Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Conan, Full Episode, Season 1 Episode 27
Full Episode on Team Coco
LA Road Trip Day 9 - Almost there!
12:30 a.m. - Home!
Slept in, called the folks, and started unpacking into the washing machine.
Some trip stats:
Odometer Start: 291980
Odometer End: 295455 (Eye Heart Toyota)
3475 Miles total, 1st 1747 miles done in 76 hours, 2nd 1728 miles done in 59 hours.
Lowest fuel price: $2.70.9/gal.
Highest fuel price: $3.69.9/gal.
440 Images (about 1/3 make it to the Flickr Photo Stream)
8 Days (plus 1/2 hour of an 9th)
6.2 Minutes of Fame (although I'm sure there's a ratio-based metric to determine actual Minutes of Fame quota, in relation to 15 Minute avg. max.)
LA Road Trip Day 8 - Christmas Day
1:50 - Continental Divide. I love that the "no drinking" signs assume that truckers have a full bar set with martini glasses, cocktail olives, and swizzle sticks.
2:37 - Jackrabbit! Just sitting there, on the side of the road. I'm amazed each time I see one at how big they really are…
5:30 - OK, so the giant Roadrunner WAS at the rest stop I napped at, but not lit, so, drove 'round, fueled, and back to wait until daylight. Creepy Las Cruces thing - correctional facility and fairgrounds are at the same place.
7:00 - UP! Pics! Off!
7:15 - God a nod from a REALLY GOOD General Lee car - although Bo seemed to no longer be blonde, or Caucasian.
7:30 - Awww. Muffy. What'd they do to ya? Muffy and El Toro, NM 70
8:15 - White Sands, and more talk and checkpoint stops. Yes, I always get stopped.
8:40 - Alamargardo
8:45 -World's Largest Pistachio
WOW! Talarosa is COMPLETELY lined with luminaries! Traffic islands, curbs, the whole schebang - really makes the industrial parts look amazing.
2:30 - Texas!
Hereford - home of the Horrible Herd
3:54 - 295,000 miles - Happy Birthday Yet Again, Scout! (yes, dear reader, that would be 1000 miles in 24 hours…)
3:55 - 4:15 - Cadillac Ranch
6:40 - Oklahoma!
7:38 - Kansas!
8:30 - Moscow!
8:50 - Satanta has a teepee! On 56.
10:30 - Midway USA
LA Road Trip Day 7 - Christmas Eve, with a Very Wise Man
Yesterday morning, room service with tiny little condiments. This morning, instant tapwater coffee and leftover French toast. And, if you're gonna have instant tapwater coffee, get the Spanish Espresso.
8:30 - Up! And searching for AA Batteries. Forgot what being in a crack community is like - motel had brilliant façade setup, just two rooms down from me. Only slightly exposed by the massive amount of NO TRESPASSING - NO LOITERING - NO SMOKING signs around the barred steel door they put in between the two 'rooms'… You could tell by the smell and the pole-thin androgynous person maniacally sweeping what was being made, and the piles and piles of bags inside the door attested.
8:40 - 10:40 - Salvation Mountain! Leonard wasn't here when I pulled up, but showed up soon afterwards. I almost didn't stop (as I'm shy…) but would have kicked myself if I'd have driven on… Drove around the Slabs a bit, too, spotted some of Rocket Bob's old vehicles. Did not locate East Jesus.
10:45 - Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge. Not a selling point…
So, how does Leonard manage to be such a pure strong light in the middle of the desolation? Maybe it takes that contrast to inspire the need - or the true giving of the spirit.
11:30 - Crop dusters in this area (AZ) - still crazy. Turns, UNDER high tension power lines…
11:55 - White truck with diagonal green stripes and that wall is absolutely ridiculous.
The same people who complain would complain more if their winter produce either got more expensive, or disappeared, and don't put the two concepts together at all.
2:30 - Yuma! Coyote Ridge! I used to live here…
3:10 - Passed inspection. Yes, I always get stopped.
