Shared posts

18 Nov 10:13

LEGO Train Montage

by Josh

It isn’t often that we see such excellent video of a collaborative train layout and it certainly helps that there are some really lovely trains in there too. Hats off to Michael Gale for a job well done!

The video is on Flickr as well, if you prefer that or want to leave a comment there.

Edit (JW): This is not actually a collaborative layout. Michael built the whole thing. Most impressive!

21 Nov 11:51

Who goes there?

by Josh

This watchful owl, by Mihai Marius Mihu, looks poised to fly off and tell its master of your approach. Proceed with caution!

Owl on Branch

The owl is nicely done but the angles on that dead tree? Very elegant.

20 Nov 05:00

November 20, 2014

20 Nov 06:05

gadaboutgreen: celestialallegorist: thinkinghurts321: celestia...





Okay but check out this on-point campaign my schools starting
((Lone Mountain is one of the buildings on campus and there’s a ridiculous set of stairs to get up to it))

Um whoa, how cool. The school is seriously doing this? This makes me want to visit again haha. 

Do you know what started it?

I’m actually not sure, but the posters say it’s a couple professors from the psych department, design department, and school of management working together on it. The posters should be up next week, I’m stoked


18 Nov 05:00

#1077; In which it’s Lonely at the Top

by David Malki

Chompsenberg had a few good turns in that Krandanayev anthology but Krandanayev was never the same post-Trantlydoff.

19 Nov 06:00


20 Nov 11:01


18 Nov 00:00


18 Nov 08:01

A Good Day to Die

by Doug
19 Nov 04:51


18 Nov 22:39

mayormadeleinerobin: bottaslicious: Finnish language was...



Finnish language was originally a game where you take a word and then you try to add as much conjugations as possible. The game was born when  the winter was too fucking cold to do anything and people sat around a fire trying to stay warm and not die. Since Finnish winter is 8 months long people eventually got bored, and came up with this game.


19 Nov 05:00

November 19, 2014

If you want a Science book in a hurry, they're on amazon!
20 Nov 00:34

skatedistrict: Same place, different day.


Same place, different day.

20 Nov 20:10

metaf: He looks like he feels bad though he said it was...


He looks like he feels bad though

he said it was delicious

20 Nov 12:08

I’d rather not live in a police state

by PZ Myers

It looks like that’s what I’m going to get, though. Mother Jones sent a reporter to the Urban Shield conference, a gathering of cops and their new toys. It’s chilling.

This summer, images of armored vehicles and police pointing semi-automatic rifles at demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri, set off a debate over what journalist Radley Balko has termed the “rise of the warrior cop.” A National Public Radio analysis found that since 2006, the Pentagon has given local cops some $1.9 billion worth of equipment—including 600 mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs), 80,000 assault rifles, 200 grenade launchers, and 12,000 bayonets (yes, bayonets). But those totals pale in comparison to the amount of gear purchased from private companies. The Ferguson Police Department, for example, received some computers, utility trucks, and blankets from the military—but all that battle gear you saw on TV was bought from corporations like the ones pitching their wares at Urban Shield. Outfitting America’s warrior cops, it turns out, is a major business, and one fueled in large part by the federal Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Defense has given $5.1 billion worth of equipment to state and local police departments since 1997, with even rural counties acquiring things like grenade launchers and armored personnel carriers. But Homeland Security has handed out grants worth eight times as much—$41 billion since 2002. The money is earmarked for counterterrorism, but DHS specifies that once acquired, the equipment can be used for any other law-enforcement purpose, from shutting down protests to serving warrants and executing home searches.

These over-equipped paramilitary police squads are taking over — not only are they hauling around enough firepower to take down a small nation, it’s almost entirely superfluous…so they’re using excessive force for mundane tasks. You better pay your traffic tickets, or a tank will roll up to your door and armored thugs with AR-15s and grenade launchers will leap out to get your compliance.

