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17 Jan 17:03

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Dog Years


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Thank you once again to the patreon typo squad.

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16 Jan 06:18

Tattoo Ideas

The text ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US with a lengthy footnote explaining that I got this tattoo in 2020 and not, as you may assume, 2001, but offering no further clarification.
14 Jan 21:47


by Minnesotastan

Created by bonsai master Masahiko Kimura
His unconventional bonsai creations have stirred controversy at first. Deemed by some traditionalists as a non-conforming artist, Kimura continued to break the traditional rules of bonsai making. Typically, the art involves cultivating a single tree or shrub planted on a container. Instead of planting just one miniaturized tree, Kimura brilliantly created a mini-forest sprouting from a slanted deadwood. He has produced and sold several versions of the Hinoki Forest. But the original version, which he created more than 20 years ago, still sits proudly in his garden. His garden is located in Omiya, Japan and is open to the public upon request.
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13 Jan 18:39

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Time Machine


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In the new future, everyone is awful, but we're all DINOSAURS.

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10 Jan 22:33

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Rich


It's like the SMBC version of The Shock Doctrine

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Honestly, if you see a prophet and he's not super rich, you probably shouldn't trust him.

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04 Jan 15:46

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Coffee


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I need to do a book of just comics that end with God laughing.

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01 Jan 21:18

I Love the 20s

Billboard's "Best of the 80s" chart includes Blondie's 1980 hit "Call Me." QED.
01 Jan 13:38

Greebling with a side of more greebling!

by Lino

It finally happened! This new creation by Angelo Favretti has me at a loss for words. So instead of coming up with the words you can fill them all in Mad Libs style and post them in the comments section.

This (adjective) spaceship is totally the (possessive noun) knees! I like how it is divided into (a number) sections, each more (adjective) than the last. I’m willing to wager my (noun) that this took a metric (unit of measure) of time and LEGO to complete. We’re all (adverb) blown away by the amount of (verb ending in “ing”) greebling this thing has! It’s like a (noun) exploded in (a place) and this is the (adjective) result. I think the gray (plural noun) and the white (plural noun) are (adverb) nice parts usage. (Brothers Brick staff member) says this might be the (adjective ending in “est”) spaceship we’ve seen all year and (famous person) just might agree. Let’s hope for more (adjective) (plural noun) like this in 2020!

Foto 1

The post Greebling with a side of more greebling! appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

31 Dec 18:15

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - App


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If you make this, you owe me a hug.

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Just 2 weeks left to enter your proposal for BAHFest! This year we have a little budget to fly in non-local people, so submit even if you're non-local! 

30 Dec 07:28

New Year's Eve

"Off-by-one errors" isn't the easiest theme to build a party around, but I've seen worse.
29 Dec 10:15

This huge LEGO microscale city continues to grow

by Chris

It's like playing SimCity, except brick by brick, and terrifyingly expensive.

When we last checked in with Christophe Pujaletplaa almost a year ago, he’d just finished adding roads to the microscale LEGO city he calls Microville. It’s now grown to more than 11 meters squared, or close to 100 large 48×48-stud baseplates and gained a waterfront.

Microville 2020 - vue d'ensemble

Christophe has been continuously working on the city since 2010, slowly adding more streets with detailed buildings, along with the occasional larger upgrade. The waterfront section adds new beach real estate and an industrial port next to the airport.

Microville - 2020 vue sur les grues du port // Mikrohiri - 2020 portuko garabien ikuspegia

Seeing shots of Microville stretching to as far as you can see makes me feel like I’m playing a flight simulator, buzzing around tiny buildings.

Microville 2020

You can read more about Microville at Christophe’s French-language website, as well as in our previous article on Microville.

The post This huge LEGO microscale city continues to grow appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