3:22 - 294,000 miles - happy birthday yet again, little pickup!
4:15 - Cartoon cactus country.
7:05 - In-N-Out - before I lose any chance of eating at one on this trip…
8:15 - World's Largest Cow Skull! Amando AZ.
DID YOU KNOW - the highway signs South of Tucson are all in metric?
9:50 - THE THING?!? And backing up is fun to do…
10:50 - New Mexico
LA Road Trip Day 6
9:00 - Up, packing, checking out but hanging out in the lobby. Had a nice conversation with the general manager of the hotel, and the valets washed the truck windshield. I think they may have finally taken me up on the offer to drive it around, too…
12:00 - 1:30 - Met with a producer over a stupendous French toast, thick cut artisan bread rolled in toasted almonds and corn flakes. More schemes they are a-hatchin'.
Off! Outta LA, to do some WLT biz.
L.A. traffic to Cabazon - yes, stop-n-go, but an Art Car can make all of this OK. Construction truck yells "LOVE IT! The Kansas license plate makes the whole thing!"
5:00 - Cabazonagain! This time without rain, and some great lighting…
6:50 - Salton Sea!
7:45 - Niland! What a difference a few hundred miles (and a few hundred dollars) makes…
DID YOU KNOW… there's Spanish Satellite/Dish Network? I didn't. It's awesome..
LA Road Trip Day 5 - WLCoWSVoWLT on CONAN, TODAY TODAY TODAY!!!
Putzing! Trying to quell nerves…
1:00 - at studio. Yes, I'm early, but that's just what I do… Security guards exceptionally nice, asked about the Art Car, then directed me on a circuitous route to the Conan studio entrance (they called some buddies, wanted them to see, so the car had a bit of a parade.)
1:30 - 4:00 - Waiting, conversation with producer about final cut of models, talking with stage crew about attaching models to bases, people arriving and green room area getting crowded. Rehearsal, more waiting, hair and makeup, then it's time! Standing on a piece of tape waiting for the two large crew guys to open the curtains…
After 4:30 - ON! GREAT introduction, with a shout-out to Lucas, then I meet a very tall redhead who makes sure to say "Thank you for doing this!" as I walk over. Interview, commercial break, some more chit-chat with Conan and Andy, then hung out on the couch during Jimmie Vaughn. Went over to meet the band, say thanks, and back to pack things up.
WHEW! Back out into a downpour, and to the hotel to decompress.
8:00 - Picked up a nice dinner, a bottle of wine, and gonna watch Conan from a swanky Burbank hotel - whoop!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
LA Road Trip Day 4
9:00 - Mapping things out, still raining.
10:00 - coffeeshop with WiFi, but spotty enough not to be able to actually do anything, so am typing this. OK - gotta go!!!
1:00 - Giant Orange!
2:00 - Burbank! California! Hollywood Way! Here! I! Am! Valet stand never quite knows what to do when an Art Car pulls up - I gave them permission to drive it around the block a few times.
3:00 - meeting locals for dinner and a tour
3:30 - 9:00 - Amazing drive! Hollywood hills, LaBrea Tar Pits, Hollywood Bowl, saw the sights from the back of a Cruiser, then to a jaw-dropping Folk Art collection, and a nice meal in a (surprisingly crowded for a Tuesday) Zagat’s Most Popular restaurant…
10:00 - Conan! Super-extra bonus, he got the WLCoWSVoWLT name exactly right when reading off tomorrow’s guest list… Whoop whoop whoopity whoop!!!
LA Road Trip Day 3
8:30, 9:00 p.m., Rock shops and off
9:45 - Jackrabbit Trading Post!
Later - Twin Arrows - missed it 'till too late…
11:10 - Home of Andy Divine
1:40 - Nice conversation with a trucker (mac) and rest stop attendant (ed). Mac: "I've been seeing you since Flagstaff!"
1:55 - Roadkill Burro. First time I've ever seen that…
1:00 - California! (time zones again..)
1:05 - Inspection Station - yes, I'm always stopped, never just waved through…
1:30 - Eeeeek - $4.00 gas.
1:55 - Heart of the Mojave Desert. Decided to turn around and get back onto pavement.
Love the desert graffittee here… just stones piled on berms, spelling out names. Miles and miles and miles of names.
3:00 - Sheep Hole Mountains.
WHO KNEW? Depeche Mode doing the Rt. 66 song - a little rockabilly, a little goth. Me likey.
3:20 - 29 Palms, An Oasis of Murals
STUDCUTS. Barber shop. Yep, we've hit Marine Corps country.
3:50 - Desert Tortoise
3:55 - Flash Flood. Volkswagon Rabbit didn't make it.
4:40 - Claude Bell's Dinosaurs!
'tween 4:40 and 6:00 - horrible flooding, San Bernardino and Rialto. Wow.
6:00 - Sleepin' the Wigwam Way! I've just leveled up in the Roadside world.
LA Road Trip Day 2
9-ish, Drive 'rounds
9:40 - Stuckys! On 66… would it be completely sacreligious to my Roadside buds if I admitted that I don't 'get' the thing about 66? The SW has marketed it well, and it has a catchy jingle, but I suppose I'm just a Hwy. 50 gal myself…
10:02 - Ears popped, turned down radio
Came up on an older couple in tucumcari (can tell by the size of the car vs. size o' lil' whit heads, and the requisite Kleenex Box and Pillow in rear window) and saw that they passenger was in the 'takin pictures' position…
So, looked over and waved, and the driver (yes, a lil' old man) had about 20 facial piercings. Not lip or eyebrow, but facial. I Heart the American Road.
Noon - Noon Fifteen - Clives Corners - Old stop postcards!
Noon- Noon-fifteen - (bouncing between time zones, so just reporting what the phone says…) - 3 stops to find a TV Guide so I could have my public Steve Martin moment (I'm SOMEBODY! - phonebook scene from The Jerk). FINALLY! Found one, but no late-0night listings. Had to content myself with talking to the 9 people I talked to in parking lots along the way.
ZUZAX! Exit 178, NM Hwy 40 - that's gotta be a bazillion point score…
12:45 - passing by the World's Longest Tramway
Fancy car-wavin' day - Porsche in Albuquerque, and Provost tourbus and following crew bus with full-on curtains-aside faces-against-glass waving. Thanks, Whoever is On Tour!
Mile 135 - Rt 66 Hotel and Casino, may have the World's Largest Gravity Fed Gas Pumps for signage.. just across from the Rt. 66 bridge we visited at the Society for Commercial Archeology conference back in Aught Eight.
2:30 - Continental Divide
3:00 - "Ft. Courage - Take Pictures of Past - Don't Miss It"
3:20 - Arizona! And Painted Pony Indian Trading Post
3:30 - Largest Teepee in the Southwest
4:05 - Truck turned 293,000 miles! While going 82 MPH.
4:30 - Painted Desert
5:20 - Wigwam Village #6, TeePee #9. Tchotchkes, and some AMAZING sunset shots, then dusk and illumnated teepees and horses.
6:30 - Wine and cheese and smoke salmon, sleepin' the Wigwam Way, watching Grease and lounging in a log frame bed.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Los Angeles 2010 Trip - Day One
8:10 - OFF! Slight smattering of snow, and some great sunlight breaking through the fog...
8:40 - forgot phone at home of Bob Dole, have to go all the way back to the Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas
Noon Oh Five - stopped by multi-award winning campground, at town with the World's Largest Prairie Dog and giant Buffalo Bill Killing Buffalo sculpture
1:50 - passing through home of the World's Largest Cow Hairball, got a triple espresso to go...
3:15 - epiphany - waterparks will be the gooney golfs of the future. I know what I mean, will explain later...
3:16 - ROADSIDE/KANSAS ENTHUSIASTS QUADRUPLE WHAMMY!!!! An historic World's Largest Book, flanked by a Boy Scout Liberty, AND a Madonna of the Plains, with the starting line of the International Pancake Race all on the same property.
