John Farrier's Blog Posts

Keyboard Plate

Lunchbreak? What's that? There's no time to stop working. This design concept by Hella Jongerius offers a great way to work right through breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I'd better talk to my library director because obviously these keyboards should be installed on all of our public access computers.

Link -via Technabob

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Featured Designs from the NeatoShop:

Floppy Disk Table

floppy disk

Kids, you don't understand what it was like in the old days. We didn't have flash drives. We had to carry around these huge memory storage disks that had just a tiny fraction of the capacity of your USB doohickeys.

Look at this one. Neulant van Exel, a design team in Berlin, turned it into a coffee table. They've ripped out the guts so that you can access interior storage space by pushing the shutter open.

Link -via Core77

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Painting with Penicillin


In 1928, British biologist Alexander Fleming discovered the antibiotic properties of penicillin. That discovery has led to millions of human lives saved. But to Fleming, penicillin was more than a biological wonder. It was also an artistic medium:

He was a member of the Chelsea Arts Club, where he created amateurish watercolors. Less well known is that he also painted in another medium, living organisms. Fleming painted ballerinas, houses, soldiers, mothers feeding children, stick figures fighting and other scenes using bacteria. He produced these paintings by growing microbes with different natural pigments in the places where he wanted different colors. He would fill a petri dish with agar, a gelatin-like substance, and then use a wire lab tool called a loop to inoculate sections of the plate with different species. The paintings were technically very difficult to make. Fleming had to find microbes with different pigments and then time his inoculations such that the different species all matured at the same time. These works existed only as long as it took one species to grow into the others. When that happened, the lines between, say, a hat and a face were blurred; so too were the lines between art and science.

Link -via It's Okay to Be Smart | Photo: Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum

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Candle-Powered Electric Candle


Instructables member randofo, inventor of the flame-throwing jack-o'-lantern, wants to be ready for a longterm power outage. He has a lot of tea candles. But what if he needs light? Randofo found a way to use candles to produce it. He used a Peltier heat sink to transfer the energy of the flame into electricity--enough to power a small candle-shaped lamp. Brilliant!


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Walden in the Twenty-First Century


Henry David Thoreau wanted to "suck out all the marrow of life." I think that the latest version of Hootsuite is built to do that.

Grant Snider of Incidental Comics imagines Thoreau writing Walden in our own age. Read the rest at the link.

Link -via American Digest

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After Winning the Nobel Prize in Physics, Niels Bohr Was Given a Perpetual Supply of Beer Piped Directly into His House

(Video Link)

The people of Denmark were justifiably proud when one of their own, Niels Bohr, won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. The famous Carlsberg brewery marked the occasion by giving him a house and piping fresh beer into it continuously, straight from the brewery. Inevitably, this inebriation led to ever greater discoveries by Bohr.

Skip ahead in the video to 2:55. And remember: when studying physics, use a designated driver.

Link -via Ace of Spades HQ

Love trivia? Find more neat trivia over at NeatoFacto

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The "Pinocchio Effect": When You Lie, Your Nose Gets Hot

PinocchioResearchers at the University of Granada have concluded that altough lying doesn't make your nose grow, it will make your nose get hot. They call it the Pinocchio Effect:

A rise in anxiety will see the tip of the nose heat up - while making a 'great mental effort' will help in cooling it down - says the University of Granada's Emilio Gómez Milán and Elvira Salazar López.

They have dubbed the newly-found phenomenon, discovered by using thermal imaging cameras on volunteers,  'The Pinocchio Effect'. 

It is an homage to Italian writer Carlo Collodi's 19th century literary wooden character whose nose grew when he came under stress - especially when he failed to tell the truth.

The pair's doctoral thesis research, released yesterday, indicated the temperature of the nose increases or decreases according to mood, as does the orbital muscle area in the inner corner of the eyes.

They claimed that thermal imaging can detect sexual desire and arousal in both men and women, evident by an increase in temperature in the chest and genital areas.

And their work also demonstrated that, at a physiological level at least, men and women become aroused at the same time, although women subjectively indicate that they are not.

They made their conclusions after finding that, when people lie about their feelings, the brain's insular cortex is altered.

Link -via Glenn Reynolds | Image: Disney

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Signs You're on the Computer Too Much


Nitrozac and Snaggy don't mention my habit: sometimes, when I'm trying to hear what someone across the room is saying to me, I turn up the speakers on my computer. It never works.

