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21 Jun 00:17

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Smartphones


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It's nice to know app developers want us to be so productive.

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Stay tuned for two more updates...

19 Jun 22:50

Election Map

Luckily for my interpretation, no precincts were won by the Green Party.
17 Jun 22:10

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Safety


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One day, we'll have personal robot servants who realize human bodies are the major source of dust in the house.

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You can still win an early copy of Soonish by predicting the awful future here!

17 Jun 22:09

Japan Brickfest 2017 – Kobe Fan Weekend report [News]

by Edwinder

The Osaka-based KLUG (Kansai Lego User Group) and Canadian Academy successfully held the annual Japan Brickfest in Rokkō Kobe Island, Japan last weekend on the 10th-11th of June. In its third year running, the largest fan event in Asia featured 270 builders from 11 countries, including Korea, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and even as far away as Germany.

Japan Brickfest consists of three event halls, and is a charity event with a portion of the ticket sales donated to various children’s charities. Here are some of the highlights of the event.

Interactive and Activity Builds

Considering this event is meant to attract kids as well as adults, it’s delightful to see that some of the builds included the capability to interact or play with displays instead of the usual “Do Not Touch” placards for fragile builds.

One of the unique builds is this giant Totoro. Peeking with a torchlight into the holes on his tummy would reveal different mini dioramas of famous Ghibli movies!

We highlighted this exquisite LEGO headdress a few days ago, and at the show it was a hit with the crowd, with many wanting to wear it.

A technic built ‘claw’ system to grab candy for the kids to enjoy.

Trains and Planes

A consistent theme for LEGO builds, the trains and planes and ships came out in force!


Mecha to the Max!

The motherland of Mecha, there’s no shortage of excellent displays and builds of giant machines with legs!

This particular Mecha has a spinning feature on its lower back torso.

The event featured the debut of Benjamin Cheh‘s grand mecha with a full-scale lighted hangar.

Debut for Diorama Hangar no.5 x AMS JE06 Jebat @ Japan Brickfest 2017

Buildings and Abodes

There were some stunning buildings by the Hong Kong LUG, including a recreation of a street food vendors and local apartment homes.

A dainty looking home and a lady dressed in a Kimono.

This ‘foldable’ doll-house modular-esque theme with a full playset of furniture is a unique and interesting take on a minifigure home.

Familiar Builders

Some of the familiar builders that we’ve showcased here on TBB participated in the event, including Morimorilego’s coffee shop owner’s home and Mitsuru Nikaido’s family of robo beasts and insectoids.

The Thailand LUG built a portrait tribute to pay respects to their late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Between the halls resides a huge centrepiece village.


The staff and participants gather for a group photo to remember their hard work and success!

Special thanks to Paul Lim, Chris Yu, Benjamin Cheh, Schneider Cheung and the Kansai Lego User Group for the use of the photos of the event.

The post Japan Brickfest 2017 – Kobe Fan Weekend report [News] appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

17 Jun 21:39

Animals dug this burrow

by Minnesotastan

Big ones, obviously.  Probably (extinct) giant sloths.
Across northern South America, there are hundreds of colossal tunnels large enough for humans to walk through... Geologists call these tunnels “paleoburrow,” and they are believed to have been dug by an extinct species of giant ground sloth... The largest [paleoburrow] measured 2,000 feet long, six feet tall and three to five feet wide. An estimated 4,000 metric tons of dirt and rock were dug out of the hillside to create the burrow. It was evidently the work of not one or two individuals but several generations.

“There’s no geological process in the world that produces long tunnels with a circular or elliptical cross-section, which branch and rise and fall, with claw marks on the walls,” says Frank. “I’ve [also] seen dozens of caves that have inorganic origins, and in these cases, it’s very clear that digging animals had no role in their creation.”

Frank believes the biggest burrows – measuring up to five feet in diameter – were dug by ground sloths. He and his colleagues consider as possibilities several genera that once lived in South America and whose fossil remains suggest adaptation for serious digging: Catonyx, Glossotherium and the massive, several-ton Lestodon. Others believe that extinct armadillos such as Pampatherium, Holmesina or Propraopus, though smaller than the sloths, were responsible for even the largest burrows.
More at Discover Magazine, via Amusing Planet.  Photo: Heinrich Frank.
17 Jun 21:37

Income distributions in American's pastimes

by Minnesotastan

Via the Data Is Beautiful subreddit. (click image to embiggen)
17 Jun 09:27

Life is a train journey. Get on board and enjoy the ride.

by Edwinder

This 2-4-10 configured steam locomotive is known as the Texas configuration because of the arrangement of its wheels, and such locomotives were first used in the US back in 1919. What’s unique about Gerald Cacas‘s minifigure-scale train is that the wheels and tracks were not made using the typical LEGO train elements, but emulated using other, more-everyday parts.

