Blog Posts John Farrier Likes

Operation Tracer: The Secret Plan To Bury Soldiers Alive Inside The Rock Of Gibraltar

The Rock of Gibraltar, which guards the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, is honeycombed with caves, tunnels, and chambers. After World War II, a rumor spread about a secret military installation in which six men spent a year sealed inside during the war. It was just a rumor until the chamber was found in 1997! Over the next ten years, the real purpose of the chamber came to light. It was Operation Tracer.

Rear Admiral John Henry Godfrey, the Director of the Naval Intelligence Division of the British Admiralty, suggested that they establish at Gibraltar a covert observation post which would remain operational even if Gibraltar fell into enemy hands. This observation post would be located in a hidden chamber within the Rock of Gibraltar with two small openings to watch for movements on the harbor. Six men were selected to be sealed inside the cave, and while there were enough supplies to last one year, there was to be no way out of the chamber, and if any men were to die they were to be embalmed and cemented into the brick floor. Only if Germany was defeated within the first year would they be released.

The cave was built, and six men were trained, but Operation Tracer was never put into service because Hitler turned his attention away from the Mediterranean. Read about the plans and see pictures of the cave at Amusing Planet. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Flickr user Rob)

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Look Who Caught a Record-Setting Salmon

If you've been wondering what legendary rock guitarist Eric Clapton has been doing lately, you need to look toward Iceland, where he's been doing a bit of fishing.

Clapton, while on a fly-fishing trip to Iceland last week, landed a 28-pound salmon on the Vatnsdalsá River, setting the record for reeling in the biggest salmon of the summer. The massive fish measured 42.5 inches. Working with Vatnsdalsá guide Sturla Birginsson, Clapton had to run over half a mile downriver after hooking the monster, and spent two and a half hours reeling it in. The local fishing association enforces a strict catch-and-release policy on the Vatnsdalsá River, but Clapton was able to snap a picture of his record-setting catch before setting it back into the river.

Clapton has always liked fishing, but after recovering from drug addiction more than 30 years ago, Gary Brooker of Procol Harem got him hooked on fly-fishing as an alternative. Since then, Clapton has even designed his tours around the availability of fly-fishing. He's been traveling to Iceland to Iceland to fish for salmon since 2000. Read about the guitarist's fishing habit at Men's Journal.  -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Sturla Birginsson)

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The Frog Log Saves Wildlife in Your Pool

If you have a backyard pool, you've probably dealt with the horror of finding dead animals in it at one time or another. If they fall in, the sides are too steep and slippery for squirrels to climb out, and there's no solid surface for frogs to jump from. That's where the Frog Log comes in. The "critter saving escape ramp" is a floating platform attached to a ramp that anchors at the side of your pool. Small creatures, such as snakes, chipmuncks, or ducklings, can climb onto the platform from the water because it is edged with netting. The ramp also has netting for a firm grip. It's a lifesaver for the animal and you don't have to remove dead bodies before your refreshing dip. See a video at Geekologie that shows frogs, a salamander, a mouse, and a skink all escaping a pool using the Frog Log.  

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Wil Wheaton Is Reunited With His Wesley Crusher Uniform 30 Years Later

Wil Wheaton has had to come to terms with the fact that no matter what else he does as an actor he will always be known for playing Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

But at least he's known for playing a good role on a legendary show, so he can be proud of the role he's best known for, and Wil has definitely embraced his TNG past and ain't afraid to revel in his gloriously nerdy roots.

A few years back he was reunited with the original sweater he wore on the show back in 1987, and now he has been reunited with Wesley's actual uniform from the show.

Maybe it's time for a TNG reunion special?

-Via Fashionably Geek

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Loki's Hiding Place

This Bengal cat is aptly named Loki, because he's both clever and mischievous. He likes to play hide and seek. This video captures Loki's favorite hiding place -in the dresser!

