Lego Is Making Face Visors for Healthcare Workers

LEGO Face Shields
(Instagram/lego)

Efforts are underway around the globe to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. Some are going above and beyond, like a former NBA star trying to get his hometown’s healthcare workers millions of much-needed masks. Or like sports apparel companies pivoting hard to make PPE. And now add one more company to the list of those absolutely stepping up during this crisis: Lego. The iconic toymaker announced it’s going to be using one of its production facilities to make thousands of face protectors every day for hospital workers.

The toy company, made famous for making tiny things to step on and infuriate you, said in an Instagram post their factory will be able to turn out 13,000 visors daily.


“This week we began to make visors at our factory in Billund for healthcare workers on the frontline in Denmark,” Lego wrote on Instagram. “We are so incredibly proud of the team who made this happen. They worked around the clock to create designs and make moulds that can produce more than 13,000 visors a day. We are grateful to have such talented, dedicated and caring colleagues.”

When you hear Lego is making face visors, you probably picture some dystopian setting where hospital workers are assembling hundreds of unmarked Lego bricks into some facsimile of protection. But no, they just re-worked some of their molding machines to turn out appropriate hospital-quality PPE instead.

This news comes on the heels of Lego announcing a $50 million donation to relief efforts across the globe. The toy company also announced they will be donating half a million Lego sets to children in need. Everything is awesome! At least when it comes to Lego stepping up during this once-in-a-century health event.

Daughter Does Dad’s Makeup

MLB Star Flies Home for Two Hours To See Son’s First Tee-Ball Practice

MLB tee ball Freddie Freeman
(Twitter/Chelseafree5)

Traveling for work can be a bummer for dads. You do what you gotta do, but no amount of money lessens the sting of missing important milestones your kids reach while you’re out of town. Whether it’s the first word, first step, a birthday, or some other important moment, you want to be there for as much as you can. That’s why one MLB star flew home in the middle of a road trip, for two hours, just so he could watch his son’s first tee-ball practice in person.

Few things bring dads and sons together like sports. We’ve seen baseball dad surprise his son with a new bat, and then catch a home run his son hit with said bat. Even in the pros, dads never lose that feeling of joy when their kid does something big.

So Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman did everything he could to be at his son’s first tee-ball practice. Freeman flew home in the middle of an 11-day road trip, so he could squeeze in two hours at home. Then he flew straight to Washington for a game that night.

A ton of travel, just for two hours at home, and I’m sure it was worth every bit of hassle to Freeman, as he got to surprise his son and watch his first practice. It was also Freeman’s birthday, but I’m sure that felt like a distant second to getting to spend that moment with his son. Freeman’s wife Chelsea posted about the surprise on social media,

Atlanta won the game against Washington that night, no word about how good Charlie’s tee-ball team was, but I’m going to bet it’s pretty good with the son of a major leaguer on the squad.

“RockyNoHands” Becomes First Quadriplegic Signed by Pro Esports Organization

Rockynohands first quadriplegic in professional esports
(YouTube/Shot Callers Esports)

Before age 19, Rocky Stoutenburgh was just your average teen. He played sports in high school, and after graduation, he began working full-time. In 2006, while wrestling and messing around with his friends, Rocky was dropped on his head. Shocked and confused, the 19-year-old realized he was unable to move. Rocky was rushed to the hospital, and through the whirlwind of doctors and scans, the truth began to sink in. Rocky had a broken C3 vertebrae in his neck, and though at first, he maintained hope that life could return to normal, Rocky soon faced the reality that he would never walk again.

Rocky pushed through months of physical therapy, but the paralysis remained. He had to figure out a way to move forward somehow, completely restructuring the way he envisioned his life to align with his new reality. Unsure of what else to do, Rocky began to watch his brother Andrew play video games, reminding him of the games he played as a kid. Andrew didn’t want his brother on the sidelines though, he wanted Rocky to play. Andrew did some digging and found a modified controller called a quad stick, allowing Rocky to play using his mouth.

