Pointless Endeavours

Recycled1

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danny_cogdon said:
:shock:

Whitburn is part of Sunderland so actually its North Wearside not South Tyneside.

This also makes him a Mackem, not a Geordie.

Civil wars have started over less than this! :D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mackem
My ex husband comes from Sunderland , but I don't think I ever heard him call himself a Mackem.
(I, however, can think of lots of other things to call him!)
 
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Ducks and humans on longest journey
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/wor ... 88317.html

BERLIN – Two Germans set out on an unusual summer holiday yesterday, beginning a 500km swim down a river from Kassel in central Germany to the North Sea with seven pet ducks.

Pia Marie Witt and Wilfried Arnold will swim down the Fulda and Weser rivers, hoping to reach Bremerhaven by mid-September. The pair says the journey is about self-fulfillment.

Witt and Arnold plan to swim up to 15km a day, but this would be too much for the ducks, who will be carried by car or boat when they become tired. – (Reuters)
 

Yithian

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kerravon said:
Then a simple realisation dawned (or was it light at the end of the tunnel?)

This is pointless. I've wasted hours and hours of my life so far achieving nothing.

I've spent a fortune on books, maps, and trips to the transport museum. I'd changed mobile plan to one which gave me free calls throughout London (before the obvious point that I was spending most of the time where mobiles didn't work), but it did not matter.

I was becoming obsessed. I could tell you what line any named station was on. I could recite the stations on any given line in order. I could tell you which were closed, temporarily, permanently, or just at weekends.

So why was I doing this? For the sake of doing it. I had too much invested, wasted too much time to simply write it off as an extended moment of madness.

The end result? I do not, have not, and probably will not ever hold a World record, unless FT gives one for the most rambling post in their forums.
On the contrary, I think this is one of the most interesting posts I've read here for some time. However, it must be said, I personally disagree with the conclusion that you reached. The quest, focus and countless hours may have seemed pointless, but that's a relative term. I have a pet theory, still undeveloped, that an utter and complete focus/understanding of any given facet of reality - if understood in its full context as part of a referential totality - can grant deep insight into the totality of the universe.

No, really.

I'd further posit that although you reached the stage where you thought you had 'wasted' part of your life, this is only as much of a 'waste' as any other project in which anyone anywhere may choose to engage. If our human journey is about anything whatsoever beyond the absurdity of living for the sake of living and the fear of the unknown alternative, it is about understanding: understanding of ourselves and that around us. On what we spend our lives is largely irrelevant - climbing a career ladder, searching for God, researching pygmy seahorses, collecting cookies, or all of these combined - all are a means to a few vital ends: peace, contentedness and understanding. Perhaps, Kerravon, the London Underground was not the path for you, but it could very well be for someone else. The very fact that you've learnt that much about yourself and become familiar with countless aptitudes and vagaries of your personality means that the time probably wasn't wasted.
 

rynner2

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Worm charming festival fails to catch a single specimen
Crowds who attended a worm charming festival were left disappointed after contestants failed to tempt a single creature out of the ground.
By Murray Wardrop
Published: 8:30AM BST 07 Aug 2010

Dozens of competitors converged on a field in Lincolnshire for the sport which involves trying to lure as many worms as possible out of the earth within a 30-minute period.

But while the world record stands at 567, not one of the entrants at the Woodhall Worm Charming Festival managed to persuade a single invertebrate to vacate its underground lair.

The dismal performance was not matched by the enthusiasm of those taking part. While many traditionalists used the tried and tested method of “twanging” – whereby a four-pronged garden fork is inserted into the ground and vibrated by hand – others played instruments and experimented with homemade contraptions.

One contestant repeatedly honked his patch of grass with a vuvuzela, while another wheeled a spiked roller called “the worminator” across the ground. One team even used an electric back massager to coax out their prey.

At the close of the contest, one entrant said: “I feel wormthless.” Another added: “No worms, but we think they were just under the surface.”

