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Man Repairs Crumbling Walls With Legos

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the one-block-at-a-time dept.

Toys 106

Lanxon writes "German-born artist Jan Vormann, 27, has spent the past three years traveling the world repairing crumbling walls and monuments with Lego, reports Wired. His "Dispatchwork" began in 2007 in the small village of Bocchignano, Italy, as part of the contemporary art festival 20 Eventi. Developing the work in situ, he became intrigued by the makeshift repairs that had been made to the crumbling walls. The approach favored function over appearance, reminding Vormann of the haphazard Lego designs created by children."

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106 comments

dupe?? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32888560)

/pedantic (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32888596)

It's supposed to be LEGO, you insensitive clod!

Re:/pedantic (2, Insightful)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888906)

Oh just stfu, that argument is getting so damn old.

Re:/pedantic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32889186)

Whoosh!

Re:/pedantic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32889430)

It isn't an argument when it is fact.

People misusing / misspelling brand names is one of the most annoying things ever.

Re:/pedantic (3, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#32890110)

It isn't an argument when it is fact.

People misusing / misspelling brand names is one of the most annoying things ever.

Worse than cancer and heart disease put together!

Re:/pedantic (5, Informative)

Sovetskysoyuz (1832938) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889498)

It's actually a SUPER SRS Trademark issue, to the point that the LEGO Group highlights it on their website:
http://www.lego.com/eng/info/fairplay.asp [lego.com]

Proper Use of the LEGO Trademark on a Web Site
If the LEGO trademark is used at all, it should always be used as an adjective, not as a noun. For example, say "MODELS BUILT OF LEGO BRICKS". Never say "MODELS BUILT OF LEGOs".Also, the trademark should appear in the same typeface as the surrounding text and should not be isolated or set apart from the surrounding text. In other words, the trademarks should not be emphasized or highlighted. Finally, the LEGO trademark should always appear with a ® symbol each time it is used.

Re:/pedantic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32893270)

Too bad no one gives a shit.

Re:/pedantic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32894886)

LEGOs LEGOs LEGOs

Sue me

Re:/pedantic (1)

pimproot (161999) | more than 3 years ago | (#32896412)

The reason for this, no doubt, is that they're trying to prevent "LEGO" from becoming a generic term for little plastic bricks, like how XEROX came to mean "copy" and lost most of its trademark protection.

Some people don't seem to realize that instructions from a company about how you should refer to it and in what style they want you to advertise their trademark protection are NOT ENFORCED BY LAW. Consider them as requests from a flea shouting at the top of its lungs.

Re:/pedantic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32889632)

Don't you mean "LEGO(R) brand interlocking building blocks," you corporate stooge?

Hmmm (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888598)

I'm not sure if I'd want him repairing monuments with lego blocks. It's like to trying to restore the ceiling of Notre Dame with finger paints.

Re:Hmmm (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32888692)

Sorry to be a slashdot corrector geek, but you're most likely thinking of the Sistine Chapel...

Re:Hmmm (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889414)

Yes. Damnit. I knew I wasn't right but after a good 10 minutes of solid thinking I couldn't come up with the actual name.

Re:Hmmm (1)

mopower70 (250015) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889534)

Yes. Damnit. I knew I wasn't right but after a good 10 minutes of solid thinking I couldn't come up with the actual name.

10 minutes of thinking when the original post was only 6 minutes old? I'd think your ability to see into the future would come with a higher level of accuracy.

Re:Hmmm (1)

mitgib (1156957) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889660)