26 Dec 19:11

The Human Brain Evolved When Carbon Dioxide Was Lower

by BeauHD
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Atlantic: Kris Karnauskas, a professor of ocean sciences at the University of Colorado, has started walking around campus with a pocket-size carbon-dioxide detector. He's not doing it to measure the amount of carbon pollution in the atmosphere. He's interested in the amount of CO2 in each room. The indoor concentration of carbon dioxide concerns him -- and not only for the usual reason. Karnauskas is worried that indoor CO2 levels are getting so high that they are starting to impair human cognition. In other words: Carbon dioxide, the same odorless and invisible gas that causes global warming, may be making us dumber. He proposed the idea last week at the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting, the largest annual gathering of earth and space scientists in the world. He also previewed it in an online paper written with Shelly Miller, a mechanical-engineering professor at the University of Colorado, and Anna Schapiro, a neuroscience professor at the University of Pennsylvania. The paper, while not yet peer-reviewed, was uploaded to a website where academics can discuss early-stage or provocative research. The science is, at first glance, surprisingly fundamental. Researchers have long believed that carbon dioxide harms the brain at very high concentrations. [...] Two centuries of rampant fossil-fuel use have already spiked the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from about 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution to about 410 parts per million today. For Earth as a whole, that pollution traps heat in the atmosphere and causes climate change. But more locally, it also sets a baseline for indoor levels of carbon dioxide: You cannot ventilate a room's carbon-dioxide levels below the global average. In fact, many rooms have a much higher CO2 level than the atmosphere, since ventilation systems don't work perfectly. On top of that, some rooms -- in places such as offices, hospitals, and schools -- are filled with many breathing people, that is, many people who are themselves exhaling carbon dioxide. "As the amount of atmospheric CO2 keeps rising, indoor CO2 will climb as well," the report adds. "They project that, in a worst-case emissions scenario, it may be impossible to ventilate a crowded room below about 1,300 parts per million. That could induce some real cognitive damage." The report goes on to cite a 2016 study by researchers at Harvard and Syracuse University, which found that human cognitive function declined by about 15 percent when indoor CO2 reached 945 parts per million, and crashed by 50 percent when indoor CO2 reached 1,400 parts per million.

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26 Dec 19:08

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Weakness


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Should've saved this one for New Year's.

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Hey, Houston and London! Have you submitted your BAHFest proposal?

26 Dec 14:12

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Doom


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Huh. The amulet of fulfillment isn't doing anything. Is it busted?

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23 Dec 08:16

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Hell


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At least in Hell, old dishes left in the common room just burn up.

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22 Dec 02:06

Alright, break it up, dummies!

by Lino

There is so much to love about this digital ice breaking scene by Tong Xin Jun. The striking color choices of the Land Rover Defender and the vessel it is pulling is appealing to the eye and seems to be this builder’s signature move. The broken ice patterns are nothing short of mesmerizing in their execution, their glass-smooth tops are accurate for a windswept arctic tundra. This is achieved by lying bricks and slopes on their sides in a SNOT (Studs Not On Top) configuration. The slopes change direction only at the bow of the vessel, accurately depicting how ice chunks would react to being plowed through and the transparent bits in the boat’s wake is an excellent touch. The entire composition is indeed a work of art. The scene seems a bit precarious however. Ice chunks smaller than the Land Rover may not support its weight and, as seen from this view, I squint and wonder why all the minifigs would be shirtless in a frigid arctic scene.


Upon closer inspection it would seem my simmering sense of dread might be validated. Perhaps the occupants of this scene already anticipate disaster as, for some reason, they’re all crash test dummies.


With a sprawling sky backdrop and a little bit of photographic trickery, this shot (complete with crash test dummy driver) is reminiscent of a postcard, one that would say “the weather is here, wish you were beautiful!”


As to why everyone in this scene is a crash test dummy may be an excellent (*ahem*) icebreaker question for the builder but whatever the answer may yield, one thing for certain is we love icebreakers.

The post Alright, break it up, dummies! appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

22 Dec 00:24

Futuristic television set (1958)

by Minnesotastan
"The Philco Predicta is a television made in several cabinet models in a 17” or 21” screen by the American company Philco from 1958-1960. The Predicta was marketed as the world's first swivel screen television. The picture tube was surrounded in Eastman plastics new product called “tenite” which protected the glass and gave it its greenish tint... Predicta television sets were constructed with a variety of cabinet configurations, some detachable, but all separate from the tube itself and connected by wires. Initially introduced in 1958 for the Holiday Inn hotel chain and rolled out for general consumers shortly thereafter, the Predicta was discontinued in the early 1960s."
21 Dec 10:22

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Responsible


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I'm convinced you could exactly tune the population growth rate via debt.

