Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reformation Sunday

On this day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg. Jojo tells the story of Luther's life in LEGO form.



I've previously noted Jojo's work on this and included more explanation. Happy Reformation Sunday.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Assemblies of God want you ... to build LEGO

I was contacted by Gina Copeland of the Assemblies of God. They are looking to hire someone to create a large interactive LEGO display at a convention in Phoenix, Arizona, next August. If you are interested, please contact her at gcopeland@ampforlife.com for more details.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Arctic Cathedral

The Tromsdalen Kirke is more commonly known as the Arctic Cathedral. Built in 1965 in the extreme north, Tromsø, Norway, this church celebrates the interplay of light, with one end taken up by a huge triangular window surrounding a cross and the other end forming Europe's largest stained glass window. The eleven spires represent the apostles who remained with Jesus after Judas' betrayal. Tobias Reichling built a microscale version of this church.



This microscale creation was part of a huge collaborative display by European LEGO builders. Conceived by Tobias Reichling and Bruno Kurth, five builders constructed a huge (fifteen square meters) LEGO map of Europe and twenty different people contributed forty-four microscale versions of famous European landmarks.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Greeted by angels

Angyalok visznek Őhozzá was built by Orangyal007 in memory of a friend who recently passed away. This translates, roughly, into "angels take you" and shows her being greeted in Heaven by Saint Peter and Jesus.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Genesis

I've been very remiss in covering recent additions to The Brick Testament. Brendan has been systematically going back and rebuilding or adding to stories from Genesis. Personally, I'd like to see him take on some of the material he hasn't already covered, particularly some of the less-narrative sections like the Psalms or the Prophets.



Abram Impregnates a Slave Girl tells the story of Sarai, Hagar and Ishmael. From a LEGO standpoint, I really like the scene above with the clever hammock design, the skateboard ramps forming the tent, the variety of molded and brick-built animals, and the implied action in the distance and around the edges. When the same scene is mirrored three scenes later, the look on Sarai's face is perfect. I've never been a huge fan of the 1x2 tile-as-pregnant-belly solution, but I don't know a better way to imply a pregnant minifig.



God Wants Part of Penis Cut Off tells about the initiation of circumcision. Some humorous scenes here with the looks on the faces of those being circumcised, and also lying down in the background. I'm not a fan of the dagger. I know, I know, it's an official piece from the Prince of Persia line, but it just doesn't look like LEGO to me.



God Drops By for a Meal tells of three strangers who pay a visit to Abram. Those palm trees in the distance are very simple and yet effective when in soft focus. The larger tree close to Abram's tent doesn't work as well when it is in sharp focus here as opposed to the soft focus seen in some of the earlier stories. I'm not sure if I like the molded dog modified to be a calf - I think that Brendan had a better brick-built calf design in the past. Kind of odd but humorous that God isn't facing Abram as he's talking to him while he eats.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Stonehenge

There is no clear picture of the original use of Stonehenge. It certainly wasn't built by the Druids, as it pre-dated them. Constructed in phases spanning more than a millenium between 3000 and 1600 BC in the plains of England by people who left no written records, there is a great deal of debate about why they built it. There are a large number of burial sites in the region, and one theory holds that this was a place for religious rites concerning the dead, possibly a form of ancestor worship. The stones themselves line up with the sun and stars on particular days such as the solstices, and some claim this was more of an early astronomical observatory. Often these ancient cultures placed great significance on these days and/or worshiped the sun, moon and stars as deities, so this alignment may have been used to mark religious festivals. Tobias Reichling made a microscale version of the famous stone circle.



This microscale creation was part of a huge collaborative display by European LEGO builders. Conceived by Tobias Reichling and Bruno Kurth, five builders constructed a huge (fifteen square meters) LEGO map of Europe and twenty different people contributed forty-four microscale versions of famous European landmarks.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten, or Martin of Tours, lived in the Roman Empire during the fourth century, where he served in the cavalry as a young man. In a famous incident, he cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar. Even though he became a pacifist after his conversion and left the military, in later centuries the Frankish kings kept his cloak as a relic that they would bring with them into battle. The priest who carried this relic was called a 'cappellanu', which is the precursor to the word 'chaplain'. Bart Willen illustrated the story of Saint Martin in LEGO form.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hallgrímskirkja

The sixth tallest structure and the largest place of worship in Iceland is the Lutheran church Hallgrímskirkja. Built between 1945 and 1986, it is named for Hallgrímur Pétursson, a poet and pastor known for writing the Passion Hymns. The distinctive sweeping curves of the front tower are meant to reflect shapes found in the volcanic landscape surrounding Reykjavík. Bruno Kurth built this microscale version.



