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Salvador Dali's elephants get the steampunk Lego treatment

Korean Lego artist Jin Kei looked at Salvador Dali's surrealist masterpiece "The Elephants" and imagined it in plastic brick form. Then, he went even further, and translated it through the lens of steampunk. The result is an embodiment of the toothpick-legged elephant from the painting, except it is full of complex gears and mechanical joints that capture both aesthetics perfectly.

The most prominent feature of Dali's work is the elephants' impossibly tiny legs that look more like an insect's than a pachyderm's. The Lego version re-creates these, but with what look like hydraulic joints. The fun really starts when you dive into the details of the build, from the hatch wheel on the elephant's side to the oil-derrick-like top piece.… Read more

Lego robot sets new Rubik's Cube world record

Solving a Rubik's Cube is no easy feat, especially in less than 5 seconds, but that's exactly what Lego Mindstorms robot CubeStormer 3 did this week, with seconds to spare. The CubeStormer 3 impressed spectators at Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, England, with its new world record of 3.253 seconds.

Designed by inventors Mike Dobson and David Gilday, the ARM-powered CubeStormer 3 uses a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. The phone analyzes the cube squares using a custom app to calculate the correct number of moves to solve the puzzle. The ARM processors move the Lego Mindstorms EV3 bricks, which execute the motor sequencing. … Read more

The working Lego keyboard of your nerdy dreams is here

Back in 2005, Lego tinkerer Jason Allemann attempted to build a prototype of a working keyboard out of Lego using the membrane from a curved Microsoft Natural keyboard. The curves fought back, and the project was never finished. Fast-forward to 2014 and Allemann has taken another stab at it, this time successfully creating a classic flat keyboard using Legos.

For the new project, the membrane came from a discarded generic keyboard found on the side of the road. The resulting keyboard totally works. The Num Lock, Caps Lock, and Scroll Lock LEDs light up and all the keys are functional. The membrane itself sits inside a simple Lego frame.… Read more

Watch this awesome recursive 'Lego Movie,' 'Simpsons' mashup

Love "The Simpsons" and love "The Lego Movie?" Then how can you not love this terrific video, which spoofs both in one simple recursive all-brick mashup?

Made by YouTube filmmaker Monsieur Caron, the video depicts the famous opening title sequence of "The Simpsons," with the whole family dressed as characters from "Lego Movie," complete with Bart as Batman. Then, it shows them watching the famous opening title sequence from "The Simpsons." Only this time, Emmet is playing Homer Simpson, and the family that runs in and sits down on the … Read more

Lego Sandcrawler rolls through 'Star Wars' universe

When I saw "Star Wars" the first time, on opening day in 1977, I had to wait in line for more than an hour to get in. Which meant that by the time I entered the theater -- San Francisco's famous Coronet -- the first thing I saw on screen was the Jawas' Sandcrawler, rolling across the desert sand.

For people who have such memories of that giant transporter, and even those who don't, Lego has something worth getting excited about: a new Lego Sandcrawler set, just the latest in a long and successful partnership between … Read more

Brick bazinga! Bring on 'The Big Bang Theory' Lego

Scientist roommates Leonard and Sheldon, along with their geeky pals Howard, Raj, Bernadette, and neighbor Penny could be sharing their usual witticisms and take-out food in a Lego living room that mimics the set of the hit sitcom "The Big Bang Theory." (Disclosure: The show airs on CBS, CNET's parent company.)

This "Big Bang Theory" set created by Lego Cuusoo users "Alatariel" and "GlenBricker," features minifigs of Howard with NES belt buckle and rocket, Bernadette, Amy, Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, and Raj with his dog Cinnamon.

Plus you can vote for which nerdy T-shirt you'd like Sheldon's minifig to wear. … Read more

Power Brick battery charges phones, clicks with Lego pieces

The trend in external battery packs for charging smartphones and other small devices is to make them smaller and more compact. The Coi+ Power Brick doesn't care about being tiny. It cares about being bumpy -- bumpy enough to offer a base for building Lego creations on top.

The 4,200 mAh power pack comes with four slanted official Lego bricks that can be attached to turn the device into a stand for your phone. Chances are, if you're interested in buying this, you already have a Lego stash of your own to add onto it. You could build a little throne and set your iPhone in it, or turn it into a landing pad for your "Star Wars" Lego ships.… Read more

Ban lifted! It's time for 'Doctor Who' Lego

Grab your bricks and build a Tardis worthy of a Time Lord. Lego Cuusoo, which previously banned fans from submitting ideas based on licensed properties, recently posted in the License Conflicts and Resolutions section of its Web site that there's no longer a conflict with the "Doctor Who" license.

"Sometimes we have to turn down project submissions that refer to specific brands or licensed properties," Lego Cuusoo said. "We do this to avoid getting your hopes up for something we know we aren't able to make. In these cases, we already know the Lego Group can't secure licensing rights to produce construction toys based on a particular brand or property, due to a conflicting interest with a third party. If such a conflict goes away, we'll then be able to accept projects based on a particular brand or license." … Read more

The 404 1,430: Where we flail away with Spotify's Shanon Cook (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Dragnet Seiko wristwatch TV from 1984.

- It doesn't get better: the US has the second slowest 4G on EARTH.

- Google wants to do the end of "The Dark Knight" in real life.

- Follow Spotifier Shanon Cook on Twitter.… Read more

Lego 'Ghostbusters' set officially unveiled

The official "Ghostbusters" Lego set that came to life through Lego Cuusoo was unveiled over the weekend at Toy Fair New York, and will be arriving right in time for the film's 30th anniversary on June 7 this year.

The set will be released sometime in June -- Lego didn't give an exact date -- and features the Ecto-1 ambulance-hearse Cadillac and all four members of the Ghostbusters team with their proton packs.… Read more