The big news in Dubai yesterday was that Alain Robert, nicknamed "Spiderman," climbed up the outside of the Burj Kalifa, the worlds tallest building (Click here for the article. Or you can view it here). The French man's nickname comes not from the fact that he loves Toby McGuire (though I'm sure he does), but from his vast resume of climbing buildings. Unlike most countries where he is arrested for exhibiting his talent, Alain was paid to climb the iconic Dubai structure. He uncharacteristically used a safety harness, probably because "the man" told him to and he was being paid to practice his art. To be fair, witnesses claim that he never appeared to use the harnesses. For all we know they were for appearance only and were made of black licorice.
The stunt was done to open the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) conference "Education Without Borders." If you look closely at the back of his shirt in the picture, you can see the HCT logo, more evidence of him selling out. He began the climb at 6:10 pm despite some serious wind and completed the feat at 12:30 am, giving him a time of 6 hours and 20 minutes. Big deal. I did it in about 60 seconds. Why should I be penalized because I has the sense to do it on the inside.
Regardless of his rejection of modern conveniences such as elevators, I have to admire his skill and athleticism. Now we'll have to wait until they build a taller building somewhere to see his next record-breaking attempt.