When I was young, I had a Guinness Book of Records from my mother’s childhood, sometime in the 1950s or 1960s. Back then, it was still an interesting and informative book to read. The records included the highest mountain, the highest building, the longest river, the first man in space, the longest journey by ship, and so on. Useful stuff to know.
In later years, the Guinness collection of records became sillier and sillier: most computers streaming simultaneously on the same network, the farthest milk squirting distance, the loudest purr by a domestic cat, biggest blind date. Yes, these are all real. It became obvious that you just had to invent a new category, and swoosh, a record was yours.
But today, I heard about one of the most useful records to make it into the Guinness list: the longest confirmed sniper kill. I haven’t checked, but it may actually be the only entry for killing somebody.
In November 2009 Craig Harrison, a British soldier serving in Afghanistan, killed two Taliban with his sniper rifle from 2,474 metres away. That’s almost two and a half kilometres.
Now, that’s a useful record!
Here is a video from the History Channel:
Just two remarks, dear History Channel: (1) The name of the province in Afghanistan is Helmand, not Helmland, and (2) you don’t need to tell us how many football fields one and a half miles are. Everybody who has ever walked or driven a car can imagine one and a half miles without resorting to the measurements of some obscure sport.
I am off to the forest now to work on my shooting skills...