Today, 85 percent of SWAT operations are for “choice-driven raids on people’s private residences,” Peter Kraska, an Eastern Kentucky University researcher who studies tactical policing, said in a recent Senate hearing. According to a study released by the American Civil Liberties Union earlier this year, 62 percent of SWAT deployments were for drug raids. The study found that in these raids, drugs were found only half of the time. When weapons were “believed to be present,” they were not found in half of the cases for which the outcome was known.

Oh, wait, no, I can relax. I’m white. They’re only going to bully black people with these tactics.

The study also found that while white people were more likely to be involved in the types of scenarios SWAT teams were intended for—like hostage or active-shooter situations—71 percent of today’s SWAT raids (when race was known) target people of color. The racial disparity can be much higher in some places: In Burlington, North Carolina, the study notes, African Americans are 47 times more likely to be affected by SWAT raids than whites.

It’s interesting that while universities are being starved for revenue by the state, the state is pouring cash into beefing up police forces into utterly useless and damaging urban assault teams.

19 Nov 12:51

Dismayingly Dawkins

by PZ Myers

Richard Dawkins has done another frank and open interview. And it’s killing me. He’s just doubling down on everything.

He is, he said, not a misogynist, as some critics have called him, but a passionate feminist. The greatest threats to women, in his view, are Islamism and jihadism — and his concern over that sometimes leads him to speak off-the-cuff.

I concentrate my attention on that menace and I confess I occasionally get a little impatient with American women who complain of being inappropriately touched by the water cooler or invited for coffee or something which I think is, by comparison, relatively trivial, he said.

Richard Dawkins is a feminist like Christina Hoff Sommers, who he praises, is a feminist … that is not a feminist at all, scarcely understanding what feminism is, and detesting every feminist cause they encounter. Anti-feminists love Sommers and Dawkins because they create a lovely gray zone in which even misogynists get to claim nominal status as being all for equality, when they aren’t.

Islamism and jihadism are serious problems, no question there. But having great big problems does not diminish the smaller problems into nonexistence — that women in Africa are being burned as witches does not mean there is no pay gap between the sexes; you don’t get to use a ranking of social ills to pretend that the lesser ones are to be ignored.

Guess how much working to end workplace harassment in the West harms the the effort to end female genital mutilation in other parts of the world? Not at all. Empowering women at home gives them the clout and the freedom to act for others. So who the fuck are you to tell American women to grin and bear it when they get fondled at the water cooler, in the name of Islamist oppression? This is a right-wing tactic, to use an external fear to silence criticism and efforts to correct inequities at home, and is a formula for futility — when you trivialize local, incremental changes that people can make, demanding that they instead deal immediately with larger problems directly, you get paralysis. Hey, you, stop working in that women’s shelter and instead get a gun and go fight ISIS!

That’s just annoying. But in the light of the next little gem, it’s infuriatingly hypocritical.

I don’t take back anything that I’ve said, Dawkins said from a shady spot in the leafy backyard of one of his Bay Area supporters. I would not say it again, however, because I am now accustomed to being misunderstood and so I will …

He trailed off momentarily, gazing at his hands resting on a patio table.

I feel muzzled, and a lot of other people do as well, he continued. There is a climate of bullying, a climate of intransigent thought police which is highly influential in the sense that it suppresses people like me.

Richard Dawkins is worth over $100 million. Every book Richard Dawkins writes is a best-seller. People pay Richard Dawkins $10-20,000 to come lecture at them for an hour. When any news source wants to get an opinion from the atheist community, who do they turn to first? Richard Dawkins. Richard Dawkins gets to tell conference organizers who to uninvite from their speaker list. Richard Dawkins makes movies about Richard Dawkins.

And poor little Richard Dawkins is muzzled? After whining that American women ought to hush up about getting fondled in the workplace or harassed in an elevator, because they’re so well off compared to women in the patriarchal cultures of the Middle East, he’s claiming victimhood as a wealthy outspoken opinionated man, because people criticize him?

Jesus fuck. That’s pathetic.

18 Nov 05:00

November 18, 2014

17 Nov 19:14

drst: deeeeaaan: feng-huang: tastefullyoffensive: Life and...