With no clear winner, organisers were forced to modify the judging criteria and awarded the trophy to Team Green for being the Most Enthusiastic Charmers of the event.

The dire result follows the World Worm Charming Championships in Nantwich, Cheshire, earlier this summer which regularly sees entrants luring hundreds of creatures to the surface.

Event organiser Toni Franck said: “I can’t believe it because in Cheshire, even in their worst year, the winner took 40 worms – the best was more than 500. But we didn’t see a single worm here.”

Rules stipulate that contestants are not allowed to use water or dig worms out of the ground.

The event raised more than £200 for the Woodhall Spa Twinning Association.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... cimen.html
 

escargot

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The Willaston event is a well-loved local tradition, stretching back, ooh, a few years now. :lol:

It's the best day out for 100 miles. We also have a Donkey Derby and Pie-Rolling within a few miles, but the worms are the funniest. :D
 

zenrat

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rynner2 said:
Indian cabbie drives in reverse
...The 30-year-old drives at speeds of up to 50mph in the Fiat whose gearbox he has redesigned to have four gears in reverse and one only one forward. ...
Quite a simple modification. You just fit the gearbox from an Italian Army Fiat.



I'l get me coat...
 
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Guitarist strums his way into record books
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 54911.html
EOIN BURKE-KENNEDY

Sat, Jun 18, 2011

IT STARTED with a low-key version of Dusty Springfield’s Son of a Preacher Man and ended 114 hours and 20 minutes later with the U2 classic With or Without You.

Dublin musician Dave Browne’s world record for the longest continuous guitar-playing session was met with scenes of jubilation at The Temple Bar pub in Dublin yesterday morning, and the palpable relief of bleary-eyed staff at the bar, which had remained open non-stop for his marathon five-day gig.

Browne had been rocking around the clock since 4pm on Sunday, playing an average of 12 pieces of music per hour, with no longer than 30-second breaks between songs.

He eclipsed the former record of 113 hours, held by Argentinian guitarist Guillermo Terraza, shortly after 9am while playing When Loves Comes to Town by BB King.

The exhausted guitarist finally put down his instrument an hour and 20 minutes later, having played a total of 1,372 tracks, mainly rock, blues and trad tunes.

“The whole thing just snowballed. I am absolutely ecstatic. It feels surreal,” Browne said after his mammoth session.

The musician, who has been gigging at the bar for more than 10 years, has played with a number of well-known acts including the Dubliners, Aslan and the Pogues.

The inspiration behind his record bid stemmed from a disaffection with the music industry, he said, and a desire “to return to simply playing the guitar”.

According to rules set by the Guinness World Record authorities, he was allowed a 30-second break between songs, which had to be recognisable, published music lasting at least two minutes.

He was afforded a five-minute break every hour which he was allowed roll into a 40-minute rest every eight hours, enabling him to power-nap, eat, shower and change.

His record-breaking guitarathon brings the total number of Irish record holders to 135, according to a Guinness World Record spokeswoman.

Other Irish musical bests include Westlife who hold the record for the most consecutive number ones in the United Kingdom charts, and U2 who boast the record for the largest screen at a pop concert.
 

rynner2

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Some people probably think that doing crossword puzzles is a pointless endeavour (but they are narrow-minded fools!) Compiling crosswords is a profession however, but I don't suppose there are that many professionals doing it.

Guinness Book of World Records for Telegraph crossword setter
Telegraph crossword setter Roger Squires is back in the Guinness Book of World Records after setting nearly 75,000 puzzles and 2.25 million clues.
By Hannah Furness
6:30AM BST 20 Sep 2013

He has written nearly 75,000 crosswords in his career, bringing delight and puzzlement in equal measure to Telegraph readers for decades.
Now Roger Squires, 81, has returned to his rightful place in the Guinness Book of World Records, as the world’s most prolific crossword setter.
Mr Squires, who began his professional career 50 years ago and sets the Telegraph crossword every Monday, has officially written more than 2.25 million clues to puzzle readers with no sign of running out yet.

