Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Display Component!

We've found a new display component for mobile displays of World's Smallest Versions of World's Largest Things... Will be developed for this year's Kansas Sampler Festival in Concordia, first part of May - woohoo!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


... seems to be a great tool! Started setting up program and accounts, with a tutorial from a pro.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Up and at em!

For today:

Copying DVDs of newly completed Digital Documentary about the Post Rock Scenic Byway, measuring for the mural about same, making sure the Member Archives of Weekly Whats Large Where columns are current, fixing typos from the recent batch of renewals, and double-checking appointments for next week's grant work.

From the Email Inbox: The Rock - Utah

Sent in by member and World Famous Artist, Eric Abraham of the Flying Pig Studio and Gallery here in Lucas Kansas.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

1000s Gather for Stuffing of Giant Rockefeller Center Turkey

from The Onion:

NEW YORK—In what has become a Thanksgiving tradition, more than 10,000 locals and tourists alike braved the cold Monday to watch the annual stuffing of the Rockefeller Center Turkey.

The nationally televised event, which has rung in the holiday season for nearly 80 years, began at 5 p.m., when workers propped open the skin flaps of the 55-foot-tall bird, and pushed an 11-ton mixture of bread crumbs, onions, and other fixings into its massive trunk.

"This year's stuffing is shaping up to be the best one yet," said Mayor Mike Bloomberg, addressing the crowd from a podium next to the giant avian carcass. "Look at that beautiful glistening turkey!"

"Let Thanksgiving begin," Bloomberg added as he ceremoniously picked up a handful of salted butter and coagulated grease from the pile and threw it into the cheering crowd.

Moments after a 150-foot-tall crane stuffed the raw turkey to overflowing, ground crews fastened the bird's gargantuan legs together with nearly 200 yards of kitchen string. According to organizers, the Rockefeller Center Turkey will be basted hourly with 30,000 gallons of natural juices, pumped from industrial hoses, to prevent it from drying out.

The largest Thanksgiving centerpiece to date, the 70-foot-long turkey was personally selected by the mayor from a Maine farm and transported to Rockefeller Center on the back of a flatbed truck. Throughout its journey to the Big Apple, a record number of onlookers greeted the enormous, vacuum-sealed animal, with many a passerby scrambling to get their picture taken alongside it.

"The guidelines we use to find the perfect turkey are based not only on height, but also plumpness and just the right amount of dark meat," said David Murbach, who has helped procure Rockefeller Center's giant turkey for the past 25 years. "While this year we did opt for a commercially grown bird, in 2007 a family living in Vermont donated a 45-foot-tall turkey they had in their backyard."

Crowds reportedly started arriving before noon to watch the festive turkey-stuffing spectacle, which included live musical performances by Josh Groban and American Idol–winner David Cook. In addition, the entire cast of NBC's Chuck received the honor this year of walking inside the turkey's abdominal cavity to retrieve the 1,000-pound giblets packet.

"I knew the crowds were going to be huge, but I wanted my son to be here on the day all the stuffing went in," said Cleveland resident Dean Carlson, who was visiting New York with his family. "You should have seen the look on his face when they peeled back the skin with that giant skidder. This is something he'll remember for the rest of his life."

On Tuesday, gravy boats came up the Hudson River, while dump trucks heaped with mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and boiled corn lined Sixth Avenue for nearly a mile. Several dozen workers have also been added to the payroll to shovel congealed fat and gristle off the sidewalks until the end of December.

"You know the holidays are right around the corner when you can smell raw turkey from 50 blocks away," SoHo resident Stephen Finney said. "Thanksgiving in New York just wouldn't be the same without it."

According to historian Steve Medina, the custom of stuffing a Rockefeller Center turkey first started in 1931, when exhausted workers laying the plaza's foundation kept their spirits up by preparing a 10-foot-tall bird right on the construction site. The tradition quickly caught on, and has only grown in pomp and popularity since.

"The Rockefeller Center Turkey has given us so many wonderful memories over the years," Medina said. "From the first honey-glazed bird in 1957, to that image of Mayor LaGuardia raising those giant gizzards above his head to signal the start of another Thanksgiving season."

