Handcuffed lightning

I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and got into bed before the room was dark. (Muhammad Ali, 1974)

In case you didn’t know, it’s all about speed. Check out the new Type N700 bullet train from Japan.


Top speed: 186mph. Tokyo to Osaka in 2hrs 25m, fully 5 minutes faster than the previous model. Sure, it’s 171mph slower than the French V150 passenger train, but Japanese ingenuity for speed knows few bounds. Here’s a little celebration in video, with some other tidbits of world speed record trivia to flavor the mix like dashi:

World’s Fastest Secretary

(the world’s fastest growing plant is a tropical bamboo which can grow over 50 feet in three months)

World’s Fastest Drinker

(the world’s fastest drummer is likely Mike ‘da man’ Mangini who played a record setting 1207 single drum strokes in 60 seconds at NAMM, 2005)

World’s Fastest Undresser

(Michigan can boast the world’s fastest cow, Taffy. “The only difference between a cow and a horse,” says Taffy’s trainer, “is about 45 miles per hour.”)

And, last but not least, a ridiculously fast method for

T-Shirt folding

Damn, I’ve got to learn how to do that!

So as you can see, there’s just something about living in Japan that inspires people to excel. Honda has even developed a little robot space child from the future who can run. Man, that video is so creepy and cute at the same time, like so many things kawaii. I didn’t even show you the guy on the trampoline who completes a cross-court slam dunk…I’ve gotta save something for tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’m waiting to hear back from James Gleick to see whether or not the world’s fastest computers, which already can simulate planet Earth, will have enough memory to back-up the Milky Way just in case something goes wrong. Perhaps we can give the first super-storage facility to Stephen Wright who once claimed “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”

(the fastest observed pulsar moved at approximately 1100km, or more than 670 miles, per second!)

Before you go, though, I have to share my personal favorite speed record from the wide world of sports. (A big massive thanks to Malcolm Bubb who alerted me to this) Maybe you’ve heard of snooker and Ronnie “The Rocket” O’Sullivan. If not, check out the rules first, and see just how crazy difficult snooker is compared to regular pool. Anyhow, watch this video to see just how a perfect score is done. Keep in mind that he must sink the black ball after every red one for the 147… And I swear to you by the power of Bob, you will never again see something as amazing as you do 2:23 minutes into the video.



One Response to Handcuffed lightning

  1. […] of the Century A keyword of our digital environments today certainly is speed, and there is no shortage of voices decrying this fact. There is another realm of experience being […]

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