John Farrier's Liked Blog Posts

Great Moments in Science--If Twitter Existed at the Time

Sweet, delightful Twitter--where the raw emotions and unformed thoughts of humanity are made available to the entire world. It has been in existence since only 2006, so few of the greatest minds have had access to it. But what if, instead, scientists across history had used it. What Twitter conversations would they have had?

Dean Burnett of The Guardian recreated 12 great moments from scientific history as Twitter conversations, including Erwin Schrödinger's short-lived cat kenneling service and Jonas Salk's development of a polio vaccine.

-via The Presurfer

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105-Year Old Woman Throws out the First Pitch at a Baseball Game

(Photo: EPA)

Agnes McKee, 105, of Oceanside, California threw out the first pitch on a game last Sunday between the San Diego Padres and the New York Mets. She says that "It is such an honor," but it's far from the greatest adventure that she's had. McKee grew up on a farm in Indiana. She and her late husband traveled to every state in the union and more than 30 countries.

She's still very active. Although McKee lives in an assisted living facility now, she does ballroom dancing every week and plays Wii bowling. She walks a mile every day and hopes to wean herself off her walker.

(Video Link)

McKee has spent months practicing, training her pitching arm for this event. As you can see, she did pretty well. The Washington Post notes that she did better than many younger, more physically fit celebrities, such as Olympian Carl Lewis.

-via VA Viper

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Picnic Table Folds into a Bench

(Video Link)

Isn't that clever? It's a simple mechanism--just fold and unfold. This table is apparently made by Decorações Timbó, a Brazilian furniture and interiors company. But the concept is not unique. You can find plans online. And now that I've just shown this video to my wife, she wants me to build her one.

-via Blazenfluff

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Scientifically Accurate Spider-Man

(Maximumble/Chris Hallbeck)

He's Spider-Man. Did you think that was just a costume? Nah, man. He was bitten by an actual spider. If you want to survive, you should have gotten caught by Charles Xavier. And you really don't want to get caught by Assassin Bug Man.

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Oral Alphabet

This novel sculptural piece by Takayuki Ogawa shows each letter of the alphabet in the form of a mouth shaped to pronounce that letter. Oral:phabet, as he calls it, is an exploration of the emotional communication of the mouth in movement:

“The mouth alone is able to express many emotions,” says Ogawa, speaking about the impetus for his project, which was presented as his graduating thesis last year from Tama Art University. “For example, in email we use the letter D to create the smiling emoticon :D. But what if we gave similar attributes to letters like B or N which are never used as expression forms?” The result, as you can see is a disturbingly realistic serious of mouths, lips, teeth and tongues, all hand-crafted from clay and mounted to a wooden frame.

(Photos: Kyoutaro Hayashi)

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A Millennium after Inventing the Game, The Iroquois Are Becoming a Lacrosse Superpower

(Photo: Iroquois Nationals)

The sport of Lacrosse is of Native American origin. The Iroquois (or Haudenosaunee), a collection of six Native American nations in the United States and Canada, claim to have invented it. They maintain their own national team known as the Iroquois Nationals. They are very good, especially considering that they're working from a small population base: about 120,000 people. In fact, they missed the 2010 World Championships only because they insisted on travelling under their own national passports, which are not internationally recognized.

For many Iroquois, success at lacrosse is a source of pride:

For these men the game is not always about winning. It’s very much rooted in culture and tradition. It is also referred to as the Creator’s Game, Hill said.  “I’ve been raised to play with a clear mind and to respect my opponents. We play for the Creator’s enjoyment because he gave it to us.”

“It’s a spiritual game and a medicine game first,” said Ward. “When you pick up your stick it’s got to be an extension of you.”

And those traditional sticks became a point of contention in Sunday’s game. In front of a sold-out crowd, Team Canada nosed the Nationals out by a goal scored with 19 seconds left in the game.

The Nationals use the traditional hickory sticks, which are heavier than the contemporary plastic and titanium sticks used by Team Canada. Following penalty calls against the Nationals during the game, the ESPN announcer contended that the wooden stick should be illegal in international competition, adding that it should never be used as a weapon.