Link -via Blame It on the Voices

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Deer Attacks Two Men, Steals Their Cigarettes

deerDon't approach wild deer, as these two men in East Texas did. Deer are wild animals. Especially when they're going through nicotine withdrawal:

Rose approached the deer and he says the deer seemed friendly. But then Kellis and Rose say the deer then charged them and started to attack.

Rose and Kellis ran to Rose's pick-up truck to try to get away from the wild buck. The deer then "poked" Rose in his ribs, so Rose jumped out of his truck into the back-bed. Rose says he left his driver-side door open and the deer climbed in and took his pack of cigarettes that were sitting in his center console.

The deer starting eating Rose's smokes, and when Rose tried to get them back, Rose says the deer got more aggressive.

Don't get in between a deer and his smokes.

Link -via Ace of Spades HQ | Unrelated photo via Flickr user Larry Page

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

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Caviar Vending Machine


You'll need a lot of quarters when using this vending machine. It and others like it in the Burbank, California area offer caviar and other luxury foods:

Beverly Hills Caviar has unveiled its first touch-screen vending machine at the Burbank Town Center, offering “a large selection of the world’s finest selection of caviar, truffles, escargot, bottarga, blinis, oils, Mother of Pearl plates and spoons, gift boxes and gourmet salts.”

Prices range from under $50 up to $500, KNX 1070’s Vytas Safroncikas reports.

Link -via Dave Barry | Photo: Gourme Tfood

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Cotton Candy Fudge

Becky, also known as the "Cereal Baker," won a Duncan Hines baking contest with this concoction. This highly efficient means of ingesting sugar and awesomeness consists of mostly white chocolate and cotton candy cake frosting.

Link -via Foodbeast

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Fetal Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty

Kitty White is gestating in this sculpture by Jason Freeny. Someone's in for a surprise when she's born.

Link -via Steve Niles

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From the Attorney General to the Ku Klux Klan: "Kiss My Ass"

Kiss My Ass

In 1970, Bill Baxley, the new Attorney General of the State of Alabama, reopened the investigation of the 1963 bombing of a church in which four little African-American girls died. For doing so, he received death threats from the Klan and similar organizations. Baxley's response to one was short and to the point.

Link | Photo: Francis Buckley

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Man Builds a Rifle from a Shovel


Yes, the shoulder stock of this AK-47 is from a shovel. That's not the impressive part. The receiver--the housing for the action--is also from a shovel. Yes, really! Boris melted, reforged, reshaped, cut and welded the blade of a shovel into a completely functional receiver. The result is a beautiful piece of post-apocalyptic engineering.

Why did he do it? Boris isn't clear on the subject, but a fair amount of vodka went to the decision-making process. That belongs in everyone's OODA loop.

Link -via Say Uncle

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Restaurant Sues Phone Book Company For Placing Its Listing Under "Animal Carcass Removal" Section


In an apparent attempt to compete with Yelp, the publisher of a phone book listed a Montana barbeque restraurant under the section for businesses that dispose of dead animals:

Lacey's lawsuit claims a Dex salesman deliberately published the free listing under the "Animal Carcass Removal" section after he refused to buy an advertisement in the phone book. The salesman no longer works for the company.

Lacey claimed the negative publicity caused business to drop off at his Bozeman and Belgrade restaurants and his brand's reputation to suffer. His lawsuit alleged negligence, defamation and slander, among other charges.

The two parties settled out of court.

Link -via Dave Barry | Unrelated photo via goodiesfirst

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Doctor Offers to Inject Poker Players with Botox for the Perfect Poker Face

poker table

Would you like to have a emotionless face, devoid of expression? If you're a professional poker player, the answer is yes. That's why Dr. Jack Berdy of New York City offers a service that he calls "Pokertox":

“Very few people can maintain a real poker face,’’ said Berdy. “They have some ‘tells,’ some expression that gives away that they have a good hand or a bad hand’’ to an opponent. [...]

“We can inject Botox appropriately’’ so the other player doesn’t get the message that they’re angry, disappointed or happy.

“What someone sees across the table is no movement,’’ he said.

Pokertox costs an average $600 to $800 and lasts three to four months, he says.

Link -via Ace of Spades HQ | Photo: Play Among Friends

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Dancing Death


This ivory netsuke--a small sculpture that serves as a purse--was made by Gyokkosai during the Nineteenth Century. It shows a woman playing playing a samisen, a monkey drinking sake and an animated skeleton holding a fan. The attention to detail is amazing, particularly on the ribs and fingers of the skeleton.

Link -via Wunderkammer | Photo: British Museum

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You Can Now Buy Soil from Justin Bieber's Hometown

Shut up and take my money! Ebay seller thatsridonculus offers a vial of dirt from Stratford, Ontario--the hometown of Justin Bieber. It's now priced at a mere $39.99!

