John Farrier's Blog Posts

The World's Oldest Competitive Powerlifter Is 93 Years Old

Svend Stensgaard has always been active. He worked as a customs officer for the Danish government and enjoyed the thrill of chasing smugglers. He's also exercised throughout his life, including taking up powerlifting at the age of 70.

He's excelled at this sport, even winning medals. Stensgaard has faced challenges along the way. 3 years ago, he had a heart attack while swimming and sank to the bottom of the pool. But he's recovered and is lifting again, sometimes 150 kg at a time. Hitting the gym 4 to 6 times a week keeps him in phenomenal shape. Watch a video of him training with impressive vigor at BBC Magazine (auto-start video).

-via Glenn Reynolds


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The Banana Stereo Record Player Is Everything Great about the 70s

It was after successfully landing men on the moon that humanity undertook its greatest challenge: to build a portable record player shaped like a banana that could be played in any position.

The greatest minds of the human race soon accomplished this pinnacle of achievement. Etsy seller Carolyn Thielke says that the Electric Banana Stereo Phono was inspired by the work of an Andy Warhol painting of a banana that served as an album cover for the rock band Velvet Underground. This one still runs, but needs a new needle.

Those were better times when we understood what truly mattered.

-via Dangerous Minds


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Sled Legs Are a Sled That You Wear on Your Legs

Lugging a sled around snow-covered hills can be a chore. You can instead wear one with Sled Legs. Each one is an ABS shell contoured to direct the flow of snow. There’s a foam layer inside to cushion them around your legs. You attach them to your legs with straps that are adjustable, so they can fit a range of heights.

The inventors hope to sell them for $140 when they reach the retail market.


(Video Link)

-via Swiss Miss


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Degas’s Dancers Turned into Reality

(Photo: Ken Browar and Deobrah Ory)

The French Impressionist painter Edgar Degas was enchanted by the grace and splendor of ballet dancers. He frequently painted them onstage and backstage at work, both dancing and training. The Museum of Modern Art in New York City is conducting an exhibition of his work. To mark the occasion, ballet dancer Misty Copeland recreated some of his famous dancers. It was a great challenge. She tells Harper’s Bazaar:

"It was interesting to be on a shoot and to not have the freedom to just create like I normally do with my body," she says. "Trying to re-create what Degas did was really difficult. It was amazing just to notice all of the small details but also how he still allows you to feel like there's movement. That's what I think is so beautiful and difficult about dance too. You're trying to strive for this perfection, but you still want people to get that illusion that your line never ends and that you never stop moving."

You can see more photos in the series here.

-via Slate Vault


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A Kayaking Trip through Tham Khoon Xe, One of the Largest River Caves on Earth

(Photo: Ryan Deboodt Photography)

Tham Khoun Xe, a cave on the border of Laos and Vietnam, contains a 4-mile long river. Imagine the experience of paddling down its full length!

Ryan Deboodt, a nature photographer, doesn’t have to imagine. He lived that experience when he and his companions spent 2 days kayaking through the cave. He took many photos of the natural wonders of this enormous cave complex. In an interview with Smithsonian, Deboodt described the expedition:

Describe your journey to the cave.

It’s a pretty big journey. We started in Vietnam and crossed the boarder to Laos. Once we got to Laos, the road condition was quite poor. Dirt roads, and the bridges were damaged from floods from the previous years. It took a day of driving to get to the cave. When we got to the cave, we set up camp by the downstream entrance. From there, we spent two days kayaking inside the cave. We started at the downstream entrance and then went to the upstream entrance. Through the caves there are about seven to eight small waterfalls where we had to get out and carry our kayaks.

You can see more of Deboodt’s photos of the cave at Colossal.


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Pig Escapes from Farm in New Hampshire, Tries to Vote


(Photo: @matthewr1960)

On Tuesday, voters in New Hampshire lined up to cast their votes for candidates in the primary election. Among the eager citizens was this 600-pound pig, which escaped from a farm and hung out around a polling station in the town of Pelham. Police contacted the owner, who retrieved the pig before it had a chance to cast a ballot. You can see more videos of it at Boston.com.