(YouTube link)

Once he shuts the drawer, you'd never think to look for him there! Unless he purrs with satisfaction, of course. Loki's owner, josht1212, says they closed this room off to him after the video was made, because they're not sure if he can get out of the drawer on his own. I bet he could. -via Laughing Squid

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

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1865 Ad for a Wife

We don't know the provenance of this delightful newspaper ad posted at reddit. We can assume that it was published around 1865, as the young man was a fan of Andy Johnson, or president Andrew Johnson, who served from 1865 (upon the death of Lincoln), was impeached in 1868, and remained in office until 1869. For an 18-year-old, the writer seems to have his life together, but was probably working too hard so far to meet many young woman. When he says he wants to buy waterfalls, he is most likely referring to a waterfall bustle, as was the style at the time. I would bet that he got responses to this ad. The last line makes him seem cute as well as successful.

Update: This appeared earlier on Flashbak's Twitter feed. -Thanks,

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This Dog From Seattle Rides the Bus By Herself to go to the Park

Dogs are allowed to ride on the bus in Seattle when their humans come with them -the exception being Eclipse, who is actually allowed to ride the bus to the dog park all by herself with her own bus pass. It all started when her owner would take her to the park and get distracted at the bus stop -he would often miss the bus, but little Eclipse would jump on the bus and go to the park without her dad. Eclipse's owner would have to catch the next bus and meet her at the park later. 

Eventually, this happened enough times that Eclipse was given her own bus pass and given permission to just go to the park by herself. Her dad always catches up eventually, but Eclipse now has full independence to get there on her own time.

You can read more about this bus-riding cutie on PetsLady.

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

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Alarm Clock in Wall Rings Every Day -for 13 Years

Jerry Lynn of Ross Township, Pennsylvania, had a great idea that turned bizarre. He tied a battery-powered alarm clock to a string and lowered it through a vent into a wall, in order to determine where he should install a cable outlet for his TV. The alarm was set to go off in a few minutes, and he would drill the hole near the sound, ensuring that a cable would have an unobstructed path. Surely there are better ways of doing that, but the plan seemed sound. Until the string broke. The clock fell too far down to be retrieved.

“As I was laying it down, all of a sudden I heard it go ‘thunk!’ as it came loose,” he said. “I thought, well, that’s not a real problem. You know it’s still going to go off. And it did.”

He couldn’t pull it back up, but figured, “Maybe, three-four months it’ll run out of battery. That was in September of 2004. It is still going off every day. And during daylight savings time it goes off at ten minutes ’til eight. And during standard time it goes off at ten minutes to seven at night.”

Clocks do not draw much power from a battery, but the longest I've had one last is six years. This one has been ringing daily for 13 years. I would have torn the wall apart by now. -via Boing Boing

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This Video Shows Why You Should Never Give A Goldfish A Hammer

The lowly goldfish sit in their bowls all day watching the cats and dogs and birds of the household get all the love and attention from their humans- and the goldfish are green with envy.

That's why goldfish are best left alone in their bowl, and if they ask for a gun, a rope or a powered exoskeleton you should reply "fish, please".

But mad scientist Neil Mendoza is really bad at saying no to his goldfish, so he gave the finny little guy exactly what he's been asking for since Christmas '14- a hammer of his very own.

Fish Hammer from Neil Mendoza on Vimeo.

Neil's Fish Hammer Actuation Device uses a camera to track the goldfish's movements and drops the hammer when Smashie rotates in place:

People love to break ocean stuff. The Fish Hammer empowers fish to break people stuff.

As Smashie swims around the aquarium, his position is tracked with a webcam, using software written in C++ using openFrameworks and OpenCV. The hammer follows him around the tank on a carriage powered by an Applied Motion [] stepper motor. The software calculates the velocity that the motor needs to be moving using a PID algorithm that takes the motor's encoder position as input and gives a velocity as output. This velocity is then sent over UDP to the stepper motor. The hammer head drops based on the slow rotation of a cam that the hammer rests on.

The Fish Hammer was designed using Autodesk Fusion 360 and Autodesk Inventor. Instructions on how to build your very own Fish Hammer actuation device at This project was created as part of Autodesk's artist in residence program.

