Shared posts

08 Dec 03:28

Everything is awesome in the LEGO village

by Alexander

Back in my childhood days a rich collection of LEGO road baseplates was the hallmark of wealth and loving grandparents. The more plates you have, the larger your playground becomes. Unfortunately, we don’t find road plates in official LEGO sets any longer, but Krešo Krejča brings them back with a vivid diorama that could easily fit into an official LEGO catalogue.

Farm (3)

The builder brilliantly combines some classic City genres: farm, logistic services, construction site and a rural cottage. This diorama is not about advanced creations, but is amazingly full of life and motion. Go ahead and have a look at lots of perfectly executed shots revealing the everyday life of LEGO minifigures.

Farm (32)

07 Dec 14:00

Say Again?

by Jen

It's a fundamental fact of life that the more ridiculously off base a misspelling, the funnier it is.

So, "Congradulations?" Not particularly funny. "Controdulatior?" Funny.

And this?

HYSTERICAL.

 

Then there are the times when everything is technically spelled correctly, but...

(I don't know what's happening here, but I "like" it.)

 

I guess we can't judge this next wreckerator too harshly, since "Bon Voyage" isn't actually English; it's French. And we can't expect bakers to know French, now, can we? OF COURSE NOT. So don't even THINK about laughing. Seriously. It's a simple, honest-to-goodness mistake that ANYONE could easily ma...uh.

Oh, dear.

 

Never mind. 

("Have a nice trip! See you next fail!")

 

Thanks to Deb, Deborah A., & Terye B. for the stop, drop, and ROTFL.

*****

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07 Dec 05:01

Being Trans And Having Mental Illness

by Robot Hugs

New comic!

This comic was originally published on Everyday Feminism.

This was brutal to write because it kept fucking me up and making me sad. Anyways: intersectionality! One way to think of it is that it’s not (identityA)+(identityB), it’s (identityA) x (identityB).  The experience of being mentally ill and trans are not two separate experiences. Heck, the roots of intersectionality is illuminating the interactions of the experiences of Blackness and Woman, because those aren’t separate things.

Anyways, speaking of mental illness, I’m digging myself out of my own hole right now, but I hope to get back to my regular posting schedule soon enough.

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04 Dec 15:45

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - The Science is Unsettled

by tech@thehiveworks.com


Hovertext:
I wonder if there are time-reversed civilizations where everything gets more and more orderly, but then you get crushed.

New comic!
Today's News:
06 Dec 18:16

French artist Mat Green is back with more giant metal minifigure sculptures, and they’re jaw-dropping [Interview]

by Chris
Luke.stirling

Shared for the parrot

In June, French artist Mat Green amazed us with a pair of life-size LEGO minifigures made of steel. Those figures, named Hugo and Pablo, were a classic minifigure and a punk rock LEGO skeleton. Mat has now finished his next project — more classics you’ll surely recognize, the pirate Sparrow and his parrot Jacquot. We spoke with Mat about his work translating these iconic LEGO figures to life-size metal sculptures.

lego-metal-sparrow-2
jacquot-perroquet-lego-metal-11

Mat’s sculptures are fully poseable, and they disassemble exactly like their tiny plastic counterparts.

lego-metal-sparrow-4

Mat created this great video talking his process, and showing how he works on the pirate Sparrow. We also asked Mat some more questions, which you can read below.

The Brothers Brick: How did you decide on the names Jacquot and Sparrow for the new sculptures?

Mat Green: When it comes to the names of the sculptures, I was wondering how I was going to name the parrot, and then my grandpa told me that it should be named Jacquot. “All parrots are named Jacquot!” he said. Phonetically, it ends with O so it was perfect — it is kind of a small tribute to the Lego Brand. For Sparrow, my brother really loved the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and once again it was phonetically matching with O, so the name was adopted!

TBB: How tall is Jacquot? And how much does he weigh?

MG: Jacquot was built to the same scale as my three other minifigures! That’s to say, about 31 times bigger than the original ones! Which makes it about 95cm tall (about 37 inches)! I did not take the time to put the parrot on a scale, but I would say that its weight is about 8 kilos, so… about 17 pounds if I am not wrong!

lego-metal-sparrow-20

TBB: Of the pirate, the classic figure, or the skeleton, which was the hardest to build, and why?