Following his accident, Rocky was severely depressed. Throughout his life, he had been extremely active – playing sports and going out whenever he had the opportunity. The things that filled his time and gave him joy before the accident were no longer options. But Rocky began to pour his energy into video games, competing and building up skills in an activity where his quadriplegia didn’t limit him.

Rocky began to stream, going by the username RockyNoHands, and immediately the Twitch community was captivated – not only because of his admittedly unique playing style, but because he was good. Really freaking good.

“I started streaming. I got really popular, started playing games like Club G and Fortnite that are very competitive and I started getting good at them and I got a couple Guiness World Records,” Rocky told FOX2.

Over the summer, Rocky entered a competition called “So You Think You Can Stream?” which aimed to discover little-known but highly talented streamers. Stoutenburgh, now 33, had gained popularity on Twitch and other social media platforms, but knew the other streamers were likely talented as well. Rocky amazed the judges, and ended up winning the competition.

Rocky not only won a cash prize and the knowledge that he more than held his own among his non-disabled peers, but the competition also landed him a contract with Luminosity Gaming. Now, he is the world’s first quadriplegic to be signed by a professional Esports organization. Can we get a W in the chat?

According to Forbes, Adrian Montgomery, chief executive of Enthusiast Gaming marveled, “Irrespective of anything else, he’s a high-quality gamer. He’s just flat-out good. Plus, he’s got this inspirational story. I think he is a trailblazer, and I think he is going to inspire other people to become gamers.”

This Is the Way: The Mandalorian Snags Seven Emmy Wins

Mandalorian Doc
(Disney+)

Though the Star Wars franchise has undoubtedly had a lot of misses and false starts lately, The Mandalorian has been a saving grace in the Star Wars universe. Set between the fall of the Empire and the arrival of the First Order, the series follows bounty hunter Din Djarin on his various exploits, protecting Baby Yoda at all costs.

The Mandalorian is the first live-action Star Wars series, an enormous challenge given that it has to compare to the production quality of feature films. Fortunately, Disney+ jumped on the project, and The Mandalorian was a hit. Surpassing Netflix’s extremely popular series “Stranger Things” in audience demand, it was clear from early on that the Star Wars series would leave a mark on pop culture. Season two is already on the way, the trailer was just released, and fans of the show couldn’t be happier.

Night three of the Creative Art Emmys confirmed what we already knew – The Mandalorian is a show well worth celebrating. Since Disney+ has only been available since November of 2019, this is the first year that any Disney+ show has been eligible for an Emmy. Thanks to The Mandalorian’s staggering 15 Emmy nominations, the streaming platform hit the ground running. Walking away with an impressive five Emmy wins in one night, The Mandalorian took home more awards than any other show as of day three.

The Mandalorian took home awards for Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (Half-Hour), Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Program (Half-Hour), Outstanding Sound Editing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (Half-Hour), Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour), and Outstanding Special Visual Effects.

A brand new show snagging five Emmy wins is incredible, but the Star Wars series wasn’t done. The talented Ludwig Göransson walked away with the award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score). The Mandalorian also won an Emmy for Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series or Movie. That brings the grand total to seven well-deserved Emmys for this game-changing show, setting the bar high for future seasons.

Among the other winners for this year’s extremely unusual virtual Emmy ceremony were Rick and Morty, taking home their second-ever Outstanding Animated Program Emmy. Watchmen also absolutely nailed it this year, tying with The Mandalorian with seven Emmy wins (and 26 nominations!). Watchmen won the awards for Outstanding Casting For A Limited Series, Movie Or Special, Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes, Outstanding Cinematography For A Limited Series Or Movie, and several others. Eddie Murphy took home his first-ever primetime Emmy award for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series after hosting SNL, 40 years after first appearing on the show.

A bizarre award ceremony, but definitely an exciting one full of highly-deserving winners. If only we could have given Baby Yoda his very own Emmy for Outstanding Everything, the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards would have been absolutely perfect.

Father Figures: Light of My Life

“Even though she isn’t my blood, my daughter is the light of my life.

