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Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

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Niagara Falls
3Falls Niagara.jpg
Location Border of Ontario, Canada & New York, U.S.A.
Coordinates 43.080°N 79.071°WCoordinates: 43.080°N 79.071°W
Type Cataract
Total height 167 ft (51 m)
Number of drops 3
Watercourse Niagara River
Average
flow rate
64,750 cu ft/s (1,834 m3/s)

Niagara Falls (/nˈæɡrə/ ny-AG-ra, Cayuga: Gahnawehtaˀ or Tgahnawęhtaˀ[1]) is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York. They form the southern end of the Niagara Gorge.

From largest to smallest, the three waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. The Horseshoe Falls lie on the Canadian side and the American Falls on the American side, separated by Goat Island. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also located on the American side, separated from the other waterfalls by Luna Island. The international boundary line was originally drawn through Horseshoe Falls in 1819, but the boundary has long been in dispute due to natural erosion and construction.[2]

Located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m). Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by vertical height and also by flow rate.[3] The falls are located 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York and 75 miles (121 km) south-southeast of Toronto, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York.

Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than six million cubic feet (168,000 m3) of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow,[4] and almost four million cubic feet (110,000 m3) on average.

The Niagara Falls are renowned both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Managing the balance between recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 19th century.

Characteristics

Niagara Falls, New York
American Falls (large waterfall on the left) and Bridal Veil Falls (smaller waterfall on the right)
Canadian Horseshoe falls as viewed from Skylon Tower.

The Horseshoe Falls drop about 173 feet (53 m), while the height of the American Falls varies between 70–100 feet (21–30 m) because of the presence of giant boulders at its base. The larger Horseshoe Falls are about 2,600 feet (790 m) wide, while the American Falls are 1,060 feet (320 m) wide. The distance between the American extremity of the Niagara Falls and the Canadian extremity is 3,409 feet (1,039 m).

The volume of water approaching the falls during peak flow season may sometimes be as much as 202,000 cubic feet (5,700 m3) per second.[5] Since the flow is a direct function of the Lake Erie water elevation, it typically peaks in late spring or early summer. During the summer months, 100,000 cubic feet (2,800 m3) per second of water actually traverses the falls, some 90% of which goes over the Horseshoe Falls, while the balance is diverted to hydroelectric facilities. This is accomplished by employing a weir with movable gates upstream from the Horseshoe Falls. The falls flow is further halved at night, and during the low tourist season in the winter, remains a flat 50,000 cubic feet (1,400 m3) per second. Water diversion is regulated by the 1950 Niagara Treaty and is administered by the International Niagara Board of Control (IJC).[6]

The verdant green colour of the water flowing over the Niagara Falls is a byproduct of the estimated 60 tonnes/minute of dissolved salts and "rock flour" (very finely ground rock) generated by the erosive force of the Niagara River itself. The current rate of erosion is approximately 1 foot (0.30 m) per year down from a historical average of 3 feet (0.91 m) per year. However, it is estimated that 50,000 years from now, even at this reduced rate of erosion, the remaining 20 miles (32 km) to Lake Erie will have been undermined and the falls will cease to exist.[7]

Geology

The features that became Niagara Falls were created by the Wisconsin glaciation about 10,000 years ago. The same forces also created the North American Great Lakes and the Niagara River. All were dug by a continental ice sheet that drove through the area, deepening some river channels to form lakes, and damming others with debris.[8] Scientists argue that there is an old valley, buried by glacial drift, at the approximate location of the present Welland Canal.

Aerial view of Niagara Falls, showing parts of Canada (left) and the United States (upper right).

When the ice melted, the upper Great Lakes emptied into the Niagara river, which followed the rearranged topography across the Niagara Escarpment. In time, the river cut a gorge through the north facing cliff, or cuesta. Because of the interactions of three major rock formations, the rocky bed did not erode evenly. The top rock formation was composed of erosion-resistant limestone and Lockport dolostone. That hard layer of stone eroded more slowly than the underlying materials. The aerial photo on the right clearly shows the hard caprock, the Lockport Formation (Middle Silurian), which underlies the rapids above the falls, and approximately the upper third of the high gorge wall.

Immediately below the hard-rock formation, comprising about two thirds of the cliff, lay the weaker, softer, sloping Rochester Formation (Lower Silurian). This formation was composed mainly of shale, though it has some thin limestone layers. It also contains ancient fossils. In time, the river eroded the soft layer that supported the hard layers, undercutting the hard caprock, which gave way in great chunks. This process repeated countless times, eventually carving out the falls.

Submerged in the river in the lower valley, hidden from view, is the Queenston Formation (Upper Ordovician), which is composed of shales and fine sandstones. All three formations were laid down in an ancient sea, their differences of character deriving from changing conditions within that sea.

About 10,900 years ago, the Niagara Falls was located between present-day Queenston, Ontario, and Lewiston, New York, but erosion of their crest has caused the waterfalls to retreat approximately 6.8 miles (10.9 km) southward.[9] The Horseshoe Falls, which are approximately 2,600 feet (790 m) wide, have also changed their shape through the process of erosion; evolving from a small arch, to a horseshoe bend, to the present day gigantic inverted V.[10] Just upstream from the falls' current location, Goat Island splits the course of the Niagara River, resulting in the separation of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls to the west from the American and Bridal Veil Falls to the east. Engineering has slowed erosion and recession.[11]

History

1837 woodcut of Falls, from États Unis d'Amérique by Roux de Rochelle.