MG: Well the hardest one to build — it really is a tricky question. Because I could think it was Hugo, the original one. It might look like a really basic shape when you hold a minifigure in your hand, but it actually has a lot of details you have to take into account if you want the result to be nice. You have to solve a few technical problems. And since it was my first character, it really was an adventure to make everything work!

For Pablo (the skeleton), it really was a challenge — and I mean it — to respect every single detail of the torso, arms and legs. The character is a lot more complicated than the basic Lego minifigure. And you have to be a bit ingenious to make the arms wiggle the same way it does with the original skeleton. For the legs you have to make your brain work a bit too. I like the fact that each creation is a real new challenge.lego-metal-sparrow-14

For Sparrow, even though the torso, arms and legs are not perfectly identical to Hugo (I tried to improve all the sections with small details) I knew a bit what to expect. But I have to say the metal wooden leg wasn’t easy to make, and the hook and hat… these two parts drove me crazy! If I knew the amount of work it would represent, I don’t know if I would have chosen the pirate! All right, I probably would still have chosen the pirate. Because when I was a kid, the pirate really was a badass character to me.

It’s honestly hard to say which one between the three has been the hardest to build. But if we have to talk about time it would be the pirate.

lego-metal-sparrow-8

TBB: How many plates of metal are in Jacquot?

MG: I honestly don’t know how many plates of metal are in Jacquot, but there are a few of them. I don’t have Jacquot in my apartment anymore, so I can’t really count them!

jacquot-perroquet-lego-metal-12
jacquot-perroquet-lego-metal-10

TBB: Will they rust?

MG: Hopefully not. They received a surface treatment, a transparent varnish, but eventually they will rust if you leave them outside. A lot of people are asking me if they could put it in their garden; the answer is no, you should not do that. If I had to make a new one, I think I would make in stainless steel so it could never rust. But the design of it would be different.

TBB: Do you build with plastic LEGO pieces at all? If so, what do you build?

MG: Do I build things with Lego plastic bricks? Yes, I love to! A friend of mine really has a lot of Legos and he loaned me a huge amount of pieces. Most of the time I am trying to build cars and helicopters with Technic Lego, so I can make my brain workout a bit with engines and stuff! But I am not really the kind of guy who could have a perfect collection of Legos. Every set of Lego has to be taken apart so you can have a big amount of pieces and create things with ideas flying in!

TBB: Will these be for sale?

MG: All the four figures are for sale! Hugo €9,000; Pablo €11,000; Sparrow €12,000; Jacquot €2,400.

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For more details and photos of these models, visit Mat Green’s website, green-workshop.com

05 Dec 16:28

High Dynamic Range, explained: There’s a reason to finally get a new TV

by Sam Machkovech

We're dealing with better tech these days—embrace it. (credit: Tony Young)

Ever since the HDTV standard emerged in the mid-'00s, screen producers have struggled to come up with new standards that feel anywhere as impressive. That's been a tough sell, as no baseline image standard has yet surpassed the quality jump from CRT sets to clearer panels with 1080p resolution support.

3D content came and went, with its unpopularity owing to a few factors (aversion to glasses, hard-to-find content). The higher-res 4K standard is holding up a little better, but its jump in quality just doesn't move the needle for average viewers—and certainly not those sticking to modestly sized screens.

But there's another standard that you may have heard about—high dynamic range, or HDR. It's a weird one. HDTV, 3D, and 4K have all been easy to quickly and accurately describe for newcomers ("more pixels," "one image per eye," etc.), but HDR's different. Ask an average TV salesperson what HDR is, and you'll usually get a vague response with adjectives like "brighter" and "more colorful." Brighter and more colorful than what, exactly?

Read 41 remaining paragraphs | Comments

05 Dec 00:00

Settling

Of course, "Number of times I've gotten to make a decision twice to know for sure how it would have turned out" is still at 0.
02 Dec 13:43

USB Killer, yours for $50, lets you easily fry almost every device

by Sebastian Anthony

Last year we wrote about the "USB Killer"—a DIY USB stick that fried almost everything (laptops, smartphones, consoles, cars) that it was plugged into. Now the USB Killer has been mass produced—you can buy it online for about £50/$50. Now everyone can destroy just about every computer that has a USB port. Hooray.

