Shared posts

14 Feb 05:36

Accessibility Intervention

by Robot Hugs

New comic!

This comic came up in my work recently, as I was interviewing Janice about design and disability. She generously gave me permission to quote her in the comic. All the characters in this comic represent feedback I’ve heard as an accessibility professional, both from disabled and able-bodied folks.

It’s always interesting when I’m giving an accessible design 101 workshop how many people come with ideas about disability as a binary thing – they often think of the most extreme form of a disability as the most common kind (ex – a person with a visual disability literally getting no visual input, a person in a wheelchair not being able to move at all), whereas disabilities manifest in lots of different ways, and fluctuate with time and circumstance. This is why there’s not one perfect accessibility solution, and we need flexibility and accommodation in the way we design our environments and systems!

Anyways, mostly remember that you don’t know for sure what’s going on when you look at someone, and in the face of uncertainty, try to default to kindness. That serves me pretty well.


14 Feb 04:49

An actual LEGO locomotive that distributed LEGO bricks

by Edwinder

A Köf or Klienlokomotive literally means a “small locomotive”and, in the 1980s,  LEGO utilised a yellow Köf at their German LEGO distribution center in Hohenweststedt.  As a huge fan of the classics, builder Faust Chang has built a scaled replica model of the Hohenweststedt train,  with details right down into the dashboard and engines. I’m sure for train fans and aficionados alike, it’s pretty cool to know that there’s a tiny train out there that once was run and operated by LEGO.  Sadly in 2002 the Köf was sold by LEGO and  was painted red by its new owners.

An photo of the actual train in Hohenwestedt.

LEGO Lok Köff II in Hohenwestedt Bild 09

Source: ollideta, Photo by Sprottenpower

The post An actual LEGO locomotive that distributed LEGO bricks appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

13 Feb 16:07

Motorized Technic Bus opens its doors to LEGO passengers [Instructions]

by Eric

Builder HallBricks blends the functional with the beautiful in this Technic Motorized Bus. I watched this video several times in awe of its clean lines, compact design, and marvelous engineering. This model exhibits many design features that blend SYSTEM brick and Technic parts to form elegant curves. The rear pillars and roof combine Technic panels with SYSTEM rounded slopes for a smooth, semi-oblate shape. On the outside, the model’s headlights and tail lights consist of multiple translucent tiles for a multi-faceted effect.

On the inside, the dash has many thoughtful details made of printed tile pieces. Both passenger doors and the rear hatch open to reveal interior details.

Beyond its design, this model has many functional components to admire. The model drives and steers remotely, powered by a working V6 engine visible from the rear hatch compartment. Both passenger doors open, controlled independently by remote. The battery compartment is tucked away neatly inside the bus, a short finger reach from a window. The remote combines an IR Speed Remote Control and the IR Remote Control to control both the steering/locomotion and to open the passenger doors.

For a real treat, pay close attention around 2:36 in the video for a close up of the gear system built that opens the two passenger doors.

If you fancy building your own motorized Technic bus, HallBricks has made instructions available.



The post Motorized Technic Bus opens its doors to LEGO passengers [Instructions] appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

13 Feb 05:31

Impostor Syndrome

It's actually worst in people who study the Dunning–Kruger effect. We tried to organize a conference on it, but the only people who would agree to give the keynote were random undergrads.
11 Feb 18:11

Snowfall alters the meaning of a neighborhood sign

by Minnesotastan

The full text of the sign is "Drive Like Your Kids Live Here."
11 Feb 16:15

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Get Me a Scientist


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

For the rest of her life, when asked about the asteroid's devastation, she would make a joke about Impact Factor.

New comic!
Today's News:

Come to my dang show, Houstonoids!

11 Feb 02:20

Places with "Saint" in their name

by Minnesotastan

Found at Strange Maps/BigThink:
The data, collected from the databases of the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency by Polish infographic producers Biqdata, shows 20,808 such places across the continent...

