Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Sorry this is not about Lego, but this is too important a time to pass up saying this!
Though I agree that we need to start thinking about what kind of alternative forms of power we are going to use not just in Japan, but worldwide. I don`t think now is the time to debate this in Japan. We need to deal with first things first, which is getting the people up north houses and safe, and fixing the reactors or burying them if that is what is needed.
Most importantly we need to stay positive that we can get all of the above done in a timely manner. It is still winter up north and will be cold for a few months more.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
by: Dave Rogers
He's hairy, hot-headed and handy with a bowcaster. Kids love him because he's like a big teddy bear. Grown-ups value his loyalty and battle savvy. There's no one like Chewbacca, the beloved Wookiee of Star Wars™ fame.
Thousands of kids recently submitted questions to the "walking carpet" in anticipation of his debut in the one-hour season finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars™. Chewie took some time from his duties to answer some of the most popular questions in this Yahoo! premiere video:
Saturday, March 26, 2011
the biggest disaster in Japanese history continues and we need your help!
Imagine America losing her west coast. This is essentially what has happened for a much smaller and less populous nation. This disaster
is unprecedented in Japanese history.
The Latest News from Japan
Monday, March 21, 2011
“If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you.
If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you.
Whatever good things we build end up building us.”
- By Jim Rohn (American Business and Motivational Coach)
by Cheema Beckham
Lego gives you the opportunity to set new and demanding goals. Lego also offers innovative and novel ways to set these goals and achieve them in due course of time. Read More
by Cheema Beckham
One of the most evil and malicious, yet most adored items in the Star Wars movies was the artificial moon - Death Star. The Death Star was the ultimate weapon for the absolute destruction of the enemy. Read More
Sunday, March 20, 2011
by Dr. Dorene Lehavi
Many of my clients are working harder than smarter. This is not a put-down of their intelligence. It is a statement about the conventions of the way most of us live and work. Without a concerted effort to step back and take an objective look at how we function day in and day out, we find ourselves subject to old ways of doing things without periodic checkups to see if they are working.
The first step to changing the high stress road to burnout approach to your work day is to build in “joy breaks” or mini refreshers. It is not true that you get more done if you don't stop for lunch or other refreshing breaks during the day. On the contrary, I always remember the days I sat at my desk searching for a solution to a particular problem. I tried very hard to come up with the answer and was not successful.
www Lego Com -- Plan your Breaks
In the afternoon of the second day, I threw my hands in the air, exasperated, and went out to pull a few weeds from my garden. That's when the light bulb went off and I had the answer.
In order to have meaningful joy breaks a plan is necessary. Start by making a list of things you consider fun and refreshing that can be done in 5 or 10 minutes, a half hour, an hour or more. Then list the supplies you will need to have on hand when you want to do that activity: magazines, puzzles, a musical instrument, books, CD's, running shoes, Legos, phone numbers of friends or family, gardening gloves, crayons, paints, jelly beans, yoga instructions, a basketball, a movie schedule, etc. Make sure that your breaks have NOTHING to do with your work.
www Lego Com -- breaks help us to think!
You will experience even more benefits than feeling refreshed. You will start thinking out of the box, be more creative, productive, and make better decisions. You will also notice that there are more facets to your personality than are reflected in your work. You may remember old interests you forgot about or discover new talents you would like to develop. Your joy breaks will bring more joy to your daily life and make you a more pleasant person to be around.
At some point you may want to take a closer look and examine in greater depth how you are spending not only your work life, but your whole life. Are you actually doing what you are supposed to be doing in the world? We will take a deeper look into that in the future.
Master your next level and enjoy the journey.
www Lego Com Author
Dorene Lehavi, Ph.D. is principal of Next Level Business and Professional Coaching. She coaches Professionals and Business Partners and teaches teleclasses on techniques to break through barriers to the next level. Dr. Lehavi offers a complimentary coaching session so you can experience how coaching can work for you. Contact Dr. Lehavi at DL@CoachingforYourNextLevel.com or on the web at http://www.CoachingforYourNextLevel.com
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
On Legoland Windsor:
I have visited Legoland many times over many years, as well as having made and heard suggestions from many, many families over the years. It has given me a set of “rules” that have become invaluable in attacking and surviving a day out at Legoland in Windsor.
