John Farrier's Blog Posts

Antique Mousetrap in a Museum Catches a Mouse

(Photo: University of Reading)

The Museum of English Rural Life in Reading, UK has many artifacts from a much older, lost Britain. Among them is a 155-year old mousetrap. The appropriately-named Perpetual Mouse Trap by Colin Pullinger & Sons goes by the tagline “will last a lifetime.”

In fact, it will last several lifetimes. The Assistant Curator recently found a dead mouse in the unbaited trap. That’s quality equipment! You can see more photos of the trap here.

-via Atlas Obscura


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Seas within Whales Represent Buddhist Realms

(Photo: @muzintansaki)

Isana Yamada is a graduate student in design at the Tokyo University for the Arts. For his graduation project, Rocket News 24 reports, he composed sculptures of 6 whales that float through space, containing within their bodies detailed dioramas of the ocean waters and floor. They're mesmerizingly beautiful.

The six whales represent the six realms in Buddhist cosmology: the Heavenly Realm, the Asura, the Animal Realm, Hell, the Ghost Realm, and the Human Realm.

(Photo: Yamada Isana)


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New Winter Sport: Boar Curling

Ice skaters on Båven, a lake south of Stockholm, Sweden, spotted wild boars on an island in the middle of the frozen lake. They were trapped there, unable to gain traction on the ice and probably running out of food on the little island. So the skaters gently pushed the boars across with poles, like they were sweeping curling stones across the ice.


(Video Link)

-via Huffington Post

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

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The Full Ranking of the Fastest-Talking States in US

(Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Service)

Can you talk as fast an auctioneer at work? Then perhaps you’re from Oregon. According to a study conducted by Marchex, a mobile advertising analytics firm, people from Oregon talk faster than anyone else. The Atlantic reports that the company examined phone calls and measured “rate of speech, density of speech, hold times, and silences” to rank all 50 states. Here are the top 10:

1. Oregon
2. Minnesota
3. Massachusetts
4. Kansas
5. Iowa
6. Vermont
7. Alaska
8. South Dakota
9. New Hampshire
10. Nebraska

And here are the slowest talking states:

40. Illinois
41. Ohio
42. Arkansas
43. Georgia
44. Texas
45. New Mexico
46. North Carolina
47. Alabama
48. South Carolina
49. Louisiana
50. Mississippi

Do any of these surprise you?

-via Althouse


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The Annual Gathering of Twins in Twinsburg, Ohio

What's it like to be a twin? The New Yorker went to Twin Days, an annual convention of twins in the appropriately named Ohio town of Twinsburg. There, one half of a twin set described how their mother tended to group them together, no matter what:

You know, if I want mustard on my sandwich, my mom assumed she did, or vice versa . . . but if she got in trouble at school, then I always got in trouble.

These 11-year old brothers are best friends. But that doesn't mean they want to be together all of the time:

My mom is like, "Why do you want to go to someone else's house, you have a brother." I'm like, "Once you get to know everything about someone . . . ."

". . . it's still fun to play with them, but sometimes you just need someone else."

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IKEA Builds a Hotpot That Won't Turn on Until People Hand over Their Phones

The hotpot rests at the center of the table, surrounded by ingredients. It's time to cook and eat them together. 

Yes, you could eat while using your phone. But where's the fun in that? Put it away. Don't phub your dinner companions.

You don't have a choice with this hotpot table made by IKEA Taiwan. The hotpot turns on only once someone has put down a phone. The heat turns up incrementally with every phone added.


(Video Link)

You want to send a quick text or Instagram the experience? Don't. You'll ruin the food for everyone else. Talk to the people with you instead.

-via OhGizmo!


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"My Log Cabin 1985"

Behold paradise on Earth.

Flickr member andolent shares the story of this retreat that he built by himself and lived in for 8 years:

I lived here for about eight years, and owned it for about fifteen years after I built it in 1976 with local fieldstone and oak logs I cut, peeled and notched on the site, working alone with hand tools. It had no plumbing, I carried water from a nearby spring, and I heated it in winter with about half a cord of wood a week which I cut and burned in the open fireplace. Eventually I moved into Asheville and had to sell it, but it was a large part of my life, and I miss it more with each passing year.

I don't blame him.

-via American Digest


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Man Builds a Bit of Narnia in the Woods for His Girlfriend to Discover

In The Lion, The Witch, And the Wardrobe, Lucy Pevensie steps through the magic wardrobe to discover the secret world of Narnia. She finds a single lamp-post standing in the snow-covered forest, lighting the way for travelers.

