“We made a lot of new elements and colors for the Futuron theme, but when we tested with kids, they were un-impressed, it was the mini-figures new diagonal print still with the space logo on it that all of them were impressed with. Kids like this kind of detail.”—
Jens Nygaard Knudsen, “creator of the mini-figure and LEGO space”, quoted in Mark Stafford’s interview, The Truth About Space, in BrickJournal #6. (You can see the first couple of pages of the interview on Issuu.)
“Sparq’s customers are suffering, too. One of the startup’s services was providing QR codes for businesses, many of which were likely printed onto marketing materials that may still be in circulation. Those QR codes, unfortunately, are now null and void—printed ads turned into garbage thanks to Yahoo’s acquisition.”—Yahoo: Destroyer Of Startups by Selena Larsen at ReadWrite (via iamdanw, deathbeard)
“Four to six-year-olds struggle with ‘little LEGO’ so the product line was trying to help them with that. We did a lot of research in Europe and the US about what both parents and kids’ needs were. Generally speaking, parents in the US and to a lesser extent the UK are quite fixated on educational outcomes at ever earlier ages, whereas in Scandinavia and especially Germany they openly reject that, feeling strongly that this age is for play and socialising and scholastic learning comes later.”—Morgan Walker, a Lego designer, quoted in The enduring appeal of LEGO at Northern Soul.
“Jasons also contributed to the invention of adaptive optics, which boosts the power of telescopes by correcting for atmospheric distortion. On the other hand, the Pentagon kept the technology classified for almost a decade to reserve it for a project that many Jasons opposed, the Strategic Defense Initiative.”—
(For those who need some context, adaptive optics were incredibly important in taking optical and near-IR astronomy from its previous maximum of 6m diameter telescopes into the new world where the 10m Keck telescopes are beginning to look small compared to the EELT’s 39m main mirror. You may know the SDI better by the popular nickname- Star Wars.)
Today the way we track threats in geosynchronous orbit is by basically points of light, and as we take a picture of the sky and dwell on that part of the sky, [we know] things that are moving are satellites, things that are stationary are stars … Through our points of light and various other means, we make inferences on what a particular [foreign] satellite can do.
A picture is worth a thousand inferences because we can see literally what that [foreign] satellite looks like, and you can effectively reverse-engineer and understand what the capabilities are … to a much greater extent than you can today
“It’s a very romantic notion to want to live some totally off-grid hunter-gatherer lifestyle, but having seen the sheer monotonous toil and graft that some of the local peasantry put into their existence, it really put me off doing the same.”—Edward O’Toole, quoted in a Vice interview / article, Preppers Taught Me How to Eat When the World Ends (via)
“The reason sickness is undesirable is not that it causes distress or discomfort but that it results in what is often called “lost productivity”. This is a sinister and absurd notion, predicated on the greedy fallacy of counting chickens before they have hatched. “Workplace absence through sickness was reported to cost British business £32bn a year,” the researcher claimed in Metro: a normal way of phrasing things today, but one with curious implications. The idea seems to be that business already has that money even though it hasn’t earned it yet and employees who fail to maintain “productivity” as a result of sickness or other reasons are, in effect, stealing this as yet entirely notional sum from their employers.”—
In the US there are companies that take sick days and personal time off from the same pool of days. I had fifteen total in a year, and that’s regarded as pretty generous. Of course, if I actually did have anything that didn’t physically stop me getting in to work, I’d do so - it’s better for me to sit at my desk unproductive (and possibly infecting co-workers) than lose a holiday day.
Well done for reverse incentives there, free market capitalism.
“it would be silly to expect the national-security story of the decade to break in a California business publication. Swisher and fellow panelist Alexia Tsotsis, the co-editor of TechCrunch, spoke of the non-investigative nature of the bulk of their coverage—fundings, job changes, new product features. Tsotsis was especially abject, suggesting that even if she’d received the Edward Snowden documents, she probably “would have succumbed to the pressure of the Obama administration now”; TechCrunch “is just a cheerleader,” she said, and “a lot of tech media is sort of in the pockets of the people we cover … We’re inviting them to our parties. We might be dating some of them. We are right in the middle, in the thick, of the tech industry.””—Benjamin Wallace in New York Magazine, as part of a profile on Kara Swisher, who was also on the panel.
“I hate to be the one to break it to Joe, Nate, and Brian, but prior to the Industrial Revolution, one way people “belonged” to other people was through chattel slavery. Another was through marriages that made women the property of their husbands. It’s less funny than a doodle of a vagina, but perhaps more evocative of the limited viewpoint of the company’s three white, male founders.”—Julia Carrie Wong on the voiceover of the AirBnB video introducing their (not good) new logo.
“Cities used to be villages. Everyone knew each other, and everyone knew they had a place to call home. But after the mechanization and Industrial Revolution of the last century, those feelings of trust and belonging were displaced by mass-produced and impersonal travel experiences. We also stopped trusting each other. And in doing so, we lost something essential about what it means to be a community… That’s why Airbnb is returning us to a place where everyone can feel they belong.”—AirBnB, in the voiceover to their video introducing their new logo, as transcribed by Julia Carrie Wong. I described it on Twitter as “one long ”.
“According to [Jens Nygaard Knudsen] the Red and White spacemen started as Cosmonauts and Astronauts. Later they became red pilots and white explorers, yellow were introduced as scientists/engineers, blue as security/soldiers, black as spies. Pete and I decided mech/walker Pilots should be a new colour. Green!”—
Mark Stafford, in a comment on Pete Reid’s photo of multiple classic Lego space minifigures.
I’d always wondered if the red and white mapped to Soviet and US uniforms. It turns out, yes, they did, kind of.
“The thing is Thor is not just a comic character. He’s real mythology. Sure, Marvel’s version of Thor is not meant to follow the original nordic pantheon 100% but it’s still the equivalent of deciding to make Morgan Le Fay into a man or Zeus into a woman. A lot of people also forget there are “real pagans” today who still worship the old gods and old goddesses. Christians would get offended if Christ was gender-bent yet older religions seem to be “fair game” for this kind of random derpitude.”—Lucien Deshade in the comments on Newsarama’s story, Thor Drops The Hammer, a new female Thor takes his place.
“Bay really thinks the world is obvious. Fighting is gigantic boxers pummelling one another. War is explosions and buildings collapsing and air superiority. Love is the kiss between the stick-thin supermodel in hot pants and a handsome young body-builder whose job is racing race-cars. There’s nothing else.”—Adam Roberts on Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction for Strange Horizons.
“If highly paid teams of suits sitting in air-conditioned rooms in LA have really decided that the best way to make new movies is to rip off Prometheus, of all films, then something has gone very wrong somewhere.”—Adam Roberts reviewing Transformers: Age of Extinction for Strange Horizons.