Category Archives: The Mysteries of Bricklyn

Understanding Bricklyn calls for understanding some of the mysteries about living in Bricklyn

On Dealing with Temporal & Spatial Dislocation in Bricklyn

Editor’s Note: The IBRT’s eagerly awaited Report has been publicly released. The Executive Summary is published below in this special post by The Bricklyn Eagle.

Executive Summary:

At the request of the Federal Council a team of ten medical professionals and scientists (“Impacts of Bricklyn’s Relocation Team,” herein referred to as the IBRT) was established to provide recommendations to the Council on how to best deal with the temporal and spatial dislocation that continues to affect a substantial number of Bricklynites as a result of the December 2021 relocation of the Realm of Bricklyn from a basement location within the territorial limits of the City of Burlington VT to one within the City South Burlington, VT, a distance of 5.2 miles.

Coincident with this move was the re-materialization of the Great Wall of Bricklyn in the new South Burlington location.

Unfortunately, the location of the Wall’s re-materialization did not completely align with its’ prior positioning in Burlington. This has exacerbated the mental health issues that remain at issue among a portion of the Bricklyn population.

Please note that the IBRT did not look into the science behind the phenomenon of the Great Wall’s re-materialization, as a separate team of scientists is investigating that matter.

IBRT leaders Kristensen and Strassbrick

The IBRT has been led by Chief Medical Officer of the Realm Kristen Plater (“KP”) Kristensen and Chief Scientist of the Realm, Michael Strassbrick. The IBRT has met numerous times over the past six months.

Highlighted below is our review of current literature and best practices for treatment of temporal and spatial dislocation, followed by our recommendations.

Review of the Literature & Best Practices:

Temporal and spatial dislocation are conditions in which an individual experiences a disruption in their sense of time and place, leading to confusion and disorientation. The treatment of these conditions can be challenging, as the underlying causes can be varied and complex. Summarized below are some of the current approaches to treating temporal and spatial dislocation.

1. One approach to treating temporal and spatial dislocation is through the use of medications. Anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines and antipsychotic medications such as haloperidol have been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of disorientation and confusion. However, the use of these medications can have side effects such as sedation and cognitive impairment, and they should be used cautiously. Their use on Bricklynites also needs to be carefully assessed.

Two Bricklynites: one well-adjusted, the other extremely anxious. How can Mr. X on the left, suffering from the effects of temporal & spatial dislocation, best be helped?

2. A second approach to treating temporal and spatial dislocation is through psychotherapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of disorientation and confusion. CBT involves identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to the disorientation and confusion. While Bricklynites have historically had positive outlooks, it cannot be denied that the relocation was a singularly impactful event having significant impacts on many previously well-adjusted individuals.

3. Environmental modifications can also be helpful in reducing symptoms of temporal and spatial dislocation. Creating a calm and structured environment, with familiar objects and routines, can help individuals feel more grounded and less disoriented.

4. Finally, alternative therapies such as mindfulness meditation and yoga may also be beneficial in reducing symptoms of temporal and spatial dislocation and resulting anxieties. These practices can help individuals become more aware of their thoughts and feelings and develop greater self-regulation skills.📍

📍See, e.g., “Mindfulness Noninferior to Medication for Quelling Anxiety” (News From the JAMA Network, Jan. 3, 2023). “A mindfulness intervention was as effective as first-line medication for patients with anxiety disorders in a recent trial published in JAMA Psychiatry. The authors note that mindfulness interventions have grown in popularity and may be a more acceptable evidence-based treatment than antidepressants used to treat anxiety; two-thirds of people eventually stop taking a prescribed antidepressant, according to a survey the authors cited in the article. Cognitive behavioral therapy is also effective, but it may not be readily accessible to all patients, the authors observed.”

In conclusion, the treatment of temporal and spatial dislocation is complex and multifaceted. Medications, psychotherapy, environmental modifications, and alternative therapies may all be helpful in reducing symptoms and improving quality of life for individuals with these conditions.

Recommendations to the Federal Council from IBRT:

1. Begin to conduct Phase I clinical trials to assess the impact of anti-anxiety medications on groups of healthy Bricklyn volunteers to evaluate safety of these medications, in light of molecular differences between human and LEGO-based individuals.

2. Initiate a study of the impact of CBT on a cohort of Bricklynites, making use of three small teams of psychotherapists. Efforts should be made to include at least one Outland psychotherapist on each team, given their more extensive prior experience with CBT.

The existing blue & white meditation tent, and adjoining red and white mediation tent.

