Shared posts

08 Aug 18:59

If Mad Max rode a moped...

by David Pescovitz

The Motoped Survival Bikeis a combination mountain bike and moped outfitted with a crossbow, tomahawk, shovel, knives, tools, climbing equipment, and everything else you might desire in a post-apocalyptic two-wheeler.


06 Aug 15:46


07 Aug 17:00

The Worst Part About Building This is How Addictive it Is

The Worst Part About Building This is How Addictive it Is

Submitted by: (via SneakyWizard)

Tagged: gifs , pringles , food
06 Aug 16:08

The M:Tron base of our dreams: 4 years and 100,000 LEGO bricks

by Simon

I remember getting a used M:Tron set as a kid and discovering how awesome magnetism is, and how I wanted to learn where magnets came from. Thanks to Blake Foster and his M:Tron Magnet Factory, I finally know the answer:

M:Tron Magnet Factory

Not only has Blake created an inspired M:Tron base and stunning landscaped base, but he’s added a monorail and some really impressive movement which you can see in the following video:

I was able to see this incredible creation this past weekend at BrickFair Virginia, where it took the Best Space trophy (check out the time-lapse setup video). I sat down with Blake to get the details on his layout:

TBB: With all the classic LEGO space themes or even other pop culture references why did you choose M:Tron as a theme for your build?

BF: It’s part nostalgia and part obscurity. I loved M:Tron as a kid, and yet it doesn’t get all that much attention from the AFOL community. Compared to Neo-Blacktron or Neo-Classic-Space, M:Tron is a rarity. That obscurity can be a good thing, though, because there are more opportunities to do something original. I really wanted to make something unique, so M:Tron seemed like a good theme to do it in.

TBB: With something of this size, 4 x 6 baseplates (192 x 128 studs), how long did it take you to build?

BF: I started toying with ideas for this project 4-5 years ago. I was in grad school at the time, though, and didn’t have the budget to complete it. I started working in earnest two years ago. By my best guess, it took about 3,000 hours of building, 462 Bricklink orders and I would estimate 100,00 bricks. Here is an early work in progress image of the build:

Early WIP shot

TBB: Where did you get inspiration from?

BF: Inspiration was a constant challenge with this project, although I’ve never played the game, I spent a lot of time looking at Halo concept art. I also look to industrial infrastructure, since it’s naturally spacey. The antenna structures on the right (one of my favorite sections) were inspired by an old WWII antenna on top of a building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

M:Tron Magnet Factory

TBB: Walk us through your process and how you tackled this project?

BF: The very first thing I sorted out was the monorail layout. There’s very little flexibility in fine-tuning the track, so I had to start with the track and build around it. Next I built the train, since it’s frustrating to find that my favorite little detail on the train collides with an unmoveable part of the model (that effort ultimately failed because I decided I didn’t like the train and rebuilt it in January). Finally, around Brickfair 2012, I began amassing a huge amount of tan. I have done that kind of SNOT landscaping before, but never on this scale, and so I had to buy the parts to do it. I actually went overkill, because I have more tan than I know what to do with left over.

M:Tron Magnet Factory

With the “annoying” parts out of the way, I started work on the model. The very first thing I built was the roadway in front. At that point, that was only place where I had planned anything beyond the basic layout, so it was the natural place to start. The tunnel entrance on the right side was one of the major uncertainties in the beginning, so after building the center section I worked my way clockwise around the model to delay that decision as long as possible. One of the advantages of a model this size is that when I’m stuck on one part, there’s usually a different part that I can work on, and often in the process of building other sections I find the answer to the thing I was stuck on. At minimum, everything that I built guided the shape of the thing attached to it, so the sticky parts got resolved whether I actively thought about them or not.

TBB: The landscaping is phenomenal, it’s not the first time you’ve done the sideways building style -can you give our readers some tips / advice?

BF: My goal with the SNOT landscape is to create lines that suggest sand tossed around by the weather, almost like something you would see in a sketch. Natural processes are chaotic, so to get that effect there are some longer lines and some shorter ones, and they converge and diverge and start and end in a way that looks natural and semi-random. At the same time, it can’t get to chaotic, or you lose the effect of lines running through the terrain. The thing that really helped me get that right is building with a bright, directional light source so that there are strong shadows on the vertical surfaces of the terrain. That really makes the lines jump out.

