Thursday, June 30, 2005

World's Largest Spinning Globe

It’s over 41 feet in diameter, it rotates just like the real Earth, and it was created from one of the largest mapping databases in the world. Its name is Eartha™ and it is the world's largest moving globe! Unveiled on July 23, 1998, it is housed in a three-story glass atrium at the DeLorme's headquarters in Yarmouth, Maine. Eartha took two years to build and represents Earth as it is seen from space. Every continent is beautifully detailed, with vivid colors illustrating all levels of vegetation, major roadways and cities. Ocean depths are also completely represented.

Address: DeLorme, Two DeLorme Drive, P.O. Box 298, Yarmouth, Maine 04096; 800-511-2459; Fax: 207-846-7051. Web:

The second largest revolving globe is the Globe of Peace in Apecci, Pesaro, Italy, which is 33 feet in diameter. At 30 tons, the Globe of Peace is still the heaviest rotating globe in the world, far outweighing the 2.5 ton Eartha. Situated on the Piazzale della libertà, it is the work of the famous sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro.

Address: Apecci, Pesaro, Italy.

The world’s largest globe is the Unisphere, which was built for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. This stainless steel globe is 120 feet across (12 stories high!) and weighs 700,000 pounds, including its base.

The Unisphere has been featured in the movie Men in Black, as well as in the opening credit sequence of the TV sitcom The King of Queens. It was also the finishing point of the reality TV show, The Amazing Race 1.

Address: Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, New York.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Salvador Dali Museum

Apparatus and Hand

Old Age, Adolescence, Infancy (The Three Ages)

Opened on March 10, 1982, the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, features the world's largest collection of Salvador Dali's original work, including 94 oils, 200 watercolors and drawings, and 1,000 graphics, sculptures, and objets d'art. Dali was a surrealistic painter that loved to play with images, including many paintings that could be viewed in two ways. One of the most famous examples of such play was his painting, Slave Market with the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire:

Another famous double take was recently acquired by the museum. The title: Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea Which at Twenty Meters Becomes A Portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Gala was Dali's wife.

Address: Salvador Dali Museum, 1000 3rd Street South, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33701-4901; 727-823-3767; 800-442-3254; Fax: 727-894-6068. Email: Web:

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

Poet Carl Sandburg's retirement home, Connemara, is the first National Historic Site dedicated to an American poet. Sandburg spent his last 22 years here along with his wife who raised champion dairy goats. During his years at Connemara, he published more than a third of his literary work.

Address: Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, 81 Carl Sandburg Lane, Flat Rock, North Carolina 28731-8635; 828-693-4178; Fax: 828-693-4179. Web:

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

World's Largest Published Book

The world's largest published book was created by Michael Hawley of MIT to capture more than 100 images of the country of Bhutan. The book, Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom, is 5 feet by 7 feet and weighs 133 pounds.

The book was recently donated to the Smithsonian Institution Libraries by Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Janulis of New York. It will be housed in the Cullman Library of Natural History.

Address: Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History, NHB CE-G15, MRC 154, Smithsonian Institution Libraries, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013-7012; 202-633-1184; Fax: 202-633-0219. Email: Web:

Monday, June 20, 2005

Stonehenge II

Two miles from Hunt, Texas sits a 60% scale model of Stonehenge in England. This replica, known as Stonehenge II, is reported to give many of the same mystical feelings as the original in England. The replica was conceived by Al Shepperd and Doug Hill and constructed primarily by Doug Hill.

Nearby are two replicas of the strange statues on Easter Island. These were also built by Doug Hill.

Address: Stonehenge II, Farm Road 1340, Hunt, Texas. Web:

Directions: 60 miles west of San Antonio, south off I-10, Kerrville Exit 506. Take Hwy 39 three miles to Hunt, Texas, and turn onto Farm Road 1340. Go two miles.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Orthopedic Manufacturing Capital of the World

First, my apologies for taking several weeks off. Sometimes we just have to do it. Especially when it is a labor of love rather than profit. Well, on to travel fun:

Known as the Orthopedic Manufacturing Capital of the World, Warsaw, Indiana has the best of both worlds--the values of rural mid-America with a commitment to real growth in business and industry. In addition to orthopedics, Warsaw is the home of the largest printing presses in the world, home to the world's largest manufacturer of projection screens, and home of CoCo Wheats breakfast cereal. That's quite a feat for a small town of 12,000. In addition, Warsaw has twice been named one of the top 100 small towns in America.

