John Farrier's Blog Posts

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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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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Supercut: "I Should Have Killed You When I Had the Chance!"


(Video Link)

The seventh rule on the Evil Overlord List says:

When I've captured my adversary and he says, "Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?" I'll say, "No." and shoot him. No, on second thought I'll shoot him then say "No."

See also: rules 3, 4, 6, 16, 38, 46, and 52. The Evil Overlord List is filled with practical advice for everyday life, not just strategic counsel would-be villains from television and movies.

This supercut by Jukka-Pekka Bohm shows how common this trope is. In at least 88 movies, villains and heroes express regret that they did not immediately slay enemies at the first opportunity. You can find a complete list in the comments at the video link.

Content warning: foul language.

-via VA Viper


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8th Grader Makes Impossible Buzzer-Time Shot to Win the Championship


(Video Link)

It's like the climactic scene of a movie.

St. John of the Cross School and St. Cletus Catholic School faced off at at Immaculate Conception High School in Illinois in the basketball game to decide the champion of the Surburban Parish League. The score was tied at 28. The clock ticked down.

Just as the buzzer rang, Jack Hlavin of St. John of the Cross hurled the ball across three-fourths of the court toward St. Cletus's basket. It swooshed through perfectly, delivering the victory to St. John of the Cross and its newest hero, Jack Hlavin.

Appropriately, the crowd erupted in delight at this amazing shot.

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Which Woman Here Is the Mother of the Other Two?

Three young women go out for a drive. You may think that they're all siblings, but they're not. There are two sisters and their mother in the photo. Which one is the mom?

Kaylan Mahomes tweeted this photo of herself, her sister, and her remarkably young-looking mom. They look like triplets, but they're not. Can you figure out which is which?

Who is the mother?




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Study: Beards Increase Resistance to Hospital Infections

Would you like to avoid dying a horrible death from an infection while staying in the hospital? Then you'd better grow a beard. According to a study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, men with beards are less likely to develop Staphylococcus aureus infections. Men who shave expose themselves to needless danger by cutting themselves, thus increasingly the likelihood of infections. The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

The study examined the faces of 408 healthcare workers, with and without facial hair.

While the results were overwhelmingly similar for bearded and non-bearded healthcare workers (bacteria colonisation was, on the whole, low), where there was a difference between the two groups, the bacteria species were more likely to be found in men without facial hair.

But there's more! Your beard, which is a greenhouse for microorganisms (or very large organisms, if you don't clean it), could be used to develop new types of antibiotics. The bearded Michael Mosley of the BBC talked to Dr. Adam Roberts, a microbiologist:

Adam managed to grow over 100 different bacteria from our beards, including one that is more commonly found in the small intestine. But, as he quickly explains, that doesn't mean it came from faeces. Such findings are normal and nothing to worry about. […]

Penicillin was originally extracted from Penicillium notatum, a species of fungus. The microbe-killing properties of this fungus were discovered by Alexander Fleming when he noticed that a fungus spore, which had accidently blown into his lab from researchers further down the corridor, had killed some bacteria he was growing on a petri dish.

So could our mysterious microbes be doing something similar? Killing fellow bacteria by producing some sort of toxin?

Dr. Roberts is absolutely certain that this development is inevitable:

"Yes," says Adam extremely cautiously. "Possibly."

-via Jonah Goldberg


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When Negotiating a Price, Never Bid with a Round Number

(Image: Monty Python's The Life of Brian)

When you're negotiating the price of something, you should offer a precise amount, not a round number. The other party is more likely to accept your bid. Proposing a round number signals that you don't really know the value of the good being priced. Carmen Nobel explains the Harvard Business Review:

Here’s an easy tip for anyone negotiating to buy a car, a house, or even a company. When you make an initial offer, don’t bid with a round number like $10,000 or $1 million or $15 per share. Rather, bid with a more precise number, like $9,800 or $1.03 million or $14.80 per share.