France, now a beacon of 'laïcité' – the French version of secularism – in previous centuries prided itself on being 'la fille ainée de l'église' (the oldest daughter of the church). And its Christian heritage still shows in the sheer number of saintly place-names, from Saint-Denis and Saint-Cloud near Paris to Saint-Brieuc in Brittany and Saint-Laurent-du-Var in the Provence.

No less than 43% of the European total of 'Saint(e)' names occurs in France, with areas of higher density in Normandy, and the Loire and Rhône valleys. The north, northeast and southwest seem to have been less touched by holy topography.

Runner-up, by about half of the French total, is Spain. With 4,444 'San' or 'Santa' topographies, it represents 21.5% of the European total. But here the regional distribution is more skewed than in France, or any other country for that matter: most of Spain is actually fairly saint-name-free...
More at the link, including this list of patron saints and their causes:
Anne (French-Canadian voyageurs), Anthony of Padua (those seeking lost persons or items), Barbara (service personnel of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces), Bernardine of Siena (advertisers), Bernard of Menthon (skiers), Cajetan (the unemployed), Cassian of Imola (stenographers), Cecilia (musicians), Columbanus (motorcyclists), Drogo of Sebourg (coffee-house keepers), Elmo (pyrotechnicians, steeplejacks, chimneysweeps and anyone working at great heights), Fiacre (taxi drivers), Gummarus (lumberjacks), Joan of Arc (soldiers), John Bosco (editors), Joseph of Arimathea (funeral directors), Joseph of Cupertino (astronauts), Kateri (ecologists), Lidwina (ice skaters), Martha (dieticians), Mary Magdalene (hairdressers, pharmacists and prostitutes), Matthew (tax collectors and perfumers, among many others), Philip (pastry chefs), Solange (shepherdesses), Ursula (orphans), Valentine (beekeepers), Vitus (comedians), Wolbodo (students), Zita (waiters).
10 Feb 18:58

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - QUACK


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

I'm just saying, if this ever HAS happened, there probably wouldn't be an announcement.

New comic!
Today's News:
10 Feb 14:58

A whimsical world with a waterfall

by Matthew Kay

Whether in person or through the tubes and pipes of the internet, looking at a LEGO castle diorama has always been somewhat akin to viewing a renaissance painting in an art gallery for me. Like many great medieval artworks, there’s always so many things happening, and so many visually foreign and intriguing things occuring all at once — so much to take in. Brickwielder‘s latest build is filled to the brim with fun details and nifty building techniques. From the waterfall to the winding staircase, the bridge, or even all the foliage, there’s enough here to get lost.

The Summerset Isles- Brickvention 2018

The post A whimsical world with a waterfall appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

10 Feb 02:56

The History of Unicode

2048: "Great news for Maine—we're once again an independent state!!! Thanks, @unicode, for ruling in our favor and sending troops to end New Hampshire's annexation. 🙏🚁🎖️"
09 Feb 15:43

Be the coolest kid on the street, 30 years ago

by Luka

Cassette players scream eighties so loudly that it seems kind of redundant to mark tapes as “80s mix”, but Jarekwally still decided to bring out the nostalgia even more. The builder was inspired by his father’s stories of how they used to pirate music nearly forty years ago with a radio and a tape deck. Cassette players are so iconic, you don’t even need to have 80s nostalgia to be inspired by them.

Old Cassette Recorder From Early 80’s MK 232

Jarekwally’s build is not the first time we’ve seen cassette players in LEGO, which kind of makes sense, as tapes are just blocky technical items with a limited variation of texture — which translates into bricks very well. What I love about this particular version is the use of chrome silver around the cassette slot and the underside of a plate as the speaker mesh. Simple indeed, but inspired.

