Joey Silknitter was baby-sitting his 5-month-old brother when he decided to set a world record.
The 16-year-old Papillion-La Vista High School student has been solving Rubik’s cubes since he was in middle school. But the record for the fastest solution — a speedy 4.9 seconds, according to Guinness World Records — seemed a little out of reach.
So Silknitter plopped down with Jack, his baby brother, flipped on a video camera, and created his own record: Fastest Time to Solve a Rubik’s Cube while Holding a Baby. While baby Jack stared blankly at the camera, Silknitter solved the cube in 39.28 seconds.
“It is very much a legitimate world record,” he said.
Silknitter uploaded the video to RecordSetter, a website that allows users to think up and set their own world records by submitting a video of their feat and creating rules for potential challengers.
“We’re kind of building the Wikipedia to Guinness Book’s Encyclopedia Britannica,” said Dan Rollman, CEO of RecordSetter, paraphrasing how a New Yorker article described the site in 2012. Records on the site include Most Bananas Fit in Pants While Wearing Them and Most People Walked Over While Juggling Five Fire Torches.
Once videos are submitted, RecordSetter staffers vet them to verify that the submitter is indeed the record-holder for their particular feat.
In submitting his video, Silknitter’s challenge joined the ranks of other Nebraska world records, such as the Most Times Circling a Basketball Around Waist in 30 Seconds and Most “Wayne’s World” Catchphrases Recited in One Minute.
As long as the challenge is quantifiable and breakable, Rollman said, it’s valid.
“It’s great to have a world record. It’s kind of fun,” said Silknitter, who comes from a family of entertainers — magic, juggling, balloon animals, comedy.
The teen has set a few rules for challengers to his title: The cube must be a standard 3x3 Rubik’s Cube and solvers must adhere to World Cube Association regulations. The baby may not be more than 5 years old. There must be video evidence of the solution.
And the baby may not assist in solving the puzzle.
Silknitter welcomes challengers. He wants to see who can bring the cutest baby or whether the infants can sit still long enough for the challengers to finish the puzzle. To him, the title isn’t important.
“I’m not worried about defending it,” Silknitter said. “It’s more of a fun pastime.”