-via Ace of Spades HQ


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When This Developmentally Disabled Basketball Player Landed a Basket, Everyone Reacted Perfectly

Robert Lewis, who has Down Syndrome, is the team manager for the basketball team of Franklin Road Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. In the final minutes of a game against the University School of Nashville, he stepped onto the court to play.

Guarding him on the opposing team was Matthew, his own brother. In the final few seconds of the game, Robert landed a perfect 3-point shot. Both teams and the spectators charged the court, surrounded Robert, lifted him on their shoulders, and carried him around in celebration.


(Video Link)

Who won the game? Yes.

-via Huffington Post


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Art Museum Offers a Replica of a Van Gogh Painting on Airbnb

It's like stepping inside the actual painting!

The Art Institute of Chicago is conducting an exhibit of Vincent Van Gogh paintings that depict bedrooms. They include The Bedroom, an 1899 painting of Van Gogh's own room in Arles, France.

To promote the event, the museum has created a nearly perfect replica of the room that Van Gogh rented--or how Van Gogh saw it in his mind and painted it on his canvas. You can rent it on Airbnb for $10.

What historical painting would you like to spend a day in if it was recreated like this?

On a side note, I learned something interesting about this painting while writing this post. It was owned by Japan, but ceded to France as a war reparation under the Treaty of San Francisco, which formally ended the Pacific War.

-via Colossal


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How to Build a Stove with a Log

It’s sometimes called a Swedish torch. To make a cook stove, cut a log and stand it upright. Use a chainsaw to cut a cross pattern into the wood. Stuff kindling inside, then start the fire. The wood helps protect the embers from being blown out by the wind.

Once the fire is burning strongly, set a pan on top and fry up your favorite foods.


(Video Link)

-via Gifsboom


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This Year’s Oscars Gift Bag Includes $275 Toilet Paper and a Vampire Breast Lift


(Photo: National Cancer Institute--original is NSFW)

Everyone is a winner at this year’s Academy Awards! Every person who is nominated will walk away with a “swag bag” of goodies worth over $200,000. The party favors include a 15-day walking tour of Japan, a roll of luxury toilet paper worth $275, a year’s worth of Audi car rentals, and a vampire breast lift.

What’s a vampire breast lift? That’s when doctors extract blood from you, process it in a centrifuge, then inject it into your breasts to make them look plumper.

So even if Leonardo DiCaprio doesn't get an Oscar, but he does has a vampire breast lift going for him, which is nice.

-via Sarah Hoyt


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Heroic Dog Throws Himself in Front of a Bus to Save His Human

(Photo: Lou Young/CBS 2)

Audrey Stone, 62, is legally blind. Figo, her Golden Retriever, is her guide dog. In June, they tried to cross a street. A bus almost rammed into them. Figo blocked her, then leaped at the bus in a desperate attempt to knock it out of the way. CBS New York reports:

As Stone lay injured on the ground, Brewster Police Chief John Del Gardo said despite having a severe leg injury, Figo would not leave Stone’s side.

Amazingly, Figo didn’t yelp in pain but calmly struggled to stay with Stone.

Stone avoided the full force of the impact and survived with only a broken elbow, ankle, and 3 ribs. Figo broke his right front leg. After Stone spent a few months in a rehabilitation home, they reunited in October.

-via Ace of Spades HQ

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

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Darth Vader Can’t Resist the Cute Side of the Force


(Video Link)

Little Lane loves to dress up as Disney characters and meet her professional counterparts at Disney theme parks. In the past, we’ve seen her enchant Gaston, Tarzan, and Jack Skellington. More recently, dressed as Padmé Amidala and met her husband, Anakin Skywalker.

Vader has completely given himself over to the dark side of the Force. But there hides within him a twinkling of goodness. The actor in the Vader suit struggled to stay in character. But the dark side cannot prevail.

