John Farrier's Blog Posts

Amazing Balloon Sculptures from the World Balloon Convention

(Photos: World Balloon Convention)

Starting in 2010, the Pioneer Balloon Company has hosted the annual World Balloon Convention. It's a celebration and competition of balloon art. This year, 800 artists from 54 nations traveled to Denver, Colorado to show off their skills. 31 instructors offered classes to visitors who wanted to learn to create amazing sculptures like these.

You can see more photos of balloon sculptures from the convention at Pleated Jeans.


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New T-Shirts from the NeatoShop:



Awesome Snow White/Boba Fett Cosplay

(Photo: Estrada Photography)

(Photo: Estrada Photography)


(Photo: Fat Man Photography)

"Put the Evil Queen in the cargo hold. She's worth a lot of money to me."

Here's Amber Arden cosplaying as the fairest bounty hunter in the land. The huntsman tried to kill her, but he changed his mind when she changed him into dust. You can see more photos at her Facebook page.

-via Nerd Bastards


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Shaun Hughes's Pop Culture Hobo Nickels


Spider-Man

Shaun Hughes is an artist in the UK who carves nickels, coins, and other metal tokens in the hobo nickel tradition. We've previously seen his nickel with the face of a Star Wars stormtrooper. Hughes is a highly productive artist, so he's made a lot more work. Here are some of his other pieces inspired by popular culture.


Yoda


Jessica Rabbit (?)


The Hulk


Frankenstein's monster


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Studio Lamps Made from Old Records

Sandman Upcycling made this tripod mounted lamp (translation) that features an old LP record as a reflector. He doesn't say how he does it. Perhaps he softens the record with heat and then wraps it around a mold. What do you think? How would you build a reflector like this one?

-via Recyclart


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17 Highly Scientific Facts about Raising Kids

Raising children is an art, a science, and exhausting. Melissa Sher, the blogger known as Mammalingo, has done a lot of hands-on research on the subject. She's here to lay down some knowledge on you in 17 charts that have undoubtedly been peer-reviewed and subjected to experimental replication.

Yes, the color of the cup is very important. And the earlier in the morning it is, the more important the color becomes. You may not understand why, but your toddler does.

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Food Illustrations of Eastern Europe

(Photos: Agustín Nieto)

Let Anna Keville Joyce loose in your kitchen and you'll have not only a tasty meal, but also an international trip. We've previously seen her depictions of food birds. Now she's showing us four capitals of Eastern European nations. She made them for Foodie Backpacker, a blogger who is traveling the world to experience the best food everywhere.

-via Fubiz


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This Athlete Lost Her Arm, But Won't Stop Competing

Krystal Cantu, 24, of San Antonio, Texas, lost her right arm in a car accident. She had, at the time, been getting into CrossFit and loved it. Refinery 29 reports:

“I remember every single detail from that day. As soon as I saw my arm, the CrossFit competition was the first thing that ran through my mind,” Cantu tells us. “It killed me knowing I wouldn’t be able to compete, but I was so grateful to still have my life.”

So a month later, she was back at CrossFit. Two months after that, she was competing in the Working Wounded Games.

The unstoppable Cantu posts images and videos of her impressive strength on her Instagram account. Her right arm is gone, but her fighting spirit is not.

-via Huffington Post


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This Man Can Pour a Beer with Just His Head


(Video Link)

Andrew takes a can of beer, opens it, and sticks it to his head. Then he pours it neatly into a glass (at an angle, of course). Can you do this? Please try, then report the results in the comments.

There's no indication that Andrew is a bartender. If he is, then he has a great talent--especially if he can wiggle a cocktail shaker in this position.

-via 22 Words

Check out more amazing talents over at our Mad Skills blog

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Middle Aged Harry Potter Novels

J.K. Rowling's recently released short story imagines Harry Potter as a 34-year old man. If she continues writing about the wizard's life, what subject matter must she inevitably address? In these imagined sequels by Jason Mustian and Cole Mitchell, Harry is hitting a mid-life crisis. Hopefully he won't buy a sports car or have an affair. You can view more titles here.

