John Farrier's Blog Posts

Shark Sniffs Photographer's Camera


(Photo: Luke Thom)

Filmmaker Dave Riggs is getting ready for the Discovery Channel's Shark Week (auto-start video). While getting footage off the coast of South Australia, a 13.5 foot long female Great White Shark approached him. Curious, she examined him. Discovery News quotes Riggs:

“Of course, great whites don’t have hands, so she was researching the area in the only way she knows how -– and that’s with her mouth,” Riggs said.

So when a Great White Shark mouths you, it's like a dog smelling you. Try to be friendly in response.

-via Daily of the Day

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Legend of Korra Flapper Cosplay

Korra and Asami, the lead characters from The Legend of Korra, are decked out for a fun evening in a speakeasy in this cosplay. Photographer David Ngo snapped this shot of the couple at FanimeCon in San Jose, California.


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Florence Henderson Reveals What Happened to Carol Brady's First Husband

The 70s sitcom The Brady Bunch begins with widower Mike Brady marrying a woman named Carol and their two families blending into one. What happened to Carol Brady's first husband? Was she divorced or widowed as well? That was never made clear.


(Video Link)

Florence Henderson, the actress who played Carol Brady on the show, recently revealed the truth on The Huffpost Show: Carol was a widow--and by her own hand. Carol Brady killed her first husband.

-via Jonah Goldberg


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12 Fun Facts about Pac-Man on the 35th Birthday of the Game


(Saved t-shirt on sale at the NeatoShop)

The classic video game Pac-Man premiered in Japan 35 years ago today. To mark the occasion, Uproxx rounded up 12 fascinating bits of information in the surprisingly complex history of that game. For example, game designer Toru Iwatani created it in order to appeal to women:

Iwatani wasn’t a fan of ’70s arcades. He thought they were dirty and smelly and figured they’d be much nicer places to visit if somebody other than teenage guys hung out there, so he specifically set out to create a game that would appeal to women and couples.

Iwatani based his design on a deep and comprehensive knowledge of female psychology:

In his mind, girls really liked to eat, particularly sweets and desserts, so he decided to make a game based around eating. I’m not sure that chomping desserts is specifically a girl thing, but it worked out well for Iwatani, so maybe I’m the one who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

You may laugh at that, but Iwatani was successful in reaching out to women (well, at least professionally):

Iwatani’s gambit worked. While hardened Space Invaders fans turned their noses up at Pac-Man (yes, the hardcore vs. casual gamer divide already existed in 1980) kids, women and older gamers gravitated toward the unique, less stressful charms of Pac-Man. Quickly Pac-Man became the title less obsessive gamers sought out when they were dragged to the arcade, and soon even the hardcore types started to come around.


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This Hoodie Has a Built-in Cat Pocket

All jackets should have cat pockets. Yet, sadly, most do not. The Mewgaroo Hoodie from the Japanese pet supply company Unihabitat has cat ears a big pocket in the front. You can put a cat inside (any cat will do) and engage in hands-free cat transportation. The sleeves end with fingerless gloves with paw pads. So when you're loaded up, you look like a cat carrying a cat. Now you're ready for that job interview. Good luck!

-via Trenf


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10 Camouflaged Cats


(Photo: unknown)

A cat is hiding somewhere in this photo. Can you find it?

Cats, the ninjas of the animal world, are good at hiding in plain sight. You can see photos of 9 other camouflaged cats at Tastefully Offensive.

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

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The World’s Smallest Park Is Only 2 Feet Wide

(Photo: Craig Dietrich)

That’s it—the entire park.  It’s just a small tree surrounded by a bit of grass. In 1946, Dick Fagan, a journalist in Portland, Oregon, noticed that there was a hole in the median of a street where a lamppost used to stand. He decided to put it to good use by building a park there. Fagan named it Mills End Park after the title of his regular newspaper column, Mills End. The City of Portland acquired it in 1976, so it’s an official city park. Parks and Recreation workers tend to it carefully, according to Oregon Live:

Mill Ends is weeded, watered, planted and maintained like every other park in our National Gold Medal-winning system," Mike Abbaté, director of Portland Parks & Recreation, wrote to the challenger.

As of 2013, Mills End Park held the Guinness World Record for the smallest park in the world.