Vinny Gambini: Is it possible the 2 defendants...
[looks at judge]
Vinny Gambini: went into the Sac-O-Suds, picked 22 specific items off of the shelf, had the clerk take the money, make change, then leave. Then 2 different men, drive up...
[Seeing Mr. Tipton shake his head no]
Vinny Gambini: Don't shake your head I'm not finished yet. Wait until you hear the whole thing you can understand what it is that I'm askin'. Then, two different men drive up in a similar looking car, do into the store, shoot the clerk, rob him, then leave?
Mr. Tipton: No. They didn't have enough time.
Vinny Gambini: Why not? How long was they in the store for?
Mr. Tipton: 5 minutes.
Vinny Gambini: 5 minutes? How do you know? Did you look at your watch?
Mr. Tipton: No.
Vinny Gambini: Oh, oh, oh, you tesitfied earlier that you saw the boys go into the store, and you had just begun to cook your breakfast and you were just getting ready to eat when you heard the shot.
Mr. Tipton: That's right.
Vinny Gambini: So obviously it takes you 5 minutes to cook your breakfast.
Mr. Tipton: That's right.
Vinny Gambini: That's right, so you knew that. You remember what you had?
Mr. Tipton: Eggs and grits.
Vinny Gambini: Eggs and grits. I like grits, too. How do you cook your grits? Do you like them regular, creamy or al dente?
Mr. Tipton: Just regular I guess.
Vinny Gambini: Regular. Instant grits?
Mr. Tipton: No self respectin' Southerner uses instant grits. I take pride in my grits.
Vinny Gambini: So, Mr. Tipton, how could it take you 5 minutes to cook your grits when it takes the entire grit eating world 20 minutes?
Mr. Tipton: I don't know, I'm a fast cook I guess.
Vinny Gambini: I'm sorry I was all the way over here I couldn't hear you did you say you were a fast cook, that's it?
Mr. Tipton: Yeah.
Vinny Gambini: Are we to believe that boiling water soaks into a grit faster in your kitchen than anywhere else on the face of the earth?
Mr. Tipton: I don't know.
Vinny Gambini: Well, I guess the laws of physics cease to exist on top of your stove. Were these magic grits? Did you buy them from the same guy who sold Jack his beanstalk beans?

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32892512)

You took the time to check the timestamps? You have more than 10 minutes of free time obviously.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32888608)

I wonder if any local police have ever blocked him from making repairs.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32889428)

Yeah, doing things to public monuments without permission can get you in a lot of trouble. I myself once put my finger in a dike, but she didn't like it.

Lego [pedantic] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32888636)

The plural of "lego" is supposedly "lego" not "legos". (I've never understood why.)

Re:Lego [pedantic] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32888834)

The claim is that Lego is a mass noun, [wikipedia.org] like water or broccoli.
Not true in my idiolect, but some Lego fans really want to force the convention on others.

Re:Lego [pedantic] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32889840)

If you want something countable, Lego (the company) asks that you use "Lego bricks". Seems silly to me as Ford insisting you refer to their cars as "Ford cars" instead of "Fords" - what else do they make - but there you have it.

Re:Lego [pedantic] (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#32890400)

Ford would want you to do that if there was a risk that all cars were referred to as Fords. This is a risk that Lego runs.

Lego is the company name (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889814)

Lego is the company name. The individual toy parts are "Lego bricks" (or blocks) not "Legos". You wouldn't say "Nintendos" in place of "Nintendo games" or "Hot Wheelses" instead of "Hot Wheels cars". I have heard girls say "Barbies" instead of "Barbie dolls", but that is equally incorrect.

Re:Lego is the company name (1)

dolo724 (22338) | more than 3 years ago | (#32890098)

We DO say Nintendos, LEGOs and Barbies. We's all American!

oh, btw, it's Hot Wheels without the extra -es in our favorite vernacular.

kthxbye.

Re:Lego is the company name (1)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 3 years ago | (#32891480)

Kids did, and still do, say Hot Wheels, and Barbies is socially acceptable, even if not an authorized use of the trademark.

Legos is a hell of a lot more convenient to say and remember than Lego Bricks® and if Lego® the company was smart, they'd simply trademark that as well instead of fighting it.

The beautiful thing about language not being static, is that people can refer to products in ways other than what the manufacturer specifies. How would you like it if you couldn't say "Windows" or "MS", you always had to say "Microsoft Windows®" and "Microsoft®".

Re:Lego is the company name (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#32894604)

> How would you like it if you couldn't say "Windows" or "MS", you always had to say "Microsoft Windows®" and "Microsoft®"

GNU/Linux joke in 3..2..1...

Re:Lego [pedantic] (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#32890300)

Because it is an adjective, not a noun?

Re:Lego [pedantic] (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32891602)

Then you have to say things like "I drive a Toyota car", not "I drive a Toyota"; "I like Doritos brand corn chips" not "I like Doritos"; "Are you going to the Starbucks coffee shop?", not "Are you going to Starbucks" and many other silly things that will just make you sound very silly. And pedantic. And annoying.

Re:Lego [pedantic] (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#32895864)

No you don't, because none of those companies have chosen name their products the same way Lego do.

