To individually view every single one of the 20,200 images that make up the Mario Mosaic--it is surely a task that only a fool would conceive and only a madman would attempt. I finished on Tuesday. After having viewed the whole thing in every detail, I simply cannot say enough good things about it. To see so many fellow Pens (and other) fans coming together for a good cause like this inspired a tremendous feeling of community that caught me a bit off guard. As I went along, I collected some overall impressions and made note of some of the more interesting images that can be found within. After the jump: my full report and a selection of favourite pics.
In large part, the images in the mosaic are exactly what you would expect; the typical image would be a group of family or friends in Pens jerseys in front of or inside the Mellon or at their home or with Mario or another Pens player. Among current jerseys, home black seems to be the most popular followed by alternate blue and then road white; there were also a large number of vintage uniforms dating all the way back to the original white and powder blue with 'Pittsburgh' across the chest. The Pens, however, are not the only pro sports team with fans to be found in the mosaic. The next most common was overwhelmingly the Pittsburgh Steelers, followed distantly by the Pirates. Among other NHL teams there were only isolated occurrences with a few instances each of the Sabres, Red Wings, Stars, 'Hawks, Bruins, 'Canes, Winnipeg Jets, and the California Golden Seals (these last two especially made me smile.) Regrettably, there are also at least three Flyers fans clearly pictured; I can't help feeling as though the whole thing is somehow tainted as a result. If there is any comfort to be had on this front it is that there are, so far as I can tell, absolutely no Capitals fans anywhere.
Among the other images, there are a large number of amateur sports team pictures, vacation pictures, and other types of gatherings of family and friends. I was pleased to see a large number of vintage pics: mostly from the 1990s but also many others dating back as far as the 1940s. For those lovers of all things cute and cuddly, there is no shortage of pics of dogs, cats, and kids. Other recurring themes were weddings (a lot of them Pens themed; why do I never get invited to that kind of wedding?); golf(?); fishing(??); parrots(???); and people standing in front of or on top of major terrain features, most especially the Grand Canyon. That latter category includes PensAreYourDaddy and his wife Michelle the knitting lady the two of whom can be found in many places throughout the mosaic. There were also a fair number of pics of people in the military, mostly of the United States although there was also one odd looking fellow from Singapore. :P
Any gripes? Barely any. I did spot a very few formatting errors such as two images that were rotated ninety degrees from how they should have been, and one that was mirrored to the detriment of the number 66 that was prominently featured in the image. I was also disappointed to find that virtually all images in the mosaic are repeated at least once even though only the first occurrence appears when you search for it. My own pic appears three times as does the PensBurgh logo; Alighieri appears twice as do a number of shots of PAYD and Michelle. I am only disappointed because that means less money raised for the Mario Lemieux Foundation. The good news there is that they are apparently going to continue to sell blocks of images and revise the mosaic as more pictures are added which also means that anyone who missed out before, will have at least one more chance to get in on this. In short, there was nothing that would reverse my overwhelmingly positive view of the mosaic in any way whatsoever. I just can't reiterate often enough how thrilled I am that this exists in the first place and further that I and so many others here at PensBurgh are a permanent part of it.
Were there any specific images that stood out? I'm glad you asked. You did ask, right? Good. Below you will find a few of the ones I found most interesting or amusing or worthy of note. Before each description is the photo ID for the image; typing the photo ID into the search box at the top left of the mosaic will take you to its location.
adam12 - This is a normal sight at the grocery store, right?
matthew5 - I literally have no idea what is going on here.
As for PensBurghers in the mosaic, I was only able to find a very few because I have no idea what most of you look like. I can be found at olen1, Alighieri is at dorminic1, PAYD and Michelle the knitting lady are in a number of images that can be found by searching for 'knitting' and 'pensareyourdaddy' and of course, thanks to PAYD, the PensBurgh logo can be seen by searching 'pensburgh.' I would love to know where there are other PensBurghers; please, let me know where to find you and I will add you to this list.
There are tons more hidden treasures to be found and I would encourage everyone to take a little time, pick an area and just see what you find.