Another useful trick is to always build so that the studs are pointing sideways along the slope (i.e. not uphill or downhill). There are two reasons for that. First, when the studs are pointing out, the “jaggies” that come with stacked slopes become more prominent. Second, we don’t want the terrain to look like a topo-map–the lines need to meander up and down. The only parts that can really do that when the studs are pointing uphill/downhill are the somewhat rare “wedge” bricks, and they all have distracting notches meant to accommodate studs:

SNOT terrain--example

Since the studs are always perpendicular to the slope, the studs need to change direction as the terrain wraps around the model. There are only two parts that I used to make corners–cheese slopes and the 1 x 2 slope with 2/3 cutout. These parts are nice because they allow the vertical surface to turn a corner without showing a stud.

TBB: Does this model have an interior like your other large MOCs?

BF: This model has a partial interior.There are small vignettes behind the windows where you can see in. There’s also a detailed interior room below the landing pads in the middle (visible through the door in front or by lifting off the roof), and the inside of the tunnel on the front right is fairly detailed. I did not build a full interior for two reasons. First, the monorail tunnels are necessarily quite wide in order to accommodate the 9-stud wide train. Consequently, despite the size of the model there isn’t a great deal of interior space to work with. Second, it already took two years to build the thing without a full interior, and I didn’t want to drag it on even longer for something that’s mostly hidden.

M:Tron Magnet Factory

TBB: You displayed this at brickfair, VA, how did tackle the design challenge of making this transportable?

BF: The model breaks into 7 large modules, two on each side and three in the center, and a multitude of smaller detachable chunks. I staggered the seams through the landscape to make them hard to spot, and hid them in crevices or greebly sections on the buildings. The real trick is getting the modules to align properly. While the SNOT landscape causes alignment issues throughout the model, the boundaries between the modules are by far the most problematic, because there’s not much structure forcing things into alignment. Generally my answer to that problem is brute force. That is, assembling the model takes quite a bit of pushing and shoving to get things in place, and then Technic beams hidden in the interior keep anything from moving.

M:Tron Magnet Factory

TBB: If you had to do it over again, what would you change?

BF: I planned some parts of the model more carefully than others. I actually sketched out the structure on the right before I started building it, while I made up the left side as I went along, and it shows. If I could do it over, I would have planned a little further ahead with some parts, so that I could have that kind of coherence throughout the model.

04 Aug 12:18

The Good 'Ol Days


The Good 'Ol Days

Plus gas. Comments here.

03 Aug 18:18


04 Aug 00:00

Thesis Defense

03 Aug 11:13

The point of satire is to comfort the afflicted by afflicting the comfortable

by PZ Myers

This one is a keeper from Doonesbury.


02 Aug 11:39

The most brilliant business plan ever

by PZ Myers

Take a look at the kind of profit you can make from various businesses. This is pretty good money.


We all know Apple’s business model is to build cool gadgets with high end stuff inside that it then sells at a high markup for premium design and ease of use — they’re at least creating something novel. But what makes Wiley and Elsevier so profitable?

That’s the genius of it all. Their customers create everything, they charge the customers for the privilege of selling it to the publisher, and then they sell it back to their customers. Imagine if Apple did that: all of you homebrew computer people who buy components and assemble them into functioning wholes and trick them out with spiffy bells & whistles are contacted by Apple, who offers to take them off your hands if you pay them a few hundred dollars, and they then take your creation, polish up the case a bit, stick an Apple logo on it, and sell it in their catalog for a few thousand dollars.

Oh, also, when you buy an “Apple”, they require that you get shipped a broken Sinclair and an old Commodore PET. It’s part of the deal.

That’s how the scientific publishing houses operate. It’s a broken system that profits the middlemen.

01 Aug 21:43

Most social science results have never been replicated

by Maggie Koerth-Baker

Replication — where researchers re-do experiments to see if they get the same result — is a really important part of the scientific process. And it's hardly ever done in social science.

31 Jul 03:01

I agree

31 Jul 13:21

This thumbdrive hacks computers. “BadUSB” exploit makes devices turn “evil”

by Dan Goodin

When creators of the state-sponsored Stuxnet worm used a USB stick to infect air-gapped computers inside Iran's heavily fortified Natanz nuclear facility, trust in the ubiquitous storage medium suffered a devastating blow. Now, white-hat hackers have devised a feat even more seminal—an exploit that transforms keyboards, Web cams, and other types of USB-connected devices into highly programmable attack platforms that can't be detected by today's defenses.