-Via Geekologie

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Anime Recommendation Chart for Beginners

If you've thought about getting into anime, but don't know where to start (there's an awful lot of it to consider), help is here in the form of an easy-to-use flow chart. Imgur user lukeatlook is a real anime fan. He's made a recommendation chart three times before, and used feedback to improve the flowchart each time. In case you find it hard to read here, you can enlarge it to an enormous size at imgur. Now we need to find John Farrier to get his opinion on this. -via Geeks Are Sexy

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Hitchhiking Snake

What would you do? A snake decided to catch a ride with a driver in Buford, Georgia. As he approaches the driver side window, we can assume that he's trying to ask the guy to pull over. Which he did.

This was Tweeted by Carl Willis of Atlanta's WSB-TV, but does not appear the station's website. As of yet. -Thanks, John Farrier!

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Dad Welcomes Daughter to Adulthood with Lunch

This is Meg Sullivan and her dad Tom. Tom has been packing Meg's lunch since kindergarten, but now she is graduating from high school. The family had been kidding him about the lunches, because he went so far as to peel her oranges for her up through high school. So it was a bittersweet experience when she unpacked her lunch on the last day of school.

It was bittersweet for Tom, too, as Meg is his youngest child and will be attending Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, this fall. The symbolic push into adulthood has gone viral. Oh yeah, Meg had no trouble peeling her oranges, because she read the instructions.  -via Buzzfeed

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Free Doughnuts for National Doughnut Day

National Doughnut Day is upon us! The holiday is set for the first Friday in June every year. The history of Doughnut Day is interesting: it was first celebrated in 1938 as a "thank you" to volunteers of the Salvation Army who handed out doughnuts to soldiers fighting in World war I.    

Many national doughnut chains are giving away freebies today. Unfortunately, there are no national doughnut outlets in my hometown. Those doughnuts are sold through the local groceries. But if you live in a larger city, check out the list of freebies at Uproxx. 

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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What Word Does Your State Misspell the Most?

Everyone has that one or two words they just always spell wrong. Thanks to Google, we can now see what every state misspells the most. Beautiful, pneumonia and maintenance are all pretty common themes along the whole country, but there are a few outliers in there two, like sense, quote or chaos.

You can see the infographic full size on Google's Twitter

Via Travel & Leisure

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We have been warned many times that aliens from another planet won't be anything like we ever imagined. But what if they turn out to be more like us than we can imagine? In this video, Dave gets abducted by aliens and must undergo a routine physical and mental exam. At least that what I think is going on.

(YouTube link)

The point of the test is to see if humans are really an intelligent life form. By their standards, Dave probably registers somewhere around the level of all those cows they tested earlier. This sketch is from  Chris Smith and Jack De Sena. -via Tastefully Offensive

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Senior Yearbook Quotes for 2017

Any time you find a list of funny senior quotes, there will be some you saw last year, and some who got their quote idea from previous lists. That said, there are some quotes you've never seen before in this roundup, funny, clever, and some are even poignant. Congratulations to graduating senior Omotola Omotinugbon, who has a unique quote to reflect her school years with a unique name. And then there's Joesph Kline, who enlisted the help of his twin brother to pull this one off:

See more clever yearbook quotes from the class of 2017, 33 of them in all, at Buzzfeed. Some of them may be NSFW.

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These Quotes From Mr. Rogers Are Exactly What We Need Right Now

Mister Rogers has been relegated to the realm of childhood and therefore his wise words are seen as nothing but advice for kids.

But Fred Rogers shared some very sage advice during his lifetime, and his words of wisdom are just as valuable for adults as they are for children.

In fact, adults may get more out of these Mr. Rogers quotes than kids will if only because they'll actually remember his words and take them to heart, knowing he's right about life, love and the power of imagination.

In these dark and confusing times it's nice to know the words of Fred Rogers will live on forever, but who is listening?

See 17 Quotes From Mister Rogers The World Really Needs Right Now here

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Is There a Right Way to Watch Star Wars?

We've seen seven numbered movies in the Star Wars saga, plus Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Watching all those has taken some of us forty years. That's eight movies that your children or grandchildren have not yet seen, and they don't have forty years to catch up on them before The Last Jedi is released in December. So how do you introduce your kids to the Star Wars saga? The easiest (and laziest) method would be to show them in episode order, with Rogue One between episodes III and IV. But this causes some real problems.

