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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.

Today's News:
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.

Today's News:
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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Today's News:

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.
10 Oct 06:40

Snart kan du åka buss utan förare

by Klartext

Anna Pernestål Brenden, forskare på Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, har varit med och testat fram bussar utan förare.

Lyssna: Snart kan du åka buss utan förare.

Skulle du våga åka med en buss som kör av sig själv?
Snart kan du göra det i Järfälla - utanför Stockholm.
Där ska bussar som inte har någon förare snart börja köra i trafiken.

Så vi här i Sverige blir först i Europa med såna här bussar,
utan förare som kör i trafiken.

Bussarna kommer att åka ganska sakta, och elva passagerare kan åka med.

Anna Pernestål Brenden är forskare på Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan och har varit med att testa bussarna.

Hon berättar hur de fungerar:

– Bussarna har ingen ratt och ingen gaspedal, utan de kör helt själva med hjälp av datorer som finns ombord. Och för att hitta rätt har bussarna kört den sträcka som de ska köra redan och lärt sig.

– Till att börja med så kommer bussarna att stanna vid hållplatser som man har programmerat in. Men längre fram i testet planerar vi att testa hur det fungerar att man kan stanna bussen till exempel genom att använda en app i telefonen.

– En anledning till att bussarna är bättre är ju att de blir ytterligare säkrare än när det är en människa som kör, eftersom en dator aldrig är trött eller okoncentrerad, utan hela tiden är uppmärksam på vad som händer runt omkring den.

08 Oct 19:49


by Minnesotastan

I've always been fascinated by weaver birds and orioles and their suspended nests.

Photo: Mahesh Kumar A/AP, via The Guardian.
08 Oct 19:47

Horror Movies

"Isn't the original Jurassic Park your favorite movie of all time?" "Yes, but that's because I like dinosaurs and I WANT there to be an island full of them. If John Hammond's lab had been breeding serial killers in creepy masks, I wouldn't have watched!" "Wait, are you sure? That could actually be good." "Ok, I WOULD watch the scenes where Jeff Goldblum tries to convince a bunch of executives that the park is a bad idea."
08 Oct 06:23

Modern methods for ancient masonry

by Rod

Despite LEGO bricks being bricks, sometimes building realistic walls is the hardest thing to do. Isaac Synder‘s latest Castle-themed creation does exactly that, employing a parts-intensive and fiddly technique to create a lovely brick texture with well-defined lines between the stonework. It creates the effect of weathered masonry, and adds real texture and character to the building. I also like the formal square base, and think the angle chosen for the photography coupled with the colour scheme make this look like something from one of the classic isometric realtime strategy games like Age Of Empires or The Settlers. Great stuff.

LEGO Medieval Villagers House

Even better, the building has an interior — a textile shop complete with rolls of fabric on display…

Gardar's Cloth Goods

The post Modern methods for ancient masonry appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

07 Oct 16:38

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Branding


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Thanks to my patreon geeks for correcting an earlier version of this comic!

Today's News:
06 Oct 20:29

"... where no man has gone before"

by Minnesotastan

This is the surface of a comet.
This image shows a portion of 67P/C-G as viewed by Rosetta on 22 September 2014, only one and a half months after the spacecraft had made its rendezvous with the comet. At the time, the spacecraft was 28.2 km from the comet centre (around 26.2 km from the surface). Amateur astronomer Jacint Roger Perez, from Spain, selected and processed this view by combining three images taken in different wavelengths by the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on Rosetta.

Seen in the centre and left of the frame is Seth, one of the geological regions on the larger of the two comet lobes, which declines towards the smoother Hapi region on the comet’s ‘neck’ that connects the two lobes. The landscape in the background reveals hints of the Babi and Aker regions, both located on the large lobe of 67P/C-G. For a wider image of this region in the overall context of the comet see here.

The sharp profile in the lower part of the image shows the Aswan cliff, a 134 m-high scarp separating the Seth and Hapi regions. Observations performed by Rosetta not long before the comet’s perihelion, which took place on 13 August 2015, revealed that a chunk of this cliff had collapsed – a consequence of increased activity as the comet drew closer to the Sun along its orbit.
More at the ESA website.
06 Oct 13:29

LEGO soot sprite from Spirited Away will warm your heart

by Daniel

If you’re a fan of Hayao Miyazaki films, then this LEGO creation inspired by the 2001 release Spirited Away by Chris Xenyo will be instantly recognizable. These little fuzzy-looking critters, known as soot sprites, or Susuwatari are formed from soot, and they can lift things much heavier than themselves. Without a job to keep them busy, they sometimes revert back to soot.

Even though the model is fairly simple, the attention to detail, from the spiny look (made from black levers) to the thin and spindly arms and legs (made from flexible tubing) is very accurate to its on-screen inspiration. Even the background which includes the tiny tunnels where the Susuwatari makes their homes, and the wooden platform that borders their path to the furnace, make this scene jump straight out of the movie.

The post LEGO soot sprite from Spirited Away will warm your heart appeared first on The Brothers Brick.