I dont know about you, but I am fascinated by World Records.
The oldest, the fastest, the fattest, the richest, the heaviest, the tiniest of all.....
But of course, we cannot believe in the Records, because we can never be sure that there is not, somewhere In the world, a better example.....
HOW THE GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS STARTED
On 10th November 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, the Managing Director of Guinness brewery, went to a shooting party somewhere in Ireland.
He happened to get into an argument with a friend about which was the fastest game bird in Europe.
Was it the Golden Plover or was it the Grouse?
This question went unanswered.
The same evening, at Cambridge House, he realized that it was difficult to conclude which bird was actually the fastest, as there was no reference book which gave any further explanation.
Sir Beaver could think of no way to settle such arguments about records, which take place daily in pubs and homes across Great Britain.
He realized the need for a book which could answer such questions, and knew that it would soon become popular.
His idea became a reality when a Guinness employee, Christopher Chataway, introduced him to Norris and Ross McWhirter, who ran a fact finding agency in London.
The brothers were commissioned to compile what became The Guinness Book of World Records in August 1954.
One thousand copies were printed and given away.
And the rest is history.
Would you like to beat this record?!?
As a matter of fact, the world record for being the most stolen book from public libraries belongs to the Guinness Book of World Records!
(But the most shoplifted book in the world is the Bible!)
Sir Hugh realized that similar questions were going unanswered all around the world, and that a book containing superlative answers would be of great use to the general public.
He set about bringing this definitive collection of superlative facts to reality.
On 27 August 1955, the first edition of "The Guinness Book of Records" was published and, by Christmas that year, had become Britain's number one bestseller!
Over the intervening years, copies of The Guinness Book of Records - later renamed Guinness World Records - have continued to fly off bookshop shelves.
During this time, it has become clear that a world record is more than a simple fact: it's a means of understanding your position in the world…
a yardstick for measuring how you and those around you fit in.
Knowing the extremes - the biggest, the smallest, the fastest, the most and the least - offers a way of comprehending and digesting an increasingly complex world overloaded with information.
THE TALLEST DOG IN THE WORLD
This Great Dane, who reaches 2.2m (7ft 4") on his hind legs, has been named the tallest dog ever recorded in the latest Guinness Book of World Records,recently launched.
Measuring 1.12m from paw to withers – the point between the shoulder blades at which the official height of a four-legged mammal is judged – Zeus is officially the tallest dog in the world.
Guinness World Records 2013 says the gentle giant of a hound easily breaks the record.
"The most common thing people ask is: 'Is that a dog or a horse?'" says the three-year-old's owner Denise Doorlag.
THE SMALLEST DOLL IN THE WORLD?
This little doll is in the museum at St. Catherine's College, Oxford, England.
The accession book entry for July, 1944 reads “Tiny wooden doll inside a wooden egg."
It lies almost lost in a case in the Lower Gallery, surrounded by other small dolls, but none is as small.
It comes with an egg which opens in two parts, one part painted with in pink pigment, the other in blue.
The writing painted in gold upon the egg confidently entitles it “The smallest doll in the world."
But this doll is bragging.
She is not in the Guinness Book of World Records, so is not officially the smallest doll....
When closed the egg is about 3.2cm in height and 1.3cm at its widest.
The doll itself measures about 1.3cm in height.
The arms and legs are jointed and moveable.
The doll's arms and legs are locked together by a jointing system, so that when one arm is moved the other moves too.
THE HIGHEST BUILDING IN THE WORLD?
When completed by the end of next March, Sky City in Changsha will be the tallest skyscraper in the world, standing at 2,749ft (838m) high, over 220 floors.
Although they havent started building it yet!
It took Dubai more than five years to build the world’s tallest building, the 828mBurj Khalifa, but architects and engineers at Broad Sustainable Building (BSB), a unit of the air conditioning maker Broad Group, are confident they can beat that record.
