An Open Letter to the Most Factually Incorrect Museum in America
Dear Guinness World Record Museum,
I recently visited your Los Angeles location. As was the case with the Hollywood Wax Museum last month, I was not impressed by what I saw.
It’s not just that your museum was generally shitty, boring, and broken-down. There was a much larger problem than that.
As I walked around the museum, I saw several “world records” on display that I knew were incorrect. For instance, the above claims that Titanic holds the record for highest box office gross, and that Lance Armstrong has the most Tour De France titles.
So when I got home, I did some fact-checking. The amount of false information you have on display is truly staggering.
Now, I don’t intend for this to be a definitive list of all of the errors in your museum. Obviously I didn’t have time to check all of the facts. But here are some things you claim are true that are not:
- You claim Michael Jackson’s Bad is the 2nd biggest selling album of all time. It is actually the 10th biggest selling.
- You claim Hilary Duff is the highest paid child TV actor. It is actually Angus T. Jones.
- You claim the longest mustache ever was 10 feet 2 inches long. According to the Guinness Book of Records (your book) it is actually 14 feet long.
- You claim that Dustin Hoffman holds the record for most Best Actor Oscars, with two. Daniel Day Lewis has three.
- You claim that Jurassic Park has the biggest marketing budget of any movie ever. Wrong. Avatar does.
- You claim that George Burns is the oldest man to win an Academy Award, at 79. Christopher Plummer won one when he was 82.
- You claim the Turkish lira is the least valuable currency in the world. This hasn’t been the case since 2005.
- You claim that at age 81, George Cukor is the oldest person to have ever directed a film. Spanish director Manoel de Oliveira is 104 and still working.
'Magic Wand' Bomb Detector Creator Found Guilty of Fraud
The bomb detector that 56-year-old British millionaire James McCormick peddled sounded too good to be true. It could sense C-4 at a range of 600 yards. And it could be programmed to root out other contraband, too. The pistol-sized device’s simple metal antenna would magically point to where explosives, ivory, even $100 bills were hidden. Authorities in countries like Georgia, Romania, Niger, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, where McCormick was able to sell the detector, could, with a flick of the wrist, stop smuggling, organized crime, and deadly terrorist attacks.
Guess what? McCormick was full of shit. His device, dubbed the ADE-651, was bogus. Earlier incarnations of the detector, produced under the brand name ATSC, were based on $20 novelty golf ball detectors, the kind of plastic gag gift you’d give your argyle-wearing uncle whose slice off the tee is worse than he’d ever admit.
Sadly, it turns out the joke was on the Iraqi people. McGormick sold over 6,000 of these “detectors” to Iraqi government officials (after bribing them) to the tune of over $45,000 PER DETECTOR. And they were used at checkpoints throughout the country—actually scanning vehicles for explosives during the height of the insurgency that would see an average of 30 attacks a day.
Introducing Power Moves by Karl Welzein, a new column from twitter’s @DadBoner.
HOW NOT TO GET BURNED BY FAKE COMPUTER BABES LIKE THAT MANTI TE’O WEIRDO
‘Sup. Name’s Karl Welzein, hailing from Grand Blanc, MI. If you’re chill, pretty much everyone knows me as “Captain Karl,” but on the streets, the smooth soul brothers call me “K-Money” due to my mad swag.
A few ticks back, I decided to get into the online computer dating scene ‘cause I kinda burned through all the local babes in my area. I style and profile 24/7, 365, open on Sundays, so they all crave my touch. It’s natural and consensual when you’re livin’ the bad boy lifestyle.
Also, my roommate Dave told me he’s on a break from solo carnal passions ‘til he has a nocturnal emish, ‘cause he heard Sting does it to cleanse his bod from erotic clogs of the past. Dave’s such a grossout. I told him, “past eroticisms shouldn’t be purged from the mind. A real man saves ‘em up for when you’re in a situaish without babe opportunities.” Can’t live that way. Dave maybe can bottle up his guy urges, but it’s not healthy when you’re 100% all beef with High-T like myself.
OK, Do It: Teach Me How to “Get” Art
A while ago, I wrote a piece about how I don’t “get” art. For some reason, a lot of people have been looking at it lately. After reading through the several hundred really really fucking boring comments that were left on it about why I’m wrong, I thought maybe it would be a good idea to give art yet another chance. This time enlisting the help of someone who claims to know what they’re talking about.
That chappy up there in that photo is our friend Alex, who is currently studying at the Courtauld Institute of Art which, from its Wikipedia at least, seems very important. We went to “First Thursdays,” which is the night of the month that galleries in East London stay open late to show off their new collections.
I recorded his critical thought-storms and told him I’d respond to them later. Let’s see if Alex can help me to finally “get” art.
I don’t know what this one was called, there was no sign.
Alex says: ”It’s the Jubilee soon. The idea of monarchy is back in fashion as a way of reorienting the national spirit. A way of shoring up the shortcomings that Britain is feeling, a sense of crowning icons, or creating a cult of saints. As such, these seem timely. That banal, Nicki Minaj-type-celebrity just doesn’t resound as much with people in the way the true male icons of the 60s did. People hark back to the 60s as a time when masculinity and sexual attraction could be found in its icons. In James Dean, in Elvis, in Hunter S. Thompson.”
Glen says: ”Eugh. Somebody subverted an image of Elvis again. I get it. There’s some kind of statement being made about celebrity culture. Which, sure, whatever, valid point. People DO care about celebrities as though they’re royalty! But is it not a point that’s been made a billion times before? Or a point that could be expressed verbally? Just because an idiot has a very obvious opinion on something, does he really need to create an artwork to let the world know about it? The thought of these prints hanging on the exposed brick wall of some Shoreditch warehouse conversion is making my butthole hurt.”
"Night Angel" by Ben Young
Alex says: “The childlike element of scrawling is a spontaneous reaction to what you find around you. Often the problem with people’s expectations of art is that they’re expecting something ingenious—the journalistic value of art isn’t enough. They want surplus value, they want sweat off the brow, a unique, new and seductive aesthetic. But I quite like this canvas. I think there’s palpably a lot of labor in it. I like the color. It has a nice aesthetic correlation, and in that sense, it’s considered. I think historically, it’s particularly novel.”
Glen says: “Not 100 percent sure what you’re saying here, Alex. Maybe I’m just uncultured, but I don’t think something can be both “spontaneous” and “considered.” All I’m seeing is a pile of scribble that is worth thousands of pounds, that people are going to come and stare at, in a gallery in East London that probably also costs thousands of pounds to rent per month. I can see that it might aesthetically please some people, but could they not look at a photo of it? Or give a baby some crayons and create their own pile of scribble? It all seems very wasteful.”
"L.H.O.O.Q." by Kate Hawkins
Alex says: ”You say these are both Ikea shelves? Look at his witty little mustache. It’s supposed to be a comment on how this combination of items is very infantile, low labor. It seems to be a humor comment on the middle class, or a certain type of nostalgia, perhaps for the Swedish modernism that Ikea used to be known for before everything was mass-produced. It’s meant to be a sort of art naive, in that anyone can produce it.”
Glen says: "Anyone can produce this? I am SHOCKED. So the point of this is that it’s possible for it to exist? Is that really something that needs to be pointed out to people?"