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** Guinness World Records - What Are They **
I always remember the Guinness World Records being a TV programme that had people balancing things on their head while attempting to ride a unicycle! But in fact the organisation itself has been going for over 55 years. With the first book made and sold in 1955 there has been one every year since, informing the world of as many world records they could possibly get their hands on. Starting as a reference book and slowly turning into a general book of random stuff!
I found out that the book was born during a shooting party in Ireland. Sir Hugh Beaver - then Managing Director of the Guinness Brewery - asked a simple question: what was Europe's fastest game bird? ... After this, he went on to create what we now know as the Guinness World Records.
** Why Did I Buy It? **
Every year my boyfriend is given the Guinness World Records book for Christmas. At first I thought it was a bit odd. But since then it is clear my boyfriend is a bit of a fact freak. To be honest, not that I will admit this to him, I actually like reading through them. It would take a long time to read through ever single world record sprawled over the pages but it is definitely worth a look. Purely for some of the wow factors that you will get.
So moving on to the 2012 addition. I thought I should take part in the family ritual and make it my turn to by my boyfriend his yearly Guinness book. Coming up to Christmas I thought there was no better time. The book has only just been released (September 2011) and it is dominantly on display at the front of most bookshops. Even walking into WH Smiths it's hard to avoid the large silver shining hardback glistening up at you!
** Guinness World Records 2012 - What's New? **
I think this book appeals to regulars like my boyfriend. Fact freaks (in a lovely way!) who like to have interesting books floating around. To be honest, going through my boyfriend's back catalogue it is obvious that every year is almost the same. The longest finger nails, the tallest female dog or the largest collection of penguins!
So, with the credit crunch, the internet full of every world record available and new technology unfortunately creating a space in our world of books the people at the Guinness World Records had to come up with something different. So they did.
While the 2012 edition is the same glossy paged book, it also has a new and interesting feature. 'Augmented Reality technology'. Basically, this brings the book to life. By going to the Guinness World Records website, it will tell you to go to a particular page and using your web cam you can hold the page up. Somehow, the website recognises the image and plays an actual video of the world record in question. Not that I am majorly into the world records thing but I thought I would have a quick go while my boyfriend was out and it is a lot better than expected! I thought I would just hold the book up, something would somehow link and then the website would play a video. But NO!
Once you go to the website www.guinessworldrecords.com and get to the section about bringing on the screen in quite large box holding up the book. But the actual bit that the webcam connects to (the specific world record - in this case was smallest waist on a living person - Page 81), almost comes to life. On the screen it looks like that specific world record jumps out of the book and starts to move around. It really is very clever and quite fun to do. It is a shame that you cannot do this with more of the word records, with this book it lets you look at 26 world records in this way. Not many considering there are over 4000 new records in the 2012 book.
This extra feature does in my opinion make the book more unique and desirable. It gives it an interesting twist but I think once the 26 world records are watched using the image recognition technology, they won't be watched again unless showing someone else the clever trick. The other thing I found, in my opinion is that while on the website, you can see some of the most interesting new records on the internet. So if it is just the world records you are interested in then take a search.
** Recommended As A Gift? **
I believe that this book would be a great gift for someone who already has an interest in world record and interesting facts. I think it is definitely a great gift for children between the ages of 8-12. The 'cool' factor of the book comes from its use of the internet and the cover looks great too with its 3D Bubble Hologram effect in bright blue and silver.
The pictures as expected are bright and glossy, and I am sure that every time it was looked through you would find a new little piece of information which you missed before. The price of the book is pretty manageable because it seems to be on sale everywhere, although this is probably a sales ploy. The price on the book is £20.00. But the cheapest I have found it is £9.00 at Amazon. (I paid £10.00 at WH Smiths).
The book itself as always is a large hard back, a sold chunk of information which is just nice to receive and full of fun. It would look great being unwrapped on Christmas day and I wouldn't even mind finding it under my tree this year!
Discover 1000s of new and classic records in GWR 2012. Get on your marks for the London Olympics and marvel at the International Space Station. See over 900 new eye-popping photos, watch 30 Records come alive with Augmented Reality technology, discover hundreds of bite-sized facts.