Tag Archives: Science

Particle Accelerator in LEGO

While this rendition isn’t going to get the same results as a real particle accelerator, I invite you to take a look at this fantastic LEGO version from Jason(JK Brickworks).

Particle Accelerator (Large Brick Collider)

This “working” accelerator does in fact send a LEGO soccer ball around the track at 440 studs per second, or approximately 12.5 km/hr. Jason outlines some of the build in more detail on his blog.

I highly recommend checking out the video, too.

LEGO Ideas 21110 Research Institute [Review]

It should come as no surprise at all to long-time readers that the new LEGO Ideas Research Institute has been on my list since the day it was confirmed as a set, if not before. I’m all for more gender-equality in my minifig world, and love seeing sets with female figs.

All three vignettes

I picked up this set as well as the 21109 Exo Suit while I was on vacation, and admittedly I’ve been waiting to get a chance to break in and build it. Great way to spend the first day back from vacation, I wager.

So let’s get on with the review.

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Rosetta comet encounter recreated in LEGO

After over 10 years in flight, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta space probe today arrived at it’s target, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. And builder Stefan Schindler decided to commemorate the event by recreating it in LEGO! Not only did he do a splendid job on the probe, he even managed to capture the bizarre shape of the comet as well.

Stefan has entered his creation in the ESA’s official #RosettaAreWeThereYet photo contest. So LEGO fans should head over there and VOTE FOR IT NOW! (Entries are piling up so you may have to search for it on the second or third page).

LEGO Makes You Smarter

I think we can all agree that LEGO helps nourish the mind in various ways. We know it helps with spacial awareness, eye-hand coordination, creativity, and problem-solving.

ROOK gives us some of the tools needed for some very important mathematical and scientific skills, helpfully constructed in brick:

Math & Science

I have to say, I’m really fond of the protractor. The compass is pretty nifty. If you find yourself more comfortable in a lab coat, he’s got some rather clever test-tubes full of who-knows-what waiting for you.

No evidence children harmed by greater variety in LEGO minifig facial expressions

Mr. HydeWe’ve been studiously ignoring the rather ridiculous press coverage of a study published last month in the Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Human-Agent Interaction. The study itself is simply a numerical analysis of minifig facial expressions from 1975 to 2010, concluding that facial expressions perceived by adults as “happy” have decreased over time in favor of “angry” faces and other emotions. It’s actually a rather interesting study, if you bother to read it.

But the media frenzy surrounding the study has been silly at best and consistently inaccurate — not necessarily about the trend toward more variety in minifig facial expressions but about the substance and conclusions of the study. One of the more moronic trends among the articles — or at least their headlines, which many people probably don’t read past — is claiming that the study says that the greater diversity in minifigure facial expressions is somehow harmful to children.

Conan O’Brian did a bit last night that is representative of the misunderstanding many people have about the issue. While Conan and his writers put the material to good comedic use, it reminded me that we might still want to post something about the study and the press coverage surrounding it. The story just doesn’t want to die!

Thankfully, not all the coverage is as idiotic as what you’ve probably seen on your local news. Scientific American editorial intern Arielle Duhaime-Ross has written an excellent blog post about the study and its media coverage, with insights into why people have been so attracted to the story.

She quotes one of the New Zealand researches as saying, “Our little LEGO study was never intended to give scientific evidence of the minifigures’ harmful effects — it cannot even give a hint.” Christoph Bartneck continues, “The media fights for our attention and one mechanism they use is to invoke fear.”

It’s this fear-mongering that I find so distasteful (and consistent with the controversy surrounding LEGO Friends). I’m no defender of the LEGO brand or corporation, nor do I always agree with the decisions they make — I’ve been advocating for more ethnic and gender diversity in minifigs for years, in fact — but I do take issue with bad journalism.

Head on over to ScientificAmerican.com to read Arielle’s post, and let us know what you think yourself in the comments.

