Sunday, January 14, 2007

What's a power nap ?

Mills of the gods

Some guy from Burr Ridge , Illinois named George Hood just pedaled 85 consecutive hours on a stationary bycycle, sort of. I say sort of because the Guiness World record people allow you to take off five minutes for every hour you peddle and George took advanatge of this giant loophole by taking "several power naps." I assume that the 5 minute rule is given so that a participant doesn't have to wear some type of kit for certrain bodily needs that are going to happen many times during such a "trip". Although I will say that I don't know where the Guiness Corporation, a brewer and bottlerer of alcoholic beverages, gets off by claiming that they make the rules for world records. I don't know of any International treaty which recognizes the makers of stout as the Judge of all world records. I don't know why their judgment on what constitutes a stationary bicycle world record is any better than mine. This five minutes per hour allowance is a good example.

You know darn well that this George character, probably on the advice of some lawyer, put together his five minute per hour allowances and made several nights sleep out of it. If you peddle for 85 hours with five minute breaks, that's over seven hours of sleep you can get. I bet the guy took several two hour naps. That's not 85 consecutive hours ! That's three and a half days riding, on short sleep each day. I bet lots of these nut cyclists could do that, hell I've got a partner that I bet could do that, and I might just put him up to it.

At any rate, George beat the old record, held by some Dane named Brian Verkaer, by three hours. I have mentioned a certain lack of resepct on my part for the Danes in these pages previously. I am not surprised that George not only beat, but shattered the record. How many world records (out side of ones involving furniture and sweet rolls) do you think the Danish own ? Well, I will tell you how many athletic event world records they hold. According to a pretty comprehensive list on Wikipedia, none. I did as thorough a job as I could on the web trying to give them the benefit of the doubt for other records, and found these two.

In July of 2006,Danish eel researchers set a world record by keeping lavare of the European eel alive for five days. Even that is a tainted record and should be denoted with an asterisk. It is only for European eel. What's the all eel record ? That's what I want to know.

If that's not enough excitement, I found that researchers at the University of Denmark recently set "several" world records in optical transmission, i.e., "most flashes per second". Probably done to more quickly communicate the prestigious eel larvae world record. The record ? 160 billion flashes per second, or, put another way, the equivalent of 2 million phone calls being transmitted via a single optical fibre.
I am a bit dubious of this last record. Christian Larsen, the great Dane who is quoted claiming the record,said, rather enigmatically, "It may well be that our name isn't on the papers when the researchers announce their world records but it is often our fibres they have used." This is how desperate the Danes are for a world record. It's like some Japaneese guy setting a world record for putting away 75 Danish rolls in an hour, and Denmark sends out a press release first claiming that it's their world record because they invented the consumed item.

At any rate, we have a new world record holder for the stationary bike. Now if the guy would have just gotten on a real bike, he might have really gotten some where. That's a long time to travel to end up in Burr Ridge , Illinois. Hardly seems worth the trip.

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