Driving through southern Illinois - flat cornfields remind me of southern Indiana... Makes sense!
Standing at Abraham Lincoln's house in Springfield, IL

Monday

Just finished a long day of performances and video interviews followed by an enjoyable evening with fellow sword swallower Troy Deckard.
Ended up not going on horseback trailride today due to rain and soggy trails. Worked on making new stables/stalls instead.

Trailride

Getting ready to take a new horse on a trail ride in Birmingham if it doesn't rain today.

Day after Christmas

Slept in. Needed it. Feeling lazy. Just having coffee. Got to get going and feed horses. Might try to ride today or tomorrow.
Just finished feeding horses & moving hay. Now my new Christmas sweatshirt is covered in mud. Sure doesn't feel like Christmas w/out family.

Fav Christmas Movie?

Just watched "A Christmas Story" 3 times in a row! What's your favorite Christmas movie?

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours the Merriest of Christmases! Remember the REASON we celebrate! May God Bless You, Your Family and Friends!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! S'posed to be raining & in the 60s here today. I'm dreaming of the white Christmases we used to have! Hope yours is Merry!
Another Christmas party/dinner... Delicious prime rib... Gonna gain some lbs this week, I can already tell!

Brrr!

Brrr! Sure is cold out! Went from 60s/70s to 20s/30s overnight! How cold is it where you are? Better bundle up!

Eyes are heavy

Can't keep my eyes open. Must've been the sugar in that coconut cream dessert. Or the fact that I had thirds. Can't keep eyes open. G'night!

TVAHA Christmas

Getting ready to head to TVAHA (TN Valley Arabian Horse Assoc) Christmas party in Huntsville AL
Heading to Nashville in pure fog and mist - not great for driving tonight!

Grieving

Grieving today over the loss of Jambo, my African Grey parrot who was a dear friend for the past 10 years. Died last night of unknown causes

Gray Sunday

Enjoying a quiet gray Sunday afternoon relaxing and getting caught up and ready for another busy week!

Meeting B-Rock Brrrocolli the Gillman

Getting ready to head up towards Nashville to spend some time with @brockgill today if roads aren't too flooded! Looking forward to it!

I'll be your Handy Man

Going to be building stalls in the rain today to get ready in time for 7 Arabian horses to arrive from AZ tonight!
Just unloading our fav colt & putting him in his new blanky-pajamas for the night. He's such a good boy, so gorgeous & gentle! What a stud!

COLD!

Brrrrrr... 32 degrees and windy/rainy - feels much colder! Heading out to feed horses... Brrrrr...

I'm baack!

Glad to have my cell back so I can Twitter again. Was going thru BlackBerry/Twitter withdrawal! If you tried to call, I'm back- try again!

Waffles and syrup

Tip: Do NOT attempt to eat waffles dripping w syrup on a long drive to #NYWC! Entire interior of my car is STICKY! I'm a walking ant magnet!

National Youth Workers Convention

Filled up at $1.73! Heading to #NYWC in Nashville. Will be at Reach Your City booth 739 from 12:30-2pm. Swing by, bring a friend & a camera!

National Youth Workers Convention

Horses caught & fed! Getting ready to head up to Nashville to #NYWC. Hope to be at Reach Your City booth from 12:30-2pm to meet everyone!

Chasing horses at dawn

Rude awakening: Had to jump out of bed to chase horses that had gotten loose in the night! Now I gotta feed em all. BRRR! NEED COFFEE!!

Funeral on a gray day

Going to play for a funeral of a friend - that's two friends who have died of cancer in the past 2 weeks. Sad but sobering.

Gray Saturday

It's a cold gray "wintery" day here in AL. Gotta play at a funeral for a friend today :( Need more COFFEE to get going.

VERY COOL NEWS!

Oh, COOL NEWS: Found out I'm being featured in a Ripley's Believe It or Not card game available in stores next week! I'm 1 of 30 cards! Fun!

Foggy

Gray foggy morning in north Alabama, but looking forward to a productive day!
Enjoyed a great hockey game with Juergen! We won 5-3 with the last goal in the last 18 seconds! Go Huntsville Havocs! Thanks Jonathan!

Huntsville Havoc Hockey

At the Huntsville Havoc hockey game with my buddy Juergen - box seats courtesy of Capt Jon Lounsbury - we're enjoying boys night out.!

Actor Danny Glover removes Lethal Weapon!

Actor Danny Glover removes Lethal Weapon from my throat:

http://tinyurl.com/lethalweapon

Newsletter out

Finally got a couple of videos posted and a new newsletter out tonight. Hoping to get some hits on the videos & possibly some appearances!

Alabama Man Swallows Hedge Clippers!




Dangerous Clipper Tricks -

Alabama Man Swallows Hedge Clippers!

(Send this to all your friends who could use a smile today!)

Nov 11, 1817

On this day in history 1817, the FIRST SWORD SWALLOWER to perform in the US did a show in New York City. Tickets to the daring feat cost $1.

New video: Man Swallows Hedge Clippers!

Alabama man swallows hedge clippers! High-quality version:

http://tinyurl.com/clipprs

Chilly Tuesday

E-mail was down several hours last night, glad it's back up! Chilly Fall morning, perfect for getting things done today like mending fences!

Sore but not pinched

Movin' slow - Pinched nerve not so bad today, but old-fashioned soreness is creeping in 2nd day after riding - feels kinda good to be sore!

Heavy price

Maybe my body's advising me to take a break this wk- Back rub, hot tub, chiropractor? Anyone know where to find lightweight aluminum swords?

Do'in a Pinch

Took 4 Advil + 4 Doan's back pills last night & still had a hard time sleeping. Can't find a comfortable position to sit, stand, lay down...
Pinched nerve in back from lugging all that heavy metal the past 5 wks + horse trailride yesterday=Fun, but sure regretting it today!

Photo shoot

Just finished photo shoot after 2 day hair and wardrobe makeover in Nashville. Curious to see how it all turns out!

Getting ready to go onstage

Standing backstage ready to go on with National Theater USA as part of "Great Performances" at Vanderbilt Ingram Theater. Hope swords work!

Shopping for stage wardrobe

Had a fun day shopping for stage clothes for photoshoot tomorrow. Cool clothes that I wouldn't normally buy agent assures me R good 4 youth.

Breakfast

Having breakfast w @logosi and old friends Jody and Ernesto in Nashville.