LEGO Microscope by Carl Merriam

LEGO certainly has some small elements, and Carl Merriam has really taken that idea to the next level with this fabulous microscope. I’m impressed with the build, and the presentation, and that’s what originally caught my eye. Then I read the description:

“A little more tinkering and I connected the focus to a magnifying glass and fiber optic light in the eyepiece, so adjusting the focus knobs would actually bring the writing on a LEGO stud in and out of focus.”

So in additon to be a beautifully presented, excellent build, it actually works.

Bravo, Carl. Bravo.

LEGO approves Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover CUUSOO project [News]

Stephen Pakbaz‘s MSL Curiosity Rover project on LEGO CUUSOO hit 10,000 supporters 10 months ago, but today LEGO is announcing that Curiosity will become the next new LEGO set through the CUUSOO program.

LEGO CUUSOO Curiosity Rover

(This is Stephen’s project photo. I expect the final product may be slightly different. We’ll share the official product photos when we get them.)

Here’s the official announcement:

Results of the Fall 2012 LEGO® Review

We’re excited to share the results of the Fall LEGO® Review. In September, three LEGO CUUSOO projects entered the second quarterly review period for projects that successfully reach 10,000 supporters. These three projects — the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, UCS Sandcrawler™, and Thinking with Portals!™ — have been being considered for production by the LEGO Review Board.

21104 Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover – pending final name confirmation

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.

This project rose to popularity in late summer 2012, when the real Mars Curiosity Rover approached and landed on the planet Mars in its historic mission. The model designer, LEGO CUUSOO user Perijove is a Mechanical Engineer who worked on the actual Curiosity rover at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Perijove writes that he built and submitted the rover to further the educational outreach of the Mars Curiosity rover’s incredible mission, and to encourage greater public support for space exploration.

The final product is still in development. Exact pricing and availability is still being determined, so stay tuned for an update on when you can buy your own Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover in the coming months.

Tim Courtney shares the news in this video:

Personally, I couldn’t be more excited. This is easily my favorite LEGO CUUSOO project from the past 18 months, and is one of the best projects that reflects the spirit of CUUSOO. I know many of you out there will be disappointed that the Star Wars and Portal projects weren’t approved, but I hope you can join me in giving Stephen Pakbaz some well-deserved congratulations!

Update: Caylin and Chris are there at BrickWorld, and Caylin got this shot of the model they used to make the announcement there in Chicago:

CUUSOO Rover

It looks essentially identical to the one Stephen used for the project itself, so that’s a good sign, though I also expect that it’s still going through the redesign project with LEGO.

How many times can you put two LEGO bricks together before they break?

Every LEGO brick has its limits. We see plenty of building techniques that stress bricks in various ways, but nobody has answered the question, “How many times can you put two bricks together and take them apart before the bricks fail?” Phillipe Cantin decided to find out.

The answer: After running his machine for more than 10 days, the LEGO bricks finally failed after more than 37,000 repetitions.

Via MAKE.

Previously: How many LEGO bricks stacked vertically would crush the bottom brick?

This Collection Will Make Your Skin Crawl!!!

Afraid of bugs? Well, Sean and Steph Mayo aka Siercon and Coral have built some spectacular insects and you don’t have to worry about them crawling all over you. And, if you are not freaked out, check out the great building techniques used to create the superb detail in these creations.

There are 10 total and each with amazing detail. Check out their photo set to see them all.


Adventure Thru Inner Space

Although the Disneyland attraction Adventure Thru Inner Space was torn down in 1985 I can still hear the narrator like it was yesterday: “For centuries, man had but his own two eyes to explore the wonders of his world, then he invented the microscope, a mighty eye, and discovered the fantastic universe beyond the limits of his own meager sight. Now your adventure thru inner space has begun. Thru Monsanto’s Mighty Microscope, you will travel into the incredible universe found within a tiny fragment of a snowflake. I am the first person to make this fabulous journey, suspended in the timelessness of inner space are the thought waves of my first impressions. They will be our only source of contact once you have passed beyond the limits of normal MAGNIFICATION… MAGNIFICATION.. MAGNIFICATION. MAGNIFICATION!”

This mighty microscope is brought to you by Brasilian Gilcelio Chagas, whose interview you can check out here, if you missed it.

Microscope