actorartathleteauthorbizcrimecrosspostcustomerservicedirectoredufoodgaminghealthjournalistmedicalmilmodpostmunimusicnewsworthynonprofitotherphilpolretailscispecialisedspecializedtechtourismtravelunique

AuthorI’m Benjamin Grant, the guy behind @DailyOverview — an Instagram account that aims to change the way we see the world. I also just published my first book. Ask me anything!

Oct 28th 2016 by DailyOverview • 43 Questions • 86 Points

My name is Igor Vovkovinskiy. I am a proud Ukrainian, who lives in the US, for medical reasons. I was named the Tallest Living man in 2010 by the Guinness Book of World Records on the Dr. Oz show. And it so happens that after Leonid Stadnyk died in 2014, I became the Tallest Ukrainian. I did an AMA about 2-3 years ago, however, tons of people on Reddit are asking me the same questions, so I would like to do it again.

I know many people don't know how to Google :) so I'll tell you, my height is 7ft 8.33in and you want to know my weight? Well, my friends, it's none of your business! :) Haha

Proof: http://i.imgur.com/e1bONa3.jpg

I will be posting some photos during the AMA, when I choose to do so, however, please do not request photos.

Let's do this.

Thank you all for the questions. I must go. If you wish, you can follow me on Twitter, @Igor2tall I am sorry if I didn't answer your question, or didn't answer it the way you wanted it answered. A couple quick facts. I love to watch MMA, huge UFC fan. I love my homeland, Ukraine, Слава Україні! I love fishing and reading. PC Games, I love Fallout 3 & 4, wish I could get Battlefield 1, but it's way too expensive, and I don't have an income, so that's out of the question. Have a great Sunday!

UPDATE BELOW!!

UPDATE 1 - 10/30/2016 - 11:30PM Central Time LADIES & GENTLEMEN!! I am still fairly new to Reddit, so I am not sure how to keep updating you. I think, perhaps, updating the OP is best? Your response has been overwhelming. Thank you soooo much for all the kind words, suggestions, offers of help. I can't keep track of anything. I will try to answer as many questions as I can. http://i.imgur.com/cdmKp1M.jpg

Q:

Hi Benjamin, I'm a huge fan of yours.

I know this might be a cliche question, but within all of the landscapes you've shown, which one has impacted you the most?

A:

Hey, there was a documentary shown on tv here a few weeks ago about gigantism which you were featured in. I remember you said in it that you were a bit of a film buff, what's your favourite movie at the moment? what was the documentary process like?


Q:

Hey, thanks so much for your question. I would say some of the mining images are the most powerful for me. For my book, they are all included in the chapter called "Where We Extract" and I often say it's one of the most memorable. I think they are some of the striking because they cover such a vast amount of area and are these deep, visible scars on the surface of our planet. I would also say the Overviews I have created of refugee camps (like the ones in Syria before and after the civil war) have really left a mark on me. Do you have any ones in mind from the project that have left a mark on you? Thanks for your question.

A:

Hello. I like so many movies... it's so hard to pick one, or 10. Okay, these aren't necessarily the newest films, but I like them very much.

Mad Max Fury Road Dredd LoTR Series The Hobbit Series Apocalypto Eagle Eye Star Trek Beyond Captain America movies


Q:

I love the pictures of cities, etc. There's one in Madrid I believe that's all these squares of buildings, and if I remember correctly there is an amazing one of a star fort in Belgium that I enjoyed as well.

A:

Do you travel on planes and if so, how? I'm 6ft8in and find plane travel uncomfortable. How on earth do you do it?


Q:

Thanks so much for commenting. Yes, there is a whole chapter in the book called "Where We Design" that looks at these spectacular examples of urban planning and construction. They examples certainly make you think, I wonder if the designer or architect envisioned the buildings from this vantage point during their construction.

A:

last time I traveled was about 2013, don't believe I will ever be able to fly again. Way too uncomfortable and expensive.


Q:

Big fan of your IG and cannot wait to pickup the book.

Was it difficult to narrow it down to 220 photos for the book? I would be curious to know which ones just missed the cut and why.

A:

Whats the best thing and the worst thing about being that height?


Q:

Hey, thanks so much for your question. It was definitely difficult to pick the images, but I think the biggest challenge for the book was figuring out how it would be structured and what words I would use to describe each chapter. I ended up going with a similar phrase for each so it goes "Where We Harvest", "Where We Extract", "Where We Power", etc. Once I had those categories locked down, it was then time to curate images from the feed and see where the images should go. I should also mention that there are 70 never-before-seen images in the book so if you've been following along on IG that should be fun for you to check out at some point. Thanks for your question!

A:

The worst thing is all the medical issues. The best thing? I don't know.... maybe that kids look up to me. I have gone to schools around the area to talk to kids about being tall, being different, about my homeland.


