John Farrier's Blog Posts

Torghatten—The Mountain with a Hole in It


(Photo: Tristan Schmurr)

This is Torghatten, a mountain in Brønnøy, Norway. There’s a hole that goes right through the center of it. The hole is 160 meters long, 20 meters wide, and 25 meters high.

(Photo: Morten Skogly)

According to one legend, Torghatten is the hat of an ancient king. A dangerous man chased the king’s 7 daughters. The villain shot an arrow at one girl, but the king blocked the arrow with his hat. A local travel guide recounts the story:

The sight alone of Lekamøya awoke a flaming desire in Hestmannen, and he decided then and there to steal her away at midnight. He mounted his horse and galloped southwards, in full armour and with his cape j flung over his shoulder. The seven virgins noticed his approach and fled in full haste until they could run no more; they flung themselves down on the ground near Alstahaug.

But Lekamøya kept on fleeing southwards while the king of the Sømna wit mountains watched over her flight. Dawn approached with its golden clouds, and the Sømna hng watched carefully as the disappointed suitor put an arrow in his bow. As the arrow winged its way from Hestmannen's bow, the king of Sømna blocked its path with his hat, saving Lekamøya from its sharp and deadly point.

The hat fell to the ground by Torgar. And just at that moment the sun appeared over the horizon and everything turned to stone..

The hole in the hat remains to this day. It’s open to visitors who want to walk through it.


(Photo: André Bernet)

This could inspire a great stunt by Yves Rossy, the Swiss daredevil who flies a jetpack. Perhaps he could fly through the hole!

-via Amusing Planet


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This Man Has the Guinness World Record for the Loudest Burp

This is Paul Hunn. His superpower is the ability to burp. In fact, at 109.9 decibels, he can burp louder than a lawn mower engine.


(Video Link)

Hunn isn’t sure why he’s able to burp louder than anyone else. But he does have a couple tips on how you can improve your burps. Surprisingly, you should not eat before you need to burp. But you should breathe in and swallow as much air as you can.

So start practicing. You could be the next Burper King.

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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How Marvel Can Plan Movies So Far in Advance

As we’ve previously noted, if Marvel makes a movie, it will be a smashing success. So the company is starting to get a bit cocky about their abilities. On Tuesday, Marvel announced it movie release scheduleplanned all the way through 2019.

2019! That’s, like, in the far future. What with flying cars and such.

How does Marvel do it? As this cartoon by Julia Lepetit and Andrew Bridgman of Dorkly reveals, the company possesses truly otherworldly powers of prediction.

Note the poster in the background. At some point prior to 2016, Marvel will acquire DC.




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Woman Calls 911, Pretends to Order Pizza in Order to Summon the Police

(Photo: H. Michael Karshis)

5 months ago, a reddit thread asked “911 Operators, what is that 1 call that you could never forget?” Crux1836 responded with this fascinating story:

I had a call that started out pretty dumb, but was actually pretty serious: I had a call that started out pretty dumb, but was actually pretty serious:

"911, where is you emergency?"

"123 Main St."

"Ok, what's going on there?"

"I'd like to order a pizza for delivery." (oh great, another prank call).

"Ma'am, you've reached 911"

"Yeah, I know. Can I have a large with half pepperoni, half mushroom and peppers?"

"Ummm…. I'm sorry, you know you've called 911 right?"

"Yeah, do you know how long it will be?"

"Ok, Ma'am, is everything ok over there? do you have an emergency?"

"Yes, I do."

"..And you can't talk about it because there's someone in the room with you?" (moment of realization)

"Yes, that's correct. Do you know how long it will be?"

"I have an officer about a mile from your location. Are there any weapons in your house?"

"Nope."

"Can you stay on the phone with me?"

"Nope. See you soon, thanks"

As we dispatch the call, I check the history at the address, and see there are multiple previous domestic violence calls. The officer arrives and finds a couple, female was kind of banged up, and boyfriend was drunk. Officer arrests him after she explains that the boyfriend had been beating her for a while. I thought she was pretty clever to use that trick. Definitely one of the most memorable calls.

Rossalyn Warren of BuzzFeed contacted the redditor for more information. His name is Keith Weisinger. From 2004-2006, he worked as a police dispatcher. Warren writes:

Weisinger stressed that although he helped in this situation, the credit needed to be given to the caller.

He praised the woman for her bravery and smart thinking. “Whether she had thought of this trick before, or it just came to her,” he said, “she indicated the urgency of her situation without giving away the true purpose of her call.”


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Kid Rock Attends the Birthday Party of His Biggest Fan, A Man with Down Syndrome

Dan McGurk is a big fan of rock star Kid Rock. In fact, he claims to be his biggest fan. He really wanted to meet him someday. McGurk got his chance on Monday, when he was celebrating his 30th birthday with his friends and family.


