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Lego refused to supply bricks for Ai Weiwei's latest project. See how his fans came to the rescue.

This is Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei.

Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.


While his daring, unconventional work has made him a global celebrity, it's also made him unpopular with the Chinese government. But even after being harassed, maligned, and imprisoned, Ai continues to create and challenge the status quo.

Ai's latest work centers on free speech ... and mass quantities of Lego bricks.

The piece, set to debut in December at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, is a room-sized installation showcasing Australian activists and free speech advocates, composed almost entirely of Legos.

Photo by iStock.

Ai's team contacted Lego, wishing to purchase bricks in bulk. Lego denied the request, telling Ai that "they cannot approve the use of Legos for political works."

When Lego denied his request, Ai took to Instagram to share his disappointment.

He called out the Denmark-based company, saying "Lego's refusal to sell its product to the artist is an act of censorship and discrimination."

"We're he

And with just one post, Ai stirred fans young and old into action.

Ai supporters and Lego enthusiasts from around the world quickly stepped up to donate their bricks to his project.



Using the hashtag #LegosForWeiwei, fans are supporting Ai and taking Lego to task.



Roar Rude Trangbæk, a Lego spokesman with the best name ever, told The Guardian, “In cases where we receive requests for donations or support for projects — such as the possibility of purchasing Lego bricks in large quantities — where we are made aware that there is a political context, we therefore kindly decline support."

Have bricks around your house you'd like to contribute? Hold tight.

While Ai Weiwei vowed to accept every Lego offered to him, the logistics of that are still being worked out. But this incident and outpouring of support have inspired Ai to create "a new work to defend freedom of speech and 'political art.'"

And his team plans to set-up Lego collection points in different cities to support the effort.

In September 2015 Lego refused to sell Ai Weiwei Studio a bulk order of Lego bricks for Ai's artworks to be exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne on the basis of the works' "political" nature. Ai posted this notice on his Instagram on Friday, October 23rd. Lego's position triggered a torrent of outrage on social media against this assault on creativity and freedom of expression. Numerous supporters offered to donate Lego to Ai. In response to Lego's refusal and the overwhelming public response, Ai Weiwei has now decided to make a new work to defend freedom of speech and "political art". Ai Weiwei Studio will announce the project description and Lego collection points in different cities. This is the first phase of the coming projects.
A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

In many places around the globe, expressing oneself is a political act.

Lego bricks are the tools many kids (and adults alike) use to imagine and build a better future, create new narratives, and challenge themselves. It's not always perfect, and it's occasionally messy, but that's how the best stuff comes to life.

Photo by iStock.

Take a cue from your fans, Lego, and support the people who are shaking things up and inspiring others to do the same.


Image from YouTube video.

An emotional and strong Matt Diaz.


Matt Diaz has worked extremely hard to lose 270 pounds over the past six years.

But his proudest moment came in March 2015 when he decided to film himself with his shirt off to prove an important point about body positivity and self-love.

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Health

The simple 'Dorito theory' is a thoughtful way to break our addictive, unfulfilling habits

"Things that aren't actually satisfying are those that are maximally addictive."

via Celeste Aria, used with permission and Hugo Martins/Flickr

Celeste Aria explains her "Dorito theory"

Philosopher Eric Hoffer once said, “You can’t get enough of what you truly don’t need to make you happy.” His point is that we can have enough of the things that truly satisfy us, such as a healthy relationship, necessary material possessions, or nutritious food.

However, the things that can’t satisfy us, such as junk food, toxic relationships, or status symbols, will always leave us feeling hollow, no matter how much we indulge.

This idea has popped back into public consciousness, although with a slight twist by TikTokker Celeste Aria, who refers to her version of the idea as the “Dorito theory.” “One thing I can’t stop thinking about is called the Dorito theory,” she said in a post with over 1 million views. “I learned about this, and now I see everything a little bit differently.”

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Family

Wife says husband's last name is so awful she can't give it to her kids. Is she right?

"I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything, and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c’mon."

A wife pleads with her husband to change their child's name.

Even though it’s 2023 and schools are much more concerned with protecting children from bullying than in the past, parents still have to be aware that kids will be kids, and having a child with a funny name is bound to cause them trouble.

A mother on Reddit is concerned that her future children will have the unfortunate last name of “Butt,” so she asked people on the namenerds forum to help her convince her husband to name their child something different.

(Note: We’re assuming that the person who wrote the post is a woman because their husband is interested in perpetuating the family name, and if it were a same-sex relationship, a husband probably wouldn’t automatically make that assumption.)

"My husband’s last name is Butt. Can someone please help me illuminate to him why this last name is less than ideal,” she asked the forum. “I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c'mon. Am I being unreasonable by suggesting our future kid either take my name, a hybrid, or a new one altogether?"

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Education

Why awkwardness is such a real thing for people everywhere and one big key to overcoming it

This is super helpful info for people who struggle with social anxiety.

In our brains, awkwardness can feel as painful as being bullied.

Some people fear heights or small spaces, some fear spiders or snakes, and some fear illness or death. When taken to an extreme, such fears can form of an anxiety disorder, but they are understandable fears to have because any one of those things could theoretically spell our demise.

But what about fearing something that isn't physically dangerous at all, but rather psychologically uncomfortable, like…awkwardness?

For people with social anxiety, the fear of awkwardness is as real as the fear of death. "I'd rather cross a glass bridge over a 1,000-foot canyon than introduce myself to someone new" is a totally normal thought for a socially anxious person. The silences and pauses that mark most social interactions are magnified to painful degrees and the feelings of self-consciousness most of us experience in those moments are felt in extremes in the mind of a socially anxious person.

No one likes feeling awkward, of course, but why is it even a thing in the first place? What makes some interactions feel so uncomfortable to our brains? And more importantly, how do we overcome the fear of awkwardness, especially those who find themselves completely paralyzed by it?

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A new viral R&B version of Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' is such a beautiful mood setter

It's like a completely new, equally good version of the all-time classic.

Representative Image from Canva, Dolly Parton/Youtube

Brb, listening to this 100x on repeat

As Rolling Stone announced that Beyoncé just became the first Black woman artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, let’s keep the celebration of Black women busting through barriers in the genre going, why not?

Singer/songwriter and producer NYA, aka @nya.w0rld on TikTok, has given her followers all kinds of R&B versions of well known songs from artists like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Avril Lavine. She’s even R&B-ified theme songs from popular television shows like “Friends.”

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It can even make it harder for them to find a date.

Knowing that his daughter was setting her child up for a hard life by giving him a very unusual name, a dad staged an intervention—in person and online—to get her to realize what she was doing.

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