May 30th, 2014
11:38 AM ET

Meet Whisper, the BASE Jumping Dog

Daredevil Dean Potter has been tightrope walking, climbing, and wingsuit flying for 27 years, but for the last handful – he hasn't balanced, jumped or flown alone.

That's because he's had Whisper, his 4-year-old Australian Cattle Dog, by his side. Or on his back.

Video of Potter and Whisper BASE jumping from over 13,000 feet off of Mount Eiger in Switzerland last summer has now gone viral.


While Potter says Whisper has loved experiences like this, some people are worried about the safety of the dog.

So we asked the adventurer to expand: What are five things people should know about him and his BASE jumping pet?


Potter says he's a naturalist and compares himself to John Muir. Since that famous wildlife expert traveled with his dog into the mountains in Alaska, Potter says "what I'm doing is nothing new really." He calls himself a 'very primitive guy' with a 'very strong connection to nature' where 'it just seems natural to bring my dog with me.'


While some humans may get out in nature occasionally, Whisper seems to hit the trails and the skies pretty regularly.

"She's flown Half Dome," Potter says, referencing the famous summit within Yosemite National Park.

"I want to bring my best friend with me everywhere."


Potter got Whisper when she was nine weeks old, so he says she's had a 'lifetime of training' on adventures with him.

"We live in an area full of some of the best wilderness, biggest waterfalls and mountains – she's followed me in the most extreme places on earth," he shares.

There is one safety concern though, but it's more of a worry for him than it is for her.

He says it's more difficult to fly with the dog because she weighs 22 pounds, and you're supposed to be as light as possible in the air.

"The main problem was finding a way that was comfortable for me to fly and for Whisper to be contained while being light enough for us to actually fly."


Austalian Kettle Dogs are one of the smartest breeds of dogs so they give you clear signals if they don't like something, Potter notes.

He says she doesn't like the vacuum cleaner or going in helicopters or planes. (But jumping out of planes seems to be OK because that's like "sticking her head out the window of a car.")

He says he knows when she's unhappy because she puts her ears back, trembles and shakes.

"We don't force Whisper. If she doesn't like something, she doesn't do it. "


Potter aims to go to the Himalaya Mountains with Whisper.

He's also hopes the notoriety from the video will lead to a half hour TV show for the two.



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May 30th, 2014
10:02 AM ET

What to Watch for at the Start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30.

Last year's season had an above-average amount of tropical storms to form but below average development of hurricanes.

The first hurricane of the 2013 season developed so late in the year that it almost beat a record. There were no storms to reach the strength of a major hurricane at 111 mph.

This year, NOAA is leaning toward a forecast of below average development. While this sounds like good news, the amount of actual landfalls will dictate the 2014 season.

Watch the video above for CNN's Indra Petersons look at why the Atlantic hurricane season could be quieter.

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Keep Your Day Job, 50 Cent
May 30th, 2014
09:41 AM ET

Keep Your Day Job, 50 Cent

Our viral video picks are all in good fun this week! Let us know your favorite on Twitter with #NewDay and follow our Tumblr page to get the best of the best throughout the week.

5. Cat allergies
No, I’m not referring to a person being allergic to a cat. I’m referring to a cat being allergic to … who knows what. Either way, its sneezes are adorable.

4. Tennis player shares a seat with ballboy
Tennis pro Novak Djokovic is a really nice guy. So nice that he invited the ballboy holding an umbrella over his head to have a seat and a drink.

3. Kids invent a new game
It’s called “Throw Your Brother Down the Stairs in a Box.” And whoever is taping approves. (Don’t worry, the kid is okay!)

2. Bill Murray’s speech to a bachelor party
Murray wasn’t there with the party but he was certainly willing to lend his thoughts on whether you should really marry someone. I wonder if he gave the bachelor any second thoughts?

1. 50 Cent’s terrible opening pitch
Is he really that bad at pitching or did he just want to make some headlines? Either way, he won, because we were all talking about this.


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How Do You Spell T-I-E? National Spelling Bee Has Two Winners
May 30th, 2014
05:55 AM ET

How Do You Spell T-I-E? National Spelling Bee Has Two Winners

Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe correctly spelled so many words Thursday that the Scripps National Spelling Bee had to declare them both winners.

Why? Because there weren't enough words left on the competition's list for them to keep facing off until only one was left standing.

In the bee's final round, Hathwar, a 14-year-old eighth-grader from Painted Post, New York, correctly spelled the word "stichomythia" - dialogue especially of altercation delivered by two actors.

Sujoe, a 13-year-old seventh-grader from Fort Worth, Texas, correctly spelled the word "feuilleton" - part of a European newspaper.

It's the first time the bee has ended in a tie in more than 50 years. The last time there were co-champions was in 1962, organizers said. Ties also ended the bees in 1950 and 1957.

"I think we both know that the competition was against the dictionary, not against each other," Hathwar said on ESPN after the win. "I am happy to share this trophy with him."


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