The Guinness Book of Records, first published to settle pub disputes and other friendly debates, issued its 1991 edition Friday with 3,000 new records, revealing the lengths people will go to get their names in print.
Englishman Dale Lyons ran 29.9 miles in four hours and 18 minutes - balancing a fresh egg in a dessert spoon. In cracking the previous egg and spoon race record, Lyons gained a place in the book.The Royal Army Ordinance Corps broke the round the world driving record between May 13 and June 22, traveling 25,187.8 miles in 39 days, 23 hours and 35 minutes.
"There is a fascination with breaking a record. People like to feel they can actually get their name in a book," said Cathy Brooks, the spokeswoman for Guinness Publishing.
The latest edition shows that Americans continue to pin their shot at the big time on big food.
Students and staff at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., froze out the competition in the Largest Popsicle category - constructing one in February that weighed 7,080 pounds.
Proving that silliness knows no frontiers, a crew of cooks at a Pizza Hut in Singapore achieved its record by baking a pie measuring 111 feet, 3 inches in diameter.
Britain's Army Catering Corps of the Prince of Wales Own Regiment of Yorkshire gave the world a record-breaking Yorkshire pudding of 360 square feet.
Asians took the opposite approach, achieving new world records for smallness.
Dipak Syal of Yamuna Nagar, India, won a record for minuscule writing by inscribing "I love you" and "I love you, too" and then signing his initials "D.S." on a single grain of rice in May.
His 813 characters beat the record of Pan Xixing of Wuxi, China, who in March wrote "True Friendship is like sound health, the value of which is seldom known until it be lost" on a human hair.
"Minuscule writing has proved very popular," Ms. Brooks said. "We've been receiving massive packages from India all year. Our editors open them up to find one grain of rice inside. The biggest problem has been not losing the potential record breaker under a desk."
Since the first Guinness Book of Records was published in England in 1955, the fascination with setting records has spread as the book made its way around the world.
The first U.S. edition, published under the title Guinness Book of World Records, appeared in 1956. French and German language versions quickly followed.
The book has been translated into Japanese, Spanish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Portuguese, Czech, Hebrew, Serbo-Croatian, Icelandic, Slovenian, Greek, Indonesian, Chinese, Turkish, Hindi, Malay, Arabic, Thai, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hungarian.
In 1990, the first Russian language edition was published.