There are differing theories as to the origin of the name of the falls. According to Iroquoian scholar Bruce Trigger, "Niagara" is derived from the name given to a branch of the locally residing native Neutral Confederacy, who are described as being called the "Niagagarega" people on several late 17th century French maps of the area.[12] According to George R. Stewart, it comes from the name of an Iroquois town called "Ongniaahra", meaning "point of land cut in two".[13] Henry Schoolcraft reported:

"Niagara Falls. This name is Mohawk. It means, according to Mrs. Kerr, the neck; the term being first applied to the portage or neck of land, between lakes Erie and Ontario. By referring to Mr. Elliott's vocabulary, (chapter xi) it will be seen that the human neck, that is, according to the concrete vocabulary, his neck, is onyara. Red Jacket pronounced the word Niagara to me, in the spring of 1820, as if written O-ne-au-ga-rah."[14]

A number of figures have been suggested as first circulating an eyewitness description of Niagara Falls. The Frenchman Samuel de Champlain visited the area as early as 1604 during his exploration of Canada, and members of his party reported to him the spectacular waterfalls, which he described in his journals. The Finnish-Swedish naturalist Pehr Kalm explored the area in the early 18th century and is credited with the first scientific description of the falls. The consensus honoree for the first description is the Belgian missionary Louis Hennepin, who observed and described the falls in 1677, earlier than Kalm, after traveling with the explorer René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, thus bringing the falls to the attention of Europeans. Further complicating matters, there is credible evidence that the French Jesuit Reverend Paul Ragueneau visited the falls some 35 years before Hennepin's visit, while working among the Huron First Nation in Canada. Jean de Brébeuf also may have visited the falls, while spending time with the Neutral Nation.[15]

Man and woman on Canadian side of Niagara Falls, circa 1858
View of the falls, 1913.

During the 18th century, tourism became popular, and by mid-century, it was the area's main industry. Napoleon Bonaparte's brother Jérôme visited with his bride in the early 19th century.[16] In 1837 during the Caroline affair a rebel supply ship, the Caroline, was burned and sent over the falls. In March 1848, ice blockage caused the falls to stop; no water (or at best a trickle) fell for as much as 40 hours. Waterwheels stopped, mills and factories simply shut down for having no power.[17] Later that year demand for passage over the Niagara River led to the building of a footbridge and then Charles Ellet's Niagara Suspension Bridge. This was supplanted by German-born John Augustus Roebling's Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge in 1855. After the American Civil War, the New York Central railroad publicized Niagara Falls as a focus of pleasure and honeymoon visits. With increased railroad traffic, in 1886, Leffert Buck replaced Roebling's wood and stone bridge with the predominantly steel bridge that still carries trains over the Niagara River today. The first steel archway bridge near the falls was completed in 1897. Known today as the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, it carries vehicles, trains, and pedestrians between Canada (through Canadian Customs Border Control) and the U.S.A. just below the falls. In 1912 much of the water coming over the American Falls froze, though there was still a trickle and the falls ran at the other two sites.

In 1941 the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission completed the third current crossing in the immediate area of Niagara Falls with the Rainbow Bridge, carrying both pedestrian and vehicular traffic between the two countries and Canadian and U.S. customs for each country.

After the First World War, tourism boomed again as automobiles made getting to the falls much easier. The story of Niagara Falls in the 20th century is largely that of efforts to harness the energy of the falls for hydroelectric power, and to control the development on both sides that threaten the area's natural beauty.

A team from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dammed the falls in June 1969 in order to clear rock from the base of the falls. Rockslides had caused a significant buildup of rock at the bottom of the American side of the falls, and the engineers were to clean up the rock and repair some faults to prevent eventual erosion of the American side of the waterfall. A temporary dam was constructed to divert the flow of water to the Canadian side; the dam measured 600 feet (180 m) across and was made of nearly 30,000 tons of rock. The engineers cleared the rock debris and tested for safety, finishing the project in November of that year. Water flow was restored on November 25, 1969.[18]

Before the late 20th century the northeastern end of the Horseshoe Falls was in the United States, flowing around the Terrapin Rocks, which was once connected to Goat Island by a series of bridges. In 1955 the area between the rocks and Goat Island was filled in, creating Terrapin Point.[19] In the early 1980s the United States Army Corps of Engineers filled in more land and built diversion dams and retaining walls to force the water away from Terrapin Point. Altogether 400 feet (120 m) of the Horseshoe Falls was eliminated, including 100 feet (30 m) on the Canadian side. According to author Ginger Strand, the Horseshoe Falls is now entirely in Canada.[20] Other sources say "most of" Horseshoe Falls is in Canada.[21]

Impact on industry and commerce

Power

Hydroelectric power dam at the Robert Moses Generating facility, Lewiston, New York.

The enormous energy of Niagara Falls has long been recognized as a potential source of power. The first known effort to harness the waters was in 1759, when Daniel Joncaire built a small canal above the falls to power his sawmill. Augustus and Peter Porter purchased this area and all of American Falls in 1805 from the New York state government, and enlarged the original canal to provide hydraulic power for their gristmill and tannery. In 1853, the Niagara Falls Hydraulic Power and Mining Company was chartered, which eventually constructed the canals that would be used to generate electricity. In 1881, under the leadership of Jacob Schoellkopf, Niagara River's first hydroelectric generating station was built. The water fell 86 feet (26 m) and generated direct current electricity, which ran the machinery of local mills and lit up some of the village streets.