Check out these other LEGO retro audio instruments:

The post Be the coolest kid on the street, 30 years ago appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

09 Feb 06:24

Iconic VW Golf GTi Mk1 in LEGO

by Elspeth De Montes

The Volkswagen Golf GTi Mk1 first went on sale in Germany in June 1976 and was only available as a 3-door version. Although the Golf was meant to be a small, fuel-efficient car model, a group of VW engineers worked on the sport version in their spare time. To many, the Golf GTi Mk1 is the boy racer’s car of the 1980’s and Joe Perez has captured its distinctive form in LEGO.

Golf GTi Mk1

Golf GTi Mk1

Joe’s version is not just about exterior good looks, open up the driver’s door and you will see a fully fitted out interior.   The minifigure microphone is ideal as the classic ‘golf ball’ gear stick.

Golf GTi Mk1 Interior

In addition, we can also take a peek under the hood of Joe’s version. There are some fun parts to spot powering this particular Golf,  I love the use of the clockwork winder key and some minifigure legs within the engine.

Golf GTi Mk1 Engine Compartment

I’m not entirely sure why a fried egg is hiding under the hood…can anyone eggsplain?

The post Iconic VW Golf GTi Mk1 in LEGO appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

08 Feb 03:13

Spårvagnar krockade i Göteborg

by Klartext

En spårvagn körde in i en annan vid Musikgatan i Västra Frölunda.

På onsdag eftermiddag krockade två spårvagnar i på Musikgatan i stadsdelen Västra Frölunda. Nio personer skadades och fick åka till sjukhus.

07 Feb 19:15

Backpack Decisions

"This one is perfect in every way, except that for some reason it's woven from a tungsten mesh, so it weighs 85 pounds and I'll need to carry it around on a hand cart." "That seems like a bad--" "BUT IT HAS THE PERFECT POCKET ARRANGEMENT!"
07 Feb 08:36

LEGO Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer from The Last Jedi in UCS scale

by Nick

One of the fascinating new craft flying from the latest Star Wars film is Kylo Ren’s personal starfighter, the TIE Silencer. Mirko Soppelsa built this intimidating, TIE Interceptor-like craft in similar scale to official Ultimate Collector Series LEGO sets like the Millennium Falcon and Slave I. I’m confident Kylo Ren would be pleased with this simply amazing model.


The fuselage in particular is expertly crafted. The angled paneling surrounding the thrusters is beautifully built.


Additionally, the canopy and hatch open, revealing a fully detailed cockpit interior.


Take a look at more detail shots of Mirko’s beautiful model on Flickr.


The post LEGO Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer from The Last Jedi in UCS scale appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

07 Feb 05:29


by Robot Hugs

New comic!

I actually wouldn’t find this surprising at all.


04 Feb 04:51

World’s largest wooden roller coaster built entirely out of LEGO

by Elspeth De Montes

The introduction of new roller coaster parts in 70922 Joker Manor was a source of great excitement, even more so when we managed to power the roller coaster. These roller coaster endeavours pale in significance when compared to this enormous wooden-style coaster build by Chairudo. It uses nearly 90,000 LEGO pieces and took Chairudo over 800 hours to build. It’s 6.5 meters long, 1.2  meters wide, 1.4 meters tall, and has a track length of 26 meters.

Lego Rollercoaster

We actually highlighted this amazing wooden LEGO rollercoaster last year, but since then it has found a well-deserved home in Hamleys in Prague. There are two new videos now available, the first is an introduction and overview of the rollercoaster, while the second gives you a seat at the front of the ride to maximise the experience.

This build is a feat of LEGO engineering and the actual design is inspired by  El Toro at Six Flags New Jersey.  This rollercoaster works just like the real thing, with a chain pull up the steep slope before the power of gravity provides the thrills.





The post World’s largest wooden roller coaster built entirely out of LEGO appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

04 Feb 01:18

Dashing through the snow in a old rusty tram

by Alexander

The month of February has already brought to Moscow, Russia about 10 inches of snow — and it doesn’t seem to stop snowing! Talented Moscow-based toy photographer brickexplorer captures the mood of the frosty night just perfectly; the whole scene in the picture looks extremely cozy in the warm light of the old tram’s headlights. According to the description of the photo the snow piles are made of baking soda, which is a perfect tip for any LEGO toy photographer.