Critics have pointed out that BSB’s construction company has never built anything taller than 30 storeys before, but the builders seem unworried.
BSB senior vice-president Juliet Jiang told Construction Week Online that the company’s plan to construct the skyscraper “will go on as planned with the completion of five storeys a day.
There are 179,000 people moving into urban areas every week.
Do they go into a horizontal or a vertical city? It’s a question of economics."
China is growing at an unbelievably rapid rate; although there have been recent signs of a slowdown, the economy is still expanding at rates unheard of in the West.
BSB, currently responsible for 20 modular structures in China, demonstrated the construction method to a wider audience in January, when it constructed a 30-storey hotel in 15 days.
Foundation work is due to start at the end of the month, once local authorities approve the project.
In China there is still considerable interest in building skyscrapers that show the rest of the world that your city or your company has truly arrived.
Sky City’s projected cost is four billion yuan (£400m).
Builders will use 220,000 tons of steel, and the structure will be able to house 31,400 people.
The company says the residential area will use 83 per cent of the building, while the rest will be offices, schools, hospitals, shops and restaurants.
People will travel up and down using 104 high-speed elevators.
Sky City will consume a fifth of the energy required by a conventional building due to what BSB says is its unique construction methods, such as quadruple glazing and 15cm-thick exterior walls for thermal insulation.
When it is finished it will be taller than the Shanghai Tower, which was supposed to be China’s tallest building, at 632m, when completed in 2014.
At the end of last year, there were only 61 buildings taller than 300m in the world, but in five years, China will have more than 60.
THE OLDEST TREE
In 1964, Donal Rusk Currey killed the oldest tree ever.
To this day, there has still never been an older tree discovered.
The tree was a Great Basin bristlecone pine, and Currey didn’t mean to kill it.
It was an accident, and one he didn’t really understand the ramifications of until he started counting rings.
Basically, Currey got his tree corer stuck in the tree, so stuck that it wouldn’t come out.
An unwitting park ranger helped him by cutting the tree down, to remove the instrument, and later Currey began to count the rings.
Eventually, he realized that the tree he had just felled was almost 5,000 years old – the oldest tree ever recorded.
The story is a sad one, but discoveries were made because of it.
Great bristlecone pines are some of the longest living trees in the world.
In the 1950s, this was a shock to people, who always thought that for trees, longevity correlated with size.
Bristlecone pines can reach around 20 feet tall—they’re gnarly, little gnomes of trees, nothing like the majestic Redwoods of California.
Even if a large portion of a bristlecone is damaged by erosion or fire, small strips of living bark, which Schulman called “life lines,” are able to function and keep the tree alive.
“Bristlecones will grow a thousand years or so, and then the bark will start dying off on one side,” says Tom Harlan, a researcher at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona.
“Therefore, the tree can’t support the branches directly above that area, and they die.
Pretty soon you’re left with a small strip of bark, which is supporting all of the foliage.
It might be only 2 inches wide, but the pine is still considered a growing, healthy tree.”
It’s also worth noting that working out how old a tree is, isn’t that easy.
Dendrochronology—the fancy word for tree-ring dating—didn’t come around until the 1890s. And it’s more complicated than just counting rings, since each ring doesn’t necessarily correspond to a year.
The tree Currey felled has been nicknamed the Prometheus tree.
Who was Prometheus?
Prometheus was a Titan,a trickster figure who in Greek mythology is credited with the creation of man from clay and the theft of fire.
Zeus, king of the Olympian gods, sentenced Prometheus to eternal torment for the theft.
The immortal Prometheus was bound to a rock, where each day an eagle, the emblem of Zeus, was sent to feed on his liver, only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day.
Though members of the scientific community and press were outraged that the tree was killed, Currey’s mistake ultimately provided the impetus to establish Great Basin National Park to protect the bristlecones.
The death of the Prometheus tree also helped to change our larger perception of trees as an infinitely replenishing resource.
