This 4th of July's Nathan's hot dog eating contest should be especially exciting. Joey Chestnut, who finished second to perennial champion Takeru Kobayashi at last year's event, just broke the Japanese man's world record by eating 59 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Kobayashi's previous record was 53.75, which he set during the 2006 Coney Island hot dog contest. Chestnut set the new record at the Southwest Regional Hot Dog Eating Championship in Arizona. The prizes included a trip to NYC, a $250 gift certificate to the mall where the event was held, and a year's supply of hot dogs.

(Picture of a Coney Island hot dog, by Tien Mao at flickr)