John Farrier's Blog Posts

A Funeral for the "Like"

(Photos: Dadara)

This past weekend at Oude Kerk, the oldest church in Amsterdam, the Like was laid to rest. Mourners carried a coffin shaped like a Facebook Like button to the church and marked its passing in a ceremony led by Eddy Reefhuis.

Why? It's a symbolic rejection of what is sometimes called "hashtag activism" or "clicktivism"--substituting online actions for offline activity. The organizers of the funeral reject the notion that clicking on a Like button constitutes doing anything productive. Here's their manifesto, which is an interesting read:

Not too long ago, this development led to a miraculous occurrence. A new technology turned the act of Liking into a commodity, hence into a symbolic totem and a new belief, at a time when faith in religion and our monetary system is crumbling.

At first these "Likes" seemed innocent. A gift bestowed upon us unconditionally and in overabundance. Sometimes the Likes would pile up like presents under a Christmas tree. But soon we started craving for more and eventually the "Like" became the opium of the masses. And now society has forgotten the real act of Liking. [...]

And instead of taking action to make change happen, our activism has been reduced and confined to the square inches of our computer screen activism has become clicktivism. We express our dislike of what is happening in the real world with a Like.

We as a society need to focus on real actions and intentions, rather than the symbolic reward bestowed on things by a mouse click. We must never forget that the real reward of Liking lies amongst ourselves and inside our communities.


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American Flag Appears in the Clouds

NBC 12 News of Richmond, Virginia posted this photo shot by viewers Nancy and Joannie at the Virginia Center Commons on Thursday, September 11. The stars and stripes appear to waft across the evening sky.

Too good to be true? The news station responds to allegations of photoshoppery by writing, "We know the photographer and they sent a series of photos. It's authentic." Other commenters show their own photos of the cloud flag from different angles.

-via Twitchy

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Horrifying Game of Peekaboo Ends in Tears


(Video Link)

Some women like a man with a rich, full beard. This little girl is among them.

Bradley Bailey played peekaboo with his toddler. In the middle of the game, he paused to shave his beard. His daughter looked under the towel, expecting to find her father.

But he was gone! In his place was this horrifying, hairless monster.

-via Tastefully Offensive

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Hairstyles for a Hairy Baby

Redditor ShavenRaven writes, "People kept commenting on how much hair our baby son has, so naturally this was the next step."

They're appropriate for different developmental steps. He should start out as a mad scientist (we all go through that awkward stage), then have a rebellious year with the surfer haircut, then sell out and become a greasy banker.

Finally, he should stop caring and become the creepy old man, who looks like the happiest guy in this photo.

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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In an Earlier Script for Frozen, Elsa Was a Villain

(Image: Disney)

In the 1930s, Walt Disney tried to make a film adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Snow Queen," but never put it into production. It took his company 70 years to complete the project, which culminated in the hugely successful movie Frozen.

I have two young daughters, so it was inevitable that I would eventually watch Frozen. When I finally did, I was surprised to find that the main character is not Elsa, blonde-haired snow queen, but her sister Anna.

In a recent television special about the film, Disney's producers revealed another surprise about Elsa: in an earlier script, they had planned for her to be the main villain of the story. Kirsten Acuna writes for Business Insider:

Elsa's character looked completely different. She originally had light blue skin and short, spiky blue hair. She even had a coat made out of living weasels.

"Elsa was going to be the complete antagonist," says director and screenwriter Jennifer Lee in the book "The Art of Frozen." "They kept calling her the 'villain.' But there came a point where we said, 'We can't use that word anymore.' You care about someone who's been forces to hide who they are. Elsa's not a villain, she just makes some bad choices because she's in a very difficult situation."


(Video Link)

The filmmakers decided to change Elsa after writing her signature song "Let It Go":

"We knew in this moment that she would go through a transformation," said Lopez. "From repressed to letting her powers out ... trying to get away from society and be who she really was."