“It’s not going to happen again,” says Schoettle.
“But it wasn’t something that I think they struggled with at the time, because it was just a tree, and the mindset then was that trees were a renewable resource and they would grow back.”
Currey almost certainly didn’t fell the oldest tree ever.
There are forests in the White Mountains, and elsewhere, where trees currently standing are probably far older than his Prometheus tree.
For all the world record-holders in the Guinness Book of Records, it has to be remembered that most of the world we live in is not fully known.
LARGEST ICE-CREAM CAKE
The world’s largest ice-cream cake was made by the Chinese last year and holds a Guinness world record so far.
The cake was about 4.8 metres (15.7 feet) long, 3 metres (9.8 feet) wide, 1 metre (3.3 feet) high and weighed 8 tons (7,257 kg).
WORLD'S LARGEST FAMILY
This is the largest known family.
Ziona Chana lives with all of them in a 100-room mansion.
His wives take it in turns to share his bed.
It takes 30 whole chickens just to make dinner.
He is head of the world's biggest family - and says he is 'blessed' to have his 39 wives.
Ziona Chana also has 94 children, 14-daughters-in-law and 33 grandchildren.
They live in an enormous, four storey house set amidst the hills of Baktwang village in the Indian state of Mizoram, where the wives sleep in giant communal dormitories.
One of the bedrooms.
WORLD'S SMALLEST BIBLE
Bible put on a pinhead-size chip!
This is the official description of the project:
This could be the smallest Bible ever printed
Researchers in Israel say they have succeeded in putting a version of the Bible on a chip smaller than a pinhead.
Its 300,000 words in Hebrew were inscribed on a silicon surface at the Haifa Institute of Technology.
Scientists say the aim of the project is to increase young people's interest in nanoscience and nanotechnology.
The record for the smallest printed copy is at present held by a Bible measuring 2.8x3.4x1cm (1.1x1.3x0.4in), weighing 11.75g (0.4 ounces) and containing 1,514 pages.
The 0.5sq-mm (0.01sq-in) nano-Bible was written on a silicon surface covered with a thin layer of gold (20nanometres thick - 0.0002mm).
It was written using a device called Focused Ion Beam (Fib).
"When we send the particle beam toward a point on the surface, the gold atoms bounce off of this point, thus exposing the silicon layer underneath," Ohad Zohar, one of the project's managers at Technion, said.
"By sending a particle beam towards various points on the substrate, we can etch any pattern of points, especially one that represents text."
The next step for Technion researchers is photographing the Bible and displaying it on a giant wall within the Faculty of Physics.
"In this picture, which will be 7m by 7m (23ft by 23ft), it will be possible to read the entire Bible with the naked eye (the height of each letter will be some 3mm - 0.1in)," Mr Zohar said.
"Near this picture, the original - the nano-Bible itself, which is the size of a grain of sugar - will be displayed."
LONGEST BEARD IN THE WORLD?
Again, there are many contenders, and a number of categories.
Hair constantly grows, and statistics change daily....
Hans Nilsen Langseth This is generally agreed to be the longest beard ever at seventeen feet and six inches! There are many striking entries yearly, both in style and content.... Annual contests are held, particularly in America, and some of the moustaches are works of art!
MOST TATTOOED MAN Like all records, this one is extremely difficult to verify and impossible to maintain.
Great-grandfather Tommy Wells has been hailed the most tattooed man in Britain after having an incredible 1,000 tattoos etched across every inch of his body.
The 69-year-old has spent 52 years indulging in his bizarre hobby and now has tattoos not only across his arms, hands, legs, torso and back but also on the soles of his feet, bottom, entire head, lips and even his genitals.
The widower’s last tattoo, which reads ‘I love you always, love Tommy’, was etched on the back of his head in honour of his late wife Sandra who died seven years ago aged 61, after they had spent 44 years together.
Perhaps there is a reason for that unhappy expression?