is similar to what the astronauts did.

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Linux

Re: Bit harsh

"And besides, Red Bull is horrible stuff - I had a can once, and decided I preferred espresso drinking my own urine."

It's the taurine in it, isn't it? Some people are allergic to it, but it is an essential amino acid for cats.

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Happy

Re: Bit harsh

just it's backers (and more often than not hold the project back) tadaa! Perhaps that's why they're called "backers."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bit harsh

Wasn't the point that the astronauts did not actually need to be clever? You don't actually take bearings on the Moon with a sextant and up the FRNA/UDMH supply a bit on the left thruster till she comes about and the telescope on the starboard beam is pointing at Kepler. As is made clear in The Right Stuff, they wanted astronauts who Didn't Panic and were prepared to trust the engineers and scientists. The only time cleverness was needed was on the first lunar landing when the little IBM computer got overloaded and they had to use an HP calculator.

I think Baumgartner and the astronauts are pretty near equivalent. But then I also think Curiosity is the height of human technical achievement, and a suitable V-sign at the arse who made me redundant from STC's R&D operation telling me that robotics wasn't going anywhere.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bit harsh

If you want an energy drink, avoid red bull, try Monster, they do great juice based drinks...

The rest taste weird....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bit harsh

Aldrin was not a monkey.... He did not jump from a balloon... he walked on the moon...

BUT Monkeys were sent to space, to make sure it was safe...

Aldrin was a hero, but I do agree the scientists should have got more credit than they did..

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Expecting too much?

Time and again athletes prove themselves to be pretty lousy at public speaking. I for one wouldn't hold anything Felix has to say against red bull.

He was there to execute a very dangerous jump. A jump that anyone with a sense of self preservation would run away from. That type of person isn't known for having the greatest ideas and generally falls into the same group of people that heartily exclaim "hold my beer and watch this!" before performing a monumentally stupid stunt

I applaud Felix for taking that step which furthered science and has he potential of making space flight safer. I further applaud Red Bull for financing the operation. Anything he has to say beyond that is meaningless noise.

Disclaimer: I'm old school and prefer my caffeine the old way: coffee.

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Coat

Re: Expecting too much?

Warning meme alert!

Hold my beer ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Expecting too much?

It's like people doing "dangerous" trips up Mt. Everest with all the modern gear. Getting a bit crowded up there these days with all the "heroes", isn't it?

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