Monday, December 31, 2007

My hero...


Peanut butter and jelly. Cookies and milk. Cheese and crackers. Bread and butter. Lego bricks and Guitar Hero. A match made in heaven.
David McNeel is my hero for recently creating a fully functional Guitar Hero controller out of LEGO bricks… WOW. See more pics here

Thursday, November 8, 2007

"Cool" LEGO Creation For Your Home!


Friend to LEGO, Nathan Sawaya, built an actual working LEGO air conditioner…seriously! Man, I wish I knew how to build one of these when I was living in San Diego. I could have saved A LOT on my energy bills! Check out the post here!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

NYC in LEGO


If you're in the New York area be sure to stop by the Storefront for Art and Architecture. They are currently hosting an exhibit entitled CPH Experiments by BIG, a Copenhagen based group of over 80 architects, designers, builders and thinkers. The main thrill for all of you LEGO fans: the LEGO replica of New York City, complete with everything from minifigures at the gym to sipping coffee at Dean and Deluca to... well I think I'll let you explore for yourself. The exhibtit runs through November 24 so be sure to check it out!


Breaker! Breaker! Austin Maker Faire!


I so wish I could have been in Austin this weekend for the Annual Maker Faire! Props to Chris Huybregt for the Darth Vader LEGO mosaic he created and for helping makers of all ages create mosaics of nearly anything they could imagine!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

One yummy follow up to the LEGO Cake mold post coming up…


TODAY, Gizmodo's, Jesus Diaz, posted an alternative way to create the ultimate LEGO birthday cake! The secret to the interlocking block look…Marshmallows! Check out Jesus Diaz’s post here. Be sure to click through to the Betty Crocker recipe! I may try and attempt this nostalgic baking project tonight!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Professor Uses LEGO bricks to Teach Science


The CBS affiliate station in Montana recently covered how a professor turned down “big city” job offers after she received her Ph.D. in Physics from Norte Dame to pursue her passion for teaching children using LEGO bricks. Dr. Stephanie Morrison teaches at the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program at the Friendship House in Billings, Montana, an area with three times the poverty rate as the rest of the city. You can read the transcript here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Nerd Math - LEGO Star Wars Style


Everyone's buzzing about the new 5000 piece Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon that was just released, but GeekDad is now taking it one step farther. He's done the math and and is now issuing the challenge - can anyone out there build a 1:30 scale model of an Imperial Star Destroyer?



Friday, October 12, 2007

OMG, a peek at that LEGO room at Google!

From the bowels of the Google New York office, a sneak peek at that rumored LEGO play lab in the Manhattan office of the Internet giant, as reported on a Google Watchblog.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

GoogleGoogleGoogleGoogleGoogleGoogleGoogle

No, I don't have a Google fetish, they just keep talking about LEGO!

Here's a sneak peek behing the scenes at the East Coast satellite Googleplex in Manhattan, which now is home away from home to 700 employees.
It appears culture and fun are top priorities, from global cafe menus to the game room. And you'll never guess what else is a big time activity...umm...you got it: LEGO building. They have a whole LEGO room.

Building on Ice?

OK, so just because I'm the Office Manager, it doesn't mean I always have to be reporting from the cubes...today I'm on the rocks...well, thin ice that is, hockey style.
The Philadelphia Flyers apparently had a LEGO building day at their training camp in Canada with the goal of building a stronger team by representing the kind of players they want to be through building. Check out yet another innovative use of LEGO bricks to score a winning team at work.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Attention all home garage inventors and LEGO Fans!


Makers: All Kinds of People Making Amazing Things in Garages, Basements and Backyards was recently released and according to GeekDad, the LEGO Rubik’s Cube Solver made it into the book! I wonder if my LEGO robot could make the cut for the next book!?!

First LEGO Education Center opens in Southlake, Texas


Math, Reading, Social Studies, Science, PE, History. Sound familiar? For most of us, school consisted of a set number of classes in specific subjects, with an occasional music or drama class from time to time. Not like there’s anything wrong with this. Remember, I’m a “teach” myself. If lead by skillful teachers, standard classes give children a solid foundation to approach new challenges and become thoughtful problem-solvers.

