John Farrier's Blog Posts

Harry Potter Chapter 1 Prom Dress

Etsy seller RoobyLane calls it a prom dress, but it would be perfect for everyday wear, too! Just expect that when you wear it, people will be able to read you like a book. It contains the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which is the first book in the Harry Potter series.

With a sufficiently elaborate dress—say, one with a massive hoopskirt—she could reproduce the entire novel.

-via Fashionably Geek


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See Uhura Do Ballet in Rare Behind-the-Scenes Star Trek Photos

(Photo: unknown)

Nichelle Nichols is the actress who played Lt. Nyota Uhura on the original Star Trek. Prior to running the communications systems on the Enterprise, she attended the Chicago Ballet Academy. She sometimes found work as a dancer, including as a background performer in the 1959 film version of Porgy and Bess.

Nichols kept up with her dancing skills. The Geek Twins has a collection of behind-the-scenes photos of uncertain provenance showing Nichols in costume on the bridge set demonstrating how flexible she is.


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A Pinhole Camera Designed to Take Selfies

Think of it as a low-tech selfie sombrero. You get to wear a selfie-producing machine, but people won’t look at you like you’re weird when you do it.

Lithuanian photographer Ignas Kutavicius built a head-mounted device that takes simple shots using a pinhole camera. These were the earliest cameras in photographic history. So by using one to take a selfie, users can reflect on “what selfies could of looked like at the beginning of photographic history.”


(Video Link)

Kutavicius describes his project in this video for BBC.

-via Junkculture


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These Tiny Chairs Were Made Entirely of Champagne Corks


(Michael A. Parker)

Design Within Reach is a home furnishings company. Every year, it holds a contest that invites artists to build chairs using only 2 champagne corks. The only materials that contributors may use are the wire frames, the metal wrappers, and, of course, the cork wood itself. The results are marvelously creative. 


(Taryn)

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60,000 Bees Made This Teapot-Shaped Sculpture

Tomáš Gabzdil Libertíny is an artist who collaborates with bees. By building hive structures in certain shapes, he enlists the cooperation of bees in creating sculptures out of beeswax. We’ve previously seen one that looks like the crucified Jesus

This one titled Thousand Years takes the form of a teapot. Christofle, a French silver maker, commissioned the piece.

-via Inhabitat


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This Is the Awesomest Fireplace Ever

(Photo: Fritz von der Schulenburg)

The Italian fashion designer Elsa Peretti purchased an old watchtower on the coast of Tuscany as a vacation home. It was called La Torre. The Sixteenth Century structure was built for military purposes, so Peretti had to have it redesigned with comfort in mind. So she hired architect Renzo Mongiardino to renovate it.

Mongiardino took the old fort and turned it into a fairytale castle by covering the walls with three-dimensional images of fantasy scenes, including this stunning fireplace that looks like a giant’s mouth. You can see more photos of the home at The Art of the Room.

-via Messy Nessy Chic


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This Dog Agrees: Your Music Needs More Cowbell

The American rock band Blue Öyster Cult’s iconic song “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” features, oddly, the use of a cowbell. This led to the development of More Cowbell, one of the greatest Saturday Night Live sketches ever. In it, the album producer, played by actor Christopher Walken, insisted that despite all doubts, what the song needed was not less, but more cowbell.

Maple the dog agrees. As his human, Trench, plays “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” Maple rings the cowbell.

More cowbell, Maple. Please.

-via Tastefully Offensive

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

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What Star Wars Characters Are Called in French

(James Chapman)

Millénium Condor? That totally would have worked, even in English. And Chewie is a Chico for sure. But Jabba the Woodsman? Maybe the French version has a different backstory for him.

Cartoonist James Chapman publishes many cartoons showing how different words and expressions are conveyed in languages other than English, including the sound of frying bacon and how to answer the phone. In a recent production, he took us back to il ya longtemps dans une galaxie lointaine, très lointaine.

-via Blame It on the Voices


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For 11 Years, This Man Has Photographed Everything His Right Hand Has Touched

(Photo: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)

Alberto Frigo (warning: not safe for sanity) documents his life. Specifically, he records images of what is right hand is doing. For 11 years, Frigo has carried a camera. Whenever his right touches something, Frigo photographs it. 

(Photo: Cianan Brennan/TheJournal.ie)

He has used the resulting collection to build a massive repository of images now on display at the Science Gallery in Dublin, Ireland. The exhibit is named Lifelogging: Do You Count. With magnifying glasses, visitors can see the long history of Frigo's right hand.

