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19 Aug 05:58

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Bat


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Do you think it's ever possible to truly know what it's like to be Thomas Nagel?

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19 Aug 03:11

This epic recreation of Deep Space Nine is so huge, I can practically fit inside!

by Benjamin Stenlund

Ok, so not quite, but it is approximately eight feet in diameter, and I am only a little over six feet tall, so it is bigger than I am. And if I curled up around the central core between the docking pylons, I could probably fit. Thus, the title is not entirely hyperbolic. But I could wax hyperbolic about the eponymous space station from the Star Trek series Deep Space Nine, built by Adrian Drake from over 75,000 pieces, including an absurd amount of dark bluish grey. It took over two years to build, and I can see why.


How this thing can support its own weight is itself an impressive feat of LEGO engineering. On top of that, lights were added to bring a certain amount of pizzazz to the presentation. The real thing (or “real” thing, since it is a fictional space station set in a sci-fi TV series) is over a kilometer in diameter and home to about 300 permanent residents. Deep Space Nine served as an outpost from which Starfleet could explore the Gamma Quadrant via a wormhole. From what I gather, it was in operation during approximately the same time as the events of The Next Generation and Voyager. Now, I have never seen the show (I preferred Star Wars to Star Trek as a kid, when it felt like you had to choose between them) so I don’t know any details that I couldn’t get from Wikipedia, but it looks awesome even without any context.

I love the pearl gold greebles in the docking pylons, as they offer a nice contrast with the dark grey. They are also a pleasant departure from the typical light grey greebles one sees on many spaceship builds. Among the myriad of parts used include the lasso of truth, a chicken, katanas, faucets and flags.


The structure is so large that the curves are created by the natural space in between 1×2 pieces when slightly strained, giving much of it a smooth finish. Other areas are finished with studs, which is less sleek but perhaps more accurate.


As for the rest, it is so large and impressive that I am at a loss for words. I’ll leave you with this final convention image, just to put it in proper scale, unlike the edited picture above.

Ds9 is done!

The post This epic recreation of Deep Space Nine is so huge, I can practically fit inside! appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

18 Aug 08:01

Hovercars don’t have to be bright to be beautiful

by Daniel

Visions of the future have been promising hovering cars since the 1960s and we are still waiting. But with LEGO creations like this hovercar by GolPlaysWithLego we can imagine ourselves whooshing down the floating freeways of tomorrow in style. Rather than build a flashy, bright-colored hovercar inspired by the video game franchise Wipeout, this one is made using monochrome shades of spaceship gray, and it looks great. The way the windshield part fits so smoothly into that arch, it’s like it was made just for that purpose.

Another hovercar LEGO MOC

The post Hovercars don’t have to be bright to be beautiful appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

16 Aug 07:40

40% of Americans hold strict creationist views

by Minnesotastan
Forty percent of U.S. adults ascribe to a strictly creationist view of human origins, believing that God created them in their present form within roughly the past 10,000 years. However, more Americans continue to think that humans evolved over millions of years -- either with God's guidance (33%) or, increasingly, without God's involvement at all (22%)...

As many as 47% and as few as 38% of Americans have taken a creationist view of human origins throughout Gallup's 37-year trend. Likewise, between 31% and 40% of U.S. adults have attributed humans' development to a combination of evolution and divine intervention over the same period.
Details at the Gallup website.   Procedural details here.
For the poll, Gallup conducted phone interviews of 1,015 American adults living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Respondents were asked to choose which of these statements came closest to matching their own views on the origin and development of human beings:
(1) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process
(2) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process
(3) God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so
Via Gizmodo.
16 Aug 07:32

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Kill


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They need to make Baby Not On Board signs, as a courtesy of people trying to drive recklessly in peace.

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16 Aug 07:30

I’m a rhinoceros hornbill. How-do-you-do!

by Lino

It never fails, someone builds an animal or another and it always makes me smile. What I like is beginning to become predictable. I hope you can be as enthralled by Marco Gan’s rhinoceros hornbill as I am. The rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros) is the state bird of the Malaysia state of Sarawak as well as the country’s National Bird. This particular cutey is a charming female as her eye is white with red rims made from a small wheel and tire assembly and a radar dish (males would have red with black rims). My favorite part is the tongue made from a snowboard. The hanging spider acts as a reminder that in the jungle, there is always something alive needing to eat. It is clear that Marco cares deeply about the animals of Southeast Asia, as this isn’t the first time he’s delighted us with jungle creatures. Check out these tapirs of his we featured previously.

