Don’t Throw Away Your Used LEGO Bricks—Donate Them

Brick Fanatics, YouTube
Brick Fanatics, YouTube

Though you’re never too old to play with LEGO bricks, you might be running out of storage space for all your massive Star Wars ships and Hogwarts halls. If you’re looking for an easy way to ensure that your sets end up in the hands of worthy secondhand owners, consider donating them back to the LEGO Group.

Geek.com reports that LEGO has teamed up with Give Back Box, a sustainability organization that provides shipping services to charities, for their new LEGO Replay initiative, where they’ll send your used bricks to either Teach for America or Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston.

To encourage people to part with their toys, LEGO has made the donation process as hassle-free as possible. Essentially, they’ll accept whatever LEGO bricks you have—any number, any size, any condition. You don’t have to donate complete sets, you don’t have to sort the bricks, and you don’t even have to wash off the dust. Give Back Box employees will inspect all contributions by hand, thoroughly clean them, and ship them off to the next generation of builders. All you have to do is toss your bricks in a box and print out a free shipping label here.

“Learning through play can have a tremendous impact on a child’s cognitive development,” Susan Asiyanbi, Teach for America’s chief operating and program officer, said in a press release. “Children develop fine motor skills, think creatively, and can learn how to problem-solve through teamwork. But not everyone has access to such resources.”

Even if you’re still an avid LEGO builder yourself, this could be the perfect opportunity to give some of your easier sets to the rookies, and make room for your next epic LEGO project—like this 1771-piece Yoda.

[h/t Geek.com]

Scotland Could Become the First Country to Provide Universal Period Products to Citizens

emapoket, iStock via Getty Images
emapoket, iStock via Getty Images

Fears over where to find—and how to afford—sanitary products before their next menstrual cycle may no longer be an issue for people in Scotland. Earlier today, as the BBC reports, Members of Scottish Parliament passed the first part of a bill that would make items like pads and tampons free to the public.

The Period Products Bill was first put forth in 2017 to address period poverty, which affects people who are unable to afford essential menstrual hygiene products. Pads, tampons, and some reusable menstrual items are currently available to students in primary schools and universities in the country. The Scottish government has also expanded the program to include additional public places and sports clubs, but this new bill goes even further. If passed, Scotland would become the first country to provide free period products to citizens on a universal scale.

Ministers in the Scottish Parliament were initially concerned about the bill's £24 million ($31 million) annual price tag, but earlier this month, members of all parties in the government came out in support of the legislation. Though the bill passed through the first stage of parliament today, February 25, the BBC wrote that "The government is expected to put forward a raft of amendments to address their 'significant' concerns about the legislation," including the aforementioned cost.

Period poverty is an issue that's felt around the world. In America, many lawmakers are fighting to end the "tampon tax": a sales tax that's added to sanitary products and waived from other hygiene products deemed essential in many states, like dandruff shampoo.

[h/t BBC]

10 Simple Tricks for Charging Your Smartphone Faster

Makidotvn, iStock via Getty Images
Makidotvn, iStock via Getty Images

Smartphones always seem to reach low power at the least convenient moments possible. If you've ever urged your device to charge faster in the minutes before a phone interview or when you're about to board a plane, you can relate. While the easiest way to avoid this scenario is to plug in your device before the battery dips into the danger zone, if you've already reached this point, there are simple ways to speed up the charging process.

Some hacks for charging a phone faster involve steps you can take in anticipation of the next time you're surviving on minimum energy. Certain gadgets, like special chargers and battery packs, will power-up your device more efficiently than others. For moments when your phone is dying and all you have is your regular charging cable, adjusting your phone's settings to minimize the power it consumes also works in a pinch.

You can find some specific ways to charge your phone quickly below: 

  1. Plug it into a wall outlet instead of a USB port.
  1. Use a portable battery pack.
  1. Buy a special "fast" phone charger.
  1. Switch to low power mode.
  1. Switch to airplane mode.
  1. Let your phone drain completely on its own once a month to the extend the battery life.
  1. Close any background apps.
  1. Stop automatic app updates.
  1. Don't check your phone while it's charging
  1. Keep your phone out of the heat.

For more tricks for making your phone usage more efficient, check out these tips for typing faster.

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