The commercialised USB Killer looks like a fairly humdrum memory stick. You can even purchase a "Test Shield" for £15/$15, which lets you try out the kill stick—watch the spark of electricity arc between the two wires!—without actually frying the target device, though I'm not sure why you would want to spend £65 to do that. The website proudly states that the USB Killer is CE approved, meaning it has passed a number of EU electrical safety directives.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

05 Dec 03:08

Protected under the branches of the Observer Tree

by Andrew

Ben Andrews describes this large LEGO diorama as a labor of love, and it certainly is lovely. An enormous tree stands atop a hill, full of treehouses, its trunk surrounded by winding staircases. Across a pool into which drains a broad waterfall sits a beautiful red-roofed watermill.

The Observer-Tree

Full of stunning details and interesting little scenes, you don’t want to miss a single picture of Ben’s Observer Tree. At the top of the tree, there’s a small structure with a telescope, which is presumably where the tree gets its name.

Tree - Front on

The watermill has a large round window, and a chairlift runs up to the Observer Tree.

Watermill

Among the many scenes Ben has created around the diorama, brothers return home with a box full of fish as an elderly couple shares some wine.

Pathway to the Tree

The rear of the diorama includes a cave with a treasure chamber at the end, guarded by a genie. I suspect the four gentlemen exploring the cave will be more than capable of handling a blue ghost that lives in a dusty lamp.

The Observer-Tree - Rear

You can see more photos of this diorama in the builder’s album on Flickr, and read more about it in the latest issue of Bricks Culture magazine.

04 Dec 16:09

"Bycatch" explained

by Minnesotastan
"Bycatch, in the fishing industry, is a fish or other marine species that is caught unintentionally while catching certain target species and target sizes of fish, crabs etc. Bycatch is either of a different species, the wrong sex, or is undersized or juvenile individuals of the target species. The term "bycatch" is also sometimes used for untargeted catch in other forms of animal harvesting or collecting."
More at the link.  Here's an example, described by Bill Bryson in The Road to Little Dribbling:
"... in his book, [Callum] Roberts gives a list of all the aquatic life incidentally killed - the bycatch, as it is known - by a fishing boat in the Pacific Ocean in the process of legally catching just 211 Mahi-mahi. Among the aquatic animals hauled aboard and tossed back dead in a single sweep were:
488 Turtles
455 Stingrays and devil Rays
460 sharks
68 Sailfish
34 Marlin
32 Tuna
11 Wahoo
8 Swordfish
4 giant sunfish.
This was legal under international protocols. The hooks on the longlines were certified "Turtle Friendly."  All this to give 211 people a dinner of Mahi Mahi.
Photo credit for the shrimp bycatch to NOAA's Fisheries Collection.
30 Nov 17:45

Please for the love of god

dinnermess:

greenyvertekins:

fourbeatgait:

Do not declaw your cats. Today my friend who works at a local rescue received an application for a cat adoption. There’s a section for “Do you plan on declawing your new cat?” and the person checked the box for yes and wrote “We have expensive furniture.”

ok then don’t get a cat

sorry but if you’re going to mutilate your animal to avoid ruining your expensive furniture then a cat is not the animal you need

So many reasons not to do this


-it’s EXTREMELY painful. they don’t just remove the claw, they remove the TOE up to the first joint.

-if your cat escapes your home, they have absolutely ZERO way of defending or feeding themselves (not that your cat should be allowed outside for any reason but that’s a whole separate rant)

-your cat will be in pain while walking. because they removed that actual bone, your cat’s weight is now balanced on that second bone in their toe, not the first as was designed. Painful.

-Your cat may even lose the desire to be touched. literally we adopted this adolescent cat whose owners abandoned him because he was an escape artist. they had already declawed him and for the longest time he wouldn’t even let us get near his feet. like we couldn’t touch him if it wasn’t his head or the base of his tail.

do. not. declaw. your. cat.


Alternatively:

-buy little nail caps. they sell them at pet stores and they come in all sorts of cute colors

-buy furniture guards. figure out where your cat is most aggressive with scratching. buy a furniture guard and place a cat tree or scratching post nearby and use some catnip or treats to attract their attention to it

-literally just trim the nails with nail clippers. be careful not to quick them. if your cat starts fussing, take a break and come back later to avoid accidents due to them moving around

don’t declaw your cat

Declawing can actually kill a cat.

