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    Show and Tell: LEGO Mystery Build #14

    Happy Monday! For this week's Show and Tell, we have another LEGO Mystery Build! Follow along as Norm assembles this custom creation, and place your best guess as to what's being built in the comments below. This figure comes from our friend who works at LEGO!

    Watch This LEGO Sisyphus Kinetic Sculpture

    Jason Allemann has built this beautiful example of LEGO automata: the greek character Sisyphus forever pushing a boulder uphill. The 475-piece kinetic sculpture was inspired by Disney Research's recent paper studying the use of computational design to create realistic character movements using mechanical links and gears. Allemann has also released building instructions for this piece, as well as digital model files! (h/t Gizmodo)

    LEGO Comic Book Covers at Designer Con 2015

    We've seen LEGO mosaics, dioramas, and other sculptures before, but this is the first time we've seen LEGO mixed with another form of art: comic books! At this year's Designer Con, we chat with Brandon Griffith of the Comic Bricks project to learn how he and other LEGO artists have recreated their favorite comic book covers using our favorite building bricks.

    Show and Tell: LEGO Mystery Build #13

    Happy Monday! For this week's Show and Tell, we have another LEGO Mystery Build! Follow along as Norm assembles this custom creation, and place your best guess as to what's being built in the comments below.

    LEGO with Friends: Bonnie Burton, Part 1

    For this week's LEGO with Friends, we're joined by guest Bonnie Burton! Previously at LucasFilm, Bonnie has written several Star Wars craft books and is a regular contributor to CNET and Playboy.com. Together, we're going to assemble the massive Avengers Helicarrier set! Follow along with us by signing up for a Tested Premium Membership here! (The first episode is free for everyone, but the rest of the series will be for Premium Members.)

    In Brief: Five Interesting Things Today

    After a week-long exhale from Comic-Con, we're back to a regular schedule and looking forward to upcoming events, product testing, and more projects! Here are some stories currently sitting my browser tabs that I thought were worth sharing. First, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner announced that he would be spending $100 million over the next ten years to amp out the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. Steven Hawking's on board. I also enjoyed this NPR story about the research into the curious sound of screaming. Windows 10 comes out in a week, and Microsoft has released an invite-only beta of its Cortana app for Android--Arstechnica has tested it. Boingboing's exploration of vintage Star Wars clothing collecting strikes a chord. And the best custom LEGO build in recent memory may be David Szmandra's enormous RC construction crane. "Massive erection" indeed.

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    Tested Goes to Comic-Con 2015!

    We're down in San Diego all week for Comic-Con International! As the doors to the massive convention hall open on preview night, Norm and Will walk through the show floor to check out some of the major booth setups. Awesome collectibles, costumes, props, and LEGO are on display. We'll be filming interviews and project reveals, so stay tuned on Tested for more from SDCC!

    LEGO with Friends: Carl Merriam, Part 1

    For this week's LEGO with Friends series, we're joined by a very special guest: LEGO product designer Carl Merriam! Carl, who we first met at a local LEGO convention, is visiting all the way from Denmark, where he works on the LEGO Minecraft team. We chat with him about what it's like working at LEGO and how these sets are designed. It's going to be an awesome week! (The first episode is free for everyone, but the rest of the series will be for Premium Members.)

    LEGO with Friends: Phil Broughton, Part 1

    Time for another week of LEGO with Friends! This week's guest is one of the most interesting people we know: a radiation expert who also makes a brew of coffee known as the Black Blood of the Earth. Phil Broughton joins us for a week of conversation, storytelling, and of course, building LEGO! Follow along with us by signing up for a Tested Premium Membership here! (The first episode is free for everyone, but the rest of the series will be for Premium Members.)

    LEGO with Friends: Veronica Belmont, Part 1

    Veronica Belmont joins us for some building in this week's LEGO with Friends! We discuss the projects she's been working on, the Game of Thrones premiere she hosted, and catch up while assembling some fun LEGO kits. It's going to be a fun week! Follow along with us by signing up for a Tested Premium Membership here! (The first episode is free for everyone, but the rest of the series will be for Premium Members.)

    Building the Academy Awards LEGO Oscar

    One thing we forgot to mention in yesterday's podcast about the recent Academy Awards ceremony was the use of LEGO Oscars during The LEGO Movie musical performance. LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya, who we've previously interviewed, designed and built those statuettes for the show, and posted this short time-lapse video of the build on his YouTube channel. This video is brief, but you can see Sawaya using glue to bond the pieces together--something he does for all his sculptures for stability and durability. And for those of you who want to build your own LEGO Oscar, the kit is now up for voting on the LEGO Ideas website.

    Show and Tell: LEGO Mystery Build #11

    This week's Show and Tell is our first LEGO mystery build of the new year! And here's a kit that was sold out for a long time before LEGO recently reissued it--and it was worth the wait. As the time-lapse engages, place you best guess as to what Norm is building in the comments below!

    In Brief: LEGO Announces Next Ideas Series Kits

    LEGO today announced the results of the latest review board decisions for kits submitted through the Ideas program. Submissions receiving more than 10,000 votes were under consideration, and two from a pool of 9 were selected to be official kits: Wall-E (designed by Angus MacLane, a Pixar animator!) and a Dr. Who set (designed by Andy Clark). Rejected submissions include the X-Men Mansion, Luke's Lightsaber, Brent Waller's Ghostbusters HQ, and Hubble Space Telescope. The board doesn't explain why individual projects didn't make the cut, but consider a variety of factors including licensing, playability, and safety. I'm super excited about the Wall-E approval, and can't wait to see how the final product will look. LEGO's in-house designers will base the final construction design on MacLane's submission, but can make changes as they see fit--as they did with last year's Ecto-1 set.

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    LEGO with Friends: Patrick Norton, Part 1

    Here's the first episode of a new series for Tested members: LEGO with Friends! This week, Patrick Norton of TekThing stops by to help assemble a few kits while we chat about his new projects, CES, and why hummingbirds are awesome. Follow along with with us by signing up for a Tested Premium Membership here! (The first episode is free for everyone, but the rest of the series will be for Premium Members.)

    LEGO Invisible Lift Contraption is Hypnotizing

    My only real encounter with LEGO technics pieces are the ones included in standard LEGO sets, but this amazing ball elevator contraption makes me want to start building those mechanized kits. Designed and built by hobbyist Akiyuki (check out his other YouTube videos too), this "Great Ball Contraption" elegantly elevates LEGO soccer and basketballs through a Rube Goldberg-like sequence. The build took 70 hours. It's the kind of thing I would expect to see on display at a science museum. (h/t Adam)

    Show and Tell: LEGO Mystery Build #10

    Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We're starting this week off with a LEGO Mystery Build! It's been a while since we've done one, but the timing couldn't be more appropriate. This week's build is actually three of the same sets, with different colors, assembled concurrently. As the time-lapse engages, place you best guess as to what Norm is building in the comments below!