"Through depression, war, and even food shortages, this incredible tradition has always endured," Medina continued. "Except of course for 1951, when the enormous bird rolled off a cargo train and crushed 64 people before plunging into the East River."

The Rockefeller Center Turkey will be slow-roasted from 5:30 p.m. to midnight each day until Thanksgiving, when the red button pops out, indicating that the bird is fully cooked and ready to be served.

Officials claimed that the turkey would not be wasted this year, as its leftovers will be used to make enough sandwiches to last for the next 10 months.

Monday, November 17, 2008

We're in Serbian!

Voice of America came through Lucas, and evidently they also posted a Serbian version of the story on their news site:

From Vision TV - 2008 - 2009 Seasons

It sometimes pays to google yourself:
Found a press release from VisionTV, Canada's multi-faith and multicultural television network.  This was in their list:
Documentary Series: NEW SEASON
Driven By Vision - Airing 2009
All over North America, eccentric visionaries have created homemade shrines and holy sites to share their devotion with the world. The new season of this Gemini Award-nominated series from creators Judy Holm and Michael McNamara will introduce viewers to more of these unusual – and sometimes inexplicable – creations, from the legendary Beer Can House of Houston, Texas to artist Erika Nelson's World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things in Lucas, Kansas.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Re: World's Largest Clams in Pismo CA

Subject: World's Largest Clams in Pismo CA
FYI, the two clams in Pismo were created by my Grandfather, Freeman Davis, a local resident and sculptor for many years.  He died around 1982, can't remember the exact year, think I was in  third grade at the time.

Thanks for making a web-site about them.  The historical society should be able to confirm he is the sculptor.

Thank you for the information!  I had talked with the Chamber of Commerce, but will ask the Historical Society for the rest of the story.
And, I still think about the great clam chowder I got while there...
Thanks again,
Erika Nelson, Director
World's Largest Things, Inc.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

NEW POSTCARD: World's Smallest Version of the World's Largest Badger, Birnamwood Wisconsin



Up early to go to an Amazing 100 Miles banquet, but first:

Started arrangements for another Kansas Humanities Council talk, for April in Lansing KS...

Developed proposal for non-profit designation help for a sister entity...

Checked on shipping for new postcards...

Wrote draft brochure design funding request...

And that's it. Had a nice brunch, passed out more information about WLT and Lucas and upcoming Digital Documentary Premier for the Post Rock Scenic Byway, and home.

And, in the mail, one new member request, and three renewals. And, a message on the phone that the re-done new XXL tees are in and ready for pick-up.

Now, off to City Council to present the 2008 Governor's Tourism Award to the Community of Lucas, and propose some infrasture enhancements that will benefit both WLT and the City of Lucas.

And, somewhere in there I took out the trash, too.

NEW World's Largest Ball of Twine, Highland WI

Man Creates 10-Ton Twine Ball Nearly 30 Years in Making

Thursday, November 13, 2008

SUPERIOR, Wis. —  Jim Kotera says the challenge hit almost three decades ago and got the ball rolling, so to speak.

He heard of people claiming to have amassed the largest ball of twine in the world and decided to beat them.

Kotera told Superior's online newspaper, The Daily Telegram, that he started his twine ball April 3, 1979. It now stands about as tall as he does.

He's weighed the twine as he added it, including the bags of string saved for him by friends and neighbors, and he estimates the ball weighs just under 20,000 pounds. If it could be unraveled, he claims it would stretch from northern Wisconsin to the Wyoming border.

Kotera, who lives in the town of Highland near Lake Nebagamon, has worked at the Highland dump for nearly 30 years.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

WLT Green-ness

Just did the calculations, and we use approximately 38 trees a year in our paper consumption.

Veteran's Day Poem

In Flander's Fileds: -By John McCrae-

In Flander's fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flander's fields.

Monday, November 10, 2008

World's Largest Baltic Sprats Tin, Mamonovo Russia (proposed)

As found on EnglishRussia:

In the Kaliningrad they are planning to make a monument for Baltic Sprats tin can (like on the picture ...) .

