Eight seconds in professional bull riding circles is cause for great celebration... and nothing short of the ultimate test of endurance for the world's 'toughest athletes on dirt'!
Yesiree! Superstar bulls and cowboys gearing up for next month's PBR Iron Cowboy Townsville (17-18 November) – the only challenge of its kind in Australia and one of just three in the world, outside Dallas and Brazil.
On the line-up, Queenslander Budd Williamson knows the literal ups and downs of life as an 'Iron Cowboy' all too well. "Bull riding is what I live for – it's not the kind of sport you get into as a hobby,” he says, shrugging off 11 broken ribs, two punctured lungs, a broken collarbone and shoulder/jaw/face reconstruction.
Budd's day job, however, is not what you might expect of a typical cowboy. A third-generation barber who swears by Pilates. But once in the ring, for 8 epic seconds, the rest of his world stops! Read his story here.
What else can be achieved in barely a blink of an eye (1.7 blinks, to be precise, in 8 seconds)?
1 Love Actually
Science dictates men can fall in love at first sight in 8.2 seconds, while it takes 7 seconds for women to decide if they want to go on a date.
Hot Tip! Forget Tinder! According to recent research, live events – whether music festivals or sporting spectacles – are must do's for boosting your chances of finding true love. Find out why Queensland leads the field for loved-up events. On numbers alone, Gympie Music Muster leads the field: check out some of the love matches, including multi-award winning country music superstar, Troy Cassar-Daley, who met his missus at the event in 1993, proposing in the same spot, backstage, two years later. In case you're wondering, 15.4 people get married in the world every 8 seconds.
2 Fight Club
Boxers have a different take on 8 seconds – the mandatory count given before a bout can resume, post knock-down.
Hot Tip! Don't miss boxing at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (4-15 April 2018). On the athletics track, 8 seconds would smash Usain Bolt's record as 'the fastest man in the world' (sprinting 100m in 9.58 seconds), though barely making a splash in diving (routines take roughly 1.42 seconds from a 10-metre platform).
3 Flying High
According to the mathematics of skydiving, an average-sized person will free fall 808 feet in 8 seconds, covering about 154 feet in the last second (averaging 105 miles per hour!).
Hot Tip! In 2018, Queensland's sporting 'golden child', the Gold Coast, hosts the World Parachuting Championships (7-13 October 2018).
4 Out of This World
In 8 seconds, 240 stars will explode; the Earth will travel 149 miles around the sun; 800 lightning strikes will reach Earth; and 1.8 meteors will enter our atmosphere.
Hot Tip! Discover all the secrets of the Universe and more when World Science Festival Brisbane returns to Queensland Museum (21-25 March 2018) as an epic and exclusive 'Sister Act' to New York's blockbuster event.
5 Down the Hatch
Queensland rugby league legend, the late Leo Williams, downed 2.6 pints of beer in 7.9 seconds, stealing former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke's 1954 Guinness World Record for sculling 2.5 pints in 11 seconds.
Hot Tip! Queensland holds the ultimate advantage, hosting the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Final (2 December) and, for rugby union fans, the knockout Brisbane Global Rugby Tens tournament (9-10 February 2018), billed as the greatest rugby revolution on Earth. Both take over Suncorp Stadium (aka The Cauldron) on the doorstep of Brisbane's Caxton Street Precinct. For those who truly give a XXXX about beer, look no further than Brewski Bar, serving 200 different ales; join Brisbane's Hop On Brewery Tours or strap in for a head-spinning heli pub tour with Pterodactyl Helicopters (Brisbane, Scenic Rim and Ipswich). Cheers to that!
6 Buckle Up!
A Mitsubishi Colt CZT 1.5 Turbo (2005) can accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour (kph) in 8 seconds, but that's nothing on Supercar action, averaging 3.4 seconds.
Hot Tip! Set your heart racing at Vodafone Gold Coast 600 (20-22 October) – Round 12 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. Off track, iconic theme park, Dreamworld, celebrates the 20th anniversary of its Tower of Terror rollercoaster (once the fastest in the world), clocking 160.9kph in 7 seconds, while Warner Bros. Movie World's Superman Escape hits 100kph in 2 seconds.
