John Farrier's Blog Posts

This Television Repels Mosquitoes

(Image: LG)

The South Korean electronics company LG is selling a television set that drives away mosquitoes with ultrasonic sound waves. It's marketing the TV in India, where mosquitoes are a major public health menace. Each 32" monitor costs about $400 USD. UPI quotes the company:

"The ultrasonic sound waves effectively drives away the mosquitoes keeping your loved ones absolutely safe at home. Since no harmful chemicals are used, it is also odor-free and not hazardous to health like the conventional methods used for keeping mosquito away," the company said on its website.

-via Ace of Spades HQ


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Dog Is Fascinated with iPad Game


(Video Link)

Maya the Golden Retriever loves to play games on her iPad. Here she is, fascinated by a little bird that flies back and forth on the screen. She pauses now and then to howl in delight.

Her less--shall we say--intellectual sibling prefers a squeaky toy.

-via Tastefully Offensive

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

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Birds in Scotland Are Stealing Skinny Dippers' Underwear

(Photo: Joe Pell)

A swimming hole in an isolated party of Angus, Scotland is popular with local skinny dippers. It's also a hunting ground for red kites who nest nearby. Lately, they've been waiting for the humans to get naked and into the water, then stealing their clothes. The Herald reports that these birds appear to have a special affinity for high fashion branded underpants, which they use as nesting material:

Gamekeeper Dave Clement last year found that a pair of red kites on his estate at Gannochy in Glen Esk near Edzell had stolen pants and socks from a popular local wild swimming spot, to to use in the building of their nest. […]

Dave Clement, member of the Angus Glens Moorland Group, said it appeared that the Kites had become more discerning in 2016, choosing branded undergarments.

“The licences ringer who went up the tree to the nest said there were Armani pants and another brand as well as socks, which they must have pinched off the swimmers at the local gorge.

“It seems they will take anything to line the nest, then lay the eggs on top, and someone must have gone home minus some underwear.

-via Nothing to Do with Abroath


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A Quick Guide to Happiness

(Cinismo Ilustrado)

I've got not thinking and eating my own vomit down, so I have a good head start on being happy. Smiling all day is a bit much, but I'll keep imitating my dog in the hope of becoming him.

-via Tastefully Offensive


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How Dunkin' Donuts Changed the Dictionary

(Photo: QFamily)

The origin of the doughnut is shrouded in mystery, but it probably began in mid-Nineteenth Century America when a woman named Elizabeth Gregory made pastries, each of which had a single nut in the center.

These were doughnuts and not, I should point out, donuts. The alternate spelling "donut" may have been the work of the restaurant chain Dunkin' Donuts. Kate Taylor of Business Insider summarizes linguistic evidence that suggests that the popularity of the spelling "donut" follows the rise of Dunkin' Donuts as a franchise empire.

After Dunkin' Donuts began in 1950, the use of the alternate spelling of doughnut emerged. It tracks with the spread of the company across America. The spelling has become so common that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary now lists donut has a correct way to spell the word.

-via Ed Driscoll


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Fish Makes Daring Escape

It was an unlikely plan, but our hero had nothing to lose. If he didn't get out of the grocery store, he'd eventually end up eaten. He mentally prepared himself, then leapt for freedom.

Be sure to watch the entire video to see how his venture ended.


(Video Link)

-via Gifsboom


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New Logo for the Presbyterian Church of Tatooine

The Presbyterian Church in America is a protestant denomination not to be confused with the Presbyterian Church USA. The church government has chosen a new logo, which makes Twitter user Shane Morris think of something else. Grace remains irresistible, as is Boba Fett still unstoppable.*

-via Home Geekonomics

*Theological jokes are hard to write, so cut me some slack.


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Rocking Chair Bed

Enjoy the soothing motion of a rocking chair, but the horizontality of a bed. This is Private Cloud, a unique piece of furniture designed by Manuel Kloker. It's 7 feet, 8 inches long and 6 feet wide. It costs $7,800 USD, but does not come with a beautiful woman included.

-via Lost at E Minor


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Street Artist Hangs Gravity-Defying Shoes over City Streets

(Photo: Gary Van Handley)

You may seen shoes tied together and hanging over steet lamps and poles in urban environments. But never like this! Pejac, a street artist from Spain, left 4 sculptures on London streets that look like hanging shoes, but they face the wrong way. He hopes to inspire child-like leaps of imagination. Street Art News quotes him:

You do not have to be an artist or a child to have a different view of reality. This work is for those who are looking to let their imagination drift away with gravity. Or possibly more for all those who have forgotten to do so.