3:22 - LOVE LOVE LOVE it - Hwy 54 here is named Pancake Boulevard!
3:35 - Oklahoma
5:35 - Hwy 54 and TX 807 - Tex! has suspicious crotch hole...
7:00 - Bluebird Motel closed, but neon still there... Palamino instead!
9:45 - typing this.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
From the Email Inbox: WWN Article on the World's Largest Cow Hairball...
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Lookit! There, on the TV Listing!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Show Info for World's Smallest Versions of World's Largest Things on Conan!
I arrived home from a trip to find 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...
Conan's new show has been a hit, and he's had a track record of having quirky offbeat items as a part of the new format. He's also brought back Andy Richter as a 'sidekick'. Tickets to the show are already sold out through December, so the audience approves heartily.
Distressing story from the L.A. Times - Roadside Attractions on the decline
Corn Palace is a husk of its former self
Roadside attractions like the kitschy South Dakota building are drawing fewer and fewer visitors every year. Many owners face the choice to revamp — but how? — or shut down.
Its green-and-yellow onion domes and spires tower over Main Street, an otherwise unremarkable avenue of low-rise buildings. Golden husks and hundreds of thousands of colorful cobs — held in place by more than a ton of nails, wires and staples — blanket the exterior. Inside, the enticing aromas of popped corn, candied corn and raw ears of corn float down hallways lined with old photographs of the World's Only Corn Palace, as it is described in fliers and on billboards.
But times and tastes have changed since the Corn Palace gained fame in 1892, and there is concern about dwindling visits to the attraction, which is key to the economy in this southeastern South Dakota town of 14,500.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Now Online: Flickr Set for Conan
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.
REBBE PERSONALLY APPROVED MENORAH
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
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.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
WLCoWSVoWLT makes "Reasons We Love Kansas" list!
In today's mail: 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
From the Email Inbox - World's Largest Spur Abilene KS
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
WLT Online profiles
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 - WLCoWSVoWLT on Conan!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
World's Largest Teapot
Google Places Updated! Now with Video...
Monday, November 1, 2010
New York Roadside Attractions
Sunday, October 31, 2010
American Road Podcast with the Big Little Big girl...
American Road magazine just started a new series on their website, with podcasts from roadside enthusiasts. I was happy to find out the WLCoWSVoWLT is the first in the series, available now on their blog:
American Road Trip Talk
Monday, October 18, 2010
Poland to build world's largest Jesus Christ statue
A small Polish town has sought to place itself on the global tourist map by building the world's largest statue of Jesus, eclipsing Rio's famous Christ the Redeemer.
Swiebodzin, a Polish town of 21,000 near the German border, will soon be home to a 33-metre effigy of Christ, which, along with a crown that adds a further two metres and its 16-metre mound will put all other statues dedicated to the son of God in its shade.
Due for completion in November, the monument should pip the world's current record holder, Bolivia's Cristo de la Concodia statue, by some nine metres, and look down on the world famous statue in Rio de Janeiro, which stands just 30 metres tall minus its plinth.
Although erected ostensibly to show gratitude to God, the town hopes having the massive statue will bring tourists into a community that has lain off the beaten track for most of its existence.
"If we had opened a racetrack or a golf course here, tourists would have come only for the season. But with a statue of Jesus the season will last the whole year," a local official told Wprost, a weekly news magazine.
With construction nearing the end, engineers face the hazardous task of lifting the figure's massive head and shoulders into place, which, officials say, might require the use of a helicopter.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Big Things: Souvenir Plate - Bing Travel
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Mural Dedication, Sept 19, 2010
Community Mural Dedicated, Newton Kansan, September 20 2010
By Christine Wyrick
Newton’s new community mural, “The Imagineers,” was dedicated Sunday afternoon in a ceremony that featured dancing, music, speeches — and a lot of sunshine on a 93-degree day.
