At last, a piece of news that doesn’t entirely suck. From the Washington Post:
Fresh off of the unveiling of their largest model ever — a Star Wars X-wing Starfighter — LEGO is now teaming up with the real-life space explorers, NASA, for a new design competition.
The “NASA’s Missions: Imagine and Build” challenge will allow individuals 13 and older to (using LEGOs, of course) design and build their own “aircraft of the future“ based on actual NASA engineers’ designs and real-life challenges, such as reducing the environmental footprint of the craft and increasing fuel economy. And that’s just part of the competition category dubbed “Inventing our Future of Flight.”…
The second category, “Imagine our Future Beyond Earth,” is for participants 16 years and older, calling on them to design a futuristic craft — space or air, it doesn’t matter — of some kind. Basically, if you can build it with LEGOs and make it look cool, go for it, albeit within this none-too-short list of rules and regulations. That list includes, but is not limited to, giving LEGO and NASA the right to refuse any military or weapons models, models containing “defamatory or degrading elements,” and those including toy parts not made by LEGO. So, leave your Erector Set and Lincoln Logs out….
More information at the link.
Wonder if my son knows about this? He is a Lego fan ( if that is appropriate).
The prophet Nostradumbass
Awesome. My brother and I had thousands of Legos when we were kids, and I kind of miss them now. I’ve been eyeing the Lego Mindstorms robotics kits with envy recently.
Mike with a Mic
Lego’s rock, spent far too much time with them as a kid. My favorite was the old school space monorail.
And time to finish building my new PC, it will be nice.
The only thing I have against Legos is how much they hurt when we step on them. They seem uniquely designed that way… weird.
Well the weather has sucked in Savannah too! I feel badly for the folks at the conference who brought family and especially kids. Nothing like being locked down in a hotel while it pours.
That whole Lego thing is very cool! Hope there is an exhibition at the end of the contest.
Language is a funny thing. In Aus Lego is both singular and plural. ( just a little observation)
@Raven: The weekend should be nicer since the storm is moving fast. Of course, if you try to head home today, expect rain and more rain.
Jesus – those anti-immigration fuckheads have bought morning TV time on my local news, trashing Rubio.
That’s what tax cuts for kajillionaires and Citizens United have bought us.
Open thread, great. Any chance the fat man can put down the bbq and step away from the cat food and fix the many, many broken links on this site? Particularly the blog roll. That way it won’t be so obviously that he’s coasting, and has been for quite a while now.
Lego has become hugely popular with adults and I don’t know how this happened. I could ask a friend who periodically runs a Lego themed game show at The Henry Ford Museum.
Legos are nerdy. Maybe being nerdy and liking the cool grownup construction qualities of something that started out for kids is OK now.
@The prophet Nostradumbass:
Lego Mindstorms are the default tool for teaching entry level robotics concepts in schools. They’re surprisingly sophisticated for a ‘toy’ and are basically a light duty rapid prototyping tool.
Au contraire! It’s good news Friday, y’all!
@Debbie(aussie): So is/are sheep.
A kid can never have too many legos. Them and those little matchbox cars.
Higgs Boson's Mate
Going camping at Joshua Tree for at least days. Any BJers willing to put up with the heat look for a dark blue Miata at Jumbo Rocks campground.
Hey, any chance that a front pager would be willing to put up the relevant law on the collection of telephone numbers?
U.S. Supreme Court
Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979)
Smith v. Maryland
Argued March 28, 1979
Decided June 20, 1979
442 U.S. 735
CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND
The telephone company, at police request, installed at its central offices a pen register to record the numbers dialed from the telephone at petitioner’s home. Prior to his robbery trial, petitioner moved to suppress “all fruits derived from” the pen register. The Maryland trial court denied this motion, holding that the warrantless installation of the pen register did not violate the Fourth Amendment. Petitioner was convicted, and the Maryland Court of Appeals affirmed.
Held: The installation and use of the pen register was not a “search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, and hence no warrant was required. Pp. 442 U. S. 739-746.
(a) Application of the Fourth Amendment depends on whether the person invoking its protection can claim a “legitimate expectation of privacy” that has been invaded by government action. This inquiry normally embraces two questions: first, whether the individual has exhibited an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy; and second, whether his expectation is one that society is prepared to recognize as “reasonable.” Katz v. United States, 389 U. S. 347. Pp. 442 U. S. 739-741.
