When I was at primary school, there was a TV show called Record Breakers, which showcased people breaking world records, and had a very catchy theme tune that everyone in Britain still knows. Dedication, dedication, dedication, that's what you need. If you wanna be the best, if you wanna beat the rest, woh-oh-oh, dedication's what you need. And if you slightly change the words to 'defecation', it's hilarious, because defecation means poo.
Actually, that doesn't seem to be quite so funny now I'm not seven years old. Strange. Anyway, the point of all this is that the new 2014 edition of the Guinness Book Of Records came out yesterday. And, having shunned memory-related records for many years in favour of attaching clothes-pegs to your face and being fat, there's a whole two pages of mind-themed records this year!
The whole page is festooned with photos, of me, Naofumi Ogasawara, Simon Reinhard, Melik Duyar, Priyanshi Somani, Johannes Mallow, Boris Konrad, Freddis Reyes Hernandez and some guy I've never heard of called Dr Amit Garg! We all owe a huge debt of thanks to whoever persuaded the Guinness people to include us all in the book - I suspect Melik, he's good at that kind of thing (and the Memoriad gets a lot of plugs), but he hasn't taken the credit for it. There are lots of other fun records too, and not just on those two pages. Go out and buy the book, it's only £10 at W H Smith!
I'm credited with the record for 30-minute cards, a little strangely (hour cards is, to my mind, the cooler marathon cards record). As the book correctly points out, I did it at the Derby Memory Championship, back in 2008, and I see that the other records that made the book were done at things like the German championship - competitions that are only tenuously connected to the World Memory Sports Council. The World Memory Championship goes unmentioned. It's all politics, but who cares? I'm in the book! And that photo of me, taken in 2004, has never looked cooler!