TIME society

17 of the Strangest Guinness World Records of All Time

Nigel Roddis—Reuters Grower Pete Glazebrook poses for photographers with his onion weighing 17lb 15.5oz at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show in Harrogate, northern England September 16, 2011.

As Guinness World Records celebrates its 60th anniversary, take a look back at decades of weird feats

After decades in the business, Guinness World Records knows weird.

The organization, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary Thursday, has made its name designating some of the oddest and most bizarre records possible. Out of the approximately 50,000 applications it receives annually from 174 countries, 6,000 get approved. Though its annual compilation of current records comes out Sept. 10, TIME takes a look back at some of the most unusual world records that have been achieved throughout the years.

1978: Wrestlers Billy and Benny McCrary are dubbed the world’s heaviest twins at 743 pounds and 723 pounds, respectively.

1988: Blackie becomes the wealthiest cat when its owner dies and leaves it $12.5 million.

1992: Bryan Berg set the record for the largest house of cards at 75 storeys in Spirit Lake, Iowa.

1994: Daniel Bent set the record for fastest ever time in the bog-snorkeling triathlon in 2 hours, 23 minutes, 24 seconds at the World Bog Snorkeling Championships.

1998: Suresh Joachim of Sri Lanka takes the longest escalator ride, which was 140 miles long, at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Burwood, New South Wales, Australia.

1999: Gary Bashaw, Jr., set the record for most milkshake dispensed through the nose when 1.82 oz. of milk and chocolate powder came out of his nose on the set of a Guinness World Records TV program in Los Angeles, California.

2000: Ann Atkins set the record for the largest collection of garden gnomes with 2,010.

2001: Smudge, a parrot, set a record for most keys removed from a keyring by a parrot by slipping off 10 in under two minutes. In 2009, he got all the way up to 22.

2004: Chad Fell blew the largest bubblegum bubble at 20 in. at the Double Springs High School in Winston County, Alabama.

2008: Kevin Shelley set the record for most toilet seats broken by one’s head in one minute by shattering 46 in Cologne, Germany.

2009: Melvin Boothe had the longest finger nails on a pair of male hands ever at 32 ft. 3.8 inches when they were measured in Troy, Michigan.

2011: Pete Glazebrook shows off the world’s heaviest onion, weighing 17 pounds, 15.5 ounces at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show in Harrogate, northern England.

2012: Val Kolpakov of Alpharetta, Georgia, has been recognized for the largest collection of toothpaste tubes at 2,037.

2013: Hip-hop artist Big Freedia set a record for most people twerking simultaneously when she led 358 dancers for two minutes straight in New York City’s Times Square.

2014: Ranmaru, an Australian Labradoodle, boasts the longest eyelashes on a dog at 6.69 in.

2015: 12,975 dancers set a record for the world’s largest Zumba class in Mandaluyong, a city just outside the Philippine capital, Manila.

Date N/A: Micronecta scholtz, a type of aquatic freshwater insect, has been recognized for having the loudest penis at 99.2 decibels, described as “equivalent to sitting in the front row listening to a loud orchestra playing.”

TIME celebrities

Watch Miley Cyrus Go Undercover to Ask Strangers What They Think of Miley Cyrus

She manages to keep her cool

On Jimmy Kimmel Live Wednesday night, pop star Miley Cyrus donned a brunette wig, glasses, a gray pant suit and pretended to be an Australian TV journalist asking people on the street what they thought of Miley Cyrus hosting the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday.

A man wearing a cowboy hat and a white tank told the singer he thinks she’s “missing something” in her life and acts out because she is “starving for attention.” Another man in a brown shirt says he prefers Taylor Swift.

Ouch.

The MTV Video Music Awards air at 9:00 p.m. on August 30.

Watch the full clip below:

TIME Internet

These Are the Most Popular Schools on Tinder

The dating app says its inaugural list shows which schools have "the most desirable student body"

As if college admissions was not competitive enough already, a new list released Wednesday by the dating app Tinder attempts to rank schools based on the attractiveness of their students. In a blog post, the company wrote, “Data is based on the ratio of right swipes received by students attending each university, ages 18-23 in the spring of 2015.” (Users swipe right on their smartphone screens when they like a person’s profile.)

College students have been using the app to meet students at other nearby universities or people that they might not have overlapped with in classes and clubs yet. Or, to find the free food.

