The LEGO Group Released a Central Perk Set for the 25th Anniversary of Friends

The LEGO Group
The LEGO Group

Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe, Rachel, and Ross will forever be memorialized as six New Yorkers who spent an inordinate number of business hours lounging on a burnt-orange couch in the fictional café Central Perk. And to celebrate this year’s 25th anniversary of the Friends premiere in 1994, the LEGO Group released a 1070-piece set that recreates the Central Perk TV studio set. It's currently available on Amazon for $60.

The coffee shop in brick form is an expertly designed rendering of its real-life counterpart. The iconic couch and its surrounding furniture are at the center, the stage area is to the right next to the entrance doors, Gunther’s counter is to the left, and the service exit is in the back. Two television cameras flank the upper front corners of the set, which you might recognize if you were lucky enough to be an audience member at one of the live tapings.

LEGO Friends Central Perk Set
The LEGO Group

Although the layout of the set is impressive in its own right, its details truly capture the essence of the beloved NBC sitcom. The “reserved” sign sits on the coffee table, the platter on the service counter is stocked with baked goods, and two umbrellas occupy the umbrella stand by the door. The café is also peppered with flower vases and 15 coffee mugs.

The collection includes figurines of all six friends, plus Gunther, and they each wield very apt accessories. Joey comes with a pizza box, pizza slice, and “man bag"; Monica munches a muffin; Chandler totes a laptop; Gunther brandishes a broom; Rachel carries a tray and mug from her ill-fated waitressing days; Phoebe holds her guitar, perhaps strumming “Smelly Cat” or a lesser-known tune like “Parading Goats” or “My Papier-Mâché Man”; and Ross flaunts his keyboard, doomed to be unappreciated during his time by anybody but Phoebe.

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Turn Your LEGO Bricks Into a Drone With the Flybrix Drone Kit

Flyxbrix/FatBrain
Flyxbrix/FatBrain

Now more than ever, it’s important to have a good hobby. Of course, a lot of people—maybe even you—have been obsessed with learning TikTok dances and baking sourdough bread for the last few months, but those hobbies can wear out their welcome pretty fast. So if you or someone you love is looking for something that’s a little more intellectually stimulating, you need to check out the Flybrix LEGO drone kit from Fat Brain Toys.

What is a Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit?

The Flybrix drone kit lets you build your own drones out of LEGO bricks and fly them around your house using your smartphone as a remote control (via Bluetooth). The kit itself comes with absolutely everything you need to start flying almost immediately, including a bag of 56-plus LEGO bricks, a LEGO figure pilot, eight quick-connect motors, eight propellers, a propeller wrench, a pre-programmed Flybrix flight board PCB, a USB data cord, a LiPo battery, and a USB LiPo battery charger. All you’ll have to do is download the Flybrix Configuration Software, the Bluetooth Flight Control App, and access online instructions and tutorials.

Experiment with your own designs.

The Flybrix LEGO drone kit is specifically designed to promote exploration and experimentation. All the components are tough and can totally withstand a few crash landings, so you can build and rebuild your own drones until you come up with the perfect design. Then you can do it all again. Try different motor arrangements, add your own LEGO bricks, experiment with different shapes—this kit is a wannabe engineer’s dream.

For the more advanced STEM learners out there, Flybrix lets you experiment with coding and block-based coding. It uses an arduino-based hackable circuit board, and the Flybrix app has advanced features that let you try your hand at software design.

Who is the Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit for?

Flybrix is a really fun way to introduce a number of core STEM concepts, which makes it ideal for kids—and technically, that’s who it was designed for. But because engineering and coding can get a little complicated, the recommended age for independent experimentation is 13 and up. However, kids younger than 13 can certainly work on Flybrix drones with the help of their parents. In fact, it actually makes a fantastic family hobby.

Ready to start building your own LEGO drones? Click here to order your Flybrix kit today for $198.

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How to Brew Your Own Fluorescent Beer at Home

The Odin
The Odin

If you're one of the many people who made their own sourdough starter in quarantine, you already know yeast is a living thing. That means its biological makeup can be tweaked using genetic engineering. As Gizmodo reports, that's exactly what a former NASA biologist has done to create his new fluorescent yeast kits.

A few years ago, Josiah Zayner left his job as a synthetic biologist for NASA to found The Odin, a company that lets anyone experiment with genetic science at home. His recently launched yeast kit accomplishes this in an eye-catching way. Thanks to a fluorescent protein from jellyfish, yeast that's been genetically modified with the kit glows green under a black or blue light.

Despite looking like a prop from a sci-fi film, the yeast is still yeast. That means it can be used in home-brewing projects if you want to take the science experiment a step further. According to Eater, yeast made with the kit ferments and fluoresces when added to honey and water. If you brew a batch of beer with the right amount of yeast, the final product will emit an otherworldly glow when viewed under a blacklight. The kit hasn't been FDA approved, but the company states the materials are nontoxic and nonallergenic, and beer made with it will still taste like beer.

You can purchase a fluorescent yeast kit from The Odin's online shop for $169. If you're looking for more ways to experiment with genetic technology at home, the company also sells kits that let you play with frog and bacteria DNA.

[h/t Gizmodo]