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Jonathan Monsarrat Sets Guinness World Record With Community Art Project

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By Author: Abashley Barnett
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1888 PressRelease - Jonathan Monsarrat sets a Guinness World Record by providing handwritten answers to more than 12,000 questions about life.

Boston, MA-NH - Jonathan Monsarrat began the Wheel Questions art project in 2008 after a friend told him that he gave good advice. Now he has set a Guinness World Record by collecting more than 12,000 handwritten questions about life, answering nearly all of them by hand, and posting them on his project website. Questions include, for example, "How can I tell my mother I forgive her, without using those words?" and "Am I so damaged I will not heal?" Some are uplifting, and some are distressing. Monsarrat has received questions about suicide and depression but also cartoons and anonymous marriage offers.

Jonathan Monsarrat said, "It's just a record for quantity, not quality! But I hope that I give good advice - at least, people tell me so. There are a lot of troubled hearts out there with questions they leave unanswered. Sometimes all it takes is to write the question down, to define what the problem is, and know that at least one person cares enough to reply."
Visitors ...
... have discovered the Wheel Questions kiosk in Harvard Square and at outdoor festivals from Boston to New York City. They take a colored card, write a question, and put it in a dropbox. Jonathan Monsarrat then collects the cards, turns them over, and writes answers. Most of his responses he wrote over just one summer, answering as many questions as advice columnist Dear Abby did in a lifetime. Of course, she put more time into each answer, but Jonathan Monsarrat insists that all questioners need is a friendly reply, not a long letter in return.

Jonathan Monsarrat said, "My answers come from two main philosophies: first, to be proactive, and second, to not let our emotions get the best of us. Of course we shouldn't become uncaring robots, but it's important to know that you are not trapped by your emotions. You can use reason to take apart your misconceptions and make healthier choices."

About Jonathan Monsarrat
Jonathan Monsarrat became an atheist in high school just before going to MIT at the age of 16, where he built robots including the first mobile robot to be controlled over the Internet in 1994. Wheel Questions is just the latest in a lifelong history of community service. His most notable project was being the founder and first CEO of Turbine, the videogames company that makes Lord of the Rings Online. These days, Jonathan Monsarrat writes Events INSIDER, the most popular events blog in New England. For more, see http://soulburners.org/.


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