The post Dashing through the snow in a old rusty tram appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

03 Feb 17:56

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Self-Assessment


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

My rational mind doesn't want to do it. My emotional mind doesn't want to do it. So, who in there is controlling my behavior?

New comic!
Today's News:

Two weeks left to get your tickets for BAHFest Houston!

02 Feb 14:31

Microscale Apollo 11 is landing

by Daniel

Building the lunar lander module from the Apollo 11 mission presents a unique challenge: to create the base of the lander in gold, which traditionally has not been a very common color for LEGO elements. However, with the help of some newer pearl gold elements, tankm has accomplished this very nicely. The model almost feels like minifig scale, considering just how cramped the lander was. Some flower parts in light gray make perfect thruster nozzles (just like on the official LEGO Saturn V moon rocket), and I love the use of black roller skates as ladder rungs. Maybe we will get a rover to go with it?


The post Microscale Apollo 11 is landing appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

02 Feb 06:43

Minnie’s Haberdashery from The Hateful Eight in LEGO

by Elspeth De Montes

As the last place to buy a few essentials or enjoy a good nights sleep before continuing on your journey, Minnie’s Haberdashery is a key location in Quentin Tarantino’s movie,  The Hateful Eight. Marion has built a replica view of the haberdashery in LEGO and it really is an amazing likeness. There are hanging dried herbs and vegetable swaying from the ceiling, a huge assortment of jugs, boxes, barrels, lamps and mugs scattered across tables, shelves and chests of drawers. I love the placement of certain key features; the large beam frames our view to the left and the stool and table are in the forefront with a chest of drawers and open wooden shutters on the right.

The Hateful Eight - Minnie's Haberdashery

Comparison with the actual set from the movie is a must, although Marion has added a few blood spots as we would expect in a Tarantino film.

Photo: Andrew Cooper, SMPSP © 2015 The Weinstein

The post Minnie’s Haberdashery from The Hateful Eight in LEGO appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

30 Jan 03:42

Cyberpunk’s not dead!

by Luka

MemeLUG member LegoFin has spent the past six months exclusively building cyberpunk creations, all culminating in a large diorama. The builder has been posting teasers for the project for a while now and has finally revealed the first of three layers.

CyberPunk 2046: Sector LL927

One might call the picture too dark, but I see it as atmospheric.

The scene is filled with details and mini stories, perfectly capturing the atmosphere of a cluttered cyberpunk city. Taking your time to view the closeup of the image and exploring it in detail will definetely prove to be a fun experience.

CyberPunk 2046: Wall and Hanger Details

Some of the builder’s earlier teaser images also reveal great details in the diorama.

CyberPunk 2046: Welcome to the City

The post Cyberpunk’s not dead! appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

29 Jan 23:13

'How We Made Starship Troopers'

by EditorDavid
The Guardian quotes Paul Verhoeven, the director of Starship Troopers: Robert Heinlein's original 1959 science-fiction novel was militaristic, if not fascistic. So I decided to make a movie about fascists who aren't aware of their fascism... I was looking for the prototype of blond, white and arrogant, and Casper Van Dien was so close to the images I remembered from Leni Riefenstahl's films. I borrowed from Triumph of the Will in the parody propaganda reel that opens the film, too. I was using Riefenstahl to point out, or so I thought, that these heroes and heroines were straight out of Nazi propaganda... With a title like Starship Troopers, people were expecting a new Star Wars. They got that, but not really: it stuck in your throat. It said: "Here are your heroes and your heroines, but by the way -- they're fascists." The actors weren't even clear on what the giant arachnids would look like, since their "Bug" battles were filmed entirely with green screens, remembers one of the movie's stars, Denise Richards. Instead Verhoeven "would be there jumping up and down with a broom in the air so we would have a sense of how big they were." Verhoeven told one interviewer that he never actually read Robert Heinlein's original book. "I stopped after two chapters because it was so boring. It is really quite a bad book."