-via 22 Words


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Photos of Puppies Underwater

In 2007, Seth Casteel photographed shelter dogs to help them find good homes. Since then, he's found his niche: dogs underwater. We've previously featured her series of dogs trying to catch balls underwater. More recently, he photographed puppies as they were dropped into pools. This was an opportunity for him to get some great shots. But, as he explained in an NPR interview, it was also an opportunity to teach dogs how to swim:

No. 1: swimming pool safety — super-duper important for all the listeners out there with their pets. So many people forget that our swimming pools, as much fun as they are, they are a danger, and they can be a danger to our children and to our fur children. And they will learn. I mean, a lot of these puppies I work with — for Underwater Puppies I worked with over 1,500 — all it took was just a few times, putting them in the water and teaching them where the exit is, and they figured it out.

Click on Continue reading to see more photos from the series.

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

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Little North Korea: A Concentration of North Korean Refugees in London

(Photo: the offices of the Free NK Newspaper by Thomas Hjelm)

Communities of Korean immigrants can be found across the world, but few of them from North Korea because it's hard to escape from that country-sized prison.

About 20,000 Korean immigrants live in New Malden, a suburb of London. Approximately 600 are from North Korea, which is among the highest concentrations of North Korean refugees anywhere in the world. In Europe, New Malden is the closest thing to a "Little Pyongyang." Roxy Rezvany of Vice visited New Malden and interviewed several of the North Korean residents. 

(Photo: a North Korean/South Korean vocabulary crib sheet)

One of the more interesting parts of Rezvany's article was about the Korean languages--plural. Since the country was divided after World War II, North Korean has become noticeably different from South Korean. She quotes Joong Wha:

“In North Korea we used a lot of foreign words from Russia, Japan, and China,” he said. “But there was a [regime] movement called the ‘Making Our Own Language Alive’ movement. Through that we got rid of all the foreign-influenced words. All the words [North Koreans] use now are ‘pure Korean,’ so my generation learned these pure words. Therefore, when I converse with South Koreans and they use these words influenced by English, I sometimes don’t understand what they mean.”

-via Marginal Revolution


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Men of the Manhattan Project in Matches

Noah Scalin, an artist in Richmond, Virginia, is endlessly inventive in his choice of materials. We've previously seen him build skull art every day for an entire year, funny faces with food on plates, and a portrait of Ralph Waldo Emerson out of electrical sockets.

For his latest, project, Scalin is using matches. He's created portraits of five scientists who participated in the Manhattan Project, including the above image of Albert Einstein. After making each portrait, he ignited them, which is perhaps a reference to the fiery weapon produced by these scientists.

Scalin's series is currently on display at the Krause Gallery in New York City.

Continue reading

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If Superheroes Did Commercials

(Image: Mathieu Parent)

(Image: Xum Yukinori)

(Image: Nick Perks)

If you're a full-time superhero, you probably don't have time for a regular full-time job. You'll need another source of income. Or perhaps you're already rich, but would like to make more through good merchandising. Either way, celebrity endorsements may be a way for you to make some rent money.

Every week, Comic Book Resources hosts The Line Is Drawn, a theme-based art contest for comic book artists. This past week, the topic was superheroes doing commercials. You can view all of the contributions here, including Thor selling Craftsman tools and Power Girl selling Wonderbras.

-via Geek Tyrant


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Parking Manners

(Speedbump/Dave Coverly)

Don't be that guy. Your freshly washed, waxed, and buffed palomino is pretty. The new rims sparkle like stars. You don't want it dinged when someone else climbs off his horse. Still: you get only one spot at the hitching post. One. That's it.

-via Pleated Jeans 


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11-Year Old Boy Has Run Marathons on All 7 Continents


(Photo: Nik Runs the World)

This is Nikolas Toocheck of Pocopson Township, Pennsylvania. He's only 11 years old, but has already run a marathon. In fact, he's run several of them all of the world, including 2 in Antarctica. He's the youngest person to have run marathons on every continent on Earth.

