John Farrier's Blog Posts

Star Wars Dogfights Fit Perfectly with Top Gun Music


(Video Link)

Kenny Loggins's performance of "Danger Zone" became famous when it was included in the soundtrack of the 1986 movie Top Gun. It's instantly recognizable as a song about skilled men fearlessly risking their lives and having fun while doing it.

So it fits well with the thrilling dogfighting scenes in the 7 Star Wars movies. Weston Wong compiled the best of those combat sequences and set them to "Danger Zone." Now I can easily imagine Tom Cruise piloting an X-wing fighter.

-via Laughing Squid


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Young Chimpanzee Has Fun Sliding down a Hill


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This young bonobo at the Twycross Zoo in the UK has discovered the. Best. Game. Ever! It's called Sliding Down the Hill. To play, climb to the top of the incline in the enclosure, then slide down on your back. Do it forwards or backwards, but backwards is better.

He has fun doing it over and over again and tries to get his parents involved. They're less interested in playing the game. Perhaps, like humans parent, they're just too tired.

-via Nothing to Do with Aborath

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

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Mosaic Portraits Made of Tiny Hand-Painted Portraits

Look at this painting of the face of Marilyn Monroe.

No, closer:

These are tiny images of President Kennedy, who was allegedly one of her lovers.

Kim Dong Yoo is an amazingly precise artist. He makes paintings that are image mosaics of tiny figures--the same one for each painting. These aren't computer generated. He does them all by hand. You can see more of his work here, including paintings of Audrey Hepburn made of tiny Gregory Pecks and John F. Kennedy made of tiny Marilyn Monroes.

-via My Modern Met


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Incredibly Talented Teenager Turns Herself into Makeup Monsters

Lara Wirth of Melbourne, Australia is a self-taught makeup and special effects artist. Though she's only 16 years old, she's clearly already a master of her craft. If you'd like to learn how to make your own, you can watch videos in her helpful instructional YouTube channel.

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Teenager Walks in Public for the First Time at His High School Graduation


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Micah McDade of Okmulgee, Oklahoma was born with cerebral palsy. He uses a wheelchair throughout his daily life. But he decided that he wanted to make a big change for his high school graduation: he wanted to walk across the stage to receive his diploma.

So he trained for months for this one special moment. And when his name was called, McDade rose from his wheelchair and walked several steps--the first time he had ever walked in public. The Telegraph reports:

And so, without telling his classmates what he was preparing, Micah put in months of preparation ahead of Friday’s ceremony, building on the countless surgeries he’s had through his life to improve his mobility.

To deafening cheers, Micah was helped up from his chair and made his way across the platform, with the help of staff and a walking frame.

His parents Mark and Anisa McDade told reporters they couldn't be prouder, and wept with joy as they stood cheering along with the crowd.


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The Crazy Restaurant Where Your Food Is Delivered on Tiny Rollercoasters

(Photo: Alton Towers)

It's called the Rollercoaster Restaurant--and for good reason! This restaurant at the Alton Towers resort and amusement park in Staffordshire, UK has  tiny rollercoaster tracks between the kitchen and each dining table. After the kitchen staff cooks your food, they place it in steel pots which attach to the metal tracks. Then they send your food rushing down to your table.


(Video Link)

-via Laughing Squid


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This Is the Funn Pack

This is the Funn Pack. You can see that it is properly named, given the expression of the man who is wearing it. That's Dan Das Mann, an artist. He built the Funn Pack so that he could pack fun anywhere.

Its has 4 mirror balls, 1,000 watts of sound,* a bubble machine, 2 smoke machines, and 12 lasers. The whole setup is powered by a lithium-ion battery and weighs a mere 50 pounds. That's a lot of fun that is portable wherever 2 feet can carry it.

-via Blazenfluff

*Presumably he means that his speakers are powered with 1,000 watts.


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Game of Thrones Intro Recreated with Slime Mold


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In the now iconic Game of Thrones title sequence, an astrolabe spins over the world, creating an impression of order. But beneath it, plots grow, both organically and mechanically. There are schemes within schemes, hidden within each other.

