Bioengineer David Aguilar (aka "Hand Solo") continues to upgrade his DIY LEGO prosthetic arms that we posted about previously with this fantastic fourth generation model. From Reuters:
All the versions are on display in his room in the (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya) residence on the outskirts of Barcelona. The latest models are marked MK followed by the number - a tribute to comic book superhero Iron Man and his MK armor suits....
After graduating from university, he wants to create affordable prosthetic solutions for people who need them.
“I would try to give them a prosthetic, even if it’s for free, to make them feel like a normal person, because what is normal, right?”
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"We find that LEGO investments outperform large stocks, bonds, gold and other alternative investments, yielding the average return of at least 11% (8% in real terms) in the sample period 1987-2015," write the authors of a study titled LEGO - The Toy of Smart Investors. "Small and huge sets, as well as seasonal, architectural and movie-based sets, deliver higher returns. LEGO returns are not exposed to market, value, momentum and volatility risk factors, but have an almost unit exposure to the size factor. A positive multifactor alpha of 4-5%, a Sharpe ratio of 0.4, a positive return skewness and a low exposure to standard risk factors make the LEGO toy an attractive alternative investment with a good diversification potential."
[via Bonnie Burton's article, "Lego bricks outshine gold bars as investments, study finds" from CNet, January 28, 2019]
Image: 299 Warm Gold, Drum Lacquered/Gold Metalized/Gold Laquered / Metallic Gold, by Ryan H./Twitter. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Read the rest
Yesterday, we paid tribute to the 42nd anniversary of David Bowie's iconic album Low by featuring The Brothers McLeod animation of comedian Adam Buxton's hysterical radio tribute to Bowie from 2013. We follow it up with another animation done from Buxton's radio show, this time with Chris Salt of Oblong Pictures using LEGO stop-motion to lovingly lampoon our favorite alien rock god.
In the video, David pitches his wife, Angie Bowie, on new character ideas after deciding to "kill off Ziggy." After running through a series of candidates: Cobbler Bob ("I could have giant shoes, with massive platforms big enough for the band to fit inside of"), A Mad Deus ("A composer of classical music who comes to believe that he's God"), The Groovy Gardener, Viscount Jizzmark, finally, he shows Angie Aladdin Sane. "Who is Aladdin Sane?," she coos. "Well, he's like Ziggy, but with a different name, and some sort of strange fluid leaking out of his collarbone," David replies.
This cute little bit does make you wonder what other characters David may have contemplated but ultimately rejected. Read the rest
This 8 year old is a lot more patient and creative than most adults I know. What a cool little kid-made short film. Read the rest
Lots of folks continue to build fabulous creations out of LEGO well into adulthood. Others tire of it, as they do many of their other childhood belongings, at an early age. Both are fine. What's not OK is being a kid who, because of their parent's financial situation, doesn't know the joy of having a box full of LEGO to call their own. Given the years of imagination-stretching enjoyment the wee plastic blocks can bring into a life, that's a damn shame.
Here's what you can do to put a dent in this unfortunate state of affairs.
Lifehacker had a recent post on what to do with old LEGO, if you're not able to pass it down to a younger member of your family or hand it off to friends for their kids to mess around with. They mention that you can sell the blocks online but, better than this, there's organizations out there that specialize in putting LEGO bricks in needy hands:
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Sites like Brick Recycler, The Giving Brick and Brick Dreams have launched in recent years in order to address the unique supply and demand problem presented by LEGOs. Each has its own requirements for donations, but in general they accept donations of LEGO bricks of all kinds: mixed up, all together, dirty or clean. Brick Recycler says it has “repurposed” more than 3 million LEGO pieces.
The groups clean and sort bricks and then donate them to children’s support groups, hospitals, daycare facilities and more. Some sell cleaned sets that were donated in order to pay for operations.
Amazon is offering the LEGO Star Wars Porg for $55, which usually sells for $70. Read the rest
Warner Bros. has just released Emmet’s Holiday Party, a cute nearly-2-1/2-minute-long short that has The LEGO Movie's Emmett decorating Apocalypseburg for the holidays. It doubles as a promo for The LEGO Movie 2, which hits theatres in February 2019. Read the rest
Kids eat the darndest things. Dead flies, half-sucked candy found on the ground, erasers... and one of the most popular items, besides coins, are small toy parts. But once swallowed, do these toys always find their way out? And if so, how long does the journey take?
These burning questions inspired a team of pediatrics workers to conduct a study, which was just published in The Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. They got six adventurous volunteers to dine on Lego heads, and then poke around after each potty run until they spotted the bright plastic pieces in their poop. Fun times.
The researchers constructed the study with a sense of humor, using a Stool and Hardness Score (SHAT) and Found and Retrieved Time (FART) score. According to Forbes:
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Before they swallowed the Lego heads, each participant had to keep a 3‐day stool diary, which could be quite disconcerting if confused with a regular diary. The researchers developed a Stool Hardness and Transit (SHAT) score to measure the frequency and looseness of their stool. A higher SHAT score meant that the participant had more frequent and looser bowel movements, which could affect how fast the Lego head was you-know-what out of the person. Each patient has a pre-SHAT score, calculated for the 3-day period before the Lego head meal, and a SHAT score for the time between the ingestion and the pooping out of the Lego head. Thus, each participant was given 2 SHATs.