And that's just the beginning. Think of the potential resale value!

Link -via Daily of the Day

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Savage Candy Beating

(Video Link)

YouTube member Celloshredder visited Japan and noticed confectioners/street performers making candy. They're hardcore about it! Watch two of them take split-second turns hammering the mixture with their hands and a wooden mallet.

-via Yababoon

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Skull Tobacco Jar


This tobacco jar orginated in Japan sometime during the Eighteenth Century. If features an ivory snake crawling through the eye sockets of a boxwood skull.

Link | Photo: Science Museum of London

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Combination Flashlight/Handgun, c.1922

Many modern handguns come with rails for mounting accessories, including lights. This object, patented by S.P. Cottrell & Son, is an early attempt to provide both illumination and protection. It's a .22-caliber 7-shot revolver built onto a heavy flashlight. The trigger is folded along the bottom.

Link -via Pocket Pistols, Historic Firearms & Curiosities | Photo: Gregg Martin Auctions

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Worf Cooking While Data and Captain Archer Clean Dishes in Captain Picard's Kitchen

kitchen help

Daniel Stewart, son of Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart, had a birthday party in his father's apartment. Michael Dorn cooked while Brent Spiner and Scott Bakula cleaned up. Daniel Stewart tweets, "My birthday catering company sucks. Do NOT hire these guys."

Link -via The Mary Sue

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Vintage Tie Selector

tie selector

Fine and Dandy is a new menswear shop in Hell's Kitchen for dapper chaps who want to look sharp. Among their tools is a vintage bow tie selector--a handy gadget that helps customers select matching colors.

Link -via Paul Overton | Photo: Rose Callahan

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Duckvengers, Assemble!


Loki-chan specializes in modifying and making custom rubber ducks, including ducks from Doctor Who, Neon Genesis EvangelionPokémon and My Little Pony. Here are the Duckvengers, ready to save Earth from the menace of Doki.


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Pig Genome Project Could Lead to Tastier Bacon

bacon flossThe Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium has completed the task of sequencing the DNA of a pig and placing all of that data available online for free. Is it now possible to improve bacon through genetic engineering? The study's authors think so:

Tastier pork could certainly be an outcome of this research, too, Schook and Dekkers say. What makes a pig tasty, however, is subject to debate and cultural preference. In some parts of Asia, Schook notes, breeders value fat content more than American breeders do. [...]

Pig producers would also like to find genes that would make swine grow faster and eat less, especially with prices rising for the corn and soybeans that go into pig feed.

"The key," Dekkers says, "is really understanding more about the underlying genes that make a pig a better pig."

So we might end up with not only better bacon, but cheaper bacon! There's a risk, but it's worth it.

Link -via Ace of Spades HQ | Photo: Bacon Floss available in our Bacon Store

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Amphibious Camping Trailer


The Sealander is an ingenious design. It's a comfortable if compact camping trailer. But it's also a boat that can be maneuvered with a small electric outboard motor. Options include a heater, a sink and a refrigerator. You can watch a video of it in motion at the link.

Link and Official Website (Translation) -via Kay Hytjan

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Chill at the Park

Dude Chilling

Street artist Viktor Briestensky wanted to express that Vancouver's Glueph Park is a great place for dudes to just chill out and relax. So he discreetly renamed it with a sign that looks just like an official one:

According to a new sign, spotted Thursday, the leafy bit of green space is now Dude Chilling Park, a place where dudes and dudettes can presumably go to, you know, just chill -- like the relaxed figure depicted in a sculpture on the park's grass.

The city's parks department has since removed it.

Link -via Booooooom | Artist's Website

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The Predatrooper


If this guy had been in the Emperor's service, the rebellion would have been over within a week. Pop culture artists Bill McEvoy and Gregory P. Rodriguez painted this image with acrylic on wood panel for last year's Downtown LA Art Walk.

Link -via Geek Art

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Star Wars and Star Trek Money Origami

Origami artist Won Park is a specialist in the use of folded money. His whole gallery is filled with science fiction goodness, including space battle scenes from Star Wars and Star Trek. I'd love to see them animated.

Gallery Link | Photo: Andrew Park

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The Mona Bacca


Chewie is wearing a dress, but I'd advise against laughing at him. It's not wise to upset a Wookiee.

Stefano Gentile painted this image of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Check out her website, which is filled with good geeky art, such as Wolverine as the Big Bad Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood.

Artist's Website -via Technabob

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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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