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21 Jan 06:40

Kenworth wrecker in 1:13 scale spares no detail

by Patrick

‘Lifelike’ isn’t a good enough adjective to properly describe this Kenworth K100 wrecker by Dennis Bosman. Built to 1:13 scale, this thing is not just big but beautifully detailed.

Kenworth K100 wrecker

At such scale, the little details really come to life. We can see how much painstaking effort was put into creating such an accurate model. I could go on and on about everything to love here, but a few details really stand out, like the fuel tanks, cab striping and the radiator build on an offset. Oh, and all those lovely chrome bits. And the liftable cab, exposing the nicely detailed engine. And, well, everything else, too. Can you tell I’m in love?

Kenworth K100 wrecker

The post Kenworth wrecker in 1:13 scale spares no detail appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

19 Jan 23:32

Record low water levels in Venice

by Minnesotastan

As Venice works on the €5.4 billion 'Mose' floodgate to counteract the eventual effects of rising sea levels, they face an interim problem of record low water levels.
The exceptionally water levels have been caused by abnormal tides this year, combined with drastically reduced winter precipitation rates across northeastern Italy... The drop in water levels has prevented some of the city's gondolas and vaporetti, or water buses, from navigating in some of the smaller canals. On Christmas Eve, the low tide even grounded the mayor's speedboat.
The low water is exposing the city's less attractive underside: garbage and crumbling infrastructure.  And I'll bet it's fragrant:
Historically, all waste produced by humans have been dumped into the canals although larger buildings are required to carry some kind of sewage treatment before dumping the filthy stuff into the canals. Some palazzos have their own septic tanks but there is always a certain amount of leakage, lending Venice its characteristic and at times overpowering stench.
The scavenger in me, however, imagines the excellent opportunity for mudlarking.

Think of the generations of artifacts that have been lost into the canals, the wedding rings tossed away, the rings and brooches.  But it looks like mostly forks.

Related: Mudlarking and Love tokens retrieved from the mud of the Thames.
17 Jan 19:21

Delivery of a cute LEGO cat called Jiji [Instructions]

by Elspeth De Montes

Kiki's Delivery Service is a 1989 Japanese animated fantasy film produced, written, and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. The film’s protagonist Kiki is a trainee witch who has a black cat called Jiji as her best friend, and CK HO has built a fantastically cute LEGO version of Jiji the cat. Like most cats, Jiji has a lot of personality,  but the English-dubbed version of the film showed Jiji with a cynical and sarcastic attitude as opposed to cautious and conscientious in the original Japanese.

JiJi the black cat

We loved Jiji so much here at TBB that we asked CK to make some instructions and he very kindly obliged to allow us all to have a best friend called Jiji.








I get the feeling that this LEGO cat is more of a cautious and conscientious type but cats are notoriously hard to read.  Perhaps underneath that gently cross-eyed kitty’s cautious exterior some caustic sarcastic wit is waiting to come out.

The post Delivery of a cute LEGO cat called Jiji [Instructions] appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

17 Jan 19:13

Recycling wind turbine blades

by Minnesotastan

It's not easy -
Unfortunately, one of the largest components of a wind turbine —the blades— are completely unrecyclable.

Turbine blades are made from glass or carbon-fiber composites. These materials are strong, lightweight and has a significant aerodynamic advantage, but they are nearly impossible to recycle. Hence, at the end of their lifecycle, most of these blades end up as waste on landfills. According to one estimate, there will be 50,000 tons of blade waste in 2020, which will rise to more than 200,000 tons by 2034.

The current scenario is grim. There is only one industrial enterprise that recycles end-of-life turbine blades, and that’s in Melbeck, in northern Germany...

In 2007, the Rotterdam municipality unveiled a playground for Kinderparadijs Meidoorn built out of rotor blades that were originally destined for landfills...
The city also has public seating at the Willemsplein square where nine intact rotor blades were placed at various angles to create ergonomic public seating with a diversity of seating options...
The rest of the story is at Amusing Planet.

Photo credit: Denis Guzzo/Flickr
16 Jan 19:00

Are These Boobs? Do I Censor This? WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING HERE

by Jen

Minions, all I know about today's cake is that it was for a shower. I'm guessing a baby shower? Though I suppose it could have been for a bridal shower. Heck, this thing's weird enough it could have been for an actual wrap-up-your-hair-and-grab-the-back-loofah shower. I have no idea, is what I'm saying.

