Posts Tagged ‘lego’

When Lego Batman beats Superman V Batman

Friday, March 25th, 2016

Scott Mendelson reviews ‘Batman V Superman’ for Forbes:

The best moments of Dawn of Justice resemble nothing less than a feature length adaptation of a series of Alex Ross paintings in all their naturalistic glory. But amid the visual treats is an utter mess of thinly sketched characters, haphazard plotting, surprisingly jumbled action, and “cut your nose to spite your face” world building. It’s not a success either as a stand-alone Man of Steel sequel or a would-be kick-off to the DC Extended Universe, and attempts to insert Batman and his Super Friends do real damage to the story and thus the film. And, my word, this movie is almost a self-parody on “grimdark.”

Which is pretty much in line with every other reviewer I trust. So in a flurry of weak publicity, I find it very curious that Warner Bros release the trailer for ‘The Lego Batman Movie

Did anything exciting happen today?

Yes, computer. Yes, it did. Ben Affleck got pwned by Will Arnett.

If only the Forth Road Bridge was made of Lego

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

It’s really easy to change out Lego bricks for steel beams. Perhaps the designers should look to this German bridge for inspiration?

Trivial Posts #18: A Block Of Time, A Book Of Delights, And A Picture Of You

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Since the last weekly newsletter I’ve been to San Francisco… and made it home again. Lots to cover this week, so without too much hesitation…

What Have I Been Up To?

Every time I decide to fly to America, something ‘big’ happens back home, and this week was no exception. A week of catching up with old friends and new companies in Silicon Valley clashed with the BBC saying something about how the UK Song for Europe was going to be selected. My thoughts on that are here (and you can catch up on all the continent’s Eurovision news through the Eurovision Insight Podcast – find it on iTunes).

I’ve also suggested that Apple Music has failed, and even though I’m expecting the streaming music service  to be turned around nobody can quite agree in the comments on just how wrong I am to suggest such a thing.

On with the links (but first subscribe to the email newsletter version if you haven’t already).

Lego 21304

This set is going to be the biggest selling Lego set in the history of the UK:

Construct a stunningly detailed LEGO® version of the iconic TARDIS and role-play the Doctor’s time-travel adventures! Created by fan-designer Andrew Clark and selected by LEGO Ideas members, this set is based on the BBC’s popular and long-running television series about a Time Lord – the Doctor – exploring the universe in a blue police box. Due to trans-dimensional engineering, the TARDIS is bigger on the inside than the outside and this cool multifunctional set includes the console room that houses all the flight controls.

Introducing Lego Doctor Who

The Other Container Was The Kindle

Is the Kindle Amazon’s final statement on digital book reading? The concept has barely changed since the first device was launch. Now the rush of delight is over, the Kindle has been found wanting:

All is not well on the digital book design front. Until recently, the Kindle iOS application still lacked the ability – nearly five years after its launch – to hyphenate words at the end of lines in books as they appear on the screen; this was a small ‘problem’, but it’s one that should have been solved years ago. And that’s only one of many deeper usability and design issues. Amazon’s long-term neglect of the Kindle continues to be worrying to me, both as a designer and a reader.

It seems as though Amazon has been disincentivised to stake out bold explorations by effectively winning a monopoly (deservedly, in many ways) on the market. And worse still, the digital book ‘stack’ – the collection of technology upon which our digital book ecosystems are built – is mostly closed, keeping external innovators away.

Craig Mod lays out the history and the arguments for the old-fashioned dead tree book next to the eBook phenomenon.

Future Reading

See All The Moon Landing Pictures You Never Saw

Think of the pictures from the Moon landings and you have to marvel at the skill of the astronauts in framing, lens control, lighting, and a million other things. Err…. no. They just ooh thousands of pictures on each mission and released five or six of the best. Until now, as NASA’s Project Apollo Archive has rescanned every negative and is in the process of putting all of them online.

Mark Murrman looks through the first 8400 (available as a Flickr set) to pick out his personal favourites on Mother Jones.

You can finally see all the blurry images, mistakes, and unrecognized gems for yourself. The unprocessed Hasseblad photos (basically raw scans of the negatives) uploaded by the Project Apollo Archive offer a fascinating behind-the-scenes peek at the various moon missions…as well as lots and lots (and lots) of photos detailing the surface of the moon. Here’s a very small taste.

Two of my favourites would be the original Earthrise image from Apollo 8 (showing what post-processing can do to turn normal image into an iconic image, and a shot of the Lunar Ascent Module that captures the horror of flying around in a spaceship built from aluminium that was thinner than the tin foil in your kitchen. Zoom in on this and worry.