Texas 2-10-4 configuration locomotive

There’s also a bit of detailing going on in the cab section of the train to give it that complete look:

Texas 2-10-4 configuration locomotive.

The post Life is a train journey. Get on board and enjoy the ride. appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

17 Jun 00:42

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Znurg


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I'm just saying, we can't confirm that it's false.

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15 Jun 01:28

Modern architectural home of a yuppie

by Edwinder

This modular-style home has a nice architectural design and feel. Consisting of four tiered floors, this build by Eric Yang, with a garage on the ground floor and a spa on the roof, is almost your stereotypical yuppie home. There are some very unique brick-like tiling techniques used in the garage level.
I like that Eric has designed the home to not only be externally detailed but have a fully furnished interior. I did find that kid in the wheelbarrow a little disturbing — I hope they’re having fun and not what I think it was when I first spotted it…
Every part of the home is furnished for minifigure comforts, and someone in there is surely a fan of LEGO. For Star Wars fans, see if you spy a nano-scaled Millennium Falcon and half an Imperial Star Destroyer on display.

The post Modern architectural home of a yuppie appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

14 Jun 22:55

Here’s to You, Future Plaintiff in Lawsuit Against Axe-Throwing Business

by Kevin

You’re out there somewhere.

You are the person who will say, “yes, it sounds like a good idea to go to a place that is full of drunk people throwing axes. That sounds like fun.”

And you won’t be wrong, at least about that last part. It does sound like fun, and people have fun doing it, which is presumably why Bad Axe Throwing is about to open a new location in Denver, its 12th. (The first nine were in Canada, because of course they were.) The concept is that your group reserves time at a Bad Axe Throwing location, brings its own beer and food, learns to throw axes from professional axe-throwing instructors, drinks, and then throws axes. Some locations, the company says, can accommodate more than 100 axe-throwers at once.

The general concept (image: Bad Axe Throwing)

You can’t bring your own axes, for what the company’s website describes as “insurance” reasons. But you don’t have an axe anyway, because you’ve never thrown an axe or really had any significant experience handling sharp things at all. To be honest, you’re kind of a klutz.

This will not deter you.

You will go, and despite the instruction you will receive, the safety rules that are in place, and the fences around each axe-throwing area meant to help ensure that someone—well, someone like you—doesn’t wander out into the space through which axes are being thrown, you will be injured.

You may not be injured by an axe throw, of course. Maybe you’ll drop the axe on your own foot, or smack yourself in the forehead with the back of it while trying to throw, or whack yourself in the leg because you were afraid to let go. Maybe you’ll walk into someone else’s axe because you weren’t paying attention. Maybe you’ll cut yourself while jokingly pretending to “shave” with the edge of the axe, or reenacting something funny that Gimli did in Lord of the Rings, or would have if Jackson had included that fan-fiction piece you sent him. Yeah, that sounds like the kind of thing you would do, actually. It’s always Gimli this and Gimli that, but this time you had a real axe in your hand, and guess what?

One way or another, you’ll get hurt.

And then you will sue.

The axe you probably tried but failed to catch in flight (image: Bad Axe Throwing again)

You will sue despite the fact that the potential risks of being in a room where a bunch of drunken novices are throwing axes around should be fairly obvious. Maybe you’ve heard of the “assumption of risk” doctrine, maybe you haven’t. (Well, now you have.) You will point out, probably, that there is no warning on the company’s website saying not to do whatever it is you did, or if there is a warning about that, you didn’t see it. You will argue that they didn’t have a disclaimer form for you to sign; or if they did, you didn’t sign it; or if you did, you didn’t read it. You will consider arguing that the instructors aren’t qualified, but you probably won’t because one of them is actually named “Thor,” and a jury would never believe a guy named “Thor” isn’t qualified to teach axe-throwing.

Well, maybe you’ll argue that Thor is only qualified to throw hammers. Yeah, that sounds like the kind of thing you would do, actually.

