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16 March, 2007

Sensation inflation

There was a time when a sand sculpting competition would have been an entertaining experience for spectators – "Can you tell what it is yet?"  Personally, I wouldn't stand and watch for two days, but I'd be interested in going along afterwards to admire the results.

Nowadays, that's not enough. Even something as ostensibly sedate as sand sculpting has to be 'extreme'. Take the annual 'Sand Blasters' competition:

Paired off into teams of two, 16 of the best sand sculptors from across America dig in to picturesque Pacific Beach in San Diego, California, for the chance to win their share of $15,000 in prize money. But there's one obstacle standing in their way... explosions!
Over the course of this intense two-day competition, five of the eight sculptures are randomly selected for complete destruction by a Hollywood pyrotechnics crew. The ill-fated blast victims then have the remaining time to create another world-class work of art.
Maybe I'm suffering a sense of humour failure, but I despair.

[Via BoingBoing, which mentioned it in the context of an excellent video showing the explosions – in reverse.]

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