LEGO Design byME

Lego Digital Designer screenshot

From the Lego website, an awesome process for designing and buying your own, custom, Lego set.

Is there something special missing in your LEGO collection? Would you like to add a professional touch to your personal gifts? Now you can make, shape & even order the toy you wish in a box you design yourself. Your ideas. Your creation. Your box – LEGO Design byME

Following are the steps you need to go through to make your own custom LEGO set:

  • Install LEGO Digital Designer 3.0 for free to start your experience.
  • Use your imagination and have fun as you build your own dream model
  • Design your own unique box and get an auto-generated, printed building guide
  • When you’re all done and satisfied, order your customized LEGO set.

The next steps are a quick description of our tasks:

  • We will handpick your bricks.
  • Produce your one of a kind box.
  • For those that wish we’ll even include an Auto-Generated, printed Building Guide.
  • When done we’ll ship your set right home to you, or the destination you have chosen.

(via The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Build customized LEGO packs with LEGO Digital Designer)

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The End of Chiropractic

hat duckie

Why even raise the issue of chiropractic, when at this point so many people seem to have made up their minds? I do it because I know people who have been hurt by chiropractic, or who have spent money they could barely afford for dubious results, and I’d like to keep those things from happening again.

To be clear, there may be a place for chiropractic in the relief of back pain. I can’t say that chiropractic is more or less expensive or more or less effective than physical therapy, but I am confident that the “theory” of subluxation that underlies chiropractic is bogus.

But this seems to be settled fact:

When chiropractors use spinal manipulation therapy for symptomatic relief of mechanical low back pain, they are employing an evidence-based method also used by physical therapists, doctors of osteopathy, and others. When they do “chiropractic adjustments” to correct a “subluxation” for other conditions, especially for non-musculoskeletal conditions or “health maintenance,” they are employing a non-scientific belief system that is no longer viable.

Science-Based Medicine, The End of Chiropractic.

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Devils Slide Status Infographic


California DOT report via Pacifica Riptide.

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Facebookarazzi: What we have in common with Angelina Jolie

The implications of Facebook’s recent privacy rollback will likely take months to reveal themselves. But it’s already clear they go beyond Mark Zuckerberg’s stash of intimate pics; we’re already starting to learn new things about Hollywood celebrities.

Take Angelina Jolie, for example: Did you know the sought-after actress has just 27 Facebook friends, and they’re almost all A-listers?

See the list and links to the celebs:

Facebookarazzi: Stalking Celebrities Just Got a Whole Lot Easier – Facebook – Gawker.

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Zombie-Attack Science (or never mind H1N1)

Zombie calculator hand

Philip Munz, a graduate student at Carleton University in Ottawa, was watching a lot of movies about the undead and realized that zombification could be regarded as a classic paradigm of infectious spread: people get bitten by zombies, after which they turn into zombies themselves and start biting others. So Munz decided to use the tools of epidemiology to answer a sobering public-health question: could humanity survive a zombie outbreak?

“After 7 to 10 days, everyone was dead or undead,” he says. He tried several counterattacks. Quarantining the zombies didn’t work; it only bought a few extra days of survival for humanity. Even creating a “cure” for zombification led to a grim result. It was possible to save 10 to 15 percent of the population, but everyone else was a zombie. (The cure in his model wasn’t permanent; the cured could be rebitten and rezombified.)

There was only one winning solution: fighting back quickly and fiercely. If, after the first zombies emerge, humanity begins a policy of “eradication,” then the zombies can be beaten. This is, as Munz points out, what traditionally saves humanity in zombie flicks. “People finally realize what’s happened,” he says, “and they call the army in.”

The Ninth Annual Year in Ideas – Magazine – Zombie-Attack Science.

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The Joy of Tech comic… Big Zucker is watching.

The Joy of Tech comic… Big Zucker is watching..

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40-foot long Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton

Samson, a 66-million year old Tyrannosaurus rex fossil

Known as Samson, the 66-million year old fossil was discovered in South Dakota in 1987. Because the skull was largely intact when it was found, it is perhaps the finest T.rex skull ever unearthed. The fossil contains 60 percent of the original bones, 170 in all, making it the third most complete T. rex specimen in the world.

Wired Science: T. Rex Skeleton Can Finally Be Ogled by the Public.

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         | \      _    I'M NOT UNEMPLOYED I'M *FUN*EMPLOYED
      ==='=='==  (o>
         \++/   / )
   \----.  : .----/
         \_/\|          ()
         / _ \       _  \/()
        / /|\ \     |/| | \/
  snd _/_/ | \_\_     | |//
     /_/   |   \_\    \_\|

via ASCII Art Farts #3822: FUNEMPLOYED.

