Getting Ready For Act 2 Of The Great American Eclipse

It seems like only yesterday that the “Great American Eclipse” swept from coast to coast, and for those who were lucky enough to watch it from along the path of totality, it was a true life experience. No natural phenomenon can compete with the beauty of a total solar eclipse, and if there’s one thing I heard more than anything else in those golden moments after the Sun returned from behind the Moon, it was, “When’s the next one?” Everyone wanted to do it again, and for good reason.

Back in 2017, that question was kind of rhetorical; everyone knew the next eclipse to cross the United States was a mere seven years off. For me personally, the passage of time has not dampened my enthusiasm for eclipses one bit, and I suspect the feeling is mutual among the many people who gazed in wonder and childlike glee at the celestial proceedings of 2017. But except for the very lucky who live within the path of totality, mounting an expedition that optimizes the viewing experience takes preparation. Now that we’re a little less than a year away for the next one, it’s time to get geared up and make plans for the 2024 eclipse.

Where and When?

The 2017 eclipse’s “Great American Eclipse” moniker was well earned, as the continental United States was the sole beneficiary of the view. This time around, the US isn’t the only country along the path; Mexico and Canada will also get in on the fun. In fact, Mexico may well be the best place to watch the eclipse from, but more on that later. Continue reading “Getting Ready For Act 2 Of The Great American Eclipse”

An image of a Modulex brick (left) next to a LEGO brick right. Both are 4x2 studs, but the Modulex brick is much smaller at 20x10x5 mm vs the LEGO's 32x16x9.6 mm.

Modulex Is LEGO’s Long Lost Cousin

We love LEGO here at Hackaday, but did you know that LEGO spun off a parallel product line made for architectural models called Modulex?

[Peter Dibble] takes us on a deep dive through the history of Modulex, starting with Godtfred Kirk Christiansen┬áneeding a better way to model actual buildings after trying to design a house in LEGO. The LEGO brick’s 5:5:6 ratio proved challenging for modeling full-sized projects, so Modulex was conceived around a 1:1:1 ratio 5 mm cube. This change means Modulex is not compatible with LEGO System bricks.

As architectural styles morphed through the mid-20th Century, designs based around blocky shapes became passe, and Modulex pivoted to targeting factory and city planning customers. Products later branched out to include wall charts and Plancopy photocopy-able planners along with reconfigurable signage. Modulex (now ASI) still goes on as one of the biggest signage companies in the world, but discontinued the bricks in 2004. An attempt was made to revive Modulex bricks in 2015, but LEGO Group bought the company that had the rights to the bricks and has no intention of producing Modulex.

For more LEGO hacks, checkout this machine learning LEGO sorter or these giant LEGO-like pieces.

Continue reading “Modulex Is LEGO’s Long Lost Cousin”