There really can be nothing worse than planning a trip to Legoland and to turn up just after the park is open at 10am. This is the first fatal move. You will end up queuing almost as soon as you get off the M4 motorway (see Getting To Us for directions). This inevitably means you get to the Legoland park some time after 10am, more likely nearer 11am, then queue into the parking area, queue to get tickets, queue to get through the ticket barrier, queue to get on the train down the hill and then you continue your day with a bit more queuing on all the rides. Lovely!
I think you can all see the picture I'm painting here. I will just add that this is normally only this bad on peak days in summer, at weekends and during the school holidays, but it can happen at any day to a greater or lesser degree depending upon the weather – it suddenly turns hot and sunny, everyone decides to go to Legoland – or there’s a special offer on you didn't know about – all the locals with their Legoland annual passes turn out for the day.
Legoland Windsor - What to do?
So how do you start off on the right foot?
The most important thing to remember is that the Legoland park opens at 10am, and by park I don’t mean the parking, the pay points, the Lego shop or the hill top restaurant!
Yep you guessed it, this is all open earlier, at 9.30am. This is when you should be rolling up to the parking area. From the previous scenario you are already 1 hour ahead of those less fortunate who are about to get stuck in the traffic queues off the M4!
Legoland Windsor - Have a Plan
So you’ve arrived and parked up, its about 9.40am and you’ve unpacked the kids and are wandering off to the ticket booths, but of course if you’ve planned ahead – which you should have because you’re reading this for a start – and have bought your Legoland tickets online (normally a slight discount) or bought them from Langton House with your accommodation and got the 2 day passes …. You can pass straight into the Beginning, get your bearings, form The Plan of attack, and try and keep the children away from the shop! Try and get some stickers for the kids, these have your mobile phone number on them in case they (or you) get separated. Check out the Model Makers Workshop and Hall of Fame – some amazing Lego models, a near life size 747 cockpit, the Lego Crown Jewels amongst many other exhibits. Alternatively, just get a coffee at the Pitstop Café. There is plenty to do here for ½ an hour to chill out and relax before you hit Legoland proper. The Plan will help you get an idea of where to head first, which rides your children want as well as those with height restrictions and the times of the shows throughout the day.
Legoland Windsor - To train or not to train?
It is getting towards 10am, head down to the Hill Train. Now it may not be worth getting on the train, particularly if there is already a queue, after all, the purpose of this guide is to cut down the queuing, so why would you want to start the day in one! Just wait until they let you past and walk on into the park.
It’s all downhill into the park, but it’s now time to follow The Plan you thought about earlier. The basic rule is to walk to the back of Legoland and work your way forward. Its important to get to the major rides as soon as you can, do them and then you can relax and make the most of the park for the rest of the day.
Legoland Windsor - Which rides are best?
In my opinion the best rides at Legoland in 2006 were the Dragon Ride, Pirate Falls, Jungle Coaster and the Driving School. The one thing you can guarantee is that by midday there will be at least a 45 minute queue for all these rides, so its best to try and tick them all off you list as soon as possible. Of course if your little lovelies are too small or just into something else, then make sure you have it in The Plan.
On the walk down the hill, do not get distracted by the show at the Harbour area or the model village, these will be your saving grace later in the day. When you’ve done the rides that are important to you, or the queues have built up, this is the time to start doing all the many other things that are on offer in Legoland.
Legoland Windsor - Avoiding the Line ups
There are so many things that you can do that will not involve much, if any, queuing at all, for instance:-
1. The Harbour show is always fun for adults and children.
2. The Rat Trap – an adventure playground.
3. The Amazing Mazes -yep, its a maze, but done in a Legoland theme.
4. Enchanted Forest – good for a slow quiet wander, full of Lego animals.
5. Mini Land – do not underestimate this, it's brilliant. I thought it was going to be the most boring bit of Legoland, but for adults and children, its often the most interesting. Loads of moving boats, cars and trains moving all around a superb model village made of lego bricks. Constantly being updated every year with more and more buildings.
