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09 Nov 16:19

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Cheap


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I am prepared to receive your flogging, cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

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09 Nov 10:24

A marble run accelerated by rubber bands

by Minnesotastan
09 Nov 02:16

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Rock


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Chicken etymology is really easy because the word origins AND the words you use to describe them are all 'bock bock bock'.

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08 Nov 14:36

Gorgeous Low-Angle Satellite Photo of San Francisco

by Jason Kottke

SF Satellite Side

SF Satellite Close

For practical reasons, satellite images are usually taken from straight overhead. But as this low-angle shot of San Francisco taken by DigitalGlobe’s Worldview-3 satellite illustrates, satellites are also capable of capturing more artful & surprising photographs of our planet. Due to the odd angle, it almost looks fake, computer-generated. Look at that toy Golden Gate Bridge connecting SimCity to a hyperrealist painting of the rugged California coast!

The image is worth seeing at full-resolution…you can find it at DigitalGlobe (they released it under a Creative Commons license) or Imgur. In the nearly full-res view of one slice of the map above, you can make out boats in the bay and even cars on the bridges. You can zoom and pan the image in Mapbox:

Charlie Loyd of Mapbox explains how they captured such a crisp image:

We don’t often see pictures like this one. The problem is haze: as a camera in space looks toward the horizon, it sees more water vapor, smog, and other stuff in the atmosphere that obscures the Earth. But our friends at DigitalGlobe built WorldView-3 with a sensor suite called CAVIS, which lets it quantify and subtract haze - making atmospheric effects virtually invisible. Only WorldView-3 can see so clearly at this angle.

See also more satellite images taken from the side. (via daily overview)

Tags: Charlie Loyd   photography   San Francisco
08 Nov 10:32

A pair of super Soviet tractors

by David Alexander Smith

The Volgograd Tractor Plant, previously known as the Stalingrad Tractor plant, produced the workhorses for the Soviet era Russian farming industry. Short, snub-nosed and chunky, the DT-75 is an exemplar of sturdy utilitarian design. Builder Jakeof has created two LEGO versions of these unique looking vehicles, a DT-75 and a DT-75M.


Although small, they pack in the detail, especially in the case of the neat tread design and exposed engines. Together they stand as an iconic reminder of Soviet innovation.


The post A pair of super Soviet tractors appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

07 Nov 20:49

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Literary Turing


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Thanks to Ken, Michael, and Barbara from patreon for helping make this more clear! If anything is confusing, it's their fault.

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06 Nov 21:20

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Tattoo


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Another idea: A tattoo in Chinese that means 'this tattoo means strength in Chinese.'

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05 Nov 11:35

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Yelling


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One of the negative consequences of widespread irreligion has been the loss of ability to properly tell off malfunctioning software.

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04 Nov 07:49

Take a cable car to the clouds

by David Alexander Smith

One of the things I love about Alan Boar’s LEGO creations is the amount of time he takes to research his subjects. In this case it’s the Taikoo Ropeway, an early cable car system built in 1891 to link Hong Kong’s Taikoo Dockyard to the Taikoo Sugar Refinery. The finished diorama, built in collaboration with his wife and son, is rendered in an aesthetic reminiscent of Chinese landscape painting. Designed in monochrome, the Mount Parker setting is wonderfully accented with stylised brick clouds. In front of the clouds, a grey building frames the predominately white ropeway scene, helping to highlight a host of fascinating features.

LEGO Taikoo Ropeway 太古百年吊車 「銅鑼飛棧 」

The post Take a cable car to the clouds appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

02 Nov 17:03

Swedish ISP Protests ‘Site Blocking’ by Blocking Rightsholders Website Too

by Ernesto

As a staunch defender of an open Internet, ISP Bahnhof has repeatedly spoken out against pirate site blocking efforts.

The company has also argued the matter in court recently, after academic publisher Elsevier applied for an order to ban a series of domain names, including Sci-Hub.

Today, Bahnhof announced that it has been ordered to block the sites in question.

This is the worst possible outcome for Bahnhof. TorrentFreak spoke to CEO Jon Karlung who describes it as a “horrifying” decision that “goes against the soul of the Internet.”

The result, starting today, is that,,,, and several other domains are being blocked by the ISP. But Bahnhof wouldn’t be Bahnhof if it went down without a fight.

The company has no faith in an expensive appeal, which another ISP lost last year in a similar blocking case. However, it does have another ace up its sleeve. Now that they are blocking anyway, they can easily an extra domain name to make a point.

