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The Quick 10: 10 Really Large Creative Works

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I don't really have an anecdotal explanation for today's Quick 10. It's pretty self explanatory"¦ it's really large creative works. In fact, the largest creative works of their kind. That's all I have for you! Plus, I'm conserving my energy today for all of the Hawkeye-bashing I'm required to do tomorrow. Without further ado"¦

1. The longest musical performance. It began on September 5, 2001, and won't end for another 639 years. It's called, appropriately, As Slow As Possible. This work by John Cage is so slow that the first note of it wasn't actually heard until February 5, 2003. That's when the first chord was played"¦ it lasted until July 5, 2005. The most recent note was played on January 5, 2006, and will last until July 5, 2012. The specific number of 639 years was chosen because the work is played on an organ, and it's estimated that 639 years is about how long an organ will last.


2. If you've ever been to the Bellagio in Las Vegas, you've seen the largest glass sculpture "“ it's the Fiori di Como on the ceiling. It's 2,000 feet. It took more than 100 people to create, about 10,000 pounds of steel, and about 40,000 pounds of hand-blown glass. There are more than 2,000 pieces of individual glass.

3. The Yongle Dadian Encyclopedia is the world's largest encyclopedia. It was commissioned in 1403 by Chinese Ming Dynasty emperor Yongle. Texts of at least 8,000 ancient works were included. It was almost destroyed in 1557 when a fire ravaged the Forbidden City; after such a close call another copy was made. There were only three copies ever made, less than 400 volumes of those three copies still survive. No one knows what happened to the original, although many suspect it is hidden in the Yongling tombs.

4. The longest epic is the Epic of King Gesar.

According to legend, King Gesar ruled the Kingdom of Ling and the epic tells of his various battles and adventures. If all of the volumes were put together, it's estimated that it would be more than 120 volumes, more than 20 million words and more than a million verses.

meet5. The longest-running T.V. show is Meet the Press. It first aired on November 6, 1947. You can still see it every Sunday morning. The first guest ever was James Farley, who was the former Postmaster General and the former DNC Chair.
6. As our friend Andy Luttrell told us, The Cure for Insomnia is the longest movie ever, clocking in a 87 hours. It consists of the writer reading his poem of the same title, mixed with clips of porn and heavy metal. That would certainly cure any insomnia I had...

7. Speaking of poems, the longest poem (thus far) is the Mahābhārata. It's has more than 74,000 verses and about 1.8 million words. It talks about human goals and likely dates back about the eighth century, B.C.

cork8. The biggest cork mosaic. I didn't even realize this was an artistic category, but I suppose there's artistry in almost everything, if you want there to be. Just recently "“ September 4, to be exact, an Albanian artist made a 998 square foot mosaic out of 229,675 bottle corks.

9. In June, a painting nearly 663 feet long was created in China. The coolest part? It was a paint-by-number, making it the largest paint-by-number ever. More than 400 artists helped create the painting, and kids from the Dandong Youth and Children Palace painted it. The scene depicted the picturesque view of Yalu River banks.

toothpicks10. The same guy responsible for the cork mosaic also made the largest-ever toothpick mosaic. It's 86.11 square feet and used 1.5 million toothpicks. Even though he just set the cork mosaic record about a week ago, he's already figuring out what to do next.

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Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images
Can’t See the Eclipse in Person? Watch NASA’s 360° Live Stream
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Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Depending on where you live, the historic eclipse on August 21 might not look all that impressive from your vantage point. You may be far away from the path of totality, or stuck with heartbreakingly cloudy weather. Maybe you forgot to get your eclipse glasses before they sold out, or can't get away from your desk in the middle of the day.

But fear not. NASA has you covered. The space agency is live streaming a spectacular 4K-resolution 360° live video of the celestial phenomenon on Facebook. The livestream started at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and includes commentary from NASA experts based in South Carolina. It will run until about 4:15 ET.

You can watch it below, on NASA's Facebook page, or on the Facebook video app.

Cephalopod Fossil Sketch in Australia Can Be Seen From Space

Australia is home to some of the most singular creatures alive today, but a new piece of outdoor art pays homage to an organism that last inhabited the continent 65 million years ago. As the Townsville Bulletin reports, an etching of a prehistoric ammonite has appeared in a barren field in Queensland.

Ammonites are the ancestors of the cephalopods that currently populate the world’s oceans. They had sharp beaks, dexterous tentacles, and spiraling shells that could grow more than 3 feet in diameter. The inland sea where the ammonites once thrived has since dried up, leaving only fossils as evidence of their existence. The newly plowed dirt mural acts as a larger-than-life reminder of the ancient animals.

To make a drawing big enough to be seen from space, mathematician David Kennedy plotted the image into a path consisting of more than 600 “way points.” Then, using a former War World II airfield as his canvas, the property’s owner Rob Ievers plowed the massive 1230-foot-by-820-foot artwork into the ground with his tractor.

The project was funded by Soil Science Australia, an organization that uses soil art to raise awareness of the importance of farming. The sketch doubles as a paleotourist attraction for the local area, which is home to Australia's "dinosaur trail" of museums and other fossil-related attractions. But to see the craftsmanship in all its glory, visitors will need to find a way to view it from above.

[h/t Townsville Bulletin]


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