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11 days without sleep!
May 15, 2007 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Sleepless in Penzance. Tony Wright is trying to stay awake for eleven days, in order to beat the current 1964 world record held by Randy Gardner. You can watch him on a live webcam. More on what attempting this might do to your brain.
posted by Happy Dave (45 comments total)

 
Is this sponsored by GEICO?
posted by Dizzy at 8:16 AM on May 15, 2007


Oh dear, that first link is distressingly strong on the pseudoscience - our ancestors did not live in rainforests.

Still, good luck to him.
posted by WPW at 8:23 AM on May 15, 2007


The current world record IS 11 days. He better try for 12. Plus according to the National Sleep Research Project, the record for sleep deprivation is 18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes. (from the wikipedia article linked above)
posted by banished at 8:23 AM on May 15, 2007


In Penzance? Doubt it. Sponsored by pasties, maybe.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:24 AM on May 15, 2007


banished, I think he's going for the record without any chemical stimulation.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:24 AM on May 15, 2007


Previously. One of those links has info about the world record.
posted by karson at 8:29 AM on May 15, 2007


How long until he thinks he's a hummingbird?
posted by gc at 8:31 AM on May 15, 2007


Thanks, karson (I'm too modest to point to my own post)
posted by chuckdarwin at 8:32 AM on May 15, 2007


Ugh, as a former graveyard-shift waiter, this just gives me chills. The idea of being awake for FIVE DAYS and then coming to terms with the fact that you're not even half way there yet sounds totally shattering to me.
posted by hermitosis at 8:56 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


The idea of being awake for FIVE DAYS and then coming to terms with the fact that you're not even half way there yet sounds totally shattering to me.

Wow, when you put it that way, I feel somewhat sick. Good luck to this fellow.
posted by dead_ at 9:09 AM on May 15, 2007


Is there a fat paycheck involved? I'll do 15, no problem.

Without my espresso machine and non-stop techno? Never mind.
posted by loquacious at 9:10 AM on May 15, 2007


I hope they include a microphone with the webcam so that we can hear the precise moment his mind goes *snap!*
posted by LordSludge at 9:25 AM on May 15, 2007


I AM A BEE. I NEED TO FIND MY WAY BACK TO THE HIVE.

this comment brought to you by University Finals WeekTM and Cumulative Lack of SleepTM.
posted by exlotuseater at 9:27 AM on May 15, 2007


I rather cut of one of my fingers than go 12 days without sleep.
posted by teece at 9:28 AM on May 15, 2007


Might be more entertaining if the streaming video actually worked.
posted by hodyoaten at 9:29 AM on May 15, 2007


I can't imagine wanting to do this unless meth was involved somewhere along the line.
posted by smackwich at 9:32 AM on May 15, 2007


Jeez, I have enough trouble staying awake for fifteen minzzzZZZZZZZZzzz...
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:34 AM on May 15, 2007


hodyoaten I get no video, but I swear I hear snoring.
posted by HyperBlue at 9:35 AM on May 15, 2007


Weird, the video was working this morning.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:56 AM on May 15, 2007


Part of his preparation has involved eating what he describes as a primate like diet - one similar to that of our rain forest dwelling ancestors. His research implies that the biochemistry once abundant in our evolutionary past was essential for our brain to develop its full potential.

Right. Our ancestors lived in rain forests--6 million years ago. They were probably a lot like modern chimps then. Chimps sleep about 10 hours a day in the wild. So will eating like a chimp make him want to sleep more?
posted by MarshallPoe at 10:03 AM on May 15, 2007


They were probably a lot like modern chimps then. Chimps sleep about 10 hours a day in the wild.

Well, if we're going back to our chimp ancestors, it appears that our brain's "full potential" consists of eating fruit, shouting and masturbating. Who knew?
posted by WPW at 10:10 AM on May 15, 2007


Will eating a chimp make him want to sleep more? Or will he just absorb its courage?
posted by hermitosis at 10:16 AM on May 15, 2007


metafilter: eating fruit, shouting, and masturbating.
posted by serazin at 10:18 AM on May 15, 2007


This is a dumb idea.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:18 AM on May 15, 2007


Is the fruit part essential?
posted by Dizzy at 10:25 AM on May 15, 2007


I AM A BEE. I NEED TO FIND MY WAY BACK TO THE HIVE.