Below is the full list from Tinder:

Tinder
TIME Family & Relationships

Watch a Magician Propose to His Girlfriend With a Magic Trick

The magical moment involved a can of alphabet soup

A London magician had an especially romantic trick up his sleeve on stage at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

After appearing to swallow a piece of string and a wine glass full of alphabet soup, Neil Henry, 37, proposed to his girlfriend Charlie Gardner, 23, by pulling a string out of his mouth with letters that spelled out “MARRY ME.” Then he got down on one knee and pulled out the ring. Fortunately she was not overcome with alphabet soup, and she blurted out ‘yes’ repeatedly.

The couple told the Scottish Daily Record that they have been going to the arts festival every year since they first met at the event in 2013, but Gardner claims she never thought an on-stage proposal would be in the cards. As she told the news outlet, “At first I thought he was going to spell out Marmite with the letters.”

(h/t Uproxx)

Read more: This Was Voted the Funniest Joke at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

TIME Business

This New Ad Will Get Anyone Excited for Star Wars

Nostalgia alert

A new ad from Target is a celebration of Star Wars fandom, featuring little boys and girls dressed up like Hans Solo, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, and battling older relatives with lightsabers — all while John Williams’ classic Star Wars theme plays in the background. The two-minute spot is a promotion for new Star Wars merchandise hitting shelves on September 4 — also known as “Force Friday” — to gear up for the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 18.

Watching the promotion is a total nostalgia trip that will make Star Wars fans feel like the force is with them all over again. And the retailer hopes that fans who feel this way will channel that energy into submitting their favorite memories about the films on its website.

TIME celebrities

Josh Duggar Checks Himself Into Rehab

josh duggar
D Dipasupil—Getty Images Josh Duggar visits "Extra" at their studios at H&M in Times Square on March 11, 2014 in New York City.

He had called himself "the biggest hypocrite ever"

Reality TV star Josh Duggar, co-star of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, has checked himself into rehab a week after admitting he was “the biggest hypocrite ever” because he has been addicted to pornography and has been “unfaithful” to his wife Anna, according to a statement posted Wednesday on the Duggar family’s website.

The admission came amid reports that the former executive director for the conservative lobbying group Family Research Council had an account on hacked extramarital affairs website Ashley Madison. About a month ago, TLC officially cancelled the Duggars’ show after it was revealed in mid-May that police had been investigating Josh for allegedly molesting five girls.

Read the latest statement from the family below:

We are so thankful for the outpouring of love, care and prayers for our family during this most difficult situation with Josh. As parents we are so deeply grieved by our son’s decisions and actions. His wrong choices have deeply hurt his precious wife and children and have negatively affected so many others. He has also brought great insult to the values and faith we hold dear. Yesterday Josh checked himself into a long-term treatment center. For him it will be a long journey toward wholeness and recovery. We pray that in this he comes to complete repentance and sincere change. In the meantime, we will be offering our love, care and devoted support to Anna and our grandchildren as she also receives counsel and help for her own heart and future. During this time we continue to look to God—He is our rock and comfort. We ask for your continued prayers for our entire family.

TIME Education

11 Bizarre College Courses We Actually Want to Take

TIME.com stock photos Computer Keyboard Typing Hack
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

See which schools have offered courses on Harry Potter, YouTube and more

With the school year starting up again, NewsFeed looks back at some of the most unusual courses that have been offered at colleges and universities nationwide in recent years.

“United Kingdom: To Hogwarts, Harry: An Intensive Study of Harry Potter Through the British Isles”
Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, M.I.
Department: English/Study Abroad

In the class, students read the J.K. Rowling series and went to the U.K. for 10 days to visit historical places that inspired the books or that can be seen in the films, such as Edinburgh Castle, the Bodleian Library and Christ’s Church at Oxford University and the Tower of London.

“Wasting Time on the Internet”
The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, P.A.
Department: English

No textbooks necessary, just laptops and WiFi. Creative writing students could only interact via social networks, chat rooms and listservs. As the professor Kenneth Goldsmith wrote in a New Yorker article, “We’re reading and writing more than we have in a generation, but we are reading and writing differently—skimming, parsing, grazing, bookmarking, forwarding, retweeting, reblogging, and spamming language—in ways that aren’t yet recognized as literary.”

“#SelfieClass”
University of Southern California in Los Angeles, C.A.
Department: Writing

The formal name was actually “Writing 150: Writing and Critical Reasoning: Identity and Diversity.” One assignment asked students to take five selfies of themselves and write an essay answering the prompt, “How do your selfies produce or obscure a sense of your identity?”