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19 Dec 14:13

Inside the chimney

by Minnesotastan

The archaeology of birds

Removing the bricks reveals... 25 generations of birds' nests.
19 Dec 12:36

Not, in my view, a "feel good story"

by Minnesotastan
19 Dec 12:11

Star Wars Spoiler Generator

The heroes seem to be gaining the upper hand until Darth Juul manages to flip the switch on the car wash control panel from 'REGULAR' to 'PREMIUM.'
16 Dec 10:44

Congressman Pleads Guilty to Using Campaign Funds for Rabbit Travel

by Kevin

Let me be clear: U.S. Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA, for now) did not plead guilty only to using campaign funds for rabbit travel. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds, which was only one of the 60 counts in his indictment. But the rabbit travel was one of the 200 overt acts alleged in that count:

This was a rabbit. As previously discussed—back when Hunter was adamantly denying the charges and saying prosecutors were engaged in a Trump-related “witch hunt”—Hunter’s own spokesman admitted that records showed campaign funds had indeed been spent for “in-cabin rabbit-transport fees” (hyphens added; unbearable otherwise). See Campaign Funds Used for Rabbit Travel” (Aug. 27, 2018). This is not something a spokesman makes up. I therefore felt and still feel comfortable saying that the “family pet” mentioned in Overt Act #98 was, in fact, a rabbit, as had been reported elsewhere.

Now, Hunter’s plea agreement does not specifically mention the rabbit. Technically, on paper, he admitted to only two of the alleged overt acts: spending $511 in campaign funds for a “family celebration” in 2011 (#43), and $409 for “a social outing with several of his closest friends” in 2016 (#191). So is it accurate to say that he “pleaded guilty to” the other 198 alleged overt acts? Which, by the way, included but were not limited to:

  • $351 to rent a car for a “personal ski trip with Individual 14” (#2);
  • $1008 for expenses during said ski trip (#3);
  • $704 for 12 tickets to “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (#19);
  • $142 to have Men’s Wearhouse “re-cut” two pairs of pants (#32);
  • $162 for a night at the Liaison Hotel with Individual 14 (#33);
  • $1,400 in expenses for a family member’s dance competition (#46–48);
  • $10,000 for a family vacation in 2012 (#59);
  • $59 for a pair of Under Armour shorts (#67);
  • $36 for Uber rides to the residence of Individual 15 (#83);
  • $2,217 to pay for a family trip to see a Steelers game (#89);
  • $3,166 for cable TV (ten payments) (#95);
  • $399 for zipline rides (#99);
  • $1,528 via Steam for 82 video games (#113);
  • $6,289 for a family vacation in Hawaii (#119);
  • $995 to fly his mother-in-law and her boyfriend to Warsaw (#121);
  • Again, $995 to fly his mother-in-law and her boyfriend to Warsaw, Poland (#121);
  • $203 for dinner with a group including Individual 16 (#124);
  • $14,261 for a family vacation to Italy (#156);
  • $835 for family tickets to see “Riverdance” (#162);
  • $815 for a bachelor party (#171–72);
  • $1,200 for a garage door (#177); and, of course,
  • $250 for rabbit travel.

Did he “plead guilty to” all these? One might argue the answer is no, because the plea agreement only mentions two specific acts, and many of the expenditures were actually made by Hunter’s wife and co-conspirator, Margaret. But another might argue the answer is yes. This was a conspiracy count, meaning each co-conspirator is responsible for all acts in furtherance of the conspiracy even if he or she didn’t personally do them. And unless Hunter breaches the plea agreement, he can’t be prosecuted for any of the charges in the indictment, so I assume he would (if necessary) take the position that all the acts are included. The plea agreement certainly doesn’t deny responsibility for any of them, I assume partly for this reason.

I don’t know (yet) which of those two people would be right, but until told otherwise I’m going with the second.

As for why Hunter changed his position now after denying guilt for so long, the Washington Post notes that his “legal situation” had “become more precarious in recent months.” That’s because wife and co-conspirator Margaret pleaded guilty in June, agreeing as part of the deal to testify against Duncan. Why’d she do that? Well, guilt is one explanation. But her decision was probably made much easier by learning about Individuals 14, 15, and 16 (see above), as well as Individuals 17 and 18, also mentioned in the indictment. Because all of those individuals were female, and none of them were Margaret Hunter.

So that might have something to do with it.

The Liaison Hotel. Seriously.

Anyway, when he announced yesterday that he was changing his plea to guilty, Hunter said there were “three reasons” for that, “and those three reasons are my kids.” (Sparing them the need to see Dad on trial, that is.) Those are three good reasons, no doubt, but they’re hardly the only ones. In the interview, Hunter unsurprisingly minimized the extent of his wrongdoing, saying he had “made mistakes” but that there was “no taxpayer money involved.” Except for the taxpayers who thought they were contributing to his campaign, presumably, and not buying him shorts or picking up the tab for two or three or five extramarital affairs or flying his rabbit across the country.

“Life throws challenges at ya,” Hunter said of the experience, with a straight face, apparently referring to the challenge of trying not to break the law literally hundreds of times by using campaign funds for personal expenses.