He first entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 1978, but dropped out in 2008 after organisers allegedly felt their young readership would be interested in more modern pastimes.
He has now been officially reinstated for the 2014 edition after appearing in 115 publications in 32 countries, saying: “I’m just happy to be back in.”

Mr Squires, a grandfather-of-two, said the secret of his success was a simple “love of playing with words”, as he aims to entertain readers rather than frustrate them with fiendishly difficult clues.

His record-breaking career, however, may also have been inspired by more down-to-Earth concerns.
“When I started out it didn’t pay very much,” he said. “So I had to do a lot.”
By the late 1970s he was writing 40 puzzles a week, and published his two millionth clue in the Daily Telegraph in 2007.
His official entry in the 2014 book states he had completed 74,634 crosswords as of 30 June 2013.

Mr Squires, who has also worked as an actor and magician, began writing crosswords while serving at sea as a Fleet Air Arm observer, after his colleagues refused to play cards with him due to his Magic Circle membership. :twisted:

Instead, he took to studying the newspaper crosswords, going on to compile his own while far away from fresh material at sea.

He now writes around one 15x15 crossword a day, working from 9am until 1pm everyday, with a few extra hours to perfect it in the afternoon.
“It’s a lot easier nowadays,” he said. “When I first started out it would take three or four days, because I used to have to draw out the grid, fill it in with pencil, and keep rubbing bits out.”

He has used a simple computer system since 1988, with a fixed grid allowing him to input words and delete them easily, with a record of approximately 100,000 past clues stored at his house to avoid repetition.

When asked for the secret to setting a good crossword, he modestly claimed it was down to a simple enjoyment of playing with words.
“I love what you can do with words, and all their different meanings,” he said. “Changing them backwards, forward and sideways.
“I try to entertain and bring a bit of fun to it. I don’t try to make them too difficult. The best ones are straightforward and entertaining”.

Mr Squires' first puzzle was published in the Radio Times in 1963, and he became a full time setter in 1977, setting a remarkable 23 crosswords a week by 2007.

He believes he has not repeated any clue in the same publication for at least 15 years, occasionally blending two successful previous questions to create a new one.

As well as puzzles for local, national and international newspapers, he has also produced a 3D version to fit onto a Rubik's Cube. He is reported to have once set a clue with the answer "Llanfairpwllgwyn gyllgogerychwyrndrob wllllantysiliogogogoch" :shock:

His landmark two millionth clue, as published in the Daily Telegraph, was "Two girls, one on each knee (7)", with the answer revealed as "patella". [Groan!]

When asked for his favourite clue, Mr Squires has previously disclosed Colin Dexter, the Inspector Morse author, told him he had enjoyed "Bar of soap' (3,6,6)". The answer: "The Rovers Return". 8)

Fans of Mr Squires’ puzzles will be pleased to learn he has no plans for retirement in the near future.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... etter.html
 

rynner2

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I suppose this stunt has some educational benefit:

Can you ride a motorbike across the Tamar, without using a bridge?
7:00am Wednesday 1st January 2014

In 'Speed with Guy Martin', motorbike racer Guy attempts to set the world record for riding a motorcycle on the surface of water.

With the help of a Cambridge professor and a team of marine engineers, Guy's stunt hinges on Sir Isaac Newton's Third Law of Motion: that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
If he can maintain enough speed on his bike, the 250-year-old theory says he should be able to achieve the seemingly impossible: to ride on water.

The team master the engineering on the back wheel and the extra fittings on the bike to enable it to skim across the surface of a lake.
Crashing is inevitable, so Guy endures a rigorous training schedule, trying to escape underwater from a submersion rig and then conducting a series of dizzying trial runs, hitting the water at 30mph head first.