(b) Petitioner in all probability entertained no actual expectation of privacy in the phone numbers he dialed, and even if he did, his expectation was not “legitimate.” First, it is doubtful that telephone users in general have any expectation of privacy regarding the numbers they dial, since they typically know that they must convey phone numbers to the telephone company and that the company has facilities for recording this information and does, in fact, record it for various legitimate business purposes. And petitioner did not demonstrate an expectation of privacy merely by using his home phone, rather than some other phone, since his conduct, although perhaps calculated to keep the contents of his conversation private, was not calculated to preserve the privacy of the number he dialed. Second, even if petitioner did harbor some subjective expectation of privacy, this expectation was not one that society is prepared to recognize as “reasonable.” When petitioner voluntarily conveyed numerical information to the phone company and “exposed” that information to its equipment in the normal course of business, he assumed the risk that the company would reveal the information to the police, cf. United States v. Miller, 425 U. S. 435. Pp. 442 U. S. 741-746.
283 Md. 156, 389 A.2d 858, affirmed.
BLACKMUN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and WHITE, REHNQUIST, and STEVENS, JJ., joined. STEWART, J., post, p. 442 U. S. 746, and MARSHALL, J., post, p. 442 U. S. 748, filed dissenting opinions, in which BRENNAN, J., joined. POWELL, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
You would think that constimatooshinal lawyer Glenn Greenwald would have mentioned this en passant….
@Higgs Boson’s Mate:
I get to drive (passenger, actually but there’s no convenient verb for that) through Mexico City today. My driver is a native and familiar with the trip. He’s concerned. I’m approaching freakout. I’ve been there before. It’s the most foreign place I’ve ever seen in this hemisphere.
@Todd: Apply the Katz test to the current debate. I think people do have the expectation of privacy with online and cell communications. Whether that expectation is reasonable really has been the source of debate on B-J (and elsewhere). Blackmun moved left over the years, in large part because he recognized the changes in society. The ubiquity of electronic communications could change the ruling if such a case were heard today.
I was saying thing in a prior thread.
I have no expectation of privacy in my electronic communications, and ironically, find my view to be convergent with that of the folks at Anonymous on this topic.
While I pick decent passwords to keep the malicious out, I assume that my Internet provider is selling my metadata, as are google and bing.
@Omnes Omnibus: @Baud:
“the same thing”
@Todd: People now use electronic means to do tasks that in 1979 would have been done by mail. They should be able to expect the same level of privacy.
Jay in Oregon
You can do some pretty impressive stuff with LEGO.
I’ve had this guy’s photo gallery bookmarked for a couple of years now:
and there are other people posting their creations on Flickr as well.
In 1979, you willingly disclosed the destination of your mail on the outside of the envelope or package. That disclosure was made to the government.
Do you doubt that the government kept a log on pieces of mail addressed to places like the Soviet Embassy or the Cuban Interests Section of whatever consulate they worked out of at the time?
Also, in the pre-internet days, I noticed that magazine subscription requests of similar publications to ones I subscribed to routinely came to my home, as if my subscription data was sold. How different is that from google and bing selling my stuff, and why should I have an expectation of privacy in that?
@Todd: Obviously, if I called or wrote to someone who was legitimately under surveillance, my communications would come to light. If I call a pizzeria to get a pizza and the place is wiretapped because of a warrant related to money laundering, my call will be recorded. Not a problem. If I email someone and the person is being investigated for money laundering, my email would also come to light.
This will, of course, lead to Congressional hearings into Obama’s wasteful government.
The Other Chuck
James May’s Man Lab built a two-story house out of Lego. That X-Wing model would fit inside it.
Jay in Oregon
@The Other Chuck:
This woman built a 400,000-brick replica of Hogwarts out of LEGO.
I suppose this is probably the proper thread to link my photostream full of custom minifigs and Lego models. http://www.flickr.com/photos/catsy/sets/
Please excuse the way Flickr’s shitty redesign has cropped all the set images and screwed up the rest of the site.
I’ve had a few things go viral over the years, including replicas of the Halo ringworld, Mass Effect Citadel, and GLaDOS, to name a few. Haven’t done much in the last year or so; I’ve been fighting a bit of what we in the Lego community call a “dim age” where we don’t have the inspiration to do much with our bricks.