Sunday, May 13, 2007


You have to wonder if some people have too little to do in life. Ashrita Furman recently attempted the world record for using a metal hula hoop under water. He lasted all of 2 minutes 20 seconds while standing completely under water, with curious dolphins from the Island Dolphin Care facility swimming close by – and no doubt wondering what the heck the guy was up to. As I do.
Furman has apparently set 144 official Guinness records and is still the holder of 59 current records. He has set records in all 7 continents and in more than 30 different countries.
Why? Is this a way to achieve lasting fame? Apparently not, if someone is going to come along and beat your record at the drop of a hat. And what’s the value of such records as standing under water using a hula hoop? Why would you want to create such a record? It seems to me to have a lot in common with those art works known as ‘happenings’ where the point of the thing is barely discernible, or ‘installations’ where things like several crates of oranges are flung around the floor randomly – and that’s it.
Are we so short of records to achieve in the world that we have to stand under water with a hula hoop? Maybe we are.

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