You won’t be able to point to any previous injuries that should have put the company on notice that its procedures weren’t adequate, at least assuming the statement on its website that “we have never had anyone hurt or injured in any way” is accurate. But you will probably note that the company also describes the activity there as “completely safe,” which we can agree it probably shouldn’t do, and you’ll point out that its statement on this page that “[u]rban axe throwing outlets pride themselves on maintaining outstandingly low incident rates” is not entirely consistent with “completely safe.”

You will allege that the discrepancy in these statements confused you, although later you will admit under oath that you never read either one.

To be fair, it is not impossible that you might be injured in a way that could be fairly traceable to something the company did wrong. The risks of drunken axe-throwing are obvious, but could be increased in some non-obvious and unreasonable way, I suppose. It just doesn’t seem very likely that you would be able to sue for that or any other reason. What does seem likely, though, is that you will go ahead and give it a shot.

So here’s to you, Future Plaintiff in Lawsuit Against Axe-Throwing Business. Whether or not your brave but probably futile quest for liability gets you any settlement money, it will very likely provide me with material for a future post.

And for that, I salute you.


Related Stories

13 Jun 23:00

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Ants


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I'll just ask my phone how to fix my phone, which... DAMMIT

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Bless you, patreon typo-detection squad.

12 Jun 22:12


In the 90s, our variety radio station used the tagline "the best music of the 70s, 80s, and 90s." After 2000, they switched to "the best music of the 80s, 90s, and today." I figured they'd change again in 2010, but it's 2017 and they're still saying "80s, 90s, and today." I hope radio survives long enough for us to find out how they deal with the 2020s.
12 Jun 22:09

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Listening


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Back in my day, we only gave corporations 70 percent of our data, and that's the way we liked it!

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12 Jun 12:19

Faithful LEGO recreation of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown

by Edwinder

Builder Vincent Kiew recreates a faithful representation of a row of shophouses in Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The little street has been the bustling heart of the city’s Chinatown since the late 19th century, and these buildings still stand today, preserved and maintained for future generations.

Malaysia 100 years old heritage shop houses in Petaling Street.

I’ve visited the street in real life myself, and it really is quite a sight to see. This LEGO scene is accurate right down to the little details, such as the open-top trucks and the store signage. Vincent has also built a version of the street depicting it in an earlier time, when mud and cobbles would have been home to horse-drawn carts.

Malaysia 100 years old heritage shop houses in Petaling Street.

The post Faithful LEGO recreation of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

11 Jun 22:02

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Solo


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Dream big, guys.

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11 Jun 03:48

LEGO church worthy of your worship

by Rod

It’s a long-standing policy that LEGO will not develop any models containing religious elements. I’ve always thought that’s a shame for the Castle theme in particular, where churches and cathedrals would have been some of the most important buildings. Thankfully LEGO fans have stepped in to fill the void, and this hilltop church by Simon NH is a great example.

Church on the Hill

The landscaping is done well, with a nice mix of earthy colours, a few trees, and a couple of gravestones to break things up. But the main attraction is clearly the church itself. It’s well-shaped, with diverse colours that still hang together as a cohesive whole, and the roof and steeple are excellent. The steeple also has some nice parts usage going on — don’t miss the boat hulls creating arched windows, and the lovely little cross on top.

The post LEGO church worthy of your worship appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

07 Jun 19:54

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Compatibilism


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No, I'm just kidding. You, individual primate of planet Earth, can violate causality itself.

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07 Jun 08:41

Dubious Study

Sounds fine. I looked up the Academy, and it says on their MySpace page that their journal is peer-viewed and downloaded biannually.
07 Jun 03:54


by Robot Hugs

New comic!

We went to the Cactus and Succulent festival this weekend and I was charmed. Charmed!


06 Jun 00:34

Advance look inside LEGO House reveals dinosaurs and mountains

by Elspeth De Montes

The Brothers Brick recently got to visit LEGO House as it enters the final stages of construction prior to the grand opening on 28 Sept 2017. We got a behind-the-scenes peek at some of the impressive models, displays, and creative experiences that will form LEGO’s ultimate play date. LEGO House is located in the centre of Billund, only 3km away from Billund International Airport.

LEGO House 1

Fans who visit the new attraction will be able to build their own version — without the need for diggers or a fork-lift. As we took a look around, Jesper Vilstrup, General Manager of LEGO House, told us a new, “bigger and better” exclusive LEGO House set will be released in September when the doors open to the public. This will replace the current 250-piece set 4000010 LEGO House which can still be purchased from a handful of local Billund shops.