Life and Donuts by Pablo Stanley

I need to say this is one of the most uplifting things I’ve seen.

well that’s my existential crisis sorted out

seriously though its nice to have that kind of comfort written out like that

"What connects us to life?"
"Right now? I’m going with donuts"

18 Nov 19:31

Molly Crabapple animation on the lessons Ferguson teaches us about policing in America

by Cory Doctorow

Molly Crabapple writes, "On August 9th, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot a black teenager named Mike Brown. Since then, the city has been protesting. The police did not react well." Read the rest

18 Nov 13:34

Oh no! Teenagers learning the truth about sex!

by PZ Myers

I recieved this breathless email that reveals the ghastly truth about liberal Oregon and their evil sex education plans.

KOIN, the CBS affiliate in Portland, is set to air its special investigative report “Triple X-Rated Education” Tuesday at 11pm. This report will expose the Oregon Adolescent Sexuality Conference and its pornographic sex education forced on area children. Planned Parenthood is on the steering committee of the annual Oregon ASC.

“I felt really horrified and unsettled by it all,” says a student on the KOIN report trailer. “A conference intended to teach kids as young as 11 about safe sex, but you won’t believe what they’re learning,” the commentator continues.

A local watchdog group, Parents’ Rights in Education, has had its eye on the Oregon Adolescent Sexuality Conference and the XXX-rated presentations and materials being peddled to and by schoolchildren there for several years. In 2013, the group asked Rita Diller, director of American Life League’s STOPP Planned Parenthood International, to attend the conference and see for herself what was being promoted to children. Diller says she came away scarred. “I monitor Planned Parenthood sex education on a regular basis and I have seen some unbelievably horrifying situations that young people are put in because of the abortion giant’s fixation with sexualizing children, but never have I seen so many adults work so hard to defile young people than at this conference,” she said. “It is blatant child abuse.”

Several parents attended on behalf of the investigative effort and brought out materials that matched and expanded on the cache that Diller brought out in 2013. Those materials are now up on the website of Parents’ Rights in Education for the world to see.

Also on the website are some videos from the 2014 conference. One of them shows a presentation where a teen boy blows up a condom, lubricates it, and performs a simulated sex act with it while adult sponsors and teens laugh. The trailer for the KOIN exposé is also linked on the website.
American Life League president, Judie Brown, stated, “Planned Parenthood continues to receive funding at taxpayer expense and uses this money to shove pornographic material down the throats of our children. Congress must defund Planned Parenthood immediately.”

Media inquiries, please contact Rob Gasper at 540.659.4171 or

You think they’d learn someday that the “shove X down their throats” cliche is really inappropriate.

But of course this all made me curious — what horrifying things are these radicals at Planned Parenthood telling kids that defiles them? So I dug up some videos that are apparently excerpts from this exposé.

This is a video about Dangerous Sex Advice for Kids.

So it’s about a 15 year old going into a Planned Parenthood and asking for sex advice — she wants to talk about kink. And what she gets is a frank discussion about the facts: that some people like to role play, that they play dominance/submissive games, that you should use a safe word. I looked at a couple of videos, and rather than being horrifying or sexualizing children, they are telling these kids that their desires are perfectly normal, urging them to learn more (they recommend The Joy of Sex, oh horrors), and emphasizing the importance of consent.

These are the tamest sex talks imaginable: non-judgmental, informative, reassuring, and professional. All I can say after seeing them is…good job, Planned Parenthood. I hope a lot of kids see this ‘documentary’ and learn that if they want honest answers, they should just visit their local Planned Parenthood office, because I was really impressed with how nice they were in the clips.

And contra these conservative wackaloons, the real blatant child abuse is keeping kids ignorant and afraid.

18 Nov 21:48

Zeus, the cosmic owl with a galaxy in its eyes. This adorable...

Zeus, the cosmic owl with a galaxy in its eyes.

This adorable Screech Owl is blind and likely has vitreous strands in his eyes causing this stellar effect. He now lives safely in captivity at the Wildlife Learning Center in Los Angeles.

