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We are gradually getting the hang of
engineering: we can grow a variety of
tissues in a variety of shapes, and we are
beginning to understand how to create
mixed-tissue systems. Before long, we'll
be able to grow fairly complex biological
are all well and good, but
what about the toy market?
propose that we start developing
Legonimals - a modular animal
construction kit. Your starter kit would
muscle blocks in various sizes, tubular
bones, ball-and-socket joints, hinge-
joints, skin sheets, digestive tubes,
ganglia in three different sizes, a heart,
lungs, gills, a proboscis and a selection
ears (eyes would be purchased
at considerable cost). Each module has
standard mechanical couplings, and
output ports for blood (red and blue
coded) and neural connections. The box
in which they are packaged would
a docking station providing oxygenated
blood and minimal nutrients to all parts
kit, you could build (for example) a cute
little elephant-trunk would scuttle
sounds, or a combination fish/crane, or
compete with your friends to build the
Extension kits could
(besides eyes) a corpus callosum to link
multiple ganglia, alternative skin kits
(scales, feathers), balance organs
(important if you want to build the
Hopping Monopod), wings, endocrine
organs and receptors, luminescent
Hours of fun for all the
family. And remember, insist on genuine
Legonimal components - peace of mind
[coprocephalous, May 06 2005]
this stuff is kinda cool. [daseva, May 06 2005]
Legonimals - the game
I'd buy it. [wagster, May 12 2005]
Spore creature creator
(Game.) Build creature from parts, watch it hop around. More once Spore gets released. [jutta, Aug 03 2008]
||Mr. Potato Head zoo set, I suppose.
||If we are going to be doing tissue engineering, I propose a long tapered cylinder, for deep-seated problems. Minimal lint, please. Maybe lavender scented.
||Thought this was going to be a new Harry Potter lego marketing scheme. Lego Nimals.
||GM or not, a fantastic idea.
||//combination fish/crane// Wouldn't it eat itself?
a single G need be M'd to do this.
||Sketchy, unethical, magical, nonsensical fun. [+]
||[daseva] Yes, indeedy. Proper half-baking is really more an art than it is a science, I think.
||[justaguy], I do agree with you, though nothing is so black and white... There are many different people here, after all.
||[daseva] I must respectfully disagree. Zebras are, in fact, so black and white.
||Whose stripes are best explained via complexity theory and the cooresponding "edge of chaos" paradigms that border ever so beautifully between art and science.
||And it is, of course, this very same razor edge that allows us to theoretically build a not-so-black-and-white zebra.
||There is a well-known (well, not so
well-known or I wouldn't have to
explain it) optical illusion in which a
disc with black-and-white patterns is
spun. At certain speeds, it appears
coloured because the different colour
receptors respond differently to
So, a sufficiently
fast-moving swarm of zebras should, in
fact, appear gloriously technicoloured.
||Zebras stripes serve as some of the most peculiar camoflauge around. In the hot sun, the heat waves off the ground make the stripes wave noticeably. to predators around, the waving motion prevents them from singling out any single zebra to hunt. They percieve a herd of zebras as one large vibrating animal, something no lion wants to mess with.
||Is that really really truly true? I mean,
when humans see a herd of zebras with
heat-wavey stripes, they figure out
pretty quickly that it is a herd of zebras
with heat-wavey stripes. Now, I know
lions are not the brightest of creatures,
but I'd expect them to have figured this
out. Has anyone asked a lion if it thinks
it is seeing one huge vibrating stripey
||Yeah, his name was Steven Effingham, self proclaimed animal behavioralist. He performed optics studies on this species and realized they have fewer vertically sensitive cortical cells in their visual cortex.
||No, that part was bullshit. But, I'm pretty confident that I read about the zebra thing in a very credible source.
||"I explained the purpose of such markings, and how they could quite easily arise through simple natural selection:
Individually, Zebra stripes make the animal stand out dramatically against any background, except for that of a herd of Zebra. When the herd is together, the stripes serve to break up the outline of individuals, making it harder for predators to select any individual. Even though Zebras that become seperated from the herd are much more likely to be killed and eaten, the ones in the herd will be safer.
The purpose of camouflage is to hide the creature using it, by breaking up it's outline and blending it in with it's background. In the case of the Zebra, the herd creates it's own background."
||no mention of the heat waves here, but you get the point.
||"Zebras have stripes because the stripes camouflage a zebra and help them hide from their enemies. This is done by breaking the outline of a zebra when it moves through tall grass. Rather than receiving a full view of a zebra, a predator only sees a bunch of vertical lines. This effect is particularly accented on a hot day when heat waves are rising from the earth. "
||I agree that stripes break up the outline
and cause general confusion - just
watch a video of a herd of zebras
But, there are lots
of implicit (and often untestable)
assumptions about how animals
perceive, and they generally seem to
involve the animal in question being
remarkably stupid. If I were a lion, I
would have spent the last few million
years evolving a visual system that was
at least as good as ours when it came to
looking at zebras.
But we seem to have
diverged a little far from the topic.....
||Back to the subject in hand, this idea made me giggle sufficiently to photoshop a quick mock-up of what this might look like as a finished product (link). Apologies to [Basepair] if the 'G' word got on there somehow.
||[Wagster] - !!!!!!!!!!!! (or, as I believe it is
expressed in modern parlance - !!!
simultaneously impressed and flattered,
my favourite combinations of states. I
couldn't have put it better myself. I
would like to donate my small collection
of buns to you.
||This isn't GM but I'd put it under "WIBNI"
||There was a videogame exactely
like this. After creating the animals you
could release them into the 3d world
and they would survive based on what
parts you used et cetera.
||//his isn't GM but I'd put it under
"WIBNI"// So, on this basis, what isn't
WIBNI? I'd say it was more WIBAGII