Testing for the stunt took place on the Tamer between Saltash and Plymouth, with the final record attempt taking place at Bala Lake in Snowdonia - which is so deep a 10-storey building could be submerged in it - with Guy surrounded by an army of rescue teams and emergency divers.

Find out if he makes it when the show airs at 8pm on Sunday, January 5.

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/10 ... EO/?ref=mr
 

rynner2

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Man breaks record for smashing most walnuts with his head
Mohammad Rashid headbutts his way through 155 walnuts in one minute at Punjab Youth Festival, Pakistan
10:27AM GMT 13 Mar 2014

A Pakistani martial arts expert has found notoriety after headbutting his way through 155 walnuts in one minute. His record-breaking attempt literally smashed the previous record of 44 walnuts.

Surrounded by a crowd of onlookers and officials, Mohammad Rashid proceeded to crack a long line of walnuts laid out on a table using only his forehead. After his minute was up, a breathless Rashid looked plased with his efforts. However a few of the walnuts clearly got the better of him, as he could be seen wiping away a few spots of blood from his head.

His stunt was part of the annual Punjab Youth Festival in Lahore, Pakistan. The festival has played host to other weird and whacky sports record attempts, including the most number of pushups in 24 hours.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvid ... -head.html
 
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Reza Baluchi, ‘bubble man’ attempting to float to Bermuda in a homemade 'Zorb', has be to be rescued by coast guards

Endurance runner Reza Baluchi called for help after suffering from fatigue days into his trip

An endurance runner attempting to reach Bermuda from the US in nothing but a self-built inflatable bubble, has been rescued by Coast Guards after suffering from fatigue. Reza Baluchi, the runner and peace activist, was picked up by US Coast Guard air crew on Saturday morning and taken to a nearby coast guard station, where he was described as safe and well.

The Coast Guard said it was first made known of a man floating in a giant bubble on the sea on Wednesday. After Baluchi had alerted the emergency services of his need for help, rescuers found him disorientated and asking how to get to Bermuda.

Baluchi, an Iranian exile, was attempting to 'Zorb' the 1,033 mile trip starting in California in order to raise money for “children in need” and “to… inspire those that have lost hope for a better future” according to his website, in his inflatable “Hydo-pod”.

The pod is a large bubble housed inside an aluminium-type frame dotted with inflated footballs. The bubble itself is made of 3mm-thick plastic, and is propelled forward by running inside it and using arms to push at the sides. ...

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 75138.html
 

krakenten

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Were these English walnuts, or black walnuts?

The English walnut has a seam around the shell, it cracks fairly easily.

The black walnut is messy(yielding a black goo that stains like fury-Athelstane King, in King of the Khyber Rifles uses walnut juice to darken his skin and pose as a native. The stain lasts a while) and has a rock-like shell that requires serious force to crack.

Both yield a delicious meat. They have differing flavors, but both are very tasty.

If this fellow was cracking black walnuts, he'll probably have a concussion!
 

rynner2

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Gardener bids to break world record for fastest ever shed
[VIDEO]

A gardener has completed an attempt to break the world record for the fastest shed.
Kevin Nicks, from Great Rollright, Oxfordshire, got bored with his Volkswagen Passat and converted it into a shed on wheels.

Earlier, his unusual vehicle was clocked at an average of 70.8mph over two 100m runs during a day of record attempts near York.
Mr Nicks, 50, said he was happy to have achieved his goal.
He will now submit his results to Guinness World Records, which will decide if he has officially broken the previous record of 58.4mph.

Mr Nicks, who is hoping to use the vehicle as advertising space, said: "It's good to be getting the word out there, which will help as an advertising tool.
"I can say 'advertise on the side of the world's fastest shed'."

It took Mr Nicks seven months to transform his car, using steel beams and timber, and create his shed on wheels.
It is legal to drive on the road and can reach speeds of almost 80mph, he said.
Mr Nicks added: "I had the car sitting around and it was going to be scrap, but it was too good for scrap.
"It's fun, it makes everybody smile."