Redditor Gen4200 and his girlfriend own a nice slice of forest that reminds them of Narnia, which is among her favorite stories. So at night, he secretly hauled a lamp-post out into the woods, fixed it into the ground, and provided electrical power with discreetly hidden solar cells. When she discovers it, she'll be ready to go on many adventures.

You can see more photos of the project here.


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Fly a Plane through the Circle Plane

The men behind Flite Test like to fly remote control airplanes. But more than that, they love to build bizarre designs to see if they will actually fly. In the past, they’ve built airworthy models of the helicarrier from The Avengers and a Super Star Destroyer from Star Wars.

For their latest project, Josh and Peter built a large RC plane with a circular wing. They took their plane to the Flite Fest convention in Malvern, Ohio and invited kids to fly their own smaller planes through the circle.

They did so, having a lot of fun—even as they repeatedly collided with the circular wing plane. Eventually, Josh and Peter’s plane collapsed and crashed.


(Video Link)

-via Technabob


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TARDIS Kilt

This is excellent! Besides being stylish, kilts are also practical wear as they permit natural ventilation into the, uh, Heart of the TARDIS. And there will be no need to go on a diet. No matter what you weigh, you'll look slimmer in this kilt by Kilt This.

Like any proper utilikilt, it comes with 2 large pockets, 3 additional containers, an apron sporran, and D-rings for your gear, such as screwdrivers--sonic and otherwise.

-via Fashionably Geek


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Pay-by-the-Minute Dog Parking Box


(Photo: Dog Parker)

Do you need to leave your dog outside the store while you step in for a few minutes to buy something? You can tie your pup up, but he may not be safe. Here's an alternative solution.

Dog Parker is a new start-up business with 5 locations in Brooklyn, New York. It's a box that sits outside shops. Members can slide a security card to unlock the box. There's a padded floor inside and the box is temperature controlled. When you return, just slide your security card again to retrieve your dog.

The charge is 20¢ a minute plus a $25 annual fee. Members can use a box for a maximum of 3 hours every 12 hour period. If the temperature gets below 32°F or above 85ºF, the Dog Parkers are closed until the weather improves.

The company is developing a mobile app that will permit members to reserve a time slot in advance, as well as monitor their dog remotely.

Here's a demonstration video:

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Makers Turn Kids' Crazy Inventions into Real-Life Objects

Dominic Wilcox is an artist noted for his crazy inventions, such as the breakfast digger and the smartphone nose stylus. He decided to tap into the creativity of 450 children in Sunderland and South Tyneside by asking them to design inventions. Then he asked local makers to turn their designs into reality. Wilcox calls the project Inventors.

It really worked! For example, Wendy Ridley, age 9, wanted a family-sized scooter. She got it--right down to her specific color scheme:

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There's a Theme Park in Germany Where You Can See Props from The NeverEnding Story

(Photo: Bavaria Filmstadt)

Bavaria Films is a movie production company in Germany. Like Universal Studios has its own line of theme parks and resorts, so does Bavaria Films have its own fun park available to the public.

The 1984 children's fantasy film The NeverEnding Story has become among the company's most treasured classics with an enduring fanbase. Many props from the film are there, including the Southern Oracle and Morla. You can even ride Falkor, the luck dragon from the story.

You can see more photos of the props at Dangerous Minds.


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Medical Insurance in Dungeons & Dragons

When putting together an adventuring party, it's important to include a cleric to heal injuries along the way. A high-level cleric may not offer great combat abilities, but is essential to keeping the party effective on dangerous missions.

Redditor LinkGrajo13's character got hurt and needed a quick healing job. And so:

My friend came into our weekly session with a new cleric. When I asked him to heal me, he handed me this

This is, by the way, only the first form. The cleric in question showed up in the discussion thread with a complete list of the forms, which you can download and use--until there is a regulatory change that requires you to start over.

-via Nerd Approved


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The Time Elvis Got out of His Limo to Break up a Fight between Strangers


(Photo: Ollie Atkins, White House)

It was June 24, 1977. The scene: Madison, Wisconsin. A 17-year old boy was about to get into a fight with two other boys at a gas station where he worked.

That's when the King of Rock 'n' Roll showed up:

Suddenly, a limousine pulled up and out stepped an overweight, middle-aged man in a blue jumpsuit. He walked up to the struggling parties, struck a karate pose and told them, “All right, I’ll take you on.”

This man was Elvis Presley.

The two attackers recognized him and immediately backed down. Elvis asked them all, "Is everything settled now?" It was. Elvis got back in his car and left.


(Photo: Badger Herald)

Appropriately, there's now a memorial plaque at the site where this amazing event took place. It's called the Elvis Karate Fight Memorial Plaque and, thankfully, it's open to the public.

Be the Elvis that you want to see in the world.