-via Amusing Planet


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Spock Van Gogh and Captain James T. Ross

Chilean artist Fab Ciraolo mixes images from pop culture to “highlight the conflict between extravagance and rebellion.” His recent works include Vincent Van Gogh as Spock toting an antique phaser rifle and Bob Ross as Captain Kirk. As you might expect, he’s not wearing pants.

The series also includes a Starfleet red shirt who I am unable to identify. He may not survive the episode, but he won’t die easily.

-via Popped Culture


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Staying at the New LEGO Hotel Is Like Walking into a Toy Box


(Photos: LEGOland Florida/Elaine Litherland)

From the outside, the hotel really looks like it’s made of LEGO bricks!

And from the inside, too. The new LEGOland Hotel in Winter Haven, Florida offers 152 rooms with LEGO designs inspired by real toy sets and LEGO movies and video games. Guests can’t alter the structure of the building, but otherwise it’s a fully immersive LEGO experience.

The Los Angeles Times describes what it’s like to stay at the newest LEGO resort:

The hotel also will offer kids and their families a chance to take a Master Model Builder Workshop in the hotel every day. Guests can work alongside professional model makers on Lego projects. […]

Every room comes with Lego models and a scavenger hunt kids can complete to unlock an in-room treasure chest. Stays at the Legoland Hotel come with free daily breakfast, access to Lego play areas, entertainment and other extras.

Question: is it safe to walk around the hotel with bare feet?

-via Fubiz


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Photographer Follows His Girlfriend Through the Wonders of India

Photographer Murad Osmann and his girlfriend Natalie Zakharova love to travel around the world. Once, while in Barcelona, she wearied of him taking pictures of everything. So she grabbed his hand and dragged him along. This launched a project that made him famous: photos of his girlfriend leading him everywhere.

The results are beautiful and have only gotten better since they journeyed to India. Zakharova wore traditional Indian clothing and pulled Osmann through scenic parts of that country, including famous landmarks such as the Taj Mahal and the Jama Masjid mosque.

Continue reading

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How to Make Functional LEGO Brick Candies

They look just like plastic LEGO bricks.

And they’re usable in that capacity, too!

Grant Thompson, the “King of Random” at Instructables, explains how to make them. You can buy a pre-made silicone LEGO brick mold or make your own. Thompson prefers the latter option and describes how to do that. It takes precise work to produce bricks as clear and well-formed as these, but the results are worth it.

Hopefully he can scale this process up to large Duplo blocks. We could build enormous gummy structures with sufficiently large bricks.

-via Geekologie


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Study: Popular Song Lyrics Are Written at a Third Grade Reading Level—And Are Dropping

Are you more literate than a third grader? If your vocabulary is limited to the most popular songs on the Billboard charts for the past 10 years, then that’s in doubt.

Andrew Powell-Morse of the data blog SeatSmart compiled the lyrics from 225 of the most popular songs in the pop, country, rock, and hip-hop genres. He analyzed them with the Flesch-Kincaid grade index to generate reading level scores. On average, songs that were popular over the past 10 years were written at the third grade level, but that’s been steadily dropping over time. You can see more charts here, including ones that show gender and genre differences, as well as the grade levels of specific singers, such as Kanye West and Justin Timberlake.

-via BuzzFeed


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This Building Looks Like the Enterprise from Star Trek

These are the voyages of the office building NetDragon. Or, rather the flagship offices for the Chinese gaming company NetDragon Websoft. Liu DeJian, the chairman of the company, is allegedly a die-hard Trekkie who got an official license from CBS to design this building to look like the Enterprise. It includes automatic sliding glass doors that hopefully do this:


(Video Link

-via Nerd Approved | Images: Hacktron, CBS


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Like Bike Lanes? We Also Need Duck Lanes

(Photo: Canal & River Trust)

Life along the Regents Canal in London is a delightful experience. You can ride bikes or jog along rows of galleries and cafes. Tourists are fond of seeing it while riding on boats.

Humans enjoy it, but so do ducks. Yet the little birds are a bit more vulnerable to collisions with people and bicycles. So the Canal & River Trust has set aside the inner stretch of pavement along the canal as a designated zone for ducks. They’re marked it with painted silhouettes of ducks. Cassie Werber writes for Quartz:

It’s unlikely, of course, that ducks will stick to the lanes, which serve a largely symbolic function. They’re a visual reminder that we’re all on this path together, and to get pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists to chill out and slow down.

The Canal & River Trust says it is “calling for the reintroduction of old-fashioned manners to preserve the peace.”

