FAQs and contacting Andrew Lipson...

I get quite a lot of email about my website, so let me answer some of the standard comments that get made. If I haven't answered your query here, or you still want to get in touch anyway, you can find my email address at the bottom of the page.

You have way too much time on your hands.

I guess this is a matter of opinion, but I have a wife and two kids and hold down a job that keeps me out of the house for around 75 hours a week. Nonetheless, it's amazing how many people have so much time on their hands thay have nothing better to do with it than email me to tell me I have too much time on my hands. If you really want to join their ranks you are free to do so but I probably won't reply.

How did you do that cool picture on your home page? Was it mirrors or digital?

Digital, I'm afraid. The picture was the result of an evening of beer and programming with my friend Daniel after I attended a talk he gave on the mathematics of Escher's picture "Print Gallery". I hacked together a piece of custom C code to manipulate the original image, which showed me holding a rectangular picture frame. If you're really interested in the manipulation, the paper at this link should give you a reasonable idea. This isn't exactly what we did, but close enough...

How do I read those .DAT files? All I get when I try to open one is a bunch of numbers.

As it says near the top of my main LEGO page You will probably want LDRAW or MLCAD or a compatible program if you want to follow my directions actually to build any of these...

Can you send me instructions for making... (one of the models shown on the site)?

Not unless I've put the instructions in the form of an LDRAW .DAT file on the website already. Most of the models are built by eye or directly from pictures. My experiments have shown that assembly takes many times longer, and is very tedious, if I record proper instructions as I go. So I don't. Life's just too short - sorry.

Will you add a link to my website from yours please?

If it strikes me as a particularly cool example of a LEGO website, dealing with an aspect of LEGO related to what's on my own site. In general I do not link to commercial sites. The main exceptions so far are the Dilbert and Escher web sites, both of whose owners have kindly granted me permission to use their copyright materials on my own site, and the LEGO site, for obvious reasons.

Can I add a link to your site from my site please?

Certainly. But please do not put copies of my pictures on your own site. You may use a small thumbnail copy of one or more of my pictures, provided it links to the appropriate page of my web site.

Can we use one of your pictures in our club/society/professional association newsletter/magazine/whatever?

Probably, provided my copyright is stated and you provide the URL of my website. Email me with details. Generally I appreciate being sent a copy or two of any printed material using my work. And beer doesn't hurt either...

Can we use one of your pictures in our advertising material?

Probably not, depending on what you're advertising and how much you're offering. But try me :-)

Can you tell us where to buy LEGO in bulk?

Not any more. I got most of mine in various clearance sales in the USA (where I no longer live), buying embarassingly large numbers of the old 1200-piece bulk LEGO tubs (which are no longer available). Sometimes quite large lots of LEGO are available on eBay, but it's often very grubby and mixed up with all sorts of other small plastic bits of ex-toys.

What do you do with the models?

After I've taken the photographs, most of my models are disassembled - I don't have that much LEGO, or indeed storage space! The exception is The Thinker, which I couldn't bring myself to destroy. He sits on top of a bookcase in my living room.

Do you sell your work?

Not yet. Building these models takes quite a while, and contrary to popular opinion I really don't have much spare time. Most people who have asked this question have rather rapidly lost interest once I estimate costs including my own time. There are also transportation issues - an unglued LEGO model is a fairly fragile thing, and I've never experimented with suitable glues.

I don't like the way you did Belvedere and I know a much better way to do it.

You may well be right and I will enjoy visiting your website to see your improved version when you have built and photographed it. I'm afraid I don't anticipate rebuilding any of my past LEGO Escher models in the forseeable future - there are too many other Escher pictures left to do!

If none of this answers your query, or you still want to get in touch anyway, you can email me at lipsonwebsite at ntlworld dot com.

LEGO® is a trademark of The LEGO Group, who have nothing to do with this or any of my other LEGO-related web pages.

All M. C. Escher works (C) Cordon Art, Baarn, the Netherlands. All rights reserved. Used by permission. The official M.C. Escher web site is worth a visit.

DILBERT Characters © United Feature Syndicate, Inc. Reproduced by permission of UFS and Scott Adams


This page last modified 2nd April 2005