Now, like any true Scotsman, I'm going to put some salts on my porridges.

Isn't his the opposite approach? (1, Troll)

GoNINzo (32266) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888658)

He's favoring appearance over usefulness, because his patches are not useful at all. They provide no structural integrity. And besides, they might just fall out when the building crumbles even more.

Also, someone should have linked to his main site [dispatchwork.info] instead relying on 'sticky' linked article, trying to keep you at wired.

Re:Isn't his the opposite approach? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32888816)

Also, someone should have linked to his main site [dispatchwork.info] instead relying on 'sticky' linked article, trying to keep you at wired.

New here?

Re:Isn't his the opposite approach? (1)

slyrat (1143997) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889016)

Well, having done some work with legos to make them more sound structurally, it can work. Essentially if you use pvc pipe glue to melt the plastic of the pieces as you are building it you get a very strong plastic structure. I'm not saying it is anything to rely on like actual building materials, but it can easily hold a lot of weight.

Re:Isn't his the opposite approach? (1)

KumquatOfSolace (1412203) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889244)

I have no doubt it is strong enough for small repairs or non-load-bearing walls, but it is not water-permeable. So any moisture in the wall will pool up behind the plastic and errode the remaining mortar and/or bricks.

Re:Isn't his the opposite approach? (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 3 years ago | (#32894930)

There's no glue. From the artist [telegraph.co.uk]:

"At first I thought it would be a complicated procedure to fit the pieces," he said.

"But as it turned out, the bigger plastic pieces were compatible with the smaller ones, and the Lego held itself in place without any glue whatsoever."

But despite their sturdy construction, the artworks-cum-repairs aren't meant to last forever.

"I tried to apply some glue, but, on the dusty patina of the stone, it would not stick," he said.

"So I decided to just put them up like this, aware of the fact of erosion and the influence of weather.

"I like the aspect of temporariness that comes into play."

Re:Isn't his the opposite approach? (1)

aedan (196243) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889026)

You can build a whole house with Lego if you want to.

http://www.topgear.com/uk/photos/james-may-lego [topgear.com]

Re:Isn't his the opposite approach? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32889446)

It wasn't just legos, there were wood 2x4's for support inside the bricks

Re:Isn't his the opposite approach? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32892378)

How do you fit a wood 2x4 inside of a lego 2x4?
Aren't lego bricks ~ 1.25" x 0.625"?

Re:Isn't his the opposite approach? (1)

binkzz (779594) | more than 3 years ago | (#32890554)

He's favoring appearance over usefulness.

Did you see the designs? They are just random colour lego blocks put together. If anything, it makes the repaired item look worse.

Re:Isn't his the opposite approach? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32895732)

He's favoring appearance over usefulness.

Did you see the designs? They are just random colour lego blocks put together. If anything, it makes the repaired item look worse.

That was part of the point - function being more important than form. It imitates the ad hoc nature of a lot of repairs.

Re:Isn't his the opposite approach? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32890608)

He's favoring appearance over usefulness, because his patches are not useful at all. They provide no structural integrity. And besides, they might just fall out when the building crumbles even more.

Would you have read the story if the headline was "Man Repairs Crumbling Walls With Concrete"?

Re:Isn't his the opposite approach? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32894902)

They provide more structural integrity than thin air, even if it's not much more. Luckily, that is not their purpose, so is irrelavant. What do you think of their appearance then?

The real question (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32888728)

Aside from the debate over whether the Lego bricks are more sturdy than stone of unknown composition: Which one is cheaper? Lego bricks are pretty damned expensive! LOL

No he didn't... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32888756)

He repaired the wall with LEGO Bricks, LEGO Blocks, or just plain LEGO....not freaking LEGOS!

Re:No he didn't... (1)

silverglade00 (1751552) | more than 3 years ago | (#32891408)

Dude, stop yelling. I'm trying to Xerox some Polaroids of me cleaning my Legos with a Kleenex.

Re:No he didn't... (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#32894998)

Dude, stop yelling. I'm trying to Xerox some Polaroids of me cleaning my Legos with a Kleenex.

Pasta sauce tends to get everywhere doesn't it?

To clear this one up, Lego is it's own plural. "I was playing with Lego" is perfectly acceptable when referring to multiple Lego bricks.

Lego = small plastic bricks, popular with geeks and children.
Legos = cheap and bland pasta sauce, popular with people who cant cook or taste.

