21 October 2009

World tap-dancing record set

Tony Adams, from Wellington, New Zealand set a new world record of 1,056 taps in one minute.

At his peak, Mr Adams did 23 taps in one second, with his gruelling training regime of running up mountains paying off.

Afterwards Mr Adams breathlessly said he was proud of his achievement because as a boy he wore callipers just like Forrest Gump.

I searched YouTube for a video, but there's nothing there (perhaps too soon); if anyone encounters one, please let me know.

I'm a bit suprised that training for tap dancing involves "running up mountains," and I have never seen the term "callipers" (two "Ls?") used to refer to leg braces - is that a colloquialism down under?

And while I'm asking questions about New Zealand, I've heard the term "kiwi" used to refer to someone from N.Z. - is it a derogatory term, an insult?

And while we're on the subject of motor skills, you can test your digital dexterity at a website which measures your typing speed.


  1. They do refer to leg braces as calipers in Aus and UK. The term was usually associated with polio sufferers. As for kiwi, no definitely not a derogatory term. The old joke is "how do you know someone's a kiwi"... "They'll tell you" refers to the cliche New Zealander abroad who thinks that everyones fascinated with NZ. Since many come here (AUS) its analogous to the US/CAN relationship.

  2. As a kiwi myself, I can attest that the term is certainly not derogatory! Down here, though, we don't share the name with the fruit - those are called kiwifruit.
    And calipers is an accepted, if somewhat dated, term.

  3. "Kiwi" is definitely an affectionate term.

    The term to use if you wish to derogate a New Zealander is "Aussie" or "South African."

    Hope this helps.

  4. Yup, and for a flightless bird, we get around...
    since a kiwi is currently number 3 at the UN (Helen Clark); one made it to the top of Everest first (Sir Ed Hillary)
    and yes, we will tell you LOL
    and we call Aussies "sons of the sheep stealers"

  5. I don't like being called kiwi. They're pretty stupid birds. I'd prefer to just being called NZer, though I'm in the minority, most people like the term.

  6. Huh -- I was sure the reporter had misheard the word "gallopers." Guess not...


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