Performing with National Theater USA tonight

Performing with NTUSA at Vanderbilt tonight at 7pm. I didn't really understand what the show was about til last night: http://www.ntusa.org/

Vanderbilt Great Performances

Just finishing rehearsal at Vanderbilt with @jt2k. Everyone is invited to attend "Great Performances" at Vanderbilt Ingram tomorrow at 7pm

Nashville meeting

Just finished a meeting with my new booking/mngt company in Nashville - Great folks, I'm psyched! Looking forward to moving forward!

Road trip to Nashville!

Heading to Nashville - beautiful Fall day for a drive! Just filled up at $2.11! Much better than $5-$8 I paid in Europe! Thanks, Pres Bush!

Civic duty

Just fulfilled my civic duty & voted. Lines were short, only took 5 minutes to vote. Glad I did, but still feel anxious about future of USA

Tuesday

Keeping busy getting caught up with e-mail and social networking!

Train

On train from Stockholm to Orebro Sweden. Show at castle last night went great! Fine-tuning entire show in Swedish for castle show tonight.

Train

On train from Stockholm to Orebro Sweden. Show at castle last night went great! Fine-tuning entire show in Swedish for castle show tonight.

Train

On train from Stockholm to Orebro Sweden. Show at castle last night went great! Fine-tuning entire show in Swedish for castle show tonight.

Train

On train from Stockholm to Orebro Sweden. Show at castle last night went great! Fine-tuning entire show in Swedish for castle show tonight.

Landing in Paris

Just landing in Paris. Uneventful flight. Watched Kevin Costner in "Swing Voter" -Interesting, better than I expected. Time to switch planes

On Plane to Paris

On plane - Me: Where you going? Gal next to me: Berlin. Me: Business? Pleasure? Gal: Both. Porn. Convention. (Ok... end of conversation)

Atlanta

Made it to Atlanta 4th time this week this time w/ my German Fedex buddy & a little old French lady with no English who's teaching me French

Rerouted

Finally made it on another flight to Atlanta and Paris. Get in a few hours later, but will probably make my flight to Stockholm Thursday!

Joys of international travel

Flights are delayed to Atlanta, means I miss connecting flight to Paris & Basel & Stockholm the next day. Waiting in line for reticketing.

Another adventure begins!

Heading to the airport on my way to Europe for 2 wks. Got 2 hours sleep, but got everything packed (almost brought the kitchen sink!) Tired!

Leavin' on a jet plane

Doing last minute packing and chores before leaving on 2 week 5 country European tour to Paris, Basel, Stockholm, Örebro, Milano, and Genoa!

Hey it's good to be back home again

Back home again recuperating & unpacking from my trips. Decided to skip performing at Oktoberfest in Nashville to repack for Europe next wk

Twisted Sister

Just landed in Huntsville - sat behind Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister on this flight! Looking forward to getting home to my own bed!

Flight delay

Waiting to take off from Miami airport but flight is delayed due to President Bush flying in. Hope to make my connecting flight in Atlanta!

Heading home!

At Miami airport getting ready to head home. Can't wait to see my wife, dog and horses for a few hours before I head back out!

Cruise With A Cause

Looking forward to 4 days in paradise in the Bahamas! Getting excited about the cruise today, just wishing my wife were here to enjoy it!

Ft. Lauderdale

Enjoying feeling the sun on his face and the ocean breezes blowing through his hair while sitting on the waterfront in Ft. Lauderdale FL
Heading to Boca Raton FL to meet 3 old friends I haven't seen in 20 years - my Cruise Director, a roommate and a diver.

Miami

Just arrived in Miami - big change from chilly Boston! Humid and 82 degrees!

Atlanta

Just landing in Atlanta 15 minutes late. Poor girl next to me has been sick entire flight. Feel bad for her.

Security

Returned to security-they were xraying left bag as suspicious: laptop, iPod, 2 GPS, batteries, chargers, & foldup sword! Finally cleared me.

Logan Airport

Made Boston airport in time. In rush, left carry-on at security. Realized I was missing something on way to terminal! Ran back up escalator

To Boston airport

On train to Boston Logan airport to catch my flight to Miami. Overslept a bit - should just make flight.
On Boston Transit on way to an Ig Nobel "Ignitaries" function with other Ig Nobel and Nobel laureates. Swords in tow...

Boston Tube

On Boston Tube. MIT Ig Nobel lectures went well - very responsive audience!

MIT lecture

Just arrived at MIT, getting ready to lecture in a hall of several hundred academics for the Ig Nobel awards lecture.

Fire-eating

Teaching my friend DK the fine points of fire-eating - He's learning so well that he'll debut tomorrow at an Ig Nobel event!

Fire-eating

Teaching my friend DK the fine points of fire-eating - He's learning so well that he'll debut tomorrow at an Ig Nobel event!

Ig Nobel

Relaxing with the creator of the Ig Nobel prizes in Boston.

Friday lunch

Getting hungry for lunch. Finally got e-mail fixed and e-mails answered. Going to venture out in Cambridge for lunch soon

E-mail down

Looks like my e-mail is down for some reason this morning... Strange. Wonder if Twitter is working? Anybody get this?

Ig Nobel Awards

Ig Nobel Awards ceremony went well last night. Handed out some Ig Nobel awards and did interviews with Wall St. Journal, Korean TV & others.

Ig Nobels

Just waiting in the wings to step out and kick off the Ig Nobel awards ceremony at Harvard.

Harvard

Getting a bite to eat at a Himalayan restaurant & heading into the Ig Nobel ceremony at Harvard on a beautiful Fall day.

Chilly in Boston

Waking up to a chilly New England morning in Boston. Lots to do before finding my way to the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony at Harvard tonight.

Neal E Boyd won America's Got Talent!

My friend Neal E Boyd just won America's Got Talent!! A million dollars and a Vegas contract!

Whoooo-hoooo! Way to go, Neal!!

Hahvahd student pub

Grabbing a quick bite to eat at Harvard student cafeteria - Great atmosphere - cross between Ivy league hangout and European pub!

At Harvard

Made it to Boston, T to Harvard, shot some clips swallowing swords at Harvard Square, Hahvahd Yahd, & Sanders Theater. Relaxing B4 rehearsal
Waiting in Cinnci airport for next flight to Boston Logan airport. Slight rain delay. Hmm... feels like nap time after lunch....

Flight #1

Made it to check-in in time & now at terminal. Hate these high baggage fees! But bag with swords is on it's way, so let the adventure begin!

Heading to airport

Just shot first segment of "Have Sword Will Travel". Now heading to the airport to embarl on a new adventure!

Off to Boston

Getting ready to catch my flight to Boston after only about 2 hours sleep - packed until 3:30am and got up at 5:30. Need... coffee...
Working with a horse down with collick when I should be home packing! But he's doing better and should come out of it.

Video edits

Working on rough edits from Friday's video shoot and excited about the outcome!

