John Farrier's Blog Posts

X-Men Covers with Googly Eyes

X-Men comic book covers makes them scary. Do you want to see more? You're in luck! There's a Tumblr blog devoted entirely to this motif.

Link -via The Mary Sue

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New T-Shirts from the NeatoShop:

Pen Removed from Woman's Stomach Still Works after 25 Years

This story has all the makings of a wonderful ad campaign for the pen manufacturer. A woman accidentally swallowed a pen. Her husband and doctor thought that she was making the whole thing up, so nothing was done about it. Twenty-five years later, a surgeon removed it from her and found the pen in full working order.

Link -via DVICE | Photo: British Medical Journal/Oliver Richard Waters, Tawfique Daneshmend, Tarek Shirazi

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Google Maps Has Walking Directions into Mordor

In that case, I'll just take the Tube. Let us thank Google's programmers for offering this prudent warning.

The map is of northern London, but you can overlay a map in your own city by choosing "The Shire" as your starting point and "Mordor" as the destination when searching for directions.

Link -via Geekosystem

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USS Enterprise in Christmas Lights

This Constitution-class starship comes equipped extra running lights. According to several redditors, it's on display in East Peoria, Illinois. That city is apparently famous for its grand Christmas light displays.

Link -via Nerd Bastards

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Jedi Ninjas

(Video Link)

As I watched the beginning of this video, I thought, "Why doesn't anyone just get a gun?" Then, at the 2:20 mark, everything suddenly made sense. I never saw that one coming.

-via Nerd Approved

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Melting Sculpture Is Made of Wood

Although it looks convincingly like a pair of melting picture frames, it is actually a wooden sculpture. This is one of three in a series by artists Rémy Clémente and Morgan Maccari dribbling on a gallery floor.

Link -via Technabob | Artists' Website

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The Man Who Wore a Maxi Pad to Invent a Better One

A homeless man once approached me in a grocery store parking lot and asked me to buy maxi pads for his wife. I understood the importance and did so right away. If a woman can't afford maxi pads, then she's going to have a bad time. That's why Arunachalam Muruganantham decided to invent a maxi pad that was affordable and accessible for India's rural poor who used rags, leaves, and newspapers as substitutes.

He devised a prototype and set about trying to find female test subjects. His failed efforts cost him greatly:

He tried to get female medical students to wear them and fill out feedback sheets, but no woman wanted to talk to a man about such a taboo topic. His wife, thinking his project was all an excuse to meet younger women, left him. After repeated unsuccessful research attempts, including wearing panties with his do-it-yourself uterus, he eventually hit upon the idea of distributing free napkins to the students and collecting the used ones for study. That was the last straw for his mother. When she encountered a storeroom full of bloody sanitary napkins, she left too.

Muruganantham discovered that turning pine wood into a maxi pad is actually a complex and expensive process, so he spent years trying to simplify and cheapen it. He was successful:

Powered by electricity and foot pedals, the machine de-fibers the cellulose, compresses it into napkin form, seals it with non-woven fabrics, and finally sterilizes it with ultraviolet light. He can now make 1,000 napkins a day, which retail for about $.25 for a package of eight.

Though he’s won numerous awards (and won his wife back) he doesn’t sell his product commercially. "It’s a service," he says. His company, Jayaashree Industries, helps rural women buy one of the $2,500 machines through NGOs, government loans, and rural self-help groups. "My vision is to make India a 100% napkin-using country," said Muruganantham at the INK conference in Jaipur. "We can create 1 million employment opportunities for rural women and expand the model to other developing nations." Today, there are about 600 machines deployed in 23 states across India and in a few countries abroad.

Link -via Gizmodo | Photo (unrelated) via Flickr user scaredy_cat

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Is This Medieval Cricket?

One critical difference: the umpire has a halberd and is willing to use it. The Ghistelles Hours, a Fourteenth Century Flemish devotional manuscript, contains illustrations of people playing something that scholar Carl Pyrdum describes as baseball. But I think that it sounds like cricket:

Though there’s no base in sight, various historians of sport have identified this game as a version of “stool ball” or “stump ball”, which was baseball played with only one base, where the object was for the pitcher to hit a stump or a stool or other handy protrusion with the ball while the batter protected it by batting away the pitcher’s balls. Each player stood on or near what was essentially a “base” If the batter made contact, he was expected to run around the pitcher’s base and back to his own. Various fielders could catch the batted ball and throw the ball at the stool while the batter is occupied running.

Link -via Retronaut | Photo: Walters Art Museum

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Bobby of Cast Iron Tattoos in Orlando, Florida inked this excellent mashup. Now he'll be even more dangerous when he accesses power sockets.

Link -via Fashionably Geek | Cast Iron Tattoos

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A Bromance for the Ages: "You, Me, and Optimus Prime."