Game of Thrones is a story of politics--deadly politics, but also just slimy. What better way to illustrate the budding conspiracies everywhere than with slime mold? YouTube user Transcend Rules merged microscopic images of thriving molds with the opening music from the show.

-via Gizmodo


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Simpsons Voice Actor Gives Commencement Address as His Characters


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Hank Azaria is a voice actor who has filled many roles over the 26 seasons of The Simpsons. Last Sunday, he delivered the commencement address at Tufts University. At the conclusion of his speech, he offered in-character advice to the graduates using the voices that he provides on the show. Listen to pearls of wisdom from Chief Wiggum, Moe the bartender, Apu the convenience store owner, Comic Book Guy, and the old sea captain.

-via Huffington Post


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Why the First Cremation in the US Was So Controversial

(Photo: Lee Paxton)

Pictured above is the LeMoyne Crematory in Washington, Pennsylvania. When it was built in 1876, it was the first modern crematory--that is, a building constructed for the explicit purpose of burning human bodies--in the United States.

In the Nineteenth Century, there was a great fear of being buried alive. This led to many inventions designed so that people could call for help if they ever woke up in coffins. Another approach to solving the problem was to ensure that the dead were well and truly dead by burning them into ash.

This was one of the arguments put forward by advocates of cremation. In the 1870s, there was a popular movement to do away with intact human burial and to burn the dead as normal practice. In addition to making sure that the dead were dead, cremation supporters claimed that burning bodies prevented corpses from speading diseases, such as cholera and yellow fever.

At Atlas Obscura, Amy Elliot Bragg traces the history of the cremation movement. She writes:

Because cremation was a moral crusade for the betterment of public health, it attracted sympathizers from other moral causes to its ranks, including no small number of women activists. The suffragist Lucy Stone was the first person cremated at the Forest Hills Crematory in Boston in 1893. Frances Willard—suffragist, temperance activist, and avid bicyclist—was also a vocal advocate of cremation. In 1900, the New York Times ran a satirical news item about the cremation of Willard's cat: “Each of Toots’s human friends will sprinkle a little myrrh or frankincense over the body, and while it is being consumed the incense will counteract any odor which might be emitted through the furnace chimney.”


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This Phone Is So Long It Requires 2 People to Operate It

Gather around, kids.

A long time ago, we didn't have smartphones. We didn't even have cellphones. We had phones that would only work if you plugged them into a special outlet on the wall. And none of them could operate SnapGram or InstaChat or whatever newfangled things you use nowadays.

This is what we had to use. It's called a rotary phone. You dialed numbers (there were no contacts) by turning the wheel, often while wearing an onion on our belts, which was the style at the time. And now designers Søren Pors and Apama Rao have faithfully recreated the original design in a functional sculpture called The Uncle Phone.

-via Fubiz


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Firefighters Rescue Baby Ducks from Storm Drain

Poor ducklings! 8 of them fell into a storm drain in Titirangi, New Zealand. Fortunately, the local volunteer fire brigade showed up to save the day. The firefighters opened the drain, then one of them hung upside down so that he could reach the ducks. After pulling the ducklings out, the firefighters placed them in a handy traffic cone, then released them to the care of their anxious mama.


(Video Link)

-via Ace of Spades HQ

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

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How Bugs Bunny's "What's Opera, Doc?" Inspired a Generation of Opera Stars

(Image: Warner Bros.)

In 1957, Warner Bros. released "What's Opera, Doc?"-- one of the most famous Bugs Bunny cartoons of all time. It was a parody of Richard Wagner's operatic Ring Cycle. Generations of children grew up watching that short in theatres and on television. As one of the greatest of the Bugs Bunny cartoons, it became deeply embedded in popular culture.

Some of those children grew up to become professional opera singers. For them, "What's Opera, Doc?" was their introduction to opera. The Wall Street Journal quotes mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Bishop:

Like many other singers and crew staging the 17-hour, four-opera Wagner extravaganza at the Kennedy Center, Ms. Bishop got her first taste of opera from a cartoon rabbit and his speech-impaired nemesis.

