John Farrier's Liked Blog Posts

Soft, Lightweight Exoskeleton Lets You Run 10% Easier

Jason Kerestes is a graduate student at Arizona State University. With support from DARPA, he has developed the AirLegs exoskeleton. It's a small machine worn on the back that decreases the metabolic cost of walking and running by about 10% versus not wearing the machine. 


(Video Link)

The machine helps people run by pulling on straps located just below the knee and on the shoes. Here is Kerestes demonstrating the second version of AirLegs, which pulls on just the lower legs.

-via Hack A Day


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Playful Letters That Pop off the Page

Cyril Vouilloz is an artist from Geneva, Switzerland who goes by the name RYSLEE. When he was a child, RYSLEE liked to draw from memory the logos of different brands. Later he got into graffiti and illustration. His work was always focused on letters as a form of art. So his artistic specialty is typography.

You can see this particularly well on his Instagram page. It’s filled with letters that he’s rendered with both paint and ink. RYSLEE is so good that his 3-dimensional hand drawn images of letters appear to leap off the paper.

-via Visual News


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Amazing Photo: A Layer of Ice off a Leaf

A couple winters ago, redditor SearonTrejorek snapped this incredible photo at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Beautiful!

SearonTrejorek smashed it on the ground after taking the photo. He should have instead heeded the advice of another redditor and sold it on eBay. That's worth at least a $100.

-via Twisted Sifter

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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The Conveyor Belt of Evolution

It's not the most scientifically accurate depiction of human evolution. But the Doma Collective's Involución Primate is a fun demonstration of millions of years of hominid history that turns on with a flip of a lever.

We've previously seen the Doma Collective's human bundle of energy bouncing around and giant robotic electrical tower. This kinetic sculpture is on display at the Galeria Logo in São Paulo, Brazil.


(Video Link)

-via Lustik


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Investigators Claim to Have Used DNA Evidence to Confirm the Identity of Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper is one of history's most infamous serial killers. He killed and mutilated at least five women in the Whitechapel area of London in 1888. He was never caught, though criminal investigators and historians have long considered several suspects, including Prince Albert Victor, a member of Britain's royal family.

Now investigators who are publishing a book on their findings assert that they know precisely who committed those murders: Aaron Kosminski, a Polish immigrant. They used DNA evidence to make this conclusion by matching semen left on a victim's bloody shawl with a living descendent of Kosminski's sister.

The author of Naming Jack the Ripper, Russell Edwards, is an amateur investigator. But his partner, Dr. Jari Louhelainen, is a a molecular biologist and professor at Liverpool John Moores University. Louhelainen writes in the Daily Mail:

Dr David Miller found epithelial cells – which line cavities and organs – much to our surprise, as we were not expecting to find anything usable after 126 years.

Then I used a new process called whole genome amplification to copy the DNA 500 million-fold and allow it to be profiled.

Once I had the profile, I could compare it to that of the female descendant of Kosminski’s sister, who had given us a sample of  her DNA swabbed from inside  her mouth.

The first strand of DNA showed a 99.2 per cent match, as the analysis instrument could not determine the sequence of the missing 0.8 per cent fragment  of DNA. On testing the second strand, we achieved a perfect  100 per cent match.

Because of the genome amplification technique, I was also able to ascertain the ethnic and geographical background of the DNA I extracted. It was of a type known as the haplogroup T1a1, common in people of Russian Jewish ethnicity. I was even able to establish that he had dark hair.

Now that it’s over, I’m excited and proud of what we’ve achieved, and satisfied that we have established, as far as we possibly can, that Aaron Kosminski is  the culprit.

-via Ace of Spades HQ

UPDATE 10/20/14: Dr. Jari Louhelainen may have made a serious error in his study.


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How to Fall out of a Truck with Perfect Grace


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"I meant to do that."

If the boy said this as soon as he landed, I'd be inclined to believe him.

Oh, you think that it was just a happy accident? Let's get him to do it again to prove that he's got the skill.

-via 22 Words


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Shakespearean Versions of Modern Songs


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Verily, the Bard of Avon need not limit himself to the stage. He is a songwriter of the highest quality. You can hear his work performed across the world by famous artists, including Lorde, Miley Cyrus, The Backstreet Boys, and Will Smith. You can read all of his greatest hits at Pop Sonnets, a blog updated weekly by Erik Didriksen.


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"Let It Go" from the movie Frozen.

Continue reading

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How Dress Sizes Work

The size 12 slacks are too small but you can't squeeze into the size 8 jeans? That's only because you don't understand how dress sizes work. There's a peculiar science to the fit, as Sarah Andersen explains.


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Pancake Stencils Bring Vader and Elsa to Your Breakfast

After looking at these pictures, my daughters asked me to make Frozen pancakes. I should be able to do that by just downloading Nathan Shields's stencils, then applying powdered sugar and cocoa. The stencils come in pairs so that you shade light and dark portions separately.

