Pointless Endeavours

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#33
And when it comes to pointless gestures who is better at it than mad despots?

Turkmen leader orders ice palace

By Monica Whitlock
BBC Central Asia correspondent

President Niyazov of Turkmenistan has ordered the construction of a palace made of ice in the heart of his desert country, one of the hottest on earth.

It is the latest in a series of colossal building projects instigated by the all-powerful president that seem to defy the country's environment.

"Let us build a palace of ice," said President Niyazov, "big and grand enough for 1,000 people."

The palace will stand in the mountains just outside the capital, Ashgabat.

President Niyazov made the announcement in a speech broadcast on Turkmen television, which in effect made it a presidential order.

Environmental challenge

The idea is to build the palace in the Copa Deg Mountains outside Ashgabat, now baking in the summer heat, with a long cable-car running up from the city.

"Our children can learn to ski," Mr Niyazov enthused, "we can build cafes there, and restaurants."

President Niyazov's extravagant buildings are a hallmark of his idiosyncratic regime.

He is currently building one of the biggest mosques in the world, and has a chain of conventional palaces.

But the latest have a special quality - of challenging Turkmenistan's desert environment.

As well as the ice palace, there is to be a vast aquarium. The projects tend now to be sites of recreation for the people, like a Disney-style theme park instead of state palaces.

That is in keeping with Mr Niyazov's image as a servant of his people, who lays on every sort of amenity for them.

Ice palaces were popular in the Soviet Union, to which Turkmenistan once belonged, but they were built in the freezing cities of the north, far away.

The Turkmen mountains are relatively high, but it is hard to imagine the palace remaining frozen without some sort of technical help.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3554626.stm

Published: 2004/08/11 09:48:40 GMT

© BBC MMIV
 

TheQuixote

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#34
President Niyazov of Turkmenistan has ordered the construction of a palace made of ice in the heart of his desert country, one of the hottest on earth.
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.

Or something like that.
 

fluffle9

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#35
Agent Buffy said:
As for pointless endeavors, I did read as a small boy of a bloke from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who was able to swim 65 yards on his back, balancing a ladder on his chin.

How do you find out you can do that ?! :eek!!!!:
he was probably drunk. i'm fairly sure that's how i found out i could lick my own nipples.
 
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#36

TheNumber47

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#37
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.
 
A

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#39
Ms Indigo said:
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?
Absolutely, excellent place. Especially FA's daughter freaking everyone out by seeing a "Ghost" walking up the stairs ahead of us
 
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#40
I thought this was rather pointless one-up-manship:

DAREDEVIL WALKS THE WALK

A blindfolded man has walked a tightrope between two hot air balloons 4,000ft above the ground in the first stunt of its kind.

Mike Howard, 38, already holds the world record for the highest balloon tightrope walk at 18,800ft.

The Manchester airline pilot inched his way along the 19ft pole at the four-day Bristol Balloon fiesta.

He claimed it was the first time such a feat had been performed blindfolded.

The stunt was a practice run before he attempts it again at a record-breaking 20,000ft.

As Mr Howard returned to ground level he said the experience was "exhilarating."

He said: "People think hot air ballooning is pretty but very sedate - we like to show that it can be a bit more exciting."

Mr Howard insisted the need to concentrate on balancing meant he had no time for nerves during the three-minute walk.

The daredevil was wearing a parachute in case he fell.


---------
Last Updated: 13:22 UK, Saturday August 14, 2004
http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-1147650,00.html

You can imagine them sitting around drunk:

"Well I'm going to walk between two balloons"

"I'm going to do it blindfold"

"I'm going to do it blindfold on a bike!!!!"

"I'm going to do it blindfold on a bike while on fire!!!!!!!"
 

fluffle9

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#41
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.
 
A

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#42
Source

Malaysian woman moves in with scorpions
(Reuters)

22 August 2004

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.
 

SoundDust

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#43
long distance running . . .:eek!!!!:

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.
official website - apparently they pay the organisers $2000:eek!!!!:
 

TheQuixote

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#44
Apologies if posted elsewhere, have run a search couldn't find anything:

One of those that you question "How on Earth do you find out you can do this?"

Turkish man eyes squirting record

The effort that goes into breaking some world records is enough to bring tears to your eyes.

But record hopeful Turkish Mehmet Yilmaz's eyes don't water, they milk.

Mr Yilmaz, 28, has mastered the discipline of eye-squirting - sucking milk through the nose into the eye before squirting it out across a table.

He hopes his latest distance of 2.795m (9.2ft) is confirmed as breaking the former record of 2.615m (8.6 ft) held by a competitor from British Columbia.

"I have been working for almost three years, I practised with more than 100 litres of milk," Mr Yilmaz told Reuters television.

