Category Archives: News

LEGO Conference Table

Have you seen this? An Irish advertising agency called Boys and Girls has commissioned their conference table to be made entirely of LEGO bricks. They hired the architectural firm abcg Architects to design and build the table for the agency’s conference room at their Dublin headquarters.

LEGO Conference Table

Check out the article at The Resident Architect for more pictures and information. There’s a stop-motion video showing how it was built at the end of the article.

Bricks by the Bay 2011 Registration now Open!

I’m happy to report that the registration form for the Bricks by the Bay 2011 LEGO convention is now available for general registration. I’ve been working hard with a team of volunteers (we can always use more help if you are interested) to get the convention organized and planned.

So if you’ve been waiting for this news to register for the convention, your wait is over. Head on over to the site now and sign up!

http://www.bricksbythebay.com/register/

Let Your Android Control Your Robot

Today, LEGO has announce a new Android App for LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT.  If you have an Android based phone, you can use this to manipulate your LEGO robots using Bluetooth.  I have a Motorola Droid, and I have two MINDSTORMS NXT sets, but have never built anything with them.  I really should get around to doing something about that.

(About half the words in this post are trademarks of someone or other, but I don’t feel like inserting all of the ® and “TM” indicators….)

Goodbye, nnenn

I was stunned to learn today of the passing of Nate “nnenn” Nielsen in an automobile accident. Keith of the Brothers Brick has posted an excellent eulogy which I encourage you to read along with the many comments from members of the online community included in the post.

It’s relatively rare that we learn of the death of a LEGO hobbyist, but whenever it happens I always wonder what would happen to my collection of bricks after I’m gone? Estate planning is always a touchy subject, but I would encourage everyone to give it some thought, as I will be doing.

And even if you’re not a space builder, consider building a Vic Viper for the Missing Man Fly-In at BrickWorld in Chicago in June or BrickCon in October. Keith is collecting contributions for a group display honoring nnenn’s work.

http://www.brothers-brick.com/2010/04/13/farewell-to-a-legend-mourning-the-passing-of-nate-nnenn-nielsen/

New Power Functions Remote Recall

I just got the following notice in my email from LEGO:

SAFETY RECALL NOTICE
Dear LEGO Consumer
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the LEGO Group is voluntarily recalling the 8879 Power Functions IR Speed Remote Control unit, which poses a thermal burn hazard to users when  batteries inside overheat. The remote control unit was sold separately as item #8879 or was included in K8882 Power Functions Kit or the K10194 Emerald Night Collection.
We are writing to you because our records indicate that you purchased one of these items. LEGO Systems has found that some of the remote control units (the kind that was included in your set) are not performing correctly. If your remote is one of the affected you would have noticed that it becomes hot to the touch in the first 5 to 10 minutes of initial operation. If you did not experience this situation when you first loaded batteries into the remote then your remote is not affected. If your remote is affected, we ask that you return it to us in exchange for a new remote control unit.  Simply call 1-800-718-1858 between the hours of Monday-Friday 8am-10pm ET and Saturday-Sunday 10pm-6pm ET (if outside the US/Canada dial +1-860-763-3211) and we will give you instructions on how to return the unit and also answer any questions that you might have.
Thank you for your time and attention to this, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We wish your family many more happy and creative hours of building fun with LEGO brand products.
Yours sincerely
LEGO Consumer Services
LEGO Systems, Inc.
555 Taylor Road
Enfield, CT 06082

Mine seems to be fine – how about yours?

Ignite: Hillel Cooperman – “The Secret Underground World of Lego”

Hillel Cooperman gave an “Ignite” presentation on the adult LEGO community recently. You can see it here on Youtube:

I found this through a post on Facebook by Felix Greco (I don’t think I can link to that because of the way Facebook works). The comments were not entirely positive, mostly around the way he talks about the adult LEGO fans, implying that they are so nerdy that they don’t date. It does sound to me like Hillel is not entirely comfortable with his AFOLishness. If he hadn’t had a kid and a wife who was enthusaistic about Harry Potter LEGO, do you think he would’ve rediscovered LEGO? Somehow I doubt it. However, most of the presentation was pretty positive. I do think he needs to take more pride in LEGO as a hobby and not denigrate his fellow AFOLs. But all in all, it’s a pretty good overview of the LEGO scene, told in an engaging and lively manner.

Frisco Bucking Bronco

When I heard that LEGO was opening a store in Frisco, TX I asked my friend Sylvia who lives there if she could stop by the grand opening and try to score one of these bucking bronco sets. They were given out to the first 300 customers at the new store. But Sylvia is not one to do things halfway – she was third in line to get into the store, and first to check out. That’s right, this is the first ever bucking bronco given out at that store! Check the timestamp on the receipt…

Frisco Bucking Bronco

Steve Barile on TV

Portland’s KATU Channel 2 recently featured Steve Barile (organizer of BrickFest) on a TV interview. Aside from the fact that they kept using the term “Legos” they did a really good job of showing the AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) hobby in a respectful, positive way. It’s nice and long, too, with plenty of great shots of Steve’s LEGO collection and models. Steve seemed very relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera, which is a great feat in itself. Go Steve!

You can watch the video on KATU’s Web site.

Little Australian Houses?

One of my pictures has been used by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on their Web site to illustrate a radio story about the relative merits of buying versus renting a home. You can see it on the ABC News homepage as a small thumbnail on the right hand side, and if you click the “Best of abc.net.au” link it takes you to a “best of” page where that story is featured with a larger version of the image at the top of the page. Here’s the photo they used (from their Web server):
Little houses via abc.net.au

My photos are published with a Creative Commons attribution license, so I’m not mad that they used the photo, but they (as far as I can tell) failed to credit the photo which I think is in pretty poor taste. (If you like the models, I have posted the LDraw instructions online.) Here’s the original photo, linked to its page on Flickr:
Little Houses on Flickr

You can really see the blurriness created when they cropped it and re-saved the JPEG (probably with a high level of compression). Thanks to Stephen Calder, aka aussiechef67 for pointing it out via a comment on Flickr.