I mean think about this.

Declawing often results in behavorial problems such as toileting outside the litter box, aggression and anxious behaviors.

Chances are, an owner who cannot deal with those consequences of their cruelty either abandons the poor animal or takes it to a cat shelter that euthanizes “problem” animals that cannot be realistically rehomed due to said “problematic” behavior.

If the animal was abandoned, it cannot survive in the wild due to being declawed and rased as a domestic pet.

The fact that Cat declawing hasn’t been outlawed in every state in America is absolutely outrageous.

DO NOT. DECLAW. YOUR CATS.

01 Dec 20:21

Democracy is not an inherently stable form of government

by Minnesotastan
Political scientists have a theory called “democratic consolidation,” which holds that once countries develop democratic institutions, a robust civil society and a certain level of wealth, their democracy is secure.

For decades, global events seemed to support that idea. Data from Freedom House, a watchdog organization that measures democracy and freedom around the world, shows that the number of countries classified as “free” rose steadily from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s. Many Latin American countries transitioned from military rule to democracy; after the end of the Cold War, much of Eastern Europe followed suit. And longstanding liberal democracies in North America, Western Europe and Australia seemed more secure than ever.

But since 2005, Freedom House’s index has shown a decline in global freedom each year...  
According to the Mounk-Foa early-warning system, signs of democratic deconsolidation in the United States and many other liberal democracies are now similar to those in Venezuela before its crisis.

Across numerous countries, including Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States, the percentage of people who say it is “essential” to live in a democracy has plummeted, and it is especially low among younger generations...

Support for autocratic alternatives is rising, too. Drawing on data from the European and World Values Surveys, the researchers found that the share of Americans who say that army rule would be a “good” or “very good” thing had risen to 1 in 6 in 2014, compared with 1 in 16 in 1995.

That trend is particularly strong among young people. For instance, in a previously published paper, the researchers calculated that 43 percent of older Americans believed it was illegitimate for the military to take over if the government were incompetent or failing to do its job, but only 19 percent of millennials agreed. The same generational divide showed up in Europe, where 53 percent of older people thought a military takeover would be illegitimate, while only 36 percent of millennials agreed...
More at the New York Times.
01 Dec 14:44

Shopping for clothes

by Minnesotastan

Here is a rack of shirts in our local Blain's Farm &Fleet store.  Lets see... there are about three "small," then a couple dozen medium, then lots of large and extra large.  And lots of extra extra large.  And...


... then comes the "extra extra extra large," and finally the ones for which there are no preprinted signs so they had to use a Sharpie to designate the "extra extra extra extra large" shirts.

I don't know if this is true elsewhere.  It does seem to be typical here in south-central Wisconsin.
28 Nov 20:04

Saying Things

by Reza

saying-things

26 Nov 18:35

Delete Yourself From Many Internet Sites By Pressing This Button

by EditorDavid
Two Swedish developers have created a site offering a way to wipe your entire existence off the internet in a few clicks. schwit1 quotes The Next Web: When logging into the website with a Google account it scans for apps and services you've created an account for, and creates a list of them with easy delete links. Every account it finds gets paired with an easy delete link pointing to the unsubscribe page for that service. In a few clicks you're freed from it, and depending on how long you need to work through the entire list, you can be account-less within the hour. I'm a little uncomfortable giving a stranger's web site access to my personal information - even if it is for the purpose of deleting it altogether. But the original submission ends with an interesting question. "Can we get this for government databases too?"

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.

22 Nov 22:17

NASA’s EM-drive still a WTF-thruster

by Chris Lee

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Thinkstock)

For the past several years, a few corners of the Internet have sporadically lit up with excitement about a new propulsion system, which I'll call the WTF-thruster. The zombie incarnation of the EM-drive has all the best features of a new technology: it generally violates well-established physical principles, there is a badly outlined suggestion for how it might work, and the data that ostensibly demonstrates that it does work is both sparse and inadequately explained.

The buzz returned this week, as the group behind the EM-drive has published a paper describing tests of its operation.

Before getting into the paper, let me step back a bit to set the scene. I am not automatically rejecting the authors' results. I am not even rejecting the possibility that this study may hint at a new physics. I am saying that before I will take that possibility seriously, I have to be convinced that the data cannot be explained by the current laws of physics. And currently, I am not convinced. In fact I am very frustrated by the lack of detail.

