Is this not every kid’s childhood dream (x2!)? I was in an epic NERF gun shootout and set a Guinness World Record at the same time. It was a race against the clock, the previous record holder, the nerves, and it had to be done precisely.
This record had to have been the most fun one I’ve ever practiced. I’m kind of sad it’s over. In fact, I kind of want someone to beat is so I can try it again. Check out the action:
The attempt took place as the Boise State Engineering and Science Festival: the site of my 2nd ever Guinness World Record and the 2nd place I’ve set my 3rd annual record.
I came a long way from my very first practice where I was able to get 12 shots off in 1 minute (and hit 1) to releasing 27 shots and sticking 16. The previous record of 11 target hits in one minute for “Most times to hit a target using a foam-bullet gun in one minute” was nearly doubled. I started off with 7 straight hits which was phenomenal and ended with misses on 5 of the last 6. Three of the shots were on target but bounced off of other darts.
There was no secret to success here, just hard work and trial and error. I had to find the right nerf gun (tried 3 different ones), the right target (some didn’t stick as well as others), new darts (when they get used a lot they stop flying straight and don’t stick as well) and then thousands upon thousands of reps.
Boise State is having their annual Engineering and Science Festival on Saturday, February 3rd and for the 3rd year in a row, I’m going attempt to break a Guinness World Record there. There are dozens of activities, presentations, exhibits, and more for kids and adults alike to get a taste of STEM. I highly encourage anyone in the region to come check it out from 9 AM to 4 PM.
At 2 PM I’ll be in the Hatch Ballroom juggling, balancing, and attempting impossible feats while weaving in the story of how I went from an average kid in public education to an engineer at MIT (and then back to an average technology professional in Boise with 36 Guinness World Records).
The culmination of the presentation will be an official Guinness World Record attempt for “Most times to hit a target using a foam-bullet gun in one minute”. Think NERF gun shooting. The record to beat is 11 in 1 minute. That might not sound hard until you realize the target is over 5 meters away and just 9.8 inches wide. The darts not only have to stick but remain stuck for the full minute and 5 seconds after. If any foam dart hits one already on the board it bounces right off. The gun also has to be a single-loader so it can only hold one foam dart at a time and has to be reloaded after every shot.
But like all challenges in life, if you work hard and pursue it with a passion, you can accomplish anything. This is a challenge for which I have practice and for which I am ready.
I was blown away. I may have been the one setting the world record but I’m not sure who was more impresses: me or the audience. This was the most spectacular production around a Guinness World Record I have ever experienced.
Today I broke my 36th Guinness World Record in Hsinchu City, Taiwan at the Pei-Ying Junior High School in front of over 200 people who came in on their holiday to help and watch the “MIT Smart Student at Pei-Ying Junior High” festivities. The record attempt was for the furthest distance trekked on foot balancing a bicycle on the chin. The previous mark was just over 20 meters.
The program kicked off with a national award-winning student band, introductions of the dignitaries including one from the Hsinchu City Mayor’s office, and an overview of the feat I was about to attempt. I then placed the bicycle saddle on my chin and began the walk across the 28-meter-long basketball floor (measured the day before by professional surveyors to be less than 1:1000 slope). Less than a minute later I passed the 20-meter mark as half the crowd cheered and the other half tried to shush the first half, and then continued to the end of the court. Being careful to keep the bicycle safely balanced on my chin, I then turned around and headed back. I made it to the start point and turned around and went back and forth again and again for 6 total passes across the gym floor. The end total was 168.76 meters in 4 minutes 22 seconds. My neck was on fire and I was getting wobbly that point, so I was happy to remove the bicycle from my chin.
We then took photos. Lots of photos. So many photos I wanted to take my camera out and take a photo of everyone taking photos (I regret not doing this).
I then presented the giant $5,500 USD donation to the school made by Mark in my name (thank you!) and then delivered my first inspirational speech with a live translation into another language. It felt very natural to have a speech translated other than the connection to the audience followed a few seconds after I said the words. The translation was done by the school English teacher and went very smooth.
My speech was not only translated live but also printed in Mandarin and available for the multiple news stations present. There was a giant sign hailing the “MIT Smart Student” talk by David Rush.
At least 7 news organizations showed up and 15 or so covered the event. If you’d like a fun read you can have Google translate auto-translate them for you.😊
Mark then added his comments to help inspire these students (he’s a big supporter of the entire community).
Special thanks to Mark, Rex, Pei-Ying school and teachers, the Junior High School principal and all the people who helped support this event from sourcing the bike to printing signs, the Hsinchu City Mayor’s Office, the principals of multiple schools, the videographers, photographers, and other volunteers! Your help was very much appreciated.
On Friday, February 2nd I will attempt my first International Guinness World Record.
In Hsinchu, Taiwan I will attempt to break the record for “Farthest distance trekked balancing a bike on chin”.
It will be at the Pei Ying Junior High School that focuses on STE(A)M education and will include an address by the Hsinchu City Mayor. There will then be the talk addressed “MIT smart student at Pei-Ying”. I’ve never given a speech with a live translation but I’m looking forward to it.
There are an estimated 1 billion bicycles in the world and an estimated 10 people who ride them the way I do – above the head with the seat on the chin. The current record is just over 20 meters.
While I have put over 11,000 miles on my road bike in the nearly 8 years I’ve commuted to work at Cradlepoint, these 20 meters will be more exciting than most of those miles.
It took 35 minutes to secure my 35th Guinness World Record
JUMP innovation days was a smashing success with thousands of folks coming through the doors of JUMP so see all sorts of technological displays and innovations coming from students and organizations in the Treasure Valley. I was privileged to be a part of the festivities with a Guinness World Record attempt for “Longest Duration Balancing an Object on the Head”.
