March 12, 2007
Hans Rosling Swallows a Sword
One of my favorite TEDsters (and speakers) is Swedish professor Hans Rosling, who I had the fortune to sit next to on a bus a year or two ago. There, I learned about his secret love of the 'sword,' but who knew he was going to bring 'it' to Monterey.
After his typical visually energizing presentation on economic stats, he told us that he was optimistic about the future and so should we. After the last slide, he turned to the crowd and said, "The seemingly impossible is possible. Think beyond the obvious." He then took his shirt off, pulled out a sword, licked each side with his lips and proceeded to put it down his throat. We are in awe. Okay, wouldn't you be? C'mon.
I later learned the do's and don'ts over wine at a local restaurant. Despite learning the 'secret' behind a successful sword swallowing experience, I can't say I'm more compelled to try it out. Apparently there are only five sword swallowers in Sweden and a little more than 100 in the United States - in other words, not a popular hobby. Nevertheless, a 'taste' for the sword seems to exist. Who knew?
Step Four: Hans Declares Success
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Glad you got to meet Hans and see him perform personally. He and I have corresponded some, and I look forward to meeting him the next time I am back in Sweden (I used to live there and speak Swedish).
However, I have one slight correction for you: Yes, there are only 5 sword swallowers (svaerdslukare) in Sweden, and only about 100 people alive today around the ENTIRE WORLD who have at one time or another swallowed a sword, with only a few dozen of us who are actively performing as professional sword swallowers around the world (not just in the US).
All the best,
Posted by: Dan Meyer | Mar 12, 2007 6:54:01 PM
Thanks so much for your comments. I'm sure that this will be useful for anyone who wants to learn more about sword swallowing. Who knew?? HA :-)
It was thrilling to see and learn more about it via Hans a day later. Hans is an amazing man. We all loved seeing him perform, speak and of course tell stories into the night.
I appreciate your input and additional information.
Posted by: Renee Blodgett | Mar 12, 2007 11:22:02 PM
Yet more evidence that Hans Rosling is super-awesome (if any were needed).
Posted by: Katie Lee | Aug 27, 2009 9:36:01 AM
I'm an amateur film maker, and I am trying to understand how film
makers are able to carry out scenes without cutting that include full
piercing of swords from all angles, and blood, and flesh, all in live
time. For example, I know the methods for making somebody look like
they've been cut, but how do you do this in one scene without a cut
right after a sword slash?
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