Read 29 remaining paragraphs | Comments

26 Nov 23:47

You’ll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of green

by Alexander

Don’t you think there are too many spaceships and interstellar fighters prowling around the international LEGO space lately? Of course, their top-class designs are undeniable, but how about taking just a day off and spending it somewhere in a calm restful rural place? This vast diorama by Piotr Machalski, a talented builder from Poland, is full of soft summer sun and serenity. Even though the actual size of the build is 25 m2, it can hardly contain a huge century-old oak and just a little bit of a field by the farm.

Chronicles of dirt-poor farmer of- dirt,

Hurry up to see some brilliant close-ups of the diorama as the author promises to extend his creation with new territory.

Plow up guy

24 Nov 15:39

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - A Meat-Race

by tech@thehiveworks.com


Hovertext:
Okay, quick, let's switch them all to kale so we can claim they're grass-fed.

New comic!
Today's News:
25 Nov 13:53

Plutocracy and oligarchy

by Minnesotastan
Not a new problem:
  • "The real difficulty is with the vast wealth and power in the hands of the few and the unscrupulous who represent or control capital. Hundreds of laws of Congress and the state legislatures are in the interest of these men and against the interests of workingmen. These need to be exposed and repealed. All laws on corporations, on taxation, on trusts, wills, descent, and the like, need examination and extensive change. This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations..."
25 Nov 09:08

$1bn Getty Images Public Domain Photograph Dispute is Over

by Andy
Luke.stirling

I don't get it. This seemed like an open and shut case in the opposite direction to this. How does any of this make any sense at all?

Seattle-based Getty Images is an agency
with control over an archive of millions of stock images. It also has a reputation for strongly protecting its copyrights and chasing down companies and individuals who use Getty images without paying an appropriate fee.

Late December 2015, established US-based photographer Carol Highsmith was a recipient of a Getty threat via License Compliance Services (LCS) on behalf of Alamy, another Getty-affiliated company.

“We have seen that an image or image(s) represented by Alamy has been used for online use by your company. According to Alamy’s records your company doesn’t have a valid license for use of the image(s),” the letter began.

“Although this infringement might have been unintentional, use of an image without a valid license is considered copyright infringement in violation of the Copyright Act, Title 17, United States Code. This copyright law entitles Alamy to seek compensation for any license infringement.”

Targeting Highsmith with this particular threat was problematic. The image in question was one of her own. It was among thousands of other images she previously donated to the Library of Congress and made available to the public to reproduce and display for free. Highsmith subsequently discovered that Getty and its affiliates were making available more than 18,000 of her other photographs too.

The photographer responded with a $1bn lawsuit but the stock image company didn’t back down. Fighting back, Getty said it would vigorously defend its position based on the fact that Highsmith had placed her work in the public domain.

Considering the David and Goliath nature of the case (not to mention Getty’s reputation for picking on the little guy), observers hoped that during the lawsuit Getty would at least get a bloody nose. That has not come to pass.

To begin, on October 28, US District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff dismissed each of Carol Highsmith’s federal copyright claims.

“Defendants Getty Images (US), Inc., License Compliance Services, Inc., Alamy, including thatInc., and Alamy Ltd. collectively moved to dismiss all claims of plaintiffs Carol Highsmith and This is America!, Inc. under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act,…the Lanham Act,… New York General Business Law,… and New York common law of unfair competition,” the Judge wrote.

“Upon consideration, the Court grants defendants’ motions,” he added.

With the federal claims gone, three state law claims werincluding that Getty charged licensing fees for images when it shouldn’t have and collected settlements from alleged infringers when it had no right. However, these claims have now also been dismissed, along with the rest of the case.

“It is hereby stipulated and agreed, by and among the parties, that this action shall be dismissed with prejudice pursuant to Rule 41(a)(l)(A)(ii) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, each party to bear its own costs and fees,” the Judge wrote in his dismissal.

Since the case was dismissed with prejudice, it is done and cannot be brought back to court.

getty-highsmith-dismiss

The Judge added that a memorandum explaining the reasoning behind the rulings will be issued in due course, but it seems fairly clear that since Highsmith had passed her images into the public domain in 1988, that seriously undermined her case.