So, in addition, Bahnhof has gone ahead and banned its visitors from accessing the official website as well. Elsevier wanted a site blockade – it now has one.

Visitors attempting to visit the domains now see a 90s style website explaining what’s going on, complete with an old dial-up tone in the background.

“Bahnhof opposes censorship in every way, shape and form, but it looks like we won’t be able to dodge Elsevier’s blocking requirement. That’s why we have placed this barrier in front of Elsevier’s website – to make sure that they themselves also get a taste of the blocking they’re currently evoking against others,” it reads. banned

The page goes on to explain what Elsevier is, making note of the controversy surrounding the company’s role in academic publishing. This is one of the reasons why the blocked “pirate” sites have become so popular.

Bahnhof’s CEO informs TorrentFreak that the company sees no point in appealing the case. The Patent and Market Court, which handles these matters, is made up of people who are biased towards copyright holders, he believes.

To make another point, the Internet provider also decided to send the court a message. Starting today, users of the court’s network can no longer access Bahnhof’s website.

“The computer or network you are using belongs to the Patent and Market Court and is therefore blocked from the domain You at the Patent and Market Court have recently decided that operators should block certain domains so their customers can no longer visit them,” the message reads.

Court banned

While the ISP is clearly disappointed with the court’s decision, it will not stop its protests. It may not be able to undo the blocking order but the company will continue to make its voice heard.

“Bahnhof has repeatedly demonstrated how copyright law is being abused and exploited by greedy opportunists, and in the end it is always ordinary people who have to pay,” Bahnhof notes.

“This page you’ve got before you right now is the result, this is what awaits in a future where private interests can regulate community information. Is our legal system really being used in this way?

The ISP also hopes that its subscribers will help with its efforts. On the blocking page it provides a form allowing them to send a letter to Justice Minister Morgan Johansson, to share their outrage.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

02 Nov 13:39

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Clean


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This comic is in no way autobiographical, no matter what Kelly says.

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01 Nov 22:26

sunken black forest cake

by deb

My kids will be at least 25% candy for the rest of the week, as the season demands. If it doesn’t come individually wrapped, if the first, second, or third ingredient isn’t chocolate, a food dye, or high fructose corn syrup, if it doesn’t have a marketing tie-in with Spongebob or Legos, they’re not eating it. Which means, since they’ve now definitely left the room, we get this cake all for us. You’re welcome, because we’re not going to share it anyway.

Read more »

30 Oct 19:58

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Wants


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Thanks for buying, geeks!

30 Oct 08:11

This eco house brings the great outdoors indoors

by Matt Hocker

The LEGO Group has committed itself to making LEGO plant elements out of plants. Thanks to Sarah Beyer, there is now a LEGO house to compliment them. Sarah’s eco house, named Lilium after the lily flower, has been designed with self-sustainability in mind. Electricity is supplied by roof-mounted solar panels, while large windows on the south and west walls capture warm rays of sunshine. The house looks fresh and modern, enhanced by the surrounding colorful landscaping.

Lilium Eco House MOC southern side garden

Sarah’s house has been constructed so LEGO minifigures can immerse themselves in the outdoors. The second-floor porch and vine-laced patio offer an excellent view of the garden.

Lilium Eco House MOC south-eastern corner

For those of our readers who enjoy finished interiors, Sarah’s eco house does not disappoint. The model can be separated in half, revealing the detailed living quarters.

Lilium Eco House MOC eastern half

The bedroom is warm and inviting.

Lilium Eco House MOC bedroom glass wall

There is a comfortable-looking spot to lounge and read the paper, complete with Minecraft modern art and a potted plant from a galaxy far, far away.

Lilium Eco House MOC. Resting chair.

In the evening, you can even head up the stairs to play piano by the light of the moon!

Lilium Eco House MOC keyboard

The post This eco house brings the great outdoors indoors appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

29 Oct 15:55

Who Sends the First Text?

