The MIT 10 year reunion this weekend was phenomenal. I got to catch up with so many talented, inspired, hard-working people who are making the world a better place. The best thing about MIT is the other people.
During the weekend, I attempted 2 Guinness World Records (both successfully), 1 other world record and ended up with 4 total world records broken this weekend.
It started off with the 4 ball speed juggling record on MIT commencement day with 498 catches in one minute surpassing the previous record of 466 (not Guinness recognized). Later that day at the Boston Museum of Science the Guinness World Record for “Most juggling catches in 3 minutes (3 balls)” was broken with a run of 1288 passing the previous mark of 1200. Image Gallery Here. While setting that one, the previous record of most catches in one minute of 428 was eclipsed in the first minute with 470 catches.
Then at the annual “MIT TIM Talks” 8 former students consisting of 7 distinguished alumni and a guy who juggles gave talks about what they’ve been up to in the last 10 years. At the end we attempted to break the Guinness World Records for “Most Selfies in 3 Minutes” The previous record was 134. The MIT Class of 2007 got 166!
When folks ask me how I got in to juggling I say I learned how when I was a kid but got really into it at MIT. I called it my stress relief, and there was a lot of stress. My freshman year I was encouraged by some of the folks in the MIT juggling club (it’s the oldest continually operating drop-in juggling club in the world) to start a student club since it could have access to rooms, money, official status, etc.
There’s a course at MIT called 6.111 (all courses are numbered and that’s generally how students refer to them). The official title was Introduction to Digital Systems Laboratory, but if students refer to it by a name, it’s called Digital Death Lab. It is intense, as are many classes at MIT, but this one takes more time than most. For the second half of the semester students pair off to create a lab project. My partner, Chris Wilkens (now a PhD research scientist at Yahoo) and I decided to create a juggling simulator (in our great wisdom as advanced undergrads we officially titled it “Interactive Virtual Juggling Simulator“).