-via Tastefully Offensive

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

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Birds of Prey May Be Deliberately Spreading Fires

(Photo: Ed Dunens)

Witnesses in Australia have seen black kites and brown falcons carrying burning twigs to dry areas, then dropping them, spreading wildfires in the Australian bush.

Why? Because fire drives small food animals, such as mice and lizards, out of hiding to escape the fire. Then they are visible and vulnerable to the birds. One witness named Bob Gosford explained:

Mr Gosford told the IFL Science website: 'Reptiles, frogs and insects rush out from the fire, and there are birds that wait in front, right at the foot of the fire, waiting to catch them.

'Small fires often attract so many birds that there is insufficient fleeing prey for all, so a bird that was being beaten to its food might benefit from starting a new fire with less competition.'

The researchers found numerous accounts from Aborigines, several firefighters as well as 14 Bush rangers who reported birds carrying burning sticks.

Scientists are a bit more skeptical:

Steve Debus, from the University of New England, an expert in predatory birds said he believed it would be difficult for researchers to distinguish between birds incidentally grasping burning twigs with prey and those deliberately picking them up.

'However, I think black kites and brown falcons are sufficiently intelligent to intentionally spread fires by dropping burning embers, because black kites have been seen to drop bread scraps from picnic areas into nearby waterholes to bait fish within striking range.' Dr Debus said.

-via India Knight


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Beautiful Pots Made by Blasting Music Below a 3D Printer

Think of it as a way to 3d print a song. 

Olivier Van Herpt, a Dutch ceramics artist, worked with Ricky van Broekhoven, a sound designer to develop this novel interpretation of music. They call their project Solid Vibrations.


(Video Link)

The build platform of the 3d printer rests over a speaker. As music plays, it shakes the build in progress so that the imperfections in the laying of material match the sounds. You can see and feel the music in the finished ceramic pots.

-via Fast Co Design


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Cadbury Creme Eggs Restaurant Opens

(Images: Cadbury Creme Egg)

What animal lays the Cadbury creme egg? I don't want to know. I am satisfied that it is a wonderful animal.

You can do anything with a Cadbury creme egg, including deep frying it, making a Scotch egg, a toad-in-a-hole, or eggs Benedict. It's Nature's perfect food, so I'm glad that Cadbury has chosen to open a restaurant in London that serves it in everything.

The Evening Standard described the project in January:

The ground floor is designed for those busy egg-ophiles who are short on time, and will serve Creme Egg toasties to go. Yes, you read right, that’s: Creme. Egg. Toasties. They’ll sell for just £2 a pop.

Up on the first floor there’ll be more of a restaurant vibe, with four Creme Egg dishes on offer to eat in. As well as the toasties, these will include: egg and soldiers, Creme Egg tray bake, and strawberries and creme (egg).

All dishes on the first floor will cost £4, which we'd say is well worth shelling out for the novelty alone. Tea, coffee and water will be available — no Creme Egg cocktails, alas.

On the second floor there will be an interactive ball pool — which, as far as we’re aware, won’t contain any actual Creme Eggs. It's a good opportunity for adults to splash around in a ball pool without scaring little kids and alarming their parents, though.

-via NotCot

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Classic Paintings + Tattoos

Nicholas Amiard adds unexpected touches to familiar sights. In the past, we've seen his Star Wars ships crashed into Earth. Most recently, touched up famous figures from European paintings with tattoos. Now the lady from Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe attends her picnic graced with vividly rendered tattoos.

You can see other images from the series here, including the da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Ingres's La Grande Odalisque.

Content warning: artistic nudity, because let's not kid ourselves about Jean-Léon Gérôme's The Birth of Venus.