Shields is a famous pancake artist whose work we've featured extensively. I can't wait to see what he can create when he combines stencil work with his sculptural pancakes!

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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The Geography of NFL Fandom

NFL football fans can "like" teams on Facebook. That company produced this map showing which teams were liked more than any others in a county. You can see a larger version here.

It's interesting that the Raiders are still popular in Los Angeles, though they are now in Oakland. There's also a big swath of Cowboy country in Nevada. One county in central Missouri also has a lot of fans of the Dallas Cowboys. That looks like Pulaski County, if I'm reading the map correctly.

I would like to note that the depiction of Alabama is misleading. The state doesn't belong to the New Orleans Saints, but the Crimson Tide and the Tigers--college football teams.

-via Joe Carter


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Lost Monet Painting Found in Suitcase after 75 Year Absence


(Photo: BBC)

It's like the plot of a movie, but it's also a true story.

Though he was Jewish, Hildebrand Gurlitt was an art dealer approved by the government of Nazi Germany. During World War II, he collected and privately hoarded approximately 1,280 works of art, most of them looted from Nazi-occupied nations. This was a huge number. For comparison, consider that the National Gallery in London has only 2,000 pieces.

Hildebrand Gurlitt survived the war and kept his collection a secret. As he was dying in 1956, he gave his 24-year old son Cornelius Gurlitt the duty of maintaining this collection. The younger Gurlitt did so. He never married and was a recluse after his parents and sister died. He was devoted to one task: keeping the huge art collection a secret inside his apartment in Munich.

(Photo of Cornelius Gurlitt via The Times)

Cornelius Gurlitt kept everyone out of his dingy apartment, cramped with great works of art, until 2012. Then police searched his home after he was caught trying to bring a large amount of cash into Switzerland. Gurlitt agreed to help government investigators find the owners of the artworks in his collection.

This past May, Gurlitt died in a hospital at the age of 81. Hospital officials recently turned over a suitcase that he had brought with him. Inside that suitcase was a painting, which is pictured above, by the great French impressionist Claude Monet. It shows the Waterloo Bridge over the Thames in London. This treasure has been missing for 75 years.

-via Ace of Spades HQ


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Dog Is So Excited That Football Is Back


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George the dog loves sports with a great passion. He's not particular about which ones. So as long as humans are running around with a ball, he's game. We've previously seen him bouncing off the walls with joy while watching the World Cup. He's also a fan of tennis. Now he's all worked up over the opening of the football season.

George's owner toys with his emotions by switching the television to watch The King of Queens. A suggestion for George: when he steps away from his chair, steal the remote control.

-via Huffington Post

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Star Wars: The Jedi Doth Return by William Shakespeare

And gentlemen on Coruscant now a-bed shall think themselves accursed they were not here. Therefore do not miss the conclusion to William Shakespeare's magnum opus, Star Wars. His third play in the series, The Jedi Doth Return, is now available from Quirk Books.

We have previously seen the Bard's first two plays: Verily, A New Hope and The Empire Striketh Back. Now in this thrilling conclusion inscribed by Ian Doescher, Lord Vader and Master Luke engage in one last battle. You haven't lived until you've read Elizabethan Ewokese.


(Video Link)

Here is the trailer for the play, which includes selections from a stage production of it.

-via Blame It on the Voices


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Electronic Chopsticks Test Food for Safety


(Image: Baidu)

In the past few years, food contamination scandals have alarmed people in China. In response, the company Baidu has developed chopsticks that test for purity food touched on the tips. When the chopsticks are linked to a smartphone app, they provide data about the oils detected in foods. The chopsticks can determine whether the oil is fresh or recycled--the latter of which may be toxic.

Baidu says that its chopsticks will be also be able to determine the PH levels in food and the calorie values. At a recent exhibiton at a technology conference, Baidu CEO Robin Li referred to his chopsticks as "a new way to sense the world."

-via Marginal Revolution


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Sir Jarlsberg Is the Renaissance Fair Rapper


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This is Sir Jarlsberg. Like chap-hop rapper Mr.B, he's a man out of time. Sir Jarlsberg is from the European Middle Ages and he's here to lay some class on us. He has style, grace, and a mastery of the musical genre known as hark hop. Women adore him and men envy him.

So heed his words in this song "Teach Thee How to Curtsy" from his album Hark Thou. He'll show you how to curtsy in a way that will mark you out as a person of sophistication. Afterward "all thy maidens [will] love thee."

-via Kotaku


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House Design Concept Hangs off the Edge of a Cliff

A couple in Australia owned a piece of land on the southwestern coast of Australia. They wanted a unique vacation home design for it, so they approached Modscape, an architectural firm near Melbourne. Modscape produced this design concept: a house that's hanging off the edge of the cliff, giving a panoramic and perhaps terrifying view of the ocean.