Also, can nipples be yellow? I only ask because I don't know if I should censor this thing or not. I mean, maybe those aren't nipples at all, maybe they're... [head tilt]... little sombreros. On cantaloupes. Being held in a purple neck sling thingie.

Which brings me to another issue: is the purple thing supposed to be a bra? Because news flash, baker: bras don't work like that. AT ALL.

Oh yeah, I guess I should show you all the cake, huh? You're probably asking, "Jen, are we there yet?" Which is funny, you asking it that way, because that brings me to the final weird bit:

...are we WHERE yet? Who's asking? What does that have to do with sombrero-wearing cantaloupes in a neck sling? How is any of this shower related? Is this real life? WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE??

[sits back down]
[pats hair into place]


Well, thanks, Cindy W., for leaving us with only questions. I look forward to everyone's myriad hypotheses - and sketches of sombrero-wearing cantaloupes - in the comments.


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16 Jan 01:35

The 12 Most Scenic Train Trips In the World

by Patrick Allan

Traveling by train is one of the simplest ways to get around, and it can also be the most photogenic. These 12 routes from around the world are so visually striking you’ll be glued to your railroad car’s window for the entire trip.


16 Jan 01:34

Use the Fibonacci Sequence to Quickly Convert Between Miles and Kilometers

by Eric Ravenscraft

Math has tons of fascinating quirks. For example, if you want to convert between miles and kilometers, you can use the Fibonacci sequence to make a conversion with a stunning degree of accuracy.


15 Jan 23:14

Vinicunca (Rainbow Mountain), Peru

by Minnesotastan

Located just 3 hours from Cusco, but comparatively unknown until recent years when climate change caused the overlying snow to melt and reveal the colorful formation.  More photos at Google Images.

Further discussion and relevant links at the EarthPorn subreddit. 

Tip: "there are locals with horses that charge $20-30 to take you to the top."  Useful to know because the hike begins at an altitude of 14,000 feet and rises to 17,000 feet where the above photo was taken.
13 Jan 19:46

I want you to show all the kids how you eat your broccoli!Like...


I'm not sure telling a parrot what it likes is an effective strategy. If I could say anything about the interests of this corella, I'd say that what it really enjoys is the drama.

I want you to show all the kids how you eat your broccoli!

Like Because Birds on Facebook

13 Jan 08:59

We’re in the pipe, five by five

by Jonathan

First there was Blacktron in 1987, then there was Blacktron II in 1991. Now Luc Byard may have created Blacktron 3.0 with this awesome updated Blacktron landing pad. His ship “Aerial Intruder” sits on the octagonal landing gantry with alien hieroglyphs. Sitting atop four carefully constructed legs on a tidy base with realistic  moon surface pocked with brick-built craters.

Blacktron Landing Pad 01

The whole construction took over a year to complete (6 months for the ship and 7 months for the pad). When you see the level of complexity and details that have gone into this incredible creation you can understand why.

Blacktron Landing Pad 07 Main Computer ext

Here Blacktron astronauts are busy looking over pre-flight checks at various computer terminals around the “Aerial Intruder” while another climbs into the deployment buggy.

Blacktron Landing Pad 05

Luc pays homage using traditional Blacktron colors while adding on his flare and style to create this masterpiece.

Blacktron Landing Pad: Legs

In the builder’s words, “Putting it on legs was ambitious and a royal pain in every conceivable way, but was worth it.”

It certainly was!

The post We’re in the pipe, five by five appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

12 Jan 08:18

Depths Of Love

by Robot Hugs

New comic!

Ugh, laundry. Woo, love! Life is full of contrasts.


12 Jan 01:35

Good Reason to Kill #66: Took a Bite of Your Grilled-Cheese Sandwich

by Kevin

So I’m working on some stuff about the Emoluments Clause, the anti-nepotism law, and property rights in space, and, I mean, all very interesting, of course, but sometimes you just want to quickly mention that a dude ended up in a standoff with police because somebody took a bite out of his grilled-cheese sandwich.

Certainly many of you wanted me to mention it, and far be it from me to ignore popular demand.

