The real Saturn V was a monster. At 363 feet tall, it stood about as high as a 36-storey building. Lego’s new recreation of the iconic rocket might be 1:110 scale, but it’s still an impressive sight to behold.After amassing the required 10,000 votes on Lego Ideas, the NASA Apollo Saturn V rocketed through Lego’s approval process and straight into retail packaging. It’s a fitting brick-built tribute to the Space Program, right down to the piece count: 1969, a nod to the year the Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon.There’s a stunning amount of detail in the set. The rocket assembles in stages, just like the real thing did. The first contains the five massive F-1 engines, the second five J-2 engines, and the third a single J-2. Folding open the SLA panels reveals the Apollo spacecraft inside.The Lunar Lander can be docked with the command module, and there are three astronaut microfigs included so you can re-enact the Moon landing (you know, either on the Moon or in a studio setting, depending on your beliefs on how the whole thing went down).Now that you’ve gotten a look at it and you know that it stands almost a full meter tall, you’re probably wondering how big a hole the Saturn V is going to burn in your Lego budget. The truth is… a relatively modest one.Lego has priced this beauty of a model at $119.99. On average, Lego sets usually for around 10 cents a piece. The Saturn V, amazingly, comes in at roughly half that… so run out and grab one before all the other space geeks beat you to it!
Stay on target There’s only one episode left in the first season of American Gods, and it’s not even a third of the way through the book yet. That’s partly because it’s taking its time with the book’s more important scenes, but it’s also deviated from the source significantly. Over the last few episodes, the show has found its own identity. It’s added multiple characters and plot elements, changed the order of some events, and expanded upon others that were only brief one-sentence asides in the book. The basic plot is the same, and all the major beats appear to be there. The series is just becoming its own thing.Last night, after the intense, plot heavy episodes we’ve had for the last two weeks, American Gods gave us a lighter, more character-driven episode all about Mad Sweeney. It’s a little strange that the show would diverge from its main plot one episode before its finale, but what is this series if not strange? We began with Mr. Ibis (Jacquel’s partner) writing another Coming to America story. This time, it’s about an Irish woman who becomes an indentured servant and brings the Fairy Folk (like leprechauns) to America. Mad Sweeney may not be a god, but he was brought to the new world just like one.Emily Browning as Essie MacGowan (Photo via STARZ)The story of Essie MacGowan is one of the reasons Neil Gaiman wrote the book in the first place. After his daughter’s teacher refused to believe that early immigrants to America were anything but pilgrims seeking religious freedom, Gaiman said he realized how few Americans know their own history. The American colonies were just as much a dumping ground for prisoners and undesirables as any other British colony. That’s part of why this episode spent so much time on Essie (also played by Emily Browning). We see that Essie was a little girl who loved listening to stories about the fairy folk. As she grew older, she kept the stories alive, telling them to the children around the house where she worked as a servant. She also kept all the old superstitions, like leaving a portion of bread and milk out for the leprechauns.A full half of the episode follows Essie’s journey from indentured servant, to actual thief back in London, to another forced emigration, to wife and mother, and finally to widowed grandmother. She brings the stories with her to the new world, and soon finds that her grandchildren don’t have the same love for the stories that she did. When she dies, she’s greeted by Mad Sweeney, who explains that she brought him to a land that has no place for him. That’s the other reason we spent so much time on Essie’s story. To explain why there’s a perpetually down-on-his-luck leprechaun in the United States. I loved the choice to have Browning play both Laura and Essie. It was a cool way to draw parallels between the two characters. Both were women of great ambition, wanting more than the world was willing to give them. And both have found themselves traveling with a surly leprechaun.Emily Browning as Essie MacGowan (Photo via STARZ)The rest of the episode centered on Laura and Sweeney’s road trip. We didn’t even see one second of Shadow and Wednesday, which is an interesting choice. Especially given that the last time we saw them, Shadow was horrified over Wednesday cutting off a dude’s head. I guess we’ll deal with that next week. For now, Laura learns where Salim’s djinn will be when Sweeney lets it slip. Being a much nicer person in death, she sends Salim on his way, freeing him of his detour to Kentucky. As