-via Althouse


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This NFL Player Is Getting a PhD in Math at MIT in His Spare Time

(Photo: Jeffrey Beall)

Working as a professional football player is a full-time job. But that's not stopping John Urschel, a defensive lineman with the Baltimore Ravens, from picking up a side hustle. In his case, that's working through a doctoral degree in math at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Adam Epstein of Quartz reports that Urschel plans to study "spectral graph theory, numerical linear algebra, and machine learning."

While Urschel and his colleagues on the Ravens went to the playoffs last year, he wrote a paper titled "A Cascadic Multigrid Algorithm for Computing the Fielder Vector of Graph Laplacians." Now in an off season, he's back at work on his degree. Quartz quotes Urschel describing his motivation to play:

“I play because I love the game. I love hitting people.”

-via Ace of Spades HQ


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Most Relaxed Guy Ever Gets Shot in Chest, Casually Chats with Reporter


(Video Link)

Devon Hawkins was just chilling at home in Quincy, Illinois, drinking a bit, when someone shot through his back window, hitting him in the chest. He casually chatted with KHQA news reporter Reyna Harvey about the incident like he's describing a trip to a local grocery store. If it's a big deal to Hawkins, it's hard to tell because he's incredibly relaxed about the entire incident.

Content warning: foul language.

-via Lost at E Minor


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Balloons Become Minimalist Art

For Peechaya Burroughs, a photographer in Sydney, Australia, balloons are the perfect prop. When framed the right way in a picture with the proper background, they become eggs, donuts, water, and more. You can find more of her work on Instagram.

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Maxing out the Cute Meter: Puppies and Baby Napping

It's still January and you are about to take your full annual capacity of cuteness. Enjoy this video of newborn puppies and a baby napping together. Just be aware that it will not be safe to watch anything else that is cute because this video alone is nearly a lethal dose.

-via Gifsboom

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

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Rabbit Rescued from Roof of House

(Photos: Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service)

Bumper and Thumper are rabbits that live at a group home for adults with mental health issues in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. They have a hutch on the side of the house. A storm blew down the hutch and Bumper up on the roof, leaving him stranded.

Firefighters responded to the scene. They coaxed Bumper down, who is now safe back in the hutch with Thumper.

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The Genesis of Web Content

In the beginning, the first chapter of the Book of Genesis tells us, God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without web content. So on the eighth day, after he had rested, he wrote search-engine optimized web articles in slideshow format with clickbait titles. In McSweeney's, Kendra Eash retells this Bible story for an internet age:

In the beginning God created the Internet. And the Internet was without form, and void; and God said, let there be Content; and there was Content. And God divided the content among Facebook and Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr.

And God said, Let the Content multiply at the hand of the people; it can really be anything.

Even, just, like, playing yogurt cups like bongos, the Lord God said. Or reviewing a Bath and Body Works candle. It’s wide open.

Except nipples, God added. Just women’s nipples are off limits.

And God said, Let the Content be sponsored by all the brands of the earth; Nike and Adidas, Apple and Google, Scion and Ford, Always and Tampax, for Content might influence a primary sales objective.

Be sure to read it all, especially the last line, which is perfect.

-via Popped Culture


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Could You Outrun a Hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex?

(Image: Universal Pictures)

If you're with someone at the time, then, like the old joke says, you don't have to outrun the T-Rex. You just have to outrun your friend.

But what if there's no one else available to distract the hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex? Good news, everyone! According to calculations that scientists made from preserved footprints, you can probably outrun a T-Rex--at least for a short distance. Discover magazine reports:

The researchers estimated the walking speed of the T. rex to be 2.7 to 5 mph, which is much slower than, say, Usain Bolt, who clocks in a maximum sprinting speed of 27.3 mph. For context, the average walking speed for a human hovers around 3 mph. The calculated speed indicates T. rex was traveling at a slow trot, and at a speed similar to other large carnivorous dinosaurs. Still, even when walking, tyrannosaurs moved covered more ground in a single step than the large herbivores that they coexisted with and presumably hunted. Researchers published their Glenrock trackway findings in the journal Cretaceous Research.

But how does this fit with previous estimates of T. rex speed, based on other lines of evidence? Tony Martin, a trace fossil expert and professor at Emory University and unaffiliated with the study, said the new findings are in line with past estimates.

“Biomechanical studies of tyrannosaur bones, combined with calculations of their musculature and computer models, tell us that tyrannosaurs were more suited for walking and probably could not outrun, say, a jeep,” says Martin. [...]

Based on the evidence, it seems like anyone in decent shape could’ve outrun a T. rex.

