Last chance to help me break my neck

If I go ballistic tomorrow to raise money for Shatterproof and you didn’t contribute, won’t you feel silly?

Tomorrow is the day I rappel down a 21-story building to raise funds for Shatterproof.

Just imagine how silly you will feel if I demonstrate the Law of Gravitation (by going into free fall for roughly 4.43 seconds, after allowing for air resistance) and the Law of the Conservation of Energy (by first converting the gravitational potential of 120 kg at 90 m above ground level into kinetic energy and then rapidly converting that roughly 82,000 joules’ worth of kinetic energy into heat and various forms of vibration) without your financial support. Of course, the rope is intended to prevent those rather impressive illustrations of high-school mechanics, but there’s always a chance.

I’ve already promised my students that if I go ballistic they don’t have to take the final. And no, UCLA students are not allowed to contribute.

Footnote Angela Hawken fully intended to be on the other rope, but she has been summoned to Olympia to instruct the Washington State legislature on the principles of swift-certain-fair sanctioning. That reduces the total value-at-risk tomorrow by something upwards of 90%.

Cheap, at twice the price!

Angela Hawken and I will rappel the Westin Pasadena to raise money for Shatterproof, a new drug-policy NGO. Why just sit there wishing I would break my neck when you can *actually do something about it*?



Shatterproof is a new organization intending to do for substance abuse disorder what the American Heart Association does for cardio-vascular disease: combining collective self-help, research support, and policy advocacy. What excites me is that the policy advocacy will be relentlessly aimed at reducing the damage, rather than at fighting the culture war (from either side). They had me at “addiction to alcohol and other drugs.”

I don’t have a clue whether they can bring it off, but after several long conversations with Gary Mendell, the founder, I’m willing to give it a shot.

And that’s where your part comes in. As a fundraiser, Shatterproof is organizing a group of us to rappel from the Westin in Pasadena a week from Wednesday. If you’re one of the countless people who would love to see me break my neck, you now have a chance to contribute to the cause. Of course, it’s entirely possible that I will get to the bottom in one piece, but that’s just the risk you take.

Angela Hawken will also be doing the reverse Rope Trick. I tried to explain that it would work better if people could contribute to prevent Angela from courting disaster, but it’s hard to fight organizational Standard Operating Procedure, so just go ahead and support her effort.