3. Construct a second meditation tent in Bricklyn or temporarily convert the existing Bricklyn mediation tent for use in offering meditation sessions. Also, initiate meditation classes for young people at the Bricklyn Regional High School.

4. The existing ten-member IBRT should continue to meet to monitor progress towards the recommendations contained in this Report. ✥

Stunning Revelation in Bricklyn Eagle Interview of American Astronaut Neil Armstrong Published after 10+ Year Hold

February 25, 2023

➤ Last week, The Bricklyn Eagle reported on the new downtown Space Flight Park, which many predict will quickly become a “must see” stop for visitors to Bricklyn.

➤ Today we are publishing below the transcript of a June 10, 2009 interview Editor Walt Brickman conducted with the man who first set foot on the Moon, American astronaut Neil Armstrong. Publication of that 2009 transcript, as you will read, had been embargoed until today. How Armstrong’s Apollo 11 lunar mission relates to Bricklyn’s own astronaut, the late Tom Swiftbrick, will for the first time be revealed.

Transcript of Embargoed 2009 Bricklyn Eagle Interview of U.S. Astronaut Neil Armstrong:

Bricklyn Eagle: Mr. Armstrong, thank you so much for being willing to come to Bricklyn and visit with us today to discuss some aspects of the secret history of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon which you led. I say “secret” because, as you mentioned to us last week, it involves the late Tom Swiftbrick, one of Bricklyn’s original astronauts.

Neil Armstrong: I’m glad to talk with you this afternoon. We do have an understanding that no portion of this interview will be publicly released until ten years and six months after my death.📍

📍Neil Armstrong died on August 25, 2012, ten years and six months ago. 10-6 was apparently Armstrong’s favorite combination of numbers, because, he once said, that with NASA he “always seemed to be on stand-by.”

Bricklyn Eagle: Yes, we agreed to that condition.

Armstrong: Good. Thank you. I am sure at that day in the future, the citizens of Bricklyn will take great pride in the fact that one of their own, Astronaut Tom Swiftbrick, accompanied us on the Apollo 11 mission, and walked on the surface of the Moon with me on that amazing July day in 1969.

Bricklyn Eagle: Wow! I just felt my heart skip a beat when you said that. Amazing!

Tom Swiftbrick suited up on the lunar surface, next to Neil Armstrong’s left leg. Image captured by Buzz Aldrin on July 20, 1969 (image generated with the assistance of DALL-E2).

Armstrong: Walt, let me pull out this shot of Tom that Buzz Aldrin took right after I jiggled Tom out of my pocket and put him down on the Moon’s surface. i must have looked like a giant next to Tom.

Bricklyn Eagle: Over the years some of us had heard rumors about this. But it’s still stunning to hear you say that Tom Swiftbrick walked on the surface of the Moon with you.

When we asked Swiftbrick a few years ago about this rumor, he laughingly denied it, saying “don’t you news guys have something better to do with you time.”📍

📍As many readers know, Tom Swiftbrick died nearly three years ago. Bricklyn’s ballpark was renamed in his memory — as Swiftbrick was also a big fan and supporter of the Bricklyn Stackers.

Bricklyn astronaut Tom Swiftbrick in his new and more colorful BASA spacesuit. Photo from The Bricklyn Eagle archives (August 5, 1973).

Armstrong: [chuckling] Of course Tom would say that. He agreed to never disclose his involvement with Apollo 11, and as the honorable Bricklynite he was, he never did. The only others at NASA who knew about Tom being onboard were my crew-mates, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, who also, as they promised me, have kept their lips sealed.

Bricklyn Eagle: Why the need for secrecy?

Armstrong: There’s an interesting story, also not known to the public, behind that. NASA had originally approached Carl B. Sheagan, your Realm’s chief cosmologist at the time, about having a Bricklynite on board, you know, as a sign of building stronger relations between the human and the LEGO-based world. In fact, an initial understanding was reached with NASA that Tom would join our crew. You can even see — if you move that slider bar on the photo below to the right — there’s the real original NASA photo of me. You’ll see the Bricklyn logo on my left sleeve just beneath the American flag.