As "Radio Baltics" mentions, in the downtown of the city Mamonovo would appear a giant bronze tin would be built. As people from the local goverment say: "Such a monument should comemorate the fact, that the most tasty sprats in tin cans are being produced in this city".

The construction of the monument would cost approximately 5 000 EUR (around $6900), and probably would be collected from the volunteers who like the sprats.

Lily-Tulip Cup, Springfield MO

From the Email Inbox - a Springfield fan who named her dog Lily Tulip!

Why Drive an Art Car? A story from Kansas.

From the driver of an Art Car, the daily driver "Scout", which is used in conjunction with independent artist and educator Erika Nelson's travels and lecture circuit.
This weekend's trip was a great reminder of "Why Drive an Art Car?"  On the way from my home base in Lucas Kansas, home of the Visionary Art Environment "The Garden of Eden", to a Kansas Humanities Council lecture in Park City KS, I remembered some of the many varied reasons.  Driving an Art Car brings art into an everyday, unexpected experience, which has great impact on both the viewer and the driver.
While driving the back roads of Kansas, I'm often passed.  The reasons for this are varied - I tend to drive between 60 and 65, as that's the very best mileage speed for my vehicle.  Sometimes, that means that I'm just on the speed limit, while others really really really need to pass.
Also, it's not a good idea to speed in an Art Car, as you're the first one a patrol man sees in the sea of automobiles, and the long yellow topknot sprouting from the cab of the vehicle makes for good a good tracking point for aiming your radar.
One of the hazards of being passed in an Art Car is the occasional "WHOA!" moment of the other vehicle, which usually occurs right in your blind spot.  The passing car slows down in the middle of the pass, hovering in your blind spot, while they or their passenger hunt for a camera or try to figure out the camera function on their phone. 
This trip was no different - I could see the "WHOA!" coming, from a white SUV.  We were on a two-lane, small-shouldered blue highway, with grain truck traffic coming the other way.  They didn't pause too long, but passed and accelerated over the next hill.  A few miles later, I saw it parked in a farmer's pull-off, with a man standing by the road.  As I passed, he raised his camera.  I waved and chuckled.
Within another mile or so, they'd moved up in traffic again, car by car.  They passed, slowly.  I waved.  As they got past the blind spot and parallel, I saw that the back window sprouted a large, long camera lens. 
Once again, they sped over the next hill and became indistinguishable in the Saturday afternoon country traffic.
As I entered the next town, I was eyeing the gas gauge, doing mental calculations of regional price differences, projecting potential fuel savings in the next 40 miles (as prices were dropping approximately 2 cents per mile while driving Southwards), and approximate remaining fuel level as divined from tank capacity divided by automobile manufacturer's interpretation of level marks modified by point percentage difference as determined by past AAA-calling events.  This, coupled with Kansas weather predictions in relation to warmth of emergency fleece (in case I needed to walk or stand outside for an extended period of time), and approximate car density on the next rural route (adjusted upwards with harvest time activity) didn't have me too worried, but I checked out the posted Co-Op prices anyway.
While passing the Co-Op with math sections of brain buzzing, I saw the white SUV again, parked at an angle in the 'out' drive.  Once again, camera, wave, and smile.
As this particular Kansas town marks the intersection of two main routes, it was unlikely that I'd see them again.  I continued South, enjoying the day.
The white SUV appeared three more times, twice in passing, and once in wait at the entrance to a college campus.  By this time, I realized that they were intent on getting all angles and views of the truck, and one of their company was a stickler for getting the perfect shot.  By now, I was feeling like an exotic bird being captured by a friendly photo shoot, or perhaps, more appropriately, like the GEICO gecko in the current run of commercials.  It was a good reminder of the purpose of driving an Art Car, and I hope it planted the seed in the minds of my photographer friends.
The weekend continued with three more "WHOA!" blind-spot moments on two-lane roads, one more pull-over to see (this one was a very nicely tinted Mary Kay Cadillac, with the pink pearl automotive paint changing with the sun, housing three nicely done ladies, who had no reservations about turning completely around in their seats and waving), a Dixie horn toot from a large rumbling 80s Ford pickup, and an extended thumbs-up from a passing Prius while on interstate. 
Art Cars are a wonderful way to travel, and passing out postcards of your vehicle is an easy way to brighten even the moodiest surly teenager.  Art Cars can open doors that you didn't even know were there, and will make you a better, more aware driver.  You develop a habitual wave and smile, which carries over to non-Art Car vehicles, as well. I strongly recommend the experience, as there's a whole network of friends just waiting for you over the edge.