Address: City of Warsaw, 302 E. Market Street, Warsaw, Indiana 46580; 574-372-9595. Web:

Address: Warsaw Chamber of Commerce, 313 S. Buffalo Street, Warsaw, Indiana 46580; 574-267-6311; 800-776-6311; Fax: 574-267-7762. Web:

Revra DePuy pioneered the orthopedic industry when he started DePuy Manufacturing in 1895 to make wire mesh and wooden splints, becoming the world's first commercial manufacturer of orthopedic appliances. As his company grew, some of his employees left to form other orthopedic companies. In time, the industry in town has grown so much (at least 10 companies manufacturing orthopedic components) that Warsaw is now the Orthopedic Manufacturing Capital of the World.

Address: DePuy, Inc., 700 Orthopaedic Drive, Warsaw, Indiana 46581; 800-366-8143. Web:

Warsaw, as mentioned above, is also home to CoCo Wheats breakfast cereal, the first flavored hot cereal food (1930). Little Crow Foods has been family-owned since 1903.

Address: Little Crow Foods, 201 S. Detroit Street, Warsaw, Indiana 46581-1038; 574-267-7141; Fax: 574-267-2370. Email: Web:

Warsaw is also home to the world's largest printing presses operated by R.R. Donnelley, the largest commercial printer in the United States.

Address: R.R. Donnelley, 2801 Old Road 30 West, P.O. Box 837, Warsaw, Indiana 46581-0837; 574-267-7101; Fax: 574-267-9548. Web:

Da-Lite, headquartered in Warsaw, is the world's largest manufacturer of projection screens.

Address: Da-Lite Screen Company, 3100 N. Detroit Street, P.O. Box 137, Warsaw, Indiana 46581-0137; 574-267-8101; 800-622-3737; Fax: 574-267-7804. Email: Web:

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honors all the great rock singers, musicians, groups, early influences, and influential non-performers, including the following:

1986: Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Robert Johnson, Jimmie Rodgers, Jimmy Yancey, John Hammond, Alan Freed, and Sam Phillips.

1987: The Coasters, Eddie Cochran, Bo Diddley, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Bill Haley, B. B. King, Clyde McPhatter, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Smokey Robinson, Big Joe Turner, Muddy Waters, Jackie Wilson, Louis Jordan,, T-Bone Walker, Hank Williams, Leonard Chess, Ahmet Ertegun, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, and Jerry Wexler.

1988: The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Drifters, Bob Dylan, The Supremes, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Les Paul, and Berry Gordy, Jr.

1989: Dion, Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Inkspots, Bessie Smith, The Soul Stirrers, and Phil Spector.

1990: Hank Ballard, Bobby Darin, The Four Seasons, The Four Tops, The Kinks, The Platters, Simon and Garfunkel, The Who, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Christian, Ma Rainey, Gerry Goffin, Carole King, and Holland, Dozier and Holland.

1991: LaVern Baker, The Byrds, John Lee Hooker, The Impressions, Wilson Pickett, Jimmy Reed, Ike and Tina Turner, Howlin' Wolf, Nesuhi Ertegun, Dave Bartholomew, and Ralph Bass.

1992: Bobby “Blue” Bland, Booker T. and the M.G.'s, Johnny Cash, The Isley Brothers, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Sam and Dave, The Yardbirds, Elmore James, Professor Longhair, Leo Fender, Bill Graham, and Doc Pomus.

1993: Ruth Brown, Cream, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Doors, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Etta James, Van Morrison, Sly and the Family Stone, Dinah Washington, Dick Clark, and Milt Gabler.

1994: The Animals, The Band, Duane Eddy, The Grateful Dead, Elton John, John Lennon, Bob Marley, Rod Stewart, Willie Dixon, and Johnny Otis.

1995: The Allman Brothers Band, Al Green, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Martha and the Vandellas, Neil Young, Frank Zappa, The Orioles, and Paul Ackerman.