About 100 people attended the event, which unveiled the mural, a project sponsored by the Mid-America Arts Alliance based in Kansas City, Mo., and the National Endowment for the Arts, on the north side of Combs Organ Co. on Main Street.
Twelve cities competed to host the project, which was fully funded by those two organizations.
Barb Burns, the city’s community advancement coordinator, who along with Rachel Epp Buller from Bethel College served as co-chairwomen for the 2010 Kansas Mural Project, said Newton is the only community in Kansas to host such a painting.
Among those in attendance was a contingency from Joplin, Mo., which is considering applying for the community mural grant in the future.
Community members were involved in the project from the beginning, giving their ideas for what should be included in the mural and actually helping paint the mural.
“... I hope this strengthens the way we come together to work on projects and come to a common good,” Burns said.
Dave Loewenstein, a nationally recognized mural artist, was brought in to guide the project. He had two other professional Kansas artists assist him — Erika Nelson of Lucas and Matthew Farley, a Wichita native.
“This art is for everyone,” Loewenstein said. “It is not to be bought or sold.”
Loewenstein encouraged the community to work on other projects together.
“We hand the baton over to you,” he said. “Go out and make more murals, more sculpture, more parks, increase the size of your farmer’s market,” he said. “Whatever it is, you’ve proven you can do this.”
Nelson said the artists hope community members will come and study the mural to see what images they take from the mural. Some of the images are clear — others are not, she said.
Among the clearly seen images are people of differing ages, a quilt, technology, the clouds on the water tower, a drink, railroad references, birds, trees and a cultivated field.
“Some you’ll have to investigate your own community to (figure) out,” she said.
“Approaching the mural, one sees a group of people around a table engaged in the process of building, playing, restoring and imagining,” the program at the dedication stated. “These figures are symbolic of the Newton/North Newton community. They re not particular people, but a composite of the many and varied citizens in our area ...”
Nelson it was interesting to see people watch the mural come together the last two months.
She said a couple of people stopped by twice a day — once in the morning and once in the evening — to see the latest updates. Another couple came each night to point out areas with a laser pointer.
“Investigate what the mural might mean,” Nelson said. “There are hidden gems in there. You have community stories reflected back at you in unexpected ways.”
One of the highlights of the dedication was a performance by a group of dancers organized and choreographed by Sara Dick especially for the mural project.
The dance, with live music to accompany it, included the dancers — a group that included children through seniors — interpreting their favorite places in Newton and North Newton, such as parks and schools.
They also jokingly teased their least-favorite place in Newton was sitting in a car waiting for a train to pass. Ironically — or perhaps fittingly — a train passed by with whistles blowing just after that.
The dance group included Danika Bielek, choreographer; Helen Bertrand; Emily Blaine; Emma Kliewer; Paige Kliewer; Luella Lohrentz; Olivia Lyles; Marlene Smucker; and Stan Smucker.
The musicians were Jesse Graber, Eric Schrag and Matthew Dudte.
Perry White, president of Bethel College, said public art being used as a way to tell stories has been around for thousands of years.
He said the group is considering options for lighting the mural at night and landscaping around the mural.
“We hope this spurs other community projects,” he said.
Epp Buller thanked the design team for their efforts. The design efforts started about two months ago, with much of the design work done at the Carriage Factory Gallery with the help of director Joe Loganbill.
A red ribbon was cut by Ellie Bradley, a student at Santa Fe Fifth/Sixth Center, who was a member of the design team with her mother.
Other members of the design team were Ray Olias, Jesse Graber, Diane Epp, Los Fernandez, Amy Yountz, Bob Regier, Erin McDaniel, James Janzen, LaDonna Voth, Susan Jantzen, Phil Epp, Pat Washburn, Beth Burns, Ellie Burns, Joe Regier, Pat Hines, Mike Combs, Jim Wimmer, Mikala Gingerich-Gaylord and Loganbill.
Joe Regier Construction donated hydraulic lifts and other equipment for the artists to use during painting. Michael Combs donated the space on his building for the project.
