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LEGO Competition Selects Three New Master Builders 123

H0NGK0NGPH00EY writes "The nationwide LEGO Master Builder search (covered here previously) came to a completion last week. At the last minute, LEGO surprised the competitors by announcing that they would select not one, but three Master Builders."
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LEGO Competition Selects Three New Master Builders

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  • by DarkHelmet ( 120004 ) * <mark@seventhc[ ] ['ycl' in gap]> on Thursday January 29, 2004 @09:32AM (#8122850) Homepage

    Klein, 28 ... built an octopus' aquatic garden. Sawaya ... built a model of two men sitting opposite each other cutting a log in half with a long, two-handled saw.

    Master builders my ass!

    Real Men build lego figurines of Han Solo in Carbonite []. They build miniature Death Stars with friggin' lasers on them! Not octopus aquatic gardens.

    "I'm a master model builder," he said breathlessly into her ear.

    And hear the cries of thousands of losing Lego Master contestants, who cried out and then were suddenly silenced... by my backhand.

  • wowsa, 3 new masters, i wonder if they're going to release any new sets of cool legos!
    • These Master Builders will be building park attractions at Legoland in CA, not doing the individual retail sets.
  • by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @09:34AM (#8122865) Journal
    ... but I'm a grand-master at destroying :-))

    • ... but I'm a grand-master at destroying :-))

      Hehe... childhood flashback...

      My little brother used to build lego houses... I built lego airplanes with hinged bomb bays, wich I loaded with spend D batteries, and promptly dropped on top of my brother's lego houses :D

    • I had the monorail LEGO set years ago. Me and my friend had a game where we would build machines of mass destruction to run against each other on the monorail roller coaster. Big rotating propellers. Spikes. One would climb the monorail and the other would roll down by gravity.

      It usually took 2 hours to build them, and .2 seconds to witness their destruction.

      I should've patented it and sued robotwars today.
  • Google is suing LEGO over their search engine
  • The gracious loser (Score:5, Informative)

    by RobertB-DC ( 622190 ) * on Thursday January 29, 2004 @09:36AM (#8122878) Homepage Journal
    Here are the Journal entries [] from the Slashdot candidate, Jamie. Classy guy, and I sure hope the Slashdot story didn't nix his chances.

    Jan. 21st, 2004
    03:37 am

    Alas, my journey soon comes to an end...or possibly to a new beginning.

    In just a few hours, I leave for San Diego. I can't sleep. I can't relax. I can't think. I'm a giddy/nervous/excited mess. The best way I can describe it is like sitting blindfolded on a chair with my hands and feet bound tight as others around me sing and dance and celebrate. Oh, how I can't wait to open my eyes and see all the wonderment that awaits me.

    I thank you all for the outrageous support you've given me and hope I don't let you down. This whole experience has truly been remarkable.

    Jan. 25th, 2004
    10:07 pm

    I made it home safe and sound tonight. I'm so lucky to have had my friends Matt, Tim & Howie along with me. Seriously, I really am not sure how the whole trip would have turned out had you not been there for me.

    I didn't get the job, but I sure did have fun trying for it. I'll need a little while to compose my thoughts, but you'll be sure to hear from me with all the details soon. Congratulations to Nathan, Kristi and Aaron. I'm quite fortunate to have been surrounded by such talented and fun people during the competition. I will have fond memories of all the contestants and will smile many times as I think of them in the future.

    I'll try to post pics of all the final creations from all the contestants on my website within a few days.

    Thank you again to everyone for their encouragement and enthusiasm. I hope to see many of you over the coming weeks.
    • by crow ( 16139 )
      All of us a NELUG [] (The New England LEGO Users Group) were hoping to see one of our own win. At the same time, we're glad he's coming back to us.

      If you've been following this story and wishing that you had been able to participate, there are a number of different LEGO clubs around the country. And if you can't find a group in your area, what better time to start one! Check LUGnet [] and do some searching on Google--that's how I found NELUG.

  • How will this help us build Space Elevators? []
  • Does anyone know? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ObviousGuy ( 578567 ) <> on Thursday January 29, 2004 @09:37AM (#8122883) Homepage Journal
    What is the largest cube that can be constructed out of Lego before it collapsed under its own weight?
    • 34.5 feet side length.
      354203273 tiles
      I think they got the danish flag on the sides on something like that.
    • Re:Does anyone know? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mateito ( 746185 ) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @10:14AM (#8123089) Homepage
      Lego bricks are made out of ABS plastics. This powerpoint doc" [] gives the following properties:
      • Density 1.05 - 1.07 Mg/m^3
      • Bulk Modulus 4.1 - 4.6 GPa
      • Compressive Strength 55 - 60 MPa
      • Elastic Limit 40 - 45 MPa
      • Endurance Limit 24 - 27 MPa
      • Fracture Toughness 2.3 - 2.6 MPa.m1/2
      • Hardness 100 - 140 MPa
      • Modulus of Rupture 50 - 55 MPa
      • Poisson's Ratio 0.38 - 0.42
      • Shear Modulus 0.85 - 0.95 GPa

      Which is enough to calculate at what at point point a solid cube of ABS will fail under its own weight. (Depending on your definition of fail.. but lets use, in this example example, a failure is when the pressure due to the blocks weight excedes the compressive strength).

      However, in order to calculate the failure for a lego construction, I need geometic information. Anybody want to weigh a lego brick and give me a detailed engineering diagram? I suggest we settle on the standard 4x8 brick. Note that the result will be affected by exactly how its constructed. Any bricklayers on slashdot care to make a suggestion on the best way to lay a 3 dimensional solid structure?

    • Depends, if you're talking about a solid cube, it'll be when the gravity generated by the cubes mass goes above the resistance factor of an individual cube.

      If we consider 2cmx1cmx1cm pieces, and we consder that they weigh 20g each, we can assume that a cube with hight=width=depth=x we have (x^3)/2 blocks, the mass of which will be : 20*(x^3)/2=10(x^3)g

      If we assimilate the cube to a sphere (not good, I'll agree, but good enough, since we're not going to build one) we can calculate the pressure in the cent
      • Cool.

        I was assuming that the original poster was asking for a cube on the earth's surface.

        However, constructing a planet out of Lego sounds way cooler.

        More than ever we need that space elevator.
      • Actually, I think my results are out by an order of 10x-100x, since a 20g cube would give a density of 1000kg.m^(-3), so the results would need to be jacked up a notch

    • by Devil Ducky ( 48672 ) <> on Thursday January 29, 2004 @10:36AM (#8123283) Homepage
      More importantly:

      Can God create a Lego Brick so large that He Himself can not build ith it?

      Would it collapse under it's own weight? Probably.
      • Re:Does anyone know? (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        More importantly:
        Can God create a Lego Brick so large that He Himself can not build ith it?

        Yes. And he can build with it anyways.

        Logically impossible, true... but the concept of an absolutely omnipotent person is logically impossible as well.

        All disproofs of the existence of God cannot amount to anything more than a disproof of the existence of a god that is somehow limited by logic, and likewise all proofs of the existence cannot amount to anything more than a proof of the existence of a god th

    • A very interesting question..

      Another interesting question: Who cares? :)

      geeky stuff.. offensive stuff! []
  • Strange... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gudlyf ( 544445 ) <(moc.ketsilaer) (ta) (fyldug)> on Thursday January 29, 2004 @09:41AM (#8122904) Homepage Journal
    ...when LEGO had laid offs recently [].
    • they hired a couple builders who are well known not to make all that much money. So they laid off all these other people and hired back a couple at crap wages...

      So... These people will spend hours and hours of work making millions upon millions of dollars for LEGO while they are repayed in chump change.

      Looks like a good business descision to me.
      • "...making millions upon millions of dollars for LEGO..."

        Er, how's that? Making people aware of Lego? OK, raise your hand if you've never heard of Lego before. I don't think they make a dime for Lego.

    • Reading the article, Lego had it's largest loss ever, primarily do to the cost of the movie tie-in toys.

      They are going back to basics, the building blocks that made them famous, and thus IMHO, getting some master builders, makes sense, since they show off what can be done.

      They can probably pay the yearly salary of a master builder, for what it costs them to have a meeting in hollyweird.
      • Reading the article, Lego had it's largest loss ever, primarily do to the cost of the movie tie-in toys.
        Back to basics seems sensible to me.
        I remember reading something about software design for reusability, componentware, that kind of thing. It made an analogy about Lego, along the lines of "...the old sort, that you could make into more than one thing". Which is, after all, the whole point of Lego, isn't it?
  • Sounds? (Score:5, Funny)

    by AndroidCat ( 229562 ) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @09:41AM (#8122909) Homepage
    When Aaron Sneary first got married, the frequent noises he made playing with Legos annoyed his bride. But gradually, she warmed to the sound, knowing it meant he was having a good time, being creative and mentally returning to his childhood.
    Okay, what does "sounds" mean? Humming, muttering to himself, yoddling, fake farts, what? And at what level? A little talking to yourself is fine, but is it a complete dialog with multiple voices? "Yess, my pressciousss Lego..."

    Should we begin the construction of Lego sanitoria?

    • It's probably the noise of lego pieces clinging on each other. I know... we had lots of Lego's when I was a kid and we would sometimes start building early in the morning, right under my parent's bedroom, only to see them after a short while asking us to wait a little more. And we were not talking to ourselves... :P
      • We called it "scrabbling". In our case it was worse, a wooden floor above the other room!

        And quite often the massive quantities of bricks weren't sorted, so one would trawl through a vast box looking for the right colour of "one-erd".

        I should try steal some of that lego out of the house sometime. My youngest bro does NOT need the accumulated stockpiles of 5 of us!

