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Ayn Rand: big books, bigger tribute

Posted by Christopher Shea  August 25, 2010 02:19 PM

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This story would only be better if it were Alan Greenspan (or maybe Sarah Palin?) in the driver's seat.

An Ayn Rand fan named Nick Newcomen recently drove 12,328 miles around the United States, carefully charting his route so that, when viewed from space--with the help of Google Earth--it would spell out the sentence "Read Ayn Rand" at near-continental scale. He accomplished this task of Randian ambition with, in addition to Google Earth, a GPS device, and, of course, an awful lot of time behind the wheel. It took him about 10 days to trace each word, he reports. (To create spaces between the letters he turned off GPS tracking, so that portions of his journey would not be recorded.)

The final results are available for viewing on the website Worldsbiggestwriting.com. It looks as though a toddler reached down and scribbled the words across the U.S. (But who would be so petty as to quibble about a few squiggles in the letters?)

To prove that he did, in fact, make the journey, Newcomen has posted videos of himself at various spots along his route. He also offers a Top 10 list of reasons why you should, in fact, Read Ayn Rand. Among them are "Truth" ("Her ideas in essence are true") and "Vision" ("Ayn Rand provides a glimpse of a radiant future for all humanity").

Sales of Rand's novels have risen sharply over the past year: Her ferociously anti-statist and anti-regulatory views have found new fans as controversy swirls around the expansion of health care and the federal rescue of banks.

worldsbiggestwriting.jpg

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
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