“I could sing you the entire cartoon before I knew what opera really was,” says Ms. Bishop, who performs the part of Fricka, wife of Wotan, king of the gods. […]

“Those of us who didn’t freak at the sight of a rabbit in a winged helmet sliding off of the back of a fat horse—we went into opera,” says Ms. Bishop, 49, who grew up in Greenville, S.C. […]

“Growing up in Iowa there’s not a lot of opera—I know that may come as a shock,” recalls Mr. Heaston, 37, a former pianist for the Dallas Opera and now adviser to the artistic director of the Washington National Opera. “At a very base level, that’s what I got from Looney Tunes at a very early age: I learned how to tell stories through music.”

-via Jeremy Barker


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Brewery Plans to Deliver Beer with Bald Eagle

(Photo: David A. Mitchell)

Phillips Brewery is releasing a new pilsner. To mark the occasion, it plans to deliver its new product to one thirsty drinker who wins a contest using a 4-year old bald eagle named Hercules. The contest is called "Beer from a Bird." It's the company's retro response to Amazon.com drone delivery. CTV News reports:

The brewery has partnered with Duncan-based Pacific Northwest Raptors for the contest.

The organization, which aims to raise awareness and promote conservation for birds of prey, is supplying a four-year-old bald eagle named Hercules to deliver a single can of Pilsner to the winner.

“We wanted to be involved because our goal is to get people closer to these incredible birds,” said operations manager Robyn Radcliffe. “So they’ll hopefully feel more inspired to protect them in their natural habitats, to learn more about ways that they can do that and to get more involved in conservation.” [...]

“He won’t be flying that far. Half a kilometre, probably. It’s sort of up to him,” Radcliffe said. “Our birds moods govern our interactions with them. We’re not going to ask them anything they’re not confident and comfortable doing. That’s very, very important to us.”

Half a kilometre translated into American is 0.31 miles. Despite the use of America's national bird, Phillips Brewery is actually located in Victoria, British Columbia. Here's the brewery's promotional video for the contest:

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This Company Specializes in Wheelchair Cosplays for Kids

Kids who use wheelchairs sometimes find that conventional costumes on sale won't work for them. That's when Walkin' & Rollin', a non-profit organization in Kansas City, comes in. The artists there specialize in the costuming and cosplaying needs of children who use wheelchairs.

It's the brainchild of Lon Davis, who started the organization after building a WALL-E costume for his son, Reese. After encountering the challenges of integrating a costume into a wheelchair, Davis began offering the service to other families for free. Last year, Davis described the design task to The Mighty:

“A lot of what Reese helps with is helping me to understand what works for a child in a wheelchair and what doesn’t,” Davis told The Mighty. “When I build a costume for his chair, he will give me hints like, ‘No, you can’t do that because then I can’t reach my brakes for my chair,’ or ‘If you attach that bar here instead, then I can get in and out of my chair easier.'”

You can see photos of costumes that Walkin' & Rollin' has produced here.

-via Super Punch

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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10 Movie Scenes That Were Banned for Shocking Reasons


(Video Link)

In 2011, the 1985 hit film Back to the Future was banned from China. Why? Because at tha time, China banned any film about time travel. The Chinese argument was that time travel stories are disrespectful toward history.

That's an unconventional reason for banning a film, but it's not the only one. You can see nine others in this video by Screen Rant, including explanations for why E.T. was age-restricted in Norway and why Mad Max was prohibited in New Zealand.

-via Geek Tyrant


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A Cougar's Two Thousand-Mile Quest to Find a Mate

For some guys, finding a girlfriend is as easy as existing. For others, it involves a tremendous amount of hard work. But probably not as much as one particular cougar which undertook an incredible journey from western South Dakota to Connecticut in a long search to find a mate.

(Photo: Charles Barilleaux)

The wild cougar was wearing a radio tracker and there were several witnesses of his journey. So the extent of his travels is knowable. They inspired William Stolzenburg to write Heart of a Lion: A Lone Cat's Walk across America. In an interview with National Geographic, Stolzenburg described the cougar's march:

As far as we know, he started out from the Black Hills of South Dakota sometime in the late summer of 2009. At that time he was probably about one and a half years old, a young male just coming into adulthood. As most young males do, he set off in search of a mate. But instead of going west, as most lions in that part of the country do, he headed east into the Great Plains. Over time he showed up in the Twin Cities of Minnesota and in Wisconsin. He disappeared for a couple months, then shows up almost two years later, 30 miles from Manhattan, in Greenwich, Connecticut. In all he probably traveled 2,000 to 5,000 miles, enough to cross the country twice. He forded all the major rivers of the East, navigated highways and an international boundary. It was one of the most spectacular journeys by an animal ever recorded.  