Those hickory lacrosse sticks are controversial. Each one is four times heavier than a plastic and aluminum stick:

It’s “like a friggin' weapon. It nearly kills you,” a former Iroquois national player told Sports Illustrated in 2010. “I feel I'm more of a threat with a wooden stick. You can just see it in the other team,” Iroquois defenseman Kevin Bucktooth said. “When the ball swings around to your man, they never come in one-on-one.”

-via Popehat

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Adorable Superman and Wonder Woman Wedding

(Photo: Jacquelyn Philips Photography)

'Baby, you're my Wonder Woman.'

'Honey, you're a Superman to me.'

Reinesha and Devan must feel this way about each other because they had a superhero-themed wedding with Reinesha as the Princess of Themyscira and Devan as the Man of Steel. The entire wedding party was dressed appropriately for the event, including Wonder Woman eye makeup, Superman socks, and wedding rings for both of those characters. Reinesha and Devan are clearly DC superfans and deeply in love.

You can see more photos of their wedding here. I suggest that you do because the level of detail that they went to is really impressive.

They don't show the departure from the wedding, but we can safely assume that it was in an invisible jet heading for the Fortress of Solitude.

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Old Man Shocks Everyone at Wedding with His Dancing Skills

(Video Link)

He may need canes to walk, but not to dance! Watch this old man put the younger folks to shame with his mastery of the dance floor. You can join him, but I doubt you can keep up with his moves and speed.

-via Huffington Post

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This Is Going to Hurt Me a Lot More Than It's Going to Hurt You

(Fowl Language Comics/Brian Gordon)

The wise philosopher Bill Cosby once said, "Parents are not interested in justice. They want quiet." This was funny before I had children. Then it became funny and painful.

One of the characters in "Harrison Bergeron," a short story by Kurt Vonnegut, is handicapped with a device that shatters his attention every 20 seconds:

It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldn't think about it very hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn't think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.

George and Hazel were watching television. There were tears on Hazel's cheeks, but she'd forgotten for the moment what they were about.

On the television screen were ballerinas.

A buzzer sounded in George's head. His thoughts fled in panic, like bandits from a burglar alarm.

Being a parent is like being George.

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Woman Writes to Advice Columnist to Brag about How Awesome Her Boyfriend Is

(Image: unknown)

I think that the term for this note is "humblebrag." She knows that she's found an absolute keeper and is acting concerned as a way to show off her man. I can't really blame her.

Dear Perplexed: 

What should you do? Marry him, of course!


-via Pleated Jeans

P.S. For a while, I've suspected that Neatorama would do well to have an advice column. What do you think?

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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More Accurate Names for Everyday Objects

Doghouse Diaries has some excellent ideas. A beard really is just chest hair that overflows your chest as a result of your excessive manliness. And when it's early in the morning and the dog wants a walk, you can just use curtains for body coverage, right?

Reader challenge: in the comments, construct a grammatically correct sentence that uses all six of these terms.

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Awesome Father Builds BattleTech Treehouse for His Kids

(Photo: unknown)

A long time ago--way back in the 80s--there was a marvelous tabletop wargame called BattleTech. It was followed by a paper-and-pencil role-playing game called MechWarrior, which I played. That franchise now lives on in a series of highly successful computer games called MechWarrior.

The details that I can assemble are sketchy, but I gather that Jim Martin, a NASA scientist in Alabama, built this treehouse for his kids. It's modeled on the Mad Cat, a 75-ton mech of Clan origin. It is marked with the logo of ComStar, an organization modeled on the medieval Catholic Church.

-via Bored Panda

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Traditional Scottish Food: Deep Fried Mars Bars

(Photo: unknown)

Scotland is a land of refined tastes and thoughtfully-developed food traditions. (My ancestors were Scottish, so I know of what I speak.) Among their inventions are those now famous pillars of haute cuisine: haggis and Scotch eggs.

Yet the Scottish people are not the type to rest on their laurels. Among their more recent inventions is the deep fried Mars Bar. A 2012 article in BBC News describes how this culinary marvel has emerged from the fish and chip shops of Scotland:

Ahmed at Neptune's on Duke Street refuses to fry chocolate bars because "it turns the oil black and oil is very expensive."