6. Water Works – get the swimming costumes on and let them run in and out of the water jets, great fun and us adults get to sit and watch the mayhem! Take sun tan lotion in summer and swimming costumes.
7. Model Makers Workshop - If you didn't do it earlier then here's your chance. Probably more interesting than you think, I shall say no more!
8. Imagination Theatre - Usually a show of some sort, again good entertainment and a chance to sit down!
9. Discovery Zone - A chance to play, build and learn with Lego.
10. Duplo Play Area - A fun area with slides and climbing frames, and seats for us adults! Aimed more towards the younger children.
Legoland Windsor - Important things to Remember
The following is a list of some of the important things to remember to do and things to bring to help make your day at Legoland as fun and painless as possible.
Legoland Windsor - Checklist
1. Legoland Windsor Map – check your children’s height before you set off, and make sure of the rides they are able to get on.
2. Tickets – pre-book if possible. We at Langton House are selling tickets as part of our accommodation - see conditions.
3. Food – Sandwiches, drinks and snacks. It is expensive in the park, but there is plenty of room to sit out on the grass and have a picnic, although I have found the food sold in Legoland to be generally very good quality.
4. Show times – Find out the times of the various shows and plan your afternoon around these.
5. Swimming suits – The Water Works is fantastic fun in the hot weather but expect the children to get absolutely drenched!
6. Sun screen - don't get burnt in the sun, even England gets hot in the summer.
7. Double check that the park is open! It has varied opening times and dates. Don't make the mistake of turning up to find its closed.
Legoland Windsor - In Summary
I really think Legoland is a brilliant park for the younger children. After about 11 or so it becomes progressively less interesting and for young teenagers I think other parks like Thorpe Park are better suited. Children under 3 can also find it a bit restrictive, but then again they are free to get in! But don’t let this put you off in any way. Legoland was built as a safe and fun place for the kids to explore. Enjoy your day, don’t expect to get it all done, it now really takes a good day and a half to cover it all. Think about staying in Windsor (at Langton House of course!) and looking around Windsor and using a two day Legoland pass. This way you really will be able to get to the park early with allot less stress and less stress = more fun! The main problem and perhaps the only real criticism with Legoland is that if you are a lone parent and you want to take 2 children, it becomes very difficult unless one or both are old enough to be left on their own, as so many of the rides are based on a parent and child combination.
Above all, remember this guide is only here to aid you.
If nothing else, get there early!
If anyone has any comments, suggestions or updates, please let me know, so that I can pass on good and accurate advice to others.
Lego Facts:- There are 52 Lego bricks for each person on Earth Children spend five billion hours a year playing with Lego bricks If all Lego sets sold in the last 10 years were placed end to end they could reach from London to Perth in Australia A Lego brick is measured to the 2/1000th of a millimetre Source: Lego
If I’ve got anything wrong, let me know and don’t sue me!
Paul Fogg Proprietor at Langton House and survivor of over 35 trips to Legoland!
Legoland was sold in late 2005 to a major entertainments group - this can only be good as we can look forward to much more investment over the coming years. There is expected to be an investment of over £7 million in late 2006 in preparation for the 2007 season. This should be mainly on a brand new ride even larger than the Jungle Coaster. 2006 sees 4 major changes in the park:- Digger Challenge Spellbreaker 4D movie New Johnny Thunder adventure show Miniland London skyline
Please note that the park is really aiming at children from 3 to 12 years old, and even then the extremes in this age range will not get the most out of the park.
Paul Fogg is the Proprietor of Langton House bed and breakast in Windsor England. www.langtonhouse.co.uk
Legoland Windsor Author
Paul Fogg has been running the Langton House bed and breakfast since 1996.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Lego`s Laws for Life
Just about everybody owns or has owned a bucket of Legos in their time. There’s no denying the fun they provide for a child or even for an adult, which is why, many Lego collections are passed down from one generation to the next. These brightly colored blocks of joy serve to challenge our creativity and our imaginations. They act as an empowering influence on our lives in that they almost beckon us to transform them into anything we want or can imagine.