Expensive (0)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 3 years ago | (#32888824)

While kinda neat, aren't Legos expensive? I mean, why not just slap some cement/grout/etc on there? It would cost a fraction of the price and be more structurally sound.

Re:Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32889006)

Whoosh!

Re:Expensive (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889108)

"While kinda neat, aren't Legos expensive? I mean, why not just slap some cement/grout/etc on there? It would cost a fraction of the price and be more structurally sound."

I guess you missed the part where the guy doing the repairs calls himself an artist. Simply going around doing free masonry work wouldn't be very artsy, would it?

Re:Expensive (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 3 years ago | (#32891958)

I guess you missed the part where the guy doing the repairs calls himself an artist. Simply going around doing free masonry work wouldn't be very artsy, would it?

I thought "artists" used their own feces?

don't stop there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32889132)

I was thinking the same thing last time I was in the modern art museum. Those paintings are kinda neat, but aren't they expensive? Why not just slap some used construction tools on the wall. Perhaps a trowel with dried-on cement/grout/etc. It would cost a fraction of the price and be more interesting to look at.

Re:Expensive (3, Interesting)

cdpage (1172729) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889156)

Actually i would like to have seen some grout or something used you cover up some of the Lego.

It would make some installations look like the whole place was built out of Lego and just covered up.

Curious question tho... what is the structural integrity of Lego? It can't be all that bad.

Re:Expensive (2)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889316)

Agreed. That is why i don't think its structurally sound. Water/ice will get in between the brick and the lego and cause further erosion. The lego, while probably capable of lasting a long time, will just plop out like a loose tooth. If he would have grouted the area around the lego, adhering the lego to the existing wall, it would have improved the structure's structural integrity and looked cooler as well. Just my 2 cents.

Re:Expensive (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32895426)

A cartridge of silicone might be the answer. Smear it between the bricks and use masses of the stuff to fill the space between the bricks and the existing structure. Even where it won't stick it will tend to hang on to gaps, etc in masonry.

This is what I'm always talking about! (1)

socz (1057222) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889032)

This is an excellent example of what I am always saying: with lego(s), you are only limited by your imagination.

Why stop at making planes and gas stations when you could use them for many other things? Such as cd/dvd racks, cell phone holder, computer cases etc.

Sometimes, as some will undoubtedly say, it's not what could you do with them but why would you right? If I was to see a corner of damaged wall filled in with lego I would be "that's awesome!" It's also beautiful and breaks up the monotony of grey.

But more importantly, it inspired and gives people and especially children ideas. As I've said before, I think this is what helped guide me towards engineering/manufacturing (although it is not my profession). What I have learned has helped me out in every job I've had, and it all started with legos.

There's only 2 downsides to legos: 1) they're expensive to buy even in bulk, 2) you can never find that darn NxN you're looking for!&#*&#*(!!

NxN or NxM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32889782)

There's only 2 downsides to legos: 1) they're expensive to buy even in bulk, 2) you can never find that darn NxN you're looking for!&#*&#*(!!

Do you mean NxM (where N may, or may not, = M)? The only NxN pieces I would use with Lego, would be where N=1 or N=2.

Re:This is what I'm always talking about! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32890726)

The plural is Lego.

Colors (3, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889166)

I can see the artist's intention in using bright, random colored logos to say "Look everyone - these are legos!". But I think it would have been vastly cooler (and more "artistic" - and much more difficult) to have matched the color and geometric pattern of the structure he was repairing (extending the mortar joints, etc.).

Re:Colors (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 3 years ago | (#32892328)

Agree on both points. Though using Legos for anything this size gets pretty expensive I'd think.

Maybe he should make custom bricks shaped like big Legos.

Re:Colors (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#32893440)

He didn't use Lego in the first place. He used Megablocks or some other shitty poundshop alternative. Lego doesn't look anything like that.

Re:Colors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32893572)

Well next time you can do it. :)

In all honesty, I bet it takes him AGES to do that as it is without worrying about color coding.

One thing I don't get (1)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889190)

TFA states that he's worked with volunteers from "three to 40 years". Who the hell works with three years? Who the hell volunteers?




Ah, yes,I forgot, this is LEGO we're talking about.

Again, with the corrections... (1)

pewterfish (766491) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889296)

*sigh* Legos, sheeps, fishs...

