It's kind of remarkable that the Guinness Book of Records has managed to secure such a prominent place in our culture, considering it was literally invented to encourage people to argue over inane shit at the pub (particularly when drinking Guinness).
But here I am, in the Year of Our Lord Blade Runner, tearfully cheering on Amber VanHemel as she finally achieves her year-long dream of breaking the World Record for throwing a hot dog sausage over the longest distance while still nestled snugly in its bun.
I'm not sure why Guinness felt the need to specify hot dog sausage, though perhaps it's to differentiate from a hot dog sandwich, the existence of which continues to reign as the greatest controversy of the modern era. Guinness has tracked plenty of other hot dog-related records without this same linguistic clarification—in fact, this particular feat of Olympian athleticism is the only Guinness record accompanied by that sausage qualifier. Along with this specificity, Guinness also included a size requirement—the hot dog sausage must measure between 5.5 and 7 inches in length, and be fully cooked when thrown.
According to the Boston Globe, VanHemel is currently a graduate student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT, where also pitched softball as an undergrad. Read the rest
Wang Xiaolong has set the new Guinness World Record for the "highest vocal note by a male." His E in the eighth octave is a half step higher than Adam Lopez Costa's record set in 2008.
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Remember the photos of Shridhar Chillal and his insanely long fingernails that were featured in so many editions of the Guinness Book of World Records? After 66 years, Chillal has cut them off! At the time of the manicure earlier this year, the combined length was 29 feet, 10.1 inches. The nails are now on display at the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Times Square museum. From the always excellent Weird Historian:
Now 82 years old, the man from Poona, India started growing out his nails when he was 14 years old. It all began after a teacher chastised him for breaking his long nail. The teacher said Chillal couldn’t understand the severity of the situation because the young student never been committed to anything.
He took the challenge seriously.
Naturally, Chillal’s nails caused a few issues for him along the way. It made his job as a photographer extra challenging, but a customized handle helped him operate his camera. He couldn’t type. And he hadn’t had a good night’s sleep since the ‘50s.
(top photo: Mark Hartzman)
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Australian acrobat Aiden Malacaria set a Guinness World Record yesterday for the most fire-breathing full twist backflips in one minute. He had to hit eight of them but made it to ten. From Guinness World Records:
Each jump had to be a complete 360° backwards flip and, whilst airborne, Aiden needed to perform a 360° lateral spin, and blow a flame, without falling – making this challenge both exhausting and risky.
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