Here’s why: the best part of the saga – Luke’s parentage, is rendered meaningless by the prequel trilogy, as well as the reality behind Luke and Leia’s familial bond – makes some of the sequences a little bit incestual. That said, the prequels were made with subtle nods to the original films, so there’s moments that make very little sense, unless you’ve seen Episodes IV-VI, not to mention the change in technology.

Finally, starting anyone who hasn’t seen the Saga with Episode I seriously ensures that someone won’t want to make it through the rest of them, if that’s the starting point. It’s easily the worst film out of all of them and suggesting that it gets better 3 films later, is a tough ask for a newbie.

Read up on the pros and cons of six different orders i which to see the Star Wars films at The Chive.

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He'll probably be traumatized for life. What a great prank! Thank comic artist Pedro Arizpe for the idea. Read what else she told him at Port Sherry. -via Geeks Are Sexy

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Avocado + Latte = Avolatte

The latest hipster food obsession is the "avolatte," a latte (which is a fancy term for coffee with milk) served in an avocado shell. Developed at the Truman Cafe in Melbourne, the idea has spread through the internet and around the world, pretty much instantly.

It appears to be an eco-friendly way to add a bit of avocado flavor to the drink, but not everyone likes the idea. Personally, I do not like avocado, and I do like having a handle on my coffee cup. -via Laughing Squid

(Image credit: ozeatingwa)

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Whatcha Thinking' About?

Most people don't get asked that question very often, and it's a good thing. If we were to audit our thoughts, probably 90% of them would be things we'd never say out loud. Now that I think about it, that only goes for most of us. There's always that one person who never learned to think before speaking. Usually we can avoid folks like that, unless they are in a position of power. This is the latest from Sarah Andersen at Sarah's Scribbles.

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Ah, Chris thought he was shutting himself off from all the demands and complaints. But there comes a time when even your own body has plenty to complain about! At my age, you have to keep track of how long you sit in one position (especially the position he is in) to keep your joints and muscles from locking up. This is the latest from Lunarbaboon.

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10 Fascinating Facts About the Easy-Bake Oven

Kids in the 1960s were fascinated with the Easy-Bake Oven. I know, I was one of them. What could be cooler than making tiny cakes with the power of a light bulb? Never mind that my mother already had me making tiny cakes and pies in tiny pans alongside hers in a full-size oven. Fifty-four years later, Easy-Bake Ovens are still popular, although they have changed.  

1) The first Easy-Bake Oven was very expensive

Today’s versions of the toy oven can be purchased at major retail stores or online at a reasonable $45.00, but the original 1963 version was much more expensive. In fact, it cost a hefty $15.95.

That might not sound like a lot, but adjusting for inflation, it amounts to $127. Despite the price, the Easy-Bake Oven sold half a million units in its first year on the market.

2) Working toy ovens were around for decades before the Easy-Bake

It might sound like an impressive feat for Kenner to have created a mini oven back in the 1960s, but other companies had already released similar toys decades earlier. Model train manufacturer Lionel created a gorgeous porcelain electric stove and oven combo in 1930 that featured a cooking surface the perfect height for kids, aged 6 to 9. The appliance, which the company claimed was built “as substantially as the one Mother uses,” sold for $29.50 ($430.00 today), according to an ad in a 1930 Playthings magazine.

Whether you ever had one or not, you'll want to read the list that tells us more about the Easy-Bake Oven at the Daily Dot.

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Tattoos That Prove Scars And Stretch Marks Are Works Of Art

Some people see scars and stretch marks as flaws and imperfections, and they do whatever they can to remove those unwanted marks from their bodies.

But true warriors know that scars and stretch marks are signs that you've survived a struggle, whether it's a struggle to maintain a healthy weight or a struggle for survival that ended on the operating table.

So maybe instead of hinding our "flaws" or having them surgically removed we should embrace our imperfections and proudly show them off, letting our flesh tell the stories of our lives.