The Niagara Falls Power Company, a descendant of Schoellkopf's firm, formed the Cataract Company headed by Edward Dean Adams,[22] with the intent of expanding Niagara Falls power capacity. In 1890, a five-member International Niagara Commission headed by Sir William Thomson among other distinguished scientists deliberated on the expansion of Niagara hydroelectric capacity based on seventeen proposals, but could not select any as the best combined project for hydraulic development and distribution. In 1893, Westinghouse Electric (who had built the smaller scale Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant near Ophir, Colorado two years earlier) was hired to design a system to generate alternating current on Niagara Falls, and three years after that this large scale AC power system was created (activated on August 26, 1895).[23] The Adams Power Plant Transformer House remains as a landmark of the original system.

By 1896, with financing from moguls like J.P. Morgan, John Jacob Astor IV, and the Vanderbilts, they had constructed giant underground conduits leading to turbines generating upwards of 100,000 horsepower (75 MW), and were sending power as far as Buffalo, 20 miles (32 km) away. Some of the original designs for the power transmission plants were created by the Swiss firm Faesch & Piccard, which also constructed the original 5,000 HP waterwheels.

Private companies on the Canadian side also began to harness the energy of the falls. The Government of the province of Ontario, Canada eventually brought power transmission operations under public control in 1906, distributing Niagara's energy to various parts of the Canadian province.

Other hydropower plants were also being built along the Niagara River. But in 1956, disaster struck when the region's largest hydropower station was partially destroyed in a landslide. The landslide drastically reduced power production and tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs were at stake. In 1957, Congress passed the Niagara Redevelopment Act, which granted the New York Power Authority the right to fully develop the United States' share of the Niagara River's hydroelectric potential.[24]

In 1961, when the Niagara Falls hydroelectric project first went on line, it was the largest hydropower facility in the Western world. Today, Niagara is still the largest electricity producer in New York State, with a generating capacity of 2.4 gigawatts (million kilowatts). Up to 375,000 U.S. gallons (1,420 m3) of water a second is diverted from the Niagara River through conduits under the City of Niagara Falls to the Lewiston and Robert Moses power plants. Currently between 50% and 75% of the Niagara River's flow is diverted via four huge tunnels that arise far upstream from the waterfalls. The water then passes through hydroelectric turbines that supply power to nearby areas of Canada and the United States before returning to the river well past the falls.[25] This water spins turbines that power generators, converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. When electricity demand is low, the Lewiston units can operate as pumps to transport water from the lower bay back up to the plant's reservoir, allowing this water to be used again during the daytime when electricity use peaks. During peak electrical demand, the same Lewiston pumps are reversed and actually become generators, similar to those at the Moses plant.[24]

To preserve Niagara Falls' natural beauty, a 1950 treaty signed by the U.S. and Canada limited water usage by the power plants. The treaty allows higher summertime diversion at night when tourists are fewer and during the winter months when there are even fewer tourists.[26] This treaty, designed to ensure an "unbroken curtain of water" is flowing over the falls, states that during daylight time during the tourist season (April 1 to October 31) there must be 100,000 cubic feet per second (2,800 m3/s) of water flowing over the falls, and during the night and off-tourist season there must be 50,000 cubic feet per second (1,400 m3/s) of water flowing over the falls. This Treaty is monitored by the International Niagara Control Board. During winter the Power Authority of New York works with Ontario Power Generation, to prevent ice on the Niagara River from interfering with power production or causing flooding of shoreline property. One of their joint efforts is an 8,800-foot (2,700 m) long ice boom, which prevents the buildup of ice, yet allows water to continue flowing downstream.[24]

The most powerful hydroelectric stations on the Niagara River are the Sir Adam Beck 1 and 2 on the Canadian side and the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant and the Lewiston Pump Generating Plant on the American side. Together, Niagara's generating stations can produce about 4.4 gigawatts of power.

In August 2005 Ontario Power Generation, which is responsible for the Sir Adam Beck stations, started a major civil engineering project, called the Niagara Tunnel Project, to increase power production by building a new 12.7 metres (42 ft) diameter, 10.2 kilometres (6.3 mi) long water diversion tunnel. It was officially placed into service in March 2013, helping to increase the generating complex's nameplate capacity by 150 megawatts. It did so by tapping water from farther up the Niagara river than was possible with the preexisting arrangement. The tunnel provided new hydroelectricity for approximately 160,000 homes.[27][28]

Transport

Rainbow Bridge

Ships can bypass Niagara Falls by means of the Welland Canal, which was improved and incorporated into the Saint Lawrence Seaway in the mid-1950s. While the seaway diverted water traffic from nearby Buffalo and led to the demise of its steel and grain mills, other industries in the Niagara River valley flourished with the help of the electric power produced by the river. However, since the 1970s the region has declined economically.

The cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada and Niagara Falls, New York, U.S.A. are connected by two international bridges. The Rainbow Bridge, just downriver from the falls, affords the closest view of the falls and is open to non-commercial vehicle traffic and pedestrians. The Whirlpool Rapids Bridge lies one mile (1.6 km) north of the Rainbow Bridge and is the oldest bridge over the Niagara River. Nearby Niagara Falls International Airport and Buffalo Niagara International Airport were named after the waterfall, as were Niagara University, countless local businesses, and even an asteroid.[29]

Preservation efforts

Niagara Falls has long been a source of inspiration for explorers, travelers, artists, authors, filmmakers, residents and visitors, few of whom realize that the falls were nearly to be solely devoted to industrial and commercial use. In the 1870s, sightseers had limited access to Niagara Falls and often had to pay merely for a glimpse, and industrialization threatened to carve up Goat Island in an effort to further expand commercial development. Other industrial encroachments and lack of public access led to a conservation movement in the U.S. known as Free Niagara, led by such notables as Hudson River school artist Frederic Edwin Church, landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted, and architect Henry Hobson Richardson. Mr Church approached Lord Dufferin, governor-general of Canada, with a proposal for international discussions on the establishment of a public park.

