kottke.org posts about world records

A pair of well-to-do auto enthusiasts namedOct 18 2007

A pair of well-to-do auto enthusiasts named Alex Roy and Dave Maher set the unofficial record for crossing the US by car: 31 hours, 4 minutes, faster than the old record of 32 hours, 7 minutes.

According to Yates and his fellow Cannonballers, trying to beat that record today is pointless. Their argument goes something like this: Cannonball records were set back when the free-wheelin' '70s hooked up with the greed-is-good '80s for fat lines of cocaine and unprotected sex. But these, brother, are Patriot Act days - executive-privilege end times in which no rogue deed goes untracked, no E-ZPass unlogged, no roaming cell phone unmonitored by perihelion satellite. Big Brother is definitely watching. Big Speed, the old Cannonballers say, is a quaint, 20th-century idea, like pay phones or print magazines.

Roy was inspired to take up fast driving by the short film C'était un Rendez-vous, where Claude Lelouch races through Paris at breakneck speeds to meet his sweetheart in Montmartre. Here's the route they took, another piece on the record in the NY Times, and a book by Roy on his exploits. This is the sort of thing that is really, really cool up until the moment Roy's tricked out BMW makes contact with a family minivan at 120mph...and then, not so much.

Update: Here's a video of the pair zooming along on the freeway. Comment on YouTube:

Those guys look like they're doing about 90-95... BFD. You see that all the time going up and down I-5 and I-95.. I once was doing about 90 down I-95 and got passed by a HOUSE on a flatbed truck. (yawn)

Tony Wright, horticulturalist, broke the unofficial worldSep 12 2007

Tony Wright, horticulturalist, broke the unofficial world record by going without sleep for more than 11 days. His trick was, when the left side of his brain tired, to switch to the right side. And then back again after the left had recovered and so on.

King Kobayashi's long reign is over. JoeyJun 03 2007

King Kobayashi's long reign is over. Joey Chestnut broke the record for eating the most hot dogs in 12 minutes yesterday: 59 1/2. He bested the previous record by a whopping 5 3/4 dogs.

Update: To put this in perspective, Chestnut bested the old record by roughly 10%. This would be like running the 100m dash in 8.8 seconds, long jumping 32.5 feet, or completing a marathon in 1:51.

There's a new Scrabble world record: 830 points,Oct 27 2006

There's a new Scrabble world record: 830 points, including a play of quixotry on a triple-triple for a record score of 365. "Looking at the game as a whole, it's clear that a lack of expertise created the conditions for the record."

American sprinter Justin Gatlin sets world recordMay 12 2006

American sprinter Justin Gatlin sets world record in the 100 meter dash: 9.76 seconds. But, could he beat a horse the length of a basketball court?

Update: Due to a rounding error on the timekeeper's part, Gatlin merely tied the world record.

Rubik's Cube world record broken International Rubik'sJan 17 2006

Rubik's Cube world record broken International Rubik's Cube Competition: 11.13 seconds. But the competition was best of three and the record-holder was beaten by 15 yo from Pasedena with an average lower time.

The world's largest ball of paint isDec 30 2005

The world's largest ball of paint is a baseball covered in 19,100 coats of paint, weighs 1700 pounds, and has taken 28 1/2 years to get to this stage.

kottke.org

Front page
About + contact
Site archives

Subscribe

Follow kottke.org on Twitter

Follow kottke.org on Tumblr

Like kottke.org on Facebook

Subscribe to the RSS feed

Advertisement

Ads by The Deck

Support kottke.org shop at Amazon

And more at Amazon.com

Looking for work?

More at We Work Remotely

Kottke @ Quarterly

Subscribe to Quarterly and get a real-life mailing from Jason every three months.

 

Enginehosting

Hosting provided EngineHosting