According to many reports (here’s one in Time magazine), a 55-year-old Maryland man started shooting on Sunday after his wife allegedly sank her teeth into his sandwich, thus ruining the geometric perfection and golden goodness of at least one of the two triangular treats. Neither Time‘s article nor the police report says who made the sandwich or otherwise explain the circumstances under which the bite was taken. I think we can assume she acted without consent, express or implied.

Some people apparently believe, it seems, that permission to nibble on someone else’s food without asking is inherent at least in any medium-to-long-term relationship (not that this sort of thing bothers me, of course), but I think this case shows the problem with relying only on implied consent. I’m not saying you need to get it in writing, it’s just polite to ask. So, you know, some irritation is understandable, it seems to me.

What’s not okay is to then go down into the basement, grab a weapon and start firing up through the kitchen floor in order to retaliate for sandwich infringement. We can all agree, I hope, that this represents a disproportionate response to the offense.

Happily, neither the wife nor the couple’s children—who were also in the house at the time—were injured by any of the four shots. (In an excellent example of police prose, the report says that “gunshots, the projectiles of which”—sometimes known as “bullets”—”came through the kitchen floor.”) They fled the house, the wife called police, and the sandwich-related standoff began. Although the police called in a SWAT team, because this is apparently necessary whenever something happens, even though regular police have guns too and are perfectly capable of killing people with them if necessary, or even if not all that necessary, they did not in fact kill this guy. Luckily for him, he was not carrying a weapon when he came out of the house after three hours, and police subdued him with pepper balls.

The man appeared subdued after his arrest

Among other things, possibly, based on his mugshot.

I have often criticized police brutality, but given that this guy was reportedly shooting at his family over a grilled-cheese sandwich, had multiple weapons that he’s not allowed to have because of prior convictions, was wearing at least an ammunition bag when he came outside, and reportedly had a loaded rifle with a chambered round just inside the front door, a pop in the eye in the course of ending this matter doesn’t seem at all unreasonable.

Now that I look back over the previous 65 Reasons, I notice (again) that several of them were food-related disputes. But they mostly involved somebody trying to bogart all servings (or the last serving) of something, not an infringement of this nature. And the only food-related dispute I can recall that turned into an armed standoff was the 2011 incident triggered by Beefy Crunch Burritos (although for some reason I didn’t put that in the GRTK category). But that was a price dispute, so not at all the same thing.

Each case must be judged on its own merits, you see.

10 Jan 20:11

That's not what I meant...

by Minnesotastan

From the archives of The New Yorker.
10 Jan 20:09

A revised "Girl's Life" cover

by Minnesotastan
Putting her graphic skills to work, in just a few minutes, Katherine [Young] swapped out the cover girl for Olivia Hallisey, the 2015 Google Science Fair Grand Prize winner, and photoshopped in some new, inspired and empowering headlines. The result? A magazine cover that offers girls better alternatives to tips on how to “Wake up Pretty.”
Background and more commentary (and a larger view of the revised cover) at Women You Should Know.
10 Jan 00:24

See? Not Just An American Thing

by john (the hubby of Jen)

And now, for a little international flair, here's a Cake Wreck all the way from Norway. We begin with a guy ordering a cake for his coworker, Arnold:

(The original article is written in Norwegian, so I've put this conversation through Google Translate.)
"Can I please order a marzipan cake?"
"That's fine. What is the name on it?"
"Yes it will be Arnold 60 years. Happy Birthday."
"Arne 60..."
"No. Arnold!"
"No! Arnold like in 'Arnold Schwarzenegger.'"
"Oh... huh. Arnold like in 'Arnold Schwarzenegger?'"
"Are you sure."
"Yes in heaven's name. You shall write it as said!!! Yeah, print it! In a hurry!"


I want to believe Google Translate is completely accurate and this is exactly how Norwegians talk.
Because that would be hilarious. (Shhh, let me have this, Europe.)

Okay. Here's the cake in all its Norwegian glory:


Thanks, Karl E. - and hey, come with me... if you want to eat.


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09 Jan 05:04

You’d better stay up in the sky till the superheroes have things sorted out

by Alexander

Bored with dull city dioramas where everything is awesome? Professional South Korean LEGO-building quartet OliveSeon knows how to ring the changes on the major LEGO city airport hub. How about a massive superhero battle? They’ve done some impressive work recreating one of the biggest screen brawls of the previous year, from Captain America: Civil War. And don’t be surprised: those planes and little yellow service cars are actually from official LEGO City sets, and they look simply perfect in this diorama.

