The idea of jumping off things is not a new one, nor is the idea of stopping oneself before one gets hurt. Again, like many inventions, it's not necessarily about coming up with a brand new idea, it can be about taking an existing one and making it work. The natives of Vanuatu have for centuries been jumping off large towers with vines tied around their legs to break their fall. And their legs. This ritual has little meaning for foreigners, and is wholly unattractive, unless billed as some sort of cure for shortness. The English apparently had a try of it in the 1980s, but it didn't last. What this crazy idea needed was a plan to make it less, well, fatal seeming. Alan John (AJ) Hackett (b. 1958) had just such a plan.