From today’s Writer’s Almanac:
It’s the birthday of Norris McWhirter, born in London (1925), who gave us the Guinness Book of World Records, in which we learn that the longest amount of time that someone has balanced on one foot is 76 hours and 40 minutes (at a stadium in Sri Lanka, May 22-25, 1997), and that the world’s longest leg hair measured 5 inches (belonging to Wesley Pemberton of Tyler, Texas, on August 10, 2007).
Other feats recorded in this book include the farthest distance someone has walked while continuously balancing a milk bottle on the head— 80.96 miles, by Ashrita Furman of New York, which he did around a track field in Queens in April of 1998, over the course of 23 hours 35 minutes. Ashrita Furman (born Keith Furman) has broken more Guinness world records than any other person in the world, including “most underwater rope jumps in one hour” (738 ) and “most hop-scotch games in 24 hours” (434) and also “fastest pogo stick ascent of Canada’s CN Tower” (57 minutes 51 seconds) (www.guinnessworldrecords.com). Furman meditates daily, is strictly vegan, and studies with a spiritual guru in order to reach new levels of self-transcendence, which help in his record-breaking trials.
An Indian man holds the record for most reader letters published in a single national paper in one year – he had 118 letters in the Dainik Jagran newspaper in 2001. The longest backward motorcycle ride record is 93.21 miles, recorded in Binzhou City, China, in October of 2006. Earlier in 2006, a man in New York City created a balloon dog sculpture in 6.5 seconds—also a Guinness world record.
So who’s up for setting a world record?