What's your best SMS story? From the girl who won US$50k for speed texting, to a guy who received a US$26k bill for texting too much, meet ten of the weirdest stories involving SMS.
The surgeon who performed a life saving surgery in Africa with instructions texted from a friend in London
A British doctor volunteering in DR Congo used text message instructions from a colleague to perform a life-saving amputation on a boy. Vascular surgeon David Nott helped the 16-year-old while working 24-hour shifts with medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Rutshuru. The boy's left arm had been ripped off and was badly infected and gangrenous. Mr Nott, 52, from London, had never performed the operation but followed instructions from a colleague who had. Mr Nott knew he needed to perform a forequarter amputation, requiring removal of the collar bone and shoulder blade. He contacted Professor Meirion Thomas, from London's Royal Marsden Hospital, who had performed the operation before. He texted him and he texted back step by step instructions on how to do it. The operation is only performed about 10 times a year in the UK, usually on cancer patients, and requires the back-up of an intensive-care unit. Patients usually lose a lot of blood during the procedure. Mr Nott had just one pint of blood and an elementary operating theatre, but the operation was a success and the teenager made a full recovery.
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The trucker who crashed into a pool because he was texting while driving
A tow-truck driver crashed into a car and ended up in a swimming pool. Nicholas Sparks, 25, admitted he was texting on one mobile phone while he was speaking on another when his vehicle struck a car in the upstate Oxford town of Lockport. One of the cars he was towing flew off and struck a house, crushing the air conditioner and gas main system, according to Fire Chief Barry Kobrin. One of the motorcycles being towed flew off the truck, landing underneath the car on the lawn. The tow- truck ended up with its front end in the home's in-ground pool. The homeowner said it sounded 'like a bomb went off.' He was upstairs with his two five-year-old daughters at the time of the crash. Sparks was charged with reckless driving, talking on a mobile phone and following too closely.
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The 15-year-old girl who won 50,000 for texting – in a championship
Think that all that texting is just a big waste of time? Think again! For 15-year-old Kate Moore, texting sure does pay. She won the LG U.S. National Texting Championship. For the Des Moines, Iowa, teenager, her 14,000 texts-per-month habit reaped its own rewards, landing her the competition prize of $50,000 just eight months after she got her first cell phone. Moore, with a speedy and accurate performance, beat out 20 other finalists from around the country over two days of challenges such as texting blindfolded and texting while maneuvering through a moving obstacle course.In the final showdown, she outtexted 14-year-old Morgan Dynda, of Savannah, Ga. Both girls had to text three lengthy phrases without making any mistakes on the required abbreviations, capitalization or punctuation. Moore squeaked through by a few seconds on the tiebreaking text, getting the best two out of three.
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The Finnish author who wrote an entire book in text message
A novel in which the entire narrative consists of mobile phone text messages was published in 2007 in Finland, home of the world's top handset maker Nokia Corp.The Last Messages tell the story of a fictitious IT-executive in Finland who resigns from his job and travels throughout Europe and India, keeping in touch with his friends and relatives only through text messages. His messages, and the replies — roughly 1,000 altogether — are listed in chronological order in the 332-page novel written by Finnish author Hannu Luntiala. The texts are rife with grammatical errors and abbreviations commonly used in regular SMS traffic.
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The teenager girl who fell in a manhole while texting
A Travis teen trying to walk and text-message at the same time fell into an open sewer manhole -- the manhole was left uncovered and unattended. Alexa Longueira, 15, was walking on Victory Boulevard with a friend, preparing to send a text, when she felt the ground give way. Alexa suffered scrapes on her arms and back as she slid into the sewer, which had some muck at the bottom. Her mother, Kim Longueira, said workers told her they left the open manhole unattended for only a second as they went to fetch some cones from the truck, and the agency said they have launched a full investigation into what happened. While she's thankful the sewer wasn't full at the time, that didn't make it any less gross.