(Video Link)

At the 2:52 mark, Kid Rock shows up with the cake, singing Happy Birthday. The expression on McGurk’s face is wonderful!

Kid Rock gave the birthday boy a few presents, including an electric guitar inscribed with the title of Kid Rock’s song “American Bad Ass.”

-via Popehat


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Burglar Forgets to Flush Toilet, Leaves DNA Evidence

(Photo: Matthew Jording)

Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico say that they’ve caught the culprit of a $250,000 house burglary in part because he left a DNA sample in a toilet. While robbing the home, the police say that the man drank a Coke from the refrigerator, leaving one DNA sample. Then he used the toilet. Because he didn’t flush, he left another DNA sample for forensic technicians to retrieve.

So the lesson for today is that if you don’t flush, you might go to jail.


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The Japanese Navy's Crazy Plan to Bomb Texas


(Photo: Max Smith)

Other than a handful of submarine-mounted artillery bombings, a brief air raid by a single submarine-launched seaplane, and a few balloon-floated bombs, Japan was unable to directly attack the 48 contiguous United States during World War II. The Japanese did, however, have larger ambitions against the US heartland.

Pictured above is a surviving Kawanishi H8K, a seaplane operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy. 30 of these planes would have been the strike force of an extraordinary plan to bomb Texas.


(Map: NOAA)

Note that Texas does not have a Pacific coastline.

That did not dissuade the Japanese. They wanted to damage the oil fields then active in Texas. So they planned to fly 30 H8K seaplane bombers across the Pacific, refueling them with carefully-staged submarines. After refueling a final time off the coast of Baja California, the bombers would fly across northern Mexico and strike Texas.

Fortunately, the Japanese developed this plan too late in the war to make it feasible. They cancelled it and similar plans to bomb the Panama Canal.

-via Ace of Spades HQ


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This Simple Strip of Paper Can Detect the Ebola Virus


(Photo: Wyss Institute/Harvard University)

There is now a great need to test large numbers of people for the Ebola virus. James J. Collins and his colleagues at Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biological Inspired Engineering have developed a simple tool that can help do that. It's a strip of paper embedded with chemicals that change colors when exposed to Ebola. Douglas McCormick of IEEE Spectrum reports:

It took them less than a day to produce a slip of paper that can detect the Ebola virus. Armed only with that slip and smartphone camera, a healthcare worker in the field could know within two hours—and sometimes in as little as 20 minutes—whether a patient is infected or not. And the doctor, nurse, or volunteer could do this without advanced skills, extensive sample preparation, expensive reagents, laboratory instruments, or even refrigeration.

-via Ian Chant


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Square Roots

(Photo: question_ev3rything)

Redditor question_ev3rything spotted this amazing tree root formation in Guangzhou, China. The persistent tree has pushed its away into the orderly, grid-lined human world.

A very patient artist could use this phenomenon to grow some impressive works of art.

-via Twisted Sifter

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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This Self-Stabilizing Boat’s Deck Stays Level, Even in Rough Water


(Photo: Josh Valcarcel/Wired)

This is the Martini 1.5, an innovative boat design by Velodyne Marine. As it whips across the waves at high speed, the deck remains level. That's because the Martini has an active suspension system that adjusts as the pontoons rise and fall. The boat can stay level in 5.5-foot waves at speeds of up to 30 MPH. Alex Davies of Wired explains how it works:

Each corner, where the arm meets the hull, has a linear accelerometer, a pneumatic airbag, and a DC servo motor. To match the movement of the ocean, detected by the accelerometer, the motor turns a ball screw that pushes or pulls the control arm, lowering and raising that end of the hull as necessary.

Velodyne is working on a model that will have two larger hulls closer together, but working independently. This will permit the boat to carry a much larger cabin.


(Video Link)


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Strawberry and Lemon-Flavored Hot Dogs

(Photo: suzunone)

A few minutes ago, I didn't know these things existed. It had never occurred to me to combine sweet, fruity flavors with the meat-like flavor of hot dogs. But now I want to eat them all!

Rocket News 24 reports that at what I gather is a gas station in central Honshu, it is possible to buy packaged hot dogs that come as Nature intended: with strawberry or lemon flavors.

Who's up for a road trip?

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Pineapple Jack-o'-Lantern

This pineapple looks much more frightening than an ordinary jack-o'-lantern! Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing saw it at a Trader Vic's in Portland, Oregon. It would be great for a Halloween party with a Tiki theme.

-via Make

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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29 Web Ads Ruined by Extremely Unfortunate Placement

Do you trust a computer program to determine where your ad goes online in order to maximize its visability?