How do people respond to his practice? Frigo responds:

I generally try not to speak too much about it and first let them talk about their lives. Obviously, once somebody gets to know me, he or she will become curious about all my procedures, but in the long run I think the general feeling is that my lifelogging practice is rather unobtrusive.

He hopes to continue the practice until he's ready to retire in 2040. With an average of 76 photos a day, that's about 970,900 more pictures.

-via Flowing Data


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Bike Path in Boston Now Features a 40-Foot Snow Tunnel

The Wellington Greenway is a hiking and biking path in Boston, Massachusetts. The MBTA, which is the local government transportation network, removed much of the show that blocked train traffic. It did so by piling the snow into the Greenway.


(Video Link)

This angered local cyclists. But the MBTA did nothing. So the cyclists took action on their own. Working in shifts, over 8-10 hours, they dug a tunnel through the snowbank. The 40-foot structure re-opened the Wellington Greenway. The cyclists call it the "Big Dig II," which references a 16-year tunneling project in Boston.

You can see more photos of the snow tunnel at BDCwire.

-via Marilyn Terrell


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Hippopotamus Sofa

Maximo Riera understands the importance of creating furniture designs that fit into any home or office. A good furniture maker knows that a piece that goes anywhere is more marketable than a weird oddity. That's why he's continuing to develop chairs and couches that look like large animals. In the past, we've seen his walrus chair and octopus chair. Now he's added to that line this couch that looks like a hippopotamus. It's made to a 1:1 scale with leather lined and creased like a real hippopotamus.

-via Marginal Revolution

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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70 Years Ago Today: US Marines Raise the American Flag over Mount Suribachi

This photograph, which was taken 70 years ago today, is instantly recognizeable by any American.

On February 19, 1945, United States Marines landed on the rocky volcanic island of Iwo Jima in the western Pacific Ocean. The plan was to capture this island, build air bases on it, then use those bases to bomb mainland Japan, beating it into submission.

18,000 dug-in Japanese soldiers defended this 8-square mile island. 70,000 Marines took responsibility for rooting them out. It took almost a month to do so. It was only on March 16 that it was finally secured. That victory cost the lives of 7,000 Americans with 20,000 wounded.

Before that time, the Americans had the opportunity to announce that they intended to stay. On the fifth day of the battle, the Marines took Mount Suribachi, a high point on the southwestern tip of the island. They raised the stars and stripes on a staff over the top. Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press was there to photograph it. They are, from left to right, Cpl. Ira Hayes, PFC Franklin Sousley, Sgt. Michael Strank, Cpl. Rene Gagnon, Pharmacist’s Mate John Bradley (USN), and Cpl. Harlon Block.

Sgt. Strank, PFC Sousley, and Cpl. Block later died in battle on Iwo Jima.


(Photo: Beverly & Pack)

This moment of their lives would live on in the historical memory of generations of Americans. It would also form the basis of the design of the US Marine Corps War Memorial outside of Washington, D.C. 


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I Made This Ninja High School Lamp

I make things. This is a practice that I have maintained over the past few years. I like the idea of being a maker--a person who learns new skills by creating objects. In the past, I have made a deacon's bench for my children, a bookcase, a small cabinet with drawers and doors that replaced an old end table, and a hanging My Little Pony cupboard. Each project concept intentionally required that I learn new skills. As a result, I've become a reasonably good carpenter.


(Asrial, Ichi, and Jeremy from Ninja High School by Ben Dunn)

In the past 2 years, I have also deliberately embraced and nourished my own geeky interests, recovering so many of the joys of my lost youth. Among them is collecting and reading the entire run of my favorite comic book franchise, Ninja High School.

This project was my most daunting yet. Since each one of my projects must be functional in some way, I decided to build a lamp. This required that I learn electrical wiring, which I found confusing and non-intuitive. Thankfully, my father, who is brilliant in all things technical, very patiently taught me the rudiments of electrical wiring.

Continue reading

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Inside Japan's Amazing Automated Bike Lockers

It's an incredible machine that appears to be both fast and easy to use. The rider places his bike in the trench. The machine grabs the bike, lowers it down a central shaft to a designated spot, and parks the bike there. When the owner returns, he swipes and electronic card and the machine reverses the process, returning the bicycle.


(Video Link)

This locker system is in Kyoto, a city that Rocket News 24 tells us is ideal for bicycle travel. The system costs about $3.61 million each. So at this point, it's affordable only for areas where bicycles are a major form of transportation.

-via Twisted Sifter


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Optical Illusion Bar Stool

Josh Carmody is a furniture designer and builder in Melbourne, Australia. When viewed from the right angle, his Legless Bar Stool looks like a stable, 4-legged stool. But that's only because you're looking at a cross brace and assuming that it's a leg. This makes it a bit more unstable. But, hey: beer.