Monday

Just saw my wife off to work at 5:30a, working on all the last-minute packing and details I should've done this weekend!

Sunday

Just finishing a long day of horseback riding, bathing kittens and dog, and indulging in TWO delicious Mexican meals!

Fireproof

Just saw Fireproof for the 2nd time - even better than the 1st! It's awesome - Go see it!

FireProof the Movie

Excited about going to see "FireProof" tonight! We're on our way (and I brought tissues!). It's a GREAT MOVIE - Everyone should see it!

Saturday at Josephine's

Having my usual Saturday waffle at Josephine's while finalizing plans for the Caribbean and European tours.

FireProof the Movie

Excited that "FireProof" the movie hits theaters today! What a GREAT movie! GO SEE IT this weekend!!

Video shoots

finished with all day video shoots at 5 locations and excited that we got some great footage! :)

Haircut

Getting a haircut (trim mostly), then back to more video shooting.
Working on video documentary pre-production with my videographer Josh.

Depot Days

Getting ready for tonight's show at Depot Days (come join us at 7!) in Hartselle, AL

Overcast Saturday

feeding animals, doing chores, replying to booking requests, & getting ready for this evening's show at Depot Days in Hartselle. Join us!

FireProof Movie

Got to hang out with my friends Jack & Tina from WAY-FM's "Jack & Tina Show" GO SEE "Fireproof"!

BEST 1/2 Movie!

Just coming home from seeing 1/2 a movie, but even that 1/2 was way better than most full movies I've ever seen! "FireProof" is AWESOME!

Movie

Trying desperately to find a ride to the movie "FireProof"! My other Jeep died today! Argh!

Swordmaking!

Going to make swords at a blacksmiths! Wheee! Should be fun! Yum!

Doing today...

Feeding horses, cats, kittens, parrots, chickens, mending fences, doing bookings, arranging Euro travel, making swords, watching "Fireproof"

Groggy

Still groggy from too much Benedryll and allergy meds... and staying up late working on the book. Need more coffee!

Ig Nobel Award in Medicine for Sword Swallowing

Video footage of Sword Swallower Dan Meyer and Dr. Brian Witcombe accepting the 2007 Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine at Harvard University on Oct 4, 2007.

October travel

Booking October flights to Harvard in Boston, Miami cruise to the Bahamas, then Paris, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, and Italy! Whew!
Mending fences on a beautiful sunny day in Hartselle, AL

Rub-a-dub-dub

Just got done washing 1 dog, 1 horse, 1 parrot, and 6 cats! I'm waterlogged! Now it's time to wash the car! I'm about washed up!

Haircut

Heading for a haircut in Decatur, AL

America's Got Talent

Watching friends on America's Got Talent- Donald Braswell made it thru & Wright Kids were GREAT! Rootin for Daniel Jens & Paul Salos (Frank)

Dan In the News!



Dan in the News! Running for President?

Monday

Getting ready to move horses, kittens, and handle a plethora of chores, correspondance, & typical Monday "busy" work on a beautiful Monday!
Enjoying a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon - relaxing some, maybe try to ride my Icelandic or Arabian mares some.

Lunching w World's Shortest Comedian

Having lunch with the world's shortest comedian, Danny Frasier (2' 10"), who is opening for me tonight at Shady Grove Baptist, Danville, AL

New Show tonight!

Finalizing tonight's show, a new motivational, inspirational msg "Doing the Impossible" & new "impossible" stunt! Hope I can pull it off!

Yeehaw!

Mending fences and helping shoe horses today - I feel like a cowboy! Now I need to get to doing MY work!
Out horseback trailriding and 4-wheeling - lots of fun on a nice cool breezy Labor Day in Birmingham, AL

Riding to go Riding

Heading to Birmingham with 4 kids and 4 horses to do some horseback riding & Labor Day picnicing. Lots of cars heading north from the gulf!

Kitten duty

Feeding kittens again... Lost the weakest gray one last night, & a black one seems weak tonight and doesn't want to eat. Another all-nighter

Kittens, calls, kittens, calls...

Handling phone calls between feeding kittens, feeding kittens between phone calls. Both are tough jobs, but somebody's got to do them!

Home again

Back home again in allergyland taking care of chores. Fed kittens every hr all last night, so w/ allergy meds & jet lag, I am GROGGY today!

Landing in Huntsville

Just landing in Huntsville airport with my new friend, Huntsvills Havoc hockey defenseman Jonathan Lounsbury. Google him!

Heading home

Having dinner in Denver airport with 2 other America's Got Talent contestants before catching my flight home to Huntsville.

Hanging w the Hoff

Talking with David Hasselhoff here in LA - He said some very complimentary things, great to hear! Getting ready to head to Bob Hope Airport

Sunny Burbank CA

Just arrived in sunny Burbank CA! Grabbing some GeoCaches near Universal Studios before taking a dip in the pool, then off to the studios!

On my way to sunny L.A.

At Huntsville airport heading to LA for the next episode of America's Got Talent. Watch LIVE tomorrow Tues night on NBC at 8p EST/7p CST!

On my way

At Huntsville airport catching an early flight to Denver.

Rainy Sunday

Pouring down rain - need it! Feels good to have a dark, rainy Sunday to rest & recuperate before a busy week. EARLY flight tomorrow morning!

New Phone

Spent 1/2 day downloading software (198 megs!) to backup my phone & other 1/2 at Verizon replacing it. Finally configured & set up again! :)
is working on his butterfly stroke and pommel horse routine for London 2012.

My Grain!

Fighting a migraine headache, mostly eye fatigue from staring at mega pixels on a computer monitor for the past 9 hours! Hurts to think! Ugh

Horse shoes

Still waiting since 7:30am for ferrier to come shoe my Icelandic horse... Only a few hours late!!

Sun night

Feeding kittens again and hitting the sack! Busy day tomorrow starting with shoeing my Icelandic horse early tomorrow morning!

Sunny Sunday

Enjoying a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon and wondering how the voting turned out Friday...

Saturday

Watched Bigfoot videos and worked on multimedia show today. Double Benadryll has had me groggy ALL day! Hitting the sack early tonight!

TP - Over or Under?

What's the best way for toilet paper or paper towels to be hung - over or under? http://currentconfig.com/archives/000083.html

FriendFeed

How to make FriendFeed a one stop shop? - http://tinyurl.com/6r5628

Allergies

Struggled with BAD allergies & asthma all last night til 2 benadryll wiped me out. Groggy & zonked out today. Anyone else notice it's bad?

