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The ballooning priest


You may have heard of Father Adelir Antonio di Carli, the Brazilian priest who attempted to raise funds by breaking a world record. It involved being carried aloft by helium-filled party balloons. Yes, this is for real. Sister Mary Martha says so.

He is now lost at sea. They found a few of his balloons, but no sign of the priest. Thanks to my fallen human nature, I had an awfully hard time convincing myself this was more serious than hilarious. It would be hilarious, if only he had landed more or less safely.

Then I read an article in the Telegraph. The poor guy is not even known to be dead yet, but the Telegraph has already nominated him for the Darwin Awards. Not very nice of them.

I must give full disclosure: I'm not a huge fan of the Darwin Awards. That said, I don't see how Father di Carli could qualify. He was very well-prepared. He is an experienced sky diver and equipped himself with a helmet, a thermal flight suit, waterproof coveralls, a parachute, a satellite phone, and a GPS device. More practically, can a person sworn to lifetime celibacy even be in the running for the Darwin Awards? He removed himself from the gene pool when he took his vows.

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