Stiltwalking's Not Just for Circus Performers, You Know

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The Atlantic is housed in The Watergate. Yes, that Watergate. And we're moving floors right now, so there's a lot of construction going on. Today, as I walked down the hallway, I spotted this guy bopping around the office in stilts that are maybe 30-inches tall. I was struck by the agility he displayed. Dude might as well have been walking around in his socks he was so good on these things.

Where have I been? I thought stilts were for circus performers and people with unusual sexual predilections. Turns out, the construction industry makes substantial use of stiltwalking in drywall and overhead ceiling tile work. Has anyone tried these leg enhancements on? Is this a tough skill to learn?

Should you care to try some, they'll set you back at least 120 bones.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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