Monument to the World’s Tallest Man

My shoe next to that of the tallest man ever known to walk the earth.

I’m 6 ft 1in tall and wear size 12 shoes.
Robert Pershing Wadlow was 8ft 11in and wore size 37 shoes.

Out of all the people on the planet, the honor of being the World’s Tallest Man in recorded history belonged  to a gentleman from Alton, IL, a town just 30 minutes from my own hometown.  I thought it only fitting for me to grab my camera and make the short drive to the monument dedicated to him.

The  life-size statue of Wadlow stands on College Avenue in Alton, opposite the Alton Museum of History and Art. The statue was erected in 1986 in honor of the hometown native.  I first visited the statue with my grandparents back in 1995 (check out the shorts I’m rocking in a picture in the gallery below) but hadn’t been back until this past week.  His statue looked just as enormous as it had when I was 12.  Unfortunately I was the only one at the statue when I took pictures…so my shoe was the only point of reference I had to show just how, pardon the pun, largest than life he was.

Known as the Alton Giant, Robert Wadlow was born in 1918. His size was noticeable from an early age with special desks having to be made for him as an elementary school student.  By his freshman year of college he was already over 8ft 3in and showing no signs of stopping.  His celebrity status in American culture comes as no surprise and in 1936 he toured the country with the Ringling Brother Circus.

Mobility was always a problem for Wadlow, often requiring braces to support his 440lb frame.  Sadly his giant stature would be his undoing.  On July 4, 1940 a blister on Robert’s foot became infected requiring doctors to perform an unsuccessful blood transfusion.  He would pass away in his sleep 15 days later at the young age of 22.

It is said his funeral was attended by nearly 40,000 people.  His casket was 10 feet and required 12 pallbearers to take Robert to final resting place, which was interred in a vault of solid concrete.

While Robert Wadlow will likely hold the world record indefinitely at 8ft 11in doctors said that his body showed no signs of slowed growth.  Who knows how tall he could have become.

There are six other life size statues of Wadlow, one of which resides at the Guinness Museum in Niagara Falls.

Here’s a video about his life.

Make It Count

A lot can happen in a day.  Imagine if you had 10.

Max Joseph and Casey Neistat created this video of their 10 day jaunt around the world.

If you are a fan of inspirational quotes,  you’ll like this video.
If you are a fan of traveling the world, you’ll like this video.
If you are a fan of seeing people embracing life, you’ll like this video.

Be sure to check out Max and Casey’s sites as well.  It’s always motivational for me to see people using their talents in such a cool way.

Joy in the Congo: A musical miracle

My affinity for 60 Minutes has grown over the past few years, and this story from Sunday is a perfect example of why.  Having played the cello since I was a kid, I have a special place in my heart for classical music.

Seeing the positive impact music has had over the people ofthe Congo, one of the most war torn regions in the world, is truly an inspiration.

Joy in the Congo: A musical miracle – 60 Minutes – CBS News.

(sorry the link went bad earlier…it should be fine now)

My next toy: World’s Largest Rope Swing

I want this in my backyard.  Sadly I don’t have a backyard, and I live in Indiana.   Just wanted to share a cool video I came across.

One thing I want to point out is the music.  It’s by a group called Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, and I think they are pretty talented.  After you watch this video, check out this guy right HERE

World’s Largest Rope Swing – YouTube.

The Super Bowl & Social Media…plus a few more pics

A great wrap up of Super Bowl in Indianapolis, from the online world point of view, as presented by Exact Target.  The ability to get such a clear snapshot of an event as big as the Super Bowl, with this short of a turn around, is a great testament to the power of online media.  Check out the stats.

Social Media and Super Bowl XLVI(Infographic)

Oh and here are a few more pics I shot from the Super Bowl festivities.   Check out the whole album HERE!

Bird’s eye view: Art as seen from above

“There is something new under the sun, every day, all over the world.
Around every corner is something that will surprise the hell out of you.
Atlas Obscura is for people who still believe in discovery.”

That little blurb is from one of my favorite sites Atlas Obscura, and today I’d thought I share three entries from their site.  The subject matter today highlights types of art that are best viewed from the air…and not hung on a wall.    These works can be found all over world, from rice fields in Japan to a memorial for a lost love in Argentina.  Take a few moments to click on links below and read up on a subject matter I bet you never even knew existed.

GIANT PINK BUNNY…yup you read that right

Inspiration for your Monday: Courtesy of Jeb Corliss and Friends

Mondays can be hard for anyone.  We all have those days where the motivation is simply not there.  So I thought today I would share with you two videos that could maybe change your perspective for the work week and maybe motivate you as well.

Both videos were shot using the GoPro HD Hero2 camera, a camera which I am looking into buying in the near future.  This camera provides views that I guarantee you have never seen before.  Jeb Corliss and others just like him perform feats that few of us ever dreamed were possible, let alone would ever think of trying.   I could explain them in great detail, but that would take all the fun out of it.

Plus I’d hate to cheat you out of the feelings I had when discovering these videos.   And did I mention the music rocks?

This second video is a solo wing suit flight done by Jeb Corliss.

Art thrives in a deserted town

This is a bittersweet story of a town whose abandoned streets have taken on a new, although temporary, life.  It’s a shame to know that these works will be gone some day.

Atlas Obscura never ceases to amaze me with its collection of astounding places throughout the world.  I encourage you to browse.

Doel, Belgium located in Doel, Belgium | Atlas Obscura | Curious and Wondrous Travel Destinations.

My first travel post!

If you are a friend of mine, you’ve most likely heard me talk about one of my favorite sites on the web Atlas Obscura.   The site is a collection of unique, quirky, and sometimes “other-wordly” places that exist around the world.   To better summarize what Atlas Obscura is…perhaps their mantra posted on their site would be best

“There is something new under the sun, every day, all over the world.  Around every corner is something that will surprise the hell out of you.  Atlas Obscura is for people who still believe in discovery.

We hope that’s you.”

Every time I browse the site I learn something, and makes me want to travel more and more and more (no offense Indiana).  Today I got to contribute some of my pictures and videos to the site, particularly an entry about Mesa Verde National Park.    

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 I took the photos in March 2010 while I was in Durango, CO for work.  Not a bad place to have some free time.    It was a real thrill to contribute to Atlas Obscura.  I wish the organization nothing but the best and will continue to support and hopefully contribute to again some day.

Enough of the chatting…here is the article