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The 10 Geekiest Lego Creations

I know, to some extent, all Lego creations made by anyone over the age of 10 are a little geeky, but it takes things to a whole new level of nerdiness to create something based on your favorite sci-fi movie or video game. Even so, the hardest part of writing this article wasn’t coming up with 10 amazingly geeky creations, but deciding which ones not to include. That’s why aside from the geekiness of the subject matter, I had to take into account how much work each project took to make a reality. After all, if there’s anything geekier than a nerdy Lego creation, it’s taking an unbelievable amount of time to construct said design.

Mario Brothers Animation

Making a Mario screen out of your favorite interlocking brick toys is pretty geeky, but taking the extra step to turn the design into a stop motion animation is what makes this Mario Brothers Lego project stand out from the crowd.

Thriller Video

What could be better than a stop-motion Lego recreation of one of the world’s favorite video games? How about a 13 minute long, shot-for-shot remake of one of the most memorable music videos ever created? The dancing might not be as good as the original, but you have to admit, they still have pretty good moves for minifigs.

The Dark Knight Trailer

There are tons of Lego-animated videos on the net, but this one earns a spot on this list thanks to the incredible editing done to really make the shot-for-shot remake of the trailer look like a perfect (albeit Lego-ized) copy of the original. This just might be the most epic-looking Lego video I’ve seen so far.

The Matrix Bullet Scene

This video, made in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the release of the first Matrix movie, took over 440 hours to make. Scene by scene, the quality shows and even those that aren’t fans of the film are certain to be impressed with the level of detail put into filming this incredible Lego remake.

Monty Python’s Crimson Permanent Assurance

If you’ve seen “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life,” then you’ll remember the introductory scene filled with accountant pirates performing hostile takeovers of other companies. Flickr user gotoAndLego’s Lego recreation of the company’s pirate ship is delightfully faithful to the original –it even includes working interior lights.

M.C. Escher’s Relativity

Andrew Lipson and Daniel Shiu have done a few faithful recreations of MC. Escher pictures, but their massive stairway-filled labyrinth created after Escher’s “Relativity” is my favorite. On Lipson's website, he attempts to explain how the feat was mastered, but personally, I like to remain in the dark, so the illusion seems all that much more mystical.

Star Wars Jawa Sandcrawler

Yes, there are tons of Lego Star Wars works (some of them are even officially manufactured by Lego), but how many of these actually light up, move on their own and can pick up droids? Equally impressive: Marshal Banana’s 10,000-piece LEGO sandcrawler has a fully detailed interior complete with a host of characters from the movie. That’s why this one stands out even with so much competition.

Pinball Machine

While the raised bumps on a Lego brick make them seem like a less-than-ideal material for building a pinball machine, Gerrit Bronsveld and Martijn Boogaarts were able to challenge that idea with a 20,000 block machine that took over 300 hours to complete. While the standard metal ball proved too heavy for the Lego motor, the creators were able to substitute a glass ball in its place and the game was all the rage at the LegoWorld exhibition in the Netherlands where it was debuted.

The Most Useless Machine

While most machines are made to accomplish some type of task, the most useless machine ever was created solely for the sake of creation. If that weren’t a geeky enough objective, the entire point of the Lego version was to create something that existed solely for the point of creating it…in Lego.

Rubik’s Cube Solver

Yes, you read that right. This amazing Lego machine uses custom-made software and a Lego motor to rotate and solve Rubik’s Cubes. The future of geekery is now.

I’m sure any Lego fans reading this will have their own favorite geeky creations. If you’re one of those Lego lovers, feel free to share your links and stories of the geekiest Lego creation you’ve ever seen or made.

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Pop Culture
An AI Program Wrote Harry Potter Fan Fiction—and the Results Are Hilarious
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

“The castle ground snarled with a wave of magically magnified wind.”

So begins the 13th chapter of the latest Harry Potter installment, a text called Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash. OK, so it’s not a J.K. Rowling original—it was written by artificial intelligence. As The Verge explains, the computer-science whizzes at Botnik Studios created this three-page work of fan fiction after training an algorithm on the text of all seven Harry Potter books.

The short chapter was made with the help of a predictive text algorithm designed to churn out phrases similar in style and content to what you’d find in one of the Harry Potter novels it "read." The story isn’t totally nonsensical, though. Twenty human editors chose which AI-generated suggestions to put into the chapter, wrangling the predictive text into a linear(ish) tale.

While magnified wind doesn’t seem so crazy for the Harry Potter universe, the text immediately takes a turn for the absurd after that first sentence. Ron starts doing a “frenzied tap dance,” and then he eats Hermione’s family. And that’s just on the first page. Harry and his friends spy on Death Eaters and tussle with Voldemort—all very spot-on Rowling plot points—but then Harry dips Hermione in hot sauce, and “several long pumpkins” fall out of Professor McGonagall.

Some parts are far more simplistic than Rowling would write them, but aren’t exactly wrong with regards to the Harry Potter universe. Like: “Magic: it was something Harry Potter thought was very good.” Indeed he does!

It ends with another bit of prose that’s not exactly Rowling’s style, but it’s certainly an accurate analysis of the main current that runs throughout all the Harry Potter books. It reads: “‘I’m Harry Potter,’ Harry began yelling. ‘The dark arts better be worried, oh boy!’”

Harry Potter isn’t the only work of fiction that Jamie Brew—a former head writer for ClickHole and the creator of Botnik’s predictive keyboard—and other Botnik writers have turned their attention to. Botnik has previously created AI-generated scripts for TV shows like The X-Files and Scrubs, among other ridiculous machine-written parodies.

To delve into all the magical fiction that Botnik users have dreamed up, follow the studio on Twitter.

[h/t The Verge]

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entertainment
Netflix's Most-Binged Shows of 2017, Ranked
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Netflix might know your TV habits better than you do. Recently, the entertainment company's normally tight-lipped number-crunchers looked at user data collected between November 1, 2016 and November 1, 2017 to see which series people were powering through and which ones they were digesting more slowly. By analyzing members’ average daily viewing habits, they were able to determine which programs were more likely to be “binged” (or watched for more than two hours per day) and which were more often “savored” (or watched for less than two hours per day) by viewers.

They found that the highest number of Netflix bingers glutted themselves on the true crime parody American Vandal, followed by the Brazilian sci-fi series 3%, and the drama-mystery 13 Reasons Why. Other shows that had viewers glued to the couch in 2017 included Anne with an E, the Canadian series based on L. M. Montgomery's 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, and the live-action Archie comics-inspired Riverdale.

In contrast, TV shows that viewers enjoyed more slowly included the Emmy-winning drama The Crown, followed by Big Mouth, Neo Yokio, A Series of Unfortunate Events, GLOW, Friends from College, and Ozark.

There's a dark side to this data, though: While the company isn't around to judge your sweatpants and the chip crumbs stuck to your couch, Netflix is privy to even your most embarrassing viewing habits. The company recently used this info to publicly call out a small group of users who turned their binges into full-fledged benders:

Oh, and if you're the one person in Antarctica binging Shameless, the streaming giant just outed you, too.

Netflix broke down their full findings in the infographic below and, Big Brother vibes aside, the data is pretty fascinating. It even includes survey data on which shows prompted viewers to “Netflix cheat” on their significant others and which shows were enjoyed by the entire family.

Netflix infographic "The Year in Bingeing"
Netflix

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