Mural project partners were Vada Snider, Greg Elder Construction, Reba’s, Conrad Snider, Chuck and Cindy Regier, Bethel College and the city of Newton.
“This has been the highlight of the last year,” Loganbill said. “We wanted to do something good for the community. It’s a really good piece of art.”
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
How do you make the World's Largest Omlette in the World's Largest Frying Pan?
Friday, July 23, 2010
10' French Fries from Turco, Buffalo NY
Monday, July 19, 2010
Carhenge in Pictures
First Ebay Listing of WLCoWSVoWLT card!
And, here's another auction for a WLCoWSVoWLT card: http://cgi.ebay.com/WORLDS-BIGGEST-Worlds-Largest-2010-Allen-Ginter-WB20-/250668318910?cmd=ViewItem&pt=US_Baseball&hash=item3a5cff00be
First spotting of WLCoWSVoWLT Allen & Ginter card!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Join Us at the Catsup Festival!
Friday, July 9, 2010
World's Largest Skateboard Folly
AND, got a shoutout on the related post from Bean at KROQ-LA - did a radio interview w/ Kevin and Bean in the Morning back in Aught 5 or so...
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Escabana Michigan - W.L. Yoyo Designers
By Ashley Hoholik, POSTED: June 30, 2010, Daily Press
ESCANABA - Popularized in the 1930s, the yo-yo is making a comeback - but not as the familiar child's toy. A 1,625 pound version of the simple, amusing toy will debut in July, courtesy of the Bay College Computer Aided Design (CAD) class.
The 11 foot, six-inch diameter yo-yo is part of the class' latest run to commandeer yet another world record title. Previous CAD class world record attempts include the world's largest golf tee and the world's largest skateboard.
The official drop will occur at 7 p.m., July 6 in the Bay College parking lot off of Danforth Road. Judges for the drop include: Bay College President Laura Coleman, State Representative Judy Nerat and Vice President of Delta Manufacturing Jean Ross - among others.
The current record for the world's largest functioning yo-yo was set by a group of college students from Manchester, England. It was 10 feet tall, five inches in diameter, weighed 896 pounds, and was dropped from a height of 189 feet.
Looking to defeat this record is the seven member Bay CAD team, which includes: Ryan Fairbanks (team leader), Jacob Nietling, Mark Cocco, Matt Yadro, Jessica Potvin, Viki Branstrom and Adam Hoffman. Though the team has already constructed a larger yo-yo, they must now ensure its functionality - dropping it from a crane and propelling the device back up at least once, with witnesses present. Usage of the crane has been donated by Ness Contracting, so now all the students have to anticipate is whether the structural integrity of the yo-yo can withstand the drop.
"On the test drops, I'm pretty sure it won't break. The test drops are only 20 or 30 feet, so its not able to generate that much force, because at those heights it is only around 7,000 pounds of force," explained Fairbanks. "The 90-foot drop is around 18,000 pounds of force, though, so it is quite a bit of difference."
While Fairbanks expresses confidence in the metal components, axle of the yo-yo, and rope, which is rated at 81,000 pounds, he and the group have some apprehension about whether the wood will make it through the process. For this reason, CAD Instructor Jerry Havill has worked with the class and college to outline possible risks and how to prevent them.
"The higher we go, the more danger there is, and if it breaks, then we have to consider people, property and everything else - at 90 feet the risk is higher," said Havill. "The process itself has been thoroughly presented to the college itself, as well as the risk manager for the college system, and so we've looked at things very carefully...we've taken all the steps, but when you drop it, you can't guarantee that it won't break."
Other considerations that have been made are wind and crane movement - both of which will be monitored by the crane operator. If conditions prove too unfavorable, the drop will be called off. A perimeter will be set up around the drop site to ensure the safety of audience members.
Over the past several months, the CAD class has used manpower, welding and glue to construct the steel and wood yo-yo. The current version of the yo-yo was adapted from a smaller yo-yo designed by the class. The larger yo-yo is an replica of the smaller version and exactly 40 times larger. The total cost for the construction of the yo-yo has been just over $12,000, which has been primarily raised by the CAD students through various fundraisers and work.