Horsin' Around

Great evening of Horsin' Around tonight - had about 25 folks out to ride horses & play with kittens! Just fed all the kittens - time for bed

Major Breakthrough!

After 9 years of searching for a tribe of sword swallowers in India, I have finally got a name, location, and solid leads for locating them!

Jeremy Camp concert

Had a great time at Jeremy Camp concert last night! Lots of new friends, lots of autographs, & lots of MySpace/Facebook requests today!
Signing autographs with Mike's Chair and Rick Burgess from Rick & Bubba show at Jeremy Camp concert.

Huntsville concert

Just came offstage at WAY-FM concert. Listening to Mike's Chair - They rock!

Jeremy Camp Sound Check

Sitting at home plate @ sound check for Jeremy Camp band. I go on at 7pm & will perform for 11,300 at Joe Davis Stadium at Huntsville, AL

Getting ready for Jeremy Camp

Getting ready for concert w/ Jeremy Camp tonite. Meeting Jeremy band @ lunch to set up concert today. Join us & 12,000 at Joe Davis Stadium

Rick & Bubba

Listening to Rick & Bubba Show. Looking forward to seeing Rick again today & opening for Jeremy Camp concert with him tonight in Huntsville

Kitten patrol

Bottle-feeding and bathing 10 kittens again (lost 1 last night). Fed every 2 hours last night so didn't sleep much. Tired today!

America's Got... Kittens!

Spent the day fielding calls from Amerïca's Got Talent while feeding 5 orphaned kittens. Then today found 4 newborns then 2 MORE=Feeding 11!

Vote for Dan on AGT!

Fielding LOTS of calls from Amerïca's Got Talent last night! To vote for me, go to http://NBC.com/AGT Vote up to 10x by next Friday!

Birmingham traffic

All my flights ran ok today (nice change), but now stuck in Birmingham traffic trying to make it home for America's Got Talent on NBC @ 8pm

Last flight home

Just getting on my flight to Birmingham then drive up to n Alabama, hopefully in time to watch America's Got Talent Vegas episode at 8pm!

At Toronto Airport

Just had 3 different strangers come up to me at Toronto airport, shake my hand, and say they saw me on Breakfast TV this morning! Weird!

On Breakfast TV now

On the set of Breakfast TV in Toronto, been performing the past 2 hours. Getting ready to have host Deena pull out the sword in a minute...

Dinner with Ripley's

Having dinner in Toronto at the waterfront with Ripley's VP Tim O'Brien discussing tomorrow's TV interview promoting the new Ripley's book.

Oh, Canada!

Just arrived in Toronto, home of the RIM Blackberry, eh? Customs is full downstairs so we are waiting like cattle. Moo, eh?

Charlotte to Toronto

Sitting in one of those big white rockers at the Charlotte NC airport. Next stop - Toronto, 75 degrees. Practicing my Canuk: "Beauty, eh?"

Travel...Whew!

Car died yesterday. Rental places had NO cars this morning! Borrowed wife's truck & raced to Birmingham airport. Waiting 4 flight to Toronto

Death of a car...

Standing next to my car in the heat. After 140,000 miles, my Jeep just died on Hwy 31 in Decatur, AL

Google Knol

Google Knol is becoming popular and quite a phenomenon. Have you tried it yet? http://knol.google.com

Ah... Friday!

Emergency Chamber meeting with 35 folks got heated & lasted hr&half! Whew! Now having delicious lasagna dinner at Josephine's with friends.

Tues night

Another great episode of America's Got Talent! Time to go feed hungry kittens again! Mew!

Kittens

Came home tonight to 6 mewing kittens who have lost their mama. Feeding them all by bottle, but they will not get full or quiet! Mewww!

Euro Tour

Taking care of office work & working on details of the European tour for Oct. Anyone got any contacts to visit in Sweden, Germany or Italy?

Dreary Saturday

Just had a delicious Belgian waffle at Josephine's Restaurant. Spending a dreary afternoon catching up on reading and chores.
Just finished a fun evening of Horsin' Around with 20+ folks including several new folks! Hot & sweaty, but lots of happy riders!
Finishing office work, getting ready to help Lisa with Horsin' Around tonight. We're expecting some new folks. Will be sunny & hot, but fun!

Dan's Tips on Social Networking

Dan's Tips on Social Networking


Remember when we used to read full-length books like "Homer" or "War and Peace"? (Nope? Ok… neither do I!) Or how about more like "Huckleberry Finn", "Swiss Family Robinson", "Treasure Island", or even the "Hardy Boys" or "Nancy Drew" mysteries?

Remember when we used to wait with bated breath to read the daily newspaper from cover to cover or to peruse the glossy magazines like Life, Look, and National Geographics each month?

Remember when we used to write out handwritten letters in longhand, address an envelope, stick a stamp on it, and take it down to the corner mailbox to keep in touch with family, friends, or pen pals overseas?

That was a chapter written long ago in our lives. That chapter is now finished.

Time to turn another page…

In our fast-paced society today, many people don't have the time to sit down and read a full length book over a period of several days. Today people barely have time for the Reader’s Digest version or even a quick glance at Cliff Notes. Like many others today I barely have time to take in a full story in a 100 minute movie in a theater or on DVD, check the international, national and local news and weather online, grab the interesting headline stories on AOL, CNN, FOX, Yahoo, or whatever page I happen to be surfing at the moment, and shoot off a few quick e-mails and IMs.

They say a picture paints a thousand words. If that's the case, then social networking websites with their images, albums, music, videos, bulletins, blogs, microblogs, plurks and tweets literally speak volumes...

With our attention spans being constantly shortened to commercials that have dwindled from 1 minute down to :20, :10, or now even 2 second sound bytes, it is no surprise that our online viewing habits and networking have followed suit.

Enter social networking, blogs, and micro-blogs.

Social Networking


Of course, nearly everyone who is familiar with the Internet has heard of MySpace (http://www.myspace.com). Since its inception in 2003, MySpace has grown dramatically each month. Today there are over 100 million users in the MySpace database, with an average of 200,000 new users added every day. It is projected that by the end of 2008, MySpace will have over 300 million users worldwide.

With the ability to post blogs, bulletins, leave private messages, post public comments, listen to music and view pictures and videos, MySpace provides users with a free template-driven website, and practically jump-started the whole social networking trend. It is safe to say that MySpace has been by far the most popular social networking site on the Internet over the past few years.

But some surfers find the content on MySpace a bit frivolous, others find it tough to navigate, while even others find MySpace difficult to edit and customize. With MySpace attracting a higher number of adolescent kids and earning a reputation for being a more-or-less adolescent vanity site, the winds of change have been blowing on the fast-paced high-tech social networking scene.

