Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Now Online: Flickr Set for Conan

In working towards the upcoming Conan appearance, I've been working on a Flickr set of World's Largest Things images with their accompanying World's Smallest Versions... Here's the set, full of stories and anecdotes, of the short-listed items that may accompany me in December:
It's one of the few times I've photographed some of the WSVs, and I'm happy with 'em so far...
-Erika Nelson, Director

Sunday, November 21, 2010

From the Email Inbox: World's Largest Menorah, NYC.

NEW YORK, Nov. 21, 2010 /NEWS.GNOM.ES/ — The World's Largest Chanukah Menorah will be proudly standing at New York's most fashionable plaza, Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, by Central Park, between the Plaza and the Pierre Hotels. The first candle will be lighted on Wednesday evening December 1, and the full Menorah will be lighted on Wednesday evening December 8. All weekday lightings are at 5:30 PM. Over the years the World's Largest Menorah was lighted by New York City Mayors, Abraham Beame, Ed Koch, David Dinkins, Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, Governors Mario Cuomo, George Pataki and David Paterson, United States Senators Jacob Javits and Charles Schumer, as well as many other dignitaries.

"The Menorah stands as a symbol of freedom and democracy, strength and inspiration, delivering a timely and poignant message to each person on an individual basis," said Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman, Director Lubavitch Youth Organization.

The Menorah was certified by Guinness World Records as the World's Largest. It was specially designed by world renowned artist Yaacov Agam who lighted the Menorah many times. It was inspired by a hand drawing by the Rambam (Maimonides) of the original Menorah in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.


The Menorah stood in miniature on the desk of the Lubavitcher Rebbe who personally approved its form. The Rebbe wanted this Menorah to be the world's largest and when there was talk about making a large Menorah in another city the Rebbe asked for that city's Menorah to be smaller.

The 32-foot high, gold colored, 4,000 pound steel structure will be lighted nightly with genuine oil lamps. Specially designed glass chimneys will protect the Chanukah lights from the Central Park winds.

Due to the height of the Menorah, it will be lit nightly with the help of a Con Edison "cherry-picker" crane as well as two lifts that lift the lighters to the "Menorah Heights."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

In Defense of the World's Smallest Corn Maze

During a summer of challenging discussions of Big and Small-ness, many tenets of the World's Smallest Versions of World's Largest Things were challenged. One of the early projects, the World's Smallest Corn Maze, was summarily dismissed as invalid as it didn't use miniature corn. Here, dear WLT Fans and members, is the rebuttal:

OK, so long drives are great for think-time, and it hit me somewhere in the back alleys of Junction City that I am right, *name deleted for protection of the guilty* is wrong. The World's Smallest Corn Maze was totally completely awesome, and the perfect example of the genre.
Criticism of the size of the corn itself is an invalid argument - in the metrics inherent in the Corn Maze genre, the size of the maze (and the extrapolated superlatives) are based on square footage covered, or total path length, NOT the size of the element used in the structure. If I were making a World's Smallest Version of the World's Largest Corn Maze, then YES, I would need to use miniature corn. In making the World's Smallest Corn Maze, the elements necessary in making a corn maze are all addressed -
1. Choice of path (otherwise, it's a labyrinth)
2. Corn (single row, in elevated beds to further emphasize path)
3. Obscured goal (turns) ('cause a straight-line row of corn is just a row of corn, not a maze)
The unit of measure used in the established Corn Maze world is miles (and segments of miles) of path - the World's Largest Corn Maze title is awarded to the longest path maze, not a maze made of super-sized corn (although that, too, would be AWESOME). The World's Smallest Corn Maze, measuring in at .022727 (independently verified by two sources), meets all of the above criteria while being a concise and effective example of this seasonal agrarian form of family amusement.
World's Smallest Corn Maze, Autumn 2003, World's Largest Things Home Base, Lucas Kansas = Awesome.
Keep the challenges coming - I need to get my brain up to speed for the BIG BIG BIG Event, coming in December...
-Erika Nelson, Director, World's Largest Things Inc.
home of the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things Sideshow Extravaganza, and NEW EXHIBIT of the World's Smallest Collection of the World's Largest Versions of the World's Smallest Things

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WLCoWSVoWLT makes "Reasons We Love Kansas" list!

Kansas! Magazine turns 65 this year, and in their special expanded Anniversary Issue (Winter 2010, Volume 66 Issue 4), we made the Reasons We Love Kansas list: 
"IT'S HUGE.  See everything that's the world's smallest version of the world's largest things at Lucas' World's Largest Things Inc.  It's a forum to research and discuss the attraction of "Roadside Vernacular Architecture."" We're entry number 55, on p. 14. 
Yay, WLTs and Lucas Kansas!  It's an impressive list, with the likes of Gordon Parks, Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, "Grandma" Layton, just to name a few... we're honored to be a part of the Kansas patchwork.  Thanks, Kansas Magazine!