Rhinoceros Hornbill

The post I’m a rhinoceros hornbill. How-do-you-do! appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

14 Aug 02:27

New York’s Hearst Tower skyscraper recreated in 20,000 LEGO bricks

by Rod

Manhattan’s Hearst Tower is one of the city’s most distinctive skyscrapers and DeepShen has built an impressive LEGO version of this interesting block. The faceted corners of the tower’s 182m height give it a striking visual signature, enhanced by the interesting contrast between the modern skyscraper and the 1928 cast stone facade which surrounds its base. This, the original Hearst building, was intended to be the ground floors of a skyscraper, but that construction project was put on hold by the Great Depression. In 2006 its purpose was finally realised — a protected landmark, the facade was retained as a street-level front for the stunning new building which emerged from its heart.

LEGO New York Skyscraper

DeepShen says the model used roughly 20,000 LEGO pieces and is built to 1:156 scale. By my calculations that makes this creation around 110cm high — so it’s as impressive in scale as it is in shaping.

The post New York’s Hearst Tower skyscraper recreated in 20,000 LEGO bricks appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

08 Aug 07:42

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Cinnamon Buns


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Apparently it's now possible to get a corn dog made with duck fat, presumably so you can lie to yourself about why you're eating a corndog.

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08 Aug 07:40

Dark Matter

To detect dark matter, we just need to build a bird feeder that spins two squirrels around the rim in opposite directions at relativistic speeds and collides them together.
08 Aug 07:28

Tardigrades on the moon

by Minnesotastan
The odds of finding life on the moon have suddenly rocketed skywards. But rather than elusive alien moonlings, the beings in question came from Earth and were spilled across the landscape when a spacecraft crashed into the surface.

The Israeli Beresheet probe was meant to be the first private lander to touch down on the moon. And all was going smoothly until mission controllers lost contact in April as the robotic craft made its way down. Beyond all the technology that was lost in the crash, Beresheet had an unusual cargo: a few thousand tiny tardigrades, the toughest animals on Earth.
Details at The Guardian.
08 Aug 07:27

"Do you live on This Street or That Street?"

by Minnesotastan

Residents of Porter's Lake, Nova Scotia might live on either one, or on The Other Street.

Via the Crappy Design subreddit, where a discussion thread includes other cities with bad or confusing street designations (Atlanta, Calgary, Grand Junction...), including this monstrosity from New York City:

01 Aug 02:26

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Jurassic


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I am prepared to offer my services to the writing of Jurassic Park Part 17.

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30 Jul 18:02

Subterranean junkyard

by Minnesotastan

Explained at Wired:
The Gaewern Slate Mine in Ceredigion, Wales, was once rich in slate, a purplish-gray rock sought for its beauty and durability. It was extracted between 1812 and 1960. But once humans had emptied the mine of everything they wanted, they filled it with everything they didn't: broken washing machines, shot microwaves, and dozens of rusty old cars...

None were so tricky to photograph as the Gaewern mine, though. To reach it, Friend and a companion drove seven hours from London, then hiked down a precariously narrow ledge hugging a cliff face to the entrance. Inside, they rappelled five stories down—a huge tripod, large format camera, and other equipment on their backs—then crept 20 feet through a low, claustro­phobic tunnel that opened to the cavern you see above.

Friend was most struck by the almost religious shaft of light pouring in through a crack in the rock above. Capturing that light, while properly illuminating the rest of the scene, required keeping his camera's aperture open for a full five minutes. During the first minute of the exposure, he used a powerful flashlight to trace the darker objects he wanted to highlight. Then he switched it off and let the natural light accumulate on the film for the remainder of the shot.
An impressive image - and a reminder that there is no "away."
30 Jul 10:27

zucchini quesadillas

by deb

Sure, it’s only been one month since I wrote “I don’t find summer squash naturally loveable. Its flavor is not robust—fairly watery when fresh, slippery when cooked, and even when you do succeed in browning or crisping it, this textural triumph is short-lived.” But I never meant that I avoid it. Just because it may not be the most popular vegetable at the party doesn’t mean that it cannot flourish under the right conditions (salt, pepper, acidity, heat, herbs, and cheese — please). Conveniently, I almost always have these conditions in stock.