-via Lustik


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Heartwarming PSA about a Dog’s Love


(Video Link)

It’s a story about a man and his dog. They share a special life together. It carries on.

It’s not clear until the end what this Argentinian public service announcement wishes to express. But by the end, it does so powerfully. Keep tissues handy as you watch it.

-via TYWKIWDBI


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Game of Thrones Novel Covers in Japan Are Awesome in a Manga Style

The Japanese publishing house Hakayawa commissioned artist Norko Meguro to design cover images for George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. The resulting style is immediately recognizable for anime and manga fans. The covers offer fresh takes on characters that fans of both the novels and TV show have grown to love and hate. Pictured above is the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen.

Continue reading

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Yoyo Masters Dance with Incredible Dexterity


(Video Link)

Kuma Films calls them the "Dynamic Diabolic Duo." They're a pair of yoyo masters in Taipei who have amazing control over their instruments. The yoyos fly through the air flawlessly, moving exactly where these men want them to.

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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RIP Alan Sanford, The Man Who Fired the First US Shots of World War II


(Photo: Madeline Marshall/Wall Street Journal)

Early on the morning of December 7, 1941, Seaman First Class Alan Sanford, 18, was on board the destroyer USS Ward. That ship guarded the entrance to Pearl Harbor. Lookouts spotted a strange, cylindrical object in the water. It was a Japanese mini-submarine.

The captain, woken from sleep, ordered the ship to speed and prepare to ram the sub. Seaman Sanford was among a gun crew getting ready to fire at the object. 

On the opening day of the war, 75 minutes before Japanese warplanes swarmed over the anchored fleet at Pearl Harbor, Seaman Sanford and his colleagues opened fire at the submarine. These were the first American shots of the war. The Wall Street Journal describes the encounter:

Mr. Sanford and the other crewmen on the bow gun fired at a range of about 100 yards. He watched the round leave the barrel and barely miss the conning tower. “I thought if it had another coat of paint on the sub, it might have activated the graze fuze,” which detonates when a shell suddenly slows down, Mr. Sanford said in the park service interview. “That’s how close I think we came.”

A second gun crew on the Ward fired next, punching a four-inch hole in the starboard side of the conning tower as the destroyer steamed past the sub at a range of about 50 yards. The destroyer followed up with four depth charges. Sea water poured in through the shell hole, the submarine rolled to starboard, and sank in 1,200 feet of water, according to the captain’s report and historians.

The captain of the Ward reported the battle to his superiors via radio, but nothing came of it. Researchers found the sunken mini-sub in 2002.

Seaman Sanford served through the end of the war. Then he studied mechanical engineering and later worked on the Apollo space program. He died in January at the age of 91 and was buried on Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery.

-via Jonah Goldberg


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The Crazy Plan for a Circular Airport in London

It was 1919. The aeronautical technologies developed in war would be put to peaceful use in commercial aviation. London needed a proper airport as a central hub for air traffic. The October 18 issue of the Illustrated London News suggested this wacky design: a curved ring resting on top of the skyscrapers of the city.

What could possibly go wrong?

In this case: nothing, because it was never built. This ring was one of many early design concepts for airports. You can see more eccentric designs at Ptak Science Books.

-via Core77


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The Hair Colors of National Leaders

Nevermind population or GDP. Those metrics aren't important. This map by Jody Sieradzki of Dadaviz Research shows what matters in political geography: the hair colors of the heads of government around the world.

Blondes thrive in northern Europe and baldness prospers in Africa. There's a sweep of grey hair around the middle of the world. Sadly, no leader has hair dyed in a non-natural color. It would be nice to add some pastels to the map.

-via Hopes & Fears


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Funny PSA Warns about the Dangers of Selfie Sticks


(Video Link)

As a modern person, you must regularly update your social media following by taking pictures of yourself. A minimum of once an hour is necessary in order to be a functional adult.

Selfie sticks may seem like a great way to add creativity to this tiresome chore. But they're actually dangerous. This satirical PSA is a commercial from Pizza Hut that describes the psychological damage that selfie sticks inflict on you and the physiological damage they inflict on people around you.

Please selfie responsibly.

-via Laughing Squid


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Your Favorite Characters as Cats

Artist Cassie Graus specializes in cats, which is about as optimal a choice as an artist can make. Everything is better with cats, including your favorite movies and television shows. That’s why she created posters that show the characters of Game of Thrones, Mad Max: Fury Road, Parks and Recreation, and Broad City as cats.