18 Nov 20:01

Magma City: A town with a lava problem

by Chris

South Korean professional LEGO building quartet Olive Seon are known for their massive city dioramas. This latest city is having the disturbing problem of being built above a river of lava. The airtanker in the middle of dumping water is a terrific image, and adds a huge amount of dynamism to this diorama, and I always appreciate that the builders include a lot of below-ground details.

Magma City

18 Nov 12:42

A specular conundrum

by PZ Myers

Every year in my intro biology course, I try to do one discussion of bioethics. One lecture is not much, but this is a course where we try to introduce students to the history and philosophy of science, and I think it’s an important issue, so I try to squeeze in a little bit. So we spend one day talking about eugenics and the Tuskegee syphilis study, and I have them read Gould’s Carrie Buck’s Daughter, and I try to provoke them into arguing with me, or at least questioning a few default assumptions.

This semester, though, I’m going to have them read something with some subtler concerns. I’m going to ask them to read about the invention of the modern speculum. It was surprisingly problematic.

It was designed by a doctor, James Marion Sims, who detested examining women’s genitals.

Sims didn’t want to have to look at a woman’s genitals. “If there was anything I hated, it was investigating the organs of the female pelvis,” Sims wrote in the autobiography he half completed before he died. This was a time when men and women interacted in very strict, pre-determined ways. Early illustrations from medical textbooks show doctors examining women’s pelvic areas by reaching their arms up beneath the layers of skirts and feeling around, literally blindly. A doctor was specifically instructed to reassure a female patient that he was not looking at her private parts by doing one of two things: gazing off into the distance or maintaining eye contact with her the entire time.

Doctors were men, and they disliked having to treat women’s diseases, which is not an auspicious attitude. But he had to deal with a serious problem: fistulas, holes that formed between the vagina and either the colon or bladder. So he was a responsible doctor who dealt with his patients’ illnesses, despite his discomfort with them.

But now comes the weird part: this was 1845, in Alabama. His patients were slaves. There was a chronic problem with fistulas because these women were breeding stock, kept in a state of pregnancy with minimal care. He was testing all of his procedures on slave women.

But when a patient came to Sims with an especially painful fistula, he wrote, “this poor girl was in such a condition that I was obliged to find out what was the matter with her.” He was eager to figure out a way to surgically seal up the hole, and happy to use slave women as his test subjects.

The idea for the speculum came to Sims while treating a white patient who had been thrown from a horse. After he helped her “reposition her uterus,” he had an idea. He fetched a slave, had her lay on her back with her legs up, and inserted the bent handle of a silver gravy spoon into her vagina. That’s right, the very first modern speculum was made out of a bent gravy spoon.

I guess informed consent isn’t an issue with a slave — just tell them to hop up on a table, spread their legs, and let the doctor stick a gravy spoon into their vaginas. And then he started a whole series of surgical experiments to correct fistulas.

This new access allowed Sims to start performing surgery on the fistulas. Eventually he came up with a method for sealing them. He performed many of his experimental procedures without the benefit of anesthesia, and some of these slave women were operated on up to 30 times. Even at the time he was working, there were concerns about the ethics of his experiments. “All kinds of whispers were beginning to circulate around town,” wrote Seal Harris in a biography published in the 1950s, “dark rumors that it was a terrible thing for Sims to be allowed to keep on using human beings as experimental animals for his unproven surgical theories.” There is still an ongoing debate over whether or not to celebrate Sims’s legacy.

His subjects were not willing — they were enslaved black women, used as guinea pigs, and apparently subjected to painful and unnecessary surgical procedures, all to develop a general method for treating this problem. And he was successful! He did create tools and techniques to alleviate a chronic and painful malady! So were his methods warranted?

I have my opinions, but I’ll be interested to hear what students think of it.

17 Nov 05:55

flowisaconstruct: onceuponamirror: lwyllastorch: tsundeanre: ...












This is how many children that died in their Hunger Games, without even being mentioned throughout the three books. All these children were under 18. All these children had parents. All these parents’ hearts sank to their knees during their child’s reaping. All these parents saw their terrified child off at the train station. All these parents heard the sound that signified their child’s death. All these parents received their cold, dead child in a wooden box. All these parents’ lives ended there. All these parents could say or do nothing. All these parents were merely thanked that they gave up their child. Thanked.

