Take a Virtual Peek Inside Denmark's New LEGO House

The LEGO Group
The LEGO Group

Grown-ups who wanted to live inside the LEGO-brick homes they built as a kid can now simulate the experience by visiting the Danish toy brand’s brand-new LEGO House in the company's hometown of Billund, Denmark.

As My Modern Met reports, the experiential playhouse opened its doors to LEGO loving fans of all ages on September 28, following seven years of planning and a four-year construction period. Danish architecture firm BIG designed the nearly 130,000-square-foot playhouse’s exterior to resemble a stack of 21 plastic bricks, with multi-colored rooftop terraces.

The LEGO House contains an official LEGO history museum as well as a Masterpiece Gallery area, featuring elaborate LEGO designs by fans around the world. It also features four color-coded playrooms—each designed to nurture a specific facet of play and learning—and three eateries, including the Mini Chef family restaurant, where customers can build their own orders out of bricks and have the real-life thing served on a conveyer belt by dancing robots.

“With LEGO House, we celebrate creativity and the strength of learning through play,” LEGO owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen said in a statement. “When they play, children learn the basic skills that they need, such as creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving abilities.”

The LEGO House is expected to have over 250,000 paid visitors per year, although fans can visit the site’s rooftop playgrounds, shop in the LEGO store, or dine at any of its restaurants without paying an entrance fee. Access to the house’s experiential zones costs around $31, and visits must be booked in advance through the LEGO House website due to space restrictions.

Check out some photos of the LEGO House below:

Facade of the LEGO Group's new LEGO® House in Billund, Denmark
Facade of the LEGO Group's new LEGO® House in Billund, Denmark
The LEGO Group

Aerial rooftop view of the LEGO Group's new LEGO® House in Billund, Denmark.
Aerial rooftop view of the LEGO Group's new LEGO® House in Billund, Denmark.
The LEGO Group

LEGO House visitors browse the Masterpiece Gallery, a display of works by members of the brand's artistic community.
LEGO House visitors browse the Masterpiece Gallery, a display of works by members of the brand's artistic community.
The LEGO Group

Oversize LEGO model sits on a LEGO House terrace in Billund, Denmark.
Oversize LEGO model sits on a LEGO House terrace
The LEGO Group

Children play near the Brick Builder Waterfall at the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark.
Children play near the Brick Builder Waterfall at the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark.
The LEGO Group

Children build LEGO flowers to plant in a special LEGO meadow at the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark.
Children build LEGO flowers to plant in a special LEGO meadow.
The LEGO Group

Kids visiting the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark, play with LEGOs in the World Explorer section, which has three themed islands filled with LEGO mini-figures.
Kids play with LEGOs in the World Explorer section, which has three themed islands filled with LEGO mini-figures.

The LEGO Group

At the MINI CHEF family restaurant, located inside the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark, customers build their own order out of LEGO bricks  and have them served by dancing robots.
The MINI CHEF family restaurant, where customers build their own order out of LEGO bricks and have them served by dancing robots.
The LEGO Group

[h/t My Modern Met]

This Smart Accessory Converts Your Instant Pot Into an Air Fryer

Amazon
Amazon

If you can make a recipe in a slow cooker, Dutch oven, or rice cooker, you can likely adapt it for an Instant Pot. Now, this all-in-one cooker can be converted into an air fryer with one handy accessory.

This Instant Pot air fryer lid—currently available on Amazon for $80—adds six new cooking functions to your 6-quart Instant Pot. You can select the air fry setting to get food hot and crispy fast, using as little as 2 tablespoons of oil. Other options include roast, bake, broil, dehydrate, and reheat.

Many dishes you would prepare in the oven or on the stovetop can be made in your Instant Pot when you switch out the lids. Chicken wings, French fries, and onion rings are just a few of the possibilities mentioned in the product description. And if you're used to frying being a hot, arduous process, this lid works without consuming a ton of energy or heating up your kitchen.

The lid comes with a multi-level air fry basket, a broiling and dehydrating tray, and a protective pad and storage cover. Check it out on Amazon.

For more clever ways to use your Instant Pot, take a look at these recipes.

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Remembering Sara Little Turnbull, Whose Bra Cup Design Became the N95 Mask

Design innovator Sara Little Turnbull.
Design innovator Sara Little Turnbull.
Photo Credit: © Center for Design Institute

The coronavirus pandemic has made something of a celebrity out of the N95 mask, a particle-filtering face covering that’s long been used to protect wearers from inhaling or exhaling pathogens. (The “95” refers to the fact it can block 95 percent of airborne particles.)

Like most nondescript and pervasive products, not many people stop to think about where it came from. Now, owing to the attention placed on it as a key tool in the health care professional’s fight against coronavirus, the woman behind the mask has come to the forefront. Her name is Sara Little Turnbull, and she designed what would become the N95 based on the shape of a bra cup.

A design consultant, Turnbull was working with the 3M company in 1958 in their gift wrap and fabric division when she was exposed to Shapeen, a non-woven material made of polymers and used for decorative ribbons. Turnbull was fascinated by the molded version of Shapeen and devised the first-ever pre-made bows for gift wrap.

Turnbull didn’t stop there. She saw endless possibilities in Shapeen and assembled an audience of 3M executives to present a number of ideas she had for products—more than 100 in all—using the material. At the presentation, which she titled “Why,” she impressed 3M with the scope of Shapeen's potential. The company quickly enlisted her to work on a design for a molded bra cup.

But Turnbull had another, arguably more important notion. At the time, she was taking care of three ailing family members who were under the care of doctors. Turnbull was often in a medical setting and noticed health care workers were constantly adjusting thin masks that tied in the back. She returned to 3M with the idea of using that same molded material to make a mask that would fit more comfortably on the face.

Again, 3M saw potential in Turnbull’s idea. By 1961, they introduced a non-woven lightweight medical mask based on her concept, with elastic bands instead of strings, an aluminum nose clip, and a form-fitting "bubble" shape. (The bra patent was approved in 1962.) Though innovative, the mask couldn't block pathogens for medical use and was marketed for dust filtration instead. An improved respirator hit the market in 1972 that was suitable for other industrial purposes. As the mask’s filtration evolved, so did its usefulness. In 1995, the N95 respirator was introduced in the health care field, fulfilling Turnbull's original ambition.

Though Turnbull had been relegated to a nondescript part of 3M, she had an extensive background in design, graduating from the Parsons School of Design in 1939 and later becoming the decorating editor of House Beautiful magazine. After Turnbull wrote an article taking companies to task for not designing products suitable for the end user, she was hired by 3M. As a consultant, she also collaborated with Corning, Revlon, General Mills, and Ford, among others.

After Turnbull died in 2015, the Sara Little Turnbull Center for Design Institute was formed, which offers information to the public on the value of design and supports the efforts of disadvantaged women's design education. Turnbull's vast archive of material is available to view by appointment. A foundation in her name also provides educational grants. The “Little,” incidentally, was in acknowledgment of her height. At 4 feet, 11 inches tall, Turnbull wasn’t terribly physically imposing. But her contributions were gigantic.

[h/t NPR]