-via Daily of the Day


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Butterfly Swarm

(Photo: National Geographic/Steffen Reichle)

National Geographic offers a larger version of this image as a downloadable computer wallpaper. Steffen Reichle's incredible shot shows a swarm of butterflies in the Tucavaca Valley Municipal Reserve, a wildlife protection area in Chiquitos Province.

-via Marilyn Terrell

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Cat-Shaped Eclairs

In Japan, February 22 is, in addition to being  Ninja Day, Cat Day. To celebrate, food and craft blogger Caroline made 6 colorful eclairs shaped like cats (translation). Some of them hold bits of fruit, such as strawberries and blueberries. All of them want cuddles from you.

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Baby Chameleon Emerging from His Egg

The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska is now the home of 7 baby Carpet Chameleons who were born between January 12 and February 12. The species is native to Madagascar and is among the smallest chameleon species in the world. At this stage, they're really small. Each baby weighs about as much as 4 toothpicks!

You can see more photos at Zooborns.


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Man Falling on Ice for 9 Seconds


(Video Link)

He needs to shovel the snow. He has no time for falling down on the slippery ice, so the man vigorously resists the fall. His winter thrill ride lasts a full 9 seconds.

-via Ace of Spades HQ


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Presidents of the United States Ranked by Hotness

I had never thought of it, but it's true: President Franklin Pierce, drunk or sober, looks pretty sharp.

43 men have been President of the United States. How effective were they? Nevermind. Here's a better question: how hot were they? The website The Hottest Heads of State has ranked them from scorchin' hot to dull and cold.

I don't agree with all of them. James K. Polk really deserves the #1 position.

And Chet Arthur's muttonchops (which were prehensile, by the way) were awesome, even when he kept them trimmed to an abbreviated two and a half feet long.

-via Althouse


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What Roman Slave Owners Can Teach Us about Managing Staff


(Photo: Pascal Radique)

Are you a modern, forward-thinking leader who inspires people in the workplace to follow you?

No? Then Jerry Toner, a classicist at the University of Cambridge, has advice for you. He's gathered together the wisdom of slave owners from ancient Rome in a thoughtful essay at Aeon. Roman slave management manuals and other surviving records of slave-master relationships offer a lot of insight into corporate leadership. Toner explains:

Most Romans, like Augustus, thought cruelty to slaves was shocking. They understood that slaves could not simply be terrified into being good at their job. Instead, the Romans used various techniques to encourage their slaves to work productively and willingly, from bonuses and long-term inducements, to acts designed to boost morale and generate team spirit. All of these say more than we might imagine about how employers manage people successfully in the modern world.

You have to start from the beginning. Don't count on your company's human resources department to get new slaves ready for work. You, the leader, must get them into the right frame of mind and keep them there:

Once he bought them, the Roman master tried to rebuild his slaves’ characters to suit his own needs. He made them forget their old gods and start worshipping at the household shrine instead, ridiculing their former beliefs. He might choose to brand them with his own mark. So, too (if less brutally), the modern manager ‘rebrands’ new recruits by teaching them their company’s mission. They must carry out rituals to publicly proclaim their faith in these new goals, such as attending away days (or off-sites) and taking part in humiliating group activities such as paint-balling or karaoke.

-via Spencer Haley


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Making a Real Dune Pain Box

The 1984 film Dune--which I will continue to insist is one of the greatest movies ever made--includes a scene in which the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam instructs young Paul Atreides to place his hand inside the box. What's inside? Pain. Lots of it. Paul must, by his willpower alone, keep his hand there or Mohiam will stab Paul with a poisoned needle held at his neck.


(Video Link)

Surely we have all watched this scene and thought, "I need a device like that box." It would be tremendously helpful in getting to know people, such as on first dates.

Bryan of Hack A Day is working on building a real Dune pain box. His goal is to create "excruciating burning sensation without causing any actual damage." The technical means that he is currently considering is called a thermal grill illusion:

The thermal grill illusion is a sensory trick originally demonstrated back in 1896. The trick is made up of two interlaced grills. One is cool to the touch, and the other is warm. If the user touches a single grill, they won’t experience any pain because neither temperature is very extreme. However if the user places their hand over the interlaced grills simultaneously they will immediately experience a burning heat. This usually causes the person to pull their hand away immediately. It’s a fun trick and you can sometimes see examples of it at science museums.

