A Salute to World Records

The biggest, longest, most expensive, and especially strangest records are published in the big Guinness Book of World Records. The following records are examples of cases where one can rightly wonder whether they will ever be broken in future.

– Fastest 100 meter hurdling on flippers

The fastest 100-meter hurdles wearing swim fins by a female is 22.35 seconds. It was achieved by Maren Zönker of Germany in Cologne, Germany, on Sept. 13, 2008.

– Most balloons blown up with a nose

In 2010, the American Andrew Dahl blew up 23 balloons in exactly 3 minutes. The impressive part of the record was the fact that Dahl used his nose to blow up all 23 balloons with his nose.

Guinness World Records

Guinness World Records logo

– Most people dressed as Smurfs

The most people dressed as Smurfs was 1,253 and was achieved by the Muckno Mania Festival in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, Ireland, on July 18, 2008.

– Largest rubber band ball

Joel Waul, pictured, of the United States pushes his bouncing creation.The largest rubber band ball, which weighs 4,097 kilograms (9,032 pounds), was measured in Lauderhill, Fla., Nov. 13, 2008.

– Most beer steins carried over 40 meters, female

The most beer steins carried over 40 meters (131 feet, 3 inches) by a female is 19. This was achieved by Anita Schwarz in Mesenich, Germany, on Nov. 9, 2008, in celebration of Guinness World Records Day.

– Longest distance on a unicycle in 24 hours

Sam Wakeling covered 453.6 kilometers (281.85 miles) on a unicycle in a 24-hour period at Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom, from Sept. 29-30, 2007.

– Largest collection of clocks

The largest collection of clocks belongs to Jack Schoff of the U.S., who has amassed 1,094 different clocks as of June 17, 2008.

– Largest crew of a canoe

The ‘Snake Boat’ Aries Punnamada Urukku Chundan of Alleppey, Kerala, India, measures at 43.7 meters (143 feet, 4 inches) long. It had a crew of 143, which included 118 rowers, 2 rhythm men, 5 helmsmen and 18 singers, and was rowed in public in Kerala, India, May 1, 2008.

– Greatest distance cycled in 24 hours (unpaced)

The greatest distance cycled solo and unpaced in 24 hours is 890.2 km (553.14 miles) and was achieved by Marko Baloh of Slovenia at Lenart, Slovenia, on Sept. 6-7, 2008.

– Largest hamburger commercially available

The largest commercially available hamburger is 74.75 kilograms (164.8 pounds) and is available for $399 on the menu at Mallie’s Sports Grill & Bar in Southgate, Mich., as of Aug. 29, 2008.

– For world’s leggiest woman, romance is a tall order

Svetlana Pankratova is enjoying her celebrity as the woman certified by Guinness to have the world’s longest legs (4-foot-4). But it has its challenges: “Some [men] don’t like standing next to a woman that tall,” she said. And finding dress pants? “Impossible.”

– World’s largest shoe

This bad boy is 18.04 feet long, 6.92 feet wide and 9.51 feet high, and it’s an exact replica of a Converse Chuck Taylor All Star. What size would it be? UK size 845. Designers used a Converse Chuck Taylor All Star European size 39 as a model. The Nationaal Fonds Kinderhulp unveiled the massive shoe on Nov. 17 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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Untranslatability is a property of a text, or of any utterance, in one language, for which no equivalent text or utterance can be found in another language when translated.

An Example of a Latin Text

Terms are, however, neither exclusively translatable nor exclusively untranslatable; rather, the degree of difficulty of translation depends on their nature, as well as on the translator’s knowledge of the languages in question.

Quite often, a text or utterance that is considered to be untranslatable is actually a so-called lacuna, or lexical gap. That is, there is no one-to-one equivalence between the word, expression or turn of phrase in the source language and another word, expression or turn of phrase in the target language. A translator can, however, resort to a number of translation procedures to compensate for this.

‘Never again shall there be a language like Latin, never again shall precision and beauty embrace in such unity. All our languages have too many words, take a look at all those bilingual publications, on the left the few and measured words, the sculptured sentences, on the right the full page, the traffic-jam, the queue of words, the unsightly dribble.’

Nooteboom C. 1991. Het Volgende Verhaal [The Next Story] Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Uitgeverij De Arbeiderspers (1991) p. 13

23/iii mmxii

The ancient Greeks were fond of eating thistles, which they imported from Sicily.

1794 Delisle Map of Southern Ancient Greece, G...

1794 Delisle Map of Southern Ancient Greece

Amsterdam is built on about 90 islands, connected by about 1,000 bridges.

According to insurance statistics, the most dangerous cars are green and driven by the Chinese.

Men dining at Bangkok’s Cabbages and Condoms restaurant are entitled to a free vasectomy at the clinic next door. All diners get a condom with coffee instead of an after-dinner mint and the innovative Thai menu includes “Spicy Condom Salad”.

In Japan, when the traffic light is green the Japanese say it’s blue.

Before Christ

‘I have my dinner while sitting on a kitchen stool at the kitchen table, opposite a reproduction of a scene painted in the sixth century before Christ (who has been so impertinent to seize the centuries before him as well) by Prithinos at the bottom of the bowl, Peleus wrestling Thetis.’

Nooteboom. C. 1991. Het Volgende Verhaal [The Next Story] Amsterdam, The Netherlands: De Arbeiderspers (1991) p. 11