Retire by 65, Harry? No sorcery in the world can make that happen anymore.

-via BuzzFeed


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Ice Cream 3D Printer

You can print out designs in chocolate and pancake batter. The next great technological hurdle is ice cream!

To do this, MIT students Kyle Hounsell, Kristine Bunker, and David Donghyun Kim built an extruder that was chilled by liquid nitrogen. This kept the soft serve ice cream cold as it piled on the build plate.

This kind of project never goes right from the beginning. It's a new technology with unfamiliar challenges. So the team had to eat a lot of excess ice cream from failed projects, which presumably tastes better than PLA filament.

Much of the credit, though, should go to cartoonist Chris Hallbeck who first conceived of the idea of an ice cream 3D printer.


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When Viewed from the Right Angle....

This is You are a Poser!, a sculpture by Matthew Attard. It's made of Plexiglas, wire, and black paint. From the side, it looks like a piece of junk. From the proper perspective, though, it's a nude figure. It was on display at the Canal 05 art gallery in Brussels earlier this year. It is a commentary on the divide between public life and private life in a social networking society:

In Matthew Attard’s work we can grab a sense of the contemporary phenomenon of externalised intimacy in a society dominated by the increased use of social networks, where each person posts intimate and narcissistic pictures. We live in the era of the Selfie favoured by technological and social advances, resulting in a widespread tendency to tell the story of one’s own life through intimate photos posted on social networks. The private sphere and the public sphere are no longer delimited, but merge into one, an era where one would question the existence of intimacy. The intimate photographs on social media refer to a constructed reality, an expression of one’s ego –oriented towards the public gaze. These ‘slices’ of life represented by the Selfie, are echoed in the young artist’s work in his ‘slicing’ of the human body in sculptures spread throughout the empty spaces.

-via Lustik


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This Iceberg Looks Like Batman

(Photo: unknown/Warner Bros.)

Mr. Freeze* now has an equally icy opponent. This iceberg looks just like the Dark Knight spawned on a cold night in Crime Alley.

-via Dave Barry

*I cannot determine if Victor Fries ever completed his doctorate and should therefore be addressed as "Doctor." He wrote a dissertation, but I find no evidence that he defended it successfully.

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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5 Paralyzed Dogs Playing Fetch Are Adorable


(Video Link)

Gritta Goetz takes her dogs out to a field to play. 5 of the 8 dogs have wheeled carts for back legs. This slows them down a little bit, but they still have fun. They're a happy pack.

-via 22 Words

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

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The Longest Known Fossilized Dinosaur Poop

This is coprolite--fossilized excrement. It dates back to between the Oligocene and Minocene Epochs, which makes it somewhere around 5.3 to 33.9 million years old. The poop was found in Lewis County, Washington State. The I.M. Chait auction house is selling it, estimating the price at between $8,000-10,000.

According to the auction house, it is a truly outstanding poop. It "boasts a wonderfully even, pale brown-yellow coloring" throughout its full "eye-watering 40 inches." It is a "truly spectacular specimen."

You can see from the picture that this is clearly true. This isn't just an impressive specimen, but a natural work of art.

-via Wunderkammer


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Wearable Technologies That We Need

(Gemma Correll)

Wearable technologies are all the rage these days. And it's not just Google Glass. There's the iWatch, the airbag suit, the birdcage dress, and more.

Gemma Correll is a cartoonist and, clearly, an innovative thinker. We need all of these wearable devices, especially the self-destructing fedora. I would suggest also building a top hat that self-destructs when worn in public with a t-shirt. That fashion trend really should end.

-via Tastefully Offensive


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What Happens to a Snake in Zero Gravity


(Video Link)

Today is World Snake Day. To mark the occasion, Jason G. Goldman of io9 describes how different animals respond to the microgravity that they experience on Vomit Comet aircraft. We've already seen spiders and cats respond to a situation that must be inexplicable to them. What about other species? Goldman writes:

Most animals perceive the weightlessness of microgravity as if they were falling upside down. If you drop a cat from a great height, for example, it will roll over to attempt to land on its feet. This is called the "righting response." In microgravity, this leads to repeated rolling-over.

