Lego In Space


A pair of teenagers in Toronto constructed a homemade weather balloon that they then released into the sky with a few Lego accessories – including a Lego Minifigure. After a bit over 90 minutes up at an altitude of around 80,000 feet, their balloon came back to earth but not after taking several photos of the Lego

Via Make Magazine.

Minimal Desktop Backgrounds

As I spend more time online visiting different sites and evaluating new online services, I have come to greatly appreciate clean, crisp, minimal yet effective user experience/interaction design. I even recently purchased an Apple iMac which has only added to this recent obsession.

Over the holiday break, I began to build up my collection of desktop backgrounds since its so easy to rotate desktop backgrounds on my new iMac. In my online travels, I discovered the great site SimpleDesktops and went a bit overboard downloading desktops from the site. And in looking at the examples on their site, I got inspired to develop a bunch on my own. So, with little fanfare, I would like to share my collection of minimal dekstop wallpapers for your viewing and downloading pleasure. All the backgorunds are sized for a 27″ iMac desktop (2560 px x 1440 px) however you should be able to download them and your Mac/PC should resize them.

Below are a few examples to whet your appetite. I’ve developed several related to Superheros, English Premier League teams, MLB teams, London Underground Tube Stops, and a few Random Ones that strike my fancy. Visit my Sandbox page or go here to see the full collection.

Queen's Park (Map)Queens Park Tube Stop

Harry Potter
Harry Potter

Bat SignalThe Bat Signal!

Tarnished (LOT) Rings

The process that the Nobel Prize committee goes through in evaluating candidates for their renowned awards has always been a bit of a black hole. A little window into that process was revealed recently when, per tradition, the documentation and notes from the comittee’s thinking is released to the public 50 years after the award is made.

Back in 1961, J.R.R. Tolkien and his Lord of the Rings epic were nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature but the Nobel committee felt his work was “second rate prose”. In addition to Tolkien, the Nobel committee dismissed the works of Robert Frost, EM Forster and other not to shabby writers.

The prose of Tolkien – who was nominated by his friend and fellow fantasy author CS Lewis – "has not in any way measured up to storytelling of the highest quality", wrote jury member Anders Österling. Frost, on the other hand, was dismissed because of his "advanced age" – he was 86 at the time – with the jury deciding the American poet’s years were "a fundamental obstacle, which the committee regretfully found it necessary to state". Forster was also ruled out for his age – a consideration that no longer bothers the jury, which awarded the prize to the 87-year-old Doris Lessing in 2007 – with Österling calling the author "a shadow of his former self, with long lost spiritual health".

Nobel committee, the Eye of Sauron is upon you.

Via The Guardian (UK).

Festivus

Only three days until Festivus! I hope you have all found your alumninum poles in the crawlspace under your house.

There has been a lot of turmoil this year around the country and the world. I am anticipating some serious ramifications from the Airing of Grievances.

Analysis of Lego Pricing Over The Years

Over at Geek Mom, an interesting analysis of the pricing of Lego sets over the past 40 years or so. Looking at the pricing on a “price per brick” point of view, the average cost has actually been trending down.

As it turns out, after going up in the 70′s and 80′s, the average price per brick has actually been trending down. I sampled the prices of sets through the years as listed on brickset.com from across themes and set sizes. To try to make it an apples-to-apples comparison, I excluded minifigs by themselves, accessories, promotional items, games, or anything that required batteries, as well as Mindstorms, Duplo, and non-brick items.

One theory noted in the article is that the Lego sets of today are far more complex and thus have far more pieces than those of the 1970’s and 1980’s, So looking at it on a “per brick” may be skewing the numbers lower.

At the end of the day though, I think what this is telling us is that we should go out and get that epic 3,000 piece, 8 lb, 50 inch long Star Wars “Super Star Destroyer” kit for $400.