Close on the heels of MySpace for social networking, Facebook (http://www.facebook.com) is one of the more popular networking sites on the Internet today with over 80 million users. With a cleaner interface and lots of third party add-on applications, groups, events, and lots of other ways of connecting with old and new friends, Facebook has become one of the most popular sites for networking on the Internet today.

Other popular free social networking sites on the Internet include Bebo (http://www.bebo.com), BrightKite (http://brightkite.com), Hi5 (http://hi5.com), Jaiku (http://jaiku.com), Mashable (http://mashable.com), Plurk, (http://plurk.com), Pownce (http://pownce.com), Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com), Xanga (http://www.xanga.com), and many more.

Professional Networking


If you're looking for more serious ways of networking professionally, try LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com) This is a no-frills network for professionals similar to an online address book, but with the added benefit that it allows you to view and reach other contacts in your LinkedIn contacts’ address books. Another similar site that began early on as an online address book and continues to function as a professional contact site is Plaxo (http://www.plaxo.com). Yet another emerging networking site professionals can consider is Perfect Networker (http://www.perfectnetworker.com).

And while we’re discussing professional networking, you might want to check out ZoomInfo (http://www.zoominfo.com), a site that compiles information about you from all over the Internet. It’s not a bad idea to check out your ZoomInfo profile to make sure that it is correct and update it with accurate information about you!

Christian Social Networking


For a Christian networking alternate to MySpace and Facebook, try ChristianSpace (http://www.christianspace.com), Xianz (http://www.xianz.com), and ZoeCity (http://zoecity.com), and my favorite, Faith Freaks (http://www.faithfreaks.com).

If you're interested in a Christian alternative to YouTube, try checking out the Christian videos on GodTube (http://www.GodTube.com)

(Note: If you're considering the "Christian" dating site BigChurch, please realize it is operated and maintained by Penthouse magazine!)

Blogs, blogs and micro-blogs


What used to be known as “journaling” our thoughts and activities in a daily journal is now known as “blogging” or “logging your thoughts on ‘web-logs’ ”, (conveniently shortened to “blogs”). If you like blogging (or just reading others’ blogs), check out Google's Blogger (http://www.blogger.com) or Blogspot (http://www.blogspot.com), LiveJournal (http://www.livejournal.com) or WordPress (http://www.wordpress.com). Still sound too time-consuming for you? Turn another page…

Micro-blogs


With the micro-blog emerging as one of the hottest and most popular trends on the Internet today, it’s no wonder that sites like Twitter have taken off (http://twitter.com). A cross between a full blog and the immediacy of an IM (Instant Message), Twitter's "Tweets" let all your "followers" know what you're doing immediately and in 140 characters of text or less. This is a great way for artists to reach their fans, for companies to communicate with their markets, and for friends and family to keep in touch on a constant basis throughout the day. Twitter is by far the most popular micro-blogging site, but Plurk (http://plurk.com) follows close behind.

Ring, Ring… Beep, Beep


If you really want to stay on top of everything right up to the second, you can even receive your Twitters as SMS (Short Message Service) text messages on your cell phone, or you can use a variety of Twitter clients on your phone such as TinyTwitter, Twitterific (for Mac iPhones), TwitterBerry (for Blackberries), Twibble, and a growing number of other Twitter client applications to avoid SMS charges.

You can also use Twitter on your phone's browser by navigating to Twitter (http://twitter.com), Twitter2Go (http://twitter2go.com), Slandr (http://m.slandr.net) and others.

Another great tip for networking on your cell phone: Try browsing on your phone for the WAP version of your favorite social networking sites designed specifically for mobile phones by replacing the "www" with the prefix "m" for mobile, such as m.myspace.com, m.facebook.com, m.linkedin.com, m.twitter.com, m.plurk.com, m.brightkite.com, m.slandr.net, etc.

And to search all the Twitter "tweets" being discussed, try Tweet Scan (http://www.tweetscan.com), Twellow (http://twellow.com), Summize (http://summize.com), or Twitter Search (http://search.twitter.com)

Amalgamate!


And if this all seems a bit daunting and time-consuming for you, my top tip of all is to create an account at Ping (http://ping.fm) where you can update ALL the top social networking sites - MySpace, Facebook, Linkedin, Blogspot, LiveJournal, Twitter, Plurk, Bebo, Mashable, Pownce, Tumblr, Xanga, and many others - by sending a quick micro-blog e-mail from the Ping website, your desktop or cell phone to update ALL your accounts AT ONCE! Talk about a time-saver! And Ping only takes a few moments to set up!

And if you really want to make sure you have ALL your bases covered and reach EVERYONE you have ever known in any chapter of your life, you can set up accounts with ALL of the above networking services! But if you start getting writer’s cramp, just realize that in the time it takes to get them all set up, you could have probably read "War and Peace" and written your own best-seller!

Time to curl up with a good blog…


Excerpts of this article published in “Christian Activities” magazine (http://www.christianactivities.com) and the book “How to Promote Your Book on a Shoestring Budget“ (http://www.promote-your-books.com)

--Dan Meyer is a Sword Swallower, corporate entertainer, inspirational/motivational speaker and author living in Hartselle, AL when he is not performing around the world, checking e-mail on his Blackberry, or maintaining social networking sites.

Dan can be reached at Cutting Edge Innertainment www.cuttingedgeinnertainment.com.

You can follow Dan on Twitter and to help grow YOUR social network, you can Add, Follow, Friend, and link to Dan at all of the following sites:



MySpace | MySpace | MySpace | MySpace | Facebook | LinkedIn | Bebo | BrightKite | Hi5 | Mashable | Naymz | Plaxo | Pownce | Tumblr | Xanga | ZoomInfo | BlogSpot | LiveJournal | Twitter | Plurk | Eventful | Flikr | Photostream | YouTube | MetaCafe | iFilm | GodTube | Xianz | ZoeCity | Faith Freaks |
ChristianSpace | ReachYourCity | Endorsed Ministry | Indie Community | Nashville Speakers Bureau | Fantastic Talent | Impact Artists | GigMasters | GigSalad | ReverbNation | FanReach | Yahoo Groups | Cutting Edge Innertainment | Cutting Edge Innertainment Store | Guinness World Records | AOL AIM | Google GTalk
Recuperating from a nasty "sword throat" injury. Bleeding has stopped and swelling subsided. Should be back to abnormal in a few days!
Enjoyed another interesting episode of America's Got Talent! Kudos to my friends Michael (vent), Sati (hand shadows), and Ronnie (dancer)
Heading home from a Toastmaster's meeting. Temp has dropped from 102 to a mild 98 degrees. Hmm... I think I hear the pool calling...
Just finished a great evening of Irish pennywhistle playing sitting in with Slip Jig at Finnegan's in Huntsville! Time for bed!
Just finished great interviews on WDJC and WXJC "Lee Davis Show" in Birmingham. Great responses from LOTS of folks in both studios! Fun!

