took to world record-breaking in
2004 after being inspired by a record-setting rally
driver in Kenya. What began as a hobby soon escalated
into an active publicity pursuit. Today, he promotes the
work of social and environmental causes. For these
purposes, the most fitting game plans are chosen; then
world titles are attempted and frequently created.
Wall Street Journal:
Shaking On It in Times Square
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Most CDs balanced on one finger: 40
This is the story behind my Guinness World Record™ for the Most CDs balanced on one finger.
It's not easy doing this, I can tell you. CDs don't shine like the sun for nothing; that reflective surface is very slippery when it comes to CD-stacking. And to make it harder, stacking them without a balancing support on a single finger helps create instability in the pile. All in all, it's a challenge. Because of that fact, I did it.
It all began with a pile of CDs scattered about the house I was temporarily staying at. I had the rules and gathered up the music CDs, the backup CDs, the driver CDs and any others I could find. By that time, I had a slippery pile which was easier to let collapse than to try balancing. About half a square metre of CDs lay across the massive dining room table at one stage, which made me suspect I had collected enough of the things.
I rounded up my witnesses, we all read the rules and made sure we understood them, and got on with the action. It was imperative, if I wanted to succeed, that I did not poke my supporting finger through the central hole in the growing column of CDs, which meant the tower swayed this way and that without a central support for as long as I tried building taller CD towers on one of my digits.
Numerous times I lost control of the tower, and CDs went flying for metres across the room. The 3 of us would gather them up and I'd retry. This went on for the best part of an hour, and finally, I was sure, I'd succeeded at balancing 40 CDs on my finger, albeit not for many more than just a few seconds. However, that's all the rules required and I was confident I'd got it right. But I couldn't be sure until the results came back from the judges, which I knew wouldn't take long.
Right then, though, I was concentrating on my finger. I'd let the CD pile fall over to one side, sending discs sliding away, and my finger was shaking. It wasn't used to supporting such a weight, and before the impression of the CD column's central hole on my fingertip disappeared, I was in a hurry to get the witnesses to record evidence of it. Several minutes later, I felt at ease, knowing I'd not have to hold my finger rigid for almost another hour while simultaneously trying to add one CD after the next to the wobbling, growing and slippery pile.
I looked over at the scattered mess of CDs. I wondered how much longer the
home owner would need them for, and if – when not needed – they'd recycle the
discs. Recycling them responsibly would be the right thing to do, but, not being my house, all I could do was mention it and hope before returning my thoughts to world record-breaking.
This was a pretty basic world record attempt, yet it took concentration and the usual type of preparations. That was fine with me, because I love this stuff and I'm happy to spend the time doing what's required.
Ultimately, learning that I'd succeeded was the best news of my day. It's this feeling I long for more and more, and I can't wait for my next challenge to arise.
Who knows. But what I do know is that I'm now officially the world record holder for chopping matches in half because that's the result I got from the judges. And I'm a happy chap.