Lego Airport Diorama 'Civil War Scene'

What’s particularly awesome about this scene is the main airport building. I bet that perfectly planned and executed interior would make you forget there’s a battle going outside on the runway! Bonus points awarded for an extremely smart use of the tram from LEGO set 60097 City Square, which here is turned into an inter-terminal train.

Lego Airport Diorama 'Civil War Scene'

And if you like this airport, also check out the incredible LEGO airport we covered in November.

The post You’d better stay up in the sky till the superheroes have things sorted out appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

07 Jan 21:00

Selfie stick in 1969 Czechoslovak science fiction movie

by Mark Frauenfelder

I Killed Einstein, Gentlemen is a 1969 Czechoslovak science fiction comedy film directed by Oldřich Lipský. Wikipedia says "it became known for the scene showing the first selfie stick."

Here's the full movie. The opening seconds probably raised some eyebrows at the time:

07 Jan 20:56

Good puzzle: connect the six boxes without crossing any lines

by Mark Frauenfelder

Draw a line connecting the two boxes labeled 1. Draw another line connnecting the boxes labeled 2. Draw a third line connecting the boxes labeled 3. The lines can't intersect. The lines can't go beyond the bounds of the rectangle enclosing them. [ADD: The lines don't have to be straight.] There's nothing tricky or disappointing about the solution. (Here's the solution.)

06 Jan 20:25

Team Chat

2078: He announces that he's finally making the jump from screen+irssi to tmux+weechat.
05 Jan 07:21

Clarendon Castle

by Jonathan

Marvel at the might and majesty of Mark of Falworth‘s magnificent Clarendon Castle – one of the last entries in the Classic Castle Competition, and in this fan’s opinion one of the best. The model is 4ft x 5ft (1.2m x 1.5m) and weighs in at a hefty 110lbs (50kg). It took over four months to build, the last half being completed in just two weeks with the help of the builders’ brother.

(CCC14) Clarendon Castle
There are so many brilliant details in this massive structure it’s difficult to know where to start: the amazing waterfalls, the intriguing cave, the small cabin tucked behind the rocks or the impressive irregular footprint. Clarendon Castle sits proudly on the clifftop above the surging ocean, with its wide balcony and tall towers. Subtle highlights of sand-green help to blend the paved stone walls to the paneled upper wooden floors, while a patchwork roof crowns the spectacular construction.

(CCC14) Clarendon Castle

The drawbridge lowers to greet visitors under a clump of autumnal trees, enhancing the already stunning and naturalistic vegetation. Clever techniques make the river appear to flow as it splits into two beautiful and incredibly lifelike waterfalls.
(CCC14) Clarendon Castle

The rock face is cleverly crafted using a blend of different techniques to create a varied and impressive landscape, the two-toned topography making the lower rocks look wet from the sea-spray of the outgoing tide. Greenery splashed over the rocks gives a very realistic accent and helps to blend the scene together.

(CCC14) Clarendon Castle

Is anyone else curious to see where the cave leads and what might be in there? Perhaps it’s a secret entryway into the castle, or maybe it’s where the Lord keeps his stash of treasure!

The post Clarendon Castle appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

04 Jan 21:30

Is this the best UK comedy sketch of the 1970s?

by Rob Beschizza

Dave Allen was an Irish comedian popular in the UK from the 1960s until his death in 2005. His reputation is as a cantankerous irreligious fellow, but this family-friendly moment is widely held to be his best sketch. Someone on YouTube thinks it's the best British TV comedy sketch of the 1970s. There's some pretty stiff competition on that front, if you ask me. (Mastermind, from The Two Ronnies, is the best British comedy sketch of the 1980s. Dead Parrot was 1969.)

04 Jan 19:52

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Monty Hall Problems


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Actually, pretty much everything beyond intro calculus is run by goblins.

New comic!
Today's News:
04 Jan 18:41


by Minnesotastan

Photo credit Ray Cooper (Scotland), via The Telegraph.
04 Jan 17:09

The "Oxford comma"

by Minnesotastan
In English language punctuation, a serial comma or series comma (also called Oxford comma and Harvard comma) is a comma placed immediately before the coordinating conjunction (usually and or or) in a series of three or more terms.

