I’ll Be a Little Late For Dinner, Honey… Traffic is a Little Slow

Longest traffic jam in the world
China National Highway 110 Traffic Jam

The longest traffic jam on record happened on China National Highway 110, starting on August 14, 2010. The traffic jam slowed thousands of vehicles for more than 60 miles (100 km) and lasted for 12 days. Traffic at that time moved 0.6 miles per day.

Occurring on China National Highway 110, many drivers were stuck in traffic for days, running out of fuel, food, and water. It resulted in a microeconomy, with area residents taking advantage of a rare opportunity for an unsurpassed market.

Five years later, in October 2015, the 50-lane G4 Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway was tied up for over 10 days, due to a checkpoint put in place as 750 million people traveled during a holiday marking the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

china 50 lane traffic jam
50-lane expressway tied up in 2015


A Story About Many Stories 


Burj Khalifa — World’s Tallest Building


The Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower) in Dubai officially opened on January 4, 2010. It currently holds the record as the tallest man-made structure.

Among the records established by this building are:

  • Tallest existing structure: 829.8 m (2,722 ft) (previously KVLY-TV mast – 628.8 m or 2,063 ft)
  • Tallest structure ever built: 829.8 m (2,722 ft) (previously Warsaw radio mast – 646.38 m or 2,121 ft)
  • Tallest freestanding structure: 829.8 m (2,722 ft) (previously CN Tower – 553.3 m or 1,815 ft)
  • Tallest skyscraper (to top of spire): 829.8 m (2,722 ft) (previously Taipei 101 – 509.2 m or 1,671 ft)
  • Tallest skyscraper to top of antenna: 829.8 m (2,722 ft) (previously the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower – 527.3 m or 1,730 ft)
  • Building with most floors: 163 (previously World Trade Center – 110)
  • Building with world’s highest occupied floor: 584.5 m (1,918 ft)
  • World’s highest elevator installation (situated inside a rod at the very top of the building) — traveling at 40 mph, it can reach the top in 2 minutes.
  • World’s longest travel distance elevators: 504 m (1,654 ft)
  • Highest vertical concrete pumping (for a building): 606 m (1,988 ft)
  • World’s tallest structure that includes residential space
  • World’s highest observation deck: 148th floor at 555 m (1,821 ft)
  • World’s highest outdoor observation deck: 124th floor at 452 m (1,483 ft)
  • World’s highest installation of an aluminium and glass façade: 512 m (1,680 ft)
  • World’s highest nightclub: 144th floor
  • World’s highest restaurant (At.mosphere): 122nd floor at 442 m (1,450 ft) (previously 360, at a height of 350 m (1,148 ft) in CN Tower)
  • World’s highest New Year display of fireworks.
  • World’s second highest swimming pool: 76th floor (world’s highest swimming pool is located on 118th floor of Ritz-Carlton Hotel at International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong).

A few other notable facts:

  • The exterior of the building has an impressive 24,348 windows. It takes 36 workers between 3 and 4 months to clean them, leaving an automated system to clean the top 27 tiers and spire.
  • Office space rents at the rate of $4,000/square foot, while residential space runs $3,500/square foot.
  • The spire can be seen from 95 miles away.
  • The building’s 62 km (100 miles) of pipes supply 250,000 gallons of water each day to the occupants.
  • The total cost of construction is estimated at $1.5 billion.
  • If you fell from the top floor, depending on whether you spread yourself out or curled up in a ball, it would take you between 29 and 44 seconds to hit the ground.
  • On May 10, 2011 a man committed suicide by jumping from the 147th floor. He fell 39 floors before landing on a deck on the 108th floor.
  • The Kingdom Tower, under construction in Saudi Arabi and scheduled for completion in 2020, is slated to eclipse the Burj Khalifa, with a planned height of 1 kilometer (3,307 ft.)

Take a Deep Breath and Read This Sentence…


The Rotters’ Club by Jonathan Coe holds the record for containing the longest printed English language sentence. The specimen is 13,955 words long.

It was inspired by the Czech novel Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age, which consists entirely of one sentence that runs for 96 pages.

Older Than Methuselah

Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva)
Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva)

The oldest living thing on earth is a bristlecone pine located in the White Mountains of California, USA. When discovered and tested in 2013, it was determined to be 5,064 years old. When it sprouted in 3051 BC, the Aegean Bronze Age had just begun, Egyptians were developing Hieroglyphic writing, and China was developing the potter’s wheel.

Prior to the discovery of this tree, the title of World’s Oldest Tree was held by another bristlecone pine, also in the White Mountains of California. When tested in 1957, this tree, known as Methuselah, showed an estimated germination date of 2880 BC, making it 4,846 years old.


Ministers Marry Lots of People… But Typically By Officiating, Not By Participating

Wolfe with wife #18 and #19 (first marriage was 2 years; the second, less than a year), Sharon Goodwin
Wolfe with wife #18 and #19 (first marriage was 2 years; the second, less than a year), Sharon Goodwin

Rev. Glynn “Scotty” Wolfe (1908 – 1997) holds the record for the largest number of monogamous marriages. Between 1926 and his death in 1997, Wolfe was married twenty-nine times to 26 different women. The longest marriage lasted eleven years. The shortest was nineteen days. Four of the marriages ended by the death of the wife. His final marriage ended with his death. The remaining twenty-four marriages terminated by divorce.

Wolfe was a Baptist minister in Blythe, California. His final marriage, said to be a publicity stunt (as opposed to the others, where he really took his vows seriously?) was to Linda Essex, who holds the record for most marriages by a woman (23 times to 15 different men). Her shortest marriage lasted three days.

It should be noted that although Wolfe had 29 wives, 19 children, 40 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren, when he died, no one would claim his body. source


Don’t Try to Pronounce It If You Are Wearing False Teeth


The 85-characters long Maori name for a hill in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, is the longest place name found in any English speaking country. It is, Taumatawhakatangihangaoauauotameteaturipukakapikimaungah-oronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu, which roughly translates as, “the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as the land-eater, played his nose flute to his loved ones”.

Tamatea was a famous chief and warrior. One day, while travelling through the back of Porangahau, he encountered another tribe and had to fight them to get past. During the fight his brother was killed. Tamatea was so grieved over the loss of his brother that he stayed at the battle site for some days. Each morning he would sit on the hill and play a lament on what is called the koauau or Maori flute.


Cold Enough For Ya?


The coldest temperature ever recorded on earth was in August, 2010 in Antarctica. Satellites measured surface temperatures of -135.8 degrees Fahrenheit (-94.7 degrees Celsius).

There is no way to disguise the fact that this is COLD. It is not entirely incompatible with human life, however. Scientists stationed at the South Pole have a tradition of making a quick run outside when it is -100 degrees Fahrenheit while naked to take weather readings. A naked person can survive for at least three minutes, exposed to such extreme conditions.