How long could you withstand waterboarding? 15 seconds? Playboy journalist says think again.

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Playboy's got what could turn into an interesting new feature on their Web site that's both journalistic in nature AND, oddly, somewhat safe for work. It's called Lab Rat and the premise is they take an underemployed journalist and put him through various exercises that the rest of us wouldn't want to have happen.

First in line is waterboarding, the "non-torture" torture method used as many as 266 times by U.S. agents on Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah and Daniel Pearl's professed killer, Khalid Sheikh Mohamed. The journalist, Mike Guy, is filled with bravdo, betting the cameraman he can take 15 seconds easily.

He even chats up the "torturer," a supposedly military-trained user of the practice, who breaks down the reasons he won't be able to withstand any amount of waterboarding. No, the yoga training won't help and it doesn't matter how long you can hold your breath, buddy.

And sure enough, Guy taps out pretty quick. It's interesting to hear his post-game wrapup as he describes why he failed so quickly. Why the brain tricked him into thinking he was drowning. Why panic was so easy even though he knew he was in a safe environment and controlled setting.

There could be some interesting subjects tackled here and it will be curious to see where they take it - hopefully not the simple gross-out route.

Not as promising is that the second of two episodes has him enduring waxing. It's mildly interesting, but played-out. You could get just as good a tutorial watching the director's commentary version of "40-year-old Virgin." Though you do get to hear the phrase, "OK, do the testicles," in this NSFW installment.

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    This page contains a single entry by Craig Newman published on April 21, 2009 2:02 PM.

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