For example, a list of three countries might be punctuated either as "France, Italy, and Spain" (with the serial comma), or as "France, Italy and Spain" (without the serial comma)...  It is used less often in British English, but some British style guides require it, including The Oxford Style Manual...

The style that always uses the serial comma may be less likely to result in ambiguity. Consider the apocryphal book dedication quoted by Teresa Nielsen Hayden:
To my parents, Ayn Rand and God.
There is ambiguity about the writer's parentage, because Ayn Rand and God can be read as in apposition to my parents, leading the reader to believe that the writer claims Ayn Rand and God are the parents. A comma before and removes the ambiguity: To my parents, Ayn Rand, and God.

An example collected by Nielsen Hayden was found in a newspaper account of a documentary about Merle Haggard:
Among those interviewed were his two ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall.
The Times once published an unintentionally humorous description of a Peter Ustinov documentary, noting that "highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector". This would still be ambiguous if a serial comma were added, as Mandela could then be mistaken for a demigod, although he would be precluded from being a dildo collector.

In her style guide Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss writes: "There are people who embrace the Oxford comma, and people who don't, and I'll just say this: never get between these people when drink has been taken."
Much more at the link.

Related:  Is the semicolon an endangered symbol?
04 Jan 17:06

Point of view

by Minnesotastan
04 Jan 16:53

Dark Tower from the Stephen King novels in LEGO

by Clinton

The Dark Tower series of books by Stephen King is quickly entering the public eye as the upcoming movie draws closer to release. While it’s on everyone’s minds, David Collins has created his own version of the mystical structure in LEGO. Designed for a “books to life” exhibit of LEGO creations, this Tower stands two feet (~61 centimetres) tall. Collins had intended to make the tower taller, but was restricted to this height by the rules of the exhibit. I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s worth questing for regardless.

The Dark Tower

And what is a Dark Tower without a gunslinger to find it? Collins has also created a minifigure of protagonist Roland Deschain to go with it.

Roland Deschain

On a personal note, I can’t wait to see this movie. I love the books and, by a strange coincidence, they began filming the movie right here in my home country of South Africa.

The post Dark Tower from the Stephen King novels in LEGO appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

03 Jan 01:22

Blast from the past with the 80’s Boombox

by Edwinder

The boombox (aka “Ghetto Blaster”) that graced every music lover’s shoulders is an indisputable icon of the 80’s. Jimmy Fortel‘s mastery in capturing the essence of this historical music making machine takes the bass beat up 10 notches and would burst our eye-drums, if we had any.

Ghetto Blaster

The beauty of this creation lies in the clean lines and construction without a visible LEGO stud, from the equalizer, to the radio antenna, to the inserted cassette tape, and the depressed Play button. If you close your eyes hard enough, you can almost hear the sound of Michael Jackson’s Beat It pumping from those speakers, taking you back to a time when loud music in public streets was all the rage.

The post Blast from the past with the 80’s Boombox appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

02 Jan 19:44

LEGO Rubik’s Cube is more than meets the eye

by Nick

This LEGO Rubik’s Cube constructed by Joe Perez is fully functional — but not in the way you would expect.

LEGO Rubik's Cube Rubrikon

Joe’s Rubik’s Cube is a robot in disguise! I believe that would make Joe’s build the most ’80s toy: Rubik’s Cube plus Transformers plus LEGO bricks.


Joe’s step-by-step transformation guide shows his LEGO Transformer works. Impressive work considering the small space to fit all the robot limbs, and that the robot form looks great.

Rubrikon Transform

The post LEGO Rubik’s Cube is more than meets the eye appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

31 Dec 02:42

Break the bars

by Scandinavia and the World
Break the bars

Break the bars

View Comic!

31 Dec 00:12

A snow fort, but made out of wood

by Luka

Who doesn’t love a good wooden castle? Now, this fort by Jsnyder002 is not a new concept, but that doesn’t detract from the execution. The snow effects are realistic and the thatched roofing is just spot on. The most eye-catching part of the build must be the splash of water in the corner with a well-crafted dock. We recently featured a samurai’s house and woodland cottage by the same builder that were, like this one, built for the Colossal Castle Contest XIV.

Bálkr Fort

The post A snow fort, but made out of wood appeared first on The Brothers Brick.