He earned that title earlier this month after running a marathon through the Caucasus Mountains in the Republic of Georgia. Only 450 people have also run "seven on seven" and most of them are in their 40s or 50s.

Nikolas started running when he was 6 and his father was training for the Air Force Reserve. He jogged with his father, then ran 5k races with him, then full marathons.

He runs because it's fun, but Nikolas also raises money for Operation Warm, a charity founded by his grandfather in 1998. This non-profit donates coats to needy children in the United States.

-via Huffington Post

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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16 Artfully Made Hard Boiled Eggs

(Pikachu by Charaben Mania)


(Chickens by akinoichigo)

Which came first--the Pikachicken or the egg? We may never know, but we can be sure that these eggs are as cute as they are delicious. Rocket News 24 rounded up 16 adorably crafted hard boiled eggs made in Japan. They include cows, bunnies, pandas, and strawberries.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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26 Amazing Horse Costumes


(Photo: Simone Aumair)

(Photo: unknown)

If your horse is going to be well-dressed for the Halloween party, it's time to start making plans. Avery Clements of Distractify has 26 photos of costumed horses that may give you a few ideas. They include a John Deere tractor, Gary the Snail from SpongeBob SquarePants, Batman, and Gene Simmons from KISS.

-via Jonah Goldberg

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Stylist Cuts Famous Skylines into Chest Hair


(Photos: Braun)

According to legend, Michelangelo, the Italian Renaissance artist and ninja turtle, once said that the task of a sculptor is to find the sculpture within a block of stone, then just clear away the excess stone.

Ladies and gentlemen, in Daniel Johnson, the British hair stylist, we have a modern Michelangelo. Look down at your own chest hair. Within it lies a beautiful work of art. All that is necessary is to eliminate the excess hair.

As a promotional activity for Braun, the electric razor company, Johnson shaved the images of famous skylines into hairy chests. Pictured above is New York City.

Continue reading

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The Hórreos of Spain


(Photo: Adhara Caamaño)

This is a hórreo. It's a structure that can be found throughout western and southern Europe, but is most common in Spain. It's a building built on stone columns. Some have stood for 2,000 years.

Why did people build these architectural oddities?

(Photo: alamanos)

They were barns where farmers kept harvested crops. Here's one of a few hórreos still in use. Originally, a farmer would use only the top portion to store food. The stone columns kept crops out of the reach of many rodents.


(Photo: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez)

The origin of the hórreo is uncertain, but it dates back to at least Roman times. Many are well-preserved.


(Photo: juantiagues)

The hórreo is an architectural icon of Spain with an influence still seen in modern design.

You can learn more about hórreos and view more photos at Kuriositas.


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Cosplay from KantaiCon--The Con on an Aircraft Carrier

The USS Yorktown (CV-10) is an Essex-class aircraft carrier launched in 1943. It's now a museum ship in Charleston, South Carolina. The Yorktown is berthed near the USS Clagamore and USS Laffey, a World War II era submarine and destroyer, respectively. Together, the three vessels host KentaiCon, an annual anime convention.

The filmmakers of Beat Down Boogie were on site last weekend to film some of the impressive works of cosplay. Attack on Titan cosplayers were asked to man the wall cannons to guard con-goers against titans.


(Video Link)

-via Ace of Spades HQ


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Artist Creates Replicas of Complex Machines Using Wood

Pictured above is a replica of an airport security checkpoint. It's at a museum, not an airport. Roxy Paine is currently exhibiting it at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York City. His exhibit, which is entitled, "The Denuded Lens," consists of three replicas of complex machines made with wood. Paine finds machines fascinating because they represent, to him, both control and a lack of it. In an interview with It's Nice That, he explains:

Machines act as industrial agents, but also as a physical manifestation of a mechanism of control. My machines utilise and contradict rules and norms of the factory and mass production. All of them seek to locate the moment in time and the place where control becomes non-control and where control becomes randomness. They also seek to find the place where sameness and uniqueness blur and become indistinct. Establishing a systematic language composed of certain fixed absolutes and certain variable entities.