Niagara Fälle. Les chûtes du Niagara. Niagara Falls (circa 1832): aquatint by Karl Bodmer from the book "Maximilian, Prince of Wied’s Travels in the Interior of North America, during the years 1832–1834"
Albert Bierstadt's (1830–1902) oil painting of Niagara Falls

Goat Island was one of the inspirations for the American side of the effort. William Dorsheimer, moved by the scene from the island, brought Olmsted to Buffalo in 1868 to design a city park system and helped promote Olmstead's career. Later, in 1879, the New York state legislature commissioned Olmsted and James T. Gardner to survey the falls and to create the single most important document in the Niagara preservation movement, a Special Report on the preservation of Niagara Falls. The report advocated for State purchase, restoration and preservation through public ownership of the scenic lands surrounding Niagara Falls. Restoring the former beauty of the falls was described in the report as a "sacred obligation to mankind."[30] In 1883, Governor Grover Cleveland drafted legislation authorizing acquisition of lands for a state reservation at Niagara and The Niagara Falls Association, a private citizens group founded in 1882, mounted a great letter writing campaign and petition drive in support of the park. Professor Charles Eliot Norton and Olmsted were among the leaders of the public campaign, while New York Governor Alonzo Cornell opposed.

Preservationists' efforts were rewarded on April 30, 1885, when Governor David B. Hill signed legislation creating the Niagara Reservation, New York's first state park. New York State began to purchase land from developers, under the charter of the Niagara Reservation State Park. In the same year, the province of Ontario established the Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park for the same purpose. On the Canadian side, the Niagara Parks Commission governs land usage along the entire course of the Niagara River, from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.

In 1887, Olmsted and Calvert Vaux issued a supplemental report detailing plans to restore the falls. Their intent was "to restore and conserve the natural surroundings of the Falls of Niagara, rather than to attempt to add anything thereto", and the report anticipated fundamental questions. How would preservationists provide access without destroying the beauty of the falls? How would they restore natural landscapes damaged by man? They planned a park with scenic roadways, paths and a few shelters designed to protect the landscape while allowing large numbers of visitors to enjoy the falls.[31] Commemorative statues, shops, restaurants, and a 1959 glass and metal observation tower were added later. Preservationists continue to strive to strike a balance between Olmsted's idyllic vision, and the realities of administering a popular scenic attraction.[32]

Preservation efforts continued well into the 20th century. J. Horace McFarland, the Sierra Club, and the Appalachian Mountain Club persuaded the United States Congress in 1906 to enact legislation to preserve the falls by regulating the waters of Niagara River.[33] The act sought, in cooperation with the Canadian government, to restrict diversion of water, and a treaty resulted in 1909 that limited the total amount of water diverted from the falls by both nations to approximately 56,000 cubic feet (1,600 m3) per second. That limitation remained in effect until 1950.[34]

American Falls "shut off" during erosion control efforts in 1969 (see text)

Erosion control efforts have always been of extreme importance. Underwater weirs redirect the most damaging currents, and the top of the falls have also been strengthened. In June 1969, the Niagara River was completely diverted away from the American Falls for several months through construction of a temporary rock and earth dam (clearly visible in the photo at right).[35] While the Horseshoe Falls absorbed the extra flow, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers studied the riverbed and mechanically bolted and strengthened any faults they found; faults that would, if left untreated, have hastened the retreat of the American Falls. A plan to remove the huge mound of talus deposited in 1954 was abandoned owing to cost, and in November 1969, the temporary dam was dynamited, restoring flow to the American Falls. Even after these undertakings, Luna Island, the small piece of land between the main waterfall and the Bridal Veil, remained off limits to the public for years owing to fears that it was unstable and could collapse into the gorge at any time.

Commercial interests have continued to encroach on the land surrounding the state park, including the construction of several tall buildings (most of them hotels) on the Canadian side. The result is a significant alteration and urbanisation of the landscape. One study indicated it has caused the airflow near the falls to change direction. Students at the University of Guelph demonstrated, using scale models, that as air passes over the top of the new hotels it causes a breeze to roll down the south sides of the buildings and spill into the gorge below the falls, where it feeds into a whirlpool of moisture and air. The inference was that a documented rise in the number of "mist days" was a result of these breezes, where mist days refers to the mist plume of the falls reaching landside. In 1996 there were 29 mist days recorded, but by 2003 that number had risen to 68.[36] Another study has discounted this opinion and linked mist production primarily to the difference in air and water temperature at the falls. However, this study does not offer opinion as to why mist days have been increasing just that the hotel breezes are an unlikely cause.[37]

Over the falls

 

Bobby Leach and his barrel after his trip over Niagara Falls, 1911

In October 1829, Sam Patch, who called himself "the Yankee Leapster", jumped from a high tower into the gorge below the falls and survived; this began a long tradition of daredevils trying to go over the falls.

Jumps and plunges

On October 24, 1901, 63-year-old Michigan school teacher Annie Edson Taylor was the first person to go over the falls in a barrel as a publicity stunt; she survived, bleeding, but virtually unharmed. Soon after exiting the barrel, she said, "No one ought ever do that again."[38] Prior to Taylor's attempt, on October 19 a domestic cat named Iagara was sent over the Horseshoe Falls in her barrel to test its strength. Contrary to rumours at the time, the cat survived the plunge unharmed and later posed with Taylor in photographs.[39] Since Taylor's historic ride, 14 people have intentionally gone over the falls in or on a device, despite her advice. Some have survived unharmed, but others have drowned or been severely injured. Survivors of such stunts face charges and stiff fines, as it is illegal, on both sides of the border, to attempt to go over the falls.