The terms of the settlement have not been released, and a lengthy protective order issued early November forbids all parties from discussing any information obtained during the pre-trial discovery phase.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

23 Nov 18:12

The world’s an inn, and death the journey’s end

by Jennifer

Out of necessity, most LEGO castle builders stick to a regular color palette of light gray or dark gray. Sometimes we’ll use tan if we’re feeling particularly frisky. But Patrick Massey has kicked this old convention out the window and assembled a medieval inn out of beautiful autumn colors. The end result is a stunning and unique creation that looks well lived-in (if not a little spooky).

Westwood Inn

22 Nov 18:40

Letchworth State Park, New York

by Minnesotastan

Via the Earth Port subreddit.
22 Nov 18:31

Yemen in a nutshell

by Minnesotastan

It’s not just Al-Qaeda. Water shortages, collapsing oil supplies, war, refugees, pirates, poverty—why Yemen is failing.

At the heart of all these problems is Yemen’s looming economic collapse. Already the poorest country in the Arab world, Yemen is rapidly depleting its oil reserves and lacks any options for creating a sustainable post-oil economy. Unemployment is estimated at 35 percent, higher than what the U.S. faced during the Great Depression.

Accelerating the economic decline is a protracted civil war in the north between Shia insurgents and the Sana’a-based government. The war has caused a refugee crisis and extensive damage to infrastructure...
The map/graphics embedded above is excellent - click for bigger to read the details.

No commentary from me; I'm just posting for future use/reference.

Reposted from 2010 to add the following from an article by Andrew Cockburn in the Sept 2016 issue of Harper's:
Just a few short years ago, Yemen was judged to be among the poorest countries in the world, ranking 154th out of the 187 nations on the U.N.’s Human Development Index. One in every five Yemenis went hungry. Almost one in three was unemployed. Every year, 40,000 children died before their fifth birthday, and experts predicted the country would soon run out of water.

Such was the dire condition of the country before Saudi Arabia unleashed a bombing campaign in March 2015, which has destroyed warehouses, factories, power plants, ports, hospitals, water tanks, gas stations, and bridges, along with miscellaneous targets ranging from donkey carts to wedding parties to archaeological monuments. Thousands of civilians — no one knows how many — have been killed or wounded. Along with the bombing, the Saudis have enforced a blockade, cutting off supplies of food, fuel, and medicine. A year and a half into the war, the health system has largely broken down, and much of the country is on the brink of starvation.

This rain of destruction was made possible by the material and moral support of the United States, which supplied most of the bombers, bombs, and missiles required for the aerial onslaught. (Admittedly, the United Kingdom, France, and other NATO arms exporters eagerly did their bit.) U.S. Navy ships aided the blockade. But no one that I talked to in Washington suggested that the war was in any way necessary to our national security. The best answer I got came from Ted Lieu, a Democratic congressman from California who has been one of the few public officials to speak out about the devastation we were enabling far away. “Honestly,” he told me, “I think it’s because Saudi Arabia asked.”
Much more at the link.
22 Nov 06:09

Going where Star Trek tends to go, into Space

by Elspeth De Montes

The television series Star Trek: Deep Space 9 actually went where no Star Trek series had gone before – it was the first series that took place on a starbase rather than a starship. Clearly vehicles were still required as no one would want to be stuck on a starbase without the opportunity to encounter some new species or tackle some intergalactic crisis. Larsvader has built this huge minifig scale LEGO version of the USS Yukon (NCC-74602), which was a Danube-class runabout used extensively in the series.

Star Trek - Deep Space Nine - Runabout Yukon

The builder has managed to ensure that his Star Trek minifigure personnel are as comfortable as possible. The interior includes a large crew cabin complete with sleeping and dining areas for extended travel. There is also a compact personnel transporter to ensure there can be a dramatic transportation just in the nick of time. Of course the cockpit comes complete with beeping screen, tactical stations and an escape hatch. But where is the toilet?!

Star Trek - Deep Space Nine - Runabout Yukon

19 Nov 20:52

nickfuckface: thingsfittingperfectly: The super moon on a radio...



nickfuckface:

thingsfittingperfectly:

The super moon on a radio receiver dish

mission accomplish boys,,,,,,,,,,,,, we caught the moon………………..