According to a recent study of mergers and acquisitions, investors who offer “precise” bids for company shares yield better market outcomes than those who offer round-numbered bids

“It turns out that if you make a precise bid, the targets are more likely to accept it, and more likely to accept it at a cheaper price. And with cash bids, they’ll generate a more positive market reaction,” says Matti Keloharju, a visiting scholar at Harvard Business School and co-author, with Petri Hukkanen, of the paper Initial Offer Precision and M&A Outcomes.

-via Marginal Revolution


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What Book That You Have NOT Read Has Most Influenced and Shaped Your Life?


(Image): CBS)

This is a fascinating question tweeted by Venkatesh Rao which I encountered through economist and polymath Tyler Cowen.

The question flips over the classic "What book have you read that has most influenced your life?" into a different realm. What text as more subtly influenced you simply by being present in your society? Cowen responds:

I suppose if you haven’t read the Bible or Quran those are easy answers, but let’s say you have.

I’ve only read snippets of Mein Kampf, so that has to stand as a contender.  But has the book really influenced and shaped my life?  Maybe you can attribute the relevant marginal product to the life of Hitler, with the book being intermediated by Hitler himself.  Therefore I am not sure that answer is true to the spirit of the question.

How about a training manual of some kind, which perhaps my early teachers read but I have never seen or even heard of?  Might my mother have read Dr. Spock or other parenting books?  That would be my best guess.

Benjamin Spock's Baby and Child Care greatly altered (or reflected a developing trend) in American parenting. Many adults would have been necessarily influenced by it, so that's a pretty good pick. Cowen's normally very intelligent commenters also have great suggestions, including Isaac Newton's Principles of Natural Philosophy and the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

How do you respond?


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Wood Race Car Built from a Single Log

(Photo: HGTV)

Timber Kings is a reality TV show about Pioneer Log Homes, a business in British Columbia that builds log homes from local timber. They can build more than just houses. They also make cars, as they demonstrated with this race car built from a single log of Western Red Cedar.

The Cedar Rocket, as the car is named, recently secured the Guinness World Record as the fastest motorized log at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona by reaching 47.64 miles per hour. Bryan Reid, Sr., the owner and founder of Pioneer Log Homes, drove the Cedar Rocket himself. He called the experience of building and driving this unique racer the "one of the top ten achievements" of his life.


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Florida Man Loses Car Keys, Locks Himself in Trunk While Looking for Them


(Unrelated photo via Kārlis Dambrāns)

Deputy Sheriff Seth Hopp of Monroe County, Florida found a car with all 4 doors open, but no one inside. When he approached, the heard knocking coming from inside the trunk. He ordered whoever was inside to come out. "I can't!" replied a voice from inside the trunk. The Sun Sentinel reports:

"I opened the trunk and a...male emerged," said Hopp. And the male had an unusual explanation for his predicament.

After going for a walk on the beach, Moore told the deputy, "he was looking for the keys to the vehicle and had accidently fallen in the trunk while searching for the keys. The trunk then closed on top of him."

What happened to Moore's keys remains unknown. The deputy may have opened the trunk using an in-car release, said Monroe County Sheriff's spokeswoman Becky Herrin.

Surprisingly, drugs were involved:

During his interview with Hopp, Moore told the deputy he had in the car a pill bottle containing marijuana.

-via Christina H. Sommers


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Automatic Lipstick Machine

Simone Giertz is a brilliant inventor who has changed the way we live our daily lives with gadgets that are now essential parts of modern life. She's the person responsible for many of the technological conveniences in your home, such as your kitchen chopping machine, your slapping alarm clock, your breakfast serving machine, and your tooth brushing helmet.

Her latest wonder--which will hopefully soon be available to consumers--is the lipstick machine. Do you find it troublesome to put on your lipstick every morning? It's just one more chore that Giertz has taken off your to-do list with this gadget that does the job for you.


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Subtitled R2-D2 is Bitterly Sarcastic


(Video Link)

As it's been said before: droids are slaves. C-3PO is too cheerful about the experience, but R2-D2 isn't. He lets the biological characters know what he thinks about them all the time. They just can't understand him, which is probably a good thing. R2 takes all the risks, does all the work, and gets little of the credit. It's no wonder that he eventually snaps.

-via The Mary Sue


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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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