Modscape proposes anchoring the house to the cliff with steel pins driven into the cliff face. Prefabricated modules would hang off the pins. Residents would enter the home through the carport, which is at surface level. An elevator provides access to lower levels which offer an unobstructed view of the raging seas below.

All of this sounds really expensive. Perhaps the owners should try to find a builder who's willing to improvise and user cheaper materials.

-via Inhabitat


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Adorable Baby Photo Shoot Ends Predictably

(Photos: Kirsty Grant/Rex)

Professional photo shoots of babies are cute. Leaving them naked for the shoot gives the images a natural ambience. That's probably what Al Ferguson was looking for when Kirsty Grant photographed him with his newborn son Ted.

But once you become a parent, black and white images of naked babies aren't charming. They're alarming. A baby without a diaper is a time bomb. Which is precisely what Ferguson learned:

And Ted detonated just as the photographer snapped her shutter. His father wrote:

During the shoot I felt his tummy muscles tense up and in that moment I knew what was about to happen. Unfortunately, it was just a moment and before I could do anything Ted exploded from his bum.

A warning to Mr. Ferguson: you have seen only the beginning of it. There will many, many more poop explosions in your life.

Look at the satisfied grin on that baby's face!

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Giant Rabbit Naps on an Aircraft Hanger


(Photo: Associated Press)

The Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman is well-known for his enormous public sculptures of animals, such as ducks, rabbits, snails, and toads. This particular rabbit is in Taoyuan, Taiwan. He's napping on an airport hangar at a defunct naval base. Hofman's plastic and wood bunny would stand 82 feet tall if he stood up.

Taiwan's government commissioned the sculpture for the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, an event focusing on the cycle of moon. Moon Rabbit, a figure in folklore throughout East Asia, is a central part during the festival. He is a traditional symbol of kindness and generosity. The Wall Street Journal shares two tales of this rabbit:

Of the many folktales associated with the festival that celebrates the brightest full moon of the year, one involves three fairies who disguise themselves as miserable old men and ask some animals for food. When they approach the rabbit, it has nothing to offer the “old men” but instead leaps into a blazing fire and cooks itself for them. The fairies are so moved by the rabbit’s sacrificial spirit that they grant it immortal residence in the “moon palace.”

Another tale says the rabbit was a pet to Chang Er, who was forced to leave her husband on earth after accidentally swallowing a pill of immortality and became a goddess on the moon.

-via Nothing to Do with Aborath


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This Skatepark Is Also a Functional Sundial

(Photo via Web Urbanist)

What time is it? If you're at this skate park in Lugano, Switzerland, you don't have to check your watch or phone. Just look down into the pipe and see where the shadow is. The architects at the Moscow-based Zuk Club designed it like a sundial. As the shadow moves across the park, it notes the hour on an array of vibrant colors. You can see more photos at Web Urbanist.

-via Marilyn Terrell


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Espresso Served in Chocolate-Covered Ice Cream Cones

(Photo: Jean Trinh/LAist)

Alfred Coffee & Kitchen is a cafe on Melrose Place in Los Angeles. It offers a novel take on the espresso shot. You can buy your happiness fuel in little ice cream cones that have been dipped in chocolate.

It's like a chocolate-chip cookie shot, except with a lot more caffeine. In fact, I don't see why espresso couldn't be served in chocolate chip cookie shots, preferably ones dipped in chocolate, then wrapped in a waffle ice cream cones, then dipped in chocolate again.

-via First We Feast

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Funny: All the Comments on Every Recipe Blog


(Photo: Robert S. Donovan)

There's a common proverb on the internet: "Don't read the comments." Often online comments may make you despair for humanity.* This is especially true for recipe blogs, where comments commonly demonstrate an inability to follow instructions or general objections to the concept of food. Mallory Ortberg of The Toast has helpfully listed all of them so that you need no longer gaze into the abyss. Here is a sampling:

“I didn’t have any eggs, so I replaced them with a banana-chia-flaxseed pulse. It turned out terrible; this recipe is terrible.”

“Could you please give the metric weight measurements, and sometime in the next twenty minutes; I’m making this for a dinner party and my guests are already here.”

“Have you thought about making a sugar-free version of this?”

“Can you give us a calorie breakdown for this?”

“a warning that if you cook this at 275°F for three hours instead of at 400°F for twenty-five minutes its completely ruined. do you have any suggestions?”

“I didn’t have buttermilk, so I just poured baking soda into a container of raspberry yogurt. It tasted terrible.”

“If you use olive oil for any recipe that’s cooked over 450°F, the oil will denature and you will get cancer. This post is irresponsible. You should only use grapeseed oil you’ve pressed yourself in a very cold room.”

“I just started Paleo yesterday, and I’m wondering if there’s a way to make this without the ingredients.”