All 8,400 Apollo Moon Mission Photos Just Went Online

Life Is Like Helsinki Bus Station

A delightful theory for creative endeavours and life choices by Arno Minkkinen is explained in The Guardian. Indeed every creative endeavour can be represented by a bus leaving Helsinki Bus Station:

…it [vividly] illustrates a critical insight about persistence: that in the first weeks or years of any worthwhile project, feedback – whether from your own emotions, or from other people – isn’t a reliable indication of how you’re doing. (This shouldn’t be confused with the dodgy dictum that triggering hostile reactions means you must be doing the right thing; it just doesn’t prove you’re doing the wrong one.)

Having spoken to people starting out on new projects online, this is going in my toolbox of ‘how to judge how you are doing’.

This Column Will Change Your Life: Helsinki Bus Station Theory

By The Power Of Marketing!

Slashfilm hits it out the park again with another oral history. This time it’s for the delightfully bad film ‘Masters Of The Universe’ but it also covers how the toy line, how it saved Mattel, the birth of the TV series, and therefore the genesis of every TV Animation/Toyline production since the early eighties. THis is how culture was made.

Sales on the He-Man product line were going through the roof and thank god they did. Because other than He-Man, the company was going through a really tough time. Our Electronics Department [Mattel’s videogame division] was going down the tubes, so we were hoisting everything on our shoulders. If not for He-Man, Mattel might have gone under. There’s no question about it. No question. He-Man was doing, at that time, $400 million—if you took that piece out of the equation, there would be no Mattel. So it was kind of, you know, us against the world. It was a good time. It was a good time.

How Did This Get Made? Masters Of The Universe.

This Week’s Long Read: If They Build It, Will We Come? 

The fact is that in the first online tech boom the Porn Industry drove many of the elements that are vital to millions today (such as credit card processing, ecoomerce systems, multimedia CD- and DVD-Roms). In today’s ‘everything for free’ environment the industry has to address the same issues as mainstream media, but with a few more kinks. Buzzfeed’s Charlie Warzel explores the the world of the modern day porn business online.

But if porn helped to conceive and nurture the modern internet, the internet has turned its back on porn. Major internet companies like Instagram and Tumblr have hidden adult content from internal search, and Google has removed porn while de-prioritizing adult sites in its search algorithms. Facebook, arguably the internet’s most important destination, has banned adult content outright since its inception, and mainstream billing sites and financial services firms have shut their doors to adult companies, citing them as “high risk” clients.

If online porn was built by technically proficient, big-dreaming smut innovators, it’s now under siege by, essentially, technically proficient, deep-pocketed, shell corporation–constructing scoundrels. Consumed and overwhelmed by the fruits of its own technological innovations, the adult world must once again return to its entrepreneurial, iconoclastic roots if it wants to reclaim its industry. If anybody has any clue what we’re going to jerk off to in the future, it’s probably these guys.

Meet The Tech Entrepreneurs Trying To Take Back The Porn Industry

‘Trivial Posts’ is a mostly weekly series of posts that brings together interesting posts, ideas, video clips, essays, images, and anything else that catches my eye on the Internet. Read it online, or subscribe to the email newsletter version here.

That’s my Christmas sorted

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Trivial Posts #6: Boston’s Budget, Chocolate And Creme, Leap Seconds To Disaster

Monday, January 12th, 2015

A busy week for me with CES going on and lots of news to stay on top of, but that does’ mean there’s no time for some fun posts! Once more, here’s the weekly collection of interesting posts, ideas, video clips, essays, images, and anything else that catches my eye online

Don’t forget to subscribe to the mailing list so you never miss anything trivial!

Faster, Better, Stronger, More Expensive…

Boston is rather upset that it’s getting to bid for the 2024 Olympic Games. The small committees, politicians, and planners are going ‘this would be a good thing, we can build new public transport links’, before being stuck when asked ‘why do you need the Olympics to build a new public transport link?’ And various other issues. If it was up to me it would be run ever four years in the same venue, at standing facilities, and that would be the end of the frankly poisoned bidding process.

Back to Boston, and Chris Sampson has summed up the thoughts of many. Start there.

The Olympic (Non) Ideal

Nul Points For Economy Cattle Class

With the Eurovision National Final season under way,every country is running a ‘Song for Europe’ process to choose their song for the Grand Final of Eurovision in May (that’s the bit you all watch on television). Me, I spend most weekends in the first third of the year flying around Europe to sit in the studios of these National Finals – follow it all online and through the podcast at ESC Insight.

Anyway, I know seating charts and airline routing that you’ve never even dreamt off(and when you should take a bus to the next country to get a better return flight). Still, I’ve not found anything as scary as Delta’s new seating chart.

Winter 2014 via The Cooper Review

When you’re a kid all you want to do is be somewhere else

The great thing about Amazon is I don’t have to remember to check my favourite author’s bibliography every week to see if there is a new book, the carousel at the bottom of the Kindle App will give me a nudge. Maybe not on launch day, but soon.

So this week I have raced through John Scalzi’s ‘Lock In‘, and a fine slice of science-fiction and techno-political-thriller it is as well. It’s a short, fast, read (which is Scalzi’s style), but it’s thoroughly recommended.