WDJC

just arrived at WDJC-FM. Waiting to meet Cari & Justin. If you're in Birmingham, tune in 93.7 & see if I can get Cari to pulll out a sword!
Just finished a great interview with Ch2 TV Cullman. Grabbing lunch and gas before heading down to do Justin & Cari Show WDJC-FM Birmingham
Cleaning and polishing my swords for tomorrow's interviews at Ch 2 TV Cullman and WDJC-FM radio Birmingham.
Heading back from S GA with mare in the trailer. Almost to Birmingham but traffic is bumper to bumper! 2+ hours to go!
Performed all yesterday at Colonial American Village in Birmingham - HOT, humid, 2 downpours, great crowds, exhausting, but FUN! Happy 5th!

NBC Today Show this morning.

Beautiful day in NY. Just got a quick tour of the NBC makeup room for a little powder. Adam West (Batman) was getting made up next to me. Heading out to Rockefeller Center in a few minutes. Quite a lot of spectators out there to see Batman no doubt. I should be on in the next hour... he's on just after me. Now I have this theme song running through my head that won't quit... Da-da da-da da-da da-da... Batman!...



Dan on Today Show live, Tuesday, July 1, 2008







Dan on Today Show, Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rock Center

At NBC studios at Rockefeller Center in the City that never sleeps. Neat to see all the landmarks firsthand - Rockefeller Center, NBC Studios, Radio City Music Hall... They even offer tours. Can't wait for tomorrow when I'll get my own private tour of the backstage operations. Unfortunately, in the "City that never sleeps", I need to catch some shuteye tonight! Grabbing a salad to settle my stomach and heading back to the hotel for some R&R!
Made it to my hotel without a problem - first time in a long time my flights and luggage worked like they were supposed to! A little carsick from the limo ride. Note to self: Don't try to Blackberry in the backseat of a limo in downtown NYC!

I'm in a really NICE penthouse apt on the 46th floor overlooking the Big Apple - Sweet! I love my work!

Gonna go scope out NYC & walk over to NBC so I know where I'm going tomorrow. Might take the GPSr and try to do a little geocaching while I'm out on the town, and then grab a bite to eat.

Heading to the Big Apple

Today's my wife's birthday, and I'm sitting at the Huntsville airport waiting to catch my flights to NYC and hoping no problems this time! So far so good!

Hoping to meet up with a fellow sword swallower or two in NY tonight, then make an early appearance on the Today Show at Rockefeller Plaza tomorrow morning. Am scheduled to go on live around 8:30am CST, 9:30 EST. Then hoping my return flights get me home as scheduled tomorrow evening! - Going to have friends over tomorrow night to watch America's Got Talent on NBC at 8pm Central. Should be an interesting day!

Let me know if you see or tape either one - dansgottalent@gmail.com

Watch Dan LIVE on Today Show Tues morning!

Flying to NYC Mon. Watch for me on the Today Show LIVE Tues morning 8am cst/9est, & Tues night NBC 8pm cst/9 est! I'm so grateful for all your support! Thanks!

Watched America's Got Talent

Wow! Just watched another VERY entertaining episode of America's Got Talent! Can't wait to see NEXT week's episode! :)

Fox News Update

Had a great time at the interview on Fox News Birmingham WBRC TV yesterday. I think Eiki the Macaw was even more of a hit!

You can see one of the segments here:

http://www.myfoxal.com/myfox/pages/InsideFox/Detail?contentId=6634445&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=5.7.1

Science on the Cutting Edge

Science on the Cutting Edge
Swallowing the Science of the Sword
by Tim Anderson, Medical Migrant

The medical community is abuzz - there’s been a breakthrough.

You flip on the TV. Sure, you’ve seen them before, but there’s something about press conferences you find irresistible. The throng of eager reporters, the normally reclusive scientists clad in impeccably pressed, pure white lab coats, exhibiting an air of exuberance befitting their first public sighting in five years. You’re not sure what’s up, but you can tell it’s going to be big.
Pan left.

An intruder. A middle-aged man sporting a growth of whiskers smiles mischievously. He steps into the light, tosses back a cape, revealing a red and navy pirate outfit. Though flashy, the swashbuckler’s colorful costume stands out in stark contrast to the sterile scientific environment of black and white. He draws a 3-foot sword from his scabbard, tilts back his head, and plunges the length of the sword down his throat.

The scientists erupt in wild applause.

Science and swords may seem an odd pair. But, without the contribution of sword swallowers, we may not have some of today’s most critical diagnostic tools. Sword swallowers rigorously train themselves to ignore the body’s natural gag reflex, making them the perfect test subjects.

February 28, 2008 is International Sword Swallower’s Awareness Day. In their honor, and to gain insight into their medical contributions, let’s take a closer look at the development of the endoscope.

Today’s flexible endoscopes are widely used by physicians to visually inspect various internal aspects of the body, including the esophagus, the nasal passage, the colon (yikes!), and the respiratory tract. Man’s interest in getting a look inside the human body dates back centuries, and a prototype of an endoscope was discovered in the ruins of Pompeii.

But it was not until 1868 that a physician first peered through an endoscope directly into a human stomach. Eureka! Dr. Adolph Kussmaul, a renowned German physician, developed several innovative diagnostic procedures. But, when it came to fashioning a functioning endoscope, the challenge seemed beyond his reach.

He’d read of the development, by Antoine Jean Desormeaux in France, of a small tube to examine the urinary tract and bladder. He began work on a similar design for studying the stomach, but his progress soon faltered. Then, the hand of fate swept in. His assistant, while enjoying a pint at a local inn after a hard day’s work, was captivated by the evening’s performer – a sword swallower.

He gulped down his pint and raced back to tell Dr. Kussmaul what he’d witnessed.

Kussmaul quickly set about designing a prototype based on the sword swallower’s act. He meticulously sketched out the specifications - a rigid 18-inch stainless steel tube, one-half inch in diameter. He’d illuminate it with an external alcohol-turpentine lamp, like Desormeaux. He took the drawings to an instrument maker, a skilled craftsman, and the resulting endoscope was perfect.

Kussmaul’s device was revolutionary. Interest in peering into the very core of the human body spread quickly, and he was asked to demonstrate the endoscope in Freiburg at a meeting of the Society of Naturalists. But, how could he possibly do so? Where would he find someone capable of serving as a test subject? Yes, of course – he would take the sword swallower along.

