The Automatic LEGO Rubik's Cube Solver

I was just looking around on Youtube when I found this video, and I must say, I was amazed!

Whoever it is that made this thing is a genius!!!!!

Check it out:

Then of course, I kept looking around for videos about rubik's cubes, and I found this one:

-Graydon L

Bugs and Birthdays

6 weeks back, Mom and I were at a garden store and I saw a sign advertising ladybugs, nymphs, and mantids for sale. I thought they would be fully grown already and I just wanted to see a bunch of praying mantises in a glass jar... we ended up buying two little mudballs that, after six weeks, would release over a hundred baby mantids. I had the privilege to see over a hundred little baby mantids crawl all over a tree in my backyard.

Check these little guys out.

No, the mantids did not eat that leaf. That would be a caterpillar's work. After a while, if any of the mantids survive, they will be eating caterpillars all the time!

" Move over, Bro!!"

That would be the mudball covered in dead and live baby mantids.

As you all know, the mantids weren't only birthday we were celebrating, Jonny turned 18 yesterday, and we partied accordingly :-)

Jonny with his German Apple Cake. There's only one candle because the cake was so warm that the bottoms of all the candles melted when we put 'em in!

Just us guys. (Dad really wants a slice of that cake baaaad)

Jonny with all of his birthday loot. The Coral Island by Ballantyne, Fredrick the Great by Henty, a Knight of the white cross also by Henty (MP3 disk), the sixth and last season of Hogan's Heroes, and lastly, a Benchmade knife that Jonny ordered on the Internet but that didn't make here in time for his actual birthday.

-Graydon L


It's finally here, the film you've all been waiting for... and yes, it is actually here this time :-)

SPY (2008)

Directed by: Graydon and Jonathan L

Written by: N/A

Starring Cast: Jonathan L(the Spy)

Supporting Cast: N/A

What's it Rated?: Not Rated (I give it PG for action violence and thematic elements)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller

Synopsis: A Spy sneaks into an unkown house and does some damage.

My Take: Considering the fact that I (for the most part) directed the film, I definetly have a diferent take on the film itself than anyone else would. I'm going to try to tell you a few things about SPY from the director's standpoint, mixed in with a little behind the scenes "gosip" :-)

believe it or not, Jonny and I came up with the idea for SPY when we were doing what we do best (lazing around) and I looked up at the entrance to our school room (the same hight as a regular doorway, but about twice as wide) and said "we should make a spy movie and incoperate that entryway in it". Of course, I'm paraphrasing that quote, but that's exactly what we did. First we tried a few new film techniuqes (none of which ended up in the final cut of the film) and finaly just started filming. (In case you're wondering, we didn't end up using the entryway either)

The story just unfolded before us as we went along, we knew we wanted some fight sequences and a couple "gun fights", so we pieced that together with an assasination and a break-in and just let the camera role as our imaginations played the roles.

One of the many mistakes that we made in the filming was starting the film outdoors. whenever we wanted to film the camera couldn't see the actors and the sky was too light! we ended up having to back the car up partway into the street and flip on the lights jsut to get enough light on the set without comprimizing the dark sky in the background. One of the things I will never do in any film I make in future is film outside at night.

Anyway, I wasn't overjoyed at the final cut of the film. but it was our first "serious" short film that we'de ever made and of course, we were bound to make mistakes. I may not have been happy with the film itself, but the experience was definetly worth it.

Story: 5 out of 10

Humor: N/A

Action/Suspense: 6 out of 10

Overall: 5 out of 10

Yet another big "Thank You" goes out to Sam Y for reducing SPY's file size so I could put it on blogger.

One last thing! In the scene where the SPY has just killed the guard that tried to sneak up on him, another guard (which the spy will later shoot) comes out of a door and yells something. If anyone can guess what his exlamation means, that person wins eternal bragging rights as

"The person who figured out what that one guy said"

happy guessing!

*hint*: it's German

-Graydon L

A Tale of Two Houses


HOUSE # 1:
A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house all heated by gas. In ONE MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than the average American household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400.00 per month. In natural gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not in a northern or Midwestern "snow belt," either. It's in the South.

HOUSE # 2:
Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university, this house incorporates every "green" feature current home construction can provide. The house contains only 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on arid high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes 25% of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers and shrubs native to the area blend the property into the surrounding rural landscape.

HOUSE # 1 (20 room energy guzzling mansion) is outside of Nashville, Tennessee. It is the abode of that renowned environmentalist (and filmmaker) Al Gore.

HOUSE # 2 (model eco-friendly house) is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas. Also known as "the Texas White House," it is the private residence of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.

So whose house is gentler on the environment? Yet another story you WON'T hear on CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC or read about in the New York Times or the Washington Post. Indeed, for Mr. Gore, it's truly "an inconvenient truth."
This article found on

-Graydon L


It's finaly here, the film you've all been waiting for... SPY!

unfortunately, the file size is too large for blogger to display here, so click on the picture to your right to watch SPY!