1996: David Bowie, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Jefferson Airplane, Little Willie John, Pink Floyd, The Shirelles, The Velvet Underground, Pete Seeger, and Tom Donahue.

1997: The (Young) Rascals, The Bee Gees, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Jackson Five, Joni Mitchell, Parliament-Funkadelic, Mahalia Jackson, Bill Monroe, and Syd Nathan.

1998: The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, The Mamas and the Papas, Lloyd Price, Santana, Gene Vincent, Jelly Roll Morton, and Allen Toussaint.

1999: Billy Joel, Curtis Mayfield, Paul McCartney, Del Shannon, Dusty Springfield, Bruce Springsteen, The Staple Singers, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, Charles Brown, and George Martin.

2000: Eric Clapton, Earth, Wind & Fire, Lovin' Spoonful, The Moonglows, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Nat “King” Cole, Billie Holiday, Hal Blaine, King Curtis, James Jamerson, Scotty Moore, Earl Palmer, and Clive Davis.

2001: Aerosmith, Solomon Burke, The Flamingos, Michael Jackson, Queen, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Ritchie Valens, James Burton, Johnnie Johnson, and Chris Blackwell.

2002: Isaac Hayes, Brenda Lee, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Gene Pitney, Ramones, Talking Heads, Chet Atkins, and Jim Stewart.

2003: AC/DC, The Clash, Elvis Costello & the Attractions, The Police, Righteous Brothers, Benny Benjamin, Floyd Cramer, Steve Douglas, and Mo Ostin.

2004: Jackson Browne, The Dells, George Harrison, Prince, Bob Seger, Traffic, ZZ Top, and Jann S. Wenner.

2005: Buddy Guy, The O'Jays, The Pretenders, Percy Sledge, U2, Frank Barsalona, and Seymour Stein.

They are definitely missing some fine musicians and influential acts such as The Association, The Moody Blues, Chicago, Grand Funk Railroad, Eurythmics, The Monkees, Blondie, Christopher Cross, Tina Turner's solo career, Aaron Neville, Bryan Adams, Culture Club, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Pat Benatar, Heart, Foreigner, Electric Light Orchestra, M.C. Hammer, Whitesnake, Bread, Neil Diamond, Sonny & Cher, Blood, Sweat & Tears, REO Speedwagon, Procol Harum, The Delfonics, The Kingsmen, The Youngbloods, The 5th Dimension, Air Supply, The Hollies, The Brooklyn Bridge, Lionel Richie, The Commodores, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Carly Simon, Carole King as a singer, Linda Ronstadt, Rita Coolidge, Roberta Flack, Dionne Warwick, Cyndi Lauper, Chubby Checker, Richie Havens, Donovan, Janis & Ian, Joe Cocker, and many others.

I really can't believe some of the people they inducted before people like Joe Cocker, The Moody Blues, Chicago, or Lionel Richie. And, certainly, with the predominance of men over women, there are politics involved that some who decide the inductees would rather no one notice.

In addition, the hall features the world's largest exhibit of rock and roll memorabilia.

Address: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, 1 Key Plaza, Cleveland, Ohio 44144; 888-764-ROCK. Web:

Friday, June 10, 2005

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

This zoo features the world's largest indoor desert, the Desert Dome, located under the world's largest glazed geodesic dome. The Desert Dome features plant and animal life from three deserts: the Namib Desert of southern Africa, the Red Center of Australia, and the Sonoran Desert of southwest United States. The dome contains 84,000 square feet on two levels (42,000 square feet on each level). Located beneath the Desert Dome exhibit is the Kingdoms of the Night, the world's largest nocturnal exhibit.

The zoo's Lied Jungle contains the World's Largest Indoor Rainforest. It has 123,000 square feet of floor space with 61,000 square feet of planted exhibit space, 35,000 square feet of display management area, and 11,000 square feet of education space. The Lied Jungle is 80 feet tall, about the same as an eight-story building.

Address: Henry Doorly Zoo, 3701 South 10th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68107 (off Interstate 80, Exit 454 near Omaha); 402-733-8400; Fax: 402-733-7868. Web: