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Welcome to BZPower!

Hi there, while we hope you enjoy browsing through the site, there's a lot more you can do if you register. Some perks of joining include:
  • Create your own topics, participate in existing discussions, and vote in polls
  • Show off your creations, stories, art, music, and movies
  • Enter contests to win free LEGO sets and other prizes
  • Participate in raffles to win LEGO prizes
  • Organize with other members to attend or send your MOCs to LEGO fan events all over the world
  • Much, much more!
Enjoy your visit!

Kraggh's Works ♫♪



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Fidget Spirit

Posted by Jean Valjean , in BZPower Oct 01 2017 · 169 views
SPIRIT, Fidget Spinner and 1 more...
Fidget Spirit :kaukau: Behold.
The culmination of all of society's efforts.
The purpose behind our every mathematical advancement.
The ultimate end of our sciences.
Faster than a speeding bullet, stronger than a locomotive, more glorious than Mother Russia.
Yes, you indeed died and went to Heaven.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Amen.


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EmperorWhenua is a...

Posted by Jean Valjean , in BZPower May 01 2017 · 137 views
fecal matter
:kaukau: ...ruler of some sort? You know, kind of like an emperor?

Truly, I've got nothing.

You just be you.

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Happy LEGO Day

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Life, BZPower, Nerd, Events Feb 14 2014 · 609 views
LEGO
:kaukau: Why not?
 
Valentine's Day is a stupid holiday.  Always thought so, always will.  It wouldn't make a difference if I was in a relationship, because the things I value in a relationship transcend hearts and chocolate (although to be fair to chocolate, it is one of the greatest inventions ever).  I mean, to have society try to associate your relationship with such a commercialized event that has seemingly nothing to do with relationships when you two are too busy doing something that's actually important is kind of embarrassing.  Everything about it is awkward.  Is it the only day of the year that people are supposed to be romantic or something?  Is there supposed to be some sort of special date that boys take their girlfriends out on this day?  I would have figured that a special date wouldn't be on a day where everyone else is doing it, because you'd want to make it a little more personal.  It's kind of hard to be personal when everyone else is doing it, and when the romantic theme of Valentine's Day is also so vague and ambiguous.  It's like you're not celebrating anything in particular, or anything meaningful about relationships.  You're just celebrating the shallow stuff.
 
So from now on, I'm making my own holiday on February 14, something that's actually fun.  I missed out on seeing the The LEGO Movie on its opening weekend, but there's a matinee this Friday.  I decided that I would dedicate this day to LEGOs and see that movie.  A friend even knew that today was LEGO Day for me and suddenly dropped in on me at midnight to say "Happy LEGO Day!"
 
I'll have a review of the movie up tomorrow, and I hope everyone else who hasn't seen it yet takes some time today to see it.  In fact, it would be awesome if you, too, would consider today LEGO Day from now on and it became a little tradition among us BZPers.
 
Happy LEGO Day!
 
Oh, and I admit, I did give in and celebrate Valentine's Day just a little bit.  This morning, I treated myself to a chocolate, heart-shaped doughnut.  But that was because of the chocolate. It just might be as awesome as LEGOs.
 

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Congratulations, Turakii and Lhikan!

Posted by Jean Valjean , in BZPower Aug 01 2013 · 480 views

:kaukau: I've known about you guys dating for a while, though I never knew you guys got engaged.  It's totally weird to think about it.  I can't remember if Turakii was my age or not.  I always assumed you were, so I guess I didn't suspect anything.  Then again, a bunch of my friends are getting married.  It feels a little weird.  It just feels a long way off for me.
 
I just know I'm definitely not going to meet my future wife over BZPower.
 
But I'll tell you what, guys.  The when I get engaged, I will talk my fiancée (which looks like "fancy" spelled...fancily) into joining BZPower, and making a few posts, and I will buy her a temporary Premier Membership so she can blog about random stuff for several days in a row and officially become a member of the community.  Then we can technically be a BZP couple.
 
Anyway, I bid ye many happy years ahead.  Turakii, you were always a good friend (when you were still around).  Lhikan...I guess I hardly knew you, but I'm sure you're an awesome guy, and I remember a few cool things about you.  Just don't take it the wrong way when I dedicated my Love Story cover to Turakii!
 

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NEWT: Faking a Smile

Posted by Jean Valjean , in BZPower Dec 11 2012 · 944 views
writing
:kaukau: I will do a few more "vs" entries before the end of the month, but in December I will start something new. The project is to be called Normal Everyday Writing Themes (NEWT). This is being advertised now on Tanksgiving (thanks to Lhikevikk, I realize my typo here, but because he's right about how epic it is I won't correct it) because today is a day for being thankful for all the things that we take for granted. Hence, the theme and style of this idea: every day for the next few months, starting in December, I will repost this entry with a new theme.

This is for writers. These themes will apply to writing. Although not an official event, I do this in hopes of encouraging writers on BZPower subject material to write about, and often times the greatest writing material is right underneath our noses, hidden in plane site among the activities of everyday life. So will it be that most of these themes will focus around everyday things, from family to school to work.

I encourage writers to look at the headline for this entry every day and think of writing something about it. It doesn't matter if it's a short story, a chapter to an epic, a poem, or an essay (for the bloggers out there). I would be proud to see someone post artork on these themes. The point is, this is a daily exercise, and it is distinct from Ambage activities such as the Fortnightly Flash Fiction Contest and the Skype Write-Offs because it's daily, has no time limit (unless you want to get done with one theme before the next one comes around in 24 hours), and isn't a competition. This is meant to encourage regular writing.

Allow me to speak in the second person. I will word these headlines in such ways that I hope they speak to you. Think about it. What do some of these everyday things sound like to you? These won't be vague, poetic themes like "Pathfinding", but a little more specific in their application toward life. So imagine seeing the headline "Being the only girl". Yes, you can make a great adventure story out of that, I'm sure, but my advise to all writers is to stop and reflect and forget for just a moment about being creative and original. What's the truth behind the theme? How does it speak to you? These are just some things for you to consider as you grow and develop as a writer to discover the meaning of art.

Also, if you feel like it, you can post a link to your work here to help establish a sense of community and let other writers know of your participation, as well as give people the opportunity to see what interpretations of the themes have already been covered.

That's it. That's all I have to say for now. I hope you all are interested!
 
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Eudaimonia
 
 
A Greek word for happiness, this is actually fairly specific and means "the good life".  This is to say that eudaimonia doesn't apply to happiness at any specific moment, but happiness over a lifetime and an ultimate sense of peace with someone has done with what they had allotted to them.  it's a big concept, and when I took a college class called "The Roots of Western Culture and Worldview" (aka Western Civ), I chose this as the subject of my semester paper, which I wrote largely overnight.  Specifically, I had to explain Aristotle's views on happiness as described in the Nicomachean Ethics (while at the same time using at least five sources).  It was something I did all at the last minute, and surprisingly I got a near perfect grade, save for the deductions made for turning it in late.  I wish I still had that paper, because it was a really good essay, and there's a lot to say about it, especially when I had a very powerful thesis.
 
This is a broad subject for something that's supposed to be normal and everyday, but I figured that I wanted to start off with a big question that ought to challenge the reader, and that is: "What is the good life?"  That's what I naturally begin to ponder when I look at the theme.  Who knows, though.  Someone might look at the theme and see it in a much simpler light.  On the whole, though, if anyone's out there who's interested in participating in NEWT, I guess that the nature of this theme still entails stories with a bigger narrative at hand, and hopefully these thoughts will bring about some of our finer literature to date.
 
Well, that's enough of me being a philosophy nerd.  I will see you all tomorrow.
 
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Moving
 
Most, if not all who read this should have some familiarity with the proces of moving away from and old home and into a new one, saying goodbye to friends in the process.  Either that, or a friend has moved away.  Saying goodbye to home and making that transition, taking away the constants in your life, can be tough.  I would imagine that we all have our stories to share, or through our experience be able to create another story that has that sincere sense of being true to life.
 
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Story Behind a Photograph
 
I got part of the inspiration for this project and wrote down a list of themes long enough to last months while my grandmother was going through an old photo album and telling some cousins of mine the stories of their father and their uncles.  As she went through that sacred oral tradition of sharing her family stories with the next generation, I wrote down those little moments of life that I take for granted.  Meanwhile, it also makes for a good theme that's certainly open for interpretation from the author.
 
 
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What is a nerd?
 
Ah, the question as old as time, or at least as old as the 50's.  I personally think that the word is used too freely these days to describe anyone with geeky interests, but I personally feel that a lot of intelligence has to go into nerdiness as well, so I get annoyed when someone can be described as a nerd just for being a Star Wars or Harry Potter fan, when really they should just be called franchise fans because these are unrelated to academic intelligence and problem-solving.
 
There's also my grife about people applying labels to themselves and letting the nerd label define them and acting in certain ways because "that's how nerds should act".  How lame.  I hate that reasoning anywhere.  I hate it when I use it on myself, because sometimes I let my self-labelling define me and act certain ways "because I'm nerdy."  Then in hindsight, I think it's kind of less true to myself.  And really, sometimes I wonder what exactly a nerd is, once you remove all the stereotypes and unnecessary details and get straight to the core of what one is.
 
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A Christmas Carol
 
At this point my favorite Christmas carol is Silent Night, in-between the times when I'm listening to Stille Nacht instead, because everything sounds better in German.  Everything.  Bias aside, I also like O Come All Ye Faithful (probably because it also has a German counterpart).  This is to say nothing about the Hallelujah Chorus, which is amazing and one of the greatest works of music ever produced, although I wouldn't consider it a Christmas carol.  We also know Carol of the Bells is one of the most beloved, respected, and dramatic pieces of music ever written as well, which just so happens to be related to Christmas, and it can mean many things to many people, although its lyrics are only atmospheric and don't tell a particularly resonating story, which is why at the end of the day I listen to the classic carols about the meaning of Christmas, especially if they have a German or Latin equivalent, to keep my heart where it should be.
 
How I miss the days that I have gone out and Christmas Caroled.  It has been a long time.  Maybe in a couple of years I will return to the age-old practice with a few friends, or I could in fact do it this year.  It's been so long ago since I've done this that all my memories have receded into that surreal world of the past.  Those are kid memories now, but even as a kid I knew I was doing something special and rare, and for once I have memories that don't make me feel nostalgic because there were times in my life where I cherished what I had before I lost it.
 
There also happens to be a strong association with a certain story that has this title when the phrase "A Christmas Carol" is mentioned.  My favorite adaption of this tale is An American Christmas Carol, starring Henry Winkler as Benedict Slade, American industrialist-turned Scrooge of the Great Depression, which delivers his tale of rise, fall, and redemption so well that it was one of the last films that brought tears to my eyes before seeing Schindler's List, and I highly recommend it to anyone who can fish it up.
 
Yes, at the end of the day, it's a vague concept, this whole business of Christmas carols.  It doesn't mean anything in particular, but it seems to intertwined with who we are that they will always have a special place in our heart and be a strong, resonating, universal theme for any story.
 
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Being the Oldest Child
 
Either you were the oldest child or you were not.  Either way, I can certainly relate, being one myself.  Every family has one, and thus this is as everyday as you can get.
 
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Being the Only Girl
 
Statistically speaking, the majority of BZP authors are males, and we male authors tend to write stories about men.  We also know that girls tend to get relegated back to the role of romantic interest, in which case their femininity defines them.  Let's switch things around for a moment and see things from the perspective of a human being who also happens to be the only female within a group.  I remember pondering this and writing a short fictional letter, To the Guys.  It was nice to write something short for once, but even more importantly it was good to ponder seeing someone for her deepest and truest self, and trying to see how we're all the same.  Then, me just being me, I also sometimes try to walk a mile in the shoes of this other person and also try to understand that true femininity is, deep down inside once you remove all of the cultural superficialities.
 
Coming from the same strand as the last theme, this is another common thing you see everyday that makes someone unique.  Whether she's the only sister among eleven brothers or the only girl in a group of guy friends, there's always the girl who lives amid the opposite sex, doesn't think of herself as a gal, and identifies more with the thinking of guys while matter-of-factly acknowledging that on technical levels she isn't, and her femininity is something far deeper and more internal.
 
Or maybe not.  It depends on the person.
 
