A new record to toast

A new record to toast

Back in 1954, Sir Hugh Beaver, the managing director of the Guinness Brewery, had the idea of promoting his company’s brew with a book designed to settle arguments between pub patrons over questions such as “What is the fastest game bird in Europe?”

And thus was born the Guinness Book of World Records, the leading go-to source of information and trivia, particularly in pre-internet times.

Where else would you and your pub mates look to find out about the world’s tallest building, deepest valley, furthest rugby kick, or longest megillah scroll?

Yes, the spiritual descendants of Sir Hugh’s Fleet Street researchers — twins Norris and Ross McWhirter — showed up in a Jerusalem gymnasium recently, measuring gear in hand, to confirm that Israeli artist Avner Moriah’s illustrated Scroll of Esther was indeed 28.03 meters long and therefore the longest megillah scroll on record.

Moriah said in a statement that it took him “15 years, tens of thousands of hours of work, and more than one million brushstrokes” to complete it.

Certainly time well spent, in our book. And in Guinness’s.

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