Michelangelo was never short on imagination despite the fact he knew nothing of Lego. On completion of the Pietà [one of his greatest works of art] he was heard to have said, “The work of art was always in the block of marble. My job,” he went on, “was to chip away at the unneeded bits of stone to reveal the creativity and beauty within.”
It’s not a stretch to believe that if Michelangelo were alive today, he’d no doubt see similarities in a simple box of Legos. He may have pointed out; the art is always in the bricks… the challenge is to assemble them to reveal a thing of beauty.
How true - but where’s the relevance?
Lego Website - Lego Law #1: With Legos, There are No Restrictions!
Metaphorically speaking, Lego Law #1 in tandem with Michelangelo’s rationale clearly demonstrates a similarity to human beings and the laws that govern life.
Each one of us – without exception – is blessed at birth with creativity and imagination. To be fair, we’re not all blessed equally but there are still no limits on what we can do with the gifts we’ve been given. Although I could wax on about this for days, my point is, humans, like Lego, possess the fundamental building blocks to accomplish almost anything we want or can envision. And from Michelangelo’s perspective, the beauty [we all have the power to create] is already within us. We just have to chip away at life to find it.
Lego Website - Lego Law #2: Legos need Sunlight!
No imagination, beauty or creative works of art will ever come to fruition if the Lego collection is under a bed or in the back of a darkened closet. That is to say, to create great works of Lego art, one must liberate them from the dark to the light so that then – and only then – steps can be taken to build structure from inspiration and imagination.
How sad it is that most people go through life keeping their creative building blocks in the darkness of their mind. Henry David Thoreau noted, “Most people live lives of quiet desperation.” Like hidden Legos waiting for new creative opportunities, human beings innately posses the fundamental building blocks for improvement that sit patiently for new marching orders to express themselves.
Lego Website - Lego Law #3: Don’t be Afraid to Tear Down and Start Again!
Parents are often taken aback to see children destroy a Lego creation they worked hours on to complete. Psychologists are quick to remind parents, the act of destruction is both developmental and healthy. In the end, children learn better and more innovative ways to construct their ‘Lego-ations’.
Not surprisingly, the most successful men and women from all walks of life will attest to the fact that success of any kind results from the act of teardown and rebuild. The psychological motivation for this is not rooted in ongoing feelings of dissatisfaction or lack of accomplishment but rather a positive belief in the vital need to improve through renewal.
On the other hand, whether it’s Legos or Life, a complete teardown and rebuild is not always essential. In Legos, the addition of two imaginary jet engines may be all that’s necessary to turn a plane into a JET – and the same is also true for life strategies. Sometimes a fine-tune is all that’s required. The trick is, recognize it and don’t be afraid!
Lego Law #4: Lego Art Becomes an Immediate Target!
Don’t ever expect your childhood siblings to share in your Lego vision. The fact is; little brothers and sisters are always ready to help you expedite the Lego Law #3 ritual - especially the ‘Teardown’ phase. Experienced Legoists learn quickly to protect their creations to ensure they continue to reap the rewards of their hard work.
So too in the laws of life! Those who toil upward attract uninvited scrutiny on all they do as a result of their undaunted dedication to success. To dare to stand apart from the crowd, to embark on an uncharted course, to risk everything by tearing down to rebuild – opens one up to green-eyed interpretation and not so unexceptional ridicule.
For the true Legoist, it is risk that fuels the fires that create the new and improved work of art. For high-achievers, risk fans the flames of passion, which, in the end, is what separates them from those who are destined to sit, uncomfortably, on the sidelines – having already put away their proverbial Legos!
About The Author
Paul Shearstone aka The ‘Pragmatic Persuasionist’ is one of North America’s foremost experts on Sales and Persuasion. An International Keynote Speaker, Author, Writer, Motivation, Corporate Ethics, / Time & Stress Management Specialist, Paul enlightens and challenges audiences as he informs, motivates and entertains.