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The Brit woman who set the record for world's fastest SMS texting
A 27-year-old British woman has become the world's faster texter after sending a tongue-twisting 26-word message in just 25.94 seconds. Melissa Thompson wrote the message "the razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human" in 25.94 sec.
She bashed the 26-word statement out so quickly that she texted her way into record books. Thompson shaved a whopping 9.6 seconds off the world record, though it's still subject to verification by the Guinness Book of World Records. Thompson was shopping with her boyfriend Chris Davies, 23, when they visited a Samsung roadshow and she was invited to have a go at breaking the record. She smashed it using the phone's special 'SWYPE' key pad, which enables users to input text without their fingertip leaving the screen.
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The man who set the world record for the most text messages sent in a month – over 180,000
Deepak Sharma went on record with the Guinness Book for having sent the most SMS messages in a single month: 182,689. That's about 6,100 messages a day, 253 an hour, 4.2 a minute, or a new one every 14 seconds or so. So basically this guy gave up a month of his life sending texts. His other reward? A 1,411 page bill (don't worry, he has an unlimited texting plan). Sharma aims to increase his messages to 300,000 in the coming month, he sends his rapid-fire messages to his relatives and friends, who purport to fully support his endeavor.
The two men who got a $26k bill trying to set a text messaging record
Two friends from Philadelphia—both men—just received a bill for $26,000 after sending 217,000 texts to each other in one month alone. Nick Andes, 29, and Doug Klinger, 30, were looking to beat the highest monthly text message total they could find—182,000 sent by Deepak Sharma in 2005—so they set up their phones to send multiple messages. On a test run the prior month, they found that they could send up to 7,000 texts on some days, which prompted their record-breaking attempt the following month. Throughout the month, their phones were so busy sending texts that Andes's wife, Julie, could rarely reach him because his phone was always tied up sending texts. Although some of the texts were simple—such as "Hello" or "LOL"—and a lot of them were repeats, at the end of March, Andes received an itemized bill of $26,000, which was so large that it came in a package that cost $27.55 just to ship to him. Piling up such high bill for that many texts shouldn't have come as a surprise, except for the fact that Andes and Klinger both had unlimited text messaging plans. However, T-Mobile has apparently credited the phone bill and is now investigating the charges.
Moreover, with Andes sending 140,000 texts and Klinger contributing 70,000 of his own, the two men were able to send about 217,000 texts, which is clearly over the 182,000 text message record they were able to find online. However, representatives at the Guiness World Records have yet to verify whether or not the two men have, in fact, beat the world record.
The girl who sent 200 messages to help Haiti only she didn't know she had to pay for them
A girl named Cara was really proud she had sent 188 donation text messages which meant almost $2,000 dollars donated to Haiti relief efforts. Only she didn't know that this donation was made by her, or in this case by her parents. It was only when she posted her status on Facebook that her friends advised her to look out her mobile phone bill next month. Well, she probably got grounded for a month, but at least it was for a good cause.
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The mobile company who tried to set the record for world's fastest texting while skydiving
A group of high-flying daredevils gave new meaning to Extreme Text Messaging, as 10 skydivers for Samsung Mobile attempted to set a Guinness World Record for fastest text messaging while skydiving. The team of professional skydivers text messaged while freefalling from 12,000 feet outside the Los Angeles city limits at the Samsung Mobile XTREME TEXTING event. The challenge was the furthest thing from being easy. The skydivers had to accurately text message the following tongue-twisting phrase given to them by the Guinness World Records, which may be nearly equally as difficult to say:
“The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.” The skydivers had only 1 minute to text message the phrase while freefalling from 12,000 feet (3.655 meters) before pulling their parachutes and gliding to the ground.
The feat in the cold California desert proved to be even more difficult than had been expected. Some divers couldn't get more than a word or two typed out, but others were slightly more successful. Barry Chase got through, “The razor-toothed piranha of m.”