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Women practicing parkour in Iran

Here's a short video of a woman parkour team from Lahijan, Iran, practicing in hijabs and mantos. The sport apparently spread through illicit satellite TV viewing:

Despite having to practise in unwieldy clothing – not to mention having to stay on the lookout for police - Iranian women are getting into the sport of parkour. Some even create videos in which they show off their skills, and post them online. One of these brave women tells us about the challenges of practising parkour in an Islamic republic.

Parkour involves moving around urban obstacles as quickly as possible. Athletes run up walls, scale fences, jump between roofs, do back flips, and much more. The sport first originated in the 1980s with a small group of athletes in the suburbs of Paris, but only rose to fame in the 2000s with the film “Yamakasi.” Parkour has since spread throughout the world thanks to the Internet, everywhere from Gaza to Egypt to Iran.

Headscarves and long tunics don’t stop Iranian women from practising parkour (Thanks, Alan!)

Rube Goldberg machine that integrates freerunners with lots of guts, little regard for own safety

Freerunner Jason Paul and friends got (a presumably large amount of) money from Red Bull to construct a building-scale Rube Goldberg machine that integrated several parkours at various stages of its operation, mixing the improbable action of inanimate objects with the improbable (and breathtakingly dangerous) actions of human lunatics.

Human-Powered Freerunning Machine - with Jason Paul (via IO9)

Bronx Parkour: Jose The Amazing (a photo essay)

Photo: Chris Arnade

Chris Arnade is a photographer based in New York City. I've blogged his urban photography before. Check out these fantastic shots of young men in Hunts Point Bronx, doing crazy gravity-defying freestyle jumps. Below: more photos, and the story behind those photos, from Chris.—XJ

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Parkour-style urban skiing

Here's a "street skiing" video that crosses street-skating with parkour, driving a long-suffering pair of skis over a series of urban obstacles from stone stairs to snowy hills. Just watching this daredevil makes my heart pound in sympathy.

JP Auclair street.avi (via Kottke)