So often, however, skills that are vital for success, i.e. communication, concentration and perseverance, are proficiencies we assume will develop involuntarily. So often are these “soft” skills pushed to the wayside in school curricula. I was excited to hear that LEGO Education opened their first US LEGO Education Center in Southlake, Texas last week. All LEGO Education Center courses, taught after school hours, encourage students to develop seven essential skills (a few of those I mentioned previously), and all center activities are designed within an environment of guided exploration. You can get the whole scoop here

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Don’t Flush This Idea!

Now, I remember the toilet scrubbing robot someone invented back when LEGO MINDSTORMS was first introduced in 1998 – but this takes it to a whole new level. Click here to see the photos and learn more about programming your very own automatic flusher. And, don’t worry you can watch the following video no problem at the office!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Google's at it Again

Those folks at Google just can't seem to shake their LEGO obsession. Check out this story, reporting on the latest LEGO-scheme in Google's bag of tricks to be creative business leaders.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Countdown to Halo 3

The folks over at MTV’s Multiplayer have commissioned the busy Nathan Sawaya to recreate Halo’s Master Chief brick by brick. Click here to check out the stop animation build.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Growing Trend: First-Time Teacher Encourages LEGO Play


Seattle Post-Intelligencer recently published a story on a first-time teacher who left a career in television and radio journalism to fulfill her passion for teaching children. According to the article, Jackie Flaherty is part of a growing trend of professionals entering the teaching profession as a second or third career. And wouldn’t you know? Ms. Flaherty encourages her students to build with LEGO bricks to stimulate their creativity. Read all about it here

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Get Jeff Lewis Some Legos!


Apparently the uber high-strung Jeff Lewis, star of this summer’s “Flipping Out,” loved playing with Legos as a kid. Me thinks he needs a grown-up zen moment with Lego bricks STAT! Dude, calm down and stop firing folks.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Can you ever really have TOO many LEGO bricks?


Oh goodness…If you come into my home you may be able to check off MOST of the signs BBSpot.com listed as the “Top Eleven Signs You Have Too Many LEGO Bricks”

Signs You Have Too Many LEGO Bricks
11. The spreadsheet you keep track of your LEGO sets on just ran out of rows.
10. You evict your kid from their room so you have somewhere to place your LEGO model of Manhattan.
9. You seriously considered doing the addition to your home in LEGO bricks.
8. You search the Internet hoping to find the "Nutrition Facts" for LEGO bricks.
7. There's a statue of you in every village in Denmark.
6. You know someone got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night because you can hear their yelps of pain as they step on LEGO bricks you left lying around.
5. Three of your nephews went into the "LEGO room" two weeks ago, and haven't returned. You have to rent a backhoe to unearth them.
4. "LEGO sets" is the largest item in the family budget.
3. Your house is targeted by DHS for having Weapons of Mass Construction.
2. It's not uncommon to bite into a piece of homemade pie and find a LEGO brick that accidentally fell in the filling.
1. Your house burns down and all that's left is a molten lake of plastic.

Who will be next to be cast in LEGO sculpture?


Our friends over at boingboing have uncovered a very intricate sculpture of Stephen Hawking from the pages of Brickshelf. Check it out here!

And the Oscar Goes to…


Look out Tarantino and Soderbergh: some unexpected moviemakers might just steal your thunder. Hot right now is brickfilm, where moviemakers use Lego parts and people to create stop-animation films. Content is just about anything, ranging from recreations of existing movies to original films to music videos. As this ABC News story points out, the actors don’t talk back…or show up late thanks to a night out partying like *some* young starlets these days. Hmmm, maybe MTV should have created a mini brickfilm to open the VMAs. Tiny, Lego Brit may have done a better job.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Vacuum LEGO Style


For everyone who said chores can't be fun think again! Here's a great new use for your vacuum - LEGO Jousting! All you need are a few minifigures and a vacuum or two - Geek Dad used the Roomba, but my guess is that you can get this to work with any vacuum. Check out the full article here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Everything’s Relative!



