He really is a character isn't he? he's the guy who passed a ruling that Turkmenistan nationals who have to take a driving test need to read and then pass another exam on his own relgious and social writings before they are a certified driver.
I firmly believe that if we collectively as a species didn't focus our time and effort on useless things we would very likely have destroyed ourselves by now. Why else would we spend money on things like art, music, or something like the opening cermony for the olympic games? Talk to an existentialist, or if one is unavailable in your area read a book by Camus or Sartre, and you'll find out why people spend so much time doing silly, useless things. I don't have my library handy right now, but Im pretty sure that Camus (maybe it was one of the other guys) wrote something (an essay? a book? that unclassifiable and nearly unreadable piece of work I can only call a philosophical treatise?) on suicide that got me thinking...thankfully I stopped thinking and went back to drinking soon afterwards.
Incidentally, have been reading about the Winchester House in San Jose, California, it sounds a fascinating place. But apparently Sarah Winchester kept building onto it obsessively for years, 24/7. Stairways leading nowhere, windows in floors etc. All 160 rooms of it. I guess in the end though it did have a purpose because it must generate quite a bit of local tourist revenue. BTW, has anyone visited it?
i just saw a bloke on the telly who had made the world's longest length of french knitting. there was about enough to fill a skip, and he was still going. apparently this aussie is trying to beat him now, but he reckons the aussie is stretching his knitting to make it longer which is cheating of course.
KUALA LUMPUR - Scorpions will be the bedfellows of a 24-year-old Malaysian woman for more than a month, as she tries to set a new world record for living with the venomous animals.
Nur Malena Hassan moved into a glass box with 6,000 scorpions at a shopping mall in Kuantan, about 250 km (about 160 miles) east of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, Malaysia’s New Sunday Times reported.
Nur Malena showed no sign of fear as she entered the box, the paper reported, and scorpions soon began crawling over her body as medical staff and officials from the Guinness World Book of Records monitored her.
Kanchana Ketkaw of neighbouring Thailand, who lived with more than 3,000 scorpions for 31 days in 2002, holds the current record.
Nur Malena, who may leave the glass box for only 15 minutes a day, was to have started her record attempt several days ago but struggled to find enough scorpions, the paper reported.
Vomiting, the shakes, diarrhoea - all delightful after-effects of running ultra-marathons. The human body isn't built to run 50 miles a day, but that doesn't mean no one will try it.
Bob Brown finished a 3,100 mile race across the United States fuelled by the three Ps: Preparation. Perseverance. Pasties.
He describes himself as a laid-back primary teacher who enjoys life in Cornwall with his wife, Amy. But his biography reveals something else about the 35-year-old: "I just cannot resist a challenge." And he has, in the past, described himself as an exercise junkie.
So the fact that his name was among the dozen entrants in the Run Across America makes sense, even if the idea of running nearly two marathons a day seems ludicrous.
Fuelled by Cornish Pasties and competitive fire, Mr Brown was the first to cross the finish line in New York's Central Park nearly 511 hours - of running - after he first set out from southern California on 12 June.
That makes more than eight hours and 43 miles a day. Hard? Certainly. Sensible? Debatable.
A Malaysian woman has emerged from a room full of scorpions after claiming a record for living 36 days with the deadly creatures. Nur Malena Hassan, 27, stepped out of the enclosure in the eastern Malaysian city of Kuantan, cheered by supporters.
She told reporters she had got what she wanted after being stung 17 times.
For more than a month Ms Hassan, nicknamed the Scorpion Queen, had shared a glass box in a shopping mall with 3,069 poisonous arachnids.
After ending her stunt on Saturday, she said she could not wait to get back to regular activities - like shopping.
"My mum is here and we're at a mall, so I'm starting right away," the Associated Press news agency quoted her as saying.
I got what I wanted after enduring pain from 17 stings and spending 36 days in there
Nur Malena Hassan
A spokeswoman for the Malaysia Book of Records said a video and other documentation would be sent to the Guinness Book of World Records in London.
Thousands of people visited the mall to observe the attempt, as Ms Hassan slept, ate, read magazines and watched television amid the scorpions.
She made no sudden movement, to avoid getting stung.
After five years of training, Ms Hassan has built up resistance to scorpion stings - but she can still faint if stung three times in quick succession.
A doctor was on standby to treat her if necessary.
This is not Ms Hassan's first stunt.
She first broke the world record in 2001, after spending 30 days in a box with 2,700 scorpions.
But a year later she was outdone by Kanchana Ketkeaw of Thailand, who lived for 31 days with 3,400 animals.
Well not exactly pointless as it was for charidee but still...
Mon, January 24, 2005 No need to needle this guy
Now that's a sharp look
CALGARY -- Brent Moffatt underwent surgery Saturday, but it wasn't to correct any health problems. The 36-year-old, who is known as the Human Pincushion, sat anxiously in a sterile room waiting to be inserted with 1,000 needles and 1,000 rings all over his body.
"I'll have a couple pounds of metal," Moffatt said as a room full of well-wishers stood waiting.
Moffatt has already broken three world records with his piercings and did so once again on Saturday with his weekend fundraiser hoping to raise $5,000 for Tsunami relief aid through the Red Cross.
"Initially we planned to raise some money for local charities, but the way we're looking at it is, people here in Canada, no matter how bad off you are, you can find a roof over your head or a meal," Moffatt said before the first needle was inserted.
"With these people overseas, they don't even have access to that."
The thin Moffatt, with stretched ear lobes and a tattooed face, knew the underlying danger before attempting his feat.
He had lost close to two litres of blood in a previous attempt and knows he'll have to take great care to avoid infection.