I should mention that like former Rep. Chris Collins—who also complained of a witch hunt (see “‘Dumbest Insider-Trading Crime I’ve Ever Seen’ Was Pretty Dumb” (Aug. 9, 2018)) only to later plead guilty—and like several other politicians of both parties, Hunter ran for re-election while under indictment and won. See Assorted Election Stupidity” (Nov. 8, 2018). Collins said he wouldn’t resign, but then he did. Hunter hasn’t said whether he’ll resign, but he almost certainly will. See “Can a Convicted Felon Serve in Congress? (Dec. 24, 2014) (answer: probably, but they usually don’t).

I’m not saying a politician who cries “witch hunt” is necessarily lying. I’m just saying that politician is probably lying.

14 Dec 20:40

Your choice: train horns or rubber chickens

by Minnesotastan

 Via Neatorama, where there are links to the source(s).

There is also a rubber chicken cover of Toto's Africa, and of course of BoRhap.
14 Dec 14:39

Brussels Sprouts Mandela Effect

I love Brussels Sprouts Mandela Effect; I saw them open for Correct Horse Battery Staple.
13 Dec 11:09

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Mars


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Unfortunately, the breeding population of Mars was entirely sysadmins, resulting in dangerous founder effects. On the plus side, their revolution against Earth will be entirely passive-aggressive.

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10 Dec 10:10

When your semen carries another man's DNA

by Minnesotastan
Excerpts from an absolutely fascinating report in the New York Times:
Three months after his bone marrow transplant, Chris Long of Reno, Nev., learned that the DNA in his blood had changed. It had all been replaced by the DNA of his donor, a German man he had exchanged just a handful of messages with...

But four years after his lifesaving procedure, it was not only Mr. Long’s blood that was affected. Swabs of his lips and cheeks contained his DNA — but also that of his donor. Even more surprising to Mr. Long and other colleagues at the crime lab, all of the DNA in his semen belonged to his donor. “I thought that it was pretty incredible that I can disappear and someone else can appear,” he said...

Mr. Long had become a chimera, the technical term for the rare person with two sets of DNA. The word takes its name from a fire-breathing creature in Greek mythology composed of lion, goat and serpent parts. Doctors and forensic scientists have long known that certain medical procedures turn people into chimeras, but where exactly a donor’s DNA shows up — beyond blood — has rarely been studied with criminal applications in mind...

He added that patients also sometimes ask him what it means for a man to have a woman’s chromosomes in their bloodstream or vice versa. “It doesn’t matter,” he said.

But for a forensic scientist, it’s a different story. The assumption among criminal investigators as they gather DNA evidence from a crime scene is that each victim and each perpetrator leaves behind a single identifying code — not two...

In 2004, investigators in Alaska uploaded a DNA profile extracted from semen to a criminal DNA database. It matched a potential suspect. But there was a problem: The man had been in prison at the time of the assault. It turned out that he had received a bone marrow transplant. The donor, his brother, was eventually convicted...

In 2008, he was trying to identify the victim of a traffic accident for the National Forensic Service in Seoul, South Korea. Blood showed that the individual was female. But the body appeared to be male, which was confirmed by DNA in a kidney, but not in the spleen or the lung, which contained male and female DNA. Eventually, he figured out that the victim had received a bone marrow transplant from his daughter.
More worth reading at the link.
10 Dec 07:40

Bottles on the seashore: deathtraps for hermit crabs

by Minnesotastan

It seems one can't browse the 'net these days without finding yet another way that humans are devastating the natural world.  When a hermit crab climbs into a bottle, the surface may be too slippery for it to climb back out.  This report from the Washington Post:
Many of the bottles, cans and containers were not empty. Scores of hermit crabs, mostly dead, were trapped inside... They estimate 570,000 of the crabs have been killed on Cocos, which is composed of 27 islands, and that 61,000 more have died in a similar fashion on Henderson Island, located more than 8,000 miles away...

When a hermit crab dies, it emits a chemical signal to let others know that a potential shell has become available, Bond explained. Thus, a crab that dies after trying to make a home out of plastic sets off an insidious chain reaction: The smell attracts another who dies, and so on, generating an ultra-strong signal that leads even more of the crabs to an almost-certain demise.
10 Dec 07:34

Data Error

Cyanobacteria wiped out nearly all life on Earth once before, and they can do it again!
09 Dec 14:56

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Unique


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What if we are the Vogons? I mean, how would we know?

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04 Dec 16:14

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Affection


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Wild orchids are nice but not all that impressive, so really it's a subtle insult.

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