But Mustapha from Denis's takeaway on the High Street is happy to oblige. He says he will deep-fry anything.

"That's my job", he says.

That's the spirit!

Mustapha says he sells one or two deep-fried Mars bars a day - more when the students are back at the nearby Strathclyde University residences.

He takes a Mars bar from the shelf, unwraps it, dips it in the same batter he uses for the fish and throws it in the fryer. A couple of minutes later he presents a soggy chocolate bar covered in batter.

The caramel squirts out when it is bitten. It is soft warm and sweet. Sickly sweet and fatty.

-via Ace of Spades HQ

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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My Little Pony Sword

DeviantART member jablechien marked a sword with the cutie mark and traditional icon of Princess Luna, a character on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He did so by applying acrylic paint with a toothpick.

(Image: Hasbro Studios)

Jablechien writes that he did this "for the glory of the New Lunar Republic!" This is a reference to a major body of fan fiction which places Luna (pictured above) and her sister Princess Celestia at war with each other.

My position on this as a brony: in keeping with the 34th Rule of Acquisition, stay neutral in this conflict and sell weapons to both sides.

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Man Gets Arrested, Uses His One Phone Call to Order Pizza as a Prank

(Photo: ms.akr)

A man in Corbin, Kentucky was arrested on the charge of shoplifting $36 worth of beer from a convenience store. When he was brought into the police station, he asked officers if he could use his cellphone to make a call. They agreed.

The suspect then called a local Domino's Pizza and ordered five pizzas in the name of the officer who arrested him, Captain Coy Wilson.

The police learned this when a Domino's delivery driver arrived shortly thereafter with five pizzas for "Officer Wilson."

Now the suspect is facing additional charges of "theft by deception, identity theft and impersonating an officer."

-via Jonah Goldberg

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What Your Favorite Batman Says about You

Last month, comedian Steve Patrick Adams delved into our psyches with an analysis of the significance of our favorite Bill Murray movies. Now he shows us the importance of who we address as Batman. You can see a larger version here.

It's unnecessary. There is only one Batman: Kevin Conroy, AKA "Real Batman." What does this say about me? Adams writes:

You enjoy surprising people with your unconventional taste. You also enjoy explaining your preferences for an unbearable length of time.

Well, um, I can't really argue with that. Once again, Adams's grasp of the human mind is stunningly perceptive.

-via Pleated Jeans

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Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby

(Video Link)

Charlie the beagle took a toy away from this baby girl. She cried at her loss. Charlie is not made of stone and apologized for his misdeed. He compensated her for her loss by piling toys on top of her. One of them (0:30) appears to be a video game controller. There's a dog who gets it!

-via Alyssa Milano

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

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Giant Inflatable Toad Appears in Chinese Park

(Photo: Chen Boyuan/

Chen Boyuan of reports that there is now a 22-meter (72 feet) tall inflatable toad in the lake in Yuyuantan Park in Beijing. Boyuan explains that the "Toad of Rejuvenation" is a Chinese cultural symbol that "brings blessings and fortune."

It also reminds visitors of Rubber Duck, a giant sculpture by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. That yellow rubber duck was a huge tourist attraction in 2013.

-via Inventor Spot

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Pinball Machine Desk

Tim Sway is an artist in Wallingford, Connecticut who specializes in taking old objects and turning them into useful pieces of furniture. Sway acquired a vintage Charlie's Angels pinball machine and turned it into a desk. He first removed the electrical components and cut a hole in one side. Then he added a drawer, a cabinet, and new sheet metal flashing. It's beautiful and classy! 

(Video Link)

Here's a time-lapse video showing how Sway built the desk.

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Essential Traffic Sign in Helsinki

(Photo: Petri Pusa)

The photoblog What The Helsinki?, which documents life in Finland's capital city, reports that this sign is "essential." I approve of the concept, but think that it could go further by permitting porcupines to use the human crosswalk.

-via Marilyn Terrell

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Queueing Strategy

(Video Link)

Long ago, I learned this rule: when you're in a line, stay in it. No matter how appealing the other line may be, it'll get comparatively worse as soon as you change. Dance with the girl who brung ya.