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29 Jan 19:41

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Warming


De fleste skillpadder er hunn

Click here to go see the bonus panel!

But seriously, this is a thing that's happening.

New comic!
Today's News:

GEEKS. We have announced our Keynote for BAHFest Houston. BEHOLD

28 Jan 21:49


by Minnesotastan

Art installation added to the old escalators at Au Bon Marché, Paris.
28 Jan 17:55

Sjekk gjestene på fuglebrettet!

Nå kan du være med og telle småfuglene i Norge. Bli med i årets hagefugl-telling.
27 Jan 18:10

You can now buy gluten-free water

by Minnesotastan
The BBC offers a perspective on the abuse of the term "gluten-free":
The food labelling craze coupled with banner headlines about the dangers of gluten, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and hormones are leading to increasingly absurd results. For example, you can now buy “premium” water that’s not only free of GMOs and gluten but certified kosher and organic. Never mind that not a single drop of water anywhere contains either property or is altered in any way by those designations...

In my experience as a food economist, such “fake transparency” does nothing to inform consumers about the nature of their foods. Moreover, it can actually decrease well-being when accompanied by a higher price tag...

Since federal regulation requires that hormones not be used in pork or poultry, advertising a chicken breast as “hormone-free” doesn’t make sense – yet doing so allows a company to charge more or help its products stand out from the less-labelled competition.
26 Jan 18:28

Playboy Brands Boing Boing a “Clickbait” Site With No Fair Use Defense

by Andy

February 2016, Boing Boing co-editor Xeni Jardin posted an article in which she linked to an archive containing every Playboy centerfold image to date.

“Kind of amazing to see how our standards of hotness, and the art of commercial erotic photography, have changed over time,” Jardin noted.

While Boing Boing had nothing to do with the compilation, uploading, or storing of the Imgur-based archive, Playboy took exception to the popular blog linking to the album.

Noting that Jardin had referred to the archive uploader as a “wonderful person”, the adult publication responded with a lawsuit (pdf), claiming that Boing Boing had commercially exploited its copyrighted images.

Last week, with assistance from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Boing Boing parent company Happy Mutants filed a motion to dismiss in which it defended its right to comment on and link to copyrighted content without that constituting infringement.

“This lawsuit is frankly mystifying. Playboy’s theory of liability seems to be that it is illegal to link to material posted by others on the web — an act performed daily by hundreds of millions of users of Facebook and Twitter, and by journalists like the ones in Playboy’s crosshairs here,” the company wrote.

EFF Senior Staff Attorney Daniel Nazer weighed in too, arguing that since Boing Boing’s reporting and commenting is protected by copyright’s fair use doctrine, the “deeply flawed” lawsuit should be dismissed.

Now, just a week later, Playboy has fired back. Opposing Happy Mutants’ request for the Court to dismiss the case, the company cites the now-famous Perfect 10 v. Amazon/Google case from 2007, which tried to prevent Google from facilitating access to infringing images.

Playboy highlights the court’s finding that Google could have been held contributorily liable – if it had knowledge that Perfect 10 images were available using its search engine, could have taken simple measures to prevent further damage, but failed to do so.

Turning to Boing Boing’s conduct, Playboy says that the company knew it was linking to infringing content, could have taken steps to prevent that, but failed to do so. It then launches an attack on the site itself, offering disparaging comments concerning its activities and business model.

“This is an important case. At issue is whether clickbait sites like Happy Mutants’ Boing Boing weblog — a site designed to attract viewers and encourage them to click on links in order to generate advertising revenue — can knowingly find, promote, and profit from infringing content with impunity,” Playboy writes.

“Clickbait sites like Boing Boing are not known for creating original content. Rather, their business model is based on ‘collecting’ interesting content created by others. As such, they effectively profit off the work of others without actually creating anything original themselves.”