Click on Continue reading to view another incredible work by Paine entitled The Machine of Indeterminacy. His craftsmanship is amazing.

Continue reading

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The Sesame Street Parody of Star Wars Is Perfect


(Video Link)

The video Star S'Mores is supposed to teach children the concept of self control. But we all need to learn that, so it's appropriate that the story parodies a movie older than some of the kids' parents.

In five pun-packed minutes, Flan Solo (Cookie Monster) tries to learn to control his urge to eat his partner, Chewie the Cookie, a chocolate chip cookie. Only One Cannoli, Master Groda, Darth Baker, Princess Parfaia, and Luke Piewalker help Flan Solo learn to control his impulses by using The Four.

-via Gizmodo


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Delicious-Looking Larvae Are Actually Realistic Gummy Worms

(Photos: Akai Tento)

Akai Tento no Koohii Ten's grubs are so realistic that you probably wouldn't be surprised to see them crawl around your plate. But be prepared for disappointment: they're actually just fruit-filled gummy worms

The coffee shop operates from a market stall in a small seaside town in Japan. But it has a national reputation for its production of gummy larvae that look completely real. Like real grubs, it's the soft guts which taste really good. But these are filled with blueberry jam instead of insect entrails.


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IKEA Product Cosplay Contest

Do you look like an IKEA product? You might with the right costume. IKEA's Malyasian division held a cosplay contest which invited customers to dress up like the products that the company sells. The grand prize winner got a gift card worth about $250. That craftsmanship of some of these costumes is definitely worth that. But the participants had better make sure that they don't wear their costumes to the store or someone will try to buy them.

Continue reading

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At 14.5 Feet Long, This Is the World's Longest Usable Golf Club

Danish golfer Karsten Maas can not only heft his custom-built club, but swing it, hit the ball, and make it land where he wants it to go. There may be longer golf clubs in the world, but Maas can reliably use his 14.5-foot wood to send a ball 540 feet.


(Video Link)

Hitting the ball properly requires a special stroke that Maas has developed. His backswing keeps going, around and around his body until the club has lost momentum.


(Video Link)

Maas can do a lot more than just swing this massive club around. He's a trick shot artist. In this video, you can see him hit two balls at once, bounce a ball on a club, hit one like a baseball, drive elevated balls, hit balls with two clubs swinging at the same time, and drive with a club bent over backwards.

-via Technabob


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Roozle, The Little Girl Who Draws Herself to Sleep

How do you get a 4-year old to sleep? With great difficulty.

But Riley, the daughter of Casey Carey-Brown of of Boston, found a way. Her little girl, who goes by the nickname "Roozle," likes to color herself to sleep. Give her some paper, crayons, and markers, and she'll quietly doodle and fill in coloring pages until she falls asleep, sometimes with the drawing instruments still in her hands. Carey-Brown felt inspired to capture these precious moments. She explained to the Huffington Post:

Just as making paper pictures has become a bedtime habit for Roozle, capturing the scenes on camera has become one for mom.

"I've always gone in to check on her before I go to bed, but these days with a very active 4-year-old, I find that capturing a moment of sleeping Roozle helps me as a parent too," Carey-Brown said. "Time slows down, just for a moment, in the midst of all the chaos."

Continue reading
See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Chewbacca Dog

Redditor ejara80 writes that this costume worn by his friend's dog won third place at a Petco Star Wars contest. It's fantastic! I'm curious about what costumes could have beaten a dog who naturally looks like a Wookiee.

Perhaps, like Chewbacca with the Rebel Alliance, Petco has a rule: no pants, no medal. That's dangerous for the company because Wookiees are known to pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose.