"I would never advise anybody to do this," he warned. "I'm on antibiotics and I have years of medical training so I know how to take care of my body. A single piercing infection, in theory, can kill you. You compound that 1,000 times -- it's not something you want to take lightly."
Moffatt also suffers from kidney disease, complicating the dangers even more.
In 2004 in Winnipeg, Moffatt paid tribute to those killed on Sept. 11 by having 900 needles inserted. That feat earned him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
How,is it the sauna stuff possible?
1. I though water couldn't be brought to a temperature above boiling except under pressure.
2. If the water really were above boiling setting in it for 12 minutes would allmost certainly prove fatal.
In a sauna you're sitting on a bench not in water it's the air temperature that is above boiling point. Adding water to the stove just generates steam (which can be above 100C at normal atomospheric pressure).
I'm not sure how it's supposed to keep the temperature up though, I suspect some there's some garbling in the the report.
Nine men in Kenya have claimed the world's record for non-stop drumming. The drummers - eight Kenyans and a Nigerian - kept playing for 100 hours, smashing the previous record set last year by 16 hours.
They started their attempt to pound their way into the Guinness Book of Records last Friday in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
They drummed away in eight-hour shifts of three, enduring scorching days and chilly nights, to reach their goal.
The marathon finished at 1500 local time (1200GMT) to the standing ovation of a big crowd which turned up outside the Kenya International Conference Centre.
The new record must still be confirmed by the Guinness Book of Records.
The longest individual drumming record is currently being held by Australia's Arulanantham Suresh Joachim who pounded non-stop for 84 hours last year.
More than 40 surfers on giant board in Australia break world record The Associated Press
CANBERRA, Australia — More than 40 surfers cruised into the record books Saturday when they successfully rode a giant surfboard off an Australian beach, breaking the previous world record set by an English team of 14 people in 2003.
More than 5,000 people gathered Saturday to watch riders conquer the 40-foot-long, 10-foot-wide board, newspapers reported. The board, created by board shaper Nev Hyman, arrived by semitrailer. More than 20 people carried it to the surf.
The riders at the Queensland state tourist city, Gold Coast, where the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro surf competitions were held, included pro surfers Chris Ward of California and Australian champion Danny Wills.
Newspaper reports of how many riders took part ranged from 44 to 47.
Hyman said the four-minute ride to shore was worth the monthlong effort to build the board.
“It was the best four minutes of my surfing life. It went in strong and straight,” Hyman told Queensland’s The Sunday Mail newspaper.
The board that set the 2003 record was 36 feet long.
OK not quite pointless but you do wonder if people want do something pointless and then work in a "worthy" motive. On a less cyncially footing: Good for him!!!
Load of good, clean fun had
Apr 14 2005
By Helen Korn, Ormskirk Advertiser
A PRIMARY teacher reached the peak of success after climbing a 3560ft mountain - with a washing machine strapped to his back.
Mark Gibbons, 28, from Ormskirk, wanted to raise money for the Kenyan Orphan Project by carrying the six-stone appliance up Mount Snowdon in Wales.
He was inspired to help after seeing the success of his friend Paul Lyon who cycled from John O'Groats to Land's End, raising over £500 for the charity.
Mark said: "It was one of those crazy ideas you get on a night out.
"I don't think anyone has ever done anything like this before - at least not with a Hotpoint Deluxe 800!"
The fundraiser spent a whole day making himself a harness out of an old ruck-sack and used string the next day to attach the washing machine to his back.
Friends John Alcock, Matt Collins and Geraldine McAdam also climbed the mountain and were there to spot him in case he tripped up or was struggling.
A sign on his back read "This is for charity, I'm not crazy" to alert confused passersby.
During the eight-hour trek up the mountain, several generous people stopped to donate money and Mark managed to collect an impressive £200 on the mountain alone.
Some American women watched the climber in awe and one man even took the machine off him for a few yards and then gave him £2 for the privilege.
On eventually reaching the summit, Mark got his highlydeserved sandwiches out of the drum and ate them.
He added: "I was tired at the end of it, but it was a nice day, so it wasn't too cold. "I want to thank everyone who gave me donations during the climb and everyone who sponsored me."
MARK'S next mission is to carry a whole bathroom suite to the top of Ben Nevis in the summer, again aided by his friends.
He is hoping to raise even more money and has set up a website to collect donations. Total proceeds raised by Mark and Paul will go towards the construction of two new classrooms, a library and laboratory for the new school and running costs of an orphanage in one of the poorest cities in Kenya - Kisumu.
Mark and his team of volunteer helpers will be going over in the summer to begin the work.
Both projects are backed by a registered charity, the Widows and Orphans international charity.
FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) - A man has set a Guinness world record for the most squibs to be set off on a human body. On April 11, his 35th birthday, Mike Daugherty donned a wet suit with 160 squibs riveted to it. Squibs are similar to blasting caps and are used to simulate gunshots in movies.
At Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, N.C., Daugherty was surrounded by family, paramedics, a special effects crew and some firefighters when special effects artist Will Purcell detonated the charges. All but three exploded, earning Daugherty his place in the record book.
"I was scared to death when we were doing it," Daugherty said. "But it wasn't that bad."
Daugherty, who works part-time as a stuntman, said his quest to set the record began as a joke while working on another film. It soon developed into much more after he contacted the Guinness Book of Records.
"No stunt man in the history of film has ever attempted anything like this," Daugherty said. "I was the first."
The stunt was filmed for a documentary called "Shooting the Record" that Daugherty said is in post-production. The behind-the-scenes film, directed by David Hill and produced by David Beavis, will include interviews and the stunt itself.