Scientists have interpreted the repeated rolling-over as a repetitive righting response, since the animal never gets any feedback that the action was successfully executed. This behavioral pattern is common and has been observed for various mammals, frogs, and turtles in microgravity.

Snakes, however, often attack themselves or bunch up. This may be because a snake in microgravity has trouble distinguishing its own body from its surrounding environment:

In this study, the researchers loaded a bunch of snakes onto a Vomit Comet. These are planes that fly in parabolas: as the plane moves over the top of the curve, everything inside is temporarily weightless. At the bottom of the curve, it the pull of gravity actually feels a bit stronger.

Here's a video of one snake, Elaphe obsoleta, in microgravity. In the first parabola, the snake eventually knotted its tail and ceased all other body movements. In the second parabola the snake knotted its whole body and once again ceased moving while in microgravity. This posture was held through the next parabola and in the intervening time between the parabolas.

While the researchers didn't observe the self-attack behaviors seen previously, the knotting behavior that they did observe in many of their snakes still reflects a basic loss of proprioception. When snakes become stressed out, they sometimes bunch together in a group in order to relax. Which, in a way, is exactly what that airborne snake did in microgravity.

In the absence of gravity, it appears as if snakes have a difficulty distinguishing self from non-self.

[Emphasis added.]


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For the First Time, A Woman Has Completed the American Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course

American Ninja Warrior is a television show that airs on NBC and the Esquire Network. The center of the show is a demanding obstacle course that requires phenomenal strength and agility. For six seasons, athletes have come to the show in search of fame and recognition of their abilities. This past week, for the first time, a woman completed the this brutal obstacle course.

Kacy Catanzaro if a 5-foot tall gymnast. Her height posed particular challenges, as many of the obstacles require a lot of reach. But Catanzaro, a former NCAA Southeast Regional Gymnast of the Year, had all of the strength and skill necessary to prevail.


(Video Link)

-via Joe Carter


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Helpful Sun Wants to Blast Out Your Eye Sockets


(Pie Comic/John McNamee)

The sun loves you. Unless you're driving east in the morning. Then it wants to kill you and everyone else on the road. 

Pro tip: navigate by echolocation. It takes a bit of practice, but then the sun can't hurt you.


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Photo: Clouds Flowing over the Rock of Gibraltar

(Photo: Mac Dor)

This is the Levanter Cloud, an unusual and beautiful cloud formation that appears on Gibraltar. That promontory rises high into the air before the Levanter, a wind that blows west out of the Mediterranean Sea. The frequent result is a heavy cloud cap resting over the mountain.


(Photo: Nol Aders)

-via Twisted Sifter


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This Photoshop Artist's Facebook Cover Photos Are Amazing!

Redditor RubberDogTurds, who is known offline as Nikki, is an inventive and skilled Photoshop artist. She frequently creates custom Facebook header images that insert her into popular movies and television shows. She gets to make meth with Heisenberg, serve as Sherlock's sidekick, and pilot the Enterprise. You can see her complete gallery here.

-via Huffington Post


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Gummy Bear Bratwurst Is, Thankfully, Completely Real

(Photo: Grist)

Peanut butter and chocolate. Pasta and tomato sauce. Beer and chicken wings. Bratwurst and gummy bears.

Some foods, just by nature's design, belong together. That's why it was inevitable that someone would combine the sweetness of gummy bears and the hearty saltiness of bratwurst. But it was Spencer Grundhofer who actually put them together, thus ushering in a new age of greatness for the human race.

(Photo: Rachel Hutton)

Grundhofer is the owner of Grundhofer's Old-Fashioned Meats, a butcher shop in Hugo, Minnesota. Like the wheel, the transistor, and other revolutionary inventions, the gummy bear bratwurst was invented as a joke. 


(Video Link)

Now it is in high demand and spreading across the United States. They're already available in Minneapolis and Austin.

-via That's Nerdalicious!