It’s a LEGO-version of an Escher picture (Relativity, 1953. Lithograph) that shows off fancy SNOT building—that’s “studs not on top” for you non-avid LEGO builders out there. Click here to see the behind-the-scenes work on this build and photo session. To be inspired by some more of Andrew Lipson’s building prowess check this out!

A smokin’ hot, fire-breathin model!


With nearly one million (you know you want to say that in the voice of Austen Powers) LEGO bricks, check out this amazing dragon that Katie Aldred spent 2,200 hours building for LEGOLAND Windsor.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Heart-Felt Story


Here’s a heart-felt story. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently published a story on Bennett Shakoske, a senior driven to beat the odds and finish high school. He had difficulty reading in the first grade and considering “giving up” until he repeated first grade with a teacher who used his love of LEGO building to instill self-confidence. According to the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University, a child who is four or five months behind a the end of the first grade has only one chance in five or six of reading at grade level in a traditional school environment. However, in Bennett’s case, just one teacher’s encouragement can impact a student’s path to success. What a cool way to spark confidence.
You can read all about Bennett here

Monday, August 27, 2007

Hey Detroit, Where's Your LEGO Car Test?

Imagine translating your childhood obsession with building LEGO cars into the real-world. It's reported that the state of Arkansas is now using a LEGO car building exercise developed by a local university in its recruiting process for autoparts workers. Maybe they're taking a page out of Google's book about looking at a person's ability to work with the brick as a testament of their candidacy.

While we're on the subject of LEGO building and car assembly, check out this wild YouTube video of a LEGO MINDSTORMS powered car assembly line that actually assembles a LEGO car piece by piece.

LEGO Play is Serious Work


Who says the 9 to 5 has to be boring? And who says playing with LEGO bricks is only for kids? A growing number of companies are seeing the value that LEGO play can bring to their teams across all kinds of factors, like teamwork, communication, innovative ideation and more fun. Check out this story that talks about LEGO Serious Play -- a way to harness creative LEGO play for the benefit of offices around the world.

Learn more about Serious Play here.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Creation Nation Rocks Canada!


Creation Nation has invaded Canada, stopping at the CNE in Toronto to encourage thousands of kids and adults to add their creativity to the efforts to break the world record for the largest LEGO Tower! And of course they did it! The tower was topped off yesterday at 29.03 meters (95 feet), beating the previous record by more than 1 meter. It will be on display until the end of the month, so be sure to check it out!

LEGO Building Inspires Teachers


Creative LEGO play came to life this week at the Vandenberg Middle School library where faculty members participating in a brainstorm were asked to represent a more student-centered culture through LEGO bricks. Teachers used LEGO bricks to create individual representations of their ideal classrooms and their classroom community goals.

The assignment gave teachers a chance to express their creative ideas. One teacher created a “learning community” complete with ladders, a tree and a spider. He explained, “The tree is organic and growing, the way the brain works. The spider represents the gross stuff in history.”

You can read all about it here

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Listen Up, Nation


What office professional doesn't love Mr. Stephen Colbert? This Office Manager was backstage earlier this week for the debut of everyone's favorite lawyer cum LEGO artist, Nathan Sawaya, in the hot seat across from Stephen. Things got a little sticky as Stephen questioned the value of LEGO art, until he saw himself in life-sized 3D LEGO glory, at which point he declared he was "starting to see the value of the work now." Check it out here!

Bugs Beware... Mindstorms is Here


Are bugs preventing you from enjoying your summer swim? Worry no more. A family in New Zealand has just created SPIT - Swimming Pool Insect Terminator. And they created it out of Mindstorms NXT. The robot floats on the water, locates the bugs and then destroys them, making for a more peaceful summer night. Check out all of the details, including building instructions, here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

LEGO Madness!

You’ve probably been reading the press about the new book for boys The Dangerous Book -- a guide book for dads as well as their sons, to recover some of the lost arts of things to do like knot-tying and making paper airplanes. When you’re done with that you can check out another “dangerous” book for grown up boys “Forbidden LEGO” I can’t wait to try out some of the projects that my mom would never have let me build when I was young.