I sort of wish my texting app showed the percentage next to each person, but also sort of don't want to know.
29 Oct 14:01

English language time machine

by Minnesotastan
Merriam-Webster has reconfigured their database so that you can now look up all the words that were invented (or recorded) in any given year.  I found the following words were invented the year I was born:
anabolic steroid
Caesar salad
cafe au lait spot
cardiac catheterization
clinical trial
crawl space
crown molding
decubitus ulcer
dental technician
digital computer
expiration date...
- and on an on for several hundred entries.  Try their Time Traveler.  The database sorts the words year-by-year back through the 1500s, and by centuries for entries with origins older than that.
27 Oct 14:23

Huge LEGO Daedalus from Stargate: who needs spaceships when another world is right through the gate?

by Luka

With the immense popularity of the Stargate franchise in its golden age, one would imagine it penetrating deeper into the popular culture and consequently the LEGO fan community. However, it is very rare we see a creation like Rat Dude‘s Stargate SG 1 F304 Daedalus. The spaceship is a product of the later seasons of the Stargate: SG1, when the show matured into a classic sci-fi series instead of the earlier “soldiers versus aliens” approach.

Stargate SG 1 F304 Daedalus

There is a wonderfully military aesthetic to the Daedalus’ design, which Rat Dude has captured perfectly. All sorts of angles still come together in a boxy utilitarian design, captured in LEGO with slopes and wedge plates. Even the numerous studs do not look out of place, adding a texture where most builders would try to hide them. My favourite part is the stripe down the middle-back segment, made out of inverted 1×1 bricks, creating a unique texture.

Stargate SG 1 F304 Daedalus

The post Huge LEGO Daedalus from Stargate: who needs spaceships when another world is right through the gate? appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

26 Oct 20:00

This LEGO piano is taking baby grand to a whole new level [Video]

by Bre Burns

Donny Chen is a musician, piano teacher, and piano tuner. That would explain the epic mastery behind this phenomenal LEGO instrument. I’m a piano player myself, and grew up fascinated with the inner-workings of our own (life-size) grand piano. I must say, this little marvel is basically the complete package!

Lego Piano

While it doesn’t have all 88 keys that a real grand piano would have, it does have a very similar mechanism.

Lego Piano

The keys themselves can be removed after pulling pins from each side.

Lego Piano

The build also features working foot pedals, a soft-close fallboard, a cover that can be propped up, and a sheet music stand. There is even an adjustable bench!

Lego Piano

Undoubtedly, the best part is that this model is equipped with LEGO Power Functions that allow it to “play” itself. The only thing that would make it better would be to somehow enable it to really produce music. It’s currently on LEGO Ideas.


The post This LEGO piano is taking baby grand to a whole new level [Video] appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

25 Oct 16:34

"Crooked toe disorder" in chicks

by Minnesotastan

Details on the condition and its treatment at Hobby Farms (photo via):
Crooked toe is a poultry foot disorder characterized by one or more toes curving sideways. It can affect one or both feet, and the curve can vary from very gentle to pronounced and acute. Because of this curvature, the afflicted chick stands and walks on the side of these toes...

Crooked toe is benign at best and bothersome at its worst. Left untreated, crooked toe does not cause crippling or even limping. The chick simply becomes accustomed to its toes being curled sideways and compensates. As an adult, it might encounter difficulty digging and might not be able to perch due to the way the toe joints align...

The soft tissues in a chick’s foot are still growing and developing and, when braced in a chick bootie, crooked toes usually straighten well and remain corrected. To construct a chick bootie, you’ll need the following...

Your chick will not like its new footwear. It might squawk and protest. It might dash around its brooder like a tottering ragdoll. It might even sit on its hindquarters, feet up, glaring at you. Don’t worry. Within an hour or two (sometimes a little longer for particularly headstrong chicks), your baby will be walking around with its new shoes. Keep the chick booties on for two to three days, changing the outer tape as needed to keep it clean...
You learn something every day.
23 Oct 02:43

Barnard's Star

"Ok, team. We have a little under 10,000 years before closest approach to figure out how to destroy Barnard's Star." "Why, does it pose a threat to the Solar System?" "No. It's just an asshole."
22 Oct 15:09


by Minnesotastan

Prominent on the Secretary bird:

Top photo via the San Diego Zoo.  Eyelash photo via.
19 Oct 13:43

even more perfect apple pie

by deb

I did not intend to go on an apple pie making bender. I merely did what we always do in October: go apple picking, balk at the price of a bag, insist upon filling it way past the brim (because: economics) and then we ate some apples on the way home home and the bag was still overflowing. So I made an apple pie with 4.25 pounds of apples in it and the bag looked exactly as full as it had been at the orchard. Might they still be growing in there? It’s the only explanation.