After the Lego head was swallowed, the next step was to keep track of the subsequent bowel movements and keep looking for the Lego head.
Holiday pricing on giant LEGO sets continues as the LEGO Apollo Saturn V Rocket goes on sale for $79.
Cleverly this LEGO set comes with 1969 pieces. I bought it last year for $119, and do not regret a dime of it.
LEGO Ideas Nasa Apollo Saturn V 21309 Building Kit Read the rest
At 4163 pieces Big Ben is a massive LEGO set. I have sat on the Apollo Saturn V kit for a while and it a mere 1969 pieces.
When will we find the time?
The kit is $50 off today, $199 on Amazon.
LEGO Creator Expert 10253 Big Ben Building Kit via Amazon Read the rest
Prepare to be impressed: While it doesn't actually play music, this 2,798-piece miniature LEGO model of a concert grand piano does have 25 independently working keys, a removable keyboard, and a height-adjustable bench. It also has a working damper and pedal, a self-playing mode, a working piano lid, and more. LEGO master SleepyCow engineered it to contribute to LEGO Ideas in the hopes that it will be voted in to be mass produced as a retail kit.
Ever since I started learning music, I have always wanted to build a piano out of LEGO bricks. I have also been asked many times by my students about the inner-workings of a piano. I think this will be a great set to teach students about piano mechanics. I've seen many people do it in different ways, but I decided to make my own version, as well as try to make it as similar to a real piano as possible with correct proportions.
Vote for it here.
(The Awesomer, Mike Shouts) Read the rest
Automotive engineer Spencer Rezkalla spent three years building this astounding 19 square foot LEGO model of the just-opened Apple Park. The 1/650th scale model contains roughly 85,000 pieces, including 1647 trees. From Rezkalla's project gallery on Flickr:
I've always wanted to build a horizontal skyscraper. These are sometimes also called "groundscrapers".
In 2014 I came across some drone footage of an enormous circular excavation being dug into the California earth. When I discovered this was the start of the foundation for a new low-rise Apple "spaceship" campus, I knew I had found an interesting and suitable candidate.
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Veterinarians at the Maryland Zoo outfitted an injured Eastern turtle with a wheelchair built from Lego. An employee of the zoo found the turtle whose shell had been injured in a nearby park.
“He had multiple fractures on his plastron, the bottom part of his shell. Because of the unique placement of the fractures, we faced a difficult challenge with maintaining the turtle’s mobility while allowing him to heal properly,” said Ellen Bronson, the zoo's sensior director of animal health.
Zoo officials say there aren’t devices small enough for turtles to use so they got creative and drew sketches of a customized wheelchair. The sketches were then sent to a friend, who is also a LEGO enthusiast.
“The sketches proved to be a success and the turtle received his very own multi-colored LEGO brick wheelchair just a few weeks after surgery. The turtle is roughly the size of a grapefruit. The small LEGO frame surrounds his shell and sits on four LEGO wheels,” said Garrett Fraess, veterinary extern at the zoo.
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LEGO Han in Carbonite is reason enough for me to buy the LEGO Star Wars Carbon-Freezing Chamber.
While LEGO Lando isn't to be seen, he's clearly still a traitorous jerk! LEGO Han is getting frozen in carbonite! LEGO Boba and an Ugnaught are included to run the operation.
LEGO Star Wars Carbon-Freezing Chamber 75137 via Amazon Read the rest
Agalmatophilia, a sexual attraction to dolls and other human figures, is nothing new: people have been attracted to and humping dolls for as long as there have been locks on doors – not that the practice needs to be kept a secret. Human sexuality is a weird attic to stumble around in. If your kink hurts no one and leans towards watching wee plastic people get it on, I say it's fair game. Apparently so do a lot of other folks.
The longer you look for Lego porn, the more you see, and the more you see, the more have you wonder what the odds are that someone near and dear to you is consuming Lego-themed fetishism as their kink. There’s a subreddit dedicated to Lego porn with 725 subscribers, and only 15 posts over five years, but it’s quality over quantity—which makes me think a lot more people are consuming than making Lego porn.
There’s the Big Lego Porn Album, a glorious repository of some of the greatest Lego porn, from New Yorker style cartoons of Lego sex workers to tentacle-Lego crossovers. Several of the images are watermarked with drew.corrupt.net, which now redirects to a Japanese-language blog about someone’s toddler, and definitely not hardcore brick fucking. This album has more than 34,000 views.
r/legoporn features a few crossposts from r/bdsm with bricks, which are actually quite artful. Another crossover fandom: Harry Potter.
Motherboard's Samantha Cole spent a good chunk of time researching the smutty-stop-motion underworld of LEGO pornography, those that make it and the folks that consume it. Read the rest
My eight year-old nephew clicked this X-Wing fighter together in about 3 hours, and then spent two days playing with it, nonstop.
This Luke-era X-Wing, with Luke and R2 minifigs, was the project of choice for my nephew. He said he loves to build LEGO, and attacked this set with gusto. Unlike my daughter's massive collection of Star Wars LEGO, which is all carefully organized on our living room shelves, nephew plays with his LEGO builds hard.
It is fun to watch.
LEGO Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter 75218 Building Kit (731 Piece) via Amazon Read the rest