Friday, January 25, 2013

If you like to talke to tomatoes ...

Alright, everybody sing along ...

Veggie Tales Theme Song (LP Version)

Joshua Christenson made this great version of Bob and Larry, the main characters in Veggie Tales, an animated show where talking vegetables reenact Bible stories and teach moral messages. If that sounds way too strange, you simply have to watch a little. Visiting the salad bar will never be quite the same.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Jabba Sophia

In a little daily dose of the absurd, the Turkish Islamic community in Austria seems to have raised a fuss when they decided that LEGO set 9516, Jabba's Palace looks too much like either the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul or the Jami al-Kabir Mosque in Beirut. Since this is the abode of gangsters and terrorists (and pseudo-Buddhist monks?!?!?), they cried foul. An organization known as the Turkish Cultural Community has officially complained to LEGO about their racist and culturally insensitive depiction, and have threatened legal action. LEGO has responded, saying, essentially, "Um, did you ever hear of Star Wars? It came out only a few decades ago. Maybe you should look into it." Okay, that's my paraphrase, but if this organization is concerned about "racial prejudices and hidden suggestions against Orientals and Asians," they really need to meet a guy named Nute Gunray. BTW, meesa thinks some rastafarians are going to start complaining about set 7121 next.



Thank you to blog reader Michael for pointing this out to me. This has also been covered on such LEGO sites as Brickset, FBTB and HothBricks.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Easter Island

I've written before about the Moai of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and their potential religious significance to the original carvers. Kristi McWii made this beautiful micro version.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Four rocking horses of the apocalypse

Monsterbrick has a really fun MOC on a less fun topic, the four rocking horses of the apocalypse. From left to right these are Death, Famine, Conquest and War.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kizhi Pogost

It's been far too long since I've noted Jackie Britton's travels. Her most recent destination is Russia, where she is visiting sites such as Kizhi Pogost. This is a walled compound on an island in northwest Russia that is the site of two wooden churches built in the 18th century. The Church of the Intercession, in LEGO form below, is the smaller structure and is heated for use in winter. The larger Church of the Transfiguration is not heated, and so is only used in warmer months. This link has several great pictures of these really amazing structures.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Thuggee cult

Following down the trail of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom a bit more, the main antagonist, Mola Ram, and his henchmen are portrayed as adherents to the Thuggee cult. The Thuggees, or thugs for short (that's the origin of that term), were a brotherhood of thieves and assassins in India from the 14th to the 19th century. At least some of them had a religious conviction in addition to their motivation to kill and steal (or perhaps it is possible that they used a religious story to cover over their baser motivations). They believed they were the offspring of Kali, created out of the sweat of her battle with the demon Raktavija. In their view, their victims were human sacrifices to Kali. This is complicated by the fact that very few Hindus, indeed very few devotees of Kali, were Thuggees, and also that not all Thuggees were even Hindu (some were Muslim). There also appears to be some claim that the whole association of Thuggee crime with Hinduism in any form was more of an invention of the colonial British than rooted in fact.

Here's a great depiction of the Temple of Doom by Nick Nitro Brick. There's Kali again in the backdrop. I should also note that the Thuggees of the movie were a highly fictionalized version of the real assassins. The Temple of Doom was banned in India for a time as being an offensive depiction of India and Hinduism.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Temple of Doom

BTW, in the movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, that statue behind Mola Ram is supposed to be Kali (here the emphasis is on her as a goddess of death).


So Kali appears in several LEGO creations based on this movie, such as this by Tim Fegan.


Here by 2 Much Caffeine.


And this by Indyman09.


The official LEGO set 7199 avoids religious imagery by only showing that skull at Kali's feet in the movie.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Kali

Kali (here as a cube dude by Bhanabrix) is the consort of Shiva and is associated with time, change and death. She is often depicted by Hindus as dark and violent, but conversely she is seen as the annihilator of evil. She is also called the Bhavatārini, or redeemer of the universe, and is also seen as a benevolent mother figure.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Nataraja

In Hinduism, three of the most important figures are Brahmā the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Śhiva the destroyer. In destroying the old to make way for the new, Śhiva takes on the form of Nataraja (here in LEGO by Machetero 9), the cosmic dancer. This image is common in Hindu art and is uses in sculpture or relief form in many temples.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Ortaköy Mosque

The Ortaköy Mosque (here in micro by the Artizan) was built in the mid-nineteenth century in Turkey.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Epiphany

The celebration of Christmas comes to an end* with the feast of Epiphany. Epiphany, which means 'manifestation', celebrates the manifestation of God in human form. In the west this primarily commemorates the visit of the Magi to the Christ child; in the east the focus is on Christ's baptism, where the Spirit descended on him as a dove and the voice of the Father declared his sonship.

Topsy Creatori(StoveTop nomore!) made these Magi.


Rogue Warrior made this John the Baptist.


*In some places Christmas traditionally lasts 12 days, from December 25 to January 5. In others there is a 40 day season, ending with Candlemas on February 2. Also worth noting, the Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582, to correct for differences between the solar and calendar year. Some in the east still follow dating due to the earlier Julian calendar, which places Christmas on January 7. So you can still call someone in the Ukraine tomorrow and wish them a merry Christmas.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found

On the ninth day of LEGO nativity scenes, a storefront in Stuttgart gives us LEGO manger. This is an older one, but I'd never seen it before.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013