This rudimentary beginning laid the foundation for the modern, flexible endoscope. Dr. Kussmaul and his sword-swallowing associate toured extensively, giving demonstrations at leading hospitals, and soon even Desormeaux was using an endoscope to examine esophageal disorders.

Men of steel. In 1894, sword swallower Chevalier Cliquot swallowed 14 swords at one time, stunning the physicians at New York’s Metropolitan Throat Hospital so much, that one doctor impulsively rushed in and removed the swords at once, causing lacerations that left the performer incapacited for months. In the 1930s Delno Fritz made the ultimate sacrifice for science. He died of complications from testing a bronchialscope. During the testing a screw came loose and lodged in his lung, resulting in pneumonia and his untimely demise.

Today there are less than a few dozen surviving sword swallowers left actively performing worldwide. Gone are the days of the traveling sideshows where they plied their dangerous craft. Gone are the acts of daring that tantalize all, traumatize the young, and terrify the fainthearted. Gone are the magical days of covering one’s face, not daring to look, but being unable to turn away.

Or, are they?

February 28, 2008 is International Sword Swallower’s Awareness Day. Dan Meyer, Executive Director of the Sword Swallower's Association International (SSAI), said the day is being held in conjunction with February’s National Swallowing Awareness Month.

“We sword swallowers have been risking our lives to perform the ancient art of sword swallowing for over 4000 years, but many people don't believe it’s real, or they think that the art has died out," Meyer explained. "We have chosen this day to honor veteran sword swallowers, to raise awareness of the medical contributions that sword swallowers have made to the fields of medicine and science, and to correct misconceptions about the art by performing for medical facilities and the media around the world on this day. "

Meyer and his co-author Dr. Brian Witcombe are the recipients of the 2007 Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine. The Ig Nobel Prizes are presented each year at Harvard for discoveries that, “first make people laugh, and then make them think.” They won the award for their article, “Sword Swallowing and its side effects,” published in the British Medical Journal in 2006. The pair will participate in the 2008 British Ig Nobel Tour in March speaking and putting on demonstrations at medical and scientific events normally known to be quite scholarly, even dry or stuffy.

But at these events, though you might not see a flashy swashbuckler’s outfit, if you listen, you may hear the “schwing” of a sword being pulled from its scabbard… And if you look closely enough, you might recognize the mischievous smile with protruding hilt among the white labcoats…Science and swords… perhaps they are not such an odd pair after all…

To learn more about the art and science of sword swallowing, or to inquire about a demonstration on the 28th, visit the Sword Swallower's Association International website at
http://www.swordswallow.org.

Happy Sword Swallower's Day!

Happy Sword Swallower's Day!

The Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI) has proclaimed February 28th annual "International Sword Swallower's Awareness Day" in conjunction with February as "National Swallowing Disorders Awareness Month".

If you've had an endoscope, fluoroscopy, or electrocardiogram, you can THANK A SWORD SWALLOWER, as sword swallowers were used by doctors to develop these tools.

If you ARE a sword swallower...

Heads back, hilts up... SWALLOW!

For more information:

Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI)

http://www.swordswallow.org

International Sword Swallowers Awareness Day

http://www.swordswallow.org/ssad.php

Sword Swallowers Association News

http://www.swordswallow.org/news.php

President Proclaims “Sword Swallower’s Day”

Sword Swallowers celebrate worldwide by swallowing together!

HARTSELLE, AL -- On Thursday, February 28, 2008, Sword Swallowers around the world will celebrate "International Sword Swallower's Awareness Day" by doing what they do best - Swallowing swords!

Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI) President Dan Meyer proclaimed February 28th, 2008 as "International Sword Swallower's Day" to raise awareness of sword swallowers around the world.

Sponsored by SSAI, “International Sword Swallower’s Awareness Day” has been set for February 28th in conjunction with February as “National Swallowing Disorders Month” to highlight the contributions sword swallowers have made over the years in the fields of medicine and science, to honor veteran sword swallowers, and to preserve and promote the ancient art form that is still being carried on by a few dozen surviving practitioners of the art.

This year, mayors, governors, and other governing bodies around the world are requested to issue proclamations declaring February 28, 2008 as "International Sword Swallower's Awareness Day", with SSAI encouraging sword swallowers around the world to participate in activities and demonstrations by swallowing swords for medical facilities and the media throughout the day.

“We sword swallowers have been risking our lives to perform the ancient art of sword swallowing for over 4000 years, but many people don't believe sword swallowing is real, or they think that the art has died out," Meyer explained. "We are using this day to honor veteran sword swallowers for their contributions to the art, to raise awareness of the medical contributions that sword swallowers have made in the fields of medicine and science, and to correct myths and misconceptions about the art by performing for medical facilities and the media on this day all around the world.”


Since some sword swallowers perform charitable work for the medical community as a way of raising awareness for esophageal cancer, dysphagia, GERD, and other upper gastro-intestinal and swallowing disorders, the Sword Swallowers Association International adopted “Sword Swallower's Awareness Day” as a way of promoting the ancient art of sword swallowing by performing medical demonstrations at hospitals, medical centers, orphanages, and nursing homes for those who would have difficulty getting to theaters to see live performances.


“The sword swallowers who participate in these activities find them rewarding experiences,” explains Meyer. “On February 28th, many people will have the rare opportunity to see sword swallowing firsthand who would otherwise not have a chance to witness it."

The roots of sword swallowing date back over 4000 years, but the contributions sword swallowers have made to medical science have gone largely unrecognized over the past 140 years. In 1868, a sword swallower was enlisted by Dr. Adolf Kussmaul in Freiburg Germany to undergo the first rigid endoscopy, and in 1906 a sword swallower was used for the first esophageal electrocardiogram in Wales. Other sword swallowers have been prodded and examined by doctors and medical colleges over the years but without formal recognition.

A hundred years later in 2006, the British Medical Journal published the first international medical study "Sword Swallowing and its side effects" co-authored by Meyer and Dr. Brian Witcombe based on a year-long study of sword swallowers around the world. The article won its authors the 2007 Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine at Harvard University. The authors will appear on the 2008 UK Ig Nobel Tour in March at Oxford University, Imperial College, the BBC, and other venues in the UK in conjunction with National Science and Engineering Week, sponsored by the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

“Many of us have been sword swallowing for years, and we love what we do,” explains Meyer, a Ripley’s and multiple Guinness World Record holder. “Sword Swallowers Day is a great opportunity for us to show the medical community and the rest of the world what we do!”