7 Turtle-y Awesome!
Sea turtles can swim up to 15 miles per hour (mph) or about 53.6 metres in 8 seconds (a touch over the length of an Olympic-size swimming pool). Retired US swimmer, Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, who holds the 200-metre freestyle world record (1.42 minutes), covers 16.8 metres in 8 seconds. That makes him 14 times slower than the fastest fish on the planet, the sailfish, clocking 68mph or 243.2 metres in 8 seconds!
Hot Tip! November to March is turtle nesting/hatchling season in Queensland, with the Great Barrier Reef home to six of the world's seven species of marine turtle. Don't miss a ranger-guided Mon Repos Turtle Encounter tour, near Bundaberg, as the world-renowned Queensland Turtle Conservation (QTC) project celebrates its 50th anniversary. In an Aussie-first initiative, The Hatchery returns to World Science Festival Brisbane in 2018 – the only place you can witness loggerhead turtles hatch 'live' from eggs collected from Mon Repos as part of the QTC project. Watch in awe and find out out the best places to see 'Crush' and friends in the wild.
8 Not So Hard to Swallow
On average, it takes 8 seconds for food to move through your esophagus.
Hot Tip! Queensland serves up a smorgasbord of drool-factor foodie festivals, from Southern Queensland Country to Port Douglas on any given weekend. Tempted? The Sunshine Coast arguably takes the cake, jam-packed with award-winning beach-chic restaurants and bars… and home to the Noosa Food & Wine Festival (held each May, and ranked by UK's The Telegraph as one of the best foodie festivals). Click here for a taster and mark it on your calendar for 2018!
9 When Nature Calls
New research reveals all mammals, big or small, take an average 12 seconds to poop. In other bodily functions, humans shed about 5333.3 skin cells (or 1,333 pieces of skin) in 8 seconds, while our brains juggle 4.4 separate thoughts.
Hot Tip! Get back to nature! Queensland has too many options to simply sit and ponder, including its reputation as a global adventure-endurance capital, mirrored in a line-up of prestigious sporting events from Tropical North Queensland to the Gold Coast, including the Cairns Airport IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship in a three-year deal to 2018. An event hailed by organisers as home to one of the 'most picturesque' courses in the global IRONMAN suite, where two World Heritage-listed icons meet (the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest). Ponder this: a 101 guide to the world's best finishing lines on land and sea. While on the Great Barrier Reef, check out the Great 8 – the underwater equivalent to an African safari. Wonders never cease: we've also pulled together a free ebook on the Great 8.
10 Hold That Thought!
It's official! We humans have an 8-second attention span (down from 12 seconds in 2000 and now roughly on par with a goldfish!), according to a recent Microsoft consumer study. Get your head around this! 8 seconds in our fast-paced digital world means: 60,266 Tweets; 54,666.6 YouTube views; 20.8 million emails and 2.1 million texts; 9335.6 hours of Netflix watched; $100,203 spent online shopping; 132,000 Tinder swipes and 2,407 matches; 466,666 'Googles'; and 6,160 Instagram posts.
Hot Tip! Time is of the essence. Make your voice heard at more than 100 of Australia's best live events in the best destinations, as showcased on the It's Live! in Queensland calendar. Here's a front row peek.
Did you know? The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (4-15 April 2018) is driving the biggest social media celebration in Games' history! #thisisqueensland
Psst: Eight seconds is anything but a random number on the professional bull riding circuit. While the number 8 doubles as the infinity symbol (limitless of space and time), a short time limit is deliberately set in bull riding for good reason – namely animal welfare. Quite simply, a bull (or horse) loses adrenaline after 8 seconds.
And finally, 8 is considered very lucky in China and, historically called 'Ogdoad' by the Pythagoreans who considered it the 'little holy number'. Cowboys, no doubt, say a prayer before hopping in the bull riding chute. Dust of your boots and see them in action at the PBR Iron Cowboy Townsville (17-18 November).
For more information please contact:
Shelley Thomas, Tourism and Events Queensland
Phone: 07 3535 5665 / 0422 041 285
Word Count: 1500
Author: Shelley Thomas
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