Curiosity asks, “Why?” and imagines explanations or possibilities (if.. then). Playfulness asks what if? and imagines how the ordinary becomes extraordinary, fantasy or fiction. Dreaming it is a first step towards doing it.
Monday, 13 August 2012
Children and hobbyists rejoice – today is Lego’s 80th birthday. As LEGO.com explains, on this day in 1932, Ole Kirk Kristiansen, a master carpenter in Denmark, established a business building stepladders, ironing boards, stools and – this is the important one – wooden toys. His son, Godfred, becomes probably the first Lego-engrossed youngster, joining the family business at the tender age of 12.
The shop was called LEg GOdt, or “play well” in Danish. Later, it would come to light that the phrase also means “I put together” in Latin.
The business started small, manufacturing small wooden toys. World War II kept Godfred home in the shop rather than traveling to Germany for school as he had originally planned. By 1949, the Kristiansens had hired 50 people and released the first LEGO forerunner, the “Automatic Binding Bricks,” sold exclusively in Denmark with four or eight studs, in four different colors.
In 1954 the family registered the word “LEGO” and the first export of the toys began the next year. The LEGO empire expanded, first in Europe, then to the US, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and South America. Legos proved to be a delight to children everywhere, regardless of their background.
In 1979, Godfred is appointed Knight of the Order of Dannebrog for the family creation. In 1995, after climbing from child laborer to global toy empire overseer, Godfred passed away.
The company tries to abide by the original spark that led the Kristiansens to create their wooden ducks and building blocks:
Amidst today’s ipads, video games and electronic toys, the simple Lego holds its own.
Meanwhile, Here’s the Guardian’s behind-the-scenes look at the Lego Olympic coverage, just in time for the birthday celebrations.
And some picture of the biggest structure build with Lego :
Another nice link http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/The-Worlds-Great-Structures-Built-With-Legos.html
Sergeant Stubby was the first war dog used by the United States in World War I. He is noted as being the only dog to be promoted to sergeant through combat. It is unknown exactly when Sergeant Stubby was born, but he was a Pit bull breed. In 1916 or 1917, Stubby showed up at Yale Field in New Haven, Connecticut, while a group of soldiers were training. He made friends with Corporal Robert Conroy and when Conroy was deployed to fight in France, Stubby went along. Once in France, Sergeant Stubby was used for a wide range of military tasks.
He served with the 102nd Infantry in the trenches of France for 18 months. Stubby participated in four offensives and 17 battles. He was able to detect sound and smell from an incredible distance, so Stubby was used to warn soldiers of incoming mustard gas and artillery attacks. On many occasions, he saved the life of multiple men. Stubby was also able to locate and comfort wounded soldiers who were separated from the group and located in no man’s land. On one occasions, he was solely responsible for capturing a German spy in the Argonne.
Sergeant Stubby was the most famous U.S. dog used during World War I. In 1918, his exploits were front page news in every major newspaper in the United States. Stubby was wounded on several occasions during the conflict, but survived. After the war, he was smuggled back to the United States and became a celebrity. Sergeant Stubby marched in parades, met U.S. Presidents, and was named the official mascot of the Georgetown Hoyas’. He was also made a life member of the American Legion, the Red Cross, and the YMCA. In 1926, Stubby died at the age of 9 or 10. His body was stuffed and put on display at The Price of Freedom: Americans at War exhibit at the Smithsonian.
Monday, 6 August 2012
Lord Dunsany, an Irish dramatist, fantasist, and satirist, had his own adaptation of the story called “The True Story of the Hare and the Tortoise,” published in his Fifty-One Tales in 1915. In it, the hare is at the outset very unwilling to race while it is the tortoise who exhibits all of the confidence in victory. The hare only agrees to do it because all the other animals are on the verge of starting a war over the question of which is faster. Midway though the race, the hare, with an enormous lead, decides the contest is pointless and quits, allowing the tortoise to win.
When the other animals determine the tortoise to be the champion, it is only to their downfall as they later send him to retrieve help for a forest fire in the belief that he’s the fastest animal. This interpretation, while keeping the outcome the same, reverses the two roles. The hare now appears as the more dignified figure as he refuses to plainly defeat a vastly inferior opponent, and it seems as though he falls asleep out of pure disinterest as opposed to stupidity. The other animals thus become the oblivious and unwise ones, to their unfortunate demise.
Wow...an alternate version that very nice....
Saturday, 28 July 2012
Friday, 27 July 2012
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) -- Japan produced a major shock in men's Olympic football on Thursday, beating medal favorites Spain 1-0.
Japan forward Yuki Otsu broke away from his marker during a corner in the 34th minute and the ball landed right at his feet for a simple tap-in past Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea.
Spain started the match brightly with good build-up play and quick passing in the first 20 minutes, but they couldn't break through a solid Japan defense and didn't have a meaningful shot on goal.
It wasn't only Japan's back line that was troubling the Spaniards. Japan forward Kensuke Nagai caused major problems for them throughout the match, slipping behind defenders with quick runs. Spain center back Inigo Martinez was sent off for a foul while trying to stop Nagai from scoring.
Japan took advantage of the extra man in the second half and the match could have been a rout had the finishing been more accurate. Nagai continued to trouble the defense, shaving the post in the 58th minute.
Spain's under-23 team wants to win Olympic gold to add to the World Cup and European Championship titles held by the country's full national team. The loss is a huge blow for Spain, touted as one of the favorites to win the tournament, but not insurmountable.
Spain's national team lost its first group stage match to Switzerland at the 2010 World Cup and then went on to win the tournament.
Spain's youngsters mimicked the slick passing game the national team is so well known for, pressuring Japan but failing to test the goalkeeper with any dangerous shots. Japan's defenders were also able to strip the ball off Spain's attackers several times in the penalty area as they threatened to shoot.
Japan has been a rising steadily in world football, qualifying for the 2010 World Cup and building a strong youth program. The victory against Spain rates among Japan's greatest.
But coach Takashi Sekizuka was modest when asked if this was the case.
"We looked forward to this match very much, and showing how much we have was the main point," he said. "We are very pleased with the result."