In today's mail: World's Smallest Letter

Received today, the World's Smallest Letter!!!

... sent from a World's Largest Things member, Ranjit. Thank you! It was hard to make myself open the package, but curiosity got the best of me. Here's the initial package, sealed for my protection:

Inside that package, a 10x folding magnifier, and another package:

Inside that 'nother package, a tiny envelope, also sealed for my protection, containing a tiny congratulatory note from a friend. To show tininess of said note, it's pictured here with a quarter*:

*Quarter is actually a miniature replica quarter. Shown here with actual quarter:

Thanks again, Ranjit! This will become a part of the WLCoWSVoWLT Tiny Correspondence archive - I believe that scale-wise, it's the wee-est yet, beating out the University of Chicago's Scav Hunt submission from 2008.

THIS JUST IN - World's Largest Bar of Soap, Tonganoxie KS

Info sent in by Vintage Soap and Bath:
It is made out of chicken wire and paper mache.  We made it for a parade here last August."
Lana Howe, Vintage Soap & Bath, Tonganoxie,Ks

From the Email Inbox - World's Largest Spur Abilene KS

Aerial shot taken by a Kansas Explorer... in a plane. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

WLT Online profiles

One of the difficult parts of living in the tech world is keeping track of web identities, especially when you have the added aggravation of being both an independent artist and educator AND the face of World's Largest Things. Here's a start of the list:

World's Largest Things on Facebook

World's Largest Things on Issuu

WLCoWSVoWLT Hand-Drawn Book on art house co-op

Erika/WLT on art house co-op

Erika/WLT on Flickr

World's Largest Things on Posterous

(where we do our Thing-A-Day stories)

Erika/WLT on Posterous

Erika on culturehall

As you can see, some sites are more, um, complete than others, but this gives some idea of the breadth of the World's Largest Things web... All in addition to the old favorite home site:

World's Largest Things Incorporated Home Site

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Big News from the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things!  For the past month, we've been talking to a producer for the new Conan show, working up images and videos to pitch an appearance. 
After arriving home from a team presentation to an Arts Alliance in Kansas City, I found a message saying "Yes!  Conan loved it!"  So, the WLCoWSVoWLT will be traveling out to LA in December to be a part of the show...
Whoop whoop whoop whoopity whoop!  It was exciting even before the "Yes!", as the producer said the collection was a big hit at the office (blush), but now, we're cookin' with heat.  I'll keep you posted on actual film date (you could be part of the studio audience!!!) and air date as soon as we iron out details. 
Until then, keep on Living Large!  And small...  Couldn't do it without the support of all of you, Family, Friends, and WLT Members.  Thanks for believing in the stories behind Roadside Vernacular Architecture!!!
-Erika Nelson, Director
World's Largest Things, Inc.
(photo from the Team Coco website, of fan Allison Hoffman's awesome Yarn Blimp. Glad to see they appreciate the handmade and the quirky!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

World's Largest Teapot

Ok, this one takes the cake.  Or biscuit.  Or whatever you'd like to have with your tea... Originally posted on Free Entertainment Blog
China's Meitan County is known as the "hometown of Chinese green tea", and the reputation of Meitan green tea has surpassed national borders, so there was really no better place to build a museum of tea culture. As fascinating as visiting this place may be to tea lovers, we're more interested in its unique architecture. Shaped like a giant clay teapot, and accompanied by a smaller building shaped like a tea cup, the Meitan tea museum is one of the weirdest looking museums in the world. Seen from a distance, it looks like just a strange teapot sculpture, but as you approach it, the windows give away its true purpose. With a maximum diameter of 24 meters, and a capacity of 28,360.23 cubic meters, the Meitan tea museum is by far the world's largest teapot.

Google Places Updated! Now with Video...

With chills in the air putting a stop to outside work, we at WLT Inc. are back to webbin.  Todays Project:  Updating our Google Places profile, which links to Google Maps and other small business sites... take a look!  Now with photos and video (even one in Mandarin!)

Monday, November 1, 2010

New York Roadside Attractions

Ran across this list for the state of New York - they've got Quirky!
List of what you'll read about:
1. Mastodon, DeRuyter Lake
2. World's Largest Pancake Griddle, Penn Yan
3. World's Smallest Church, Oneida
4. Pyramid Monument, Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse
5. Veronica's Sculpture Garden, Indian River
6. Giant Pack of Pep-O-Mint Life Savers, Gouverneur
7. Spirit House, Georgetown
8. Lighthouse Post Office, Eaton
9. Giant Crows, Fisher's Landing
10. Plainville Farms' Bronco Tom Turkey, Cicero