ON SEPTEMBER 5, 2003, MAGICIAN David Blaine stepped into a clear acrylic box and was hoisted into position above the Thames River. There he would dangle for 44 days, in full view of passersby. He would eat nothing. He would drink only water. In the course of his ordeal, he was taunted by onlookers who hurled rotten eggs and hamburger patties at his transparent prison.