A great big "Thank you" goes out to Sam Y, he did all of the sound effects and the soundtrack!!!

look for my review of ~SPY~ on Monday :-)

-Graydon L

My Hectic Summer

Well, I don't know about you, but this blogospheric silence is downright creepy. There are fewer new blog posts right now than a guy from Arkansas has teeth! (my blog included)

Anyway, enough about other people not posting often enough *ahem* ;-) I've had the most crazy summer ever. first off, helping out at Ft. Nisqually, but most of you know about that already. By the way, a great big "thank you" goes to the Pollock family for putting up with Jonny and I for five days, I really appreciate it!

After that, just a lot of running around, cleaning house, stuff like that. And just this week, I went to a Mariners baseball game (they lost 4-0 to the Red Socks), Cleaned all the upstairs windows in the house (as well as killed a few wasp nests which I do have pictures of) and after finishing the windows, romped around in Matt's woods at his house. whew! try saying all that in one breath!

Here's the pictures of us cleaning the windows. It may not seem like a bid deal, but we have a larger-than-average house I guess, and there are a lot of BIG windows upstairs, so for us, It is a big deal. Check 'em out:

This is Jonny's idea of safety when attacking wasp nests with chemical spray: Spray for the nest, an umbrella for the spray fallout(which is toxic when in contact with skin), overalls and dorky glasses for the stingers. Of course, he didn't want a harness or anything because we all know that falling from 18 feet in the air and breaking your back is a lot less scary than getting stung by a wasp ;-)

The nests... covered in spray.

Fastest aerosol-spray-can in the west.

-Graydon L

MRM: The Dark Knight

I just watched The Dark Knight last Friday, and I must say I was amazed by it. Read on...

The Dark Knight (2008)

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Written by: Jonathan Nolan

Starring Cast: Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Heath Ledger (the Joker), Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent/Two Face)
Supporting Cast: Michael Cane (Alfred Pennyworth), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Rachel Dawes), Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox), Gary Oldman (Lt.James Gordon),

What's it rated?: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and menace and some language.

Genre: Action, Crime, Superhero Synopsis: as the Mob is about to be crushed under Batman's and new DA, Harvey Dent's feet, a new criminal mastermind rises to power: The Joker. Soon, Batman realizes the sacrifice he has to make in order to defeat the Joker and another new adversary known as Two Face.

My Take: Wow. If you have watched, and enjoyed Batman Begins, you are going to fall head over heals for Dark Knight. The very first scene shows the Joker's true personality, deceptive, cunning, and... funny. I was absolutely thrilled at how, contrary to most action movies in which the arch-villain is serious, horrific, and terrifying, the Joker has a dark sense of humor that actually provides the film's comic relief! I couldn't believe how truly funny the joker was... while being bone-chillingly creepy. Downright creepy.

Although the trailers and clips already released before the official debut of The Dark Knight, highlight the Joker vs. Batman scenes, Harvey Dent and Two Face almost have as much to do with the story as do the other stars. The consequential flip-back-and-forth-between-characters style makes the entire film so suspenseful all the way through that you can't help but jump out of your seat in many parts of the film.
I've also heard talk of awarding Heath Ledger a posthumous Oscar for his work in The Dark Knight as the Joker, and I must say, he shouldn't get one... he should get two... dozen.

Overall, very cool, which is not very normal for a sequel.

Story: 10 out of 10

Humor: 10 out of 10

Action: 10 out of 10

Suspense: 10 out of 10

Overall: 11 out of 10 :-)

-Graydon L

Creativity at my house...

Most people's idea of creativity is pretty mundane; drawings, paintings, play-dough, maybe a Lego set or two. But at my house... well, creativity usually includes a gigantic mess, and sometimes a lot of tape... check it out :-)

This is one of our favorite projects to create: and inflatable tent. This particular tent is comprised of two bed-sheets taped together with two fans at one end blowing air inside, thus inflating the contraption and also blowing cool air on the occupants (Jonny and I). as you can see, there are several volumes of an encyclopedia set around the edges of the tent. These are to keep the outside edge on the ground and to keep the cool air inside.

A view from the door of the occupants. We ran some power bars inside so we could have a lamp and radio plugged in. You can see the fan back behind Jonny, it dosen't look like it's moving, but it's still working away to keep that thing inflated.

This is the latest of all our inflatable tents. It's powered by two small fans, and one gigantic fan (forground) which can just barely keep the roof over our heads. It's made by taping five sheets together to form a "box" and leaving three holes near the bottom for the fans.

We also made some ping-pong padles so we could play ping-pong on our school room table, which is just aobut the size of a real ping-pong table. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures, and there's no more room on Mom's digital camera.

-Graydon L

How to instantly puree a bird

My Mom just got an email from her brother (my uncle Rick). He built a bunch of airplanes for some airline and now volunteers at an airplane museum where he keeps his own airplane.