Dubbed BadUSB, the hack reprograms embedded firmware to give USB devices new, covert capabilities. In a demonstration scheduled at next week's Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, a USB drive, for instance, will take on the ability to act as a keyboard that surreptitiously types malicious commands into attached computers. A different drive will similarly be reprogrammed to act as a network card that causes connected computers to connect to malicious sites impersonating Google, Facebook or other trusted destinations. The presenters will demonstrate similar hacks that work against Android phones when attached to targeted computers. They say their technique will work on Web cams, keyboards, and most other types of USB-enabled devices.

"Please don't do anything evil"

"If you put anything into your USB [slot], it extends a lot of trust," Karsten Nohl, chief scientist at Security Research Labs in Berlin, told Ars. "Whatever it is, there could always be some code running in that device that runs maliciously. Every time anybody connects a USB device to your computer, you fully trust them with your computer. It's the equivalent of [saying] 'here's my computer; I'm going to walk away for 10 minutes. Please don't do anything evil."

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

31 Jul 13:30

AD Round Up: Architecture of the Soviets

by Connor Walker

During the Soviet Union’s relatively brief and tumultuous history, the quest for national identity was one that consumed Russian culture. The decadence of Czarist society was shunned, and with it, the neoclassical architecture the Czars so loved. Communism brought with it an open frontier for artistic experimentation, particularly where public buildings were involved. It was on this frontier that Russian Constructivism was born, and some of Russia’s greatest buildings were built.  This article on compiles a list of some of the “best of the best” in Soviet architecture—and we liked it so much that we’ve compiled our own top ten list! See all of our favorite Soviet projects, after the break!

Amalir Sports and Concert Complex- Yerevan, Armenia

Railway Station- Dubulty, Latvia

Olympia Hotel- Tallinn, Estonia

Embassy of the USSR- Havana, Cuba

Tarelka Hotel- Dombai, Russia

Russian Academy of Sciences- Moscow, Russia

Regional Drama Centre- Grodno, Belarus

The House of the Soviets- Kaliningrad, Russia

The Palace of Ceremonial Rites- Tbilisi, Georgia

31 Jul 19:29

UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

by timothy
An anonymous reader writes with a bit of pith from TechDirt: Every so often, people who don't really understand the importance of anonymity or how it enables free speech (especially among marginalized people), think they have a brilliant idea: "just end real anonymity online." They don't seem to understand just how shortsighted such an idea is. It's one that stems from the privilege of being in power. And who knows that particular privilege better than members of the House of Lords in the UK — a group that is more or less defined by excess privilege? The Communications Committee of the House of Lords has now issued a report concerning "social media and criminal offenses" in which they basically recommend scrapping anonymity online.

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.

29 Jul 12:53

Bike of the future removes the need to shift gears, pedal up hills or pack a lock

by Steve Dent
Biking in Seattle can be less than mellow with all the hills, traffic and especially that rain. But those things are exactly what inspired the Teague team of bicycle designers to build the Denny bike for the Oregon Manifest bike design project....
29 Jul 20:30

Idiocracy Is a Cruel Movie And You Should Be Ashamed For Liking It

by Matt Novak on Paleofuture, shared by Annalee Newitz to io9

Idiocracy Is a Cruel Movie And You Should Be Ashamed For Liking It

Remember that 2006 movie Idiocracy? The one where Luke Wilson plays an average underachiever who wakes up 500 years in the future, only to realize that he's now the smartest person on Earth? And everyone else is dumb — like, really dumb? Well, that movie is cruel and terrible and you should be ashamed for liking it. Seriously.


29 Jul 21:30

Name Misspellings: Not Limited to Baristas

30 Jul 09:04

This guy ran into Neil Degrasse Tyson and had no idea...

30 Jul 00:10

bird hates diet soda.  via ghibliempress

31 Jul 19:30

Amazing Rescue of the Day: Bear Saves a Crow From Drowning

Submitted by: (via Aleksander Medveš)

Tagged: crows , bears , zoo , Video , animals , rescue
29 Jul 14:50

33 Pictures Taken At The Right Moment

by Julija

We Bored Pandas are huge fans of perfectly timed photos that capture perfect (and usually funny or unexpected) moments that come and go with a blink of the eye. The internet is abound with images shared by people who have captured images at just the right moment or from just the right perspective, so we wanted to share some more of them with you.

