John Farrier's Liked Blog Posts

After 50 Years in High Heels, Barbie Will Finally Get to Wear Flats


(Photo: Barbie Fantasies)

After over five decades of wearing wedges and stilleto heels, the always fashionable Barbie will get articulated ankles. These will permit the doll to wear different types of shoes comfortably. This is the latest change thanks to Mattel's new "Fashionista" line. CTV reports:

It’s the first time in the iconic doll’s history that she will be able to step out in relative comfort. Past incarnations have always featured heeled-shoe accessories for the ever-youthful party girl, whose feet were perpetually frozen in an angled position.

But Mattel figured it only made sense that the new “Film Director Barbie” would wear “running-around-the-set flats.” Don’t worry though, she can still put on a pair of heels for the movie premiere, the ad reads.

-via The Mary Sue


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How to Build a Flamethrower Ukulele

Pictured below is Coma-Doof Warrior, a character in the movie Mad Max: Fury Road. He's noted for his fire-spitting guitar and wearing his dead mother's face as a mask.

Naturally, Make contributor Caleb Kraft wants a flamethrowing musical instrument. But he prefers the ukulele to the guitar, and so built one. You can watch a step-by-step video describing how to make your own here.

Kraft notes that his design could be scaled up to a guitar or any other stringed instrument. I suggest going all the way with a flamethrower octobasse, which is a 12-foot tall fiddle.


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Toy CT Scanner for a Hospital Waiting Room


(Photo: Creative Arts)

This is really clever! Children can be frightened of the lengthy and uncomfortable process of a CT scan. That's why some hospitals have toy versions in waiting rooms. These can help kids get used to the experience. This particular model by the design firm Creative Arts comes with 3 plush toys. When the child sends a stuffed animal through the scanner, the screen displays cartoon images of the internal organs.

-via reddit

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Robot Teacher at Work in China

(Photo: China News)

This is Xiao Mei, a teacher at Jiujiang University in southwestern China. Although you may not be able to tell from the photo, she's not human. She's a robot built by researchers at that school, allegedly after only a month of work. According to China News, she can deliver a lecture, use PowerPoint, and interact with students. I can't find a listing for her at Rate My Professors.

-via Marginal Revolution


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24 Awesome Donuts to Help You Celebrate National Donut Day

(Photo: Kathryn)

There are times of the year on which tradition demands that we cease from our work to enjoy the fruits of our labors. Yes, Christmas and New Year's Day are important. But let us not forget National Donut Day, which is today. To mark the occasion, Incredible Things rounded up photos of the most artful donuts you've ever seen, including these bacon and egg donuts by Dixie Donuts in Richmond, Virginia. Resident donut artist Carol Brown whipped up these wonders that look like a complete breakfast. Check out the rest at Incredible Things.


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The Second Most Spoken Languages around the World

The most common spoken language in Brazil is Portuguese. Then it's German, which is spoken by about 3 million people. Olivet Nazarene University in Olivet, Illinois created an interactive map of the world that shows which languages are the second most widely spoken in each country. The author also describes the prevelance of English around the world:

While many people would guess that English is the second most commonly spoken language in a majority of countries, that’s only true for some areas. For example, despite its proximity to North America, the only Central American countries to list English as their second most spoken language are Costa Rica and Panama. Similarly, in South America, Chile is the only country to have English as its second most spoken language, which just over 10% of the population claims to speak as a primary language. Throughout the rest of South America, regional indigenous languages are commonly the second most spoken, replacing English as a second language. […]

Interestingly, the area of the world where English is the second most commonly spoken language is Asia, especially Southeast Asia. Countries such as Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, and India are becoming increasingly common, especially as speakers of various ethnic languages and dialect use English as a common language. Many schools in Japan and South Korea also teach English from a very early age, increasing its prevalence throughout the country.

-via The Presurfer


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Scientist Proposes to His Girlfriend in the Notes of a Journal Article

(Image: Julius T. Csotonyi/Royal Tyrrell Museum)

This may be a risky proposal approach, as it assumes that someone other than the editor and peer reviewers will actually read the article--especially the notes. But for paleontologist Caleb M. Brown of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta, it was completely successful. Lorna O'Brien said yes!

Brown's article in Current Biology was about the dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi, of which an artist rendering is pictured above. Here's Brown's smooth move in the acknowledgements portion:

Retraction Watch reports that the editors of Current Biology were aware of the proposal (as one would hope). This is the first time that the publication has printed such a romantic overture.