“Have you considered making a version of this margherita pizza for your readers who are trying to avoid gluten, dairy and nightshades? What if I shoved a roll of basil leaves in my mouth, do you think that would taste good?”

“If you don’t soak the seeds for at least fourteen hours before using, the phytic acid will give you cancer. Just thought you should know.”

-via Stella Parks

*This does not apply to Neatorama comments, which are left by readers who are thoughtful, wise, insightful, and good-looking.


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This Artist Has Turned Rice Krispie Treats into an Art Form

Jessica Siskin, an artist in New York City, creates Rice Krispie treats that will make you pause and stare in wonder before gobbling them up. They're not just desserts, but works of art. From her studio dubbed "Mister Krisp," she takes custom orders, making special treats for birthdays and other celebrations.

My suggestion: a 1:1 scale sculpture of Clayton Rindlisbacher, the inventor of Rice Krispies.

Continue reading
We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Jenga Dog Balances a Treat on the End of a Straw


(Video Link)

This talented pooch is ready for the circus! He remains perfectly still with a treat on his nose and another one precariously balanced on the end of a straw. When he is released, he immediately leaps into action. Good dog!

-via Boing Boing

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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Baristas Helps Man with Autism Develop Speaking Skills

(Photo: Lancaster Online)

Aaron Seldomridge, 22, of Ephrata, Pennsylvania, has autism. It's very difficult for him to communicate verbally--especially with strangers. When his mother takes him to restaurants to interact with people, Seldomridge generally uses a picture menu rather than speaking.

The baristas at his local Starbucks have a picture menu, but were willing to go further. They worked with him to develop his social skills so that he could order his chai independently. Seldomridge began by coming in with his mother and using a picture menu to get chai. Now he comes in by himself and speaks his order out loud.


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It's made a difference to him and his parents. Lancaster Online reports:

Aaron’s regular chai runs take just minutes, but they leave a lasting impact: He gets a chance to practice new skills and feel connected to a green-aproned community committed to helping him grow.

Aaron’s parents, Janiece and Jeffrey, of Narvon, especially appreciate seeing their son treated like a “regular” by people who don’t look at him strangely if he flaps his arms or shrieks with excitement.

-via Huffington Post


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The Most Evil Rug

Try to walk over this rug without unconsciously tripping over it. Just try.

Then search for a hidden staircase. The rug ties the room together, but there's a good chance that there's a secret passage down there.

-via Tastefully Offensive | Photo: PaperkutRob

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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But You Need an Electric Mustard Dispenser in the Dashboard

Chris Hallbeck has excellent advice. Eat a full meal before heading to the dealership lest you accidentally purchase an ice cream truck as soon as you see one. And avoid the free samples offered by the salesman. Just because a side view mirror feels good in your hand isn't a good reason to buy an entire sports car.  


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Voltron Key Replica Flash Drive

Voltron: Defender of the Universe was one of the first anime series to thrive on American television. It was my first encounter with anime when I was a child. I instantly recalled it when I saw this robot lion key made by Randy Padama. The five pilots who formed the Voltron Force used them to unlock the ancient robot lions that assembled to form the giant robot Voltron.

To the best of my knowledge, Padama's replicas won't do that (though you are welcome to experiment), but they will keep 16 gigabytes of information saved for you and accessible through a USB port.


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The Decor in This Hospital Is Unlike Any Other

We've seen some amazing children's hospital rooms before. But this elephant-shaped MRI machine isn't in a children's hospital. The Edogawa Hospital in Tokyo is for adults, too, and handles a full range of medical services, including surgery. The design, but inside and out, pops with fun illustrations, shapes, and textures. The purpose of these features is to make a hospital visit fun, rather than dreary and depressing.

You can see many more photos at Kotaku.


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Artist Creates Coffee Brands That We Wish Existed

Illarion Gordon, an artist in Russia, creates "melancholic and existentialist designs that would never exist in real life from real coffee brands." That's a real shame because I can definitely see an Adventure Time-brand coffee succeeding. It would be ideal for rising in the morning and eating with bacon pancakes for breakfast.

We shall never know for sure what happened to Princess Coffeebean. But we know that she would want us to enjoy these rich, delicious coffee grounds that we found on her throne.

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Woman's Hand Drawn License Plate Fails to Deceive Police

(Photo: Massachusetts State Police)

A woman from Springfield, Massachusetts had had her license plates revoked. Normally, this would prevent a person from driving a car on the road. But this woman had a cunning plan: she would draw a license plate on cardboard using colored pencils. The police would never notice the difference.

Unfortunately for her, one eagle-eyed state trooper did spot the unusual plate while patrolling Interstate 391. He pulled her over and inspected the plate. He determined that it was a counterfeit.

The woman was charged with, among other violations, driving with a revoked registration and without a driving license.

-via Dave Barry


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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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