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A new record!

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When I was a kid, I won a copy of the Guinness Book of World Records in a writing contest in what I want to say was the 6th or 7th grade. I read it cover to cover at least three or four times.

I’ve always been fascinated with those kinds of things, oddities and extremes like you’d see on Ripley’s Believe It or Not and such. I’m not eve sure if Guinness even puts out a new world record book every year anymore since it’s all probably easier to just put it online, where new records can be updated with a few clicks, but I did see just yesterday that a tortoise named Jonathan had just been recognized as the oldest tortoise ever verified at the age of 190. A quick bit of math shows that Jonathan was born in 1832. That’s 30 years before the Civil War!

Andrew Jackson was President of the United States and there were only 24 of them! I assume ol’ Jonathan has not kept up with the events of his lifetime but we, as humans, consider ourselves lucky to get even half of those 190 years. Assuming such a long life today, if Jonathan were to be born now, he’s still be roaming aound the nature preserve in 2212 A.D. I can’t even wrap my head around that idea. You used to hear a lot more often about some daredevil going after the world record for most buses jumped on a motorcycle or some goofball trying to stuff more hot dogs in his mouth than anyone had ever done before, but not so much. Are we too busy doing more important things? Have we lost that “world record” spirit? I don’t know but I miss the pursuit of silly things.

Either way, Happy birthday, Jonathan!

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