Legos

The 10 Most Awesome Things to Do With Legos

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I had three things that I really loved when I was a kid: my sock monkey, my Lab, and my Legos. As I got older, the sock monkey fell apart and the Lab got lazy. My Legos, though,  never failed me. Needless to say, I really like Legos. Even now that I’m in college, I have Legos sitting on my dorm room’s windowsill, and I’m super-excited about the upcoming release of the Lord of the Rings Legos. I must say that I’m proud of Lego for bringing back the old-style sets like City and Space. Here’s a list of the top ten things to do with Legos.

  1. Crasher Cars — This was one of my favorite games that I used to play with my friends (Jeff and Josh). The first step is for each player to build a vehicle of some sort. A Lego minifigure is placed in the car, but he has to be visible. The cars are then propelled towards each other with great force. The goal is to have your minifigure still attached to the largest chuck of Lego pieces, you get a bonus if your car doesn’t break. You get parent bonuses if you don’t break anything in the house.
  2. Ships/Boats — Lego has always had some really cool nautical sets with boats that actually float. Legos always improved any childhood bathing experience. I don’t recommend this for older children; college-aged student playing with Legos in the shower is a bit strange.
  3. Flying Devices — I must admit, the aerodynamics of the spaceships, planes, and other flying devices that I built were not always the greatest, but I had some cool looking spaceships! With guns. Lots and lots of guns. 
  4. Cranes — I had a thing for winches, pulleys, and rope. I really liked those little hand-cranked Lego winches; they have to be one of my favorite pieces. I was always making and improving crane designs.
  5. Minifigure Armies — Like any boy, I really loved playing war. My Legos didn’t often escape the conflicts that raged through my room and house. The minifigures were often conscripted into armies made up of all sorts of toys, imaginary and real. Unfortunately for me, my parents frowned upon the use of explosives–a rule my minifigures were most thankful for. 
  6. Star Wars — Star Wars Legos have to be some of the best Legos ever produced. From the tiny lightsaber duel sets to the massive “collector” level models of Blockade Runners and Star Destroyers, Lego really put a lot of effort into the plastic re-creations of the cult-classic film series. Join the dark side, we have awesome plastic stormtroopers. 
  7. Movie Reenactment — I never actually filmed any of the movies that we reenacted, but I know that we did recreate a lot of movie scenes with Legos. Sure, they might have featured divers as soldiers and police minifigures as shop owners, but I’m sure the critics over-looked those minor details.
  8. Castles/Buildings — I really like castles and medieval times, so castles were always a favorite construction project. Of course, the best part of building any castle is the destruction. Many different demolition methods were used, often consisting of catapults and rampant time-traveling motor vehicles.
  9. Lightsabers — I know I already mentioned Star Wars, but I think lightsabers are important enough to be in a category of their own. The multi-colored translucent rods are some of the simplest and best Lego weapons.
  10. Robotics — Finally, I have to mention Lego Mindstorms. Used even today in high schools and college engineering programs, these kits are really cool. My school uses them along with a professional data analysis program for introductory programming and data acquisition projects.

That’s just a taste of some of the things that you can do with Legos. I’d love to hear some of your favorite Lego-related stories. I’ll leave you with this video of an awesome Lego Rube-Goldberg machine.

May the Force Be With You,
~XK

10 Things Every Boy Should Own

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This is a list of things that every boy (no matter the age) should own. So sit back, put on your reading glasses, and enjoy!

  • Item X: Various Fasteners – Everything needs to fastened sometime or another. Whether it be tools, forts in the woods, or little brothers. I recommend always having duct tape, rope, and a collection of glue on hand at all times. Tip: glue a coin to the driveway and watch people’s reactions.
  • Item IX: A Collection (of something) – It really doesn’t matter what. I happen to collect old cameras and rocks. and coins and keys… Every boy should have a collection of something to show off to his friends and family. I even recommend having a collection of something fairly boring. When you want someone to leave, just whip out your old sock collection!
  • Item IIX: Flashlights – You never know when you’ll be trapped somewhere with no natural lighting; that’s why I have a lot of flashlights. I think that you should have at least three different types of flashlights. A small, compact bright flashlight; a headlamp stupid looking but incredibly handy; and a large, incredibly bright flashlight. I recommend a Maglight.
  • Item VII: Batteries – Along the lines of tape, this rather mundane but necessary item is a must have. All of those flashlights have to work somehow! You can also plug two 9-volts together and make little heaters. Just… be careful, sometimes they blow up. 
  • Item VI: Fire-Making Instruments – One of the most important or at least fun items on this list contains fire. I have a few different types of lighters, a flint and steel, and a few other means of ignition. I would say that a cigar lighter is my favorite, it burns hot and fast, and uses simple butane fuel. And you can get them cheap at Wal*Mart.
  • Item V: Chopping Devices – You never know when you might need to chop down a tree. I found that my machete (a Gerber Gator with a saw on the other side of the blade) was an invaluable companion with me on my last backpacking trip. I also own some other machetes, a few saws, a hatchet, and various power tools.
  • Item IV: Knives – Very similar to chopping devices, this one is a more personal item. I recommend that every boy should have at least 10 knives. A pocket knife for each day of the week, plus a large knife, a multitool, and a swiss army knife. Knives are tools, not weapons, so to any motherly type people out there: don’t get too nervous. I’ve only cut myself badly enough to go to the hospital once…
  • Item III: Projectiles – and the thing with which to fire said projectiles. This includes air guns, real guns, bows, slingshots, catapults, and swingsets. Air guns and slingshots are absolutely necessary when there is an excess of plastic bottles or other targets too unfortunate to consider moving elsewhere.
  • Item II: Legos – The most important and necessary part of any boy’s life, Legos are a must-have. These wonderful playthings are the stock of any good toy-box and will carry memories for years. If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, then Legos are a boy’s. Speaking of which, have you seen the new Pirates sets? 
  • Item I: Pop Tarts – You knew I couldn’t make a list without including these. Pop tarts are the most delectable and perfect of the prepackaged pastries currently known. An absolute requirement for any ration box or collection of food, these are perfect for traipsing into the wilderness, playing games, or satisfying midnight snack desires. Don’t leave home without them.  For uses of pop tarts, see a previous post entitled get this Pop-Tarts.

There you have it. My complete listing of the top ten things all boys of any age should own. I have one particular item that is pretty amazing. An old 600 watt super-8 video light. What’s so special about that? You can light anything and burn anything with it. I’ve caught a 2×4 on fire with just this light. I highly recommend it to the nocturnal pyromaniacs out there.
Have a good one!
~XK