Friday, February 29, 2008

W.L. Penis, Changchun China

The 30ft erection, named Sky Pillar, has been built at Longwan Shaman Amusement Park in Changchun city.

Builders wrapped more than 6,500ft of straw around the steel structure which stands on an altar atop 1,250ft high Qinlong Hill.

"It is a totem of Shamanistic culture, which originated in this city," says the president of the park, Cheng Weiguang.

Legend says a Shaman hero named Ewenki vanquished a cruel female ruler and gave her a penis totem, telling her to respect males and not kill them at will.

After this, the ruler set a penis totem on top of the hill, reports East Asia Economic and Trade News.

Shi Lixue, director of the China Folk Culture Association, backed the project, saying: "It symbolizes our ancestors' pursuit of happiness and prosperity."

And, although some tourists said they felt uncomfortable about the statue, others were unmoved.

"It's just a pillar. I don't care. It can be a symbol of the park," said one mother who was visiting the park with her child.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

From the Email Inbox: Before I was there

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 2:22 PM
Subject: Before I was there
Dear Erika: I read with memorable interest your story on Vining Minnesota.  In the late 50s and early 60s my family and others from the Beloit area vacationed in the Otter Tail Lakes area every summer.  We always took at least one trip to Fergus Falls, but I have no recollection of passing through Vining.  If I understand correctly, the attractions came after that anyway.  After one long and very tiring  day of fishing I did catch a walleye that seemed as large as I was at the time, that would be about the size of the average 6th grader, but smaller than the one in a previous WLT posting.  Thanks for rekindling these fond childhood memories.  G.O.
Re: Before I was there
Hi, G.! Yep, the Vining sculptures are really recent (90s and onwards) but have completely changed the town and the town outlook!  All Hail, the power of Big Ideas...  Thanks for the feedback!
-Erika, Director, WLT Inc.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Grantwriting, Brainstorming, and WWLW-ing

Busy day! Got March WWLW off to newspapers, last week's Weekly Whats Large Where to members, did 4/5 of the work to get the current grant off to the Humanities Council, brainstorming sessions with members and online correspondants, painted with a group of vernacular artists, and continued to fill up the calendar.

Tomorrow, possible show scheming with Cincinnati, brainstorming with Salina, and completing a Humanities grant, and start of miniatures for the Kansas Sampler Festival.

Wish me luck and strength!

Online Discussion: Big art is not necessarily good art

Wonderful discussion on size as the lone 'thing' making an object 'art' - introduces a lot of the concepts we at World's Largest Things, Inc., think about in our own wanderings...
Some of the monuments they refer to are Austrailian World's Largest Things.  A little history:  The Big Banana was the first iconic monument for the Australian continent, leading the way for a whole slew of World's Largest Things. 

YouTube: Wilmot OH Cuckoo Clock

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bay Area Souvenir Show!

Here's the official invitation from "Wish You Were Here" - a re-imagined souvenir show in SanFrancisco, opening Thursday Feb. 21st.
Ken Duffy and I (Erika Nelson) collaborated on a set of "Genericana Souvenir Travel Plates" - He took photos of bay area McDonalds, and I reproduced them on paper plates with a bic ballpoint pen.  Tastefully displayed on high-quality wicker picnic plate holders, stop by and see 'em ('cause I can't!)
Attached is one of the Genericana Plates, and you can see the whole series on Flickr, with links to Ken's original pics...
Here's to Living Large!
-Erika Nelson, director, World's Largest Things, Inc.

PS - Ken also went to the opening, as I couldn't - he's posted his pics to Flickr, also: Wish You Were Here

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Update! Weekly Whats Large Where still welcome in Email Inbox...

Whew - the earlier message of "Please remove me from your list or I'll report you to the Attorney General" was sent in error to World's Largest Things! Evidently, a co-worker on a shared computer entered the wrong email inbox, and didn't appreciate Roadside Vernacular Architecture as much as the intended member. We received a re-instatement to deliver Weekly Whats Large Where as soon as the error was realized...


Update! Weekly Whats Large Where still welcome in Email Inbox...

Whew - the earlier message of "Please remove me from your list or I'll report you to the Attorney General" was sent in error to World's Largest Things! Evidently, a co-worker on a shared computer entered the wrong email inbox, and didn't appreciate Roadside Vernacular Architecture as much as the intended member. We received a re-instatement to deliver Weekly Whats Large Where as soon as the error was realized...


