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Book Review: Guinness World Records 2010: The Book of the Decade

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Did you know President Barack Obama is the first US president to use email in office? Did you know that the largest cheesecake weighed 4,703 lb (2,133.5 kg) and was 8 ft 2 in (2.5 m) in diameter? Did you know that the largest passenger ship to sail around the world is the Queen Elizabeth II? Did you know that the country with the most billionaires is the USA? Did you know that the tallest LEGO Structure measured 96 ft 8 in (29.48m) high?

I guess you get the idea. The newest edition of Guinness World Records 2010 has all kinds of astounding records about the oldest, largest, longest, highest, smallest, first, last, etc. This is the first decade of the 21st century, and Guinness is celebrating in style with numerous new features. First off, the cover is magnificent with its turquoise blue metallic swirls and silver lettering. It is so eye catching and fun you are immediately drawn into wondering, “What is this?”

The new sections include the top 100 records of the decade and the record of the day showing a record set on every date of the year. On my birthday, NCSA Mosaic was released in 1993 as the world’s first Internet browser. What record was set on your birthday?

A unique feature for the book of the decade is the extended online feature. Here you are given a key code to enter online and then are able to unlock special features on the Guinness World Records website. Check out clips of the video footage and download images as a desktop or cell phone wallpaper as indicated by icons through out the book.

Every page of Guinness World Records 2010 is filled with images of the record breakers. The tallest buildings, the largest collections, the highest waterfalls and mountains and so many other records are all beautifully displayed on every page. Even the oddities of tattooed and pierced bodies are captured within the pages, though I tend to turn those pages quickly.

One of my favorite sections of Guinness World Records 2010 is titled “The Unbreakables.” This section lists the records that have endured the test of time and most likely will not ever be beaten. They include such records as the largest diamond at 3,106 ct, the youngest doctorate at age 12 and the tallest man ever measuring 8 ft 11.1 in (272 cm). The longest held record is pole sitting, held by St Simeon the Stylite who spent 39 years on a pillar. This record has been held for 1,550 years. Anyone ready to attempt to break that record?

As children reading the Guinness World Records books, my friends and I would gather around to read in complete awe of the accomplishments and feats listed in that magical book. We would try to pick a record that we thought we could beat or just make one up on our own. Oh, the imagination of children. Maybe we should try to break the record for the most skips with a jump rope without missing, riding a teeter-totter for the longest time, the biggest ball of rubber bands, the longest time on roller-skates. The list could go on and on. We had fun as children dreaming about being famous by having our names in that book.

Still today as I read through the Guinness World Record Book 2010: The Book of the Decade, I go back to my childhood under that big tree in the backyard on a summer day and dream about breaking world records. The magic will never end.

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