-via Colossal


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Playing Jenga on Fire


(Video Link)

Jenga is a fun party game. But perhaps you'd like for it to be a bit more exciting. The guys at Vat19 found a great way to do exactly that. They got a set of giant Jenga blocks and set them on fire. Then they played the game.

This was challenging, as the pieces had to be handled quickly. They were, you know, on fire.

It's a thrilling game and the basic principle could be used elsewhere. I'd like to try Twister on fire and Candy Land on fire.

-via 22 Words


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Flying a Wingsuit over an Active Volcano


(Video Link)

Roberta Mancina is a world record-holding skydiver, BASE jumper, and wingsuit pilot. In her spare time, she also works as a model and stuntwoman. She's pretty much amazing, so this is just another day at the office for her.

For a lark, Mancina decided to strap on a wingsuit and jump out of a helicopter directly over an active volcano in Chile. Villarrica has a lava lake that's clearly visible from the GoPro cameras that Mancina and her colleagues wore on their helmets.

-via Laughing Squid


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Malgorzata Chodakowska's Ethereal Fountains

Malgorzata Chodakowska is a sculptor in Lodz, Poland. She makes enchantingly beautiful fountains shaped like human figures (content warning: artistic nudity). The flow of the water completes the images, making them look alive.

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The Bayonax

Instructables member Bart Goemaere is a man of genius. In the past, we examined his boomerang axe, which is a throwing axe that returns to you if your miss your target. Now he's back with an essential survival tool: the Bayonax.

Recently, there was heavy flooding where Goemaere lives in northern France. He had to drive home, but a tree had fallen across the road he had to travel on.

Goemaere had only his metalsmithing tools and survival knife with him. He didn't have a saw or axe. But he found a solution: Goemaere wrapped duct tape around his knife and a hammer, giving his knife greater leverage and weight in a swinging motion. 15 minutes later, he had cut up the tree and unblocked the road.

Now he's offering a more finished version of his improvised tool. For this Bayonax, Goemaere cut the head off a cheap carpenter's hammer, then secured a knife to it with twine. You can find complete instructions on how to build your own here.


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Woman Wakes up with a 16-Foot Snake in Her Bedroom

(Photo: Trina Birrell)

This is Monty. He's a Scrub Python.

Monty lived on the roof of a house in Misson Beach, Queensland, Australia. For 15 years years, he had been a fairly quiet resident of that roof owned by Trina Hibberd. But early on Monday morning, he decided to pop in and visit his neighbor.

Hibberd's friend Julie Birrell was visiting. She had been asleep in bed when she noticed that there was a 16-foot long snake exploring the room. ABC News quotes Hibberd:

"We walked into the bedroom and it was hanging from the curtain drapes down to the bedside table — and that was only a third of him," he said.

"It was a good monster.

"We locked ourselves in the bedroom and grabbed him around the neck. He coiled around my arm but we managed to put him a container."

This is not the first time that Monty has had boundary issues. Hibberd first met him 15 years ago when he poked his head into her bathroom while she was taking a shower.

But Monty probably won't be a problem anymore. A snake catcher captured him and released him into a nearby water treatment plant.

-via Marilyn Bellamy


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Sunburned Toast

Enjoy the summer sun, but be sure to put a lot of sunblock on! Don't let your skin get too toasted. Instagram member konel_bread, who previously showed us surprise bread loaves, offers this cheeky piece of toast.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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The Strandbeest Bike

Dutch artist Theo Jansen is most famous for his Strandbeests--walking kinetic sculptures that look like alien machines. They inspired Blaine Elliot of Santa Barbara, California to build this bicycle which locomotes similarly. It's called the Walking Bike.


(Video Link)

Elliott and his colleague JP built a 3d model to test the functionality of Jansen's leg linkages on the bike. Then, over 6 months, they assembled about 670 pieces into the finished machine. You see more photos and specs here.

-via Core77


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Deep Fried Cheetos-Covered Macaroni and Cheese Sticks

(Photo: The Consumerist)

You wake up in the morning. The alarm clock has been buzzing for half an hour, but you still can't summon the will to turn it off, let alone get up.

Head on down to Burger King, the home of the Whopper and Mac n' Cheetos! When you've given up on, well, pretty much everything, then Burger King has the meal for you!

The Consumerist reports that the hamburger chain is preparing to release its newest simulated food product on June 27. Mac n' Cheetos consists of macaroni and cheese breaded with crumbled Cheetos, then deep fried. Each cartoon of 5 will cost $2.49.

