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Breathe Easy 

click to enlarge Chinese acrobat
  • Chinese acrobat

Listen, Humboldtians. As you may have heard, yes, The Peking Acrobats will be gracing the stage at HSU's Van Duzer Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. Yes, these are the acrobats that were in Ocean’s Eleven. Yes, as always, death-defying feats will be in ample supply. Yes, the Seattle Times described them by noting “Nearly everything the Peking Acrobats did last night was amazing -- and stunning and breathtaking and WOW!” Their awesomeness was never in question.

It’s that “breathtaking” part that concerns some. I know what you're a-thinkin'. But before you say to yourself, "Hey, do you think I have a death wish, buddy?" let me assure you that despite what you may have heard on the playground, it is virtually impossible to die from holding your breath.

How do I know this? Like many urban myths, this one has been debunked by our friends trolling the ol' Internet. With nothing more than quick googling you'll discover the query has been tackled by the experts at Yahoo! Answers.

Four years ago -- when breathing was still a hot-button issue -- Yahoo! user "blhkfxki" bravely posited the query "Can you hold your breath till you die?" to the online fact checking community and -- to make sure the seriousness of the question was understood -- added "what if you were REALLLYYY determined?"

The crowd mulled it over. A few gave their opinions. But if you're familiar with the stringent b.s.-expelling, truth-finding process of Yahoo! Answers, you know that the "Best Answer" is chosen by the votes of other Yahoo users. In this case, the answer provided by asphyxiation expert "sweets" was deemed the winner. And I quote: "i think its kinda impossible ... Ive tried it! haha its like natural thing to start breathing."

What does this mean for you? On Tuesday, you should have no problem taking in the spectacle provided by the gymnasts, jugglers, cyclists and tumblers that make up The Peking Acrobats. While you may catch yourself holding your breath while they balance precariously on improbably stacked chairs, or make their way across wires suspended high above the stage, at least you know that you'll make it through the evening alive.

Just make sure to do some breathing exercises. Tickets for the evening are $35, $25 for seniors and children and $15 for HSU students. For more info check out Whew.

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Andrew Goff

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