David Blaine

AP Photo/Tina Fineberg

On the bright side, David Blaine is making last night's Emmy hosts seem positively relevant compared to his latest publicity, er, death-defying stunt.

The so-called street magician has kicked off his latest crowd-drawing exploit in New York City this morning, embarking on a three-day feat of endurance in which he will hang upside down—no smoke, no mirrors, no wires—in Central Park, culminating in a live two-hour finale on ABC Wednesday night.

This one, going under the appropriately sensationalistic title of David Blaine: Dive of Death, takes place 50 feet above the iconic Wollman Rink in full public view and began in earnest at 8:30 a.m. this morning. Blaine will go without food, but with liquids, for the roughly 60-hour period.

He will also be unable to sleep and be fitted with a catheter for all his disposal needs.

Because watching a grown man hanging upside-down for three days doesn't tend to be that exciting a prospect, during the three-day deed, Blaine will also periodically tempt fate by walking on the underside of a wire without the benefit of a safety net, though a nasty fall may be the least of the illusionist's health concerns.

While Blaine told reporters in advance of the stunt that he had lost weight, practiced dangling and performed special exercises to prepare for the event, his personal physician, Dr. Ronald Ruden, has spoken out about some serious, and lasting, dangers that could result.

Like increased blood pressure, retina damage, stroke, and the possibility of going blind.

"The heart is centered pretty close to the head, so it does not have to pump blood very high," Ruden told ABC News. "When you flip it around, though, the toes are four and a half feet from the heart. So the heart has to pump blood to a higher altitude than what it is used to."

The 35-year-old Blaine previously held his breath for more than 17 minutes under water, stood for 35 hours atop a pillar in New York, spent 63 hours encased in a block of ice and logged 44 days in a transparent box suspended above London's River Thames.

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