"We received a $5,000 sponsorship and 300 yo-yos to sell from Yo-Yo Factory.com - they will actually be coming up for the drop," said Fairbanks. "We've been working on it for the past four or five months, probably a minimum of four hours a day, so it's quite a bit of time we've put into it."
The requirements put forth by the Guinness World Record officials include creating: a yo-yo that consists of two equally sized, but not especially equally weighted pieces of plastic, wood or metal; a yo-yo that is demonstrated to work in front of judges; and published specifications of the yo-yo, including the weight, the length of the rope, and the diameter.
According to Havill, the entire project has been a valuable experience for the students, who have had unprecedented local support.
"This project has had more local companies involved than any of the other projects," he explained. "We've had three companies with major involvement, and then a lot of other companies that have been involved and helping by either just charging us cost or volunteering their time or equipment."
The most important aspect of the yo-yo construction process, notes Havill, was the student dedication.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Big News from World's Largest Things, Lucas Kansas
CONTACT: Erika Nelson, World's Largest Things Inc., email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 30, 2010
Queen of Kansas Quirky gets own Topps Collector Card
Lucas artist Erika Nelson's "World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things" featured in the Topps 2010 Allen and Ginter Collector Card set, due to be released June 30, 2010.
Due to be released on June 30, and in card stores Thursday July 1st, the new 2010 Allen and Ginter set of retro-themed baseball cards will include a regional favorite - the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things. Lucas KS based artist Erika Nelson was contacted in February by the head of image licensing about including the WLCoWSVoWLT in the 2010 series after the head of marketing found the World's Largest Things website. The initial call came as the Topps executives were still chuckling over the theme song, and a deal was swiftly struck, pairing Kansas' supurlative-sporting attraction and an industry leader in sports trading cards.
Allen and Ginter, a Richmond, Virginia, tobacco manufacturing firm, created the first cigarette cards for collecting and trading in 1875. In 2006, Topps resurrected the name, producing a specialty line of cards in a vintage style. In addition to modern and historical baseball figures, the sets included special quirky insert subjects - relic cards with real objects from famous people (a piece of JFK's sweater), or a special Sailors of the Seven Seas series. A set of signature cards encourage folks to collect autographs from a wide range of people including Erika and her collection, illusionist David Blaine, skateboarding icon Tony Hawk, and fire eater Hubertus Wawra.
Allen and Ginter sets also include special wooden or silk cards in some of their packages, cards that fold out like books, and special 'rip' cards that hide a small card inside a larger card, only revealed if you physically rip open the larger card. Since it is one of the specialty collector sets, you'll have to seek out a hobby shop that still deals in sports cards. There are only a half-dozen official Topps retailers in Kansas, and the owner of The Arena in Salina feels that this years A&G set will sell out quickly, due to a last-minute inclusion of Stephen Strasburg in all Topps releases, starting with the Allen & Ginter series.
Kansas "Topps of the Class" stores include: The Sports Dome, 1000 Massachusettes, Lawrence; Lobos Sports Cards, 1016 S Oliver, Wichita; Rock's Dugout, 3232 N. Rock Rd., Wichita; The Arena, 127 N. Santa Fe, Salina; Star Sportscards, 806 A East 4TH, Hutchinson; and Baseball Card Shop, 2332 Main, Great Bend.
Since the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things is one of the autograph cards, when you send one in to the World's Largest Things Home Base (PO Box 101, Lucas KS, 67648) for a signature, you'll receive an additional postcard of the New Sideshow Extravaganza banner featuring the collection. It's a meta-collectors dream, and a great honor for one of Kansas' Quirkiest to be a part of this historic set.
Erika Nelson, World's Largest Things, Inc.
PO Box 101, Lucas KS
Friday, June 25, 2010
Hyundai builds World's Largest Vuvuzela
Meet the world's largest, biggest, longest, loudest Vuvuzela. Created by the South Korean manufacturer, who, by the way, is the official car supplier of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the 114-foot-long... tube sits on top of an unfinished bridge in Cape Town.