happy as it made Salim, I’m sad to see him go. His relationship with Laura was the best part of last week’s episode. They shared an appreciation for life and all its gifts, even if their ideas about God couldn’t be more different. Now, it appears the show wants to grow the relationship between Laura and Mad Sweeney. She certainly seems to be growing on him.The most interesting bit came at the very end. After the pair stole an ice cream van, Sweeney appeared to cause a white rabbit to run out in front of it. The van flipped over, and Laura’s stitches ripped open, allowing the coin to spill out. He picks it up and is about to leave Laura dead on the ground. Then, he imagines himself speaking to one of Odin’s ravens. “It’s done,” he says. So, it would appear that Wednesday asked Mad Sweeney to get rid of Laura? We already know he doesn’t want her around Shadow. Is he worried she’ll tempt him away from his employment, or is there some deeper plan he’s afraid she’ll ruin? Again, knowing what happens in the book, I have my suspicions. But that’s the fun of this series. You never know what kind of alternate take or plot deviation it’ll take. Still, in the interest of not potentially spoiling a plot point that could be whole seasons away, let’s just say that Wednesday isn’t entirely honest with Shadow. That should have become clear already.Pablo Schreiber as Mad Sweeney, Emily Browning as Laura Moon (Photo via STARZ)In the end, Sweeney seemingly decides he doesn’t enjoy being Wednesday’s puppet. Realizing it’s either that or willingly give up his coin, he swears in Celtic for a while before dropping the coin back inside Laura. She wakes up, flips the truck back on its wheels and the two continue, following Shadow’s light. Despite Sweeney feeling like he owes Wednesday a battle, he couldn’t just leave Laura to die (again). This could be the start of an unlikely friendship that makes things real difficult for Wednesday. I’d guess that’s still a long ways off. We only have one more episode left in the season, and we’re not even close to the House on the Rock. I hope we get to see that before the season ends, but it’s impossible to know at this point. The title of next week’s episode, “Come to Jesus” suggests a further deviation and reordering of the book. Even as we approach the season finale, I have only the faintest idea of what to expect, and that’s a good thing. No other adaptation has been able to pull that off. ‘American Gods’ Season 2 Trailer: A Divine War Is ComingNYCC 2018: The American Gods Cast Gives Us a Glimpse of Season Two
Stay on target Review: ‘Daemon X Machina’ Has Big Robots, Small Fun on Nintendo SwitchThis Robot Is Equal Parts Lawnmower and Snow Blower A New Jersey hospital has employed a robot to do its dirty work.Saint Peter’s University Hospital last week introduced the Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot that kills hard-to-clean bacteria.The unassuming bot—with four wheels and a handle for transport—follows the environmental services staff, who clean the room first. LightStrike (for lack of a better name) then emits waves of ultraviolet (UV) light to destroy any remaining bugs.“In infection prevention, our goal is to provide a clean, safe environment for our patients, their families, and our employees,” Amy Gram, director of infection prevention at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, said in a statement.Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs)—viruses contracted while receiving medical treatment—are major, yet preventable, threats to safety, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimated a whopping 721,800 HAIs in US hospitals in 2011.“This latest technology provides an added level of protection in combating HAIs caused by pathogens,” Gram said of the Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot.Using a high-intensity UV light to penetrate the cell walls of microorganisms (including mold, fungus, and spores), the android fuses their DNA and renders them unable to reproduce or mutate.Once the environmental services staff finishes cleaning, the portable robot—like something out of Star Wars or Lost in Space—is wheeled in. All humans must clear out and let the machine run for 10 minutes in the room, and five minutes in the lavatory.These Wi-Fi- and cellular-enabled machines are already killing bugs in more than 400 hospitals across North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. They can also be found in Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense quarters, skilled nursing facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, and long-term acute-care homes.“Anything that helps clean the room benefits patients,” Perry Zycband, manager of environmental services for Saint Peter’s, said. “They can know the room has this second layer of protection to destroy germs.”The system claims to rid even the most dangerous of pathogens, like Clostridium difficile (C. diff), norovirus, influenza, Ebola, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.