In 1918, there was a near disaster when a barge, known locally as the Niagara Scow, working upriver broke its tow, and almost plunged over the falls. Fortunately, the two workers on board saved themselves by grounding the vessel on rocks just short of the falls.[40]

Englishman Captain Matthew Webb, the first man to swim the English Channel, drowned in 1883 trying to swim the rapids down river from the falls.[41]

In the "Miracle at Niagara", Roger Woodward, a seven-year-old American boy, was swept over the Horseshoe Falls protected only by a life vest on July 9, 1960, as two tourists pulled his 17-year-old sister Deanne from the river only 20 feet (6 m) from the lip of the Horseshoe Falls at Goat Island.[42] Minutes later, Woodward was plucked from the roiling plunge pool beneath the Horseshoe Falls after grabbing a life ring thrown to him by the crew of the Maid of the Mist boat.[43][44]

On July 2, 1984, Canadian Karel Soucek from Hamilton, Ontario successfully plunged over the Horseshoe Falls in a barrel with only minor injuries. Soucek was fined $500 for performing the stunt without a license. In 1985, he was fatally injured while attempting to re-create the Niagara drop at the Houston Astrodome. His aim was to climb into a barrel hoisted to the rafters of the Astrodome and to drop 180 feet (55 m) into a water tank on the floor. After his barrel released prematurely, it hit the side of the tank and he died the next day from his injuries.[45]

In August 1985, Steve Trotter, an aspiring stunt man from Rhode Island, became the youngest person ever (age 22) and the first American in 25 years to go over the falls in a barrel. Ten years later, Trotter went over the falls again, becoming the second person to go over the falls twice and survive. It was also the second-ever "duo"; Lori Martin joined Trotter for the barrel ride over the falls. They survived the fall but their barrel became stuck at the bottom of the falls, requiring a rescue.[46]

On September 28, 1989, Niagara's own Peter DeBernardi (age 42) and Jeffery James Petkovich (age 25) became the first "team" to successfully make it over the falls in a two-person barrel. The stunt was conceived by Peter DeBenardi, who wanted to discourage youth from following in his path of addictive drug use. Peter was also trying to leave a legacy and discourage his son Kyle Lahey DeBernardi (age 2) from using addictive drugs. Peter DeBernardi had initially planned to have a different passenger. However, Peter's original partner backed out, and Peter was forced to look for an alternative. Jeffery Petkovich agreed to attempt the stunt with him. Peter claims he spent an estimated $30,000 making his barrel, made of steel and fiberglass, which had harnesses, reinforcing steel bands, and viewing ports. Peter's barrel also had a radio for music and news reports, rudders to help steer the barrel through the falls, oxygen, and a well-protected video camera to record the journey over the edge. They emerged shortly after going over with minor injuries and were charged with performing an illegal stunt under the Niagara Parks Act.[47]

On September 27, 1993 John "David" Munday, of Caistor Centre, Ontario, became the first known person to survive going over the falls twice.[48]

Kirk Jones of Canton, Michigan became the first known person to survive a plunge over the Horseshoe Falls without a flotation device on October 20, 2003. While it is still not known whether Jones was determined to commit suicide, he survived the 16-story fall with only battered ribs, scrapes, and bruises.[49][50]

A second person survived an unprotected trip over the Horseshoe Falls on March 11, 2009 and when rescued from the river, was reported to be suffering from severe hypothermia and a large wound to his head. His identity has not been released. Eyewitnesses reported seeing the man intentionally enter the water.[51][52]

On May 21, 2012, an unidentified man in his early 40s became the third person to survive an unprotected trip over the Horseshoe Falls. Eyewitness reports indicate that he "deliberately jumped" into the Niagara River after climbing over a railing.[53][54]

Walks

Blondin carrying his manager, Harry Colcord, on a tightrope.[55]

Other daredevils have made crossing the gorge their goal, starting with the successful passage by Jean François "Blondin" Gravelet, who crossed Niagara Gorge in 1859.[56] Between 1859 and 1896 there was a wire-walking craze, and there were frequent feats over the river below the falls. One inexperienced walker was able to slide down his safety rope. Only one man fell to his death, at night and under mysterious circumstances, at the anchoring place for his wire.[57]

These tightrope walkers drew huge crowds to witness their exploits. Their wires ran across the gorge, near the current Rainbow Bridge, not over the waterfall itself. Among the many was Ontario's William Hunt, who billed himself as "The Great Farini" and competed with Blondin in performing outrageous stunts over the gorge.[58] On three separate occasions Blondin carried his manager, Harry Colcord, on his back—on the final time being watched by the Prince of Wales.[57]

Maria Spelterini walking a tightrope across Niagara Gorge, from the United States to Canada, with her feet in peach baskets, 1876.[59]

In 1876 23-year-old Italian Maria Spelterini was the only woman ever to cross the Niagara Gorge on a tightrope, making four separate crossings over a period of 18 days. On July 12 she crossed wearing peach baskets strapped to her feet, on July 19 blind-folded, on July 22 with her ankles and wrists manacled and finally on July 26. Never performing again at Niagara, her personal life remains a mystery and the date and place of her death are unknown.[58] Tightrope crossings of the falls ended—by law—in 1896, when James Hardy crossed.[60]

