Listing the world's greatest show-offs

Pluck a chicken in under five seconds or swallow eight dozen worms in half a minute and you might just get your name in the ultimate register of attention seekers.

    Having huge feet might just make you famous

    Keep bell-ringing till you are 101 years old or unhook 17 bras with one hand in under a minute and your place is assured in the exhibitionist directory, otherwise known as the Guinness Book of World Records.
    "People really do the most remarkable things," said Guinness editor Claire Folkard, reflecting on the book that gets 60,000 record claims a year.
    "The fascination is just endless," she added, speaking on the eve of the 2004 edition being published in Britain.

    Guinness, whose sales look set to top 100 million by the end of this year, even has its own entry as the world's most successful copyright book.

    It is only outsold by the Quran and the Bible. 
    Trivial trivia

    Fascinating fact

    American Bernie Barker claims to be the world's oldest male stripper, starting at the age of 60 - he wanted to get in shape after recovering from prostate cancer

    The breathtaking and the bizarre abound in the latest edition from an American woman who boasts the largest breasts in the world to the dog with the longest ears.

    Dutchman Niek Vermeulen makes his claim to fame with a collection of 3240 airline sick bags.

    Malta has the world's lowest road accident rate. A Russian woman had 69 children.
    The book was launched in 1954, brainchild of Hugh Beaver - managing director of the Guinness Brewery.
    He was out shooting in Ireland and got into an argument about whether the golden plover ranked as Europe's fastest game bird.
    Believing that records sparked pub and bar disputes around the world, he decided the time was right to produce the ultimate reference book for superlatives.
    So, almost 50 years on, readers can stand up amongst friends and bore them by confidently proclaiming  "Not many people know that.... " 



    'If she never remembered me again': Loving someone with dementia

    'If she never remembered me again': Loving someone with dementia

    'I imagined there were thousands of such thoughts in that room, clinging to the ceiling like helium balloons.'

    What it means to love a dead child

    What it means to love a dead child

    You must forget all you thought you knew about grief when the landscape of your life has been demolished.

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    Kenya banned FGM in 2011, but Europeans still bring their daughters to underground clinics there to be cut.