What will the readers of Gizmodo think of next?


A LEGO ipod? Yes—someone in the community has finally celebrated one design icon using bricks. While there is some friendly debate about the design quality—we still think it ‘rocks!’ Between this and the recent Guitar Hero controller, these posts are making me want to get musical!

LEGO Video of my “High School Musical” …. “Grease!!!”

All of the hype around High School Musical 2 has reminded me of my favorite “high school musical” Grease! Check out this awesome stop animation video of Summer Nights!

Monday, August 20, 2007

What's Your Favorite Thing?


I recently came across an awesome article in Newsday Magazine, about a girl that LOVES rubber ducks…"The 13-year-old from Holbrook has a collection of 271 rubber ducks in her room, more than enough to make Ernie from "Sesame Street" jealous.” She even has a LEGO Duck that she built herself!!! As I was reading this article, I was thinking to myself, I bet my family could beat that with all of our LEGO paraphernalia…and then at the bottom of the article they ask us to tell them about our favorite thing in our homes! If you think you can beat the rubber ducks story with your LEGO collection Valerie Kellogg from Newsday wants to hear about it! Check out the article and the “My Favorite Thing” story info here!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Incorporating LEGO in the Classroom


This is for all you teachers out there who want to incorporate LEGO building into their curriculum but need a place to start. Four teachers from Ohio University’s College of Education created and posted their lesson plan ideas on this site. One teacher’s lesson plan includes instructions on building greenhouse models out of LEGO bricks and an accompanying discussion on greenhouse solar energy. The goal is for the students to control the temperature inside the greenhouse using gears and sensors so a variety of plants can flourish. What a cool way to bring an environmental lesson to life for your students!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Vestas "Bricking" Wind


Among the many companies who use LEGO play to illustrate and educate, Vestas, the world's leading manufacturer of wind power systems, has teamed up with the LEGO Group to creare "micro shows" that, in various ways, depict the effect of wind turbines in various scenes to promote sustainable energy in a fun and educational way. Check it out here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Innovation... the Long Tail way

Mindstorms creations are making news again. Editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine and author of the Long Tail, Chris Anderson spoke at last week's NI conference about the technology and how the masses can now be innovative - cheap. Mindstorms is a great example of this. Check out the story here for more details!

MSU Conference Trains Teachers to Teach with LEGOs


MSU's College of Engineering recent conference trained K-12 teachers on bringing life to the run-of-the-mill math or science lesson. The Summer Magnet and Related Training Institute showcased innovative techniques teachers can integrate into their curriculum, including building robotic fish or car from LEGO Mindstorms.

Happy Birthday LEGO!


Did you know that the LEGO Company turned 75 this past Friday? Take a walk back in history and check out some of the coolest LEGO creations ever!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Build-Off Update

A quick follow up to last week’s post on the LEGO build off put together to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in honor of 14-year old Morgan Hall:

In only its second year, the build-off doubled its participation level and quadrupled its raised funds for a whopping $5,000 this year! Nice job Mandy! Watch the WDBJ 7 video clip to check out some of the awesome creations participants built! (Video link is in the left hand corner).

Thursday, August 9, 2007

LAND HO?


Tuesday morning a giant figure washed ashore at a beach resort in Zandvoort in the northern Netherlands. Workers at a drinks stall on the beach noticed the giant figure in the water and fished him out of the sea. The making of the figure is obviously inspired by LEGO minifigures. He is 8 feet tall (2.5 meters) and on his chest it says “No real than you are”. On the back, he carries the name “Ego Leonard 9”. Nobody in the LEGO Group seems to know anything about the figure – who made him, and where did he come from? Beach guests don’t care… they are having a great time looking at him and taking pictures.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Job Hopper Gets a Big YAHOO!

We're covered him before, but the buzz continues to grow as Yahoo! Videos presents a new look at Nathan Sawaya, the corporate lawyer cum LEGO builder who left his lucrative legal work for the more creative and soul-feeding LEGO work. Check it out!