On June 15, 2012, high wire artist Nik Wallenda became the first person to walk across the falls in 116 years, after receiving special permission from both governments.[61] The full length of his tightrope was 1,800 feet (550 m).[62] Wallenda crossed near the brink of the Horseshoe Falls, unlike previous walkers who had crossed farther downstream. According to Wallenda, it was the longest unsupported tightrope walk in history.[63] He carried his passport on the trip and was required to present it upon arrival on the Canadian side of the falls.[60]

Other entertainment

Movies and television

Plaque to Jose María Heredia on the Canadian side of the falls

Already a huge tourist attraction and favorite spot for honeymooners, Niagara Falls visits rose sharply in 1953 after the release of Niagara, a movie starring Marilyn Monroe and Joseph Cotten. Later in the 20th century, the falls was a featured location in 1980s movie Superman II, and was itself the subject of a popular IMAX movie, Niagara: Miracles, Myths and Magic.[64] Much of the episode Return of the Technodrome in the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series take place near the Niagara Falls and its hydroelectric plant.[65] Illusionist David Copperfield performed a trick in which he appeared to travel over the Horseshoe Falls in 1990. The falls, or more particularly, the tourist-supported complex near the Falls, was the setting of the short-lived Canadian television show Wonderfalls in early 2004. More recently, location footage of the falls was shot in October 2006 to portray "World's End" of the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.[66]

Music

Composer Ferde Grofe was commissioned by the Niagara Falls Power Generation project in 1960 to compose the Niagara Falls Suite in honor of the completion of the first stage of hydroelectric work at the falls. Each movement is dedicated to the falls, or to the history of the greater Buffalo region.

Literature

The Niagara Falls area features as the base camp for a German aerial invasion of the United States in the H. G. Wells novel The War in the Air.

Many poets have been inspired to write about the falls. Among them is the Cuban poet Jose Maria Heredia who wrote the poem "Niagara". There are commemorative plaques on both sides of the falls recognising the poem.

Fine art

Tourism

Niagara Falls at night

Peak visitor traffic occurs in the summertime, when Niagara Falls are both a daytime and evening attraction. From the Canadian side, floodlights illuminate both sides of the falls for several hours after dark (until midnight). The number of visitors in 2007 was expected to total 20 million and by 2009, the annual rate was expected to top 28 million tourists.[67]

The oldest and best known tourist attraction at Niagara Falls is the Maid of the Mist boat cruise, named for an ancient Ongiara Indian mythical character, which has carried passengers into the rapids immediately below the falls since 1846. Cruise boats operate from boat docks on both sides of the falls.[68][69]

American side

From the U.S. side, the American Falls can be viewed from walkways along Prospect Point Park, which also features the Prospect Point Park observation tower and a boat dock for the Maid of the Mist. Goat Island offers more views of the falls and is accessible by foot and automobile traffic by bridge above the American Falls. From Goat Island, the Cave of the Winds is accessible by elevator and leads hikers to a point beneath Bridal Veil Falls. Also on Goat Island are the Three Sisters Islands, the Power Portal where a huge statue of Nikola Tesla (the inventor whose patents for the AC induction motor and other devices for AC power transmission helped make the harnessing of the falls possible) can be seen, and a walking path that enables views of the rapids, the Niagara River, the gorge, and all of the falls. Most of these attractions lie within the Niagara Falls State Park.[70]

The Niagara Scenic Trolley offers guided trips along the American Falls and around Goat Island. Panoramic and aerial views of the falls can also be viewed from the Flight of Angels helium balloon ride, or by helicopter. The Niagara Gorge Discovery Center showcases the natural and local history of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Gorge. A casino and luxury hotel was opened in Niagara Falls, New York, by the Seneca Indian tribe. The Seneca Niagara Casino occupies the former Niagara Falls Convention Center. The new hotel is the first addition to the city's skyline since completion of the United Office Building in the twenties.[70][71]

Canadian side

The Skylon Tower

On the Canadian side, Queen Victoria Park features manicured gardens, platforms offering spectacular views of both the American and Horseshoe Falls, and underground walkways leading into observation rooms that yield the illusion of being within the falling waters. The observation deck of the nearby Skylon Tower offers the highest overhead view of the falls, and in the opposite direction gives views as far as distant Toronto. Along with the Minolta Tower (formerly the Seagrams Tower and the Konica Minolta Tower, now called the Tower Hotel), it is one of two towers in Canada with a view of the falls.[72]

Along the Niagara River, the Niagara River Recreational Trail runs the 35 miles (56 km) from Fort Erie to Fort George, and includes many historical sites from the War of 1812.[73]

The Whirlpool Aero Car, built in 1916 from a design by Spanish engineer Leonardo Torres y Quevedo, is a cable car that takes passengers over the Niagara Whirlpool on the Canadian side. The Journey Behind the Falls—accessible by elevators from the street level entrance—consists of an observation platform and series of tunnels near the bottom of the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side.[74][75]

There are two casinos on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara. The former is situated in the Fallsview Tourist Area, alongside many of the area's hotels, whilst the latter is adjacent to Clifton Hill, on Falls Avenue, a major tourist promenade.[76]

Panorama

Panoramic view of American, Bridal Veil (the single fall to the right of the American Falls) and Horseshoe Falls from Canada with the Maid of the Mist boat near the falls.
Author:Bling King
Published:Aug 30th 2013
Modified:Aug 30th 2013
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There is no such thing as time
Posted by Bling King

    

     Upon further ponderance I have come to the conclusion that time does not exist except in the law of physics. I have come to this conclusion through the observation of how things change and why they change at the pace in which they change. To me it seems that every change that takes place  in the universe is not dictated by time but rather physics. It is the law of physics that dictates the rate and speed at which all things change. For example if you have a car  that is traveling at 100 miles an hour the speed at  which the car travels is all dictated by physical changes and therfor controlled by the law of physics..Therfor it seems that for any change to take place all you need is physics and the law of physics that governs the physical changes. Time does not need be a factor and bears no relavance. As long as we have the law of physics everything will happen in accordance with those laws.

