The MIT Mindfest

Well, 'round about October 22-24, 1999, we had a pretty cool display at the MIT Mindfest. You've probably seen pictures. What? You DIDN'T see the pictures? Well, here are some. I've got more of the same. BUT... I also have something you DIDN'T see on anyone else's pages! Largely because I was the only person to photograph them before they were dismantled. Also maybe nobody else wanted to broadcast the story... perhaps I'm violating some rule that I wasn't informed of... If so, lemme know... I don't want to say anything about the Mindfest that should be kept a secret or anything...

The story goes something like this:
It's the last day of the Mindfest. Things are pretty wound down, our hulking Star Wars display, the Mindstorms car, and Larry P.'s Trains are all gone, we've just got some alternate models on the table for display. It's about lunch time. We're sitting at our nice little NELUG table, when we get the hankering for some food. So I ran up to grab some lunch and bring it back to the table.

When I got up to the tent where lunch was served, I noticed something different from the previous day-- piles of Lego bricks on each of the tables. "Oh neat!" I thought. "People can build while they eat!" And I thought no more about it. After all, there were Lego bricks all around the event for people to play with-- Lego bricks that were intended to REMAIN at MIT, but free to be played with.

I went back down to our table, sporting my soggy ham sandwich, and commented on the fact that there were piles of bricks on the lunch tables. Eric K's response was similar to mine. Apparently neither of us thought anything of it, other than "Oh, that's a nice idea."

A few minutes later, who should walk by but Suz, checking on us-- seeing how we were doing, etc. We chatted for a few minutes, when she all of a sudden unexpectedly said "Y'know, you can keep whatever you build up in the lunch tent..." That was enough for us. We were at the lunch tent within seconds, where we sat down at the first empty table, picking through the piles for precious pieces.

At first, we were rather attempting our best to be discrete. Moving slowly from table to table, sitting at one, then another (after the 'good' pieces were gone). But as word spread, and people started to leave the tent, we grew more and more akin to vultures-- scavanging for tan bricks, complete minifigs, battle droids, and whatever else we could find, not even bothering to sit down at tables. I must admit, I felt rather silly and uncouth, but hey, it was free! And there were good bricks there! As we progressed, our makeshift junk-freighters began to take their ugly form, growing and growing into creations truly worth of being named 'silly'. After all, we had been told "You can only keep what you BUILD"! so we were trying to build as fast as our hands could take us.

But as the clock drew neigh on 2 o'clock, a staff member said simply: "Why are you bothering to make something? Why don't you just scoop the pieces into your bags?" Well... that was it. The pieces no longer stood a chance. They were decimated table by table, until the tables were completely devoid of bricks. Kids, parents, and AFOLs alike helped in the ravaging, side by side, throwing thier pieces into their previously named 'lunch bags'.

Anyway, we were happy, needless to say. I mean, FREE LEGO BRICKS! It was very cool indeed. Well, as I meanderd down back to our table, I saw some of the silly creations and just HAD to take pictures. Some were too silly for words. And without further ado, the pictures that NO-ONE ELSE HAS! (until they download them and put them on their servers) :

Here's mine, (slightly dissassembled) the SS Tan'ngrey. It looks kinda what I'd picture a Jawa spacecraft to look like... a pile of junk. That can fly. Somehow. All in all, 644 pieces, a bunch of 'em tan. :)

Here's Eric Joslin's partial Klingon Cruiser-- note the stash of Star Wars hinge pieces, and the nearly solid sections of tan!

And this one's Eric Kingsley's... a giant grey, teal, and yellow cruiser with a full crew, led by a complete Darth Vader fig! Check out the 2x2 white round brick with the 'Octan' logo!

Here's one of the more haphazard creations-- Kevin Loch's Podracer! (What? you didn't notice it in Episode I?)

And one more shot of Kevin's Podracer-- like the landing legs? It's nice to know that decapitated R2-D2s can go to good use. :)

And here's Todd's infamous Timmy Launcher! Now you too can proudly launch your Timmys to their ultimate demise!

Here's a couple of our bags with our 'winnings' inside... Of course, Bram made off like a bandit with TONS of pieces... but I didn't get a picture of his bag... it had a hard time opening and closing ;)

Anyway, that's it for now... I'll put up my other pics at some point too, but I think that they're mostly just more of the same things you've already seen. But who knows... maybe they'll be of interest to SOMEONE...

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