-via Khool


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"Mobile Confession Unit" Rolls out after Receiving the Pope's Blessing

(Photo: Diocese of Salford)

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford, UK built the Mercy Bus--a vehicle capable of carrying the diocese's will across Britain's roads. After receiving an official blessing by Pope Francis during his visit to the UK, it's ready to roll out. It includes a built-in confession booth to offer the sacrament of reconciliation to those in need of it. Father Frankie Mulgrew (right), a priest and comedian, is taking it out on tour. The Irish Post reports:

A spokesperson for the Salford diocese said: “Father Frank presented images of the Mercy Bus to Pope Francis in Rome, much to the Holy Father’s interest and delight!”

Father Mulgrew said: “We were inspired by the Pope who, when he was as cardinal in Argentina, would celebrate open-air Masses in the poorest areas of his diocese.”

It's not entirely clear what other features the Mercy Bus contains or what it looks like after transforming into robot mode.

-via Nothing to Do with Aborath


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If More Internet Companies Built Physical Shops

(The Very Near Future)

Amazon.com, a company which was founded as an online retailer, recently built its first brick-and-mortar store. The company sees a market for traditional in-person experiences. What if other online companies made similar choices? The Very Near Future makes proposals for Netflix, Dropbox, Spotify, and Imgur.

And what would we do at the world-famous Neatorama? The good news is that we have some institutional memory. Back in 1887, when Alex's great-great-grandfather founded Neatorama, we delivered cat .gifs by telegram. And except for that brief experiment with carrier pigeons in 1915, we kept that model running through 1953, when we made the switch to radio--a move that was far more successful than that costly 1978 foray into mail-order View-Master slides.

In short: we could do it. Should we is a different question.

-via Tastefully Offensive


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Acrobatic Goat Can Balance All 4 Feet on a Tiny Platform


(Video Link)

Rani the goat from Karachi, Pakistan seems to defy gravity as he climbs up on one platform stacked upon another. When you think that he's done, his handler, Osman Ali, adds another. Now, let's see them trade places. That would be a great act.

-via Huffington Post

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

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Pet Pantries are Food Banks for Poor Pets

(Photo: Cookie and his human by Nicole Bengiveno/New York Times)

In rapid succession, you’ve lost your job, incurred high medical expenses, and suffered a house fire. You’re out of money, but need food. So you head to the local food bank. That’s good for you, but what about your cat?

Now some food banks and animal care centers are offering food services to pets in need. They’re called pet pantries. Owners can go there to get cheap, healthy food until they can get back on their feed and support their pets themselves. The New York Times reports:

Cookie, a snow-white pit bull with light gray spots, knows the hand that feeds her. She has become a regular visitor at a new pet food pantry in the Bronx that sends free Costco-size bags of kibble home with owners who may not have enough money to feed themselves, let alone their animals.

Animal Care Centers of NYC, a nonprofit that runs the city’s animal shelters, opened this pet food pantry in December, and in the first month alone, the pantry gave out more than 2,000 pounds of food for 71 dogs and 50 cats.

-via Marginal Revolution

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

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Chocolate Orange Armadillo

Miss Insomnia Tulip of the internet-famous Lou Lou P’s Delights bakery makes amazing pastries that look like real objects, such as naked Burt Reynolds and naked David Hasselhoff. But she can do more than just show aging male celebrities undressed with cake. Her most recent project is a chocolate orange. She reveals hidden in its form an armadillo curled up to protect itself from your appetite.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Bacon-Wrapped Deep Fried Twinkies

It's just basic science: any food can be improved by adding bacon and/or deep-frying. Amy of the wonderful food blog Oh, Bite It evidences this fact continously.

Her latest demonstration is the ideal breakfast food: Twinkies, wrapped in bacon, then deep fried. It's the right way to start the day, especially if you eat them as I do: with powdered sugar and chocolate syrup on top.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Meet the 71-Year Old Librarian Who Commutes to Work by Rowing


(Photo: Matt McLain/Washington Post)

Gabriel Horchler is the Head of Cataloging at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. He likes to row. 15 years ago, he realized that most of his daily commute from his home in Cheverly, Maryland, ran parallel to the Anacostia River. He could drive through heavy traffic . . . or he could row along the almost vacant river.