Stay in Queue, a short film by Ferdinand Lutz, shows a bear who doesn't understand this. It won first place at the film festival in Konstanz, Germany in 2008.

-via Nag on the Lake

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Han Solo Frozen in Carbonite Toilet Lid

No worries: he will not be permanently damaged. The Empire will compensate you if he dies. At least, until Jabba sits on him. That probably voids any warranty offered by eBay seller derbycovers, a maker of custom toilet lids. This airbrushed wood lid shows Captain Solo's full horror at the sight of you naked.

-via Technabob

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The Frustrating Sculptures of Fabian Bürgy

Do you ever feel like parts of your life were intentionally designed to go wrong? Fabian Bürgy knows your pain. He's a Swiss artist who lives in Bern. Bürgy takes ordinary objects and subjects them to a "slightly violent and disturbing process of transformation, misplacement and dysfunction of things." The results are exaggerated expressions of the frustration that we experience.

Continue reading

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USS Canterprise Is Delivering an Emergency Shipment of Cheap Beer

Etsy seller Neal Sasser of La Grange, North Carolina made this impressive model of the Enterprise using 70 Natural Light brand 24-ounce beer cans. He describes it as his masterpiece and the flagship of his crafting operation. What are its dimensions? Sasser says, "Specs = AWESOMENESS." That really does tell you all that you need to know.

I'm especially impressed with Sasser's realistic depiction of the shuttlecraft bay doors. 

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Kirk McGuire's Sea Creature Tables

Kirk McGuire is an artist in San Francisco. He works extensively in bronze. Although he creates a variety of animal images, it's his stunning sea animal tables that caught my attention. They look vibrant, as though they're moving toward you for the kill, ready to drag you under to your death in the abyss.

This one is subtle. I didn't catch the subject matter right away. It's a pair of moray eels nibbling at your knees.

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Until recently, this listing described this ring as being inscribed with the Lord's Prayer in Arabic. It is not not Arabic, but Elvish. It may have be an Elvish translation of the words from the Gospel of Matthew for all I know. Alas, I must confess my ingorance of that language.

But the customer reviews indicate that it is most likely the One Ring from The Lord of the Rings:

-via Fashionably Geek

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Where Do Babies Come From?

(Zach Weinersmith/SMBC Comics)

This is mostly correct, except that with the proper supplements, you can also breed parasitic larvae in spoonbills.

By the way, if you're trying to have a baby right now, then I have good news: the American wood stork was just taken off the endangered species list.

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Australian Government Quietly Revokes the Patent for the Wheel

In 2001, an Australian man named John Keogh designed a "circular transportation facilitation device." He patented it through his nation's intellectual property register. Since that time, this marvelous invention has become popularly known as the "wheel." It's a tremendously useful implement for moving objects across horizontal distances. Engineers have often applied it in combinations, so that it is now common to see devices with not only one wheel, but often two or more wheels.

Unfortunately for Keogh, he has lost the legal protection that his patent granted him and, no doubt, the impressive royalties that he gained by licensing it. Marc Abrahams of Beta Boston reports that the Australian government has quietly revoked Keogh's patent.

-via VA Viper

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Amazing Balloon Sculptures from the World Balloon Convention

(Photos: World Balloon Convention)

Starting in 2010, the Pioneer Balloon Company has hosted the annual World Balloon Convention. It's a celebration and competition of balloon art. This year, 800 artists from 54 nations traveled to Denver, Colorado to show off their skills. 31 instructors offered classes to visitors who wanted to learn to create amazing sculptures like these.

You can see more photos of balloon sculptures from the convention at Pleated Jeans.

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Awesome Snow White/Boba Fett Cosplay

(Photo: Estrada Photography)

(Photo: Estrada Photography)

(Photo: Fat Man Photography)

"Put the Evil Queen in the cargo hold. She's worth a lot of money to me."

Here's Amber Arden cosplaying as the fairest bounty hunter in the land. The huntsman tried to kill her, but he changed his mind when she changed him into dust. You can see more photos at her Facebook page.

-via Nerd Bastards

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Profile for John Farrier

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