Lego Roundup

Lego Travellers

Credit: Facebook/Lego Travellers

Credit: Facebook/Lego Travellers

A Scottish couple have been posting travel pictures to Facebook under an account named Lego Travellers. As seen above, the pics feature minifigure doppelgangers of the couple and some nice use of perspective and lighting. Their page is starting to garner media attention after chronicling trips to Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, France, and the ancestral home of Legos in Billund, Denmark.

Vatican City

By organizing the teamwork of about 100 amateur builders of all ages, Architect Steven Schwartz was able to oversee the construction of a 400 square-foot model of Vatican City in a mere 90 minutes. The model featured over 25 buildings that exist in Vatican City. Schwartz led a tour of the model after the construction was complete. I wish there were more pictures at the link.

Meandering Recollection

Here’s a fun op-ed in which architect Thomas de Monchaux reflects on childhood under his father’s no-toy-but-Lego policy.

Fantastic Little Creatures

At Smithsonian Magazine, Franz Lidz has a nice essay about how Lego competitions do (and don’t) open children to engineering and problem-solving. Fun quote:

“Children are fantastic little creatures,” Mads Nipper, the company’s marketing chief , has said. “Next to drunk people, they are the only truly honest people on earth.”

Lego Roundup

Sorry for the huge lapse in posting again. Unemployment is pretty demoralizing (though I suppose I ought to use my writing as a coping mechanism).

Drivable Car

In its finished form, the Super Awesome Micro Project can reach a top speed of eighteen miles per hour with the aid of four orbital engines and 256 pistons. All but the tires and load-bearing elements are made of Legos.

I had to search through a good dozen articles before I found one that explained what is meant by reports that the Super Awesome Micro Project “runs on air.” It’s compressed air. Not the engineering breakthrough I hoped for.

Gingerbread House

Big one. Mike Addis and Catherine Weightman assembled it as part of an annual tradition in their Cambridgeshire, UK home. 18 year-old daughter Holly refuses to appear in a Christmas card picture with it. Dunno why it’s that big a deal.

Credit: BBC

Credit: BBC


I guess this is a city in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings? Anyway, Alice Finch and David Frank’s creation is massive and extremely detailed and you are advised to check out the closeups on Flickr.

Credit: Bippity Bricks

Credit: Alice Finch/Bippity Bricks


Nag Odekar built a handsome replica of the Chicago skyline in his clearly baller apartment. His Sears Tower is over six feet tall. The video won’t embed, so watch it here.

Original Apple Computer

This video is sick. Too bad it won’t embed.

Lego Roundup

Wired magazine tips us to 50 States of Lego, a diorama series by Canadian Jeff Friesen. Jeff photographed a Lego parody of each US state. I’ll let you figure out which states are represented below (the captions are Jeff’s originals):

Roll tide! Just restrain yourself from rolling a tailgate party onto the playing field. Copyright 2013 Jeff Friesen

Roll tide! Just restrain yourself from rolling a tailgate party onto the playing field.
Copyright 2013 Jeff Friesen
Reposted with permission

Only organic free-range chickens run amuck at the FreeBird food truck. Just don’t get pecked when you pluck. Copyright 2013 Jeff Friesen

Only organic free-range chickens run amuck at the FreeBird food truck. Just don’t get pecked when you pluck.
Copyright 2013 Jeff Friesen
Reposted with permission

Jeff’s full collection here.

A robotics competition in Sylvania, Ohio was all the more impressive for the age of the students. The junior league comprised participants from six to nine years of age. Their lack of experience didn’t stop them from designing Lego robots to complete a series of missions centered around the problem of humanitarian disaster assistance:

Eight-year-old Will Rees…held up a helicopter, constructed with Legos, showing its small motor specifically made for disasters in a mountainous snowy region.

“We made a helicopter, a silent helicopter. Because if it was too loud it would make a bigger avalanche,” he said.

His teammate Grant Wilson, 6, also made a snowmobile that had a compartment for medicine, and a built-around barrier to protect the driver from sudden snow slides. To re-create an avalanche, the students put together white Lego blocks on a slant.

Canadian Kids Prepare for Lego Competition

A group of kids training at Canada’s University of Prince Edward Island prepare for their first Lego engineering competition:

During the rare breaks of chatter the sound of clicking plastic and occasionally the whirr of an electric motor can be heard. The few adults in the room mostly stand back and watch.

“It’s fun to be able to make your LEGO actually move and not have to act it out,” [10-year old Salmon Muhammad] says, describing what he likes best about the day.

The eight young Islanders make up the competition team for the P.E.I. First LEGO League; they are split into two groups – programmers and builders. They are preparing their robot for a regional qualifier in Truro, N.S. – an Island first.

The group supervisor, assistant engineering professor Libby Osgood, got the idea while studying in Kenya:

While studying robotics at Halifax’s Dalhousie University, she had a project; it was homework that she had to take with her to Africa in order to complete. And it was the children there who sparked the initiative here.

“The Kenyan students were enthralled,” she recalls. “Their eyes were huge. They could not believe that is what a robot was. You could see they were satisfied that they were learning something.”

It was an experience she wanted to duplicate back home.

“I saw how engaged the students were and when I came back I saw a lack of similar resources here at such a critical age.”

After all, she says, not all children are interested in sports. That belief was good news for Salmon and the others.

“You can build what you want … and make it how you see it better. You can’t do that with everything.”

There’s a video of the kids’ engineering skills in action behind the link.

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