The thermal grill illusion sounded like the perfect way to make the pain box a reality. [Bryan] has set specific constraints on this build to make it more true to the Dune series. He wants to ensure the entire package fits into a small box, just big enough to place an adult hand inside. He also wants to keep safety in mind, since it has the potential to actually cause harm if it were to overheat.

The project is still in progress. Stay tuned for updates and mind the gom jabbar.


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Solar Love

(Ryan Selby)

The Sun loves us. It can't imagine living without us. And it won't.

Eventually, our star will age, expand into a red giant, and kill us. I'm not, strictly speaking, a "scientist," but I'm guessing that's scheduled for next month.


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How Dogs See the World

Humans don't make any sense. They turn up their noses at treats that cats leave on the ground. They vanish for years at a time every day. They voluntarily immerse themselves in water--for pleasure! Thankfully, cartoonist Robert Brown explains their behavior in a series of cartoons for College Humor. You can read the rest here.

-via Tastefully Offensive

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

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Time-Lapse Video: Cats Lying in a Moving Sunbeam

The approximately 8 cats that live in the house love to sunbathe. There's only a narrow strip of sunlight available on the floor. During the day, the sun moves across the sky and the sunbeam moves across the room. This video by Mitsuri Yasui shows the cats shifting position to keep up with the sunbeam.


(Video Link)

-via Tastefully Offensive

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

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Nintendo Toaster Console

Finnish artist Jarno Kotavuopio makes custom Nintendo consoles. He's made 2 in the form of toasters, including this beauty that features polished chrome fixtures, internal lights, and glowing buttons. As you can see in this video, it's completely functional. 

With cartridge covers that look like actual toast, he'll have to be careful that no one tries to cook breakfast with one of his consoles!


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Street Fighter/Star Wars Mashup Cosplay


(Photo: Eurobeat Kasumi)

DeviantART member Malicious Cosplay merged the worlds of Star Wars and Street Fighter with these two costumes. The bounty hunter Boba Fett is also the British brawler Cammy. Chun-Li wears her own colors mixed up with Princess Leia's iconic slave outfit from Return of the Jedi.

UPDATE 2/26/15: Rebecca Denfip, the model playing Cammy-Fett, stops by to identify herself. Thanks, Rebecca!


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A Suspended Grassy Walkway between Office Buildings

There’s a courtyard in the middle of several office buildings in Gliwice, Poland. The Zalewski Architecture Group developed a practical use for it by building a grass-covered looping walkway that reaches into the sunlight.  The designer explains that it can offer workers a chance to clear their heads in fresh air:

There are ideas that arise from the need of a particular moment. Such a need – another hot day of summer spent in the office and a thought “if only I could go for a walk” – became inspiration for a project of a path suspended in the air, a balcony Walk-on. It is also one of the ideas to change a sad courtyard, that we overlook every day out of the office windows on the 3rd floor, to give the courtyard a bit of magic.

You can see more photos of it at Contemporist.

-via Inhabitat


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Lost Sherlock Holmes Story Discovered in Attic


(Image: BBC)

In 1902, a flood destroyed a wooden bridge in the town of Selkirk, Scotland. Residents tried to raise money to build another one. One proposal was to print and sell a collection of short stories called The Book o’ the Brig. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author who created the famous detective character Sherlock Holmes, enjoyed visiting the town. So he contributed an original story called “Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, by deduction, the Brig Bazaar.”

The project was a success and Selkirk got a new bridge. Doyle’s story helped. But it was never published anywhere else. Walter Elliot, a historian, received a copy of The Book o’ the Brig about 50 years ago. He placed it in his attic and forgot about it.

It was only recently that Elliot found the book and Doyle’s story in it. The world now has fresh, original Sherlock Holmes. You can read the entire story here.


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I Hate It When People Park Like This

(Photo: Alex Chinneck)

Alex Chinneck is an artist noted for his enormous, surreal sculptures, such as a circular chimney and a building with a sliding front wall. His latest work, which is titled Pick Yourself Up and Pull Yourself Together was commissioned by British automaker Vauxhall. It consists of a Vauxhall Corsa hanging 15 feet off the ground over a section of pavement that curves over itself. It was a complex technical challenge to create a funny illusion. Dezeen quotes Chinneck:

"While I am most excited by the hidden engineering and complex manipulation of concealed steel, others will simply enjoy the accessible theatricality of the illusion at play," Chinneck added.

Chinneck worked with structural engineers, steel benders, scenic artists, metal workers, carpenters, tarmac layers and road painters to create the artwork.

The entire piece was installed overnight in a parking lot in London. It will remain there until February 25 or gravity notices its error.

-via Juxtapoz


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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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