Park City KS World's Largest Things lecture

What a good weekend. Yet another Kansas Humanities Council lecture, booked through their Speakers Bureau, in Park City KS. Good crowd, great technical setup, illustrating how a community can work together to get some great things done. Their PRIDE program puts out a monthly newspaper, sent out to everyone with a Park City address, to keep the citizens posted on what's going on. Amazing!

And, got more information about the old Red Apple Restaurant that used to be a part of the Wichita area landscape, remembrances from some citizens and resource hints from local library staff.

You can (virtually) visit their community here: Park City Kansas

Friday, November 7, 2008

Reminder Postcards sent to Members

Here's yet another perk of Becoming a Member of WLT, Inc. - you're renewal reminder postcards are neat!
Just sent out the fall batch today...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

World's Largest Tuned Musical Windchimes, Eureka Springs Arkansas

Hey Erika,
Ranaga Farbiarz here, of The World's Largest Tuned Musical Wind Chime  (TWLTMWC), in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

So, when are you going to come down and finally see it and make a replica?  ..  Anyway, hello from Arkansas and ...I hope you'll be able to  come down soon and visit.  I'll be looking forward to meeting you!
et's a man,
N. Ranaga Farbiarz
Celestial Windz Harmonic Bizaar
Home of the world's largest tuned musical wind chime
381 Highway 23 South
Eureka Springs, Ar 72632
Here are links to stuff you might like to read or hear.  Please feel  free to distribute to anyone and everyone.
Thanx for your friendship & support, Namaste, et's a man, Ranaga 
NPR-National Public Radio-Jan. 15, 2007-"All Things Considered"
Wind Chime Puts Arkansas Town in Guinness Records
This is a short 3 minute piece, but it was broadcast nationally
KUAF-University of Arkansas NPR affiliate
Dec. 31, 2007-"Ozarks at Large"
*Those large chimes just outside of Eureka Springs are getting more attention...this time for setting a world record*
This piece was closer to 10 minutes long and was broadcast regionally  in the Northwest Arkansas area only.  Fast forward 25 minutes into  the broadcast.
Arkansas Democrat Gazette-Jan. 15, 2007-Perspectives Section
The Holocaust and me:  A son tells how his parents survived the war by Natan Ranaga Farbiarz
This is the permanent archival link for the article, it has the full  text, graphics and photos:
Eureka Springs, Arkansas weblinks:
Eureka Springs Artists:

CAPC/Festivals Website:
Chamber of Commerce:
Tourism Information:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Postcards! We've got Postcards! We've got Brightly Colored Fun and Fabulous Postcards!

OK, so we don't HAVE them yet, but they're both ordered and uploaded.  The Post Rock postcards are for invitations to the upcoming Digital Documentary Premeir, Wed. Nov. 19th at the Lucas Area Community Theater, and the others are for World's Largest Things. 
From my favorite postcard printers, Overnight Prints.

Doh!'s a busy week, so time is precious. Got a call from the printers, saying the NEW BATCH OF WLT TEES is ready, so drove the 130 mile 'round trip, only to discover that they used the wrong design...

On the good side of the wasted trip, gas is under $2.00/gallon in that region, so it didn't hurt as much as it could have!

And, I always solve some sort of problem while driving, so not completely useless.

Monday, November 3, 2008

World's Largest Skateboard, Wilmington Ohio

Just got a call from the woman who purchased the World's Largest Skateboard for her community - take a look at the article when it was delivered!
Honey, I shrunk the skateboarders

Staff Writer

Either the riders had shrunk, or it was one ginormous skateboard.