Q:

How did you first become interested in satellite photographs?

A:

Are the medical issues mostly associated with your joints?


Q:

Hey! This actually all started by mistake. In December 2013 I was on a mapping program and typed in "Earth" to see if it would zoom out all the way. It actually ended up zooming in and showing "Earth, Texas". If you check out Earth, TX on Google Maps you'll see its surrounded by hundreds of perfect circles. I had no idea what I was seeing at the time and had to find out more. I eventually discovered these are pivot irrigation circles caused by the types of sprinklers used to water crops there. However, that discovery got me started on this awesome adventure and I'm so grateful the search function messed that day! Thanks for your question.


Q:

Hi Benjamin! I just got your book in the mail today, it looks absolutely great. When studying human impact, the evolution in time seems very interesting as well. I remember seeing aerial photography of the impact of hurricanes on residential areas somewhere (before-after photos). However, in a broader context, and on a longer time scale, the evolution of human impact might also become apparent. What is your idea about that, and can this be done with the images you are working with?

A:

What are the health concerns associated with being so tall? Do doctors estimate that your life expectancy is likely shorter than that of a man of average height?


Q:

Hey, thanks for your question. Yes definitely. One thing you'll notice in the book are a few spreads that I call "Juxtapose". Here I take two images of the exact same place and show change over time. By creating these comparisons we are able to observe how much change is happening and how quickly it takes place. One of the most striking examples is the before and after of Zataari Refugee Camp in the "Where We Live" chapter. Thank you so much for purchasing a copy and for your question.

A:

many health concerns, blood doesn't flow to the outer extremities very well, meaning my legs, so I have excrutiating pain in my legs and feet, as I have had 25+ surgeries on my left foot & leg. Nothing really helps me with my pain. I am on about level 7-8 out of 10 all the time


Q:

What is the craziest thing you have come across in satellite photos?

A:

Jesus, you poor guy. How do you even function with that much pain all the time? It must be so stressful to constantly be in agony. I'm so sorry :(


Q:

I think the craziest thing has probably been looking at a place that I'd gone to before and seething that it looks like something I could have never imagined from above. Often times urban plans give me this feeling. Two in particular are Barcelona (Eixample District) and Paris. When you're in the midst of those cities there's no way to know just how spectacular and grand the planning is. To me, that speaks to the power of seeing things from a new perspective and the awe-inspiring emotions that can result from looking at the planet in this way.

A:

I don't function, that's the problem. Also, my doctors will not give me enough meds, but I do not want to be on these frikin pills, they kill so many people. But in Minnesota I have no other choices.


Q:

Are there any artists that have influenced your work and how you compose your images?

Keep up the good work! I'm a huge fan of Daily Overview!

A:

Have you tried medical marijuana?


Q:

Thanks so much for your question Maddie! I would definitely say that I try to channel certain artists when I am composing an image. A few that come to mind are Piet Mondrian, Ellsworth Kelly, or Mark Rothko. Additionally, I feel like the project was able to build on the incredible efforts of aerial photographers such as Edward Burtynsky and Yann-Arthus Betrand who have been doing incredible, informative work for decades with a similar mission. Thanks for the great question!

A:

no sir, it's not exactly easy to obtain legally in MN. I really want to try the CBD capsules, but I can't get anyone to let me try it.


Q:

Hey Benjamin. I share a passion for what you're doing and have long been interested in "The Overview Effect". A few questions... Can you talk more about your agreement with DigitalGlobe and how they operate? How difficult is it to get a clear image, factoring in weather, smog, atmospheric clarity, time of day, etc. Can you get video as well as still imagery (I guess the satellite would have to be geosynchronous...) Do you have access to different satellite at different orbit altitudes? If you're shooting tight on small areas, is there a big difference from say 30,000ft to LEO? What was your biggest challenge in getting this whole thing going?

A:

Do you want/need a short sidekick? Where shall I send my resumé?


Q:

Thanks for your questionsm Leo. My agreement with DigitalGlobe gives me access to their archive of imagery and there is a royalty share agreement in place for anything that I sell. Most of the images are actually not clearm but there are sorting tools which help you remove ones with clouds or ones that are lower in resolution. All of the imagery that I access appears in one places from the various satellites in their constellation. Lastly, I would say the biggest challenge was getting the first social media followers to the project. Since this was my first real creative endeavor, I figured out mostly everything on the fly which was very fulfilling, but it was lots of work to get people aware that this was going on and it was something worth following. This project certainly benefitted from the power of social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. Thanks for those great questions!

A:

Yes, I need someone to help me fight crime. Send your resume to my twitter @Igor2tall


Q:

Hi Benjamin! I'm really grateful for your work as it makes people more aware of the beauty this marvellous planet has to offer. Do you know of initiatives like The Zeitgeist Movement, The Venus Project, and The Free World Charter (among many others) who - unlike environmental or political organisations - have a holistic approach, that is promoting a new socio-economic system to save the planet and create a much better world for all human beings? And do you support any of these or maybe some environmental organisations?

