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   Undertoad  Monday Nov 14 07:21 PM

11/14/2005: Rock balancing

Axlrosen finds this crazy rock balancing website, and suggests the above image from it all. Of all the various ways to spend your time, learning how to balance rocks and then taking video of yourself doing it is... low on my personal list, but the guy seems to get some spiritual fulfillment from it as he has a reflections page.

Which to me, begs the next question: why does everything these days need some sort of spiritual basis? Why can't rock balancing just be a cool thing to learn to do?

Mav  Monday Nov 14 08:01 PM

It reminds me of the "backwards photography" movies use sometimes. Like he had someone stack the rocks and hold them up (probably one person for each column there) then on cue they'd all move out of the camera view, picture was taken, and rocks fall ;p

xoxoxoBruce  Monday Nov 14 08:21 PM

1. He does this where it's always windy.
2. Birds landing on his work doesn't topple them.
3. I smell super glue.

Cory Wire  Monday Nov 14 08:43 PM

No no, this is real. I saw this done at the Exploratorium in San Fran. It was really cool.

BigV  Monday Nov 14 10:38 PM

I drive by a place where this is done and redone several times a week. I've often thought of stopping and snapping a picture. Ok, now I have something to connect it to. I really don't think there's anything but rocks and gravity and friction and patience involved.

BigV  Monday Nov 14 10:41 PM

Oh, and welcome to the cellar, Cory Wire.

xoxoxoBruce  Monday Nov 14 11:35 PM

Originally Posted by Cory Wire
No no, this is real. I saw this done at the Exploratorium in San Fran. It was really cool.
No shit? Really? That's amazing. Must have had big contact surfaces to keep a bird from toppling them. Of course he wouldn't post pictures of the ones the birds did topple.
Thanks Cory Wire, how'd you wander into the Cellar?

Sundae  Tuesday Nov 15 06:04 AM

Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
I smell super glue.

mlandman  Tuesday Nov 15 07:37 AM

Originally Posted by Undertoad
Which to me, begs the next question: why does everything these days need some sort of spiritual basis? Why can't rock balancing just be a cool thing to learn to do?
Or, why can't we just call this GAY?

Trilby  Tuesday Nov 15 07:43 AM

well, a lot of art IS gay.

axlrosen  Tuesday Nov 15 12:08 PM

1. He does this where it's always windy.
I know, that baffled me. Maybe the fact that the rocks are so big and heavy makes them less likely to topple over?

2. Birds landing on his work doesn't topple them.
Is there a picture on his site showing this or something?

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Nov 15 01:59 PM

Yes...go to UT's link in the first post and click on Gallery. Then down at the bottom of the gallery click on the next Gallery, etc, etc. 6 all together, I think.

Skunks  Tuesday Nov 15 04:41 PM

They do a variation of that around here; this is a horrible example, but I don't have my camera on hand at the moment. And I'm lazy.

<img src="">

(not pictured: the rest of the willamette, showing how far one would have to wade out to put those rocks up (pretty far.))

Cory Wire  Tuesday Nov 15 05:00 PM

Thanks for the welcome, everybody. I love this site---been lurking a pretty long time. I think I found out about it from Feces Flinging Monkey.

capnhowdy  Tuesday Nov 15 05:20 PM

Life must have balance, Danielson...
Very interesting. Not just the rock balancing but the fact that someone has THAT MUCH FU#@ING TIME TO WASTE. Well maybe it wasn't wasted... it got him a slot on the Cellar.

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Nov 15 07:46 PM

capn, there are links on the guy's website to a bunch of people that do this around the country.

capnhowdy  Tuesday Nov 15 08:01 PM

yeah.. there's something mysical about this. I'm trying to recall the guy in Fla. that built a home/city out of rock. He had like two ton rocks balanced for doors, gates, etc. He started having too many visitors and moved it quite a ways away. (Overnite if I recall). And he claimed to use no modern equipment. I think it is still open for the public . Even tho the dude died and left no revalation as to his "secrets".

Kitsune  Tuesday Nov 15 11:24 PM

Ah, yes, the best art always comes from deep inside schizophrenia.

BigV  Wednesday Nov 16 11:41 AM

Sometimes art comes from Fremont, the center of the universe.

BigV  Wednesday Nov 16 11:42 AM

A couple more, one particularly massive.

BigV  Wednesday Nov 16 11:44 AM

A close up of the topmost joint of the second picture, showing daylight coming through.

And a nice picture of Lenin supervising some road construction. :p

xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Nov 16 09:01 PM

Wait a damn minute here. You expect me to believe those rocks just sit there balancing through weather, wind and vibrations of traffic going by?
Nobody sees them as a public safety hazard?

capnhowdy  Wednesday Nov 16 10:05 PM

I still ain't buyin it....

linknoid  Thursday Nov 17 08:23 AM

Originally Posted by capnhowdy
I still ain't buyin it....
Well I'll add my voice to the people who've seen it in person. There were about 7 or 8 people stacking them, and several dozen stacks where they were working on it, some of greater difficulty, some of less. It makes sense that they would balance on their center of gravity, it's just incomprehensible that they could remain that stable.

I've tried my hand at it without any special knowledge, and my conclusion is that it's at least as difficult as it looks.

capnhowdy  Thursday Nov 17 09:26 AM

I'm convinced it can be done but I seriously doubt their longevity.

wolf  Thursday Nov 17 11:11 AM

I wasn't very good at playing Blockhead as a kid, so I'd probably be hopeless at this.

xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Nov 17 11:46 AM

Wolf, not with your best effort or on your worst day, could you ever be a block-head.

wolf  Thursday Nov 17 11:47 AM


Elspode  Thursday Nov 17 02:22 PM

I think the spiritual aspect is derived from exploiting natural forces and your own internal will and patience.

BigV  Monday Nov 28 06:20 PM

This morning's drive revealed *new* art! I passed at about 35mph, so I didn't get a good look, much less a picture, but if they're still standing and the light's good, I'll take another picture. There are about 4 - 5 of them, about six feet tall, all one stone on one stone, no wide multi stone bases.

BigV  Thursday Dec 1 12:17 PM

These pics were from Monday. They're down now.

BigV  Thursday Dec 1 12:21 PM

The sign says: Please do not touch the rocks, they are balanced. Uh, yah. In a pile on the ground. :p

The pile under the tarp is the remains of the wide high round base pictured above.

BigV  Thursday Dec 1 12:22 PM

Last ones. Must be cold outside, the last one's wearing a scarf!

glatt  Thursday Dec 1 12:44 PM

Those are neat, but I don't approve of them being located where they are, right next to a sidewalk. What happens when a curious tottler walks up to one just as the parent looks down to see the sign? Toddler pushes on a lower rock, parent just starts to yell "No!" as a 35 pound rock falls down onto the top of the kid's noggin, causing brain damage for the rest of her life. Not good.

xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Dec 1 10:45 PM

Agreed, not a good idea in public space.

capnhowdy  Thursday Dec 1 11:03 PM

I bet the City government has regulations opposing these "works".

Savannah, Ga. made me take a prank sign down out of my own yard one time. Their problem: It was distracting to motorists. Imagine a pile of rocks..... kids....pets...
@BigV.......were they roped off or isolated in any way?
Just wondering.

Your reply here?

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