Lego bricks. They're Lego bricks. It's a derivative of "leg godt" in Dutch, which means "play well" (source [wikipedia.org]), and a mass noun, not a count noun. How hard can it be to use the correct name for a product?

[/pedant]

Re:Again, with the corrections... (3, Informative)

M8e (1008767) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889590)

*sigh*

LEGO comes from Denmark and "leg godt" is danish.

Re:Again, with the corrections... (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889950)

And is legos really bricks? Only a few of them brick shaped, and none of them are made of ceramics. They are either called blocks or pieces in the scandinavian languages.

"A brick is a block of ceramic material used in masonry construction, usually laid using various kinds of mortar." source [wikipedia.org]

"Legoklods er et stykke legetøj produceret af LEGO siden 1949 efter engelsk forbillede." source [wikipedia.org]

You're quoting wikipedia?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32892272)

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/brick_1

Definition

brick noun ( BUILDING BLOCK ) /brk/ n
[C] a rectangular block of hard material used for building walls and houses
The chimney was made of bricks.
We lived in a Victorian terrace of red-brick houses.
He was so embarrassed - his face went brick-red (= a dark red).

See also: airbrick; redbrick
(Definition of brick noun (BUILDING BLOCK) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

Re:Again, with the corrections... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32889610)

*sigh* Legos, sheeps, fishs...

Lego bricks. They're Lego bricks. It's a derivative of "leg godt" in Dutch, which means "play well" (source [wikipedia.org]), and a mass noun, not a count noun. How hard can it be to use the correct name for a product?

[/pedant]

more corrections...

In "Danish" not Dutch
Dutch is of or relating to the Netherlands

Danish is of or relating to Denmark (where Lego bricks come from)

Re:Again, with the corrections... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32890000)

The company that makes them pushes "lego bricks" as the correct term because they have to to protect their trademark. If "lego" becomes a common noun describing a toy brick, their trademark vanishes.

Re:Again, with the corrections... (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 3 years ago | (#32891482)

I agree with you with regards to the plural, however it's written as "LEGO", as that's their trademark, the name of the company is "The LEGO Group".

Re:Again, with the corrections... (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 3 years ago | (#32891514)

Well, I agree with you as a convenience anyway. The actual plural is "LEGO bricks".

old news (2, Interesting)

MorbidBBQ (1453553) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889478)

It looks like he puked rainbow colored bricks into the walls. Any self respecting lego maniac would have color coded it to match the existing materials. And common; "...The approach favored function over appearance..." How are these walls more functional? Did he build secret compartments into them? Is there something going on beneath the surface with lego mindstorms and underpants gnomes?

Parting thoughts: How does he secure the legos? Glue? Does he cut the lego pieces, or chisel away the wall to provide a flatter surface?

The story about the kid who builds lego guns is much more interesting than some "artist" who "repairs" walls with legos.
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-06/11/working-sniper-rifle,-minigun-and-shotgun-built-from-lego

Re:old news (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 3 years ago | (#32891934)

How are these walls more functional? Did he build secret compartments into them? Is there something going on beneath the surface with lego mindstorms and underpants gnomes?

How do you think the gov't listens to your conversations?

Re:old news (1)

MorbidBBQ (1453553) | more than 3 years ago | (#32892616)

How do you think the gov't listens to your conversations?

So Eavesdropping is underpants gnomes' phase 2? Genius!

That's small fries... (3, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889566)

James May built an entire house out of Lego [google.com]. For some reason, he was unsuccessful in selling it [google.com], even after living in it overnight.

Re:That's small fries... (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#32889726)

"he was unsuccessful in selling it [google.com], even after living in it overnight."

not exactly correct, TFA says it was built on a private vineyard (Denbies Wine Estate) with the understanding that Legoland was going to pay to have it moved. When they found out how much it would cost to move they decided they didn't want it and it was torn down. Article does not say if it was up for sale to anyone other than Legoland.

Genius (1)

ezwip (974076) | more than 3 years ago | (#32890084)

I can't believe he managed to do this in only 3 years. Remarkable. How much for a college class and will that price cover books?

Looks like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32892912)

...I have my video card overclocked a bit much.

LOL, comment made following link... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32894636)

I've been doing the same thing with poop for years and everybody gets mad at me. I don't understand why it's art with legos and a crime with poop

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