Tired of Air Guitar?


Leave it to our friends at Engadget to uncover another cool LEGO creation; a custom game controller for Guitar Hero!! You can see more pictures and other creations from its creator David M by clicking here Rock on my LEGO friends!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Robots to the Rescue


Kids at a Georgetown College summer camp are learning to save the world, one robotic command at a time. The campers learn how robots aid humans in bomb disposal, manufacturing, surgery and household chores. The lucky campers camp use LEGO Mindstorms to build high-performance products and “teach” robots to move magnets, avoid soling cloth and complete other projects under 2 ½ minutes. Read all about it here.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Ultimate Executive Toy


Check out Gizmodo's report on this life-size desk made entirely out of LEGO bricks. Just imagine the corner office with the best view, crowned with this jewel, though not sure you'd want to put your feet up on its bumpy top. Think of how creative you'd be if your desk was like this one! Office Manager says "wicked cool!"

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

LEGO Event in Canada... Coming Soon!

Event Alert!! For anyone who's going to be in the Toronto area from Friday, August 17 through Monday, August 20 make sure to stop by the CNE to help the LEGO Canada team break the Guiness Book of World Record for the world's largest LEGO tower. Check out all the details here!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

INDY ROCKS!

Matt Peckham at PC World has nailed it with his news piece today about LEGO Indiana Jones - “So call it nostalgia or maybe just the Best. News. Ever. I predicted they'd do it years ago, and now they have: LEGO Indiana Jones the Video Game will, ahem, "whip" onto game consoles next summer, 2008.” Click through to read more of Matt’s nostalgic musing and check out the game trailer that I think even boasts that soothingly familiar voice-over Trailer Talent.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Choo-Choo! Here come the LEGO Trains!


For all of you LEGO train fans check out pictures and stories from the National Train Show that was going on in Michigan this past weekend. The Michigan LEGO Train Club was on hand and had some awesome displays!

LEGO Thriller in the Top Ten?

Matthew Simantov over at “What the blog?” was inspired, after watching a curious version of Thriller performed by 1,000 inmates, to search YouTube for all Thriller postings. The result? 41,600 mini-homages to the sequined one. A LEGO stop animation version made it into his recommended top 10 for its ability to make you chuckle. To find out about the other nine, click here

Friday, July 27, 2007

IBM Builds Confidence in Young Women


I love to see programs that inspire children to expand their career choices. At IBM’s EXITE Camp, girls learn about game systems, environmental issues and computer programming though hands-on activities. The inspiration doesn’t stop the last day of camp. Campers are paired up with a female IBM mentor, and they communicate through email and in-person meetings throughout the school year. One of the mentors mentioned, “When they walk out Friday, they have a whole new light bulb in their heads.” What a great way to build confidence in 11 and 12-year-old students.

You can check out the article here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Calling all parents, kids and builders of all ages…


Eighteen year-old, Mandy Matherly, is putting on the second annual LEGO Build-Off Fundraiser at the Institute of Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, Virginia on Saturday, August 4th! She is putting this on to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in honor of her 14-year-old friend, Morgan Hall, who suffers from the most acute form of muscular dystrophy.

If you are looking for something worthwhile and meaningful to do with your kids this summer find out how to get involved in the build-off here!

Toys...the tools of their trade


Donna M. Carroll offers some great advice on finding the best toys for kids. Although there are no “right” toys parents can take comfort in the fact that there are “countless classic toys, as well as re-inventions of classics that entertain kids as they help them meet their developmental needs.” She explains that “the best toys are those that allow the child to make things happen, rather than watching what the toy can do.”

Not only does Carroll say LEGO sets are great for pre-school aged kids, but for school aged kids 6-12 years old too! She says those are the years when kids begin picking up serious hobbies and suggests “construction toys such as complex Lego sets” as one of the many toys to buy for this age group. I wonder what Community Watchdog & Gen Xer reader’s have to say about this?!

To check out the rest of Donna Carroll’s suggestions check out the Craig Daily Press article here!

Build it Like Beckham! MAJOR!