(Video Link)

Sure, we have buds, and we love them. But no matter what they do for us, we cannot help but pine for the relationship that should have been: a trio of you, your best friend, and Optimus Prime. Especially after Wheeljack left for college and dropped out of contact. In this sweet song, James Struthers contemplates that perfect match.

-via Nerd Bastards | Singer's Website

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LED Inserted into Nostril Glows When You Breathe

Finally! If you're like me, you wake up most days and wonder how to best communicate with people details about your nostrils. Noda Akira has now made this process a lot easier, thanks to his new breath-sensing LED gadget. Watch a video at the link.

Link | Photo: Noda Akira

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Jingle Barks

(Video Link)

Although they lack Chewbacca's vocal range, the dogs in this Purina ad can impressively bark out a tune. Be sure to take them caroling with you this year.

-via Ace of Spades HQ

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Eisriesenwelt: The Largest Ice Cave in the World

The Eisriesenwelt is an enormous cave system south of Salzburg, Austria. It's forty-two kilometers long, the first kilometer of which is covered in wondrous ice formations. The cave is open to visitors during the summer, so visit if you're in the area. Check out more pictures at the link.

Link -via American Digest | Official Website | Photo: Eisriesenwelt GmbH

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Police: Couple Were Burglarized While They Were out Shoplifting

You can't trust anyone these days. You can just innocently go about your business when suddenly some crook will rob your blind. That's what a couple in Ogden, Utah discovered. According to police, they went into a store to engage in a bit of shoplifting. They were caught, cited by police, and then let go. The couple went back to their car and got a shock:

But as the officer started to leave, “He sees the two suspects trying to flag him down in the parking lot,” Young said, “and he goes over to their location and realizes that their vehicle has actually been burglarized.”

From a distance, surveillance video caught what appears to be a man in a red sweater scoping out Alexander's truck and he eventually gets inside.

"They ended up having their stereo and amplifier, a drum machine and some cigarettes stolen from their vehicle," Young said.

Link -via Dave Barry | Photo: Flickr user Guerrilla Futures/Jason Tester

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Kelvin-Helmholtz Wave Clouds

Redditor alison_bee photographed these bizarre clouds over Birmingham, Alabama. I planned to go with the end of the world as an explanation, but another redditor, claiming to be a meteorologist, explains what's happening in more scientific terms:

What is happening is that the nocturnal near-surface layers (lowest 50-100m) of the atmosphere are much more stable than the layers above it in the mornings. Until the ground heats up due to daytime heating, the surface layers stay more stable than the air over it. Kelvin-Helmholtz waves occur when the wind shear between the layers destabilizes the topmost portion of that stable layer, and entrains the air into the unstable layer. What you see is stable air being lifted, cooled, and condensed so that this process becomes visible, though this commonly happens many places without being visible.

I'd also like to note that this is different from gravity waves as stated elsewhere as these are completely shear induced while gravity waves are usually from lifting buoyant air into a stable region and gravity pulling that air back down. When that air is pulled back down, it can overshoot it's location of being stable, and a wave pattern forms.

Link -via Geekosystem (where there's a video)

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A Grittier Version of A Christmas Story

"Logan, you're lucky it didn't cut your eye! Those claws have been known to kill people!" Draw 2D2 invited artists to submit their mashups of Marvel Comics and the classic movie A Christmas Story. Check out the rest at the link.

Link -via io9 | Image: Justin LaRocca Hansen

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Huge Pinball Game on the Front of a Building

(Video Link)

There's nothing old fashioned about this pinball game! CT Light Concept projected a pinball game called "Urban Flipper" on the front of the Théâtre des Célestins in Lyon, France. The bumpers, kickers, and targets make use of the features on the theater's facade.

Link -via NotCot

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Microscopic Views of Alcoholic Drinks

This is what champagne looks like through a microscope. About twenty-five years ago, Michael Davidson, a scientist at Florida State University, started putting alcoholic beverages under his microscope and taking beautiful pictures of what he saw. The results are lovely, especially after a few shots.

Link -via Nag on the Lake

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Peanuts Fingernails

deviantART user amanda04 did a fine job recreating Charles Schulz's characters on her own fingernails. Lucy doesn't look happy. In amanda04's gallery, you can find other fingernail images from Peanuts.


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Chocolate Dice

There'll be no shortage of players at your next tabletop role-playing game campaign! New rule: if you roll the highest value, you get to eat the die. Ariel Segall built a custom mold to bake chocolate dice. At the link, you can find her step-by-step instructions for the project.

Link -via Geek Dad | Photo: Ariel Segall

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9 Uses for Periscopes Not on Submarines

Periscopes may be best known now for their use on submarines, but clever inventors have found other uses for them as well through history. Here's one that creates an illusion. The uninformed viewer thinks that he's looking through a rock! Check out eight other clever or silly uses for periscopes at the link.

Link -via Gizmodo | Image via Kenyon College

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Play Super Mario Bros. by Flexing Your Muscles

(Video Link)

Show off both your mad video game skills and your muscular body with this modified Nintendo Entertainment System controller. Brian Kaminski's interface lets you control Mario's movements by flexing your biceps and forearms. His instructions at the link show you how to build one that just plugs into a USB port.