The composition of time
Posted by Bling King

   

    Time has 3 components. A front a middle and a rear. In the front time has what appears to be something of perspectual perspectualness that will move things forward at a set forth proponent. This part of time is easy to see and witness. However it is not easy to predict at which point time will make forward momentum happen. It would seem that this forward momentum is always in inactment but I would disagree with this. To me it seems more as if time interacts with things on its own accord leaving somethings unchanged for long standing periods of time. An example of this would be how time occasionally interacts with the speed of light. The speed of light remains constant but occasionally time will manifest itself into the equation and make modifications of the speed that light travels. For instance light will move forward forthwittingly at a billion miles a second but if it encounters any kind of resistance then time will inject itself and change the speed at which it was moving. Which leads me to the assumption that in order for time to inject itself into any equation a proponent has to take place that makes a physical change that would cause time to interject itself. If no physical change takes place than time has also not been a factor.

    The middle proponent of time is the area in which time is manipulating  the change that takes...Read More

👄What turns me on
Posted by Bling King

    I get turned on by some funny stuff. I'm not really into like full blown kinkiness or at least I wouldn't consider myself to be a kinky person but I do have a few fetishes. Some of them are a little out of the ordinary. For instance I have this one fetish about being tied up  and thrown in the ocean and then rescued by a mermaid. I think this fantasy comes from when I was a kid and I used to dream of mermaids and always wanted to meet one. Well one day its gonna happen. Now don't go telling me mermaids don't exist. You don't know cause they are in fact real and as soon as I meet one I will prove it to you. As far as some of my other turn ons  I guess what really gets me excited is people who  tell other people to shut the fuck up. I love when a woman just looks at a man and tells him to shut his mouth. To me thats a big turn on because the woman seems assertive like a dominatrix or something. If she will be assertive in a conversation she will be assertive in the bedroom or so I  would like to believe.

Time is a dialectable derelict
Posted by Bling King

To fathom the fortrighteousness of time one has to contemplate the personification of forthwittial forthwittil. Time forthwittingly will only listen to the commands of its on inner personification to which there is no directional direction or so it would seem but on further inquisitories I have come to realize that there is a forthwittingly forthwittal of which time has pronounced and those commands seem to speak to the nature of to which time corresponds. To review these pronouncements for your own bemusement look at time as if you had it captured it  in a bottle. What would happen? We know on the inside of the bottle time would force the inner workings of the bottle to correspond to times diabolical commands. Causing everything to change to times everlescent rules. however on the outside of the bottle things would not change, everything would stay in constant neutrality or would it? The question remains if there was no time would things still be allowed to happen and if so at what pace and what would dictate the pace at which things would change. There seems to be no rule in place for the dictation of the pace change which takes place. So it would seem that time has decided that factor somehow within itself. There could be a correlation at which things change and the pace being dictated by physics and the amount the physical world can be allowed to change within its own accord of set boundaries. To actually find...Read More

Free from time constraints
Posted by Bling King

 

 

 

There was a time when time did not matter. The thing that was an utmost relevance now was of no matter. The diffrence it made seemed miniscule and now it is constantly dictating everything that takes place before me. What is this thing that controls and makes everything manifest itself to its constraints and why and how does it do this. Time is nothing but the utmost miracle before us. Something that has always had to exist for anything ever to take place. There is no changing its course there is no variance in its absolute everlasting existance. To control time would be the utmost  crown jewel of all accomplishments if indeed it could ever be controlled. The only way I ever see time being manipulated to change its values is to speed up everything that time has interacted with. In order to do such a thing you would have to understand the nature of the objects in question and how they are effected by time. For instance a speeding car will slow down in time without constant force being distrubuted by the engine. To slow down the car one only has to take their foot off the accelarator and gradually time will do the rest but if you could freeze time at the speed at which the car was traveling then time would not  exist because the...Read More

the truth about time
Posted by Bling King

        I have looked at time many times and I have noticed a few components. There is a precise proponent that ushers in a manifestation. Whenever something new is going to happen you can look at that event which is about to take place and precisely predict exactly when it has started. Once you realize a manifestation has taken place you can precisely predict its out come. If you know that a manifestation has started to take place then you will know you are being guided through the realm precisely by the forces of an enlightenment. Throughout time this manifestation will remain constant starting with a beginning and an end and ending in a preconcieved enlightenment. Sometimes an enlightenment can take weeks and some times an enlightenment can take centuries. It depends on how many times that enlightenment has been benounced to the realm. 