-via BuzzFeed


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The Original Theme Song to Gilligan's Island Was a Goofy Calypso Ballad Written The Night before It Was Due


(Video Link)

As we've previously noted in 17 Facts You Might Not Know about Gilligan's Island, producer Sherwood Schwartz had to make many changes to the premise of the show to get it on the air. Studio executives were very skeptical that it could work. At one point, an executive known as "the Smiling Cobra" told Schwartz that he had to turn in the lyrics to a theme song for the show . . . the next morning! Schwartz was no song writer, but he realized that with a deadline like that, he'd have to do the work himself:

I has several friends who were songwriters, but who could I call at 8:00 p.m. to write a song by morning? I would have to explain the whole idea of the show and get someone to incorporate in the lyrics all the exposition I wanted in the song. No, that was hopeless.

Ignoring the fact that I was trying to do something that couldn’t possibly be done, I began to write the lyrics for Gilligan’s Island.

The result was this odd song. Unlike the song which eventually aired, you can't sing the words to "Amazing Grace" to its melody. Also, the Professor, Mary Ann, and Ginger have different professions. You can read more at Dangerous Minds (content warning: foul language).


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A Breadknife That Toasts as It Slices


(Video Link)

Colin Furze, the mad British inventor, must be clearing a space in his home for his Nobel Prize. He’s sure to win one after building the FurzoToasto—an electric knife that cuts through bread and toasts it at the same time. It uses electric power to make the blade extremely hot. Furze uses it to easily cut through a loaf of bread. He can also toast pre-sliced bread by scraping the knife blade over it.

Does the FurzoToasto seem a bit dangerous to you? Then you may wish to try Furze’s more mundane inventions, such as jet-powered bicycle or his pneumatic Wolverine claws.

-via Laughing Squid


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Bird Builds Nest, Lays Egg in Man’s Frying Pan

(Photo: Stian Fjelldal)

Ah, fresh eggs! There’s nothing like that taste. And in this case, the service was perfect. A pigeon laid her egg directly in this man’s frying pan!

Stian Fjelldal of Norway found that a pair of pigeons got into his apartment, pooped everywhere, and built a nest in a frying pan that he had left on his stove.  He recorded the encounter on video, which you can watch here.

Fjelldal hasn’t decided what he’s going to do with the egg. He works with the Norwegian Environment Agency and may bring the egg in for testing to detect pollutants.

-via Nothing to Do with Aborath


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This Guy Is So Good at the Saxophone That He Doesn’t Need a Saxophone to Play the Saxophone


(Video Link)

This man, allegedly found in a Liverpool pub, is a master of the saxophone. Watch him play the opening bars to Henry Mancini’s Pink Panther theme, even though he doesn’t have a saxophone. I’d like to see him lead a jazz band.

-via 22 Words


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X-Wing Coffee Table

Master woodworker Barry Shields has become internet famous for making coffee tables that look like the Enterprise from Star Trek. But he’s more than just a Trekkie. He also loves Star Wars, so he built a table that looks like an X-wing fighter. It took him 6 months of work, off and on. It’s sturdy, elegant, and comes with a pre-installed R2 unit to assist on complicated missions. Shields offers it for sale at a price of $5,500.

-via Home Crux


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A Circular Rainbow at Niagara Falls


(Video Link)

Visitors to the Skylon Tower, an observation tower in Ontario that overlooks Niagara Falls, spotted this incredible meteorological find: a rainbow that arced a full 360⁰ degrees. Watch the video to see the full span. It’s a highly unusual event, but another one was photographed in 2013 in Australia.

-via The Geek Twins


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A Swim Cap for Beards

(Photo: Mikael Buck)

Some people wear swim caps to protect their hair from the ravages of water, to keep hair out of pool filters, or reduce water drag while racing. The first of these is, of course, a concern for men with high-grade beards. They don’t want their perfectly designed facial arrangements to be harmed.

So it was inevitable that Virgin Trains, a British railroad company, would invent a device to protect the beards of swimmers. The beard cap is a Lycra swim cap that includes a wrap for beards and mustaches. PSFK reports that it’s a necessity for bearded athletic swimmers:

Virgin Trains, the official train partner to the Great North Swim, commissioned research after reading debates on swimming forums about beards causing drag. The findings revealed that 12 percent of men connect their beard to slower swim times and nearly a quarter feel their beards hinder their sports performance. Sporting men reported the reasons for this, with 11 percent saying their beard is irritating, 32 percent claiming it is a source of discomfort, and 42 percent saying they find it distracting.

-via Hopes & Fears


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A Dog Plays Super Mario Bros.

We’re living in a Nintendo world and this dog is totally cool with it. In this video from the marketing channel Petcentric, a German Shepherd journeys from the Mushroom Neighborhood in search of his bone. Hopefully we can someday see him play Mario Kart, too.