A:

We can have a battle royale to determine your sidekick.

I'm in.


Q:

Hello, thanks so much for your question. I have actually never heard of these particular organizations but will certainly look into them. I am partnering with the NRDC on an upcoming exhibition in California and certainly want to continue collaborating with organizations that are making tangible impacts in service of the planet. I very much appreciate your kind words!

A:

YES!!!!!!!!!! Can someone make a wrestling ring to fit 1,500 people? You all can battle, it will be the sweetest Battle Royale ever!


Q:

What is your favorite and most fascinating picture or category to shoot?

A:

Do you know what caused your great height? Was it a tumour on the pituitary gland, like many other extremely tall individuals?


Q:

That's a great / tough question. I would say some of my favorite are highway interchanges. Just observing the complexity of the infrastructure that we create, combined with the mesmerizing beauty of that construction is so fascinating. I enjoy them so much that I included four in the new book! Thanks for your question.

A:

yes, a tumor.


Q:

Are you able to control the satellite that you shoot from? So if the satellite is over the Cusco, Peru, and moving West towards Asia, if you wanted to immediately shoot the East Coast of Brazil, do you have to wait for the satellite to come around or can you control where it goes? Very curious about the logistics of your work!

A:

How often do you hit your head on chandeliers?


Q:

Hey thanks so much for your question. Unfortunately I don't have control over the satellite and can only sift through imagery after the fact once it's been captured. Perhaps one day in the future this will change though!

A:

ohhh jeez...when I go to visit someone, pretty much every time I will hit my head on one of the light fixtures


Q:

Hi Benjamin, I've been following you on Instagram for some time and I'm happy to see your pictures really getting noticed! I want your picture of the tulip fields for my wall, can I order a print of that somewhere? Stay up!

A:

How tall were you in high school?


Q:

Thanks so much! You can indeed order prints from our website - www.dailyoverview.com/printshop. Hope to get you a print or a book soon!

A:

I was reaching 7ft 2in in 12th grade


Q:

How did you fund this project?

A:

Oh my god. How did the 9th graders (or 10th graders some high schools are like that) react when they first saw you?


Q:

Thanks for your question. I have been self-funding the project since 2013. Hopefully the book will serve as a new means of support for the project going forward!

A:

well...in my city the papers published about me so many times since I came to the US for treatment, that pretty much everyone knew me, but some kids were real assholes.


Q:

How long did it take you to write/compile this book?

Have you started on the next one? Are you planning on some new themes?

Why don't you do a 400 page book on just cities? I'd buy the shit out of that.

A:

If I was your size and someone was an asshole to me, I'd squash them. But you seem like a really nice guy and I respect you for that.


Q:

Thanks so much for your question. In total, creating content for the book took almost three years and I was focused on putting everything together over the past year. No plans yet on the next one, but I certainly like your cities idea. There is definitely the possibility of playing around with books on different themes and I'm glad to hear you think that would be a good idea. Regardless, hope you get to check out a copy soon!

A:

I hit a guy once, after about 3 years of taking shit from him. He folded into a locker. They had to replace the locker door and maybe his liver. HAHA. no, I didn't hit him as hard as I could. But he did fall back into the lockers and bent the door.


Q:

Do you ever go to the mall of America?

There is book store there where I think I may come across your path a number of years ago. Short story, as I was looking down thumbing through a book I saw this ginormous foot step next to mine. So I look up to see a mountain of a man. I can only guess this was you, because this gentleman was huge. Pulling books off the the top display shelves with ease, which would have taken anyone else a ladder.

Quite impressive anyway. Have a good weekend.

A:

haha, yeah probably me, I would always go to the Barnes & Noble at the MoA.


Q:

Tallest man typical meal and portion?

A:

Well. for breakfast, usually a bowl of cereal or 3 eggo waffles with some jelly, and 2 cups of coffee.

For lunch, a sandwich or two. for example: european or Ukrainian bread, little butter, 2-3 pieces of ham or beef or salami and a piece of cheese (Havarti or Provolone or whatever we have, I'm not picky). Or if I have some Borcht or other soup, I'll eat a bowl of that. Or we'll make some fried potatoes with a pork chop or a steak. For dinner, I may make some rice & chicken in the oven or potatoes & chicken in the oven. I don't have any money to eat fancy. I haven't even ever tried fresh lobster or crab. When my fridge is empty I will eat a couple ramen soups.


Q:

european or Ukrainian bread

What's this?