 

nothing
Posted by Bling King

I suspect a suffcient of sufficence of suffiacantel suffiance of suffiance of absurdity of absurdanace. In all actual actuality there is an  actual actuality of actualityness in retrospect to the retorospective respect in which every person who has an intellectual intellect can see that the world is a prominance of prominance in which the order will reside as long as the order is maintained. Once that order is relinquished chaos will ensue. For chaos to be a calamity there only needs to be a perspectual perspective of perspectance that escalates the chaos to that height. What would cause that is a person or persons in the realm of the realmatical realmatics looking beyond thier own existance to the existance of there forfathers to see what has become of thier existance. If you look at your own existance for what it is you will see that it is neither logical nor illogical for it makes all the sense of a sensimatical sensematic. As long as you have a reason for your own existance then it is fruitful for you to exist. Once that reason or reasons are gone you will no longer care whether it is you live or die. In the realm in which we live is a prospectus prospectant of prospectantin which all will ensue. To change the prospectus prospectus you need to look to the realm and see what the prospectus prospectant is and manifest it to your own liking. My...Read More

The conclusive conclusion
Posted by Bling King

In all actual reality the realm is manifested of certain procedural procedures that come forth frequently to forthrightous forthrightenous. In the place of predicament I have found that I can properly place things in the procedural sequence unbenowst to people of the realm. In order to conflict the conflictions you have to equate the equation of equationalness in to proper equations. Very simple but also very tedious. You do this by equating the equation into percise preciseness. An example of an equation would be a placement of perdicament of a certain event in which you wish it to be. The next manifestation I could manifest is a manifestual manifestation of manifests of a sequance of certainal circumstances. Put together a sequence by asking the sequence in order to manifest itself and then tell the manifestations to happen in frequence in which they will unfold.

The Unattainable future
Posted by Bling King

     If the future is a grain of sand and its falling through an hour glass nothing in the world can stop it. It will eniquivaocalby blind as to where its going when it comes to its rest it has befallen its fate and will remain where it lay for an eternity knowing nothing about itself or it's surroundings. I am that grain of sand. Nothing ever can change my destiny for only time here makes a diffrence.. To benounce the future is the only way to change ones fortune. The time it takes to make an equivical change remains the utmost mystery of the universe.

🤯In the eyes of myself
Posted by Bling King

 

 

There where three men. All who seemed frightened. They stood on the edge of the canyon looking on as a fourth man tumbled to his death. We could have saved him said one of the men. He should have saved himself said another. The third man just look at them bewildered and brought a handgun to his own head and pulled the trigger. Blood spattered. The two men watched as he slumped to the ground. The first man screamed and the second threw himself to the side of the man on the ground. Why?!! he screamed. It was the only sound heard. Sobbing he looked at the man standing and said you did this! You and your frigging righteous speech about the lives we leave and the sacrifice we must make. Your the devil. I am not the devil said the standing man only the truth. The truth about what? The other man screamed. Your life he said and he jumped.

The man heard a ringing and he sat up slowly. It was over the dream but his thoughts where still on the side of the canyon. How did this happen. How did it all just fade away? The dream came and went in an instant leaving his mind boggled and his eyes heavy. I knew I was there thought the man but how? It was all to familiar the...Read More

The story Elijah and Ellen
Posted by Bling King

The story of Elijah and Ellan. This is the story of Elijah and Ellan. Ellan is a beutiful temptress and Elijah is a dutiful servant of Ellan's. Together the pair fell in love and soon became a duo of in excessible excession. They frolicked in the sun under the rare occurance of rain they took shelter in the arms of each other. One day while hiding from the glares of the sun under an oak tree that provided an abundance of shade they looked into each others souls and realized there where no people suited for each other then the two of them where suited for each other. They basked in the notion that they where the most two compatible souls on the planet. As they where thinking this a giant unforseen acclamaited acclamation occurred. The planet began to tremble and shake beneath them and the stars came out. The sun hid amongst the clouds and everything from start to finish began to take shape. There where huge explosions and giant surges of wind and rain. The two began to run for their shelter knowing at the exact moment the trembling and violent agressions of unacclaimated weather started that they most likely wouldn't make it to see another sunrise. The planet was exploding with molten lava and the tempertures where unbearable as for the two of them could remember they had never seen a winter climate and didn't expect they ever would. The planet had been warming out of...Read More

today was a day of dismal despair
Posted by Bling King

Things have gone down hill drastically now for a very long time. We seem to be some what defeated but yet i know we still have some power and prominance. We are fighting an up hill battle and there is no way forward from here from what i can see. We are trudging along a path that goes nowhere.

⚔️The Greatest Warrior of All Time
Posted by Bling King

 

 

Today i conquered and beat all adverseries there where to beat. Tomorrow new adversaries will arise. I will be ready, there is never a shortage of enemies who wish to dethrone me from the top of the world. I didn't get here by being passive and yeilding to the oppostion. I got here by defeating them both mentally and physically and in entiriety.

In a time of desilute despair
Posted by Bling King

     There was a time when I was in desilute despair. The only thing I had was me myself and I to fall back on. I looked at the person who was my opponent and I knew one of  us was going to die and I was going to do everytrhing I could to make dam sure it wasn't me. I pulled my six shooter from its holster and aimed at the guy looking at me  about 30 yards away. He also went for his gun and in lightning speed he was laid sprawled out on the dirt bleeding and moaning. I had heard a shot but new that it had come from my own gun. He never even got a shot off. I was unscathed and again undeafeted. Anybody who ever tried to kill me was dead and their where over 30 who had tried and failed to kill yours truly.

Gravity
Posted by Bling King

Gravity is the force of nature that pulls cellestrial bodies toward one another. The cause of gravity is the enertia of a bodies movement through space and time. This happens by an object preconcievably traveling through the cosmos at an alarming rate of acceleration. The faster an object travels the more enertia it will build up and then will therefore have a greater ability to move. the more it moves the more other objects will cling to it. the way this can be proved is by taking an object and hurtling it towards another object the two objects would collide do to the enertia pulling them towards each other. Thy would not stay on their current trajectory but their paths would alter towards one another in a greater force than their initial gravitational pull. the best test to accomodate this theory would be tow baseballs flying through the air at speeds over one hundred miles an hour. The baseballs would not interject themselves with one another normally but at this speed would do so do to the balls enertia pulling them towards one another.

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