-via First We Feast

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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A Slide Seat for Disabled Kids

Ali has cerebral palsy and so can't support his own bodyweight while going down a playground slide. So Goren Harari and his colleagues at the Holon Institute of Technology in Israel designed this seat that lets him safely use a slide.

You can find complete plans for it at Instructables. The body is made of polycarbonate sheets which is heated into shape. The backrest is angled at 70º. The seat is padded and comes with restraints to keep Ali in place. There's a handle on the back so that a caregiver can move Ali up and down the slide.

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Shedding Snake Gets Trapped in Its Own Skin


(Video Link)

The circle of life is a beautiful thing.

This is Tim, a Stimson's Python that lives at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre in Northern Australia. Recently, Tim shed his skin. As he shucked it off, he slithered in a circle. He ended up entering the hole left by the end of his own skin, thus creating a continuous tunnel of skin.

Tim spent 3 hours on Wednesday doing laps through his old skin before exiting it. The Daily Mail quotes Rex Neindorf, the director of the facility:

After trying to exit from his bubble wrap-esque skin for the first time, Tim hit the side of another snake and was forced back in through the mouth of his already shed skin, where he continued to circle.

‘He did laps for about three hours,’ Mr Neindorf said.

Mr Neindorf has worked with snakes for over 30 years and said he had never seen anything like it.

Tim managed to break free from his sloughed skin after a ‘marathon shedding session’ and is back in his enclosure at the reptile centre.

-via The Soul Is Bone


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High School Recreates Graduation for Student Who Just Woke up from a Coma


(Photo: WHTM)

Scott Dunn was a senior at East Juniata High School in McAllisterville, Pennsylvania. On May 22, just before he was scheduled to graduate, he was in a car accident. He was in a coma for several days before waking on May 28. He had missed his chance to participate in the grand spectacle of graduation exercises, which meant a lot to him.

So the school recently held a second ceremony just for Scott. ABC 27 News reports:

“Couple days later, Mr. Fausey,” the school’s principal, Scott’s mom Karen said, “called us and said to us that everybody wanted to do something special for him.”

“There’s only one high school graduation that people get,” Benjamin Fausey said. “To me, this is the least that we can do.”

Tuesday, more than half of Dunn’s class (about 45 students) went back to school. During summer. After they graduated.

“It’s really nice to be able to celebrate him,” Ashlyn Guyer said.

The school went through the pomp and circumstance. Students donned their caps and gowns and sat in the front of the auditorium. Scott’s parents, Karen and Scott Sr., sat front and center. After brief speeches, Scott’s name was called. Only Scott’s name. He walked across the stage as the audience erupted.

A graduation for one.

-via Ace of Spades HQ


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Dad Gets Tattoo That Looks Like the Cancer Scar on His Son's Head

(Photo: Point Blank Tattoo)

Josh Marshall and his 8-year old son Gabriel live in Kansas. Last year, doctors diagnosed Gabriel with a brain tumor. Surgeons were able to remove most of it and Gabriel's condition has stabilized. But he has a huge scar across his head. It bothers him and sometimes he thinks it makes him look like a "monster."

So for Father's Day, Josh shaved his head, then had a copy of his son's scar tattooed on his head. Now, BuzzFeed reports, Gabriel thinks that he and his loving dad are twins!

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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A Backpack for Kids with Autism

Kids with autism sometimes wear weighted vests that compress around their bodies. This sensory experience can have a calming effect. A responsible adult can see when a kid with autism needs one and respond by putting it on.

That's helpful when such an adult is handy. But when the child is alone, a compression vest may not be an option--until now. Mitch Barbon designed the Compression Pack. It's a combination compression vest and backpack. The child wears it as a normal school backpack, then activates it when needed by squeezing on a hidden air pump. The straps, which have hollow tubes, inflate, providing a compressing sensation.

This is 1 of 3 award-winning products for kids with autism featured at Core77.

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Emoji Pool Balls

Artists Jean-Baptiste Le Divelec, Joseph Davies, Soniali Ranjit, Xuan Phan, and Winigreeni composed Poolmoji, an emoji-decorated set of pool balls. Rack up your expressions and hit them with a cue instead of your phone. You can see more photos of them at Design Boom.

-via Fubiz


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Women in Saudi Arabia Get around Driving Ban with Bumper Cars


(Photo: Arwa Al-Neami/Never Never Land Series)

Women in Saudia Arabia aren't allowed to drive. So when some women there feel the need for speed, they head to amusement parks to ride the bumper cars. They are allowed to drive those vehicles, although not on the open road. The Wall Street Journal explains:

At the weekly ladies-only night at the Al Shallal Theme Park in the coastal city of Jeddah, women discard head scarves and head-to-toe black gowns to reveal the latest trends—ripped jeans, tank tops, and tossed-to-the-side ’80s-style hair. For many of them, the biggest draw of the amusement park isn’t the few hours of fashion freedom. Instead, they go there to get behind the wheel—even a bumper-car wheel—in a country that bans female drivers.

