+
upworthy
Joy

Teen with autism makes record-breaking Jenga block tower, inspiring Hallmark holiday movie

15-year-old Auldin Maxwell, who stacked an astonishing 1,840 Jenga pieces all on one single block, says using them helps tap into his creativity.

jenga, hallmark, hallmark christmas movie, guinness world records
Canva

Maxwell hold two Jenga-realted world records

At the ripe old age of fifteen, Auldin Maxwell is already breaking world records and inspiring Hallmark movies.

Maxwell landed his first spot in the Guinness World Records in November 2020, when he successfully balanced 693 Jenga blocks all on top of one vertical facing Jenga block.

Only four months later, he broke his own record by stacking 1,400 Jenga blocks onto one vertical block, more than doubling the original amount. He then broke the record for most Jenga GIANT blocks (500) stacked on top of a single vertical Jenga GIANT block.


And now, 15, Maxwell has re-broken both of his previous records—with a tower of 900 Jenga GIANT blocks, and a staggering pile of 1,840 regular Jenga blocks.

world record christmas, hallmark hallmark holiday movie, jenga world record

Maxwell's story inspired a Hallmark holiday movie titled "World Record Christmas"

Screenshot from Guinness Word Records/Youtube

Maxwell, who is on the autism spectrum, told Guinness World Records that his passion came naturally, saying that he had “one or two Jenga sets, and I just started building different designs and came up with stacking ideas.”

He even watched videos of different Jenga block records, and when he realized he had enough pieces to attempt breaking the most Jenga blocks on a vertical Jenga block, he became determined to do so.

Though it involved a lot of trial and error, eventually Maxwell had a system in place—starting each attempt with another enjoyable activity like riding his unicycle or playing basketball, listening to music while working and taking a half hour break when he felt the structure might collapse to allow for a fresh perspective.

“For me, it’s an engineering challenge, and using them really taps into my creativity!” he said.

Maxwell’s accomplishments have also inspired a heartwarming Hallmark movie titled “A World Record Christmas,” which debuted on 16 November.

The story centers around a neurodivergent boy named Charlie who, like Maxwell, is set on earning a title for Guinness World Records by stacking 1,400 Jenga blocks on top of one single vertical Jenga block.

Charlie gets the opportunity to fulfill this dream on Christmas Eve, which becomes a community event that raises money for children with autism.

You can watch Maxwell in action below, courtesy of Guinness World Records. It’s pretty incredible to watch, not to mention nerve-wracking. But then again anxiety is all part of what makes Jenga fun. And unlike most Jenga towers, this one doesn’t wobble at all.

Enjoy.

Humanity truly never runs out of unique discoveries.

Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

Keep ReadingShow less

Millenial names are now "old" names.

You can’t turn back the hands of time and so it’s impossible to avoid being labeled “old” by younger generations, no matter how hard you try. For many of us, our names are tied to the times when we were born and can start to sound really dated, no matter how fashionable they were at one point.

TikTokker Amber Cimotti found this out the hard way when her daughter noted that she has an “old” person's name.

“My daughter told me the name Ashley or Amanda — or my name is Amber — are like old people names and I never thought about it this way,” Amber explained in a video with over 3 million views.

Keep ReadingShow less

Christine Kesteloo has one big problem living on a cruise ship.

A lot of folks would love to trade lives with Christine Kesteloo. Her husband is the Chief Engineer on a cruise ship, so she gets to live on the boat pretty much for free as the “wife on board.” For Christine, life is a lot like living on a permanent vacation.

“I live on a cruise ship for half the year with my husband, and it's often as glamorous as it sounds,” she told Insider. “After all, I don't cook, clean, make my bed, do laundry or pay for food.“

Living an all-inclusive lifestyle seems like paradise, but it has some drawbacks. Having access to all-you-can-eat food all day long can really have an effect on one’s waistline. Kesteloo admits that living on a cruise ship takes a lot of self-discipline because the temptation is always right under her nose.

Keep ReadingShow less

Woman shows her misbehaving cat to 'the trenches'

You always hear about a "bad dog," giving the furry goofballs a reputation for getting into mischief, but what about bad cats. Not all cats are angels just lounging around the house until someone gives them food while fanning them with a giant palm leaf. Some cats have a sketchy "catigree" and every once in a while they let that wild streak show. When that happens, what is a cat owner to do?

A cat mom that goes by the user name Lambo Licia on Instagram posted a video showing exactly how she gets her cat in line when he's misbehaving. No, it's not with a spray bottle. She shows him what life is like in "the trenches." You know, the area of town where homeless cats roam and cat burglars have real whiskers and thumbs that don't work, leaving a strange fish smell wherever they lurk.

If Scared Straight: Cat Edition was an actual thing, Mega, the orange tabby would be the first to turn his life around. He looks absolutely petrified from all of the unruly cat behavior he sees out the window and his mom's commentary.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

College students use AI to decode ancient scroll burned in Mount Vesuvius

“Some of these texts could completely rewrite the history of key periods of the ancient world."

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 C.E., it buried entire cities in volcanic materials. While Pompeii is the most famous site affected by the natural disaster, the nearby villa of Herculaneum was also laid to waste—including over 800 precious scrolls found inside Herculaneum’s library, which were carbonized by the heat, making them impossible to open and recover their contents.

Which brings us to the Vesuvius challenge, started by computer scientist Brent Seales and entrepreneurs Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross in March 2023. The contest would award $1 million in prizes to whoever could use machine learning to successfully read from the scrolls without damaging them.

On February 5, the prize-winning team was announced.
Keep ReadingShow less
Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

Shaquille O'Neal retired from pro basketball in 2011, but he's still one of the most famous players ever.

Fame comes with a lot of challenges, but it also comes with some pretty obvious perks. There's the money that frequently follows fame, of course, but there's also the special treatment people automatically offer you.

Some famous folks might revel in that special treatment and some might even express gratitude for it. But occasionally, you find a celebrity who refuses it altogether.

Take basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, for instance.

Keep ReadingShow less