Now, even at the age of 71, Horchler begins his day by biking to a neighborhood park, then pushing his rowing shell into the water. He pilots it down the river to a community boathouse, where he keeps his second bike. He takes that bike to the Library of Congress.

The entire trip takes him 90 minutes. He loves it, and the daily workout has kept him in fantastic physical condition. The Washington Post reports:

Some say he’s insane. In Horchler’s mind, the daily ritual of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic is what’s insane.

“I don’t feel that I’m superior to these people in the traffic jam, but I definitely appreciate the quiet and . . . the water and the sound of the oars in the water,” he said. “It changes every day. You see different wildlife. . . . The quality of the water, sometimes it’s filthy, sometimes it’s amazingly clean. And then, with the seasons, the vegetation changes. It’s wonderful.”

-via Jessamyn West


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How to Make an Ice Ball Cocktail

Here's a clever way to present a cocktail! It will no doubt impress your guests. The YouTube channel Cocktail Chemistry shows you how. You'll need a soldering iron. Yes, really!


(Video Link)

Making the ice ball requires a special mold--which you then have to use a particular way. After all, you don't want a solid ball of ice, but one that is hollow inside to contain your cocktail. To do so, freeze the ball of water just long enough for it to be wet inside. Then burn a hole in the ice, suck the water out with a syringe, and re-freeze the now hollow ice ball until you need it.

-via Gifsboom


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Jedi Elvis

(Photo: Fat Man Photography)

This is Eric Cajiuat, the King of Rock 'n' Roll, as well as master of the Force. You can almost hear the midi-chlorians in his music. Like any Jedi, he's built his own microphone and he knows how to use it. He can kill with it, but like the original King, he's here to conquer the Empire with love and music.


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Upside Down Wine Glass

To paraphrase James Thurber: one glass of wine is enough. Two is too many. Three is not enough.

And if you walk around with this glass in your hand, people will think that you're already on number four. Red5 offers this novelty wine glass that lets you sip wine from what appears to be the base of the glass. This will be the moment when friends conclude that you've got a drinking problem.

-via Geekologie


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The First DeLorean Commercial Since 1982


(Video Link)

The DeLorean DMC-12--a commercial failure almost universally known from Back to the Future--is back in production. This is the first commercial for the revived brand. Alexander Alexandrov directed this short film titled "Lucky Coin." It's accented with lines from "The Transhumanist's Lament," a poem by futurist Benjamin Perkins Burke.


(Video Link)

For comparison, here's an original DeLorean commercial from 1981.

-via Glenn Reynolds


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Elegant Starship Enterprise Is Masterpiece of Woodworking

The result of 2 years of labor by a master craftsman is this majestic model of the Enterprise from the original Star Trek series. Kretschmer Kreativ shaped this extraordinary duplicate of the 11-foot model that prop masters built for the series and now housed at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. You more images and detailed descriptions of the build process here.

It must be absolutely awe-inspiring in person.

-via Instructables


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Deep Fried Pikachu

(Photo: Seulgreat)

Which Pokémon would taste the best? This is the source of long speculation by fans of the game and anime franchise. But it's remained speculation because first you've gotta catch 'em all.

An enterprising company in South Korea is getting started on actual research. Kotaku reports that you can buy Pikachu meat patties. You can order them online or in restaurants.

What does Pikachu taste like? Apparently like pork.

-via Technabob

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Ancient Greek Sculpture Shows a Woman Using a Laptop Computer


(Photo: J. Paul Getty Museum)

Internet conspiracy theorists are buzzing with excitement about a grave sculpture dating back to about 100 BC, probably from the Greek island of Delos. It's been passed around various collectors for the past few centuries, but is now housed at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

The museum says that the woman is opening a "shallow chest" held by a servant girl. A more fanciful argument is that she's using a laptop computer with serial ports. Both hypotheses, however, are incorrect. YouTube commenter TheSerbTube has figured out what the woman is doing:

-via Geekologie


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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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