Well, considering how many companies have human-generated public relations disasters, maybe it's not a bad idea. Still, sometimes ad placements go over poorly. 22 Words has screenshots of 29 web ad placement failures.

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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80s Cartoon Villains Dunking on You

Skeletor from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Megatron from The Transformers

You have no place on this basketball court. The villains of an 80s childhood will destroy you by dunking over your head, again and again. Andy Kaufman drew these images that let you feel as small as you were back when these cartoons were still new.

Continue reading

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Artist Adds Doodles to Random People

Instagram member geeohsnap is an artist in Norway. He takes pictures of random people that he sees. He then loads those photos into Snapchat and uses doodling tools to add important details, such as animals waiting for public transportation or people playing silly games in public. All of us ordinary people live extraordinary lives in his world.

Continue reading

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5 Book and Pizza Pairings

(Pizza photo: Randy Mayor)

Pizza is fun to eat and heavy literature is, well, good for you in a way. It's the literary equivalent of broccoli. You should eat it. A nice greasy pizza will help you digest the prose.

But which pizza? Martin Cahill of Quick Books has pizza suggestions for 5 classic works of literature, including Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. For Moby-Dick, Cahill recommends a cheese and anchovy pizza that will remind you of life on the sea.

We could have a lot of fun with this idea using other books, such as E.L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey and Cormac McCarthy's The Road.

-via Adrienne Crezo


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Crash Test Dummies Are Getting Fatter

Obesity is a growing problem in America. As we've noted previously, it affects not just humans, but also America's laboratory animals. Now even crash test dummies used in car safety studies are putting on extra weight. Pictured above is a new dummy designed by Humanetics, a company that specializes in that field. It weighs 273 pounds and has a BMI (body mass index) of 35. CNN reports:

Humanetics are also rolling out their next generation THOR (Test device for Human Occupant Restraint) for median range occupants, with the most advanced sensitivity yet.

"The idea of these new dummies that they start to measure new types of load, (such as) shoulder loads, they interact with restraints better," says Dr. Joel Stitzel, director of the Center for Injury Biomechanics. "They have more measurement capabilities, so they can do a better job of predicting injury."

-via Jalopnik


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Origami Millennium Falcon

Adamite85, an origami artist in the Czech Republic, made a simple but remarkably accurate model of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. I wouldn't try the Kessel Run in it, but I'm sure that it would do fine for in-system operations. Either way, if they follow standard Imperial procedure, they'll dump their garbage before they go to light-speed, then we just float away.


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Father and Son MechWarrior Halloween Costume

Geraint is a lucky boy. His father, Ryan, was planning this costume for years before he was born. It’s a Sunder mech from the BattleTech universe. Imgur member PutABowOnIt writes:

My husband had this costume planned for several years, long before we had a child.  The inspiration was a computer game he played in high school.  When we found out we were having a baby, he got to work.  Ryan sketched out the rough designs probably two months before Geraint was born.  With so much baby stuff coming in the mail, we had plenty of boxes for him to work with, so he just had to buy a few things to make it.

The frame is cardboard wrapped around PVC pipe and held in place with zip ties. It’s a flexible form with Velcro keeping the limbs attached at the joints.  The visual details are made of foam board.

-via Tastefully Offensive

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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This Is the Smart Way to Move a Refrigerator


(Photo: New Zealand Herald)

A truck is better. But what if you don’t have a truck? Or even just a length of rope that can be used to tie it to the roof of the car? That’s when you ask a friend to help you—a friend that really loves you, but you regard as a bit expendable.

Police in West Auckland, New Zealand are looking for these two men (presumably there’s someone driving the car) who were spotted transporting a refrigerator on the roof of a Nissan. But rather than congratulating them on their daring, they would like to warn the men that what they did was dangerous. Such spoilsports!

-via Nothing to Do with Aborath


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This Belt is Also a Scooter

Ádám Török, a product designer in Sopron, Hungary, made this scooter for a school graduation project. His premise is that in the future, most vehicles will be portable. This is a flexible form of transportation. If your bus is late, you don’t have to walk to your destination. You can just take off your belt and scoot there. It's made of metal and plywood and weighs less than 4 pounds.

-via Design Boom


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Baby Who Looks Like Elvis Born


(Photo: SWNS)

Has the King been reincarnated? Time will tell as George Georgious of London grows up. When he was born, George had over an inch of hair on his head. When it’s combed, it stands up. He’s also growing sideburns, so this baby looks a lot like Elvis Presley. His mother reports that even strangers point out the resemblance. 


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50 Ways to Cook with Butterfinger Candy Bars

What can you do with Butterfinger candy bars? Besides wolfing them down hungrily, you can cook with them. Christi of the food blog Love from the Oven rounded up 50 great recipes that use Butterfinger candy bars.