Talk about star power! It appears, at least from the dish at ParentDish, that the newly arrived Beckham family purchased some LEGO bricks as part of their recent Toys R US shopping spree. We hope that Romeo, Brooklyn and Cruz don’t leave any of their masterpieces on the floor to trip up Mom and Dad. Welcome to America Beckhams!!

Check it out

Monday, July 23, 2007

Building an Empire Starts With Creativity


In the July 30 issue of TIME magazine, while responding to reader questions, the father of video games, Shigeru Miyamoto, supports the importance of being creative as a child.

When asked "What advice do you have for aspiring video game designers?" he says: "The most important thing is to create--when I was young, I made comics and puppets. Then take those creations and show them to people so you get feedback. Whether it is positive feedback or even if they make fun of it, repeating that process is a good thing for being prepared to make games."

Wonder if Miyamoto ever built with LEGO bricks?

More Rockin LEGO Videos


If you haven’t already been inspired by some of the stop-animation videos on YouTube or by Michel Gondry’s famous White Stripes video here’s your chance to strut your musical stuff in a stop animation video contest. Washington, DC-based No Second Troy just announced a contest for their fans to help make a video for their debut single. Check it out here

Salt-n-Peppa


Now, I would typically define my cooking style as take-out but I love the idea of busting out my own LEGO salt and pepper shakers when I’m moved by the spirit of Iron Chef. What would be another cool kitchen item to make out of the trusted brick?? Click here to check it out…


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hellooooo Summer School Teachers!


..and moms and dads too…. Parent’s Magazine’s Blog (Goodyblog) just posted on LEGO Creativity Awards. What better way to enhance your kids creativity during the dog days of summer?? Kids have until September 17th to apply online and have a chance to win $5,000. It’s a great summer afternoon filler and a $5,000 is enough to get my creative juices flowing! Where’s my contest? Check out the Goodyblog post here.

Too busy to stir?!

Making breakfast, changing clothes, packing lunch bags and getting your kids out the door in time for school is a lot to do before 8AM ! But have no fear, Gizmodo recently posted an awesome LEGO creation to help you add a little bit of caffeine to your morning routine…a self stirring coffee mug!

Check out the video:

HUGE MAP MADE OF LEGO BRICKS!


Looking for creative things to do with your family this summer? Look at this awesome event LEGO helped put on in Washington DC a few weeks ago! KOL has a great slide show of a HUGE map that visitors to the National Mall helped build completely out of LEGO Bricks. These are the kinds of things my mom was always looking to take my brother and me to when we were kids. Community events like these are great ways to keep your kids creatively engaged during the summer.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Advancing the Art World - with Mindstorms?

A robot that can paint portraits? It's happening in Ohio, where local artist Tom Lohre is putting down his paint brush and using his newly programmed Mindstorms robot to create a different kind of art.

Why is Lohre doing this?

"Art has to advance somehow - it always does," Lohre said. "It doesn't have to be with camel hair, it doesn't have to be with a wooden handle - it can be with a sophisticated machine that creates images."


Read more here to see how the robot works!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Ivanka and Her “Sexy Projects”


Foxy Ivanka Trump is in the news this week for saying there’s “zero chance” she’ll replace Rosie on The View, opting instead for her “sexy projects” around the world (as she told Ryan S. at E! News). One of Ivanka’s original “sexy projects”? Trump Tower out of LEGO bricks. According to an interview last month with the New York Post, Ivanka presented the colorful version of the tower to Daddy and he told her that it was architecturally inaccurate: “there are five setbacks in the fa├žade of the Trump Tower, not six."

Very un-sexy, Donald.

I Wanna be a TechnoKid


Yes I do. I admit it. TechnoKids is a new summer program at Stark State College of Technology where students learn the fundamentals of engineering in a class called LEGO Engineering. What’s cool about this class is it gives kids a tangible model to work with when solving abstract problems. It’s true. Kids absorb information a lot faster and retain the information longer when they’re involved with the process and can visualize the solution. What a great way of approaching a question like, “This axle is spinning how many times faster than this one?”
You can read all about it here.