“Learning from YouTube”
Pitzer College in Claremont, C.A.
Department: Media Studies

Started in 2007, the course was designed to ponder what YouTube can teach us. Students watched video, posted comments and were encouraged to post their own clips. Professor Alexandra Juhasz described the video-sharing site as “postmodern television,” noting its “architecture and ownership undermine the fundamentals of academic inquiry.”

“Politicizing Beyoncé”
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Department: Women & Gender Studies

The course would attempt to position Beyoncé “as a progressive, feminist, and even queer figure” by analyzing her songs and music videos “alongside readings on the history of black feminist struggle in the U.S.” in order to try and answer the question, “Can Beyoncé’s music be seen as a blueprint for progressive social change?”

“’California Here We Come’ The O.C. & Self-Aware Culture of 21st Century America”
Duke University in Durham, N.C.
Department: English

A pun-filled course description billed the 2012 class as an exploration of “the ‘hyper self-awareness’ unique to The O.C. and analyze Californian exceptionalism and singularity in history and popular culture, girl culture, 21st century suburban revivalism, the indie music scene . . . We’ll also travel south to Laguna Beach, behind the gates of Orange County’s private neighborhoods of the Real Housewives, up to The Hills of LA, to get like, really real, and finally to New York City for a serene(a) ride to get out of the bla(i)ring sun. You know you’ll love it, xoxo Your Instructors.”

“The Sociology of Miley Cyrus”
Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Department: Sociology

The child star turned pop diva has been used to study “the interplay among race, class, and gender, as well as taking a feminist critique of media and sociology of media approach to the Miley ‘problem.’” When the course made headlines in 2014, TIME pointed out to critics that “primary sources — material produced by the person being studied or in the time period under consideration, rather than by someone thinking about the subject later — are a cornerstone of good academic practice. Cyrus’ impact on society is only a few years old, and most of it has been documented online, so pretty much every primary source is easily available to study and interpret.”

“The Art of Walking”
Centre College in Danville, K.Y.
Department: Environmental Studies

Students have read works by Wordsworth, Dickens, Tolstoy, Kant and embarked on “historical” and “philosophical” walking tours through parks, gardens, museums and even cemeteries to get students to “stop focusing on constantly doing and concentrate more on simply experiencing” — a message that resonates in the smartphone era. It has also been taught in France and Germany as part of study abroad programs.

“The Physics of Star Trek”
Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, C.A.
Department: Physics

The class has used the show to discuss “Newton’s and Einstein’s physics, the Standard Model of particle physics, and the physics that underlies inertial dampers, transporter beams, warp drive, and time travel.”

“Jay Z and Kanye West”
University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.
Department: English

One question this course on the rappers’ relationship aimed to discuss: “How is what they do similar to and different from what poets do?”

“Wordplay: A Wry Plod from Babel to Scrabble”
Princeton University in Princeton, N.J.
Department: Freshman Seminar

Wordsmiths have played Boggle, Scrabble and shared their favorite examples of wordplay in other languages with the goal of cultivating a better understanding of how language works. As the professor Joshua Katz told a Princeton alumni publication, “I’m making things up because I’ve never taken a class on these things.”

 

TIME celebrities

Zac Efron Doesn’t Even Recognize One of His Songs from High School Musical

Awkward

During Cosmopolitan UK‘s interview with Zac Efron, Emily Ratajkowski and Max Joseph, who are promoting their upcoming film We Are Your Friends, Efron fails to recognize “Breaking Free,” a song he sings with Vanessa Hudgens in the 2006 movie High School Musical. You know, that movie that made him famous?

The interviewer tests their music trivia abilities by playing different hits and asking them to guess the name. And around the 1:07 mark, when the High School Musical single comes on, Efron goes blank. Joseph makes the moment even more humiliating by asking the young star, “Is that your voice?”

Here’s the full song:

We Are Your Friends comes out August 28.

 

TIME Family & Relationships

Let This 3-Year-Old Boy Show You The Right Way to Receive a Gift

Avocad'oh!

Vine user Jeff Simmons uploaded a clip of his three-year-old nephew unwrapping an avocado, a gag present for his birthday earlier this month. Watch the little one act like it is just great.

Simmons and his sister Victoria, who is also the youngster’s mother, told the New York Daily News that they were trying to teach the boy to react politely when people give him presents. They also gave him an oven mitt and coffee K-cup as a test.

This is how you receive gifts, people.

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