Boy with autism builds 26-foot long Titanic replica out of Legos

Published: Monday, April 16, 2018 @ 1:54 PM

26-Foot Long Lego Titanic Replica Built By Boy With Autism

Brynjar Karl Bigisson played with his first Lego bricks when he was five.

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By the time he was 10, he fused his interest in the Titanic with the interlocking bricks, developing an idea that eventually became a 26-foot long model of the doomed liner.

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It took 700 hours, 56,000 bricks and more than $10,000, donated by family and friends, to build. His grandfather, an engineer, helped him with the blueprints.

Brynjar Karl Bigisson used 56,000 Lego bricks to create his Titanic replica. (Photo courtesy Titanic Pigeon Forge)

The giant, scale model took Brynjar, 15, who is from Reykjavik, Iceland, all over the world touring with the ship and talking about overcoming his autism.

“This whole journey has helped me out of my autistic fog. Although I’m still autistic and will always be, I have trained myself to be ‘as normal as possible,’” he said. “I was totally unable to communicate when I started the project and now I’m standing on stage and giving interviews. It has given me confidence. When I started the building process I had a person helping me in school in every step that I took, but today, I’m studying without any support. My grades have risen and my classmates consider me as their peer. I have had the opportunity to travel and explore and meet wonderful people.”

The Titanic Lego ship has been on display at the largest mall in Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Hamburg, before finding a final resting place at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

“I never imagined my project would make such an impact,” Brynjar said. “Things just evolved and we followed the flow. But I’m very honored and happy that my project was an inspiration to so many others -- also motivation to follow your own dreams.”

Brynjar said his Lego building days are behind him but not his fascination with ships.

“I never built anything after the Titanic,” he said. “I turned more towards exploring ships and their stories because I’m interested in becoming a captain when I grow up.”

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CVS apologizes after white manager called police on black woman using coupon

Published: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 8:51 PM

File photo. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

CVS has apologized to a black woman and is investigating an incident in which a white manager called police on her after she tried to use a coupon at a Chicago store on Friday.

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Camilla Hudson, 53, who said her Facebook post detailing the incident was removed for unspecified reasons by the social media site, also shared video on Twitter of her interaction with the CVS manager who claimed she had forged a coupon.

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Hudson said she shared her experience after other recent stories where police were called by white people because of minor or perceived infractions by black people.

“I was not yelling, I did not raise my voice, I did not use profanity, I did not call anyone outside of their name -- other than not accepting, basically, ‘Screw you,’ that was my offense, if you will,” Hudson told Block Club Chicago. “As a woman, as a black woman, as a native Chicagoan, I’m just tired of it. I’m tired of it.”

Police were called to the store for an assault in progress, according to Block Club Chicago. Hudson was told by police she had to leave or else it would be considered trespassing.

“They were not awful,” Hudson told Block Club Chicago regarding the interaction with police. “I explained to them what had happened and how it had happened, and they said, ‘When we get these calls we do have to respond … (but) you’re going to have to leave,’ and I said, ‘Why do I have to leave? I’m a customer here.’”

CVS reached out to Hudson Saturday as her post went viral.

“Our Region Director in Chicago contacted Ms. Hudson as soon as we were made aware of this incident,” CVS said in a statement, according to Block Club Chicago. “CVS has begun an investigation and we will take any corrective action that is warranted to prevent it from happening again. CVS Pharmacy does not tolerate any practices that discriminate against any customer and we are committed to maintaining a welcoming and diverse environment in our stores.”

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Man succeeds in campaign to bring ‘Trump baby balloon’ to U.S.

Published: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 10:48 PM

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JULY 14:  Workers tend to The Baby Trump Balloon while the U.S. President is visiting Trump Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort in Scotland as people gather to protest during his visit to the United Kingdom on July 14, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The President of the United States and First Lady, Melania Trump on their first official visit to the UK after yesterday's meetings with the Prime Minister and the Queen is in Scotland for private weekend stay at his Turnberry.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JULY 14: Workers tend to The Baby Trump Balloon while the U.S. President is visiting Trump Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort in Scotland as people gather to protest during his visit to the United Kingdom on July 14, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The President of the United States and First Lady, Melania Trump on their first official visit to the UK after yesterday's meetings with the Prime Minister and the Queen is in Scotland for private weekend stay at his Turnberry. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)(Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

A man who started a crowd source funding account to bring a balloon ridiculing President Donald Trump to the United States hopes to fly it near the president’s New Jersey golf club. 

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The “Fund To Bring Baby Trump To America” raised more than $5,800 as of Sunday evening, more than its $4,500 goal, since it was started Friday by Didier Jimenez-Castro, who wants to fly it at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster

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“This is about doing some real activism,” Jimenez-Castro, who works at a homeless shelter, told WPHT. “We want to go on a tour. We will definitely bring (the balloon) to Central Park.”

Jimenez-Castro worked with the People’s Motorcade, a group that protests out front of Trump’s New Jersey golf club, to create the GoFundMe, after he found out about the anti-Trump effigy and wanted to bring it across the Atlantic. 

He expects to receive the 20-foot tall balloon, that features Trump as an angry, cell-phone carrying caricature, which has flown in London and Scotland during the president’s visit to the United Kingdom, in mid-August.

"The baby Trump is not just a piece of humor, but it is also a symbol of the administration,” Jimenez-Castro told The Star-Ledger. “It's symbolic of the children that are in cages, it's a symbol of racism, and we know that he hates to be ridiculed." 

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Duke University to stop requiring SAT, ACT writing scores

Published: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 11:13 PM

Duke University. File photo.  (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
Sara Davis/Getty Images
Duke University. File photo. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)(Sara Davis/Getty Images)

Duke University will no longer require students to submit some testing scores when they apply for admission. 

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It will soon be optional for applicants to submit SAT essay scores or ACT writing scores. 

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Officials said this change is to ensure every student has an opportunity to be fully considered during the application process. 

The change will begin with next year's incoming undergraduate class. 

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Chicago police release video of shooting

Published: Saturday, July 14, 2018 @ 9:55 PM
Updated: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 5:56 PM

Police released video Sunday of their interaction with a man shot in Chicago Saturday. (Photo: Screengrab via Chicago Police)
Police released video Sunday of their interaction with a man shot in Chicago Saturday. (Photo: Screengrab via Chicago Police)

Police released video Sunday of their interaction with a man who was shot after lifting his shirt revealing at least one gun before trying to flee. 

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Harith Augustus, 37, lived less than a mile from where he was shot around 5:30 p.m. after showing signs that he was armed, according to the Chicago Sun-Times

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He was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to the Sun-Times

“We find no documentation supporting him being a concealed carry (permit holder),” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told WFLD. “The decision to use lethal force is made in a split second. I offer my condolences to the family.”

The officer has not been identified. No officers were injured, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted. A gun and ammunition were recovered, Guglielmi tweeted.

After the shooting, more than 100 people gathered in protest, prompting officers to call dozens more officers to the scene to control the crowd, according to the Sun-Times. Four people were taken into custody, but only one will be charged, according to WFLD

"I understand and empathize with the community’s concerns and want to assure the public that we are committed to conducting a fair, thorough, impartial and objective investigation,” Civilian Office of Public Accountability Chief Administrator Sydney Roberts told WFLD. “We need those with relevant information to contact our office to reach a conclusion based upon all the facts of case."  

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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