A:

Uhhhhhh....well if you go to a grocery store bakery, they have bread. And some of it is called European bread. And there are Ukrainian & Eastern European grocery stores in big cities all over the US, they sell hot & freshly baked Ukrainian bread, the kind we ate at home. It's MUCH heavier than the typical American wonderbread type crap, has more substance to it, healthier.


Q:

Do you have a record of your progression of growth? Has it been constant or have there been phases where you shot up a lot?

A:

not really. Never kept a written record. But I'll tell you this Thecpoepoe, at 7 years old, I was 6ft tall


Q:

Fucking hell. Were you bullied as a kid? Kids are mean little shits and will poke fun at anything different, and you're sure as shit different. But at the same time I can't imagine anyone, even kids, being dumb enough to make fun of someone so much bigger than them.

A:

I hated high school. Never had a single friend. Every football player made sure my life was shit


Q:

Have you ever been asked by to get an item on the high shelves while in a store?

A:

yes, quite often. Usually by older people. They are always very nice about it. I'm happy to help.


Q:

Can you touch your toes?

A:

yes


Q:

Do you get sick of people asking if you play basketball?

A:

yes! The most annoying this is that 99% of people think that they are the first person to think of that question.


Q:

So... do you?

A:

I used to, in grade school and middle school.


Q:

and how is the weather up there?

A:

Excellent. Sometimes foggy, but great right now.


Q:

What does a 7ft 8 inch man do for a career and how has your height helped/hindered your work life?

A:

I haven't been able to have a normal work life, I haven't worked in a traditional setting since 2005, mostly because I had to have so many surgeries, but also because I have excrutiating pain in my legs and feet.


Q:

You worked at Sam's Club in Rochester, MN didn't you? I remember meeting you when I was about 11 or 12 years old and shaking your hand!

A:

Yes!! :)


Q:

How big is your bed? Also (sorry if your uncomfortable with this) how does the sex work?

A:

my bed is about 9ft by 6ft. Well... I read a book about sex, I can send you an amazon link if you want. :)


Q:

Growing up in Austin, Minnesota I remember seeing TV reports about you. I was happy that you immigrated to this country so you could receive medical treatment.

Since I have to ask a question, what is your favorite NFL team?

A:

Hello!! Well... if I say anything else, my house will be egged, so Minnesota Vikings!! No, but really, I like the Vikes.


Q:

How tall are your parents?

A:

my mother is about 5ft 6in, and my dad is about 6ft


Q:

What vehicle do you drive/ride in?

A:

a full size van


Q:

Why do you have 5 inch soles under your shoes?

A:

not my choice, it's what I had to have at the time to heal my feet


Q:

Have you ever met the shortest man in America? If so, what was it like?

A:

nope, never met the shortest person, however in college I had a little person in one of my classes, she was about 3ft 8in. It felt strange, but I never dwell on things like that, because I'm sure she is sick of people starring at her, just like I am sick of it.


Q:

What is the one thing you wish you would be able to experience that you can't because of your height? And also as a fellow Ukrainian living in western country does people ever comment when you make бутерброд? If you do so of course :)

A:

I want to be able to just get into a car and drive. Right now, I desperately need to replace my vehicle. But Ford will not answer my tweets nor my calls. None of the dealers in MN, WI, or IL have the Ford Transit passenger van in the size I am looking for. I can't fit into any other type of vehicles.

Я себе сделал бутерброд час назад, украинский хлеб и кровянка. Так вкусно! Здесь люди не понимают кровянку.


Q:

How old were you when you actually stopped growing?

A:

around 18-19


Q:

Have you done or have you ever been asked to do any kind of film or television work? With all the new Star Wars movies coming, I'd bet they'll need a really tall guy to play....something.

A:

I had a 8 second part in the movie Hall Pass http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2912972/ and here is the trailer, it should start at my part https://youtu.be/UIMYNVkZBSo?t=2m12s


Q:

Are you subscribed to /r/tall?

A:

yes!


Q:

do you have a picture of u standing up?


Q:

Are you married? If you are, how tall is your wife? Do you care about the height of the women you date? How tall was the tallest women you've dated and how short was the shortest?

Also, how have you modified your living spaces to be more comfortable? I know my parents have their kitchen counters raised and it's really nice.

A:

I am not married. Most women I've dated have been above 6ft, some taller than 6ft 6in.

We built our home with some things modified, our doors are tall, I have a large shower, and our ceilings are tall. I have a specially made bed, about 9ft long and 6ft wide


Q:

in what ways does your height effect you, i.e. do you need to eat more?

A:

my diet is about 1800-2100 calories per day


Q:

What's your favorite kind of music?

A:

70's 80's 90's Rock. Tom Petty, Clapton, Eagles, John Mellencamp, Doors, Nirvana, stuff like that


Q:

Is your height due to gigantism?

A:

yes.


Q:

How many times have you been Hagrid's brother for Halloween?

A:

who is Hagrid?