Stop the Lego Mania!

Pardon my brief rant: what is this endless fascination with all things Lego?! For those of you still blissfully unaware of this silliness, I'm referring to a phenomenon in which amateur video-makers (and sometimes even professional ones) recreate scenes from their favorite movies using Lego characters. (These are technically known as "brickfilms," and created with stop-motion animation.) It's caught on to such a degree that there are even video games for popular franchises like Star Wars and Indiana Jones that feature Lego characters. Which I find totally baffling, as there are few things less expressive of emotion than a tiny piece of plastic (though I suppose the films being re-created in Lego aren't that emotion-filled anyway).

In any case, I continue to be amazed at the breadth of work that's been produced for the "Lego-movie" genre, and by that measurement alone, the phenom seems flossably notable. So take note!

Lego "Thriller"

Too soon? Nah -- this was uploaded three years ago.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Rawk!

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

"Camelot!" "It's only a model." Indeed.

Star Wars - Darth Vader Song

Lego Vader conducts an orchestra of Storm Troopers. Except instead of actual Legos, this is a slicky-produced 3D animation of Legos -- what's the point?! It's like naming your website "1800flowers.com." Is it a website or an 800 number? Is it a Lego movie or a 3D animation? Choose, dangit!

"The Simpsons" intro

A 13-year-old kid made this. Not bad!

Lego Man applies for a construction job

This is pretty cute. Is Lego Man technically disabled?

Grease - "Summer Nights"

Indiana Jones

This is pretty well-done, actually.

The Magic Portal

Widely considered to be the first "brickfilm" ever made, it was created by Lindsay Fleay in Perth, Western Australia, around 1985. And it's pretty good!

You can find more of my incoherent ranting on Twitter.

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The Simple Way to Reheat Your French Fries and Not Have Them Turn Into a Soggy Mess
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Some restaurant dishes are made to be doggy-bagged and reheated in the microwave the next day. Not French fries: The more crispy and delectable they are when they first arrive on your table, the more of a soggy disappointment they’ll be when you try to revive them at home. But as The Kitchn recently shared, there’s a secret to making leftover fries you’ll actually enjoy eating.

The key is to avoid the microwave altogether. Much of the appeal of fries comes from their crunchy, golden-brown exterior and their creamy potato center. This texture contrast is achieved by deep-frying, and all it takes is a few rotations around a microwave to melt it away. As the fries heat up, they create moisture, transforming all those lovely crispy parts into a flabby mess.

If you want your fries to maintain their crunch, you need to recreate the conditions they were cooked in initially. Set a large pan filled with about 2 tablespoons of oil for every 1 cup of fries you want to cook over medium-high heat. When you see the oil start to shimmer, add the fries in a single layer. After about a minute, flip them over and allow them to cook for half a minute to a minute longer.

By heating up fries with oil in a skillet, you produce something called the Maillard Reaction: This happens when high heat transforms proteins and sugars in food, creating the browning effect that gives fried foods their sought-after color, texture, and taste.

After your fries are nice and crisp, pull them out of the pan with tongs or a spatula, set them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil, and sprinkle them with salt. Now all you need is a perfect burger to feel like you’re eating a restaurant-quality meal at home.

[h/t The Kitchn]

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Bone Collector
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