And, on the other end of the spectrum...

We'd like to welcome our newest Roving Reporter and Contributor, Mark Comstock from Ann Arbor Michigan. He's been flooding the WLT In-Box with big things, location descriptions, and even the GPS coordinates! We'll be making pages for his contributions on the official WLT site, but for now we'll post some small versions here...

Thanks, Mark, and welcome aboard!

First Negative Reaction to Weekly Whats Large Where

We got our first "please remove" request from the Weekly Whats Large Where email list - which is a good reminder! Members, if you would prefer not to receive WWLW online, just email us and your address will be removed. We don't want to be viewed as SPAM, and will gladly refrain from contacting you online per your request.

Thank you,
-Erika Nelson, Director, WLT Inc.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Explanation of Small Things...

Talked with two seperate reporters/researchers today, and sent them both additional information. Here's the official lines on World's Smallest and their creator:
Here's a good explanation of World's Smallest Versions of World's Largest Things, as found on the website:
And a link to bio page, which will have SO MUCH MORE than anyone ever wanted to know...
Feel free to utilize any of these images, also, for story, presentation, or publication purposes...
Good talking with you today!



From a postcard sent in 1910, this is one of W.M. martin's exaggerated postcards, copyright 1908. He was one of the recognized masters of this artform, because of his attention to detail.

"Pumpkins grown on our soil are profitable."

On the back the sender wrote this message: "Stick this up to show Quincy people how things grow here in the West..."

Phone Calls

Well, it's been a busy phone day so far, and not even noon! Just got off the tele with a Hays Daily News reporter, doing a story on the Kansas Arts Commission Artist Roster people, after a 40 minute conversation with a Cincinnatti University Curatorial projects student about a possible show in the Spring.

Now, off to the Post Office to send out the 100th Member packet, a renewal, and some shameless self-promo articles...

Big Things A-Brewing!

From the Email Inbox: crash of the Weinermobile

Wienermobile wipes out - Famed vehicle spins, crashes on snow-covered Pa. - highway; 'hotdoggers' OK.
February 11, 2008
By George Osgood, Star-Gazette Wellsboro Bureau

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile slid off U.S. Route 15 south of Mansfield on Sunday afternoon.

MANSFIELD -- Let's be frank: motor vehicle accidents aren't much fun for anyone. But when a 27-foot-long tube-steak spins out on a snow-covered highway, it's bound to generate some grins.

That's what happened Sunday to an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile on Route 15 about two miles south of Mansfield (at least it didn't roll over).

The growler contained two "hotdoggers" -- driver Emily Volpini, 22, of Lexington, Ky., and Caylen Goudie, 22, of Hinsdale, Ill. Although they didn't relish the experience, they weren't hurt, investigating state Trooper Rex Johnson said.

"Hotdoggers" are goodwill ambassadors for Kraft Foods and Oscar Mayer. There are 12 of them in the country -- two for each of the six Wienermobiles. They spend a year on the job traveling around the country. Part of their job is to recruit their replacements.

On Friday and Saturday, Volpini and Goudie and the iconic frankfurter were at Syracuse University, fulfilling the promise to the winner of "A Weekend with the Wienermobile" contest. Sunday morning, the women and the wiener on wheels headed south toward Penn State, where they will try to recruit candidates for the 2008-09 hotdoggers from a stable of Nittany Lion hopefuls.

Mother Nature intervened, though briefly, at 12:20 p.m., putting the plastic porksicle on the median and out of service.

"We thought we had come out of the blizzard," Goudie said. "We thought we were through it. Then we hit a patch of ice. The Wienermobile weighs 7,000 pounds, so usually ice and snow isn't much of a problem. It was this time."

Stuck, Volpini called 911 dispatchers in Wellsboro. Though skeptical at first, they notified state police at Mansfield. As passersby called in the crash on cell phones, the dispatchers became convinced that the barkburger was indeed in hot water.

Police contacted Dave Kurzejewski of Costy's Truck and Auto Mart, and he showed up in short order with a heavy four-wheel-drive vehicle and some chains. Johnson, the trooper, grilled the women briefly and concluded that a routine and sober spinout was all he had on his plate.

