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UNG Fulbright scholar attempts Guinness world record

International affairs major Mitchell Fariss may be the next Guiness World Record holder.

Mitchell Fariss, Fulbright scholar and international affairs major at the University of North Georgia (UNG), is the possible holder of a new Guinness World Record for the fastest time of solving 10 sliding-tile puzzles called the 15 Puzzle.

The puzzle consists of numbered sliding tiles in a random order with one empty tile space to allow the movement and correct organization of the numbers.

The most recent record for this feat is 03:51 seconds held by Dror Vomberg, a speed-puzzle enthusiast from Israel. Fariss completed the puzzle in 02:49 seconds. 

Dr. Stephen Smith, professor of psychology, and Laura Mullins, administrative assistant to the dean of the College of Arts and Letters, monitored Fariss’ attempt and ensured the guidelines stipulated by Guinness were followed.

The attempt was filmed in both real time and slow motion to be submitted as evidence, and Dr. Bryan Dawson, associate professor of psychology, and fellow student Nick Glasser were the timekeepers.

"Speed-solving puzzles for me is a fun way to relax while keeping your mind active. It's nice to just put on some music, take out a puzzle like the Rubik's Cube and solve away," Fariss said.  "There's even a whole community of speed-solvers who travel and compete in competitions, so it can be a way to connect with and meet other people who share the same interest that you do."

The Guinness World Record Book requires that there be official timekeepers, photographic or filmed evidence, and signed statements from participants and witnesses in order to have sufficient and concrete evidence of the record attempts.

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