As we entered LEGO House, the impressive 15m tall Tree of Creativity dominated the central staircase. Packed full of LEGO details, the Tree is a unique model, built by hand from 6,316,611 standard bricks. It apparently took 24,350 hours to assemble… phew!

LEGO House 2

As one ascends the staircase, there are scenes representing themes and ideas that have been developed by the LEGO Group over the years. The base and roots of the tree represent the LEGO Group foundation in wooden toys, and up at the very top LEGO minifigure workers are building new branches using a giant crane. The branches in between are decorated with lovely dioramas, each evoking a different theme.

LEGO House 3

LEGO House 4

LEGO House 5

Stuart Harris has worked for the LEGO Group for many years, starting as a Master Builder in LEGOLAND Windsor and now Senior Experience Designer. He has a key role in the design of the builds within LEGO House. He described the massive minifigure-scale model in the Masterpiece Gallery as “..if you gave an AFOL an infinite number of bricks and an infinite number of time to build…” The huge model has everything from a snow-capped mountain, through to a metropolis and busy shipping dock. It really has to be seen to be believed!

LEGO House 6

LEGO House 7

LEGO House 8

If you look closely, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen (the former president and CEO of The Lego Group and grandson of founder of LEGO, Ole Kirk Kristiansen) makes a cameo appearance on what appears to be an off-road Segway.

LEGO House 9

Three other important models feature within the Masterpiece Gallery — a trio of huge T-Rex models, one made from System parts, another from Technic parts, and finally one of Duplo. This initial image was taken from a presentation given by Stuart Harris and more images follow to allow a closer look at these massive dinos — each made of between 250,000-300,000 parts.

LEGO House 10

LEGO House 11

The dinosaurs will dominate the central area of the LEGO House, standing upon podiums amongst displays of models from 21 adult fans invited to create something for the grand opening.

LEGO House 12

The dinosaurs were developed in conjunction with LEGO fans who shared their ideas for parts to use, and thoughts on how to create a real WOW-factor. The idea behind the pose is What makes a dinosaur roar? — and each one is standing on an oversized LEGO brick! Each T-Rex also guards an egg that will ‘hatch’ at some point during the opening. What’s inside? LEGO wouldn’t say.

LEGO House 13

Finally, down in the basement was a vault of LEGO history with lots of information, displays, and an interactive library of LEGO sets.

LEGO House 14

The displays were still being built and the interactive LEGO library was yet to come online, but we did see some of the first initial wooden models created by Ole Kirk Kristiansen. There were also concept design models of minidolls from the Friends and Elves themes, and the 375 Castle set first produced in 1978.

LEGO House 15

LEGO House 16

LEGO House 17

While there is still a fair bit of work to be done within LEGO House, the space is already filling up, and some impressive models are in place with lots more to come. Jesper Vilstrup confirmed everything was on schedule for the grand opening. There was certainly a lot of activity and construction work still going on during our visit. TBB and Vera (representing the Russian LEGO forum Phantoms) decided to put some of it to the test — taking to the glass-topped roof for a quick integrity assessment. Thankfully it passed our jump test!

LEGO House 18

The post Advance look inside LEGO House reveals dinosaurs and mountains appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

05 Jun 21:00

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Resume


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I know, I know, it could just be a loop of paper. Let me have my fun.

New comic!
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Hey geeks! In case you missed it, you can enter to win a free EARLY copy of Soonish on Goodreads!

05 Jun 11:44

First rule of space exploration: Avoid the giant honeycomb structures

by Peter

Mark Erickson is most well known for his castle scenes, but recently his builds in clearly superior sci-fi themes have been showing up some of the most experienced science fiction specialists. I love the facial expressions Mark has chosen for each of these intrepid explorers. The foremost astronaut — Captain Simon Lou — seems to be smiling nervously as he tries to persuade the Bug Beings that they mean them no harm, while the white astronaut seems to be yelling “I told you this wasn’t the right way!”.

Beware the Bug-Beings of Mirphak 2

The use of the red buckets in the honeycomb structures is perfect, and to top off this scene Mark has used a mist machine to create an eerie atmosphere. This build is another entry to the ABS Builder Challenge, so check out the Flickr group to see more builds using the red bucket seed part.