-via Tastefully Offensive


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Baby Bear Tries to Climb the Flagstick on a Golf Course


(Video Link)

The Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in British Columbia is in bear country. Recently four bears hung out at a putting green. A cub among them played with the flagstick, trying to climb it, then pull it down. A man with a camera recorded the scene and added his commentary.

Eventually, baby bear wandered off with "Pascal's ball"--the golf ball then being used by Pascal van Dijk, CEO of the resort. Then, at the end of the video, you can see how dangerously close these onlookers were. Those are wild bears! What were you thinking?

-via Twisted Sifter

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

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The Excavator Is Stuck in a Ditch. Now What?


(Video Link)

Regular readers know that I am awed by the skills of good excavator drivers. In the past, we've seen one load a digger into a truck without a ramp, serve as the engine of a truck, row a boat, and light a cigarette.

In this video, the excavator is at the bottom of a deep ditch. That worries the driver not a bit. He moves his digger out so cleverly and smoothly that you'd swear that he had planned it that way from the beginning. And I suspect that he did.

-via Nothing to Do with Aborath


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Clever Cartoonist Adds Funny Illustrations to Everyday Life

Troqman, the "Cartoonbomber," is an illustrator and art director in Paris. He's traveled across the world, drawing cartoons and putting them in funny places to add stories to them. You can see them all on his Instagram page.

Continue reading

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Man Builds 100 Yards of Catwalks into His House

Greg Krueger of St. James, Minnesota loves cats so much that over the past 15 years, he's built catwalks into his house. He's built so many that all together, they're about 100 yards long.

Cats are his passion and Krueger has the carpentry skills to turn his home into a wonderland for them. Inside his home are cozy hiding spots with cat-shaped entrances, padded beds, and interior lighting.


(Video Link)

Krueger was recently diagnosed Asperger's syndrome. He attributes his interest and dedication to his cats to that affliction. CBS Minnesota quotes him:

“Obviously, my house would not be like this if I didn’t have Asperger’s,” he said. “If it takes a long time, I don’t care because if I like what I’m doing, I almost don’t want to finish what I’m doing.”

He’s doing it for those who’ve always seemed to understand him, from the time he was a boy.

“It’s been said that all cats have Asperger Syndrome,” he said. “So I think that might be one reason why I really love cats is that I kind of think that I can understand their personality really well.”

-via Oddity Central

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

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Desks with Pedals for Hyper Little Kids

Redditor LurkerMcLurkerton says that his daughter's first grade classroom has desks that have bicycle pedals. I love this idea! It would be a great way to help kids who are a bit too energetic to calm down.

Other redditors point out that all of this energy is wasted. The school administrators clearly haven't seen the movie Conan the Barbarian, or else they wouldn't have let this educational opportunity pass by.

-via TYWKIWDBI

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Laughter after 9/11: How Jon Stewart, David Letterman, and Other Comedians Responded at the Time


(Video Link)

After the terrorist attacks in the United States 13 years ago, all television programming went to news coverage and commentary 24 hours a day.

But it couldn't remain that way forever. Eventually, we all had to go back to our daily lives and resume our work.

For comedians and talk show hosts, that work was making us laugh. But how do you make people laugh after what happened? Should you make people laugh? These are questions that comedy providers had to answer thoughtfully and tastefully, sensitive to the raw feelings of their audiences.

Carol Hartsell of the Huffington Post rounded up the immediate responses of America's comedians after they went back to work. Her list includes videos from Jon Stewart and David Letterman and links to articles that appeared in The Onion.

I was especially impressed with Conan O'Brien's address to his audience. I've never met him, but O'Brien has long struck me as a decent and well-grounded person. This video demonstrates his ability and willingness to be both caring and professional.


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Funny Twitter Hashtag: Make a Movie Canadian

Twitter is abuzz with Canadian jokes thanks to the hashtag #MakeAMovieCanadian. It's filled with movie titles slightly twisted to make them distinctively and stereotypically Canadian.

We've got some funny commenters at Neatorama. Which titles can you suggest?

-via Aaron Starmer


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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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