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
If you would like regular exposure from Alastair's activities, become his Sustaining Sponsor:
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Behind every world record attempt is the expertise of professionals in their field.
Their success underpins Alastair's.
|They are listed here|
Most finger snaps in one minute: 119
This is the story behind my Guinness World Record™ for the Most finger snaps in one minute.
This was extremely monotonous, but more painful than anything else.
That was on the day I did it, not to mention almost a year of work
I'm no musical guy who enjoys snapping my fingers
to tunes. Nor am I one of those bosses who snaps their fingers to get
workers' attention. And I'm definitely not one for snapping my fingers
in quick succession simply because I think it's relaxing. But I am a
man who'd snap until my arm muscles felt as though they were on fire
from working too hard. My attitude was that surely those forearm
muscles could put up with a little pain for my sake once in a while. Of
course, all I was dreaming of was yet another world record to add to my
list. Hence, I began snapping.
Whenever the thought occurred, I snapped my
fingers: when on the phone, in the shower, even on the toilet! There
was plenty of opportunity, especially since I had to book a special
acoustics chamber in which to make this attempt, and getting that
booking confirmed took the best part of 12 months. I had to wait for a
gap in the booking schedules for heavy industry, which was required by
law to test new construction materials for sound-related safety
standards. There must be a lot of construction products out there
because the chamber was continually occupied. As I waited patiently, my
habitual finger snapping was paying off. I was getting faster at it.
The snapping became a
routine which didn't go
unnoticed. One particular shopkeeper questioned me about it and I
proudly explained. I thought nothing of his inquisitiveness at the
time, but it seemed I'd just got him interested in beating any attempt
I'd make. Every time I saw this man, I'd hear snapping fingers in very
quick succession and he'd be smiling. My response was to try and snap
even faster to convince myself of my ability. It became a standing joke
between us for years afterwards: the minute we'd see each other, our
fingers would begin.
The acoustics chamber was finally able to book me
in. Having rounded up my team of assistants, we arrived – but right
then, I wasn't snapping my fingers. I thought it was a sensible idea to
rest them because they'd soon be aching. Getting set up in the
echo-less environment was quite a job: computers and microphones were
brought in, a heavy door was pulled into the closed position, and
lengths of string were spanned between the sound-absorbent wall
linings. Being inside this unit felt a little eerie: there was no echo
whatsoever, making me daydream that this must be what it's like
drifting in space. But not for long. I had to concentrate as the sound
engineers discussed, measured and tested. Soon we were to begin.
I positioned myself according to instructions.
When the timekeeper started the stopwatch, I sped into it, snapping
like a maniac. Part-way into the minute, the upper part of my lower arm
seemed to catch fire with pain. My snapping slowed, but never stopped.
The muscles were knotting and slowing down. But I forced them to
continue, no matter how much hurt I'd need to endure. This took mental
control, since the easiest way out for me would be to stop. Breathing
evenly, I tried to shut the shots of pain out from my mind. I snapped
with as much regularity as I could. The intensity of the pain was
almost numbing although I could still feel the tips of my fingers – but
only just. As the soreness and stinging in my arm seemed to crescendo,
the timekeeper exclaimed for me to stop. My arm dropped to my side like
a dead weight.
For nearly a minute, all I could do was wait. The
blood felt hot as it infused into my hand and fingers. The others were
chattering and commenting on the computerised gear, so I joined them.
On the laptop screen, a graph showed a summary of my activity, and the
technician was able to count the peaks in sound produced. He double
checked this on the software, and I had a figure. Well, that was easy,
I thought - apart from the one minute of cutting pain I had to endure.
The staff at this facility were friendly. Perhaps
they didn't think I'd take them seriously when they let me know I could
come back. It won't be long, I thought...