The post First rule of space exploration: Avoid the giant honeycomb structures appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

03 Jun 22:32

An exotic bird of a heavenly blue colour

by Luka

There seems to be a persisting presence of bird builds in the LEGO community, more so than other animals. Now Paul Lee joins the fun with his recreation of a Hyacinth Macaw. It is one of my favourite kinds of parrots personally, but I never expected it to be the bird of choice for nearly anyone else. While the legs are simplistic (still realistic), the facial detail and feather texture more than make up for it.

Hyacinth Macaw

The post An exotic bird of a heavenly blue colour appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

03 Jun 22:32

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - A Frankenstein


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I'm starting to realize I really like settling arguments in favor of people who are wrong.

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Hey geeks! We didn't get enough submissions for BAHFest Sydney. Please consider submitting a proposal, as we're holding it open for one extra week!

31 May 21:09

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Reasoning


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Whosoever emails me to explain something about salami shall be forced to eat moldy soft cheese.

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31 May 20:59

LEGO Ideas 21310 Old Fishing Store revealed [News]

by Iain

LEGO has just revealed full details and images of its latest addition to the LEGO Ideas range of fan-created sets: 21310 Old Fishing Store, based on a design by Dutch builder Robert Bontenbal. The set contains 2049 bricks and will be available from September 1st, 2017 for a recommended retail price of USD 149.99 / EURO 149.99 / GBP 139.99. Official set description and box shots are included below. Get your hooks and lines ready to reel in this beauty in the Fall!

Find all the gear you need for a fantastic fishing trip at the Old Fishing Store! Walk up the steps from the beach into the shop selling fishing rods, hooks, harpoons, diving equipment, oxygen tanks and much more. Climb the ladder to the top of the watchtower and look through the telescope to enjoy the view. Then relax and read the newspaper in the office. Just make sure the cat or seagulls don’t eat the freshly caught fish hanging outside!

The Old Fishing Store is ideal for display and role-play, this model has 2 removable roofs, an opening back wall in the shop for easy access, 4 minifigures, cat and 3 seagull figures, as well as loads of other cool details and elements to fire up the imagination.

Don’t miss our interview with the LEGO Ideas design team behind this new set!

The post LEGO Ideas 21310 Old Fishing Store revealed [News] appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

26 May 20:24

"Ablaut reduplication" explained

by Minnesotastan

I can't find the original, so* I'll embed this screencap of a ?newspaper article for a quick summary.  More details are available in the Wikipedia article on apophony.  Via the discussion thread at the Interestingasfuck subreddit.
"It's a terrible thing to teach language learners, they'll try to agonizingly remember and apply a rule that is complete and totally instinctive even for natives. Same goes for most grammar "rules", which imho are not rules handed down by grammarians so much as patterns they have noticed."
*A tip of the blogging cap to an anonymous reader and to Paul Parkinson, whose comments led me to the source in a BBC Culture column.  And the book from which the cited text was excerpted is "The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase," which I've requested from our library.
25 May 00:11

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Damsel


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Worse, he tied her to a track that is proposed to later be part of a high speed rail line that is currently being studied.

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If you *are* a pre-orderer, please sign up here to receive your rewards. If you don't buy before launch day, you aren't eligible for the nifties!

24 May 23:18


Gonna feel even dumber when I realize that all this time he's been talking into a bluetooth thingy and we're not actually friends.
23 May 00:15

Relax at the end of a long day with a visit to Modular Café

by Edwinder

Builder Brandon wyc has put together a wonderful LEGO café — a tranquil oasis in the middle of a bustling city scene. The lighting adds to the atmosphere, but what’s most impressive are the details depicting everyday life both inside and outside. The café itself features a kitchen with a bakery, and pretty much everything you need for the business to run all day, including cosy corners for a quiet book read, or a simple dinner date for two. The pedestrian and vehicular traffic around the junction is all nicely-placed, giving the scene a real sense of activity.

LEGO Modular MOC - UiL Cafe "Mingle with the night"

LEGO Modular MOC - UiL Cafe "Mingle with the night"

LEGO Modular MOC - UiL Cafe "Mingle with the night"

LEGO Modular MOC - UiL Cafe "Mingle with the night"

LEGO Modular MOC - UiL Cafe "Mingle with the night"

The post Relax at the end of a long day with a visit to Modular Café appeared first on The Brothers Brick.