(Photo: Karen Nyberg / NASA via Pinterest)
There is a dinosaur on board the International Space Station where there wasn’t one before.
To a kid, making music can seem very mysterious, but the fundamental love of playing around with different sounds and listening to how they sound when strung fluidly together is something every musician and composer discovers first in childhood. “I wanted a toy that allowed children to discover for themselves how music was actually made.”
Andre Johnson, Houston Texans Player, Takes Abused Kids On $19,521 Toys ‘R’ Us Shopping Spree
Andre Johnson of the Houston Texans is scoring a lot of points today — for kids.
The NFL wide receiver brought 12 children chosen by Child Protective Services to a Houston Toys “R” Us for a holiday shopping spree.
He gave them 80 seconds to fill their baskets with anything from Barbie dream houses to digital cameras, and by the end Johnson’s foundation footed a $19,521 bill, he told houstontexans.com.
An image of Johnson holding three lengthy store receipts in the store surfaced on Reddit and has accumulated more than 1,450 comments as of press time.
"Every day when I wake up, I ask myself, ‘Who can I add value to today,’ because it’s not about me. It’s all about helping someone else. And at this time of the year there are many opportunities to help less fortunate children have a great Christmas," Johnson told ABC13.com.
The children, ages eight to 16, have been exposed to some form of parental abuse and now live with their extended families, according to houstontexans.com. Johnson can relate to a difficult home life.“A lot of these kids get discouraged because of where they grew up and things like that. I grew up in a single-parent home and I was fortunate to achieve my goals,” he told houstontexans.com.
Afterward the shopping spree Johnson had one more stop to make.
After picking up the five-figure bill, Johnson helped the Houston Police Department surprise 800 Bastian Elementary School students with Christmas toys, ABC13.com reports. The pro-bowler’s foundation partnered with the police department’s Blue Santa program to raise awareness for underprivileged children, according to the news outlet.
Founded in 2003, the Andre Johnson Charitable Foundation is dedicated to empowering children from single-parent homes. The foundation hosts several children’s charity events in Houston and Miami throughout the year but the Christmas shopping spree is one of his favorites, he told houstontexans.com.
“That’s what this season is about. It’s something I look forward to. The kids are happy, they get what they want for Christmas, and that’s all that matters, “ he told the news outlet.
Kinetic Creatures: The cardboard robots that kids can build
The cool kits bing to life a paper elephant, rhino or giraffe through tab-and-slot construction and some brilliant design.
Arrested Development Lego Set of the Day: Just when you thought the Arrested Development news couldn’t get any better, Lego builder Matt DeLanoy has created a Lego playset (complete with minifigs!) based on the recently-resurrected sitcom.
Structures include the Bluth home, the Bluth Company stair car, and the banana stand (money presumably not included).
The stair car is currently up for voting on Lego’s crowdsourced idea site, Cuusoo, and could be turned into an official Lego set if it gathers enough votes and meet the approval of Lego’s design jury.
Meanwhile, it’s probably safe to say that the Lego version of the Bluth house is better-constructed than the real thing.
Mattel to make ‘Bald Friend of Barbie’ In 2013
A bald friend of Barbie’s would be available next year, CNN reports, though the doll will not be sold in stores.
The doll comes with wigs, hats, scarves and other accessories and unlike other Barbie dolls, the toy will only be available through hospitals, notes CBS News.Play is vital for children, especially during difficult times. We are pleased to share with our community that next year we will be producing a fashion doll, that will be a friend of Barbie, which will include wigs, hats, scarves and other fashion accessories to provide girls with a traditional fashion play experience. For those girls who choose, the wigs and head coverings can be interchanged or completely removed. We will work with our longstanding partner, the Children’s Hospital Association, to donate and distribute the dolls exclusively to children’s hospitals directly reaching girls who are most affected by hair loss. A limited number of dolls and monetary donations will also be made to CureSearch for Children’s Cancer and the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.
Through a thoughtful approach, we made the decision not to sell these dolls at retail stores, but rather get the dolls directly into the hands of children who can most benefit from the unique play experience, demonstrating Mattel’s ongoing commitment to encourage play as a respite for children in the hospital and to bring joy to children who need it most. We appreciate the conversation around this issue, and are interested to hear what you think!
The bald doll isn’t a first for Mattel. Last year, the company made a one-of-a-kind bald Barbie doll for a 4-year-old suffering from cancer who lost her hair during chemotherapy treatment, notes CBS New York.
Early Bird Special: Awesome-things-maker Jaimie Mantzel demonstrates his latest creation: The Greatest Toy in the Universe.
By the way, throwing money at the screen does not result in the immediate ownership of this product as expected. Believe me, I tried.
'Lord of the Rings' Lego characters visualized
Cast your eyes on the freshly unveiled set of Lego “Lord of the Rings” miniature figures.
All of the major characters from the first movie (and a handful of villains) are included in the collection, which debuts this summer. Lego unveiled 14 characters in total yesterday, and the brick maker has done an outstanding job re-creating the characters’ iconic appearances.
The caped Hobbits of the Shire—Frodo, Samwise Gamgee, Pippin, and Merry—are true to size and smaller than the other figures. Frodo sports an enormous gold ring that might be a little too big for a Lego figure’s finger, but Boromir will probably still try and snatch it away anyway. The pint-size Gimli (with majestic beard and helm) wields a humongous ax, while Gandalf the Grey is more subdued and has yet to transform to his more holy appearance of the later movies.
There is more detail to discuss in the figures, but we will leave the joy of that to you.
So Shines A Good Deed of the Day: After the blood-soaked shirt from their video for “You Only Live Once” sold for an unexpected amount of money, members of the extreme metal band Suicide Silence took their windfall and spent it on toys for needy kids.
<3 Suicide Silence.
Czech toy industry booms thanks to a mole
(click-through for full story)