London Sets 21 Guinness World Records In Six Months

Officials from the Guinness World Records have been hard at work in London over the past six months. More than 16,000 new record holders have been named as people from across the city attempt to beat more than 20 records. They’ve done a lot of strange things in order to take over the ranks, including the longest curtsey relay in five minutes, the fastest hula-hooping marathon, the longest line of fanfare trumpeters and more. Today, over 100 soldiers completed the 21st and final challenge: the record for “most people dipping egg soldiers simultaneously.”

A traditional British breakfast, egg soldiers are soft-boiled eggs eaten by dipping buttered strips of toast into the runny yolk. The soldiers pictured above lined up and ate their egg soldiers on command in a carefully orchestrated event. The attempt to beat such a large number of records was launched by London & Partners, the promotional organization for the city, in order to celebrate London’s people, attractions, universities, businesses, sports and transport. A full list of records that have been broken over the past six months in London is available after the jump.

1. Longest marathon hugging welcoming the world to London
2. Longest curtsey relay in five minutes
3. Most entrants in an egg hunt competition
4. Largest reading lesson (multiple venues)
5. Most expensive chocolate egg sold at auction (non-jeweled)
6. Largest archaeological archive – Museum of London
7. Tallest costume to complete a marathon
8. Fastest marathon hula-hooping
9. Fastest marathon on stilts (7-9 were just three of the 29 Guinness World Records set at the 2012 Virgin London Marathon)
10. First recorded Mr. Punch puppet show – to commemorate 350 years since Mr. Punch first appeared at London’s Covent Garden
11. Most Portrayed human literary Character In Film & TV – Sherlock Holmes
12. Longest line of fanfare trumpeters
13. Oldest continually working film studio – Ealing Studios
14. Most people throwing mortar boards simultaneously – celebrating international students in London
15. Longest club DJ session relay – 100 DJs at Ministry of Sound for London based Charity OneLife
16. Largest parade of boats – as part of the Thames Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant
17. Largest treasure hunt game celebrating The Mayor’s Team London Ambassadors
18. First underground railway system – to TFL and London Underground
19. Largest composite photograph exhibition by artist Clare Newton
20. Oldest bicycle shop – established in 1860 in Sutton, London
21. Most people dipping egg soldiers simultaneously

World’s Largest Chocolate Sculpture To Go On Display In California


World's Largest Chocolate Sculpture

California dessert and pastry school Qzina has just broken the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Chocolate Sculpture. Modeled after the Kukulcan Mayan pyramid in Chichen Itza, Mexico, the chocolate pyramid took more than 400 hours to construct and weighs 18,239 pounds.

Qzina’s chocolate “architects” built an exact scale model of the Mayan temple to celebrate the school’s 30th anniversary and to pay homage to 2012, the supposed end of the world according to some interpreters of the Mayan calendar. Measuring one-thirtieth the size of the original Mayan temple, the solid chocolate replica stands at six feet tall with a symmetrical base of 10 feet by 10 feet. Every last detail, from the number of steps up the sides of the temple to tiny figurines modeled to look like Mayan tribesmen, was created out of chocolate. More amazing photos of the chocolate pyramid are available in this Flickr set.

The chocolate sculpture goes on display on June 4, 2012, in the Qzina product showroom in Irvine, California, and will be destroyed on December 21, 2012, the last date on the Mayan calendar. “The method for destruction is yet to be determined,” according to the Qzina website.

By the way, the previous world record for a sculpture made of chocolate was held by Italian chocolatier Mirco Della Vecchia, who built the Duomo of Milan out of 10,736.5 pounds of chocolate.

California man sets new record by surfing for 26-hours straight

Bill Laity surfs for 26-hoursSurfer Bill Laity earned himself a spot in the record books last weekend by setting a new endurance mark for the longest continuous surfing record. Laity, who lives in San Clemente, California, set the record off Huntington Beach, where he rode the waves for a very impressive 26-hours straight.

To make his historic ride Laity had to apply to the Guinness Book of World Records and obtain permits that would allow for night surfing. He started planning his attempt back in September after previous record holder Thomas Cannon managed to surf for 24-hours in a row back in August.

Before he even hit the water last Saturday Laity could tell he was going to be in for a challenge. Rain started to fall early that morning, and the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning. That led to cold conditions while out on the waves and forced him to don a different wetsuit on his first break.

The Guinness Book allows for a five minute breather for every hour surfed, and Laity went for 10 hours straight before heading into shore for the first time. During that break he put on a warmer suit, which set him up for another 12-hour stint on his board, which measured just five foot, seven inches in length. During his second break Laity managed to eat some lunch, then drag his weary body back out onto the water for four more hours of surfing.

Previous to this attempt, the longest that the 37-year old Laity had surfed was five-hours straight while visiting Hawaii.

[Photo credit: Brent Hilleman via The Swell Blog]

The naughty postcard museum

The British have always been famous for their humor, both dry wit and the naughtier brand. One man who combined the two is being celebrated in a new museum that opened in Ryde in the Isle if Wight yesterday.

Donald McGill, Britain’s “king of vulgarity”, illustrated thousands of postcards over an almost sixty-year career. He was best known for simple double-entedres like the one pictured to the right. He also has the distinction of making it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most sales of an individual postcard–one featuring a bookish man and an attractive young woman sitting under a tree. The guy peers over a volume and asks the girl, “Do you like Kipling?” to which she replies, “I don’t know, you naughty boy, I’ve never kippled!” That sold more than six million copies.

One of his most popular, and most controversial, shows two men admiring an attractive woman as one says to the other, “She’s a nice girl. Doesn’t drink or smoke, and only swears when it slips out!”

In the age of Internet pornography these barely qualify for a PG rating, but in Britain before the Sixties they shocked stogy traditional sensibilities. In 1953 many local jurisdictions raided the shops selling his postcards and burned any they found. The next year at the age of 79, McGill had to face what the museum’s curator called a “show trial” for obscenity. He got off with a fine, but the ruling almost killed the saucy postcard industry.

The Donald McGill Museum website is still under construction but shows some more examples of McGill’s work.


Photo courtesy Donald McGill via Wikimedia Commons.