(Video Link)

-via Gifsboom


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What Happens When You Launch a Rocket under an Ice-Covered Lake

I’ve never done this, but now I really want to! Of course, I’ll have to wait until winter and go someplace other than Texas. But the satisfying thud at the end of this quick video will make the journey worth it. YouTube user Patrick Kienzler, who enjoys blowing things up with rockets, understands.


(Video Link)

-via Gizmodo


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Japanese Elevators May Soon Get Toilets

(Photo: Keng Susumpow)

Why would you need a toilet on an elevator? Because of earthquakes. Japan has them frequently. People can get stuck in elevators and can be forced to wait for long periods of time to be rescued.

That’s a problem if you have to go.

During the 8.1-magnitude earthquake in Tokyo last Saturday, 14 people got stuck in elevators. Some of them had to wait up to 70 minutes before getting out. Many elevators in Japan already provide water, blankets, and boxes that can serve as toilets if absolutely necessary, and trapped people can make use of them.


(Video Link)

Elevator toilets have already existed for years, such as the bucket seat featured in the video above. But now the Japanese government wants to make running water available to people trapped in elevators for extended periods of time.

-via The Geek Twins


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Family Helps 90-Year Old Man Fulfill His Bucket List by Crashing a Car through a Garage Door


(Video Link)

What have you accomplished in your life? What must you accomplish in order to feel satisfied with the summation of your experience on earth? This is your bucket list. For Walter Thomas, 90, of Woodstock, Illinois, this list consisted of one task: backing a car out of a garage without opening the door first.

His family convinced a body shop to donate an SUV for this purpose. One of his relatives provided a garage with a closed door for the special event.

-via Dave Barry


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State Lottery Offers a 20-Year Supply of Bacon

(Photo: Lara604)

The state-operated lottery of Indiana is offering a jackpot prize of 20 years of bacon.

Well, that’s what officials are saying, anyway. The prize is actually 20 years of bacon paid in $250 annual installments, so that’s actually more like 20 months of bacon for a normal person.

One can only hope that the state would also offer a lump sum payment. Not all of us can wait 20 years for that much bacon.

-via Dave Barry


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30 Days of Baby Bunnies Growing up

Ashraful Arefin is a photographer in Dkaha, Bangladesh. For the past year, he’s owned two rabbits. The couple recently welcomed a litter of four kits into the world. So Arefin has been busy photographing the baby rabbits, documenting their lives from the day they were born. He writes:

Each and every day from their birth was special to me. Watching them growing up everyday, opening their eyes for the first time, wiggling their tiny feet… everything was just so special and magical to me! I thought I’d try to capture those moments and share the happiness with other people.

Thank you, Mr. Arefin! Go forth to Bored Panda and see the baby bunnies. You can also view more of his rabbit photos on his Facebook page.

-via Lost at E Minor

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

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7 Unique Tattoo Styles from Around the World

(Photo: Peter Klashorst)

The Sak Yant tattooing tradition from Cambodia is shrouded in mystery. The ink is said to contain snake venom, among other ingredients:

Sak Yant (or Sak Yan and Yantra) were tattoos engraved by Buddhist monks, Brahman masters and Ruesi ascetics into the warriors who sought protection and strength in battle. These are believed to give the warrior good health, luck, strength, and protection against evil. The Sak Yant artist punctures the skin with the use of a sharpened long steel rod or bamboo called mai sak dipped in ink that may be made of snake venom, charcoal, herbs, or cigarette ash. But no one really knows what’s in the ink since it’s a secret only known by the monks.

This is 1 of 7 tattoo styles from around the world rounded up by When on Earth. Other nations among the contributors are the Philippines, Japan, New Zealand, and China.


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This Amazing Dog Can Do a Handstand on a Rope


(Video Link)

Ozzy is fantastic! He and his human, Nick, live in Norwich, UK. He’s a cross between a Welsh Border Collie and Kelpie. Ozzy holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest crossing of a tightrope by a dog. You can watch him set that record here.

In this video, he’s doing a handstand, which is something that we’ve seen before. But he’s doing it on a tightrope! Ozzy can also do a parkour trick that Nick calls tree bouncing.

-via Nothing to Do with Aborath

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

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First Contact

(Corey Giacco/Down the Upward Spiral)

Please delete me from your mailing list. I am not interested in your products and/or services.

(After all—it’s not like we want to talk to meat.)

-via Blame It on the Voices


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How World War II Made America Literate

(Photo: NPR)

Before World War II, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby was out of print and almost unknown—a forgotten work of a previous generation. Then, in 1945, it was republished for distribution to American soldiers. Now The Great Gatsby is regarded as a treasure of American literature.