There are no loud bangs or ferocious head-on crashes. There are a few slow-speed collisions, but also a lot of dodging, as many women are content with just gliding over the smooth surface. For some, the biggest risk of bumping into each other is while taking a selfie.

“They love driving the cars,” Aman al-Abadi, the ride attendant, said of the women who were getting back in line for another spin. “Men are always bumping.”

-via Jalopnik


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Galaxy Donuts

A photo posted by Hedi Gh (@h.rebel) on May 8, 2016 at 12:22am PDT

A good donut tastes like the beauty of the universe. Bite into these swirling galaxies of flavor by Instagram members Hedi Gh and Sam Melbourne. The two chefs ice their confections to look like the cosmos on a clear night. You can find instructions on how to make your own here.

Continue reading
We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Makeup Artist Puts Herself in Surreal Worlds

Rocket News 24 introduces us to Dain Yoon, a Korean makeup artist with an incredible talent for painting herself into mind-bending optical illusions. She can create hyper-realistic images of her own face on her hands, as well as take us on trips to imaginary worlds.

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The Science of 12 Superheroes Explained

The Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics is a regular publication written by physics students at the University of Leicester in the UK. In it, the authors apply real physics to popular culture, such as exploring the effects of Miley Cyrus coming in like a wrecking ball, how much lembras bread would be necessary to journey through Mordor, and how long vampires need to suck all of the blood out of a human body.

Most recently, the students examined the powers of a dozen popular Marvel and DC superheroes, including Batman, Thor, Batman, and the Silver Surfer. In this symposium, Leah Ashley describes Mystique as "the ultimate mutant." Ashley explains the genetic basis for Mystique's ability to alter her appearance:

Mystique’s ability to change the patterns on her skin as camouflage could be similar to the ability of various cephalopods (such as cuttlefish). These possess chromatophores similar to the melanocytes in humans, however the classes of pigments span a wider range of colours. Some classes also contain nanocrystals that reflect light to create a shine. The chromatophores of cuttlefish are surrounded by muscles that are able to change the cells between punctate and expanded states, based signals from motor centres of the brain based on visual cues [13][14]. This produces a quicker colour-change response than the pigment dispersal mechanism used by vertebrates like the chameleon [15].

The cuttlefish has 6 reflectin genes that relate to its development of iridosmes and effective camouflage [16]. These genes may be part of the additional genes Mystique possesses. The gene PAX7A controls chromatophore development in the Japanese rice fish, and SLC2A15B is important to chromatophore differentiation [17]. SLC2A15 is similar to human SLC2A9, and PAX7A could be related to the human PAX7 gene that regulates muscle tissue formation [17][18]. With considerable mutation in her genome, Mystique may therefore show similar surface properties as the Japanese rice fish.

-via VA Viper


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Star Trek II: The Chest of Khan

(Blue Milk Special)

When Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan came out, actor Ricardo Montalban was 61 years old. Some people thought that he wore a prosthetic chest during filming. But, no: he was just ripped. Khan had apparently spent all his years on Ceti Alpha V doing push-ups and he had the pecs to prove it.


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How Movie Dialogue Works (Or Should Work)


(Video Link)

In 1927, The Jazz Singer hit screens in the US. It was the first feature-length film with recorded dialogue. Since then, screenwriters and directors have struggled with how to use dialogue most effectively to contribute to movie storytelling.

Jack Nugent, a critic who previously showed us how movie trailers are designed, brings us this analysis of dialogue in movies. The best expository dialogue (dialogue which explains something to the audience) passes what Nugent calls the Dead Parent Test. If the story opens with a parent already dead, it's necessary to tell the audience. But the way in which that death is mentioned shouldn't seem obvious and forced.

Nugent demonstrates effective and ineffective dialogue with The Karate Kid, Pulp Fiction, Juno, Titanic, and other movies.

Content warning: NSFW language.

-via Blame It on the Voices


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Burak Doğan's Superhero Bookshelves

Burak Doğan, a product and industrial designer in Istanbul, makes wall-mounted bookshelves that are ideal for a superhero's secret lair or cozy den. This Superman bookshelf offers a few storage challenges, but also provides visual flair for comics and graphic novels.

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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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