Link -via DVICE

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How Kevin Costner Made a Fortune from Waterworld

In 1995, Kevin Costner released Waterworld, a grand post-apocalyptic movie which he produced, directed, and even starred in. It was, at that point, the most expensive movie ever made. And it was a considered an utter flop. The movie made back less than half of its cost domestically. Overseas revenues ultimately made up the cost of the movie, but Waterworld still has a reputation as a failure.

Yet for Costner, it wasn't. The movie inspired him to learn more about separating oil from water and he decided to invest in emerging oil spill cleanup technologies:

He purchased a company — including some intellectual property — from the U.S. government for $20 million. The technology? A machine which uses centrifugal force to separate oil from water. Costner’s partner, the company’s CEO John Houghtaling, called the machine a “kind of like a big vacuum cleaner.”

For 15 years, he and his business partners refined the technology, waiting for the next great oil spill disaster. When the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, Costner and team were ready to spring into action. They offered their technology, which allegedly can separate 97 to 99% of the oil out of water at the rate of 200 gallons a minute, to BP. BP ended up buying 32 of the machines as part of the on-going cleanup at an unreported price.

Link | Image: Universal Pictures

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Survival Belt Made from 80 Feet of Paracord

There's only so much survival gear that you can easily carry. That's what makes Doug and Chelsey Luehr's invention so awesome. The whole thing unravels into 80 feet of 550 strength paracord that you can use to MacGyver your way out of whatever mess you've gotten yourself into.

Link -via Boing Boing

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Hubcap Christmas Tree

Hubcap trees are, of course, a pre-Christian pagan tradition from Europe. But they remain popular symbols of Christmas to this day. Champion Auto Sales in Arundel, Maine participated in the ancient tradition by erecting this one.

Link -via Dude Craft | Photo: Champion Auto Sales

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Pool Disappears Beneath Stone Slab

(Video Link)

Stefan Kanetis's mother loved her life as a dancer, but paid a price for it when she was in her later years. The wear and tear on her body made it difficult for her to get around. Her doctor suggested swimming, but getting in and out of a pool would be very difficult. So Mr. Kanetis invented a pool with a floor that raised and lowered. The end result was this amazing pool that is perfect for your inner James Bond villain.

Link -via Super Punch

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Vandal Caught Due to Consistent Misspelling

A man in Vermont is accused of vandalizing his ex-girlfriend's car. He would have gotten away with carving the word "slut" into her car, except that he misspelled it as "sult". The woman identified him as the likely perpetrator, so the police called the man into their station to question him:

Police called Hall into the station and issued him a citation. Hall denied any involvement with the vandalism, but when asked to write the sentence “You are a slut,” on a piece of paper, Hall wrote “You are a sult,” instead. The misspelling matched that of the vandalism.

Stay in school, kids, and pay attention in English class. It pays off in the long run.

Link -via Althouse | Photo: Flickr user Shayne Kaye

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Chopping Down a Christmas Tree with a Shotgun

(Video Link)

YouTube user Hickok45, who we've seen previously seen carving a jack-o'-lantern with a Glock, knows how to use tools in unorthodox ways. He starts out trying to chop down a small Christmas tree with a heavy knife but then adds a unique "attachment" that gets the job done.

-via Everyday, No Days Off

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Zombie Typeface

Even typographers need to prepare for the inevitable rising of the undead. To encourage them, Avery Oldfield, Jack Inscoe and Amanda Dockery made a typeface that reminds them to get ready with every word that they read. Visit the link and type in your own text to see what your words look like in fetid corpses.

Link -via Jeremy Durocher

Then visit our Zombie Shop to find the right gift for the walking dead in your life.

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Rock Concert Rocked So Hard That It Set Off Seismographs

If you're into seriously hard rock -- I mean, like enough to actually shake the Earth -- than a Foo Fighters concert must be a blast. One such event in Western Springs, New Zealand was actually detected by seismographs in the region:

The first vibrations were recorded around 7:30pm, part way through the Tenacious D set, but the biggest shakes started at 8:20pm when the Foo Fighters took the stage, and then it all went quiet at 11pm when the gig ended. The concert vibrations were recorded as a semi continuous harmonic signal with a peak osculation of 3Hz, ie the ground was shaking 3 times per second in a nice rhythmic motion. There are lulls in the signal between the songs and peaks in signal intensity during the songs.

The cause of the shaking is most likely the weight of the 50,000 fans dancing, as 50,000 fans is equal to around 5,000 tonnes of mass moving(or moshing)on the ground for the duration of the concert. This set up a nice harmonic vibration in the ground which was recorded in our nearby borehole seismometers.

Perhaps, in the future, bands will compete to have the most seismically active concerts.

Link -via I Heart Chaos | Image: Wairakei GeoNet

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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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