Sadly, the cougar hit by a car and killed northeast of New York City.

-via Marilyn Terrell


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12 Great Rick and Morty Cosplays

(Photo: David Ngo)

What started as a one-shot parody of Back to the Future turned into a hugely successful comedy. This is Rick and Morty, one of the funniest shows on television today. It has truly original plots and brilliantly conceived jokes. So it's no suprise that in only two seasons, it's already inspired many cosplayers. Here are some of the best.

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Elegant Custom Grills

No matter what your style is, Jonathan Rashka can accomodate it. He's a goldsmith in Toronto who makes unique grills (jewelry that you wear on your teeth) in a vast variety of forms and shapes, even inscribing images and text into the metal. Rashka is the designer and maker of many of the grills that you see celebrities wearing, including Vic Mensa and Post Malone. 

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This In-Wall Vacuum Cleaner Eliminates the Need for a Dustpan

This clever invention is called the Sweepovac. It's a vacuum cleaner that you can install in the bottom of a cabinet. As you sweep the floor, move the debris to the Sweepovac. Kick the power button on and the suction pulls the trash inside and into a vacuum cleaner bag. After 10 seconds, the motor turns off.

Henry Fingleton, the inventor, tested the prototype with his elderly father, who found it to be very helpful to people with mobility issues.


(Video Link)

-via Contemporist


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I Made This Exosquad Stained Glass Lamp

One of my hobbies is to build pieces of furniture that reflect my geeky interests. My most recent project is a lamp with a stained glass panel. The design reflects a symbol from Exosquad, a science fiction cartoon from the early 90s.

Exosquad lasted for only two seasons and struggled through both of them. It was, sadly, too good to last because it was a cartoon, but definitely not for young children. Exosquad was a miilitary science fiction story with richly-developed worldbuilding and thoughtful narrative development. It was a war story with heroism, treachery, and tragedy. The writers and producers expressed their artistry in a grand, tightly-woven epic.

When I watched it as a young man, it struck me as a brilliant work of storytelling. I remain a devoted fan and decided to express my appreciation for it in a crafting project. The subject would be the logo of the Exofleet, the military body of which most of the main characters belong.

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Villainous Professions

(Tom Gauld/You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack)

The critical difference is the amount of damage that a professional can do to his clients. A depraved lawyer can send innocent people to prison and an immoral journalist can spread destructive lies.

We librarians can be fiendish, usually as a result of the dark rituals required in library school. But there's a reason why there are few villainous librarians in comics.


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Couple Invites 1,000 Cats to Their Wedding


(Photo: Fresno Bee/Craig Kohlruss)

Louise Véronneau and Dominic Husson of Montreal, Canada had a glorious destination wedding planned. They decided to tie the knot at an animal shelter in Parlier, California.

The Cat House on the Kings (previously) is a shelter that caters to cats alone. Nearly a thousand of them were present to witness the happy couple get married. Lynea Lattanzio, the human owner of the facility, got ordained so that she could officiate. ABC 30 describes how Véronneau's and Husson's mutual love of cats brought them together:

Louise Veronneau and Dominic Husson meet in Quebec and decided to get married after dating for the past three years.

They have traveled around the world together and learned they both have a passion for animals, especially cats.

"I saw that we were sharing the same values," Veronneau said. "These are values these are the basics of our relationship and out love for animals and beings."

"We are both animal lovers and it was easy," Husson exclaimed. "She is a great person, that is why I married her."