Motorists driving Thursday morning on Main Street couldn't help but be all agog when they saw a 31 1/2-foot-long skateboard on the bed of a tow truck from Michigan.

Residents will have plenty of opportunity to check out the world's largest skateboard. Skateboarding enthusiast Jen Stewart of Jen's Deli in Wilmington acquired the skateboard, and she said it will show up at local parades and serve as a stage at fundraisers for the Clinton County Skatepark Association.

Its first appearance will be a 5 p.m. Nov. 7 fundraiser at the Clinton County Family YMCA for a costume dodgeball tournament.

The huge skateboard, a product of an engineering class project, is recognized as the world's largest skateboard in the 2009 edition of the "Guinness Book of World Records." In order to qualify to be in the book, a "Big Wheel" skateboard has to be operational just like a normal skateboard.

"There's no motors, no brakes, and it moves side to side. It has a 50-foot turning radius. Takes 12 people to ride," an elated Stewart said Thursday after her first time on board.

A while back, Stewart and her father Dan talked about building a float for the upcoming second annual Holidazzle Parade in Wilmington.

"So we thought it would be really cool to build a skateboard for the parade. And we thought if we're going to go to the time and trouble to build a skateboard, why don't we build the world's largest skateboard?" Jen recalled.

She began googling to find out how big the largest existing skateboard is and heard about this 31-1/2 feet long board. Jen's subsequent phone call was answered by an engineering professor at Bay de Noc Community College located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The professor told Jen it was funny she had called because he and his students were thinking of putting the skateboard up for sale the following week, and he asked her whether she wanted it. After an exchange of e-mails, Stewart bought the skateboard, with all the money going to Special Olympics, Toys for Tots, and to the school's engineering department to engineer a special walker for a man with a handicap so he can exercise.

The community college's engineering department regularly takes on these larger-than-life projects, according to Stewart. The department also can lay claim to having built the world's largest tricycle. As a learning experience, they build the world's largest things and then sell them with the proceeds going to charities.

There are still some logistics to figure out with the skateboard, Stewart acknowledges.

"We're excited. Maybe we can be in the 'Guinness Book of World Records' for riding the longest distance on the world's largest skateboard. So, we're hoping to get some sort of world record along with it," she said.

"I pity the fool who wants to build a bigger one. Because how are they going to move it?" laughs Stewart.

World's Largest Horseshoe Crab, Blanchester Ohio

photo credit: Freedom Worshop Babtist Church

In the conversation with Jennifer Stewart, World's Largest Skateboard owner and active fan of World's Largest Things, she mentioned another odd Big Thing in her area - a giant Crab, which is part of the Freedom Worship Baptist Church. 
Excerpt from the Wilmington (Ohio) News Journal:
(Pastor Jim) Rankin has lived quite an interesting life thus far, and yet there is still more to tell. He is known for his ministry and work in the entertainment field, but he also is affiliated with the "World's Largest Horseshoe Crab," which is housed at his church in Blanchester.

Rankin explained how he acquired the crab. "The giant crab was built by the group that helped design the Tower of Terror at Disney World and that also worked on special effects for the movies 'Star Trek V' and 'The Little Shop of Horrors.' It was built for the Columbus Center Maritime Museum in Baltimore, but to regain revenue, the crab went up for sale and was purchased for the future Creation Museum in northern Kentucky. As this museum was nearing completion, they realized the crab was too big for their purposes, and ultimately our church agreed to take it."

Rankin explained why his church was interested in the crab, "The biblical purpose was to counter the evolutionist claim that all things have evolved because the fossils of the horseshoe crab are still the same. Plus, this animal is a true gift from God, with its blood being used as a clotting agent for disease in scientific research. Thus, the World's Largest Horseshoe Crab is now surrounded by a beautiful scripture garden and fossil courtyard."

The crab is 68 feet long, 28 feet wide, with a 13-foot domed ceiling. It has gained much fame, and on Aug. 30, Rankin's church will even host a Crabfest. The fest will feature a nationally televised firewall motorcycle jump over the crab by Gene Sullivan, Evel Knievel's former bodyguard.