See 17 Tattoos That Prove Scars And Stretch Marks Are Works Of Art here

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Cityscape Blinds

As someone who has worked third shift, and even now naps in the daylight hors, I consider blackout blinds a miracle. They sure beat taping aluminum foil over the windows (which I never did, but had to live with at one time). But look at how cool these blackout blinds are! Strategic small holes make them into a nighttime city skyline. The blinds are from a Ukrainian company named HoleRoll. A machine translation from the site says,

We are engaged in the development and production of exclusive roller blinds. The illusion of the night city or the night sky is created with holes in the fabric.

I believe that means they aren't ready for retail sales. There's no price yet, or information about whether they will be shipped overseas. So far, they show skylines of New York and London, and a blind with no skyline, but tiny stars showing through. -via Laughing Squid

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A Beautiful Stained Glass Cabin Straight From A Fairytale

Stained glass windows are built to look beautiful both night and day, with colored glass cut and shaped to be aesthetically pleasing, but you can't fully appreciate the beauty of a stained glass window until the sun shines through.

So imagine how glorious the daylight hours must look and feel while you're inside this miniature stained glass cabin in the woods, constructed by artist and craftsman Neile Cooper.

Neile's "Glass Cabin" is a good example of how adding stained glass windows to a home can actually change the feel of the entire place, which in this case changed the feel from greenhouse to fairy tale dreamhouse.

See more from Breathtaking Stained Glass Cabin Looks Ripped From A Fairytale here

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Horse Launches Surprise Attack On Alligator

Alligators have a gruesome complexion and a mouth full of pointy teeth so most animals find them intimidating, especially animals that fit inside a gator's mouth.

But horses don't give a crap about the alligator's fearsome reputation, and if one of those smily faced savages tries to get too close to a horse they're asking for a good stompin'!

(YouTube Link)

The alligator looked like it was minding its own business, but I think the horse had the right idea because you never know what a gator might do when they start feeling a bit peckish.

-Via Daily Dot

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

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People You Should Be Tipping And How Much You Should Tip

Tipping should be compulsory, and when a customer is served they should gladly fork over a tip to show their appreciation, but some people are so miserly with their tips it's just plain sad.

Maybe they're unaware that the federal tipped minimum wage is a meager $2.13 an hour, or that most baristas and fast food workers are working for minimum wage, so that dollar tip helps out a lot.

(Image Link)

In order to make sure those overworked folks in the various service industries get the tip they deserve here's a short guide to tipping:

  1. Wait staff should be tipped 15-20% or more, because they make less than minimum wage in some states
  2. Bartenders usually get a buck a drink
  3. Picking up fast food or a drink from a barista? Tip them a buck at least, and be generous if you have a large order
  4. Delivery drivers are supposed to get $5 per order, or 15-20% on a larger order
  5. Valets or parking attendants should get at least $2 when they bring you your car
  6. Bathroom attendants get a tip if they hand you anything, but if they're just running security in the can you don't have to tip
  7. Salon and spa workers should get a good 15-20% tip, especially if you want them to do a good job!
  8. Tipping hotel staff is a bit tricky, but it's usually a dollar or two to bellhops, shuttle drivers and door staff, $1-5 per night for housekeepers and a $5-10 tip for a helpful concierge
  9. Taxi drivers should get a 15-20% tip, plus a couple of bucks if they help you with your bags

-Via mental_floss

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This Cute Pet Crab Digs Bananas

Crabs don't get to enjoy any produce while they're sidling along under the sea, so when they come up for air and hit the beach they head straight to the nearest surfside fruit shack and chow down.

But the spoiled little crab in this video gets to eat bugs, potato chips and fruit whenever he wants, and he enjoys spending the afternoon leisurely shoveling banana into his maw.

(YouTube Link)

And in case you were wondering what other types of fruit this little crab enjoys here's another video from another day, when that cute little pet crab got his claws on a slice of watermelon.

(YouTube Link)

-Via Laughing Squid

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

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Please Be Patient

"We need a new display here, something with a theme, can you get that done right away?" Obviously not, but the library employee or volunteer charged with the task did a fantastic job in creating a thought-provoking workaround. Well, maybe not so much "thought-provoking," but more "guaranteed to become a viral image." -via Boing Boing

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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