Read more »

27 Jul 11:34

Hieroglyphic numbers

by Minnesotastan

At the via it was noted that the numbering system is non-positional, so the symbols can be arranged in any order.

Also cited there, and tangentially related, was this rather sad statistic:
A survey by Civic Science, an American market research company, asked 3,624 respondents: “Should schools in America teach Arabic numerals as part of their curriculum?” The poll did not explain what the term “Arabic numerals” meant.

Some 2,020 people answered “no”. Twenty-nine per cent of respondents said the numerals should be taught in US schools, and 15 per cent had no opinion.

John Dick, chief executive of Civic Science, said the results were “the saddest and funniest testament to American bigotry we’ve ever seen in our data”.

Seventy-two per cent of Republican-supporting respondents said Arabic numerals should not be on the curriculum, compared with 40 per cent of Democrats. This was despite there being no significant difference in education between the two groups.

“They answer differently even though they had equal knowledge of our numerical nomenclature,” Mr Dick said. “It means that the question is about knowledge or ignorance but [also] something else – prejudice.”

This bias was not limited to conservative respondents and attitudes towards Islam.
Another poll question was worded: “Should schools in America teach the creation theory of Catholic priest George Lemaitre as part of their science curriculum?”

Seventy-three per cent of Democrats answered “no”, compared to 33 per cent of Republicans – with some respondents on either side presumably assuming Lemaitre’s theory was related to intelligent design.

In fact, the Belgian priest was also a physicist who first discovered the universe was expanding and proposed its origins lay in the explosion of a single particle - an idea that became known as the Big Bang theory.

“While Lemaitre is more obscure than Arabic numerals, the resulting effect is almost identical,” Mr Dick said. “Dems are biased against Western religion, if latently."
27 Jul 11:32

Why walk around the pole?

by Minnesotastan

Perhaps it could be bicyclists not wanting to duck.  But that logic is harder to apply to this taller space:

I've spent countless hours walking trails in the woods, so I understand a healthy respect for spiderwebs might be a logical reason, but that wouldn't apply in this case:

And those are not bicycle tracks.  So... what's the reason.  Superstition?

Top image via.  Second and third photos via.
27 Jul 11:31

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Emotion


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'Yeah, aliens are slowly devouring my face, but that's just life, bro. Pass me another beer wouldja?'

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25 Jul 07:20

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Opinions


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I actually once met a guy who told me he got into physics explicitly to be able to make proclamations like Einstein. He later switched to a business major. Hopefully he's proclaiming as well as possible still.

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23 Jul 06:11

World map of paper sizes (A4 in yellow vs. US Letter in blue)

by Minnesotastan

From the discussion at MapPorn:
For those unfamiliar with A4: the significant advantage of this system is its scaling: if a sheet with an aspect ratio of √2 is divided into two equal halves parallel to its shortest sides, then the halves will again have an aspect ratio of √2. put very simply...

A4 is our standard size for letters, etc. A3 is EXACTLY twice this size, A5 is EXACTLY half this size...

In other words, you can cut an A4 sheet in half to get two A5 sheets, and so on. To put it simply: you can keep cutting it in half midway along the long edge, and the result will be 2 sheets with half the area and the same aspect ratio. No other aspect ratio has this property.

It’s is set so A0 is 1 square meter, and the number increases every time it’s halved. Hence A4 is 1/16 of a square meter.
19 Jul 21:16

Expiration Date High Score

"Wait, we've MOVED since 2010. How on Earth did--" "Look, some of us were just born to be champions."
19 Jul 21:14

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - GAN


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The other day I was really freaked out that a computer could generate faces of people who DON'T REALLY EXIST, only to later realize painters have been doing this for several millenia.

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15 Jul 04:22

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Golden Age


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That poor little box-shaped robot really really wants to make lunch.