        It's not like I can buy decent honest-to-goodness bricks anymore! Well... more correct to say the range was much better in the past! And better
    • well duh (Score:5, Funny)

      by SubtleNuance ( 184325 ) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @12:18PM (#8124234) Journal
      Oh poor Aaron, same fate as poor poor Zak. The Maniac.
    • Singing "Shiny Happy People" and seven other songs over and over, perhaps?
    • You must have not played with very many LEGO, as if you did, you would not exactly what sound she is referring to.
      • I'm quite used to the sound Lego makes. She said the sound he made. Well, just so long as he doesn't say "Oh Lego yes!" at night, I guess.
  • I've always liked this guy's lego creations:

    Eric Harshbarger's LEGO(R) Website []

  • by corebreech ( 469871 ) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @09:42AM (#8122918) Journal
    I mean, c'mon, that's half the difficulty in building these things.
  • Lego Bible (Score:5, Informative)

    by mr.henry ( 618818 ) * on Thursday January 29, 2004 @09:44AM (#8122930) Journal
    This site [] always cracks me up.
  • This "news" had already been pointed out by Kris [] pointed out in this post [] in the recent Han Solo in Lego Carbonite [] story.

    Are we now going to see a flood of other posts from older stories reposted to the front page as "news"?

    I know I'm going to get flamed to hell and back for this, but do any of the editors read the site or research the articles that they are about to post at all?

    We've had this, the domain naming patent dupe, the BBC buying Google News keywords story (which had a completely inaccurate sto
  • LEGOd (Score:2, Funny)

    by TheVidiot ( 549995 )

    Could God lose a needed piece of Lego so badly that even He could not find it?

  • Kudos? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 29, 2004 @09:52AM (#8122980)
    I wonder what the Duplo Master Builders think of all this Lego media bias.
  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @09:53AM (#8122985)
    Hacking your favorite computer into a Lego (TM) case, such as this Apple Powerbook [] should be the real test of a master builder.
  • Hard (Score:2, Interesting)

    THe idea of lego's is simple. Even building large, cool things, is easy on paper. I have to give it to these guys... after my "object" grows above about 1' in size, I have to use elmers glue to keep it from crumbling on me.
    • Re:Hard (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      after my "object" grows above about 1' in size, I have to use elmers glue to keep it from crumbling on me.

      I've seen them put their creations together, and they also use glue to keep it all together.
    • That some of the really large constructs use a steel inner skeleton for support...
  • Is there any pictures of the 3 winning entries? Shall be nice & interesting to see. :)
  • by Crypto Gnome ( 651401 ) on Thursday January 29, 2004 @10:03AM (#8123043) Homepage Journal
    Ok, so three new masters.

    And who are the apprentices?

    Always two there are, master and apprentice.
    • Always two there are, master and apprentice.

      We were speculating how the Sith kept to the One Master One Apprentice thing for 1000 years. that sort of discipline just does not seem to fit the average Dark Sider. Then we realised that Darth Bane (the guy who started system) had probably patented the Sith and had a firm of Darkside Lawyers to sue the crap out of any unlicensed Sith running round.

  • I skipped to here from the second posting down. Maybe we can get Lego to create Boson and Fermion Legos. If there was one to match each subatomic particle, would it help us understand how they all work together? And more important, what colors would they be?
  • Everyone's a winner!

    Now take out your circles of paper.
  • by martin ( 1336 ) <maxsec@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday January 29, 2004 @10:19AM (#8123133) Journal
    The who was the source of the original story has the following pics [] of the finals
  • The clatter and clacking sound of Legos..."

    Call yourselves geeks? Pah, poncy wannabes :)

    <grammar nazi>FFS, the plural is Lego!</grammar nazi>


    cLive ;-)

  • *I gould build my self a posh little pad with all the trimmings. An indoor pool, filled with "lego-effect" water. Legoized plants, and pets. Ohh and don't forget the food too.* Man, I need to get rid of my legos now. -_-
  • Here are pics (courtesy of /.'s fav candidate, Jamie) of the three winning entries:

    Aaron Sneary []
    Kristi Klein []
    Nathan Sawaya []

    P.S. (Nathan Sawaya's creations have been featured on Slashdot before [].)
  • It's nice to see expertise in something totally frivolous like building things out of Legos being rewarded.

  • By the way. . . (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mythfit ( 720660 )
    Kristi Klein's creation is currently on display at the Art Institute of Los Angeles. The pictures don't really do it justice, its smaller then you might think, but quite elegant.
  • $13 an hour? That level pay in that part of California qualifies this job for submission to Fuck That Job! [].
  • See the results: brickfilms []
  • I wonder how much collaboration really occurs? The article talks about how having three now lets them build a team, but I wonder if that means a team that collaborates and really works on projects together, or a team that divides up the tasks, and then it all comes together after everyone has done their part.

    I imagine the builders generally build by themselves, so I wonder how a team-build would work . . .

Some people carve careers, others chisel them.