The record attempt was held at the 10th World Wheelie Championship at Elvington Airfield near York.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-33951868

I'm surprised it's road legal, with all those sharp corners. Could do a lot of damage if it hit a pedestrian.
 
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US electronics store sets 'mattress dominoes' record
8 April 2016
Last updated at 23:54 BST

More than 1,000 workers and mattresses have set a new world record for "largest human mattress dominoes", according to Guinness World Records.

Employees from the electronics and appliance store Aarons took part in the massive exercise on Thursday in the suburbs Washington in Maryland.

It only took one try but the domino tumble lasted for 13 minutes and 38 seconds.

Guinness said the stunt took 34 rows of mattress and 7,000 square feet of space.

Video courtesy of Guinness World Records

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36002767

Vid at link.
 

Ermintruder

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have set a new world record for "largest human mattress dominoes"
Possibly wrong, but.....

I get the distinct impression that they're spaced just too far apart, for the falls to be transmitted naturally. I feel that the preceding 'impact' is mainly acting as a signal for the faller to do a toe-ankle pushback topple (this is further emphasised by the oddly-underwhelming pace, which itself seems to vary).

For me, this is a bit of an curiously-unconfirmed record. We need to invoke the spirits of Roy Castle and the McWhirter twins for an ajudication...
 
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I bet he's hopping mad

A 71-year-old Frenchman has departed on a journey across the Atlantic in a specially designed barrel capsule, which will use ocean currents alone to propel him across the sea.

Jean-Jacques Savin set off from El Hierro in Spain’s Canary Islands on Wednesday and is aiming to complete his 2,800-mile journey to the Caribbean in about three months. Savin will drop markers from his three-metre long resin-coated plywood capsule along the trip to assist oceanographers in their study of currents in the Atlantic Ocean. The barrel is equipped with a kitchen area, and a mattress with straps to keep him from being thrown about by rough seas.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/break...-cross-atlantic-in-barrel-capsule-894305.html
 

Austin Popper

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On the contrary, I think this is one of the most interesting posts I've read here for some time. However, it must be said, I personally disagree with the conclusion that you reached. The quest, focus and countless hours may have seemed pointless, but that's a relative term. I have a pet theory, still undeveloped, that an utter and complete focus/understanding of any given facet of reality - if understood in its full context as part of a referential totality - can grant deep insight into the totality of the universe. No, really. I'd further posit that although you reached the stage where you thought you had 'wasted' part of your life, this is only as much of a 'waste' as any other project in which anyone anywhere may choose to engage. If our human journey is about anything whatsoever beyond the absurdity of living for the sake of living and the fear of the unknown alternative, it is about understanding: understanding of ourselves and that around us. On what we spend our lives is largely irrelevant - climbing a career ladder, searching for God, researching pygmy seahorses, collecting cookies, or all of these combined - all are a means to a few vital ends: peace, contentedness and understanding. Perhaps, Kerravon, the London Underground was not the path for you, but it could very well be for someone else. The very fact that you've learnt that much about yourself and become familiar with countless aptitudes and vagaries of your personality means that the time probably wasn't wasted.
And that, in turn, is quite an interesting post. It reminds me of something I saw on another forum a long time ago: The universe is made of stories.
 
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Paddling padre.

He has been alone at sea for almost four months. Now a 67-year-old Russian explorer must battle snow storms and 25ft waves as he attempts to become the first person to circumnavigate the southern hemisphere in a rowing boat.

Fedor Konyukhov is approaching the final stage of the first leg of his journey, from New Zealand to Cape Horn, during in which he expects to meet icebergs.

A week ago the sailor, who has climbed Everest twice, rowed solo across the Pacific and has also been ordained as a Russian Orthodox priest, was forced to stay fastened in his bunk for three days as a storm battered Akros, his 30ft boat. “It was like being on the back of a wild horse,” said his son.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/...ellish-snowstorms-in-southern-ocean-xk5bbgr2t
 
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