A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Stuff You Should Know

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The only thing this topic has in common with running is that I was listening to a pod cast about it when I was on a run. If you enjoy pod casts, you have to look up the Stuff You Should Know pod casts. They are free on iTunes and you will learn so much about so many random things… It’s definitely a good “zone out” pod cast for a solo long run.

So the other morning I listened to a Stuff You Should Know pod cast called “How Going Over Niagara Falls Works”. The hosts highlighted all the daredevils that went over the Horseshoe Falls. Some survived, some did not. Today, I am listing for you my 3 favorite stories of people who went over the falls.

Yes, this whole blog post is about going over Niagara Falls. If you were hoping for a post about running, check back tomorrow!

Anyway, my 3 favorite Niagara Falls DAREDEVILS....

Annie Taylor

Annie Taylor is by far my favorite person to go over the falls and survive. She was the first person to do this. The year was 1901. She went down in a pickle barrel filled with compressed air from a bicycle pump and a pillow. The best part about Ms. Taylor’s story? SHE BROUGHT HER CAT ALONG FOR THE RIDE! Yes, the cat survived! I did some research, trying to find the cat’s name (since it is a very important fact in the story) but I could not find it.

Annie  Edson Taylor
Annie and her cat atop the barrel. 
I love how she named the barrel- Queen of The Mist. 
Maybe her cat was named Misty?

George Stathakis

In 1930, George went down the falls in a 2,000 pound barrel made of steel and wood. He brought his pet turtle, Sonny Boy with him. (What’s with these wackos bringing their pets down the falls with them!?) George survived the fall, but the barrel rolled behind the falls and became trapped. Unfortunately, the barrel only had a couple hours of oxygen available and it took rescuers 22 hours to find him. George died of suffocation. But the turtle? Sonny Boy SURVIVED!

I could not find an image of George, but here is his little Sonny Boy.

Bobby Leach

Bobby Leach was the first man to go over the falls. He went over the falls in an 8 foot steel drum. Bobby was rescued but had two broken knee caps and a fractured jaw, which he eventually recovered from. However, in a crazy twist of fate, he ended up dying 15 years later when he developed gangrene after slipping on an orange peel.

He survived the falls but not the orange peel. That's why I like his story.

And now for a bonus person who went over the falls! DAVID COPPERFIELD! You can watch him escape death!

First of all, let me state that there is actually NO WAY David Copperfield actually went over the falls. The government would not let him do that. Also, there is simply not enough time for him to go over the falls, escape, and then get pulled out of the water by a helicopter, the way it is depicted. It is an ILLUSION... and a pretty good illusion. But he did not go over the falls.

(Did I ever tell you that when I'm bored, I analyze David Copperfield magic tricks and try to figure out how they work? And you thought you knew everything about me!!!!)

Here are some notes I made on the video...

3:21- The floor of the raft is clearly raised. Somehow, he escapes beneath the raised part and exits in an area off camera. He is off that “raft” before it even enters the water.
3:52- He might be exiting out the black buoy part on the right hand corner of the screen.
4:06- He is not in there.
4:32- Why don't we see his head? Cause he's not in there. Those are fake hands and feet. And that jet ski is just for show.
4:35- I still don't understand why they lit the fire. I know in magic, everything happens for a reason. Is the reason here just for suspense... or something else?
7:12- Love the music that plays at the end.
7:17- Bulky coat = harness.

Okay, so I didn't debunk how he actually did this trick but I think I pointed out a few important things. What do you think!?
Did you watch the David Copperfield Specials when you were a kid? My dad taped all of them for us!
Would you take your beloved pet down Niagara Falls with you? Hellz no. Christmas would be like, "Fuck this!"
Have any pod cast recommendations for us? Stuff You Should Know, Savage Lovecast


  1. So will you, Christmas and Jelly be venturing over the falls anytime soon??? LOL. Lola wouldn't be going near those falls! There is a Niagara Falls Marathon that finishes right by the falls in September or October. I've asked Matt to go many times, he's not that interested. Maybe I could go alone, and take my barrel with me. ;)

    1. Lola is such a beautiful little girl and much to smart for the falls. My cats, being maine coons, LOVE water. But Jelly is scared when we bring groceries home. Christmas is fearless. I think if I had to choose one of my cats to take with me, it would be Chrissy because even though he would be scared, there would be part of him who liked the adventure! The Niagara Falls Marathon sounds like it would be cool! I would be up for something like that.

  2. Just the thought of going over the falls makes me a little weirded out! We just visited a few months ago and it is beautiful there. I'm just contented being a spectator!

  3. This is so random but I legit went through a stage of being obsessed with waterfalls. I love Niagara Falls it was so beautiful when I saw it...I'd throw anything off it. You guys should road trip down it ;)

    1. We went to see the falls once and it was very cool! We're going to Hawaii this summer and are going to see A LOT of waterfalls there! But we won't get in the water because apparently you can get gross diseases and die if the water is contaminated!

  4. Wow I was surprisingly entertained lol. Great post!

    1. I like to throw out something super random from time to time :)

  5. I *might* survive the fall but would die from bleeding out because Cecil would scratch and claw me in so many places while going down. He can barely handle car rides!

    I didn't watch David Copperfield shows, but I did go see Criss Angel's show in Vegas a couple years ago. It was the most disappointing thing I've ever done in my life. I could actually see the wires he used to "fly." >:(

    1. Wow, not cool! We saw David Copperfield live in Hershey and he did his flying trick and it looked real!

  6. It just goes to show that we should do things that scare us. Because we will probably survive and die later due to some really random stupid thing. :-D

    PS- Thank you for your advice. It is always welcomed, even after a few drinks!

  7. I'm laughing out loud at my desk hahaha the turtle survived!!! That's great. And that last guy slipped on an orange peel? Oh the irony lol have a great weekend, and thanks for the laugh.

  8. Definitely. But I guess if you are looney enough to want to go down the falls, you are looney enough to take your pet. My question is, why didn't David Copperfield take his pet?? Amateur.

  9. i'm with you...why those crazies wanted to take their pets is beyond me!