I found out in 2011 that I couldn’t have children, and the thought of not being a father crushed me. My wife and I went through two failed domestic adoptions before we decided to pursue international. There we found our sweet child.

Ella was born in Taiwan three years and three months before I met her. She was born deaf, and at three months old her birth father did the unthinkable: he lost control and proceeded to shake my daughter to the point she became unconscious, and then left her on her own for several hours.

It breaks my heart to think of my sweet daughter going through life-saving craniotomies with nobody there for her. She survived, but now has trauma-based cerebral palsy, causing her to permanently be in a wheelchair.

The day I first saw her picture, I felt a spark of love for my precious daughter, the day I met her for the first time in Taipei I openly wept with love for my little girl.

I travel for work and every chance I get to be home is a special time for both of us.

To all the dads – blood or not – keep up the fight for your kid, love your child unconditionally, and always strive to be the person they can call their hero.”

– Blake Wood

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Hacker Turns LEGO Super Mario Into Super Mario Controller

Hacker turns LEGO Super Mario into controller
(Twitter/r1ckp)

There are so many different ways to play video games. Some people prefer PC games, while others flock to the newest gaming consoles. You can use your keyboard, a wheel fit for Rainbow Road, or even your entire body. There’s really no wrong way to play video games, as long as you’re having a good time. A hacker from Hamburg decided to put that to the test, building one of the most unique gaming controllers in existence. VR may let you put yourself in the game, but Rick’s controller let him bring Super Mario out.

Self-proclaimed hardware hacker Rick recently took to Twitter to show the world his incredible creation, a LEGO Mario that he had programmed to act as a controller while playing Super Mario. Leaning LEGO Mario forward makes on-screen Mario move forward. Bouncing LEGO Mario on the LEGO pad makes him jump, and tapping him on the LEGO pipe makes him slide down the on-screen pipe (all of these components came with the LEGO Super Mario set).

“I heard about the Lego Mario set in a podcast and did not find any technical info or teardown on the web. I had a spare amazon giftcard, so I ordered one to reverse engineer it and see what’s in it,” Rick told The Dad. “My wife suggested to play Mario with it and I loved the idea.”

In just four hours, Rick managed to figure out how to intercept LEGO Super Mario’s Bluetooth signals and program them to communicate with the on-screen Super Mario. Rick is far from an amateur when it comes to programming and engineering, if that wasn’t clear. He tinkered around with electronics as a teen, studied electrical engineering at his university, and has worked in the fields of software development and electronic development for 15 years.

The Super Mario project was far from the first fascinating piece of technology Rick has created. “I build a lot of devices that intersect between art and electronics,” he explained.

He’s made a Robo-lamp that tracks objects, reminiscent of the inexplicably adorable Pixar lamp. A reverse-geocache box and pocket-sized device that measures the moisture of face masks are also among this talented hacker’s creations.

“I really like to inspire other people to build stuff” Rick explains, “especially if it‘s just for fun or because you can.”

Teacher Creates a Community Library in Her Garage Amid COVID

teacher creates garage library
(Facebook/MissMartin's Neighborhood Library)

An elementary school teacher in Texas had basically accumulated a personal library for her classroom over the years. Then earlier this year COVID-19 caused her school to move to remote learning. With the closest public library inaccessible for most of the community, she wanted to help fill that void and keep kids interested in reading. And that’s why she started a community library, with more than 2,000 books, in her own garage.

Teachers are amazing people. We see reminders of this constantly, as they go above and beyond for their kids. We see it in the teacher that carried a student confined to a wheelchair on a field trip. We saw it when teachers all over the state of Alabama donated sick days to a colleague caring for his infant with cancer. And we see it in the everyday actions teachers take to help kids learn.

In this case, Jennifer Martin had witnessed reluctant and nonreaders blossom into avid readers after having a positive experience with books, so that’s why she got to work on her garage library. A friend built the shelves and Martin moved in her massive collection of books for kids of all ages.