Kurzejewski hooked up and Emily fired up the highway hot dog, and a few well-timed tugs later, the Wienermobile was back on the highway.

For Kurzejewski, veteran of hundreds of tows over the years, Sunday's experience was a new one.

"I've pulled out a lot of vehicles," he said. "But that's the first wiener I've ever pulled out."

It was a first for the women, too. They left none the wurst for wear. "Usually we try to keep from scratching our buns," Goudie said. "But sometimes, things go wrong."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Brainstorming Workshop in Osborne Kansas

Today, Rachel Wilson, the unpaid staff of WLT Inc is creating a new personal blog about unfortunate boyfriend stories, the Lucas Chamber of Commerce is creating an Eccentric Lucas blog, Osborne County Tourism is creating an online identity, Ad Astra Publishing is thinking about an innovative catchy phrase for themselves. We met at Riverbend Bed and Breakfast, who is also thinking about a weekly blog.

Woo Hoo!

Monday, February 11, 2008

100th Member!!!!

Yay! J. Jean and Mildred Mettlen are the 100th Members of World's Largest Things, Inc.!

For their luck and generosity, they will receive an EXTRA ADDED BONUS to their Member Packet - a copy of Brian and Sarah Butko's book "Roadside Giants", a wonderfully photo-illustrated compendium of Roadside Amazement.

Thank you, Jean and Mildred!

keep on Living Large...

-Erika, Director, World's Largest Things, Inc.

Member Packets in the mail

7 new and 3 renewals went out this morning... We're up to Member #99!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Members, we've got Members, we've got scores and scads and groups and wads of Members

OK, so not a score YET, (whoops - yes, we have scores, see the comment section) but new batch for the week brings us up to Member Number 99!

The 100th New Member will receive a Special Bonus One-of-a-Kind premium, so sign up to be a Become the 100th Member of World's Largest Things, Inc.!!!

Packets in the mail Monday, to our three renewing and seven newest members!

Thank you again for your continued support...
-Erika Nelson, Director, World's Largest Things, Inc.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Happening Today: W L Bunny Hop

In case you've forgotton how to do it...

W.L. Bunny Hop on a Frozen Lake Today


Back to Biz

Whoa - lots of catching up to do!

We're posting the past weekend's activities on the World's Largest Things Flickr Photoblog, working on even MORE member packets, and posting Snail Mail and Email oddities from the past week.

Thanks for your support, WLT enthusiasts, and it's gonna be a GREAT YEAR!

Friday, February 8, 2008

In the Mailbox: Postal Shanty 08

During the Groundhog Day weekend, went to Minneapolis MN to take part in a wedding in the middle of a frozen lake.  In addition to Art Cars and interesting people, there were a dozen or so Art Shantys - Fishing shanties taken a couple of steps further.  One of them is the Postal Shanty, which delivers mail to the other Art Shantys, as well as postcards from the ice. 

Thursday, February 7, 2008

More Grantwriting

Rushed home from Minnesota, gathered some signatures on official documents, and finally got a second grant proposal off in the mail.

Down-side: The grant is to support the infrastructure of World's Largest Things, Inc., especially in its formative years. Some of the requirements for the grant proposal are the exact thing I'm writing the grant to help us do! Chicken and Eggs, anyone?

Thinking Good Thoughts for Grant Review Understanding...

-EN, WLT Inc.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Popcorn Machine in Chicago

Saw it last year in the storeroom of Cretors in Chicago, sorry if you have it already:

 Mit freundlichen Grüssen / With best regards


Monday, February 4, 2008

From the Email Inbox: Largest Gnome in Canada


Hello, I have learned about your website, which looks really fascinating to me. I'd like to submit some things to you in hopes that they may be useful to you. Here is my first entrée. Please let me know that you have received this in good order.

This is the Esso "Giant Gnome" and it is located on BC19 on the west side of the road this is just north of Nanaimo, BC. This is 0.3 miles North of Ross Road. The GPS is 49 16.420 and 124 14.294 This Gnome is about 22 feet tall and is the largest Gnome in Canada!! Photo taken on 9/14/05

M. in Canada

Oh, how wonderful! (In an oversized, mildly creepy way...) Thank you for the information, and the GPS location. It will definately be included in the website...

Thanks again,
Erika, Director, Worlds Largest Things, Inc.