The first photo you see above is the one of Neil Armstrong the world has come to know, and is even featured on Wikipedia. But if you move the slider to the right you’ll see the actual photo of Armstrong, with the words “Bricklyn VT” emblazoned on his left arm sleeve. These words were excised from the copy of the photo people are familiar with. (NASA Photo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

But some of the “politicos” with oversight over NASA began to feel uncomfortable with having a non-human individual on the spaceflight, and put pressure on our agency. They felt it would make NASA the laughingstock of the human world and that our major rival, the U.S.S.R., would taunt us as being anti-human for having a LEGO astronaut join our crew.📍 That photo of me suited up [see above] that I just showed you was “photoshopped” to delete the BricklynVT logo.

Chimpanzee “Ham” in space suit is fitted into the couch of the Mercury-Redstone 2 capsule #5 prior to its test flight which was conducted on January 31, 1961. NASA photo via Wikipedia.

📍Editor’s note: Too often we forget that many non-humans have been in space, including Ham, the chimp who flew for NASA, and many monkeys and dogs who flew for the Soviet Union.

Of course, what those politicians believed was nonsense. Tom Swiftbrick was as well-trained to go to the Moon as I was. I felt awful for Tom when word was passed along that he had been scrubbed from the crew. But I felt even worse knowing this was a lost opportunity for us “Outlanders” to strengthen our ties with you “Inlanders” … and frankly, all of us astronauts, whether human or LEGO-based, shared the same passion for exploration.

Bricklyn Eagle: Remarkable what you’re saying. But how then did Swiftbrick get onto Apollo 11?

Armstrong: [chuckling] That was my little secret, shared only with Buzz and Michael. I asked Tom if he’d be willing to be tucked into the oversized shirt pocket under my spacesuit and come along for the ride. Just told him he’d have to vow never to reveal this. Tom, with that famous grin of his, agreed. As he weighed just twelve grams with his own spacesuit on, his extra weight was minuscule, and made essentially no difference in our overall payload.

So, yes, Swiftbrick was with us. When we had the cameras turned off, he floated out of my pocket and enjoyed the pleasure of weightlessness. As I mentioned, he also walked on the surface of the Moon with me, so it was truly a giant leap not just for mankind, but for “LEGO kind” as well!

Bricklyn Eagle: So you took Swiftbrick with you, despite what your higher-ups at NASA decided?

Armstrong: Yes, I did. It was the only time in my career I did anything like that, though if I were a lawyer I’d note that we were simply told that Astronaut Swiftbrick could not be a member of the crew, not that we couldn’t take him on board as our “passenger.”

Bricklyn Eagle: I want to thank you again for being willing to sit down with us for an interview. We know that someday we in Bricklyn will be able to honor not just Tom Swiftbrick and his fellow Bricklyn astronauts, but also you and your crew-mates for what you accomplished on Apollo 11 … and what you did for Tom Swiftbrick, and for Bricklyn. ✥

Responses to the Publication of the Armstrong Interview:

To The Editor: “I was very pleasantly surprised to read your interview of famous American astronaut Neil Armstrong. The revelations in today’s Bricklyn Eagle about astronaut Tom Swiftbrick’s extraordinary voyage with Neil Armstrong will be treasured by all citizens of the Realm. In conjunction with the opening of Space Flight Park, this has been quite a week in the history of Bricklyn.” — O’Neal deGas Brickson, Chief Cosmologist, Realm of Bricklyn.

To the Editor: “No one could have better scripted a week like we’ve just had. To see the amazing Space Flight Park now open after nearly a year of construction, and then find out that our very own Tom Swiftbrick reached the Moon with Neil Armstrong. It all just takes my breath away.” — Dennis Plater Dross, Bricklyn Ambassador to Vermont & Outland Communities,.

Astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong in NASA’s training mockup of the moon and the Apollo Lunar Module. Were photos of the mission and Moon landing actually made using sets similar to this training mockup? Many still believe this. / Photo by NASA via Wikimedia.

To the Editor: You must think Bricklynites are country bumpkins? We know that Tom Swiftbrick never was on Apollo 11, and never went down to the Moon in anyone’s shirt pocket! In fact, there never was any space flight to the Moon’s surface. It was that big-shot director, Kubrick I think was his name, who put the whole deep fake together on a big Hollywood set of his.

You want proof? Your article says that NASA “photoshopped” the photo of Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit to eliminate the Bricklyn logo. Can you believe a group that would do that? If they’ll post phony pictures like that one, why wouldn’t they also post fake pictures of the so-called lunar landing?

It’s sad that Bricklyn was ever involved with NASA. Should have just kept our own space program going. NASA even swiped our rocket design for their “new” SLS rockets. You gonna trust that outfit?” — Seeker of Truth, Bricklyn, VT

Reply from Editor Walt Brickman: We stand by our reporting. Only a small segment of the population still believes that the lunar landing was a fake. High-resolution orbital photos indicate that the lunar vehicle components and flags are still on the Moon’s surface. As to what Neil Armstrong told me during our interview, I will leave that to our readers to judge.

