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.





Thursday, July 12, 2007

It’s OK to be bored!


According to Geekdad’s, Ross Mayfield, “creativity is found through boredom.” Even though we have worked to create structure in our children’s lives he reminds all Geekdad reader’s to take advantage of the downtime with your kids this summer. “When your kids work in absence of resources they very well may develop the skills to be entrepreneurs.” He explains that vacation is a great way to find boredom and that parent’s should allow chaos and praise what their children come up with. I love his reference to children jumping pirate ship twin beds, group sports games with rocks and campfire stories as a creative YouTube. I just can’t believe no one mentioned the simple idea of pulling out the old bucket of LEGO Bricks and seeing what their children come up with!

Check out the complete "Case for Boredom" here!

Ultimate “geek” vacation destination


Yet another Geekdad find! A “Geekfam” shared their vacation photos that from afar look like an awesome trip across the states, but once you click on the thumbnails it reveals amazing landmark reproductions created from LEGO at none other than LEGOLAND!
Be sure to check out the photos!

Summer fun with the brick!


Trying to get your child away from the TV and video games this summer? Vielka McFarlane of the Celerity Educational Group offers suggestions in the Salt Lake Tribune to parents on how to motivate and stimulate their children’s minds and bodies this summer. One activity that is sure to “enrich a child and occupy their minds,” building a LEGO structure! I might even get wrapped up in this activity! Check out the rest of her suggestions here!

Mona Lego?


This is not your mother’s art history course! I would have retained a lot more of my Art History 10B course if instead of staring at slides in a dark hall I could have seen the whole progression of western art as depicted in LEGO style. Check out this and more, including “The Scream” as curated by our friends at LEGO Mania.

LEGO Millennium Falcon Takes Flight!

My Mini-figure hat is tipped to Paul and Greg—two clever, creative and patient guys who have created an amazing work of stop animation. The pieces seem to fly as this high energy video captures in 2+ minutes what it took them 38 hours of dedication to create. Keep your eyes peeled for the homage to Pac Man, another of Gen Xer’s favorites!




Grand Theft Auto- LEGO Style?

While the company certainly is upfront about their violence policy you had to know that someone out there in the LEGO community would do a spoof of GTA in LEGOville. Check it out for a few minutes of fun

A Lesson in Fine Art - LEGO Style


If anyone is looking for a lesson in fine art or movie art this is totally the place to go. Even I did a double take looking at some of these images.

Friday, July 6, 2007

LEGO Play at Work (and yes, another Google story!)


The Economist offers a brief snapshot of the role play has in the workplace...and, you guessed, it, they highlight LEGO play. Who do you think holds Olympic style building sessions to recruit new employees? YES, Google does. But so does consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"LEGO workshops are effective because child-like play is a form of instinctive behaviour not regulated by conscious thought," says Lucio Margulis of Juego Serio, a consultancy in Buenos Aires. "This produces “Eureka” moments: a perfectionist who realises the absurdity of frustration over an imperfect Lego construction; the owner of a firm with dismal customer relations who models headquarters as a fort under siege; or an overbearing boss who depicts his staff as soldiers headed into battle."

Thursday, July 5, 2007

It all started at age 2!

I came across this interesting story on a 16-year old boy, Andrew Hsu, who just graduated with three degrees (neurobiology, biochemistry and chemistry) from the University of Washington. His dad says his intellectual curiosity began at the age of 2 when, you guessed it, he started building robots from LEGO bricks and teaching himself to read!! Hsu’s attending Stanford med school next year, and hopes to find treatments to neurological disorders one day.

Oh Those Googles!


Seems the folks at Google just can't get over their LEGO obsession! NOW, the New York office of the Web giant has commissioned a LEGO playroom for its employees to spur creativity and fun. LEGO builder Sean Kenney, based in Manhattan, built the Google logo out of LEGO bricks and will be holding monthly play sessions with the Googlians. What will Google "LEGO" next?

LEGO Rubik's Cube Solver!?!


Now, this is ingenuity I need to salute—a LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robot that uses a light sensor to solve Rubik’s cube! I think I’ve seen others online who have used their robotic smarts to play Connect Four – what’s next “who sunk my robotic battleship?” Check out this video to see it in action!

A Birthday Party the LEGO Way!


As parents keep raising the stakes on birthday parties with over the top entertainment and one-of-a-kind themes, FamilyFun magazine shares an ingenious party theme that won’t drain your pocket books and is sure to impress your guests. With everything from a brick cake to a building challenge your child’s LEGO party will be the party to beat. Heck, I might even try to make a LEGO brick cake just for fun!