And the media focuses on the love triangle.

All these children and all these parents aren’t real

Yeah, sure, I guess that’s true. None of these people were real.

But let’s focus on what this series, and this fact, say about our society.

In the series, the Capitol’s media focuses entirely on the ‘fun’ of the Games- the fashion, the plot twists, the favorites, the strategies, the romance. And the entire time, they completely overlook the fact that 1,678 children between the ages of 12 and 18 have died. Usually brutally murdered by other 12 to 18 year old children.

And how does our real-life media react to this story when news of a movie adaptation reaches them? They talk about the romance. This tragic story of a girl who must choose between her long-time best friend and her new love. Even if she chooses Peeta, they still must fight to the death. The star-crossed lovers of District 12. And many readers of the original novels saw the books through the same lens. You would tell them that you read/ were reading the books and their first reaction was, “Are you Team Gale or Team Peeta?”

Meanwhile, children are fighting to the death.

The fact that our media, and many every-day people reacted to the Hunger Games the same as the Capitol media scares me.

I don’t want this world to be anything like the Capitol. I don’t think any of us do.

And the fact that most of us (including myself) never really considered how many children had died in the games also scares me. But, hey, it didn’t happen now/ in the current story, so it doesn’t matter, right?

I’m not sure about that math though. I think it’s MORE.

Let’s talk about just the first 73 games, ok? Every year before Katniss and Peta. 

24 Tributes (1 girl + 1 boy x 12 districts)= 1 Victor + 23 Dead Every year

23 x 73 = 1,697

EXCEPT, the 50th games (The games Haymitch competed in) had DOUBLE the number of tributes. An extra 24 kids died that year.


Now, 22 kids died in Katniss and Peeta’s first game, because they both live.


In 74 years, the brutal, violent murders of 1,725 children aired on TV in Panem, and in both the Capitol, and on the red carpet in our world, the first question people want to ask it “Team Peeta?” Damn.

i’m not even in this fandom, but damn, that’s scary

And here we have people who GET the hunger games.

#until this moment#i didn’t realize there were still people who haven’t figured out that our reactions to media are an important indicator of our values#it doesn’t matter that they aren’t real#our reaction on a story primarily about children killing each other#was to focus on the romance#it wasn’t a romance#it’s a story about a tyrannical governemt sentencing children to death as a means of intimidating the sectors into submission#and we reacted to the games exactly the same way the capitol did

you can be as meta as you can but you can never be this meta

this is why not the media’s focus on JUST the love triangle is important—because it goes beyond that. Maybelline released a “Hunger Games” themed make up campaign. Barbie dolls were made of Katniss. T shirts. Plastic jewelry.

This is the real lesson.

The movie does a good job of using the capitol as a stand-in for the empty stupidity of some of our own current culture. That’s on purpose. The fact that someone decided to sell merchandising rights that completely subverted the message is just typical movie studio greed, and I’m sure nobody in the business of making these toys a reality cared one whit for the message of the film.

16 Nov 14:00

You Can Have This

You Can Have This

Submitted by: (via SpaceFloow)

Tagged: want , gifs , gift , raccoons , Cats
16 Nov 05:00

November 16, 2014

Have I mentioned that GULPO IS BACK?!
17 Nov 05:01

Not Sorry

by Ian

Not Sorry

15 Nov 18:22

blazepress: Fireworks designed for daytime.


Fireworks designed for daytime.

17 Nov 23:09

This browser-based fluid dynamics simulator is blowing our minds

by Xeni Jardin
Fire up the fanciest monitor you have, then test-drive this gorgeous fluid simulator by George Corney. Read the rest
17 Nov 23:30

renatagrieco: tieltavern: Yes ma’am, this is a handsome frame...



Yes ma’am, this is a handsome frame for a very dashing likeness of myself.

For renatagrieco

This photo makes me so happy! I really love it! Bird endorsed :)

renatagrieco makes beautiful minimal bird drawings. I want all of them. Definitely worth a follow.