Read more »

19 Oct 10:57

LEGO outpost under construction

by Daniel

LEGO castles have been a fan favorite subject for builders for a very long time, possibly ever since the release of the classic castle set back in 1978. And we here at TBB feature many castles and other medieval constructions every year. Typically, castle models we feature are fully completed structures, but every now and then, we come across a model that shows the long and arduous construction process that went into building the real-life castles and fortifications that so many builders get their inspiration from.

And that is exactly what we have in this outpost under construction by Ayrlego The keep is situated on a very nicely sculpted riverside setting and features two sections in various stages of construction.

Falcontop Keep

The slate roof uses collectible minifig bases and shows an internal structure of brown pipes. The roof even includes a small stack of slates and a section in progress where 1×1 plates and tiles are used to show the installation process.

Falcontop Keep - Roofing

At the top of the keep, the main turret is incomplete. The star of the model, for me, is the crane with a wheel which uses human power to raise the rocks needed to complete the work.

Falcontop Keep - Crane

There are also many great details in the completed portion of the keep, such as the perfect amount of plates and tiles in alternate colors to give a little wear to the walls. Also, sturdy, well-fortified arrow slits on the first floor, balanced by more detailed windows on the second floor provide a blend of form and function.

Fealcencnæpp Keep - Crane and Roof

The post LEGO outpost under construction appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

18 Oct 06:30


I'm working on assembling a combination declinometer, sclerometer, viscometer, aleurometer, stalagmometer, and hypsometer. I'm making good progress according to my ometerometer, a device which shows the rate at which I'm acquiring measurement devices.
16 Oct 14:01

How the Mercator Projection Distorts the True Sizes of Countries on Maps

by Jason Kottke

Data scientist Neil Kaye made this map to show how much the popular Mercator projection distorts the sizes of many countries, particularly those in the Northern Hemisphere.

Mercator Adjusted

The distortion in the animated version is even clearer. Key takeaway: Africa is *enormous*.

See also the true size of things on world maps.

True Size Map

Tags: maps   Neil Kaye
16 Oct 14:00

Winamp 6, due out in 2019, aims to whip more llama ass

by Cyrus Farivar
Computer monitor using Winamp.

Enlarge (credit: Keng Susumpow / Flickr)

Rejoice, llama-whipping fans, a new version of Winamp is set to be released in 2019, according to a Monday report by TechCrunch.

Alexandre Saboundjian, the CEO of Radionomy, said that the upgrade would bring a "complete listening experience."

AudioValley, Radionomy's parent company, did not immediately respond to Ars' request for comment.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

16 Oct 13:59

A Dialogue on Freedom

12 Oct 18:48

Leaf shape as a marker of average annual temperature

by Minnesotastan

Plants in temperate climates tend to have leaves with serrated margins, i.e. they have jagged edges; plants in warmer and more humid climates tend to have what are known in botanical jargon as entire margins, that is, smooth and unserrated. The difference is illustrated in the photographs.

Rather than there being a sharp cut-off between the temperate and tropical styles of leaves, there is a continuous relationship between the climate and the mix of leaf types found in it: that is, as the climate gets a little hotter and wetter, the proportion of entire margins increases a little. This means that looking at a single leaf doesn't tell us that we are looking at a temperate or tropical climate; but
looking at a whole lot of species will allow us to do something a whole lot better than simply dividing climates into tropical or temperate: we can actually estimate the average annual temperature.

We can establish by observation that the ratio of temperate to tropical leaf styles is a surprisingly good indicator of average annual temperature, as illustrated by the graph [right], showing the relationship between floras and temperature in the forests of East Asia.
More at the link (and source credit for the graph).  That article didn't address the question of "why."  I found some related discussion in a Smithsonian article about fossilized leaves:
Scientists are still trying to understand the exact basis for this relationship, but they think it’s because plants in colder climates need to get a jump-start on converting sunlight to energy (photosynthesis) in the spring. Having more teeth enables more water to move out of the leaves, increasing the flow of sap and ramping up photosynthesis. This is important if you need to start photosynthesizing lots of food quickly, say because you only have a brief growing season before the cold comes. If you’re in a warm climate though, jagged edges do more harm than good: losing water can be dangerous to the leaf and to the whole plant, especially when it’s hot. This set of tradeoffs makes one leaf shape more favorable (and thus more predominant) at certain temperatures.
12 Oct 16:37

Rock Wall

I don't trust mantle/core geologists because I suspect that, if they ever get a chance to peel away the Earth's crust, they'll do it in a heartbeat.
10 Oct 20:07

Internal Monologues

Haha, just kidding, everyone's already been hacked. I wonder if today's the day we find out about it.