From there, as a game, any game, is about to start, the Vuvuzela releases its millions of bees on the poor Cape Town residents' heads. Yes, you read it right, the damn thing works. You can find the proof in the video below.
The Vuvuzela has been placed there by Hyundai's advertising agency The Jupiter Drawing Room, to be the epitome of Hyundai's "Bring the Gees" campaign.
If, by accident, you have been living in a secluded cave somewhere on the Moon, the chances are you don't know what a Vuvuzela is. Described by South Africans as football's beautiful noise, the Vuvuzela is a brightly colored, meter long trumpet. A trumpet which, South African says, sounds like an elephant.
Listen to the one below (which, by the way, sounds more like a ship coming into port). Does it sound like an elephant? Open your TV and listen to tens of thousands of Vuvuzela being constantly blown throughout any given game. Do they sound like elephants?
Friday, June 18, 2010
Another roadside attraction smote (smited? smitten?) by God.
This has also let to a Religious Icon Deathpool (by lightning) - nominations for said pool are the Groom, Effingham, and Ohio giant crosses, and the Praying Hands in Tulsa OK.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Front page, today's Salina Journal - the new Smoky Hill River Festival collaboration
Joe Clark (left) and Erika Nelson work on an art installation at the tennis courts in Oakdale Park on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 in preparation for the Smoky Hill River Festival. (photo by Jeff Cooper/ Salina Journal)
Artist Blind Date - original story
When two people are set up by a mutual acquaintance for a blind date, the results are difficult to predict, but at this year's Smoky Hill River Festival it will be hard to miss the bright results at the Oakdale Park tennis courts.
"I See You, You See Me," a mural of Put-in-Cups and cloth, shows the results of the artist blind date of Erika Nelson, of Lucas, and Bill Godfrey, from near Pittsburgh, Pa.
The two found themselves paired together to design a mural ahead of the four-day Smoky Hill River Festival, set to kick off tonight with the Festival Jam in Oakdale Park.
"We connected well," Godfrey said. "Our works meshed together really well."
Godfrey and Nelson met for the first time Tuesday to start their project after being "set up" by Karla Prickett, a festival organizer, and talking online about the project for two months.
"It was like creating an Internet relationship with someone you don't know," Godfrey said. "You find out a lot about the person, but you never physically meet them until the end. You don't know if you are going to be able to work together or not."
Inspired by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, the artists set out to design a project meshing two very different art materials.
"She (Erika) wanted to base our piece on his (Hundertwasser's) work," Godfrey said. "I went on the Internet and researched this artist's work and found he was one of the most important artists in Germany in the 20th century."
Nelson said Hundertwasser's designs are childlike and have many curves, something she felt would be a hit at the festival.
"We are focusing on the eyes and bright colors of his designs," Nelson said. "The top tier will be major vignettes tied together with little designs."
Godfrey said his part of the project was finished ahead of time, but Nelson started putting the Put-in-Cups into the fence Tuesday. The project is expected to be finished today. Nelson said she planned only a portion of her project in advance.
It really blends well
"I'm responding to Bill's pieces and going little by little until it feels right," Nelson said.
With the banners made of cloth and the Put-in-Cups, Godfrey said he was surprised how well the materials blended together.
"If you put the fabric and the plastic on the chain-link fence and step back, you can't tell where one ends and the other begins," Godfrey said. "By accident, the cups and cloth are the same color sources."
Nelson said the mural almost looks as if it were designed by one artist instead of two.
Godfrey has been helping Nelson put the cups into the fence following her designs.
"It is like a creative arena," Godfrey said. "You bring a lot of things and media together, and it happens."
Nelson said the mural will be taken down Sunday.
"She envisioned us working together in a nice fashion, and we have," Godfrey said. "This art blind date has worked."
Reporter Chris Hunter can be reached at 822-1422 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.