Among them is this Butterfinger ice cream cake made by Betsy of JavaCupcake. She made it upon request as her husband’s birthday cake. It’s made of vanilla ice cream, graham crackers, butter, whipping cream, sugar, and, of course, Butterfinger bars.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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These Goofy Halloween Skeletons Will Make You Shriek in Laughter

Steve Miller and Stacy Adams of Fort Mill, South Carolina own a set of poseable human skeleton replicas. Last year, they started putting them in scenes on the front porch of their home. They call their project the Baxter Skeletons.

The settings are increasingly elaborate, using props, backgrounds, and lights. The skeletons aren't just trying to scare you. They're trying to live normal, fun-filled lives. 

Continue reading
Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Homeless Man Plays Piano Beautifully


(Video Link)

The City of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, recently put pianos in public spaces for people to play. David Rauch, an urban planner, led the project. He says that the results have been beautiful and fun:

“You just know they’re a total success when you see a homeless guy sit down and play Let It Be for over two hours at a stretch,” he smiles.

“All types of people play all kinds of music,” he says, “children play the A-B-C song, mothers and sons play duets, friends play dueling pianos.

“We’ve had people play wonderful classical virtuosos, and an opera company singing around the piano.”

The above video shows a performance on a piano in Sir Winston Churchill Square. Ryan, the pianist, says that he's been homeless for 30 years. During that time, he's taught himself how to play.

-via 22 Words


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Heather Boggs's The Shining Hats

Heather Boggs of Madision, Wisconsin knits hats with patterns that reflect the costumes and scenery of Stanley Kubrick's iconic horror film The Shining. She does an excellent job of matching wardrobes, carpets, and paint schemes that appear in the Overlook Hotel and the people who survive in it.

Her model doesn't quite have the Sad Etsy Boyfriend look, but his showmanship really brings out the tone of these crafts.

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Town Struggling over Alcohol Prohibition Law Discovers That the Law Doesn't Actually Exist


(That's My Story and I'm Stuck to It t-shirt)

Hanover is a small town south of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. For as long as anyone can remember, it's been a dry town. That means that people aren't allowed to buy or sell alcoholic beverages. Town officials enforced this law, which was not entirely popular.

In 2006, the town held a referendum to repeal the law. By a 30-vote margin, the town upheld the alcohol prohibition statute.

The town held an election last Wednesday. The alcohol law was once again up for referendum. But as they were preparing for the election, town officials discovered an important piece of information: the law didn't exist.

Everyone had assumed that alcohol sales were illegal in the town. But no one could find the actual text of the law. Lawyers poured through records going as far back as 1880 and found no alcohol prohibition law.

-via Weird Universe


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Chocolate Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzels

For a baking contest, Jessie Oleson Moore made preztels filled with a mixture of chocolate and peanut butter. Using a recipe by Elizabeth Bennett, Moore first shaped canned breadstick dough into pretzel forms. She filled these with a combination of peanut butter, cocoa, whipping cream, and egg yolk. Moore then sealed the pretzel forms and baked them to make these delicious-looking snacks.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Firefighters Rescue a Horse from a Swimming Pool


(Video Link)

Yesterday afternoon, a horse in Mesa, Arizona escaped from its pen and wandered into a swimming pool. It was probably looking for water to drink. The horse was unable to climb out and became stuck.

After a veterinarian tranquilized the horse, firefighters with the Mesa Fire Department rigged a harness around its body and lifted the heavy animal out of the pool. By my count, that's 9 men in the video struggling to pull on the harness.

The horse was, thankfully, uninjured.

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

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Want to Prove You're a Man? Stick Your Hand into this Glove Filled with Bullet Ants

(Photo: Pennsylvania State University)

A chief of the Sateré-Mawé people put it like this:

If you live your life without suffering anything or without any kind of effort, it won't be worth anything to you.

It's hard to argue to argue against that point of view.

Are you ready to leave aside boyhood and become a man? If you're in the Sateré-Mawé people of the Brazilian Amazon, then you will stick your hands into gloves filled with angry bullet ants and keep them there for 10 minutes.

And you'll do this 20 times.


(Video Link)

The bullet ants (Paraponera clavata) are appropriately named. Each sting is like 30 bee stings. To prepare for the initiation right, the men of the Sateré-Mawé gather them, drug them, then stick the ants into mittens of woven grass.

When the ants awake from their drugged stupor, they're in a foul mood. The boys stick their hands into the mittens and keep them there for about 10 minutes. It hurts a lot. But if they can do this 20 times, the tribe will accept them as men.

(Image: Universal Pictures)

So put your hand in. Remember that fear is the mind-killer. Also horrifically venomous ants.

-via Ace of Spades HQ


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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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