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Blaine shaken but not stirred

Blaine shows signs of strain after almost a week in a glass box without food.
Blaine shows signs of strain after almost a week in a glass box without food.

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LONDON, England -- During a week suspended high in a glass box in London, illusionist David Blaine has been taunted by passersby, pelted by flying objects and kept awake by a banging drum.

But the American -- attempting to go 44 days without food and nothing but water to sustain him -- may be shaken but he has not stirred from his perch over the River Thames.

Since the showman began his stunt Friday, people have attempted to dislodge him by throwing eggs at his transparent box -- measuring 7ft deep, 7ft long and 3ft wide.

Blaine, a self-styled modern-day Houdini, has also been taunted by the smell of fish and chips, and woken up by a man banging a drum.

Police were called in to deal with the egg thrower Tuesday. "The man was given a stern talking to. But he was not arrested,'' a police spokesman told Reuters.

The 30-year-old New Yorker -- known for other feats of endurance such being buried alive and encased in a block of ice -- has been drawing inquisitive onlookers as well as agitators.

And they have caused problems of their own.

The stunt has resulted in traffic problems as motorists driving across the city's Tower Bridge slow down to take a look. Up to 4,000 people turned out to see Blaine begin his gruelling challenge.

"On Friday (when Blaine began the stunt) traffic across Tower Bridge was pretty chaotic," said a spokeswoman at the UK's Automobile Association, which has been receiving call from disgruntled motorist.

"This week it (traffic) has been relatively slow," she told CNN.

Some of the pranks have been put down to idle boredom.

"We were watching him at home on TV and it was really dull so we thought we would come down and liven things up. I wanted to wake him up,'' the impromptu drummer Shiraz Azam, 21, told London's Evening Standard.

Despite much publicity, Blaine's feat will not be recognized by the Guinness Book of Records.

Crowds gather to catch a glimpse of Blaine suspended next to Tower Bridge since Friday.
Crowds gather to catch a glimpse of Blaine suspended next to Tower Bridge since Friday.

Compilers of the book said they would not actively endorse fasting records -- and that the size of his temporary home is not as small as current record holders. (Full story)

Guinness also dismissed Blaine's earlier feats -- being buried alive and living in an ice block -- as not measuring up.

Blaine is being permitted to take diapers, a journal, some pens, lip balm, a pillow and a pad to lie on into the box. And his girlfriend has been allowed to go up the crane to clean the outside of the plastic box.

Last week, Blaine marked his arrival in London by perching on the roof of a capsule of the London Eye above the Thames. (Full story)

On Monday, Blaine shocked a group of journalists in London when he appeared to cut off part of his ear at a news conference. (Full story)


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