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The result of Facebook Privacy Changes

For most types of information on your profile, Facebook lets you select a level of disclosure. The following table summarizes the effects of each available option.

Option Who/What Can Access?
Friend Friend
Any Facebook User Any
Internet User
App You Run App Your Friend Runs Facebook or Bing Search
Friends and Networks YES YES* YES YES**
Friends of Friends YES YES YES YES**
Only Friends YES YES YES**
Custom *** YES ***

*: For privacy purposes, persons in your regional network are not considered part of your networks, and thus would not be able to view this content.

**: By default, this information is available. However, users can change their search privacy settings and application privacy settings to change the availability of this information.

***: See Facebook for a description of the custom setting.

“Publicly Available Information” or “PAI”

Unlike the other privacy settings, “publicly available information” is not an option. This is the category of information in your profile that Facebook has decided must be publicly available. This means that there are no privacy settings that can prevent disclosure of information in this category, and anyone who finds and visits your profile page can see this information, as can any application that you or your friends use. Facebook search and Internet search engines can also see this information if you do not adjust your search privacy settings.

“Publicly available information” includes your name, profile photo, list of friends, pages you are a fan of, gender, networks to which you belong, and current city.

The existence and consequences of PAI are new. Before the current changes, from our experience it was possible to control the disclosure of everything but your name and the networks you belong to through the search privacy settings and through the profile option on the Profile: Basic Info privacy settings page. This option is no longer available to Facebook users.

**Friend List Update**

A lot of people seem to be wondering how to hide their friend lists on their profile pages. This is no longer a privacy setting because friend lists have been declared publicly available information.& However you can still hide the list on your profile page by clicking the pencil icon in the top right corner of the friends box and unchecking “Show my friends on my profile.” Unfortunately, this does not seem to affect the visibility of your friend list when someone searches for you on Facebook or on your public profile if you have chosen to allow indexing of your page, so there is no way that we have found to truly hide your friend list anymore. There also doesn’t seem to be a way to only display mutual friends, or to filter which of your friends see your friends list.



If you select the Everyone option, you are voluntarily making the information affected publicly available. It will be treated exactly the same as “publicly available information.” Any user (or application) on the site can potentially see it, and search engines can access it unless you change your search settings. This means that, even if you later change the setting to a more restrictive privacy option, the information may be preserved by other web sites or applications that have already accessed it.


If you select the Custom option, you can choose to share this information with specific groups of friends. These friends–and any app that they run, unless you adjust your application settings–will have access to this information, but your other friends will not.

This post quoted at length from What Does Facebook’s Privacy Transition Mean for You?
Copyright 2009 American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California
Reprinted with permission of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California

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Report: Facebook Game Addicts “Paid” to Oppose Health Care Reform



via Report: Facebook Game Addicts “Paid” to Oppose Health Care Reform.

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How genetics works

How genetics works

Why Evolution Is True

via How genetics works.

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Schneier vs. Schmidt on “privacy is for those who have something to hide.”

Fire Lane, Do Not Block

During an interview on CNBC December 3rd Google CEO Eric Schmidt said:

I think judgment matters. If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines — including Google — do retain this information for some time and it’s important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities.

Valleywag summarized this easy surrender of our basic rights in an article called Google CEO: Secrets Are for Filthy People.

So privacy is automatically wrong? If you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about (nothing to hide)?

Wrong! From the awesome Bruce Schneier:

Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we’re doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance.

We do nothing wrong when we make love or go to the bathroom. We are not deliberately hiding anything when we seek out private places for reflection or conversation. We keep private journals, sing in the privacy of the shower, and write letters to secret lovers and then burn them. Privacy is a basic human need.


For if we are observed in all matters, we are constantly under threat of correction, judgment, criticism, even plagiarism of our own uniqueness. We become children, fettered under watchful eyes, constantly fearful that — either now or in the uncertain future — patterns we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us, by whatever authority has now become focused upon our once-private and innocent acts. We lose our individuality, because everything we do is observable and recordable.


Too many wrongly characterize the debate as “security versus privacy.” The real choice is liberty versus control. Tyranny, whether it arises under threat of foreign physical attack or under constant domestic authoritative scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty requires security without intrusion, security plus privacy. Widespread police surveillance is the very definition of a police state. And that’s why we should champion privacy even when we have nothing to hide.

See the rest at “Schneier on Security” My Reaction to Eric Schmidt.

Thanks to Boing Boing Schneier vs. Schmidt on “privacy is for those who have something to hide.”.

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