Playboy notes that while sites like Boing Boing are within their rights to leverage works created by others, courts in the US and overseas have ruled that knowingly linking to infringing content is unacceptable.

Even given these conditions, Playboy argues, Happy Mutants and the EFF now want the Court to dismiss the case so that sites are free to “not only encourage, facilitate, and induce infringement, but to profit from those harmful activities.”

Claiming that Boing Boing’s only reason for linking to the infringing album was to “monetize the web traffic that over fifty years of Playboy photographs would generate”, Playboy insists that the site and parent company Happy Mutants was properly charged with copyright infringement.

Playboy also dismisses Boing Boing’s argument that a link to infringing content cannot result in liability due to the link having both infringing and substantial non-infringing uses.

First citing the Betamax case, which found that maker Sony could not be held liable for infringement because its video recorders had substantial non-infringing uses, Playboy counters with the Grokster decision, which held that a distributor of a product could be liable for infringement, if there was an intent to encourage or support infringement.

“In this case, Happy Mutants’ offending link — which does nothing more than support infringing content — is good for nothing but promoting infringement and there is no legitimate public interest in its unlicensed availability,” Playboy notes.

In its motion to dismiss, Happy Mutants also argued that unless Playboy could identify users who “in fact downloaded — rather than simply viewing — the material in question,” the case should be dismissed. However, Playboy rejects the argument, claiming it is based on an erroneous interpretation of the law.

Citing the Grokster decision once more, the adult publisher notes that the Supreme Court found that someone infringes contributorily when they intentionally induce or encourage direct infringement.

“The argument that contributory infringement only lies where the defendant’s actions result in further infringement ignores the ‘or’ and collapses ‘inducing’ and ‘encouraging’ into one thing when they are two distinct things,” Playboy writes.

As for Boing Boing’s four classic fair use arguments, the publisher describes these as “extremely weak” and proceeds to hit them one by one.

In respect of the purpose and character of the use, Playboy discounts Boing Boing’s position that the aim of its post was to show “how our standards of hotness, and the art of commercial erotic photography, have changed over time.” The publisher argues that is the exact same purpose of Playboy magazine, while highlighting its publication Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds, 1953-2016.

Moving on to the second factor of fair use – the nature of the copyrighted work – Playboy notes that an entire album of artwork is involved, rather than just a single image.

On the third factor, concerning the amount and substantiality of the original work used, Playboy argues that in order to publish an opinion on how “standards of hotness” had developed over time, there was no need to link to all of the pictures in the archive.

“Had only representative images from each decade, or perhaps even each year, been taken, this would be a very different case — but Happy Mutants cannot dispute that it knew it was linking to an illegal library of ‘Every Playboy Playmate Centerfold Ever’ since that is what it titled its blog post,” Playboy notes.

Finally, when considering the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work, Playboy says its archive of images continues to be monetized and Boing Boing’s use of infringing images jeopardizes that.

“Given that people are generally not going to pay for what is freely available, it is disingenuous of Happy Mutants to claim that promoting the free availability of infringing archives of Playboy’s work for viewing and downloading is not going to have an adverse effect on the value or market of that work,” the publisher adds.

While it appears the parties agree on very little, there is agreement on one key aspect of the case – its wider importance.

On the one hand, Playboy insists that a finding in its favor will ensure that people can’t commercially exploit infringing content with impunity. On the other, Boing Boing believes that the health of the entire Internet is at stake.

“The world can’t afford a judgment against us in this case — it would end the web as we know it, threatening everyone who publishes online, from us five weirdos in our basements to multimillion-dollar, globe-spanning publishing empires like Playboy,” the company concludes.

Playboy’s opposition to Happy Mutants’ motion to dismiss can be found here (pdf)

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

26 Jan 18:15

Widerøe og Norwegian skal samarbeide

Snart kan du fly med både Widerøe og Norwegian på samme billett.
26 Jan 18:08

Night Sky

There's a mountain lion nearby, but it didn't notice you because it's reading Facebook.