World War II had a profound impact on American culture, including what Americans read and that they read at all. In an article in Commentary, Terry Teachout describes how government programs to provide books to soldiers massively increased American reading habits and middlebrow culture. The US government saw providing interesting books to soldiers as essential to maintaining morale:

The solution was to distribute paperbacks, which had been introduced to the United States by Pocket Books in 1939. At a time when most hardbacks cost two dollars or more—$33 in today’s dollars—Pocket Books printed 38 million 25-cent paperbacks in 1943 alone. Its success persuaded other publishers that it would make commercial sense to work with the military on a program to print books for soldiers, the assumption being that to do so would create a new market for inexpensive paperback reprints after the war. Thinking along closely similar lines, Time, the New Yorker, and other magazines created miniaturized “pony editions” for servicemen.

Thus, the Armed Services Editions, which were published by a civilian organization called the Council on Books in Wartime—compact, oblong, two-column-wide paperbacks that were designed to slip easily into the pockets of a uniform. They were sold to the military for six cents per volume.

These Armed Services Editions (ASEs) altered the thinking and literary experiences of a generation of American men:

Witness, for instance, the testimony of a G.I. who wrote to Helen MacInnes, the author of the espionage novel While Still We Live, long after the war. According to MacInnes: “He had read little until [the ASE edition] got him enjoying literature. From there, he read constantly, and after his service went to college. He ended with a Ph.D. and sent me a copy. It was dedicated to me, the writer of the novel that started his reading.” […]

No less suggestive was the experience of the New Yorker, whose wartime “pony edition” jumped in circulation from 20,000 in 1943 to 150,000 in 1944. The magazine’s domestic circulation, which had been 171,000 in 1941, reached 325,000 a decade later, a leap that the editors attributed to the fact that so many servicemen had read it for the first time in the pony edition. Most important of all, commercial mass-market paperback reprints—not just of mysteries but of every possible kind of book, lowbrow and highbrow alike—became ubiquitous after 1945, undoubtedly because of the popularity of the ASEs among returning servicemen.

-via VA Viper


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Don't Text While Walking or You Could Get Bitten by a Snake

(Image: ABC 10)

Whether you're in the wilderness, out on the street, or even in the privacy of your own home, you're in danger. If you stare at your phone, you're just asking to get bitten by a snake.

Tim Malone, a skating rink DJ in Chickasha, Oklahoma, learned that the hard way. He was walking through town to work while paying attention to his phone, not his surroundings. As a result, he stepped right on top of a 4-foot bull snake lying on a sidewalk.


(Video Link)

The bull snake bit him, leaving a couple marks on his leg. Fortunately, that's a nonvenomous species. After briefly panicking, Malone helped capture the snake and release it into the wild.

-via Huffington Post


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This Public Library Has an Indoor BeeHive

(Photo: sauer_kussen)

Redditor sauer_kussen brought this incredible find to my attention. One of the branches of the Medina County District Library (I think the main library) in Ohio has a real, active beehive inside the children’s department. It’s called the Library Observation Hive. A local organization of beekeepers maintains it, moving the hive out before the winter and returning it in the spring. The local branch of the Rotary Club brought it to the library in 2008 as a way for people to learn about bees. The resident bees can leave through a pipe that connects to the outside of the library building.


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The Cutest Rabbit in the World Has Pigtails

Wally, an Angora rabbit in Massachusetts, has long fur, as an Angora should. But his human, Molly, shaves his body. With long hair on only his ears, he looks like he’s a hound dog or a rabbit with pigtails. Check out his Instagram page for a full-out awwww experience.

-via Tastefully Offensive

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

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Beautiful Princess Leia Ball Gown

(Photo: Nelsphotos)

Everyone at the ball will stop in awe and wonder when Princess Leia arrives in this incredible gown by cosplayer Elizabeth Oldak. The skirt alone has 20 feet of fabric in it and her hair is styled perfectly as Leia appeared in Episode IV. No other Disney princess will be able to say that she is underdressed for formal parties, which in this case was Star Wars Celebration 2015.

-via When Geeks Wed


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Thank You, Captain Obvious

(Photo: unknown)

You’ve been a big help—far more so than General Knowledge, Major Damage, and Corporal Punishment. May you one day earn a promotion, despite the loss of a perfect punchline.

-via Pleated Jeans

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Photographer Shows His Daughter as Famous, Inspiring Women

Marc Bushelle, a photographer in Brooklyn, and his wife Janine want to inspire their daughter to achieve great things. So they photographed young Lily costumed and posed as famous women of the past century who have accomplished great things. For example, Dr. Mae Jemison was an astronaut and Star Trek actor.

Continue reading
See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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