Anyone with a smart phone, point-and-click camera, DSLR or any other sort of camera can potentially capture such a moment – whether it’s staged or spontaneous. If you’ve ever captured such a photo, share it with us below!


Source: reddit (h/t: distractify)


Source: imgur


Source: reddit (h/t: distractify)


Source: reddit


Image credits: Vladimir Levin


Source: reddit (h/t: distractify)




Image credits: Tom Baum


Source: imgur


Source: reddit


Source: imgur


Source: reddit


Source: reddit (h/t: distractify)


Source: imgur


Source: imgur


Image Credits: Adde Adesokan


Source: reddit


Source: reddit


Image credits: Nick Kelly


Source: unknown


Image credits: Mrsnef1




Image credits: troyANDabed


Source: reddit


Source: unknown


Image credits: Arainya


Source: reddit


Source: imgur


Source: reddit


Source: reddit


Source: reddit


Source: imgur


Source: imgur


Source: (h/t: buzzfeed)


Source: reddit

33 Pictures Taken At The Right Moment originally appeared on Bored Panda on July 29, 2014.

30 Jul 06:06

button, button

by kris


this was an ’80s twilight zone episode based on a richard matheson short story

tune in tomorrow for more topical references

29 Jul 18:15

No One Steals My Sandwich Anymore!

31 Jul 23:39

Well, Somebody Doesn't Know What "Homophones" Are

by Kevin

It's either Clarke Woodger, who reportedly fired an employee for blogging about them, or people for whom English is a second language. It is plausible to think many in the latter group might not know what "homophones" are, but to join Team Woodger you must also believe that those people (1) would know enough English to recognize "homo" and (2) are also stupid enough to think it is always associated with sexuality.

That's what Woodger believes, according to Tim Torkildson, who says he was fired from his job at Nomen Global Language Center after he wrote a blog post for the company site explaining what "homophones" are. The post itself is now gone, but Torkildson told the Salt Lake Tribune he was "careful to write a straightforward explanation of homophones" because he knew part of the word could be, as the Tribune put it, "politically charged."

According to Torkildson, this is what happened next:

"I'm letting you go because I can't trust you," said [Woodger]. "This blog about homophones was the last straw. Now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality."

I said nothing, stunned into silence.

"I had to look up the word," he continued, "because I didn't know what the hell you were talking about. We don't teach this kind of advanced stuff to our students, and it's extremely inappropriate. Can you have your desk cleaned out by eleven this morning?  I’ll have your check ready."

I nodded, mute.

Again, that's Torkildson's account, and based on a quick look at his Facebook page he appears to be something of a wise guy. Always trying to be funny, you know? You can't trust people like that. So maybe this was just him goofing around again?

If so, the Tribune is in on the prank, because it says it reached Woodger for comment, and here are those comments:

Woodger says his reaction to Torkildson's blog has nothing to do with homosexuality but that Torkildson had caused him concern because he would "go off on tangents" in his blogs that would be confusing and sometimes could be considered offensive....

Woodger says his school has taught 6,500 students from 58 countries during the past 15 years. Most of them, he says, are at basic levels of English and are not ready for the more complicated concepts such as homophones.

Well, there you go. Apparently it had nothing to do with— 

"People at this level of English," Woodger says, "... may see the 'homo' side and think it has something to do with gay sex."

Wait, what? You just said....

In the unlikely event that you, like Mr. Woodger, do not know what "homophones" are (assuming that part of the story is also true), they are words that sound alike but are otherwise different, such as ritewriteright, and wright.

I'd link to some sites for you but I don't want to be accused of promoting the homophonic agenda. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Employment in Utah is generally "at will," meaning one can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, subject to limited exceptions including "when termination violates clear and substantial Utah public policy." Given that Utah public policy apparently does not prohibit firing someone for being homosexual, it seems very unlikely that it would prohibit firing someone for using a term that you, if an idiot, wrongly believe has something to do with homosexuals.

That seems like a good question for the Utah Labor Commission, though. I'll let you know if they answer it.

28 Jul 16:46

Crow asks for water

28 Jul 20:58

One of the most amazing cosplays at SDCC 2014

28 Jul 15:30

"Some good advice I found in a bathroom." -raym0ndv2

"Some good advice I found in a bathroom." -raym0ndv2

26 Jul 13:13

How North Korea got this way

Vox's Max Fisher explains the historical events that produced the bizarre, tragic North Korea we know today.
27 Jul 00:00


27 Jul 20:00