Here's the email:

There we were, In a 1954 Cessna 180, 1500’ eastbound over the second narrows bridge in Vancouver, just clearing the Harbour control zone. We were on our way back from a nice lunch at a restaurant on the beach at Gilles Bay, Texada Island with some friends. Suddenly I noticed a seabird ahead. It was a cormorant. A sea bird normally found on or under the water or flying low. I said to Pauline my wife, “What’s a cormorant doing way up here?”
We were on converging courses, and he was slightly higher than us, so I descended slightly to increase the margin. He started to descend also, so I increased my rate of decent and yelled “Watch where you are going!”
With that he dove abruptly and we hit with a loud bang. The windshield was immediately covered almost 100% with the remains of the bird and his last meal. (Which I later found out to be herring) The cowl doors were blown open and damaged. I informed the Harbour tower of my situation and told him I would divert to Pitt Meadows airport since it was slightly closer than Langley, and had wider and longer runways more suitable for a blind landing. He gave them a call to give them a heads up and shortly I switched to them and headed directly towards Pitt Meadows. They asked if I needed any emergency services and I said “Not likely, but let’s see how the landing turns out.” I was cleared straight in but couldn’t see ahead so requested and was granted an angled approach so I could see out the lower corner of the windshield for the approach. I descended to just over the threshold and then straightened it out, and then completed the landing using my peripheral vision on the sides of the runway only. It wasn’t too difficult actually. My time flying the Tiger Moth at the museum was a benefit since you fly that from the rear seat with your passenger and engine ahead.
Anyway, I have a bit of work to do fix the upper cowl again. We just finished a major restoration of this airplane last spring.
Enjoy the photos attached, and keep an eye out for those suicidal birds!


Here's some pictures that he took! prepare to see your lunch again :-P

That's my aunt Pauline behind the plane. Oh, and that red stuff all over the front of the plane is blood and bird-bits

Here's what it looks like from the inside.

...and from the top

ooooh, yuck ;-O

-Graydon L


WALL-E (2008)
Directed by: Andrew Stanton

Written by: Andrew Stanton

Starring Cast: Ben Burtt (Wall-E and M-O), Ellissa Knight (Eve)

Supporting Cast: Jeff Garlin (the Captain of the Axiom), Fred Willard (Shelby Forthright, BnL CEO), Macintalk (Auto), John Ratzenburger (John), Kathy Najimy (Mary),

What's it Rated?: G

Genre: Animated, Space, Future, Comedy

Synopsis: A lone WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) Robot, while doing what he does best (clean up garbage) has developed one interesting glitch: a personality. While cleaning up earth, 700 years after humans have left, Wall-E is visited by a probe from the starship Axiom. But when the probe finds what it's looking for, Wall-E is dragged across the universe for the adventure of a lifetime.

My Take: If you're looking for a fun, enjoyable, and humorous movie, Wall-E is for you. It's not the kind of humor you see in a lot of cartoons, which is mainly slapstick, and of course, since the main character is a robot with a three word vocabulary, one liners and puns can't be used to keep the audience laughing. But the "facial" expressions, hand motions, and general attitude of the characters make this movie one of the funniest I've ever watched.

Unfortunately, the entire film is based on an environmentalist/liberal view of Humans: lazy, garbage producing, ozone-destroying bipeds. But once you get past this, It's a great film.

The story is simple, easy to understand, and fun. It doesn't drag a lot in any particular place or feel rushed in others. Like I said, It's simple, and I like it that way.

Story: 9 out of 10

Humor: 9 out of 10

Action/Suspense: N/A

Overall: 10 out of 10

-Graydon L

Pixar animated short: Presto

Today Dad took Jonny and I to see Wall-E at the theater (my review on Monday) and, as always, I loved the animated short film at the beginning, and I thought that maybe you'd all like to see it now. It's hilarity with a flourish :-)

Other Pixar animated shorts are: "Lifted", "One Man Band", "Boundin","For The Birds","Geri's Game","Knick Knack","The Adventures of Andre and Wally B.","Red's Dream","Tin Toy","Mike's New Car" and "Jack-Jack Attack"

to go to a Youtube page with a bunch of Pixar shorts, click here

-Graydon L

Really, Really fast machines...

My all-time favorite car is the Bugatti Veyron. My favorite machines are jet fighters. No wonder I love this video. check it out:

but just to set the record strait, the Eurofighter isn't the most advanced strike fighter ever, the US Marines' F-35 Lightning is. (the F-35 is the VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) version of the F-22 Raptor which is used by the US Air Force)

Anyway, while we're on the subject of really, really fast machines, check out this other video of a guy taking the Veyron to it's top speed; 253 MPH

very cool :-)

-Graydon L

Want to rate my posts? Now you can!

I just found this new thing on Blogger in Draft that I'm really quite excited about. It's called the Star Rating System, and you can see it at the bottom of every post I've ever written. Basically, you just click on the number of stars (out of 5) you think the particular post should get, and the blog automatically saves your entry. Although you can only rate a certain post once, you can always go back and change your "vote" to something different. Check it out, now you can leave feedback, without having to write an entire comment. Enjoy!

-Graydon L

Graydon's Fav Music Playlist

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Graydon's Fav Classical and Movie Soundtrack Music

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones