Lego Builders Of Tomorrow – Professor Mitch Resnick on creativity

SFFaudio Online Audio

Lego Builders Of Tomorrow“Education and play aren’t that different.” That’s the thesis of this interview |MP3| with MIT Professor Mitch Resnick. Resnick talks about the links between play, creativity, education, learning and life.

You want to see what Lego can teach you about creativity? Check out this terrific video, which employs regular Lego, the weapons of BrickArms (an aftermarket Lego company), and some spectacular sound design to create a street shootout to rival any you’ll see on a movie theatre’s screen.

[Thanks Melvin!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

LAMLradio (a podcast about LEGO)

SFFaudio Online Audio

Me with a simple MOC LEGO race-car:
Jesse with Lego sculpture

A LEGO Classic Space Wafer Fighter:
Lego Classic Space - Wafer Fighter

My students with an afternoon of swooshable LEGO creations:
Jesse's students with an afternoon of LEGO creations

LAMLradio LEGO Talk PodcastLAMLradio is a podcast about LEGO! As you can see by the images above I’m a big LEGO fan. I still have all (or almost all) of my LEGO back from when I was a kid. LEGO is a great toy because it allows you to build your own toys. But it’s more than a toy. In fact when I was talking to a professional artist last fall I was trying to convince him that it was a form of art. I’m not sure what art is, but I am sure that LEGO is a medium for sculpture.

If you’re not convinced check out this interview with one such LEGO artist known for his Maschinen Krieger ZbV 3000 LEGO creations (a style of kitbash art from Japan begun in the 1980s and inspired by WWI, WWII, the American space program, Star Wars, Blade Runner and The Road Warrior).

LAMLradio #103 – An interview with .Tromas of Prince George, BC (about Ma.K LEGO creations) |MP3|

Podcast feed:

Selected LEGO jargon:

Classic Space – LEGO with a space theme produced between 1978 and 1987.

Diorama – A large LEGO scene or a LEGO scene built on an irregular base.

Vignette – A small LEGO scene, usually built on a base 8 studs long by 8 studs wide.

MOC – (an acronym, My Own Creation) – Any LEGO creation designed and built by a LEGO fan without instructions. Pronounced “mock.”

Swooshable – A quality that allows a LEGO creation to be picked up and flown around a room as the builder makes flying noises.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Jake Sampson: Monster Hunter – The Hyborean Gate – in Lego

SFFaudio Online Audio

Inspired by the first Jake Sampson serial and the recent fan art posted to the Jake Sampson blog, I’ve constructed my own Jake Sampson: Monster Hunter playset out of Lego!

BrokenSea Audio Productions: Jake Sampson: Monster HunterJake Sampson: Monster Hunter – The Hyborean Gate
By Paul Mannering and Mark Kalita; Perfomed by a full cast
5 MP3s – Approx. 62 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Podcaster: BrokenSea Audio Productions
Podcast: September 2007
Jake Sampson is called to Cross Plains, Texas by a small-time writer to investigate the appearance of a ferocious creature from a world believed to be fictitious.

Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3| Part 3 |MP3| Part 4 |MP3| Part 5 |MP3|

Podcast feed:

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Although it hasn’t been specified in the show so far I imagine that Jake Sampson purchased a prototype of the Grumman Goose. The period is almost exactly right for it, and Sampson is just the sort of wealthy American customer that actually commissioned the Goose’s creation. Based on that, and my enduring affection for this long running adventure series, I’ve been building a Lego version of the Jake Sampson airplane. Here they are: Texas Holdum, Jake Sampson, and Lucy Carter atop a Grumman Goose:

Texas Holdem, Jake Sampson, and Lucy Carter atop a Grumman Goose

And here’s an apocryphal scene from the first serial, The Hyborean Gate. Passionate listeners will of course be aware that the airplane in that story was actually WWI-era biplane and not a Grumman Goose:

The Hyborean Monster rages as Jake and Lucy escape to the Grumman Goose

Jake Sampson and Lucy Carter escape:

Jake Sampson and Lucy Carter escape!

“Wherever there is strange…”:

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein

SFFaudio Review

Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
Themes: Science Fiction / Politics / War / Military / Spaceships

“The historians can’t seem to settle whether to call this one ‘The Third Space War’ (or the fourth), or whether ‘The First Interstellar War’ fits better. We just call it ‘The Bug War.’ Everything up to then and still later were ‘incidents,’ ‘patrols’ or ‘police actions.’ However, you are just as dead if you buy the farm in an ‘incident’ as you are if you buy it in a declared war…”
-excerpt from Starship Troopers

Written fewer than 15 years after the end of World War II, Starship Troopers (originally titled “Starship Soldier” for its first incarnation in Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine’s Oct & Nov issues of 1959) was to have been another of Heinlein’s beloved juvenile novels. Its content and far-reaching exploration of the society made it instead into the classic of hard science fiction it has become.

Starship Troopers won of the Hugo Award for 1959. It is the story of Juan “Johnny” Rico, recent high school graduate and new recruit to the Mobile Infantry, a futuristic paratrooper force which only takes the best. Just as Juan is ready to wash-out in shame, war is declared, and it’s up to Rico and the Roughnecks to mop up a little bug problem. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings inspired hundreds of novels and revitalized modern fantasy storytelling. Similarly, Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers probably influenced more Science Fiction readers than any other novel of the last half of the 20th century. Spawning more imitators than was probably wise and even inspiring a whole sub genre of Science Fiction called “Military SF”. As with The Lord of the Rings the original inspired so many imitators for a good reason. It was a REALLY REALLY GOOD READ! Starship Troopers is spectacular SF. Semper mobilius.

The Recorded Books version.
Read by George Wilson
7 Cassettes – 9.75 hours, UNABRIDGED
Publisher: Recorded Books
Date Published: 1998

Its cover features original commisioned art, the library binding, available for additional cost, is of the durable vinyl clamshell type which makes for attractive and secure storage of tapes. Unlike the Blackstone Audiobooks version, there is very little extra material in the introduction and this is a disappointment. But, in its favor, it does include every word of the text and for that I am very pleased. In comparison to the superb Blackstone Audiobooks narration read by the gifted Lloyd James, George Wilson stacks up quite well, reading with obvious gusto. But if you were to twist my arm I’d still have to say in this case the Recorded Books edition is the lesser of the two.

The Blackstone Audiobooks version.
Read by Lloyd James
7 Cassettes – 9.75 hours, UNABRIDGED

Like all of Blackstone’s productions this one comes in a library style clamshell binding, which makes for attractive and secure storage of tapes. Its cover features the handsome art from 1987 ACE paperback release (the signature cover). And this superb production includes every single word in the book, including the teaser back cover, something I regard as akin to a necessary extra.

Lloyd James is terrific as the narrator, able to infuse his voice with the wide-eyed innocence of Rico and gruffness of Sgt. Zim. James’ is a voice you can count on, and this is an absolutely fabulous audiobook, and to my ears, the definitive version. So come on you apes pop a tape in and get listnin’.

Posted by Jesse Willis


Starship Troopers #LEGOized by me

LEGO Starship Troopers