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Totally circular, dude.
December 24, 2007 5:41 AM   Subscribe

Alexander Overwijk draws a perfect circle. Is it really "perfect"? Hell, I dunno. But if it ain't, well, it's pretty close. And see big Al get rounder than everyone else, as he takes top prize at the 2007 World Freehand Circle Drawing Championship. WARNING: Pearl Jam audio on 2nd link. Volume mute is advised.
posted by flapjax at midnite (37 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
What an eccentric hobby!

I wish there was more information readily available on this; I couldn't find anything but this video, by searching Google. I'd like to see Al's circles overlaid on top of an ideal circle, and maybe a comparison of his competitor's circles. How close a contest was this? Did these people come from all over the world, or is this just a town-wide event? Did this get him laid?
posted by aubilenon at 5:55 AM on December 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


I like Pearl Jam.
posted by Mikey-San at 5:55 AM on December 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


Then... CRANK THE VOLUME!!!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:57 AM on December 24, 2007


You know who else could draw a perfect circle? Thats right, Giotto.
posted by shothotbot at 6:14 AM on December 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


I love that first video.

It seems like all the kids are humoring him the way any high school class would humor a weird teacher, so they could make fun of him later. However, when that circle goes up, there's a genuine gasp from the class.
posted by splatta at 6:16 AM on December 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


This is awesome. I think you know the answer to that final question, aubilenon...
posted by ph00dz at 6:18 AM on December 24, 2007


Come on, Pearl Jam? When A Perfect Circle is just sitting there, waiting for the harvest?
posted by Plutor at 6:31 AM on December 24, 2007



posted by Poolio at 6:35 AM on December 24, 2007


Hell, I can't even draw a line....

I'm impressed!
posted by HuronBob at 6:43 AM on December 24, 2007


I liked the couple who drew the heart.
posted by desjardins at 6:43 AM on December 24, 2007


How did they get the aspect ratio so wrong in a video about circle drawing?
posted by null terminated at 6:57 AM on December 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


Somewhat in answer to aubilenon, acccording to this story, when the Overwijk video started circulating last year, there actually had never been a "World Freehand Drawing Championship". The Cock and Lion no doubt seized upon a good marketing opportunity and scheduled the affair last February. No information as to whether anyone got laid.
posted by beagle at 6:59 AM on December 24, 2007


Way to go "Big Al".
posted by nola at 7:01 AM on December 24, 2007


That's kinda cool.
posted by Richat at 7:29 AM on December 24, 2007


Well, it's a start. Now they can go on to frescoes, like Giotto

(Fun stuff, thanks)
posted by IndigoJones at 7:29 AM on December 24, 2007


No information as to whether anyone got laid.

Well, they had the big "O" right there on camera.
posted by hal9k at 7:30 AM on December 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


What an eccentric hobby!
Absolute lack of eccentricity, actually.

My geometry teacher had this knack, and did it with the exact same sort of whole-arm, one sweep motion, starting at the bottom. Interesting. If there was a minute left at the end of class we would pester her to draw circles for us.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:55 AM on December 24, 2007


Perfect circles
posted by nax at 8:11 AM on December 24, 2007


Better clip
posted by nax at 8:15 AM on December 24, 2007


Overwijk's post-win celebration.
posted by basicchannel at 8:29 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Anyone can draw a perfect circle. Hold a long pencil in your fist with your forefinger knuckle pressed firmly on the center of a piece of paper so that the pencil point also touches the paper near the edge. Then turn the paper.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:45 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I was about to come on and argue that it coudn't possibly be Alexander Ovechkin, he doesn't speak English that well. Then I ACTUALLY read the headline.

Either way, it was still very impressive.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 8:49 AM on December 24, 2007


I once wanted to write a short about perfect circles; the basic premise being that it was impossible for anyone to actually draw a perfect circle as an inbuilt condition to being a human. My idea was that a drawn perfect circle became a portal to another place which bad things could come through, and we as humans were evolved/enchanted/modified in such a way to keep us from doing it.

The story was going to follow an obsessive with a slight cognitive disorder that allowed him to supersede his inbuilt programming and pursue his goal of crafting a circle like this. In my story I was going to have him meticulously and painstakingly work at creating this circle over several hours.

The idea that someone could walk up to a chalkboard and do it in one big sweep of his arm, in less than a second would completely undermine the whole idea of my tale.

I guess it's good that I got lazy and never wrote it.
posted by quin at 8:51 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey quin, it's a great idea. I'd read it! You should keep working at it. The sweep of the arm (which yes was absolutely amazing) doesn't destroy your premise. You'd just have him doing circle after circle after circle, and then he actually draws a perfect one, and then...
posted by nax at 9:16 AM on December 24, 2007


Was it me, or was that circle just a mite bit pointy at the bottom?

Still, I was impressed.
posted by pointilist at 9:19 AM on December 24, 2007


I remember hearing that Leonardo Da Vinci would use a freehand perfect circle as a signature because it was so hard to forge. Anyone know if this is true?
posted by 445supermag at 9:34 AM on December 24, 2007


Conversely.
posted by Tube at 10:21 AM on December 24, 2007


Was it me, or was that circle just a mite bit pointy at the bottom?

Still, I was impressed.
posted by pointilist


One track mind...
posted by piratebowling at 10:33 AM on December 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think it's old-school stuff. Mr Mortensen, jr-year biology, did it the same way with with similar results. He was, like, a hundred years old when I saw him do it thirty years ago.
posted by klarck at 10:42 AM on December 24, 2007


"Alexander Overwijk, a Canadian math teacher, professes to compete in the World Freehand Circle Drawing Championships in Las Vegas. Recorded on film, his skill seems effortless, even too good to be true, almost like rainfall on water."

The writing was foul, like a bowl made of shit full of dicks.
posted by tehloki at 11:16 AM on December 24, 2007 [5 favorites]


Was it me, or was that circle just a mite bit pointy at the bottom?

He jerked his circle.
posted by Tube at 11:45 AM on December 24, 2007


weapons-grade pandemonium, with a bit of practice that actually sort of works. Thanks for wasting my half hour the neat trick!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:27 PM on December 24, 2007


445supermag: Seems doubtful. When comparing documents, how would one know if it had been drawn freehand? Anyone could forge it using a compass.
posted by jedicus at 12:56 PM on December 24, 2007


I think it's old-school stuff.

Dates back to at least the 1200s, when British longbow archers were refining their training techniques and came to invent the "bulls-eye," which required the straw butts to be plastered and whitewashed by the — wait for it! — "butt boys," who then used this technique to draw the circles before painting (the youngest boy drawing the smallest circle, and so on.)

This is also how the phrase "shot my arrow up the butt boy's red circle" came to be a popular euphemism in the day.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:17 PM on December 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


I remember hearing that Leonardo Da Vinci would use a freehand perfect circle as a signature because it was so hard to forge. Anyone know if this is true?

That's a story I've sort of heard about several artists... There's one were Michelangelo had to leave a message for someone and signed it with a perfect circle so the person her was leaving for would know it was him. See also the Giotto link above.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:59 AM on December 26, 2007


He may be a little chubby around the waist, but I don't think he's Overwijk.
posted by sour cream at 8:18 AM on December 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


I am so disappointed that it was so easy to invent a word history without anyone calling me out on it.

The archers and all that: complete bullshit.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:01 AM on December 26, 2007


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