Saturday, December 03, 2011

Advancing With the Stars

This evening, every man, woman and child in Querétaro (or, at least those who own their own telescope, which we assume is a much, much smaller percentage of the total) is invited to trek out to Bernal, set up their telescope, and look at the moon. Why? Duh! It's Mexico! To take part in breaking the Guinness World Record for the Greatest Number of People Looking Through Their Telescopes at the Same Object at the Same Time.


Is it us, or does this sort of thing undermine the dignity of  the nation's more legitimate records, such as the 10,000-man World's Largest Zombie Walk record set here last week?

According to the notice, at precisely 20:00 hrs ("verified by the atomic clock via the Internet") the peepers are to peep at the luna, upon which they will be counted and the number will be sent (again, "via the Internet," in case you thought this wasn't serious) to the "National Committee in Puebla."

The National Committee in Puebla? 

Yes, the National Committee. In Puebla. This is a coordinated, nationwide effort taking place in 36 locations across the length and breadth of the Mexican republic.  Seriously.

Why is claiming this record so important?  Will it give a much needed shot in the arm to a country with no space program, one astronaut, and zero footprints on the Sea of Tranquility? Probably not, since the current holder of the Guinness World Record for the Greatest Number of People Looking Through Their Telescopes at the Same Object at the Same Time is... Mexico. (1,042 telescopes, 2009.)

So, on the other hand...it's win-win.
Update: Victory!  2,753 People Looking Through Their Telescopes at the Same Object at the Same Time!  Which is exactly the number of people who died at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.  Coincidence?  Perhaps...

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