This microscale creation was part of a huge collaborative display by European LEGO builders. Conceived by Tobias Reichling and Bruno Kurth, five builders constructed a huge (fifteen square meters) LEGO map of Europe and twenty different people contributed forty-four microscale versions of famous European landmarks.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Borgund Stave Church

Stave churches were once common in northern Europe, particularly in Norway. These wooden churches were characterized by walls made of vertical boards and they tended to have steep roofs, often rising in multiple layers. One of the most famous remaining stave churches stands in Borgund, Norway. It was built around 1180 and dedicated to the Apostle Andrew. Ina Nilsson built this microscale version.



This microscale creation was part of a huge collaborative display by European LEGO builders. Conceived by Tobias Reichling and Bruno Kurth, five builders constructed a huge (fifteen square meters) LEGO map of Europe and twenty different people contributed forty-four microscale versions of famous European landmarks.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Abu Simbel

The Great Temple at Abu Simbel in southern Egypt was built by Ramesses II in the 13th century BC. It was dedicated to Amun Ra, Ra-Horakhty and Ptah, the three most important gods of the time, and also to Ramesses himself, celebrated as a god. The nearby Small Temple is dedicated to the goddess Hathor and Ramesses' queen Nefertari. The Great Temple was constructed in such a way that on two days, thought to be the dates of Ramesses birth and coronation, sunlight would shine through the entrance to the innermost chamber, where it would illuminate the statues of Amun Ra, Ra-Horakhty and Ramesses. The statue of Ptah always stayed in darkness as he was god of the underworld. Jumping forward three thousand years, the temples were completely excavated and moved during the 1960s to protect them from inundation as the waters of Lake Nasser rose behind the Aswan Dam.



Jonathan Gilbert built this microscale version of the Great Temple as an entry in the ancients category of the Mini Castle Contest over on Classic-Castle.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Parthenon

Overlooking modern Athens, the Parthenon is a reminder of days long gone. This icon of ancient Greece was a temple to the goddess Athena, patron of the city. It was built between 447 and 438 BC and housed a huge statue of Athena, though this wasn't really the site of sacrifices or other religious rites. In subsequent eras this was repurposed as a Christian church and a Muslim mosque. Torsten Scheer and Bruno Kurth built this microscale version.



This microscale creation was part of a huge collaborative display by European LEGO builders. Conceived by Tobias Reichling and Bruno Kurth, five builders constructed a huge (fifteen square meters) LEGO map of Europe and twenty different people contributed forty-four microscale versions of famous European landmarks.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Welcome back, Nathan

In 1974, Spencer Kimball, prophet of the LDS church, called for young men to take up a mission to spread the word of Christ and the continuing revelation of the Book of Mormon. Today, over 50,000 young men and women are in the field each year for their two-year mission. Among them was AFOL and my fellow blogger over on MinilandBricks, Nathan Cunningham, who recently returned from his mission. A while ago, Bruce Lowell made this missionary, which seemed an appropriate model to put here. Missionaries travel in pairs, but Bruce only had one of those minifig torsos.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Floating Torii

Along the same lines as the previous post, Matija Grguric just posted a great recreation of the Miyajima Torii, one of the most famous sights in Japan. At one point the entire island of Itsukushima was considered holy, and common people could not set foot on the ground there. A shrine to the daughters of the Shinto god of the sea and storms, Susanoo, stands on piers out over the water. The shrine would be approached by boat, and adherents would sail through the gate sitting out in the bay.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Torii

At Shinto shrines, and also some Buddhist temples, Torii gates mark the division between to ordinary world and the sacred space. At the BrickCon gathering of LEGO builders in Seattle this past weekend, the Brothers-Brick organized a collaborative display around the theme "Big in Japan". Robin Sather certainly fit the theme with his massive Torii gate. I'd be curious to learn the translation of the text, which you can see better here. This is technically a ryobu torii, and seems pretty authentic in design. I wonder if it was based on a specific real example.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Did God create evil?

From Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica: "But evil has no formal cause, rather is it a privation of form; likewise, neither has it a final cause, but rather is it a privation of order to the proper end; since not only the end has the nature of good, but also the useful, which is ordered to the end. Evil, however, has a cause by way of an agent, not directly, but accidentally."
Alex Eylar illustrates this nicely in LEGO form.