"Now I can say that I don't like milk a lot, I cannot look at milk and milk products as food."

How do you get into such a sport, or discover such talent? Watch for bubbles in the bath.

Four years ago, Mr Yilmaz found bubbles were coming out of his left eye while swimming in a pool.

He later found out that the bubbles came from a pressure leak inside his eyelids.

When he saw a previous Guinness attempt on television, he thought he would give it a go.

But the feat carries a "don't try this at home" warning, as only a few people around the world have the necessary physical anomaly.

The Guinness World Records must confirm the attempt before Mr Yilmaz can call himself a record holder.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/3618788.stm

Published: 2004/09/01 17:27:02 GMT

© BBC MMIV
 

Mighty_Emperor

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#46
Quixote said:
Apologies if posted elsewhere, have run a search couldn't find anything:

One of those that you question "How on Earth do you find out you can do this?"
and the supplementary question: Why is there even a record??
 

TheQuixote

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#47
When I read stuff like this I'm always reminded of one of Lard's (Mark & Lard of course) catchphrases, "No neeeed". Anyway:

Record bid by 1,109 leapfroggers

One of the oddest world records looks to have been broken as more than 1,000 people leapfrogged simultaneously.

The event held at Sir Richard Branson's home in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, was part of the Leap for London campaign to bring the Olympics to the capital.

Sir Richard, champion swimmer Sharron Davies and London 2012 Olympics bid chief executive Keith Mills, took part in the record attempt on Saturday.

The 1,109 who participated were mostly Virgin staff enjoying a work party.

Afterwards, Sir Richard said: "Everybody had a lot of fun even if one or two will be spending time with their chiropractors and back specialists next week."

Adjudicators from the Guinness Book of Records had to cancel at the last minute.

But Sir Richard's record is expected to stand when Guinness staff see a list of signatures from every Virgin participant as well as reels of video footage of the event.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/england/oxfordshire/3628842.stm

Published: 2004/09/05 09:54:40 GMT

© BBC MMIV
 
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#48
Scorpion woman ends record stunt

Scorpion woman ends record stunt

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.

Second record

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.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/3689592.stm

Published: 2004/09/25 21:20:44 GMT

© BBC MMIV
 
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#49

TheQuixote

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#50
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

By CP

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.

TSUNAMI FUNDRAISER

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.
Winnipeg Sun
 

TheQuixote

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#51
Kelvin Bags World Chips Record with Non-Stop Fry-in

By Sam Marsden, PA

A fish and chip shop owner tonight claimed to have set a new record for the world’s biggest “bag” of chips.

Kelvin Baines had beaten the previous record by 4.40pm after frying up more than 820lb (373kg) at The Chip Stop in Plymouth
[...]

Before starting, Mr Baines estimated he would use 176 pints (100 litres) of oil, 33lb (15kg) of salt, 53 pints (30 litres) of vinegar, 6,000 chip forks and 53 pints (30 litres) of sauce.
[...]

The record set by Mr Baines, who is originally from Blackfield, Hants, will have to be validated by Guinness World Records before it is officially recognised.
The Scotsman
 

Yithian

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#53
This cold have graced many threads but this one will serve:

Elvis singalong record is smashed

An Elvis impersonator is thought to have smashed the world record for the longest singalong of the King's songs.

Gary Jay, 41, of March, Cambridgeshire, completed his marathon on Friday after 51 hours and four minutes of songs.

The old record of 42 hours, 16 minutes and eight seconds was held by an Elvis impersonator from Germany.

Mr Jay, who originally set the record at Planet Hollywood in London in 2002, is now awaiting official confirmation from the Guinness Book of Records.

To reclaim the title Mr Jay had to perform the marathon to a reasonable standard and in full Elvis costume with just one 15 minute break every four hours.

The rock and roll milestone was celebrated with a cup of tea.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/camb ... 280065.stm
 

waitew

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#54
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.

I'd like to know more about this stunt.
 

Timble2

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#55
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.
 

TheQuixote

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#56
Drumming record broken in Kenya

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.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/w ... 308555.stm
Published: 2005/03/01 16:01:17 GMT

© BBC MMV
 

Renigirl

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#57
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.
Web version here, with a picture of the board, but alas, not the record-breaking itself.
 
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#59
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.

The group website is http://www.justgiving.com/climbbritainkop. Currently their target is to raise £1,000.

If anyone would like to donate a bathroom suite for the team to carry, please contact Mark on his website.
Source
 
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#60
Man Sets Record With 157 Squibs on Body


Apr 18, 5:48 PM (ET)

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.

---

Information from: Times West Virginian, http://www.timeswv.com
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