On the needles, Shreeash Palshikar (sp?) of Chicago, did the needles in the traditional way at a Halloween party at Magic, Inc a few years ago and KILLED with it.
He showed each needle as he swallowed it. Swallowed the thread, too.
Took off his shirt and reached into a scar on the side of his chest! Pulled out the needles threaded on the thread.
It KILLED everyone there. Jay Marshall said that he hadn't seen it done that way in decades and was very impressed.
Frankly, if Blaine was to do it, I'm sure that he'd do this version - or a variation.
MUCH stronger than the seeming regurgitation form so favored by so many (Mr. Electric being a notable exception, obviously).
Just some thoughts on it,
Lee Darrow, C.Ht. http://www.leedarrow.com