-via Ace of Spades HQ


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Heavy-Sleeping Cat Won't Wake up, No Matter How Many Mice Crawl on Her

Mimo the cat is asleep. And when she sleeps, she's totally out. So the first mouse crawls over her. There's no response. More mice come out to play . . .

. . . and Mimo doesn't notice! Eventually, 21 mice climb on top of Mimo, who doesn't stir.

They should use this time for something more productive, such as raiding the cheese supply!

-via Rocket News 24

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

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Realistic Barbie's New Boyfriend: Dad Bod Ken

(Image: Mattel, Will McFadden)

Mattel recently announced that Barbie dolls will be available in 4 different body types, not just the original blonde with measurements of 39-18-33 when scaled up to life-size. They include a model who is all about that bass with a more rubenesque figure. The toymakers hope to promote a more positive body image among young girls who play with Barbie dolls.

But what about Ken? He's thin and muscular---in fact, he's totally ripped. Who among us men can compete with this fantasy image that women are raised to accept as ideal? Not those of us with "dad bods." That's why some people on the intellectual discussion forum of Twitter are saying that Mattel should add a more realistic Ken to date Barbie.

Should Mattel make a Dad Bod Ken?




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The Toad Isn't Eating the Bug. The Bug Is Eating the Toad.


(Video Link)

The toad spotted the Epomis larva and made lunch plans. His prey looked utterly helpless. All that was necessary was to snatch the slow-moving insect with his tongue. Down into the belly it went!

The toad made a serious mistake.

Inside the digestive tract of the toad, the Epomis immediately releases enzymes that begin digesting its host. The Epomis is eating its captor. Matt Simon describes this zoological oddity at Wired. He quotes the University of Toronto entomologist Gil Wizen:

All the while, you go about the life of a toad. You take a swim and gobble up insects. You will not, however, turn into a prince, because after two days, you’re so weakened you can no longer move. It’s at this point that the larva enters what Wizen calls “the predation stage.”

The larva begins chewing more, says Wizen, “and what we see is that it sort of tears tissues from the amphibian’s body. After a few hours the amphibian is reduced to just a pile of bones and just a little bit of skin.”

I wonder what they taste like.


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Kylo Ren vs. Indiana Jones


(Video Link)

"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid."

Indiana Solo would have dealt with Kylo Ren a bit differently, as this remix of a classic scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark demonstrates. Put the lightsaber away and just use a gun.

-via Geek Art Gallery


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A Man and His Cube Companion


(Video Link)

The good people of Kuma Films travel around the world, documenting the amazing physical abilities of people. They demonstrate that dance is not something limited to a formal choreography, but any bodily movement that is perfected with time and talent.

In the past, we’ve seen their videos of lightsaber training, contact juggling, yoyo tricks, and cardistry. Now they bring us a man who dances in, around, through, and with a steel cube.

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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When Mutant Superpowers Manifest Themselves

Pursuant the Mutant Registration Act, Marisa Arriaga of Cedar Hill, a suburb of Dallas, Texas, must submit to government supervision. She might have avoided that fate, had she not recorded her amazing abilities last June. She tells Fox 4 News that it’s just a bat trick, but I think that it’s clearly superpowers at work:

"I just started messing around,” said Arriaga. “I'm like, ‘I'm gonna make a bat trick video.’ So I got my sister out here and she was recording me.” […]

LaTisha Griffin, Arriaga’s softball coach, says Arriaga has crazy good skills.

"The finish is something she does all the time in the game, sending the ball a yard or going outfield with the ball with that complete swing through the zone, that's something she does all the time,” said Griffin.

-via Matthew Caverhill

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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Sake-Flavored Kit Kat Contains Actual Alcohol

(Photo: Nari Nari)

Japan is crazy for Kit Kat chocolate bars and that nation is home to numerous flavors that Americans might find unusual, including soy sauce and green tea. Now residents of Japan can get Kit Kat bars flavored with rice wine. They consist of 0.08% alcohol, so you will need to eat a lot of them in order to get a real sake experience. I humbly volunteer for that task.

You can read more about these new Kit Kats at Kotaku.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Finally! A Back Hair Razor

(Photo: baKBlade)

Unless you’re some sort of back hair artist, you’ll need to keep to your body lawn properly mowed. It’s a difficult and time consuming weekly chore for most men, made all the more difficult by small razors, a large surface area, and non-dislocated shoulders.

The baKBlade Bigmouth has a 4-inch blade fitted within a toothed comb that grabs and chops the hair. There’s a long handle so that there’s no spot on your body that you won’t be able to shave. The company says that you don’t need to use shaving cream. I guess that’s because it’s actually trimming the hair very close to your skin rather than bringing the blade into direct contact with it.

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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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