Lock In on Amazon.

This is not the Crème Egg you were looking for.

So Kraft would respect Cadbury’s when it took over the Birmingham based confectioner? Sure does’ look like it today with the news that the Crème Egg is going through some cost-cutting exercises to boost profits by reducing the raw cost of the egg. The chocolate shell will now be “standard cocoa mix chocolate” stuffed with palm oil (as opposed to using Dairy Milk chocolate), and the six-pack of eggs (designed to mimic hen’s eggs bought in a supermarket) will be reduced from half a dozen eggs to a prime-numebr-tastic five eggs in a packet.

This. Is. Wrong.

A nation in shock as Cadbury’s change the crème edge recipe

Tick, Tock, Tick… Tick…

Wired’s Robert McMillan takes a look at the tricky issue of the leap second. As I mentioned in the blog last week, the world is getting an extra second (58… 59… 60… 00…). That’s easy enough for humans to understand, but how do you explain it to a computer. Every computer. At the same time? The short answer is you can’t do this very easily, so programmers are looking at this leap second as an interesting challenge.

The leap second is about to rattle the internet

Everything Is Awesome

At least, it is awesome now. Lego sailed very close to disappearing as a company, but pulled it back. How? Jonathan Ringen finds out for Fast Company’s latest profile. What works, what doesn’t, where do the new ideas come from, and more.

Lego, The Apple Of The Toy World

This week’s long read: Let’s

Drew Hoolhorst writes about the decision to become a parent, and manages to throw dust in your eye, with this delightful statement of intent. I wish I had that cape…

On becoming a parent, being fallible and always remembering to wear a cape.

What have I been up to?

With all the focus on CES, wasn’t it handy for Apple that Mark Gurman leaked so many details about the new MacBook Air with a twelve-inch screen and just one USB-C port? Some thoughts on the ‘rumours’ over on Forbes. Also, why should you think about websites and email newsletters instead of Facebook Pages?

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Practical Lego Examples

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Yes it’s a big listicle, but it’s Lego in the real world, which is always a win. Especially the ‘advanced phone dock‘.

The Curiosity Rover is coming to Lego

Monday, June 17th, 2013

It is with great pleasure we reveal that the next LEGO CUUSOO set will be the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, based upon the LEGO CUUSOO project by Perijove.


Jenkins, chap with stone wings there. Five Lego bricks rapid

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

The number of happy faces on Lego toy mini-figures is decreasing and the number of angry faces is increasing, a robot expert at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand has discovered

Dr Christoph Bartneck – who studied all 6,000 Lego mini-figures – said his findings could give rise to concern about he frowning faces’ impact on child development and the manufacturer appeared to be moving towards more conflict-based themes in its toys.

Probably best he doesn’t google Lego Machine Gun then…

An X-Wing. Made of Lego. Full Size.

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Less formally, the X-Wing symbolizes an obscenely profitable partnership, now in its 14th year, that has sold more than 200 million building sets, 30 million copies of four video games (according to NPD Group), and 450 different Lego Star Wars mini-figures. Lego Star Wars has been a major contributor to a five-year run during which Lego has averaged 24 percent year-on-year growth in sales and 40 percent growth in profits.

Now that’s how to use PR and marketing to get a corporate story out there on the history of Lego. I just wonder who’s going to have promotional sets at Eurovision next year?

Steampunk Lego sets arrive in July

Friday, May 10th, 2013


That is all.

The Lego ZX81

Monday, January 30th, 2012

With added Sir Clive Sinclair mini-fig. Want!

The moments of 2011 in Lego

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Collected by The Guardian so they can get lots of page impressions from Flickr pictures. Still, too cute not to link to .

Holy cartoon superheroes being moulded in Danish plastic!

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Warner Bros. has expanded its relationship with Lego, granting the toymaker access to DC Entertainment’s complete library of comicbook characters and stories to launch DC Universe “Super Heroes” as figures and playsets.

50 Lego models from one 58 piece set

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Just… awesome…

Memories of the Greatest Ship in the Galaxy

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Over the weekend at my parents for my Mum’s birthday and something I;ve been waiting to do for some time… get the big box of Lego down from the loft for my daughters to explore.

And yes I might have joined in a little bit.

Like many Lego fans of my age, there was only one Lego model that has pride of place. Model number 928, the Galaxy Explorer. The one with space for a lunar buggy in the back.

Now this tub of Lego has many sets all mixed in, and I’ve no idea where the folder of instructions is. But that didn’t stop me… I decided to try and rebuild the classic model from memory.

Here’s the result.


Not a bad day’s work I have to say. Functionally it’s all there (although I lost the gold roof panel many years ago) and isn’t that the second most important thing about building Lego?

The first thing of course is to have fun! And watching the ‘928 get flown around the house by my daughter… with no jealousy from me (honest) I knew that was taken care of as well.


More on this model at Lugnet.