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'Human Hamster Wheel' Sinks; Here's Video Of How It Used To Work

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'Human Hamster Wheel' Sinks; Here's Video Of How It Used To Work

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'Human Hamster Wheel' Sinks; Here's Video Of How It Used To Work

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This has been a frustrating week for daredevils. The weather just isn't cooperating.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Austrian skydiver who wanted to leap from a capsule up in the stratosphere, and plunge 23 miles, has been ported by gusting winds. Felix Baumgartner still hopes to break the sound barrier in a free fall, but it will have to wait until next week.

SIEGEL: Disappointment, too, for Chris Todd, an English engineer. This past weekend, he attempted to cross the Irish Sea in a giant hamster wheel.

CHRIS TODD: It's a 10-foot-diameter wheel, so it's quite a large device.

CORNISH: Todd wanted to make the 66-mile journey from Wales to Ireland on his homemade "tredalo," to raise money for charity.

TODD: For the first four hours or so, conditions were really tremendous. Then the wind started to pick up, and the waves started to give the raft a bit of a battering.

SIEGEL: After 10 hours, he was rescued. And as he told the BBC, they set out for land with the floating hamster wheel in tow.

TODD: But subsequently, after about two hours of towing the craft back towards Wales, sadly, due to the heavy seas, the craft disintegrated and sank.

CORNISH: Well, setbacks can sometimes be overcome. But for Chris Todd, this was a big one.

TODD: I mean, it took such a tremendous effort to build the craft, and test it. I'm not really sure I'm ready to ask for that again, just yet.

SIEGEL: In any case, whether free falling from the sky or walking on water, we salute those who test the limits of the human spirit, conditions permitting.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'M WALKING BACKWARDS FOR CHRISTMAS")

SPIKE MILLIGAN: (Singing) I'm walking backwards for Christmas, across the Irish Sea. I'm walking backwards for Christmas. It's the only thing for me. I've tried walking sideways and walking to the front, but people just look at me and say it's a publicity stunt. I'm walking backwards for Christmas, to prove that I love you.

CORNISH: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News.

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