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Street Fighter: Drunk Edition

Two great champions, Vodkaman and Drunkenstein, face off in a battle for glory and honor. Both are masters of their martial art systems. Having already defeated mere amateurs, including Chun-Li and Blanka, they now must determine who alone shall be ultimate street fighter.


(Video Link)

-via Geekologie


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Using a Forklift to Lift Another Forklift


(Video Link)

With one forklift, you can get the crate into the trailer. But you can't get the crate to the back of the trailer. For that, you'll need another forklift and a touch of insanity. It's not that hard. Hold my beer and I'll show you.

-via The Presurfer


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Veteran's Wheelchair Falls Apart in Hardware Store, Employees Fix It Immediately


(Photo: Michael Sulsona)

40 years ago, Michael Sulsona lost his legs to a landmine in Vietnam. For two years, he's been trying to get the Veterans' Administration to provide him with a replacement for the rickety old wheelchair that he's been using. The old chair finally collapsed while Sulsona and his wife were in a Lowe's hardware store on Staten Island, New York. Sulsona describes what happened next:

Three employees, David, Marcus and Souleyman jumped to my assistance immediately. They placed me in another chair while they went to work.

They took the wheelchair apart and replaced the broken parts and told me, "We're going to make this chair like new."

I left 45 minutes after closing hours in my wheelchair that was like new.

I kept thanking them and all they could say was, "It was our honor."

-via I Own the World


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Grey Poupon--The Action-Packed Lost Footage


(Video Link)

Grey Poupon, the Dijon mustard brand, is noted for its claims as a food for the rich and refined. A classic commercial for it that aired throughout the 80s shows two men in chauffeured Rolls-Royces passing a jar while exchanging genteel salutations.

This ad for Grey Poupon by Crispin Porter + Bogusky updates the old 1981 commercial, showing what happened after the French rider passed his jar of Grey Poupon to the American rider. The recipient wouldn't give the jar back, resulting in an action packed, high speed chase in gadget filled cars that would be James Bond envious. 

-via American Digest


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13 Commonly Misheard Lyrics

From Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer: "It doesn’t matter if we make it or not."

From Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire: "We didn't start the fire. It was always burning since the world's been turning."

From The Monkees' I'm a Believer: "Then I saw her face, now I'm a believer."

Can you understand the singer? It can be hard to follow the lyrics. You may have been singing along with completely incorrect lyrics for years. Fortunately, Andy McDonald of the Huffington Post is here to clear up your confusion. He's rounded up the 13 most commonly misheard lyrics with corrections.


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Train Music and More Street Art by Bordalo Segundo

Bordalo Segundo, a street artist in Lisbon, has been experimenting with train tracks lately. He uses their parallel lines to form shapes in larger images, such as the staff lines in sheet music or outstretched arms. You can see more of his work here.

-via Global Street Art

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Photographer Helpfully Recreates Children's Nightmares

Arthur Tress is a photographer. During the 60s and 70s, he asked children to describe their nightmares to him. Then he recreated those dreams in carefully staged photographs. Tress called the series Daymares. Jen Carlson describes it in The Gothamist:

Tress spoke with children about their dreams—often nightmares that involved falling, monsters, that buried alive scenario—and would then photograph them experiencing it in a safe, staged setting. The images he captured are intensely surreal at times, and turn the landscape of New York City (and eventually other areas) into a fantastic nightmare and apocalyptic wonderland.

You can see more photos in the series here.

-via Visual News


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Beautiful Baby Bump Paintings

Carrie Preston, an artist in Cornwall, UK, is inspired by children. Her studio, My Little Sweet Pea, began as a mural painting business for children's rooms. Now she's also painting the bellies of pregnant women.

Each belly painting takes her about two hours and is made to the mother's specifications. Sometimes Preston can feel the baby kick as she paints.

You can see many more of the 130 bellies that she's painted here.

-via Visual News


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Crab Eating Noodles


(Video Link)

Crabs can be obnoxious guests. Yesterday, we saw one steal a beer from a man. This one is ready to chow down on someone's naengmyeon, which is a Korean noodle dish. He'd better leave a tip if he wants good service in the future.

-via Nothing to Do with Aborath

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

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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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