-via Telegraph

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

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This Door Sounds Just Like R2-D2 Screaming

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a little droid saved the universe over and over again. He didn't get much in the way of thanks for it and was eventually disassembled to work as the mechanism for an automatic door in a hotel lobby. He screams in existential angst:


(Video Link)

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Combination Hoverboard/Cereal Bowl

If you slept in and don't have time to eat breakfast before getting to work on time, then the Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cruiser is the solution for you.

Inspired by the success of its Selfie Spoon, the General Mills cereal company created this cereal bowl mounted atop a rod rising from a hoverboard.

The bowl swings freely, so it won't tip over easily. There's a handy slot for a spoon, so you're ready to eat. 

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Runner Breaks Achilles Tendon, Finishes 400 Meter Hurdles Anyway


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The Big Sky Outdoor Conference Championships took place last Saturday. Shelby Erdahl represented Idaho State University in the 400 meter hurdles.

At the beginning of the race, Erdahl's achilles tendon broke. It didn't just strain or pull, but broke all the way through.

A lesser person might decide to call it a day. But that's not who Shelby Erdahl is. Though she was crying in agony from the pain, she finished the full race, limping along the track and carefully stepping over the hurdles.

Though badly injured, Erdahl completed the course without disqualification, thus scoring a point for her team. CBS Sports (auto-start video) quotes her:

"I never really thought of stopping," she said. "To me that would have let myself, my team, and my coaches down."

-via Huffington Post


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Single Dad Illustrates His Love for His Daughter

Yannick Vicente, a French artist, is raising his 4-year old daughter Anaé. Recently, he illustrated 4 moments that he shared with his precious little girl. He loves her so much and people around the internet have been charmed by how he has expressed it.

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See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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This Tulip Was Bred to Look Like the Canadian Flag

(Photo: National Capital Commission)

It's called Canada 150 in reference to the upcoming 150th anniversary of the formation of the Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867. The breed is a gift from the Netherlands to celebrate the occasion. Like the Canadian flag, there are red and white fields. The splash of red in the middle resembles the maple leaf on that flag. CTV News Ottawa reports:

More than 200,000 of the Canada 150 tulips will bloom across the National Capital Region this spring. Next year 300,000 will be showcased in the NCC's flower beds, with thousands more expected to be planted in community gardens across Canada.

Tulip admirers can purchase their own Canada 150 tulip at Home Hardware starting in September.

-via Nag on the Lake


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Classic Promotional Vid for Prof. X's School Is So Very 80s


(Video Link)

Are you a kid who's having trouble fitting in? Adolescence can be like that. You're changing and other people are changing around you. You might be changing differently--very differently--than your peers.

Perhaps the right place for you is Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. This private boarding school is the best in the world for bringing out and discreetly developing your unique talents.

This video shows a commercial from 1983 promoting the school that serves as the headquarters of the X-Men. It's a promotion for the upcoming film X-Men: Apocalypse.

At the end, you'll see a phone number for Xavier's School: 1-800-312-9951. It actually works. You can call and hear a voicemail greeting from Prof. X himself.

-via Uproxx


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At Her College Graduation, This Woman Reunited with the Cop Who Saved Her Life


(Photos: Alan Chaniewski/Peter Getz)

In 1998, a fire broke out in a house in Hartford, Connecticut. Inside was 5-year old Josibelk Aponte. Officer Peter Getz, a now-retired police detective, responded to the scene. A firefighter put the little girl in Getz's arms.

Her heart had stopped.

Getz carried her away from the building and put her in the back of his patrol car. While his partner rushed them to the hospital, Officer Getz performed CPR on Josibelk.

The little girl survived and thrived. She just graduated from college and Getz was there to see her walk. The Hartford Courant reports:

About two years ago, Aponte contacted him out of the blue through Facebook.

"Every once in a while I get nostalgic and I want to know what happened," Aponte said. "So I did what everyone does: I Googled my name."

Her research turned up an article that identified Getz, and through some "Facebook stalking," she found him.

The two get together regularly, sometimes meeting for lunch. They talk about Getz's kids, his dog, how Aponte is doing in school.

Now, with a degree in accounting and a job at Walston & Ignagni in South Windsor, the conversations have turned to her plans for the future.

"To see the outcome, to see how successful she's been, makes my heart beat faster," Getz said.

-via Ace of Spades HQ


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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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