The object had to weigh at least 2.5 lbs. and be over 12 inches long and since I was surrounded by tractors and JUMP I chose a hoe. I put it on my forehead and after 35 minutes put the Hoe Down and celebrated #35. Several kids came up after and asked for pictures and I had them hold the Guinness Certificate while I held the hoe.
This one was a bit more painful than the 1-hour cue balance since the hoe was quite a bit heavier. After about 10 minutes my hands and feet started going a little numb. About 15 minutes in my computer screen locked so the projector behind me was no longer displaying the countdown. I called out my password, so anyone could hear, and they got it back on. During the 30 minutes, most folks took the opportunity to look at many of the displays in the room. At 30 minutes, there was a 15-second countdown and many cheers.
I decided I wanted to go 5 more minutes to make my 35th attempt last 35 minutes. At 34 minutes I got risky and sat down on the ground while keeping the balancing going and then pulled off 3 sit-ups before standing to end at exactly 35 minutes.
Next up is furthest distance trekked balancing a bicycle on my chin in Hsinchu Taiwan on Friday.
On Saturday the 27th from 2-5 PM JUMP is hosting their Free Innovation Day. There will be all sorts of fun activities for kids and adults alike including a Guinness World Record attempt starting at 2:30 for “Longest Duration Balancing an Object on the Head”. The attempt will take place on the 6th floor of JUMP in the Pioneer room. For this record, the object has to be long and skinny and over 2.5 lbs. The mark to beat is 30 minutes.
Celebrate invention and innovation with this FREE community event! Come see amazing student inventions with Invent Idaho, play with the latest cutting-edge technology with Boise State groups: Creative Technology Association, Space Broncos, Boise State Microgravity Team, GIMM, Citizen Scientific Workshop, BSU Makerlab. And hang out with the Library! and Boise Metro Engineering for Kids. You can also watch David Rush work to meet the official Guinness World Record for longest duration balancing an object on the head at 2:30 PM. This is a great chance to explore JUMP, connect with the community and get your innovation on! All ages.
A few minutes after noon I placed a 5-pound guitar on my forehead. Ten minutes later I had nearly doubled the existing Guinness World Record for “Longest Duration Balancing a Guitar on the Forehead” of 5 minutes 20 seconds.
KTVB 7 News came out and Brian and I did a joint interview on STEM and how small businesses like Porter Pickups are the real drivers of economic growth in America. We hear a lot about the giant tech companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. But there are only a handful of these super employers. There are hundreds of thousands of small businesses like his that are also providing economic growth on a much larger scale but are more distributed so we don’t hear about any one of them nearly as much.
There is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math all over Porter Pickups. Starting with the pickups themselves which are a transducer, which means they convert one type of energy to another (think of them as the microphone for an electric guitar). They’re made up up a magnet and wound coils. The magnet creates a magnetic field and when a guitar player plucks the string (which is metal) it disturbs the magnetic field. When a magnetic field is disturbed it induces a current in any nearby metal wire that’s in a closed loop (the coil) and that current is then amplified and broadcast through a speaker creating that electric guitar sound we all know (and most love).
Then there’s the CNC machine that needs to be programmed to cut out guitar bodies and the math behind how many coils to put around each magnet. Even if you don’t major in a STEM degree, understanding how the world of science and technology works can be extremely important to running a business.
I’m continuing the series of longest duration balancing an object.
Next up: the guitar on the forehead. The current record is 5 minutes 20 seconds.
On Thursday, December 21st I’ll attempt the longest forehead guitar balance on the shortest day of the year so as to cover the highest percentage of daylight possible.
It’ll be at Porter Pickups in Garden City at noon if you want to stop by.
I was hoping to use one of Brian Porter’s awesome electric guitars (image above also taken by Brian) using his world-famous pickups, but electric guitars are shorter than standard acoustic guitars so they don’t meet the minimum length requirement set by Guinness.
I got to celebrate my 33rd birthday setting my 33rd Guinness World Record for STEM.
I ran end zone to end zone on the famous blue turf at Boise State. While there weren’t 11 people trying to tackle me, I did do it while juggling. That wasn’t the hard part though. The hard part that puts this in Guinness World Record territory is that I did it while blindfolded.
102 yards to take it to the house.
It was 26 degrees and my fingers were frozen but the team came out to support so I didn’t want to let them down. It took 34 seconds (and a few tries) but the mark of 30 meters was surpassed.
Wednesday is the 33rd Birthday and I could think of no better way to celebrate than to attempt to break my 33rd Guinness World Record.
I will combine the 3 specialties that few in the world can (or would want to) claim: juggling, running, and doing both blindfolded.
I will attempt to set the inaugural mark for “Greatest distanced travelled whilst juggling three objects blindfolded”. The minimum mark set by Guinness is 30 meters.
The backdrop will be the famous Boise State University Blue turf 3 days before they play their bowl game in Las Vegas. I will attempt to start juggling while blindfolded in one end zone and without stopping, dropping a ball, or regaining my sight, I will attempt to end up in the other end zone. The saving grace is that there won’t be 11 people on the field trying to tackle me… I actually don’t know which is harder: kickoff returned for a touchdown or this…
On Wednesday the 13th at 11:30 AM it’s supposed to be 28 degrees outside so I’m hoping my fingers are still functional enough to make it.
If you’d like to come watch you’ll be able to see the field from the patio at the Hall of Fame museum. I also still need a couple people to film and witness if you’d like to volunteer and get on the field.
Promoting STEM education through my story and juggling