Sword swallowers will be performing around the world on February 28th, with some setting individual and small group records. Immediately after International Sword Swallower's Awareness Day, sword swallowers will be asked to submit a report of their activities to the Sword Swallowers Association for review and consideration for a group record. "Usually most of us perform individually," Meyer says. "International Sword Swallower's Day gives us a chance to all work together to be part of something much bigger."

The art of sword swallowing began over 4000 years ago in India, and requires the practitioner to use mind-over-matter techniques to control the body and repress natural reflexes in order to insert solid steel blades from 15 to 25 inches down the esophagus and into the stomach. With the demise of the traveling circus sideshow over the past several decades, there are currently less than a few dozen full-time professional sword swallowers actively performing the ancient but deadly art of sword swallowing around the world today.

The
Sword Swallowers Association International was founded in 2001 to preserve the ancient art of sword swallowing, and is comprised of sword swallowers from around the world, with a sister site with general information on sword swallowing for the common public at www.swordswallow.com. Contact us for additional information on “International Sword Swallowers Day” or to schedule a local sword swallower for medical demonstrations, interviews, and other events in your area for Sword Swallowers Day on February 28, 2008, or the Ig Nobel Tour of the UK March 6-15, 2008.

# # # END # # #
Media Contact:
Dan Meyer
President and Executive Director
Sword Swallowers Association Int'l
Dan@swordswallow.com
+1 (615) 969.2568 (GMT -6:00 Central Time)
www.swordswallow.org (SSAI)
www.swordswallow.com (General Info)
www.swordswallow.com/ssad.php (Sword Swallowers Day)

Sermon inspires Sword Swallower to use his talent to reach people

Huntsville Times Religion Section
Friday, January 11, 2008
By KAY CAMPBELL Huntsville Times Faith & Values Editor


Did you hear the one about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the preacher and the sword swallower?

No joke would be more unbelievable than the truth: A re-telling of the story of Rudolph inspired a sword swallower to unsheath his unusual ability for God's cause.

A few Christmases ago, Dan Meyer, 50, a blond guy with the buoyant energy of an oversized puppy, sat in church while the preacher in his Hartselle church encouraged people to see Rudolph's story as a parable. The reindeer with the nose he was ashamed of finally realized that his odd feature was his gift and his witness.

"You have to use what makes you unique," his pastor preacher said.

At that moment, Dan Meyer said, he knew he was going to quit his day job as a car salesman to be a full-time sword swallower - and develop a ministry with a memorable point to it.


"Believe it or not, this is my calling," Meyer said, pulling a 30-inch steel sword out of the leather scabbard for a recent demonstration. "I can reach the goth kids, the bikers - I can catch their attention, and I can turn their attention to the Lord."

Meyer puts the tip of the sword into his mouth, tilts his head back, flings his arms wide, and lets the inch-thick blade slide down his throat. Then he bows from the waist, his eyes twinkling above the hilt projecting from his mouth like the last bits of a frog disappearing into a python's jaws.

Goth or not, nobody could turn attention from that spectacle.

Meyer stands and flicks the sword from his mouth with his fingertips, so that it shoots into the air above his head. He catches it with a flourish - he's also a juggler and fire-eater. And he can stick an ice pick into his nose all the way up to really, really disgusting.

"Does it gross you out?" he asks, grinning. "Good - it's supposed to. Not only do I like to comfort the afflicted, but I also like to afflict the comfortable. Of course, I get negative reactions from the adults on that one. But the kids love it!"

His message, he said, is to remind kids how fearfully and wonderfully they are made. That the hobbies other kids might think are weird or gross could become their way to witness for God in the world.

And that they should never, ever try sword swallowing at home.

"I put my life on the line to do this," he said. "But I tell them there is a way they can become a spiritual sword swallower. In Hebrews 4:12, it says, "The Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, able to pierce the division of the soul and spirit ... able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

Then, in the show he takes to church youth groups, camps and Upward awards banquets, he pulls out the sword he calls his Pride. It's the first sword he managed to allow into his gullet after a couple years of practice and lots of gagging.

Swallowing their pride and learning to be humble, Meyer tells the kids, is even tougher than swallowing a sword.

Though swallowing a sword is no piece of cake.

Meyer was inspired by the sword swallowers he saw in his early 20s when he was a Lutheran missionary in India. About 10 years ago, he determined to learn to swallow swords when a veteran performer told him there were only about a dozen left in the entire world.

It took Meyer a couple years of daily practice to overcome the natural revulsion of the throat. He learned to slide the blade behind his voice box, to nudge his heart aside where it presses on the esophagus, to insert the steel blade all the way to the sphincter guarding the stomach, and into the stomach itself.

His posture must be perfect, he says. His body totally relaxed.

"If you look closely, you can see the blade beats with my heart," Meyer said. "I'm a living sheath - I put the Word of God in my body every day."

After practicing daily for about three years to hone his act - at night he brushes his teeth and swallows a sword before he goes to bed - Meyer took his show on the road.

He organized the Sword Swallowers Association International and organized the group gulps that got him into the Guinness Book of World Records - twice. Also a musician, he's toured with the Brooks and Dunn's Neon Circus act that opened for country artists Brooks and Dunn.

In May, soon after he quit the car dealership, he swallowed a sword in the shark tank for Ripley's Believe It or Not in Myrtle Beach, S.C. In October, the article he co-wrote with British physician Brian Whitcombe, "Sword Swallowing and its Side Effects," published last year in the British Medical Journal, was awarded the 2007 Ig Nobel Prize in medicine at Harvard.

Meyer knows personally about the side effects of introducing inflexible steel into the throat. A trick he did a few years ago, when he was swallowing five swords at once, ended when his belly retched. The resulting cut put him in bed for months.

In the Middle Ages, it wasn't the danger of sword swallowing, but its unbelievable nature that got sword swallowers persecuted by the church during a crackdown on devilish pursuits. "It's ironic that sword swallowers who risked their lives to swallow swords were put to death because of it!" Meyer said. Church officials were sure anyone who could take steel into their bodies and live to tell about it must be in league with the powers of darkness.

That accusation was not unlike what Jesus himself faced, Meyer said.

"A lot of people thought he was just a magician, a charlatan, but he was real," Meyer said. "And people were so impacted by what they saw 2,000 years later we're still talking about it.

"If you want to impact people's lives, you have to be real."

Sword of Truth

Dan Meyer will bring his, um, penetrating witness to Friendship United Methodist
Church on Lucas Ferry Road in Athens Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m.

His web sites include clips of his performances:
www.swordswallow.com, www.cuttingedgeinnertainment.com.

Dan can be reached at dan@swordswallow.com and 256-341-8969.

Dan's Mailing List and Show Schedule



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