Remember LEGO’s announcement that they were producing a minifig set featuring female scientists? Well, that’s now a real thing, and you can buy it, like I just did!
This build was originally inspired by the Lego X-Pod sets. While trying to find a use for the pod itself, I realized that it was very close to a deep petri dish. I used a planetary gear system to allow both coarse and fine adjustment of the objective “lens”. A little more tinkering and I connected the focus to a magnifying glass and fiber optic light in the eyepiece, so adjusting the focus knobs would actually bring the writing on a Lego stud in and out of focus.
via Geeky Gadgets
But how are they supposed to turn the knobs with those useless U-shaped hands?!?
LEGO has announced that they will produce a female scientist minifigure set!
After last year’s release of a single female scientist minifigure by LEGO, designer Alatariel Elensar submitted concepts for a full minifigure set of female scientists to the LEGO Ideas competition. This week, after more than ten thousand people voted for Elensar’s project, LEGO announced that they are putting the set into production for late summer 2014!!
The figures above (still concepts, not the final sets) are doing what female scientists do, devoid of pink, and full of awesome. As Maia Weinstock notes at Scientific American in her rundown of the LEGO project, toy companies have an enormous amount of power to determine what children think, helping them form their ideas about how the world is, and how it should be.
I’m proud of my favorite toy company for doing their part to inspire young minds. Sounds like we’ve got the perfect holiday gift idea, for young girls AND boys :)
It’s back-ordered for weeks. Does that bother me? Nope. BOUGHT IT.
Step one: Create Lego replica of yourself.
Step two: Attach said replica to a high-powered balloon which flies 90,000 feet above the surface. Let it fly.
Step three: Take pictures with an HD camera attached to the balloon.
Step four: Find balloon miles from its start point and send the story to the papers.
* — OK, OK, the Lego form of yourself
**Not technically in space, since 90,000 feet is only about a quarter of the way to the 100-kilometer Kármán line that officially represents the boundary between Earth and space, but let’s not split Lego hairs here.
Lego unveils a new female scientist figurine, who looks normal and well-adjusted and is even wearing lab gloves. This is a huge step in the right direction for the company that was behind Lego Friends, which was not exactly an A+ in the feminism department (see this video and this video).
Read Maia Weinstock’s take on the new Lego scientist at Scientific American (she waited in line to get that figurine up there).
I recently released a miniature Lego Joe as a limited edition of one.
But using tiny loops of DNA as “bricks”, Harvard (of course) scientists have developed a Lego-like set of nucleic acid building blocks. The sequences in each loop only stick to certain neighbors in certain orientations, just like real Legos. Those rules are defined by all the standard base-pairing rules that you learned in biology class. You can see some of the shapes that they’ve developed above.
Ed Yong digs deep into the blocks at Not Exactly Rocket Science.
LEGO Turing Machine
A day late for the father of computer science’s centennial celebration, but still amazing. A team from the Netherlands build a working Turing machine out of Mindstorms components. Watch it compute 2+2…
More at Wired, plus some how-to.