See Walt Brickman’s poem in honor of Swiftbrick & Armstrong: “In the Shirt Pocket of Neil Armstrong

Henry Brickbelly & Jessica Tiler Jones with donuts and a croissant.

Agreement Brokered by “Gang of Four” Defuses Donut Crisis

February 11, 2023

by Bricklyn Eagle political correspondent Eric Tiler Corman

Prior articles on “The Great Donut Debate”

Summary of Article ➤ A petition calling for banning the sale and consumption of donuts in the Realm of Bricklyn has been withdrawn after successful efforts at mediating the dispute between pro and anti-donut groups.

In a series of behind-the-scenes meetings, a group of four mediators has brokered an agreement between pro-donut and pro-croissant groups.

Federal Council President Hilma Plater-Zybrick announced last night that a petition to ban the sale and consumption of donuts has been withdrawn, and that the Council will endorse both foods as “vital to the Realm,” and take steps to ensure that both are readily available for sale and consumption in Bricklyn.

Hilma Plater-Zybrick
Federal Council President Hilma Plater-Zybrick. Will her key role in resolving the donut crisis make it more likely she will decide to seek another term as Council President?

Plater-Zybrick showed her skill by leading the Council through this latest crisis. Plater-Zybrick was instrumental in bringing together the “Gang of Four,” the unofficial name given to the mediation team, comprised of two Bricklyn mediators, joined by two from the Outland city of South Burlington, Vermont.

As is required by the ethics of their profession, none of the mediators would offer any comments to the press. However, after speaking to some of the interested parties, we can report on how the parties reached an agreement, an agreement unanimously endorsed by the Federal Council last night.

Pro-croissant Henry Brickbelly and pro-donut Jessica Tiler Jones, celebrate the end of the “Great Bricklyn Donut Debate” by sharing a table outside The Exchange Building.

Henry Brickbelly, leader of “NoDos,” the anti-donut, pro-croissant advocacy group acknowledged that banning donuts “might have been a step too far.”

As Brickbelly explained, “the Gang of Four reminded us of the American experience with Prohibition in the 1920s and early ‘30s and how that led to higher levels of organized crime and bootlegging, the loss of thousands of jobs, and then the ultimate repeal of Prohibition. … We didn’t want to go down that road.”

Anti-donut forces also apparently realized that their petition’s prospects looked dim once news began circulating that the Council might request that the League of Inland Cities enshrine the donut’s status as an object of “intangible cultural heritage in Bricklyn.”

Outland Friends of Bricklyn also weighed in against the donut ban, and in favor of reaching some accommodation between those favoring donuts, and those favoring croissants.

Tom Brickorti of the Bricklyn Chamber of Commerce
Bricklyn Chamber of Commerce President Tom Brickorti

Chamber of Commerce President Tom Brickorti, noted that: “The mediation process with the Gang of Four worked well. The Chamber and various business interests reminded everyone of the continued economic benefits to Bricklyn from its donut shops and related enterprises, and the importance of keeping the Simpson clan here.

At the same time we were able to point to the increase in tourism from francophone nations already resulting from the new Le Bricklyn Hotel, and the fact that a French patisserie is planning to open here soon.”

As Brickorti added, “our pro-croissant friends are great people, who came to see that banning donuts was not needed in order to promote croissants. From the Chamber’s perspective valuing both donuts and croissants was a win-win outcome.“

Dave Tiler Broffman , CEO of Dunk Them Donuts, on upper North Street this morning — eyeing his donut, not the road.

Dave Tiler Broffman , CEO of Dunk Them Donuts, the Bricklyn-based donut distribution enterprise, echoed Brickorti’s sentiments, commenting that “we were all ultimately on the same page, in wanting to keep Bricklyn’s donut traditions alive, while also allowing for a new diversity of food cultures.”  

Chief Clancy Wiggum, head of the pro-donut Bricklyn Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (BPBA) pointed out that “our members look forward to learning to appreciate the taste of croissants, especially,” he grinned, “when they’ll be delivered fresh out of the oven to the station house every morning, at no cost to our officers!” ✥

➤ For more on the use of mediation in resolving conflicts, see Building Consensus, by Lawrence Susskind & Patrick Field, from our companion publication, the Planning Commissioners Journal.