The Arya and Joffrey are particularly effective illustrations. Adopt the cat of your choice. Conveniently, Theon is already fixed, so you won’t have to make an extra trip to the vet.

Continue reading

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Cat Naps in front of McDonald’s, Completely Underwhelmed by Humans

This cat needed a quiet spot to take a nap. He chose the front door of a McDonalds’s during lunch hour.

Was it a bad choice? The cat doesn’t care. People can walk by or over him. They are no threat or use to him.


(Video Link)

-via Tastefully Offensive

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

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Army Captain in Captain America Shirt Rescues Two People from Fire

(Image: ABC News)

Captain Steve Voglezon, US Army, was in Chatham County, North Carolina on Sunday when he saw a horrible head-on car collision. The cars caught on fire while two people remained inside, trapped and unable to escape.

Most people run away from fires, but Captain Voglezon ran toward the burning cars. He didn’t have a vibranium shield, or even a firefighter’s protective clothing—just a Captain America shirt. He used a fire extinguisher to smash open a car window, then dragged the two occupants to safety.


(Video Link)

You can see the dramatic rescue in this video.

I would like to see a Chris Evans, the actor who plays Captain America, wearing a Captain Voglezon shirt.

-via Lyndsey Fifield


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40 of the Weirdest Senior Photos Ever Made

(Photo: unknown)


(Photo: Averagekody)

It’s time to graduate from high school! That’s a crazy time of our lives. Some schools take special photos of graduating seniors and publish them in yearbooks. Normal people take formal photos that reflect a sober entry into adulthood.

It’s no fun being normal.

22 Words rounded up 40 of the weirdest photos that graduating seniors took with the help of professional photographers. They are everything that youth should be.

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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New Camera for Dogs Takes a Photo Whenever Your Dog Gets Excited

(Image: Nikon)

Heartography is a new camera design by Nikon. It fits onto a dog’s chest with a harness. There’s a built-in heart monitor. When the dog becomes excited and his heart rate jumps, the camera takes a picture. This sets it apart from other dog-mounted cameras in that it is responsive to the dog’s stimuli.

The obvious next step would be to create a program that would automatically uploads the photos to Instagram and Facebook with appropriate captions and commentary. Your dog deserves a following on social media.

-via Dave Barry


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Beautiful New Crawfish Species Looks Like It’s Ready to Go to a Rave

(Photo: Christian Lukhaup/ZooKeeys)

This is the Cherax pulcher. The latter term is related to the Latin adjective for “beautiful.” And indeed it is!

This delicious-looking crawfish has been only recently classified. A German scientist named Christian Lukhaup found it in Hoa Creek, West Papua, Indonesia. It grows up to 12 centimeters long and is noted for its coat of many colors, including shades of blue and purple. There are at least 19 known Cherax species. This one has shown up at local markets since about the year 2000.

I’ll take 5 pounds—extra spicy, please.

-via The Soul Is Bone


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Oreo-Stuffed Donut Holes with Oreo Frosting

How can you make Oreos even more Oreo-y? Amy of the wonderful food blog Oh, Bite It! Shows you with her latest recipe. She wrapped Double Stuff Oreos with canned biscuit dough, then deep fried them until they were a rich shade of golden brown. Then she covered them with a glaze that she made with white Oreo stuffing. Now they’re ready to eat—although I would recommend serving them on a tasteful bed of Oreo cookies.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Check out This Cool Collapsible Serving Bowl

It lies flat until you pick up the handle. Then it neatly unfolds into a decorative serving dish. I’ve never seen anything like it, but several redditors say that they’re commonly sold by street vendors in Rome. If you have a scroll saw, you can make your own by following these instructions.


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This High-Tech Collar Is a Smartphone for Your Dog


DogTilligent has developed a dog collar unlike any other on the market. The All-in-One Smart Dog Collar has GPS, WiFi capability, an accelerometer, a thermometer, a speaker, LED lights, and a microphone. It helps a dog owner keep track of the dog by warning when the collar has traveled beyond a predetermined location. The Virtual Leash warns the dog when it’s moving away from a human companion by whistling, vibrating, and simulating a tug on the collar. Hopefully future versions will also have a display screen and app-uploading capability so that bored dogs can kill time by playing Candy Crush.

-via Oh Gizmo


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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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