To comment on this article or to book the Pragmatic Persuasionist for your next successful event we invite to contact Paul Shearstone directly @ 416-728-5556 or 1-866-855-4590 www.success150.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
The Ever Popular Lego Train Toy Building Sets
By: Bronnie Vaughn
Bring up the word “Lego” to adults and they will start to think back to the childhood days spent at home building youthful masterpieces made out of plastic Lego building bricks. This is a proof that Lego has been a part of many peoples childhood years going back to the colorful plastic interlocking bricks were patented in 1958. From houses to vehicles, to shops and train sets, Lego has had them all in its ranks. Even the newer generations of children have developed a fascination with Legos. Although they cannot compete with Lego Star Wars on gaming systems such as Playstation 3 and Xbox, Lego toy trains remain to be in the list of “toys to buy” during holidays and special occasions. Of course, it has helped that Lego has partnered with companies that have allowed popular franchises to be given the Lego transformation. What’s astonishing is that even with the emergence of new Lego sets, the classic Lego train sets remain a favorite. It might even be surprising that trains sets are particularly very popular to grownups that consider themselves train enthusiasts. Building trains out of Lego pieces has proved to be a fun pastime activity to alleviate stress, and of course, bring out the inner kid in every adult.
It’s quite amazing that Lego has endured the changing times highlighted by the onslaught of high tech toy products. Customer loyalty has played a big part in Lego’s survival, but more than that, it’s the continuous reinventing that has made Lego stand firm, even when faced with fierce competition. Take the case of Lego train sets and train station sets. The early models were introduced in the late 60’s and ever since then, the trains have undertaken various makeovers to keep up with the times. This means that the newest models you see today are products that have had some inspiration from the older models of yesterday. Train enthusiasts will even go so far as to create their very own train models using Lego building bricks to build them. If you see Lego train models being displayed in exhibits or trade shows, don’t expect to see them, as such, in the toy sections of your favorite toy store. Lego aficionados utilizing advanced Lego construction techniques most probably made them. Having said that, anyone can make his or her own train set from scratch. The important thing to remember is to start from the basics. People who were inspired by the classic models of station trains made the awe-inspiring Lego train sets you see on public display.
Lego may be selling pre-designed train sets but what hardly any people know is that through Lego Digital Designer and Lego Factory, they can design there own trains. It’s a simple process that can have amazing results. The trick is to know the fundamental laws of Lego construction. Add a little creativity and inspiration and you’re off. Of course, having plenty of patience and enthusiasm will go a long way. It takes a great deal of skill to build complex train sets, but with a lot of practice, you can find yourself getting very good at building even the most sophisticated train layout.
As an added bonus, and what’s really cool, is that using Lego toy building sets can be a great bonding activity between kids and their parents!
About the Author
Originally from Texas, I now live in the mountains of Arizona. I have 2 online stores the 1st of which is http://bikertshirtsandtanks.com which sells a complete line of Harley Davidson and other biker apparel. The 2nd store is http://toybuildingbricks.com and offers all Lego toy building sets.
Toy Trucks As Educational Toys - Wooden Toy Trucks Versus Lego Toy Trucks
By Tracy Roth-Rotsas
Although wooden toy trucks have been a prized possession of children for decades, there is no doubt that the innovation and excitement involved with building your own truck with Lego construction blocks is unparalleled.
Learning though play is one of the most popular forms of educating children during their early years. However, the quality of knowledge and a child's development are very much dependent on whether the toys with which they play are educational toys or not. As a parent, one of the most important responsibilities is therefore, to provide suitable educational toys to your children in order to encourage and enhance their learning and development.
In terms of educational value, Lego is widely-renowned as being an educational toy forerunner in international stakes for children aged three and up. Whereas wooden toy trucks have fixed dimensions and capabilities, the variation of each Lego toy truck remains limited only by the imagination, creativity, and skill of the child building it.
Every child has a unique perception of what an ideal truck looks like in his or her mind based on seeing cars and trucks on a daily basis. Because of this, a child can relate to them, learn their movements, construction, and capabilities through building replicas or variations of them.