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14 Jul 10:54

corn salad with chile and lime

by deb

For July 4th, we hosted a dozen people (no, we don’t have space for this but why learn now) and I prepared six racks of ribs, a double batch of broccoli slaw, a kind of ad-hoc-ed potato salad with a mustardy-caesary vinaigrette, a charred corn salad, a flag cake, lemonade, Aperol spritzes, Suze-and-tonics, watermelon, and then we went up to the roof to light sparklers and watch the fireworks and approximately 95% of the people who slid into my DMs after seeing photos of all of this on Instagram only asked me about the corn. It’s okay, my ribs’ feelings will eventually recover.

Read more »

13 Jul 10:41

Flag Interpretation

When Salvador Dalí died, it took months to get all the flagpoles sufficiently melted.
08 Jul 21:00

Trained a Neural Net

It also works for anything you teach someone else to do. "Oh yeah, I trained a pair of neural nets, Emily and Kevin, to respond to support tickets."
06 Jul 14:13

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Recursion


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If you are experiencing infinite loop problems, please return to the beginning of this sentence.

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02 Jul 19:52

Coordinate Precision

40 digits: You are optimistic about our understanding of the nature of distance itself.
02 Jul 16:54

This incredible LEGO model shows how to keep the ocean colorful and save the reefs

by Benjamin Stenlund

Across the world’s oceans, tiny changes in the water temperature have massive effects on the organisms living there, especially the tiniest. Coral reefs, in particular, show in spectacularly tragic fashion the impact of rising ocean temperatures. When the water gets too warm, the algae that live symbiotically within the cells of coral polyps get expelled violently from the little animals. Though the coral polyps are still alive, they are no longer colorful and bright; they are left a cold, dull white, deprived of the photosynthesis-derived energy from the algae and fully dependent on catching little bits of passing debris in their tentacles. Slowly but surely, the vibrant and rich ecosystem that once thrived around the rocky haven of the coral reef dies away, leaving nothing but coral skeletons. Builder Emil Lidé brings this oceanic phenomenon to life in LEGO form beautifully yet tragically.

Coral Bleaching (5 of 5)

Emil presents to us the reef on the one hand in full splendor, with diverse forms of coral and plant life along with little fish hiding in the crevices, wandering crustaceans, and starfish; and on the other hand, the reef bleached white, with skeleton arms appropriately front and center, with no animals or plants still living there. This build will be spending the next year at the LEGO House in Billund, if you can make the trip.

In a build like this, there are too many clever piece usages to highlight them all, but I’ll call attention to the ones I find most remarkable. First off, there seems to be a whole band there, as I see a collection of trumpets, saxophones, and electric guitars arranged together. Then there is the minifigure hair, used creatively as well. I count at least four types of hair, the most interesting of which is the pink rockstar cut. There are pearl gold whips, carrots, spiders, and even the limbs and hands of a certain purple villain named after the Greek word for death (Coincidence? Did he ‘snap’ the coral, too?). Then, of course, there are countless flowers and dishes and bowls of various sizes and styles. The most remarkable thing about the build, I think, besides the message, is the way that Emil has arranged all of these various parts into a cohesive whole. Every delicate piece is in its proper place, just as in a fragile-yet-functioning ecosystem.

Coral Bleaching (4 of 5)

All hope is not utterly lost, however. While many of the world’s most prestigious reefs have suffered massive bleaching, including the Great Barrier Reef off Australia, which has suffered from bleaching events recently that affected up to 90% of the reef, some new corals are growing up and reaching sexual maturity, which can replenish the reefs and keep them flourishing. If something can be done to arrest the rise in ocean temperature, then we can continue to enjoy the beauty of the left side of the build. But if temperatures keep rising? It will look more like the right. So perhaps skip the trip to Billund to save the greenhouse gasses of the flight. Do what you can to save the reefs!

Coral Bleaching (3 of 5)

The post This incredible LEGO model shows how to keep the ocean colorful and save the reefs appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

30 Jun 19:04

Count the circles - The Coffer Illusion

by Minnesotastan

Most people view this as a set of door panels. It may take quite a while to convince oneself that there are actually 16 circles in the image...

(Reposted from 2009 and 2012)
30 Jun 16:34

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Teaching


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Of course, they're still objectively evil. But, on a relative scale of humanity...

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