Way too coherent. Eere I get really sleep deprived it would sound more like this:

I AM A BEE! MUSTARD! THE STABBING STARTS WITH YOU! DO NOT FEAR THE TIME-CUBE! POLLY-WALLA-WANNA-TING-A-TING

BURN THAT FUCKER TO THE GROUND!

And so on. This is usually made funnier by the wild eyes and waving arms.

And by "funnier" I mean, people fleeing in terror and the authorities being called in to have me subdued.
posted by quin at 10:29 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


and then the ewoks... oh nevermind.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:41 AM on May 15, 2007


All I see on the VLC stream is an empty bar and music playing as a certain lamp changes color (I suppose to assure you that it's streaming). There is NO ONE if the video, unless he's already collapsed and is lying still somewhere amidst the musical instruments.
posted by linux at 11:12 AM on May 15, 2007


See also.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:29 AM on May 15, 2007


The idea of being awake for FIVE DAYS and then coming to terms with the fact that you're not even half way there yet sounds totally shattering to me.

Euugghhhhh. That is an abominable thought.

The worst part is going to be if he fails after staying up for only, say, eight days. That's going to be the best goddamn sleep of his life right there, but the wake-up's going to be a problem.

I'd probably rub my eyes, say "I see," and sleep for three days afterwards.

Then I'd go live in a rain forest, like my ancestors.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:25 PM on May 15, 2007


This is probably illegal, he's a danger to himself.
posted by parallax7d at 12:33 PM on May 15, 2007


I've got the video working on VLC. I see the pub that linux saw but it looks like there are people there now. It also looks like there is a live band setting up to play.

The idea of being awake for FIVE DAYS and then coming to terms with the fact that you're not even half way there yet sounds totally shattering to me.


Oh God, I don't even want to imagine it! I really hope he gets halfway through and passes out and gives up on going for the record.
posted by LeeJay at 1:14 PM on May 15, 2007


Yeah yeah, we all used to love pete and pete ...
posted by shownomercy at 1:25 PM on May 15, 2007


I AM A BEE! MUSTARD! THE STABBING STARTS WITH YOU! DO NOT FEAR THE TIME-CUBE! POLLY-WALLA-WANNA-TING-A-TING

BURN THAT FUCKER TO THE GROUND!


Sounds like some of the spam that turns up in my inbox.
posted by afx237vi at 1:41 PM on May 15, 2007


The live band is now playing. If the video/sound doesn't work for you, count your blessings.
posted by hamfisted at 3:06 PM on May 15, 2007


It has only been one day, and he already looks tired. I'll bet he falls asleep some time tonight... when nobody is watching.
posted by WaterSprite at 4:17 PM on May 15, 2007


As of right now, there is no one on the webcam at all...
posted by KingoftheWhales at 5:12 PM on May 15, 2007


He must be passed out under the table.
posted by parallax7d at 5:34 PM on May 15, 2007


quin, you're probably right-- I'm only three days in, and I'm about to have a three hour nap.

Then I'll get up at 11:00 and work through the night, trying to explain the history of the last ~2000 years of literary criticism, trying to explain how the concepts of taste and judgment have been problematized or challenged by materialism and the concept of sublimity.

RAMEN AND RED BULL! as;dlka as;ldkl;fpfkl.

oh yes. give me another day or two of this shit and you'll see some developments.
posted by exlotuseater at 5:39 PM on May 15, 2007


ps i am a bee
posted by exlotuseater at 5:40 PM on May 15, 2007


Hmm. I never did totally without sleep, but I did manage to get only 4 hours of sleep in a week ... man that was a bad week.
posted by ysabet at 6:28 PM on May 15, 2007


Just a note: I'm watching the webcam right now and he's still awake. A couple of people are talking to him about the ramifications of this experiment. One was describing an experiment he took part in that was focused on interrupting REM sleep.

He's only on day eight, four more to go. I saw the guy amble across the pub floor a few moments ago. He looked about s together as you would expect someone eight days without sleep to look. It seems to be taking a toll not only on him but on his friends as well.
posted by LeeJay at 5:54 PM on May 22, 2007


Apparently, he did it.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:50 AM on May 25, 2007


Terrifying.
posted by anthill at 10:30 AM on May 25, 2007


Try having a baby.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:33 AM on May 25, 2007


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