Through observation, parents can get an idea as to how their child's motor skills are developing and on an interactive level, are able to participate in the building of a Lego toy truck with their child, which fosters good child-parent relationships.
Lego blocks are designed to develop young starters' minds while stretching their imagination and cultivating their ability for creativity. Not only do we as parents believe that, we remember it, having built our own toy trucks from Lego as children all those years ago, with little thought for any wooden toy trucks that may have been in the vicinity.
Toy Guru is Australia's number 1 online toy store stocking a huge range of educational toys including Lego. Toyguru.com.au is the only Australian online toy store to give you the chance to earn free delivery based on the number of toys you buy. Each toy is allocated shipping points and when you accrue 100 points, your toy delivery is free! To see the full range of toys including Lego and other educational toys available to buy online at Toy Guru, visit http://www.toyguru.com.au/.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
About the Author
Chris is an avid Star Wars fan. You can find more information on the different Lego Star Wars sets and characters at Lego Star Wars and remember, may the force be with you!
For the Star Wars and/or Lego fanatic in all of us, Lego brought a new era of enjoyment when they agreed to a license with Lucasfilms, enabling them to produce a unique Star Wars line of Lego toys. The Lego Star Wars series has been available since 1999 and has been continually expanded upon. It was introduced with characters and vehicles from the original Star Wars trilogy (Episodes IV-VI). Since then there have been new sets and releases that encompass the prequel trilogy (Episodes I-III) and even the latest Clone Wars animated film and TV series.
All of the mainstays of the Star Wars franchise are available in Lego form. The characters, for the most part, maintain the typical Lego figure. That means that they have a square body with a block shaped head, with just slight variations such as colors and accessories like capes or hats/helmets. However, due to the wide discrepancy between the shapes and sizes of many of the Star Wars characters, unique and original molds were created for the Lego Star Wars line. Darth Vader for example, has his own easily recognizable head and head shape, as do the Stormtroopers, Yoda and many other aliens and characters. Yes, the lightsabers are available with some figures as well!
Outside of the characters, Lego Star Wars also produces all of the recognizable and famous ships and vehicles from the franchise. This includes the ultra-popular Millennium Falcon, which has been tweaked and improved upon since its original release. Also available of course is the X-Wing fighter. Other available vehicles and ships include the Imperial AT-ST, TIE fighters, a Rebel Blcckade Runner (the starship you see being chased by the Imperial Star Destroyer in the opening scene of the original movie) and several speeder crafts. There are also location sets including the Death Star, the Hoth Rebel base and more.
In addition to these characters and vehicles, Lego has released a vast array of Star Wars products, including several additions to their Technic line, which is based on complex parts and movement and are less reminiscent the classic block look, feel and construction of Lego figures. Also released was a mini figure magnet series with a dozen Star Wars characters. Additionally, Lego released several Star Wars products for their Ultimate Collector Series, which are large and highly complex designs. The Millennium Falcon for this series, with over 5,000 pieces, was the largest and most complex Lego product ever released for the public.
The single most popular Lego Star Wars product however would have to be the videogame series. These videogames sold tremendously well and reached critical acclaim across both the Star Wars and videogame community. The first game was based on the prequel trilogy, and the second game was based on the original trilogy. Afterwards, both were released together in one complete addition.
Lego Star Wars toys, figures and products are fun for just about everybody. Whether you are an adult reliving his childhood, or a child discovering the series for the first time, Lego Star Wars combines the best of two great franchises into an amazing line of products that should give you hours upon hours of entertainment.
Lego Star Wars Guys Chris - About the Author:
Chris is an avid Star Wars fan. You can find more information on the different Lego Star Wars sets and characters at Lego Star Wars and remember, may the force be with you!
Friday, March 4, 2011
by Cheema Beckham
A smile is the key that fits everybody’s heart and a Lego instructions pamphlet is the key to a fun-filled Lego treasure. I know how disturbing it can be when you have something but you do not know how to use it. Read More
by Cheema Beckham
Architecture is one of the most loved occupations by parents and many a time, by children as well. Parents fantasize about their children as famous architects, and children dream to be one themselves. Read More