Tag Archives: toys


I’d like to make a comparison. Lego’s new Friends series, the robot workshop:

And “engineer” Barbie:

  • Which is “more sexist”?
  • What skills and perspectives does each of these toys encourage? Go with a venn diagram.
  • If we replaced the pink and purple with orange and green how would you feel about each?
  • Why do kids like some toys instead of others?

High-Pitched Ringtones

This is an old story but there’s a chance you missed it so here I go again: To stop teenage loiterers, Welsh inventor Howard Stapleton invented a device that emits a very high frequency sound that older people simply cannot hear. The tone sounds like a mosquito buzzing in your ear and so was called The Mosquito. For more about the science and the story behind the invention, check out the very good “Wikipedia page”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mosquito on the subject.

Of course no good deed goes unpunished and the teens have struck back by using the same frequencies as alert tones on their mobile phones, thereby avoiding turning their phones off in class. A minor victory, but still an annoyance for teachers I’m sure.

If you feel like trying out the tones for yourself, the best place to download them seems to be “here”:http://www.freemosquitoringtones.org/. You can download a whole range of frequencies and use the highest one you can hear. Be warned though, one day that frequency will fall away and you won’t hear your phone anymore.

Honey Dolls Sex Dolls

There are some strange things out there in the world–furries, aibo robot dog pets–but this is almost too much. “Honey Dolls”:http://www.honeydolls.jp/en/main.html sex dolls have taken the inflatable gag gift and turned it into a highly lifelike, modern sex platform. It’s the male answer to the Rascally Rabbit and from my perspective, wtf? Aren’t there better uses for this engineering talent?

Most people would probably not actually follow link I told you to after a post like this so I’ve decided to reproduce a small portion of the “about section”:http://www.honeydolls.jp/en/about.html here.

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Nathan Sawaya, a former 33-year old attorney, is now a famous LEGO artist. His impressive works were detailed in this “CNN slideshow”:http://www.cnn.com/interactive/entertainment/0705/gallery.lego.art/frameset.exclude.html and is discussed in this “CNN article”:http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/05/31/lego.artist/index.html. From a “giant banana”:http://www.brickartist.com/banana.html to a “_Starry Night_ replica”:http://www.brickartist.com/starry_night.html, his LEGO sculptures and mosaics are nothing short of LEGO-licious. His “official site”:http://www.brickartist.com/ has a lot more to offer, specifically his “huge gallery”:http://www.brickartist.com/allgallery.html. And in case you were wondering, eight same-colored 2X4 LEGO bricks can be arranged in 8,274,075,616,387 configurations, at least that’s what “Wikipedia:LEGO”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LEGO says.

Interested in other unique artistic mediums? Check out what’s happening with “gummy bears”:http://duenos.net/article/221/13lbGummyBear, “JELLO”:http://duenos.net/article/222/JelloSanFrancisco, and “chalk”:http://duenos.net/article/64/chalk-art-by-julian-beever.

Photo is “Lego Untamed”:http://flickr.com/photos/starycat/461380473/ from Flickr user “Starcat”:http://flickr.com/photos/starycat/

Retro Robots Recorded

It’s a miracle how social networking can lead to such wonderful treasures as those killer robot pictures above. I followed a link trail from one of my “Last.fm”:http://last.fm neighbours and somehow ended up at “LeSophie’s Flickr stream”:http://flickr.com/photos/25168809@N00/. The highlight of the stream was this “set”:http://flickr.com/photos/25168809@N00/sets/72157600033291647/ featuring retro robot pictures taken with a digital SLR through an old Kodak Dualflex camera viewfinder. That’s why each of these super-sweet robot pictures lies within that retro-looking frame and has a grain to it.

These pictures are so cool that LeSophie ended up turning them into “greeting cards”:http://lesophie.blogspot.com/2007/03/greetings.html for friends. I’ve never wanted to be someone’s friend so much.

Rubber Duckie, you are the one

“DuckPlanet.com”:http://www.duckplanet.com/ is the number one Rubber Duckie website on the internet and a must-see for the major collectors and the merely curious alike. After perusing the “insanely comprehensive photo collection”:http://www.duckplanet.com/collection_main.html, you may be starting to feel a jonesing for your own rubber duckies. If that’s the case, check out the “duckplanet links”:http://www.duckplanet.com/ducklinks_main.html for a long list of duck suppliers and private collections. Of course if you’re looking for the Paris Hilton-level rubber duckies, try DuckDoos “scented ducks”:http://www.duckdoo.com/. Hmm, mango rubber duckie…

If you do anything at on this site, play the “Duckplanet squeaker game”:http://www.duckplanet.com/squeaker_game_main.html in which you have to guess which rubber toy makes the specific squeak they play for you. Seriously.

Brick Link, the eBay of LEGO

The LEGO-trading hotspot is “http://www.bricklink.com/”:http://www.bricklink.com/ Home (at the time of writing) to 64,918 registered members, this site hooks people up who are looking to trade, buy, sell, or discuss LEGO. Sets, parts, figurines, books, gear, catalogs, instructions, original boxes, or just unsorted lots of pieces. You name it and someone will be willing to trade it on Brick Link.

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Lego computer

So we’re all big nerds right? Well it turns out that some of us are way cooler nerds than others and have managed to combine the childhood obsession with building things, Lego construction, with the more adult version, computer-building. I was hunting around for cool case ideas for a home theatre PC I’m thinking of building when I came across this cool Lego computer case by “Winston Chow”:http://www2.hawaii.edu/~wchow/ at the University of Hawaii.

The build is recounted “here”:http://home.hawaii.rr.com/chowfamily/lego/