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Chalk one up for British Airways. Actually, chalk a few up for the airline since they have broken several world records and entered the Guinness Book of World Records for a (not so) little concert they hosted in the air. Lucky winners of the exclusive flight became part of the record books, all th while raising money for a great charity.
It's called "The Gig In The Sky" and it took place this last Sunday as part of BA's fund-raising for the 25th anniversary for Red Nose Day. Since the charity started in the 1980s, the music should be from the 80s, right? Kim Wilde, Spandau Ballet's Tony Handley, Bananarama and Go West performed for the passengers of a chartered Boeing 767 for 22 minutes, at an altitude of 43,000 feet, breaking James Blunt's previous "highest concert" record of 42,080 feet.
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It's always nice to impress people with some useless knowledge, so here's a little morsel of info for when you're at your next dinner party: the airlines and routes that offer the world's longest and shortest flights. Since the world records are best left to Guinness, we will just clue you into the facts.
Let's start with the longest, since 2013 will cause some interesting movement in that area. Currently, Singapore Airlines holds this title for the longest commercial flight on the planet. SG 12, flying the 9,505-mile journey from Changi International to Newark Liberty takes passengers across the world in about 18 1/2 hours, give or take some time depending on winds. Singapore has announced that this year will sadly see the cessation of this route, handing over the crown to Qantas' flight from Sydney to Dallas. That 17-hour flight spans about 8,576 miles.
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After 190 days and 7,000 miles of rowing a cutting-edge rowboat across the North Atlantic, two British dudes arrived in San Francisco on Friday and promptly drank a couple of beers. The Golden Gate Endeavor, as the journey was called, left Choshi, Japan near Tokyo on Friday, May 8, 2009 and passed under the Golden Gate Bridge on Friday, November 13, 2009. The duo had hoped to be the first to row unsupported between Japan and the U.S., but they ran out of food about 100 miles from the finish and accepted an emergency helicopter drop. That doesn't make the trip any less cool in my book.
Headlines down in Australia these past few weeks have been heavily littered with opinions on how 16-year-old Jessica Watson will fair with her attempt to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world solo. While there were plenty of experts saying she shouldn't even trynot a good omen that she crashed into a huge ship on her way down to Sydney to start the voyageshe finally set sail on Sunday.
Jessica's journey should take her around 240 days, following the recognized southern hemisphere "round the world" route which includes some mighty difficult sea conditions. But she's not as alone as past solo sailors have been; she's got plenty of communications and she's even keeping a blog, which is now getting hundreds of comments per post.
If you're going to bungee jump, you might as well do it properly and launch yourself off the world's tallest. The Guinness World Record chaps say that Macau Tower is officially the world's highest commercial bungee jump at 233 meters (nearly 765 feet). OK, that's pretty high.
Bored cubicle occupants can get their share of the thrills by switching on the Live Bungee Web Cam. It streams jumps in real time from Macau Tower--time zone dependent, of course.
· Macau Tower [Official Site]
· Amazing Race All-Stars: The Tyrant Makes Charla Jump [Jaunted]
· Macau Travel coverage [Jaunted]
We told you last week a lot of people around the globe were going to try to break some records, and we're happy to report that quite a few of them pulled it off and earned themselves a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Most people running in high heeled shoes? Check. Most kisses in one minute? Yep. Most knee bends on a Swiss ball in one hour? We don’t even know what the hell that means, but yes.
Our favorite, though, has to be the English lads and lassies who broke the record for largest gathering of people wearing underpants (or knickers, as they call them).
Fantastic job, chaps. All 116 of you.
[Photo: Pants to Poverty]
If you saw something really big, really crazy or just really weird today, you're not alone. The Guinness people are pushing today as Guinness World Records Day, and more than 200,000 people in at least 18 different countries will try to weird their way into the legendary book before the day is out.
Svetlana Pankratova, a Russian woman who happens to own the world’s longest pair of legs, was making the rounds in New York yesterday to promote the event. Elsewhere, the largest dog wedding is being staged in Illinois, the largest motorcycle parade is going down in Florida and Norwegians will attempt to pour the world's largest cup of tea.
Good luck to all! Let us know if you see any record-breaking feats go down today.
· Guinness World Records [Official Site]
· World Record Travel: Dubai Tower to Break Own Record [Jaunted]
· Spunky 16-year-old Set to Break Solo Sailboat Circumnavigation Record [Jaunted]
Do you ever feel like you need to do more with your life? Do you yearn to tap into your deepest reserves of inspiration and soar to great heights, taking huge risks and making accomplishments that earn you the love and admiration of people around the world? If so, you should probably get over it. Whatever you were going to do, it's already being done by someone faster, smarter, and younger than you. Case in point: 16-year-old Zac Sunderland, who is on course to become the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the earth solo in a sailboat. A nifty LA Times story introduces us to the high-achieving skipper, who is near the halfway point of his journey in a 36-foot boat called the Intrepid. He has already traveled 12,000 miles and gone through every nautical problem short of sinking, including a recent close call with a group of pirates off the coast of Indonesia. A large wooden vessel flying no flags or markings was clearly on course to intercept him, prompting him to call his family in Thousand Oaks, California for advice. His dad's suggestion: load the .357 and shoot to kill. Fortunately for everybody involved, the pirates turned away at the last minute, and a relieved Sunderland continued on toward Mauritius. If all goes according to plan, he'll break the record in another five months or so at the age of 17 when he returns to his home port of Marina del Rey. As for the rest of us, let's congratulate Zac on the impressive feat, secure in the knowledge that we could do it too, if we felt like it.
[Photo: LA Times]
· Zac Sunderland, Solo Teen Sailor, Discovers Perils of the High Seas [LA Times]
· Zac Sunderland [Official Site]
· Sailing Coverage [Jaunted]
Sydney's Harbour Bridge has been carrying people across the water since 1932 but it's only a decade since the Sydney Bridge Climb allowed brave tourists to stand on top of the city's world famous icon.
To celebrate the ten year anniversary of climbing the bridge, the Bridge Climb people organized a bunch of people to climb with their flags to break the world record for "number of flags flown from a bridge" (damn, we really wanted to break that one ourselves).
Apparently the new world record is 137: A neat number that represents the number of different nationalities of the tourists who've successfully scaled the bridge so far. How very intellectual, Sydney.
While David Neeleman is working long hours to get a new Brazilian airline up and running, hopefully by next year, a Brazilian priest has been trying to show an easier way to get airborne.
We're guessing that Reverend di Carli thought something like "Who wants to wait around for an airline that doesn't even have a proper name yet," then hooked his chair to hundreds of helium-filled balloons and took off.
Okay, it might not have gone exactly like that, but it seems just as crazy, and the priest is missing over the ocean somewhere after losing his balloons. Seriously. The whole flight was supposed to be a record attempt to raise money, but it's raised hell instead. Now if only Neeleman's airline was already flying, they could help look for the reverend.
[Photo: Mark McLaughlin]
Climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa yet? Despite being still a bit amazed that a feat of engineering gone totally wrong could become such a major tourist attraction, we've done our turn up the spiral staircase, but it might all have been for nothing.
Turns out that Pisa's tower is in fact not the building with the greatest lean in the world. A church steeple in the German village of Suurhusen in the northwest of the country actually leans more than Pisa. It's not as beautiful as the more famous bell tower, nor quite as old, but it's officially now the world record holder. Book a trip soon, and you might be the first in your neighborhood to get a Leaning Steeple of Suurhusen pen holder on your desk.