21 Nov 14:00

Almost, But Not Quite, Entirely Unlike Turkey Cakes

by Jen

Let's face it, bakers: turkeys look silly.

Real turkeys, I mean.

SO SILLY.

 

So in that spirit, why NOT make your turkey cakes look like a snake on a Mexican poncho?

 

Or a volcano with a chicken beak?

 

Or a ruffled... er...

[long pause]
[gratuitous side-eye]
...decorative... pillow.

Yeeeah.

 

I mean, on the one hand, bakers, this is utterly ridiculous. Have you seen a real turkey's head? It's not even brown.

But on the other hand, when else do you get to illustrate an angry little poop being attacked by technicolor leeches?

Never, that's when.

 

So I say... [cranks up America the Beautiful]... GO FOR IT, bakers.

Embrace the ridiculous!

Stretch those legs!

 

Spread-eagle that turkey!

 

Anything goes!!

[record screeches to a halt]

Except this.

THIS IS A NO-GO, BAKERS.

 

Thanks to Heather M., Stieg, Laura B., Sandy F., Dave & Alison, DeLoris N., & Morgan R. for making us all do a triple-take. (Still pretty sure those ARE supposed to be turkeys, though.)

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

21 Nov 18:48

The geography of blue and red America

by Minnesotastan
"...we took the election results and created two new imaginary nations by slicing the country along the sharp divide between Republican and Democratic Americas."
From the New York Times.  Interesting to see this done at a county or district level rather than at the state level.
20 Nov 23:56

The weather outside is frightful, but the microscale’s delightful

by Rod

I don’t know about everywhere else, but this weekend saw winter begin to take hold in Scotland. Appropriately enough, along come two lovely little LEGO builds which perfectly capture the chill in the air. First up, IamKritch‘s cabin looks like a great place to sit out the blizzard. The trees and the frozen stream are smart, but it’s the simple use of a brown grille brick for the cabin’s log walls which grabs the attention.

A Cabin in Winter

And then there’s Brick Blue Wren‘s wonderful winter diorama. I like the variety of techniques used for the trees, and the curved backdrop and base evoking the shape of a snow globe. The color scheme properly pops off the page, particularly those hefty snowflakes against the blue sky. A few more models like this and I’ll be all set for Christmas.

LEGO Snow Globe

20 Nov 15:54

Beach sand is not a permanent feature

by Minnesotastan

From an interesting longread at TheVerge:
To the casual observer, the beach may look like the only natural bit of the city, a fringe of shore reaching out from under the glass and pastel skyline. But this would be false: the beach is every bit as artificial as the towers and turquoise pools. For years the sea has been eating away at the shore, and the city has spent millions of dollars pumping up sand from the seafloor to replace it, only to have it wash away again. Every handful of sand on Miami Beach was placed there by someone.

That sand is washing away ever faster. The sea around Miami is rising a third of an inch a year, and it’s accelerating. The region is far from alone in its predicament, or in its response to an eroding coast: it’s becoming hard to find a populated beach in the United States that doesn’t require regular infusions of sand...

"There isn’t a natural grain of sand on the beach in Northern New Jersey; there is no Miami Beach unless we build it," Young says. "The real endangered species on the coast of the US isn’t the piping plover or the loggerhead sea turtle. It’s an unengineered beach."..

On July 31st, 2015, the Army Corps released a plan for patching eroding sections of Miami Beach. Miami-Dade’s sand resources had been exhausted, the Corps wrote, and some of the best alternatives lay to the north, offshore of Martin and St. Lucie counties. Though the shoals were in federal waters and the northern counties had no greater right to them than anyone else, they viewed the sand as theirs, and with the Corps’ announcement began the latest skirmish in what local officials call "the sand wars."..
20 Nov 05:05

Onward Comrades! For the Tiny Revolution!

by Rod

P.B. spends his time building fabulous microscale walking tanks and artillery units. This one, in Jovian Regimental Colors no less, is a little cracker. The tank carries an impressive level of detail for such a small model — delivered through effective color blocking and a nice depth of texture. I love the use of bucket handles to add detail to the legs — I haven’t seen that before. But the undoubted stars of this show are the teeny-tiny figures — the crewman and the Commissar — effortlessly carrying off some Communist-era chic with their little red scarves. Well played Comrade PB, well played.

TU-138 with Commissar and Crewman