It's interesting for me to write about female characters because they're not common enough and they don't get enough justice, and all to often their femininity is treated as a gimmick to the personality.  It's irrational to deny that it doesn't make them unique, of course, but I tend to treat that form of uniqueness in a similar way in how I treat the subject of being an oldest child.  There's something special about you, something that sets you apart emotionally from the rest for no real reason, if only due to outside expectations and the way you see yourself with respect to others.  Female characters are fun to write about, and when you enter outside of life fiction and enter the realm of fantasy literature, there are people who are special because they're the seventh son of a seventh son, because they have a birthmark, because they have a unique personality quirk, or any such measure that marks them as the Chosen One within the story.  Yet, I like to be much simpler.  I like to chose a girl and just give her a soul.  She is who she is, and when written in sincerity, that's enough to make a main character special.
 
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The Picture in My Locket
 
It's just a little more specific than "the story behind a picture".  But the theme doesn't necessarily have to be about the story behind the pciture.  Maybe the background is of no importance.  Maybe it just contains a picture of roses, and the main character just happens to like roses.  Maybe it has magic properties and puts a curse or blessing on the wearer of the locket.  Maybe the locket's owner is Dorian Grey.  You never know.  It's completely up to your imagination.
 
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Faking a Smile
 
I was looking at some pictures and I could totally tell times when someone was faking a smile.  Then I realized that people fake smiles in a completely different way for each other, even when cameras aren't included, and in many ways we fake happiness much of the time.  At least, as far as the cliche suggestion goes.  Maybe that doesn't apply to you.  I don't claim to have that deep of a grasp of human nature.
 
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Rene

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Wisdom, BZPower, Humor Jul 26 2012 · 854 views
BZPower, wisdom, humor
:kaukau: Rene Descartes made famous the line "Cogito ergo sum", translating to "I think, therefore I am." Like a good Neoplatonist, he sought out to prove only things that could be reasoned through means such as mathematics. Yet, what if his math was wrong? What if our reality is completely warped and 2+2 really equals 5 (which in fact it does, for really high values of 2).

And really, what if self-awareness is just an illusion, since how can a unique configuration of atoms known as the brain really be self-aware?

I'd hate to break it, but once you really begin to think about it you can't really prove anything, so Rene Descartes would probably run into a lot of frustration down the road, constantly overanalyzing everything (like me) and second-guessing himself to the point where life just became pointless.

The moral of this random rant: Rene is a silly old man. Never take Rene seriously.

Your Honor,

The Best Emperor BZPower Ever Had


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Superblog!

Posted by Jean Valjean , in Superman, BZPower Jul 20 2012 · 385 views
BZPower, Superman
:kaukau: Because of his first entry, BenLuke-116 should totally name his blog Superblog.

Or the Blog of Solitude.

Merida


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I feel like Hahli Husky

Posted by Jean Valjean , in BZPower Jul 12 2012 · 628 views
BZPower
:kaukau: Somehow this Merida avatar feels like something she would use.

It's a cool feeling.

Merida


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Photoshop Question

Posted by Jean Valjean , in BZPower Jul 07 2012 · 479 views

:kaukau: I'd like my new banner

Posted Image

To look like my regular banner.

Posted Image

If you look closely there's a border in my Gali banner, but Gali herself and the items in the foreground fit over it. There's also some shine added to the picture coming from the upper right hand corner. Elements of the background have a little extra gloss added to them, and if you look carefully there are also diagonal lines.

These are features I'd like to apply to all my new banners from now on. If people could explain how each of these works, or maybe even create a full tutorial called "Banner Tutorial for Kraggh", I'd much appreciate it.


Your Honor,
Emperor Kraggh


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Lots Of 1's

Posted by Jean Valjean , in BZPower May 22 2012 · 441 views
BZPower
Lots Of 1's :kaukau: I just thought that this looked really cool when I refreshed the page. Admit it, you think so, too.

Your Honor,
Emperor Kraggh






Me

Username: Jean Valjean
Real name: People literally don't have names in my family
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Heritage: Half Dutch, Quarter Hungarian, Eighth Swedish, Sixteenth German and Irish
Physical description: Looks like the eleventh Doctor
Favorite food: Chicken, turkey, and beef.
Least favorite food: Vegetables of any kind
Favorite band: Queen
Favorite singer: Billy Joel
Favorite song: American Pie
Favorite movie: Schindler's List
Favorite TV show: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Favorite play: Les Miserables
Favorite color: Silver
Second favorite color: Brown
Favorite board game: Risk
Favorite athlete: Michael Phelps
Lucky Number: 53
Past-times: Writing, reading, drawing
Political Caucus: Iowa Republicans
Religion: Christian
Language: Iowegian

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