New Old School


I love when, every few years, they release original-trilogy Star Wars figures in the old vintage packaging style from 30 years ago. It makes me happy.

Releasing prequel-trilogy figures in packaging based on the vintage design? Seeing an 80s-style Revenge of the Sith card? Yeah, that makes me rather happy, too.

Lego Hacking: What’s Wrong With The World


Federation starship built from Star Wars Legos

Image by Lego Hacker. Click to visit site.

In my news reader feed this weekend was an article on a kid who builds Star Trek vehicles from Star Wars Lego sets, from which the following excerpts are taken:

One twelve-year-old boy, known online as “Legohacker” has figured out the trick of turning official Star Wars Lego sets into Star Trek ships.

Some four-year-olds will create art with Play-Doh or use crayons to create artistic masterpieces, but Legohacker was a bit different than his age-contemporaries, according to his father, Jon Ippolito. “When I had kids I was eager to see what kind of creativity they would spill on a page full of crayon drawings or a lump of Play Dough or, in this case, a bunch of Legos,” he said. “I was pretty astonished to see how sophisticated the kind of thinking outside the box they did was.”

The son, who is now twelve, is still a fan of Legos. Legohacker uses the official sets, turning them into something else using only the pieces that were included in the box (hacking the set). His latest Lego hacking includes turning Star Wars sets into Star Trek ships.

There’s a term for building something with Legos other than the picture shown on the front of the box? “Hacking the set”?

See, when I was that age, the term we used for using official Lego sets to build your own custom creations was “playing with Legos.” Heck, when I was four, they didn’t even have official designs for you to build something other than. You bought a box, it had a bunch of bricks. You built whatever you wanted from it.

It’s annoyed me for years that Lego sets have become more and more specialized in their pieces, which it seemed to me was reaching the point that they essentially became model kits. I was thinking about it from a perspective of the specialization limiting options, though. It never occurred to me that people would be treating the set instructions so religiously that building something else would be considered “hacking.”

We live in a world that is become gradually more and more open-source, and yet we raise children with increasingly closed entertainment. As children’s entertainment gets “better,” it leaves less and less room for imagination.

Children are born thinking outside of the box.

It wouldn’t be that exciting to see them continue to do so at four or at 12 if we didn’t feel the need to construct some elaborate boxes to put them in in the first place.

Well, Wookie What We Have Here


I went to the new Star Wars exhibit at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center here.

Linkdump And Stuff


OK, I’m so behind on blogging it’s unreal. Sorry. Someday I’m going to start writing the posts that I’ve been meaning to since, like, February. But not today. Today, though, I’m going to clear out some of my blog fodder folder.

Life on Mars

So apparently that Mars meteorite that became famous on my 21st birthday really is evidence of life on Mars, according to the people who said it was 14 years ago. The relevant thing is, fewer people are saying it isn’t. At this point, I wonder what, short of actually sending people there, it would take to say conclusively that Mars has or has had life, and what the impact of that would be. Just not sure it would be that big a deal anymore.

Defying Gravity

I saw this story recently about country star Keith Urban going on a Zero G flight that managed to annoy me from both country music and space buff perspectives. On the former front, it fails to mention the rather obvious connection that Urban’s last album was Defying Gravity. On the science front, the article explains how the whole microgravity flight works: “The plane obviously traveled high enough to get out of gravitational pull.” Well. Obviously. Sigh.

Bookends

It made me rather happy to see that my post about the Simon & Garfunkel concert was discovered by a couple of forums, 2010 Tour Reviews (starting w/ #24) and Paul-Simon.info, and that at both places it got positive feedback. Always nice when words find homes.

Mississippi Days

It was weird going on my Facebook the day after the Mississippi tornadoes a couple of weeks ago and seeing two updates from the Mississippi Press Association in my feed, one from the Choctaw Plaindealer in Ackerman, and one from Gary Andrews at The Yazoo Herald. During my career in Mississippi newspapers, Gary was my general manager when I worked in Houston, and I was general manager of The Plaindealer. It’s been a while since I left that world, but the connections are slow to fade.

Purely Referential

Homesteading Space was mentioned recently in an article about design expert Raymond Lowey. It always makes me happy to see the book cited as a reference, though I’m curious in this case how the mention was even discovered.

Alot of Humor

The Alot is Better Than You at Everything

The Plans I Have…

Relevant Magazine has an article on why Jeremiah 29:11 is the most misused verse in the Bible. The ironic thing is, I have long felt this, but for reasons entirely different. And I don’t know whether it’s misused most badly, but it probably is misused most often. It’s everywhere (and was particularly prevalent when I was going through DivorceCare): “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Among other things, the article’s issue with the verse is that people stop there; that, really, if you’re going to cite that verse, you need to go on to verses 13-14: “You will find me, if you seek me with all your heart … and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you.” It’s not just, “sit back and I will do awesome things for you,” there’s some amount of personal involvement there, as well.

The article also makes a good point that I do like — that even the promise in verse 11 must have been very disappointing to its original audience. The people were in exile, and the situation, to be blunt, kinda sucked. They probably would have preferred that God, you know, do something about it. Instead, He comes back with this promise — don’t worry, I’ll do something about it in the future. Maybe not even in the lifetime of the people receiving it. Probably not what they were looking for.

My issue with the verse is completely different. My issue is that it’s a specific promise, at a specific time, for a specific people, about a specific issue. We would like to think that it’s relevant to us, that God is saying that he has a plan for me, of future and hope. And it does sound like the sort of thing he would say. But that doesn’t mean this verse is for me. Yes, there are plenty of Biblical promises that you can claim personally. But, really, claiming this one is no different than saying God has promised that you’ll be the mother of the Messiah or the father of a great nation or will lead your people out of bondage. Yeah, those promises are in the Bible, but that doesn’t mean they apply to you.

A Year in the Life

Stormtroopers365

Funny Because It’s Sad Because It’s True

From Overheard in the Newsroom, about the demise of payphones:
Editor: “Where would Superman change nowadays?”
Reporter: “Change? Where would he work?”

Take On Schmi


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more about "Star Wars: Uncut Trailer on Vimeo", posted with vodpod

OK, granted, the Star Wars Uncut trailer is pretty cool.

But my favorite part is definitely Scene 236, which is, of course, best enjoyed with a-ha’s Take On Me playing in the background. That said, now I really want them to expand that scene out to a full Star Wars trailer set to the song.

Recent Random Photos