Since opening the library, they have had more than 60 kids check out books (they can get two at a time, on the honor system). More importantly, it’s a chance for her to connect with her students, and for kids to connect with each other (with masks and social distancing rules in place).

“During this challenging time, it’s even more important to provide opportunities for connection,” she told The Dad. “And there’s really nothing like seeing a student’s excitement about getting a new book!”

Martin has run into some hurdles, such as figuring out the best way to sort the books, but she has been blown away by the support from friends, colleagues, parents, and community members. She said she’s had students she taught 10 or 20 years ago who have been donating books through Amazon or even visited the library to make a donation. Some have even come back to help volunteer at the library.

The library continues to add new titles to the mix, including more Spanish books and continues to thrive. 2020 has brought unique challenges, but it’s also seen more than a few people rise to meet the challenge and help other people.

“Reading provides an adventure for the reader, and now, more than ever, we need adventures,” Martin said.

This Condo’s For You, Listing Showcases Florida Home Covered in Bud Beer Cans

Beer House For Sale
(Facebook/KearneyAndAssociatesFlorida)

Say what you will about 2020 but it’s provided us with some pretty unique real estate opportunities – like a beautiful home that has a complete jail in it. Now a condo for sale in Florida (of course) has come on the market that is completely covered in beer cans. Not, like, post bender empties that haven’t been cleaned out, but more like a meticulous crafting project that included a copious amount of beer drinking (the best kind of crafting!).

We can all agree Dads love beer, whether it’s drinking with your dog, or even enjoying your last beer with your kids. Dads happily embrace the dad bod that comes with a beer hobby, some dads even drink a Dad bod beer.

The listing agent thought the seller had found a unique wallpapering, without realizing it was more like a unique lifelong obsession. The original tenant, who has passed away, was a huge fan of Budweiser and spent years working to cover every single wall and ceiling (except for the bathroom) with beer cans.

Budweiser shared the images of the condo on it’s Facebook page, saying “The perfect house doesn’t exi—”

The home was owned by a Navy Vet, who spent 16 years consuming enough product for the job. The 2-bedroom condo in South Florida is for sale for $100,000, although to sweeten the deal, Budweiser is offering free beer to whoever buys it (as long as they don’t renovate).

Tom Hardy Rumored to be Next James Bond

Tom Hardy as Next James Bond?
(Getty/Andreas Rentz)

So is Bond gonna wear a mask and have a strange accent now?

No Time to Die, the latest Bond flick, and purportedly Daniel Craig’s last as the super spy, has been delayed by the coronavirus, but it will come out eventually. And as soon as it does, people will be clamoring to know who will replace Craig as 007. In fact, the speculation has been rampant for years, fueled but the fact that Craig has long seemed frustrated with the part and even said that Spectre was to be his last before returning for this next one.

For years, people have floated Idris Elba’s name as a potential replacement. They’ve also mentioned Tom Hiddleston and the dude from Showtime’s Outlander. But according to a story from the Vulcan Reporter the producers of the Bond series have already auditioned and selected the next 007: Tom Hardy.

Hardy is a notoriously quirky actor, who seems to relish the challenge of playing roles where he wears a mask or alters his voice (see Bane, Mad Max, Taboo Island, etc.). So it might be hard to imagine him as the suave secret agent. Until you remember him in Inception.

Free of any strange character accouterments, Hardy was a dashing member of DiCaprio’s dream designing crew, and he was totally convincing. This is the Hardy that makes sense for Bond, and would probably be a great one. He’d even carry on some of the sense of danger Craig’s Bond has brought to the series in a post-Bourne world.

Not sure how real the Vulcan Reporter’s report is, so right now it’s just a rumor, but it’s a pretty good one. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to be confirmed before No Time to Die shows itself, and we don’t even know when that will be.

Hopefully, the pandemic has helped Hardy get the mask-wearing out of his system because this sounds like a good idea to me.

What do you think? Does the prospect of Hardy as James Bond leave you shaken or stirred?