John Farrier's Blog Posts

Penguins Walking Around a Jetliner


(Video Link)


Three days ago, on a Southwest Airlines flight from San Francisco to San Diego, penguins waddled around the plane. SeaWorld was transporting them to a convention and the penguins' attendants decided to give them some free time.

via Urlesque

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Shuttle Astronaut Urine Ejected into Space



German astronomer Jens Hackmann shot this picture of what is thought to be the last waste water dump from the space shuttle Discovery on March 8 before re-entry. This waste water would, of course, include astronaut urine:

"When observing ISS and space shuttle Discovery with unaided eye, there was nothing special for me," Hackmann wrote in the caption of his video on YouTube. "But when I examined the video clip I wondered what that tail on Discovery was…Then I read in the internet about other sights."

Such water dumps are a usual event, allowing the spaceship to unload its dirty water and urine before returning to Earth. A similar disposal gave skywatchers a nice view during the shuttle Discovery's STS-128 mission in September, 2009 as well.


Link via Alphecca

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Futuristic Peripheral Projects a Mousing Surface Anywhere


(Video Link)


Celluon has invented a new type of mouse that reads simple finger movements as mousing commands. The evoMouse also appears to respond to finger commands common to smartphones, like zooming. It's pretty cool, but I'm waiting for a Minority Report glove.

Link via DVICE

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Sperm Whales Might Have Names

Whale researchers are tentatively suggesting that sperm whales might have names. Certain sounds emitted during their songs may be signatures:

Rendell and his collaborators, including biologists Hal Whitehead, Shane Gero and Tyler Schulz, have for years studied the click sequences, or codas, used by sperm whales to communicate across miles of deep ocean. In a study published last June in Marine Mammal Sciences, they described a sound-analysis technique that linked recorded codas to individual members of a whale family living in the Caribbean.

In that study, they focused on a coda made only by Caribbean sperm whales. It appears to signify group membership.[...]

That individual whales would have means of identifying themselves does, however, make sense. Dolphins have already been shown to have individual, identifying whistles. Like them, sperm whales are highly social animals who maintain complex relationships over long distances, coordinating hunts and cooperating to raise one another’s calves.


Link via reddit | Photo by Flickr user SidPix used under Creative Commons license

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Jumbotron Improvised from Mobile Devices


(Video Link)


Rick Borovoy and his colleagues at MIT devised a means to use multiple mobile devices, such as cell phones and tablet computers, to create a large screen displaying a single image. It looks quite simple to implement. You don't need to download anything; just access his website.

Link via Boing Boing | Creator's Website

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Hipster Trap



This photo of a hipster trap is allegedly from New York City. Contents: brightly-colored bike chain, American Spirit cigarettes, can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, and plastic glasses. It just needs a Moleskine notebook to lure in more hesitant prey.

via Geekosystem

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Dr. Frankenstein Now a Hospital Administrator



Well, in his defense, he is an outstanding scientist. Not many doctors can reanimate the dead. Oh, and he has other qualifications:

Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital has hired a new interim, part-time chief medical officer, a board-certified physician in the areas of pulmonology and internal medicine with a track record for evaluating hospital standards at the national level.


Link via The Agitator

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Nikes Made from Old Computer and Typewriter Parts



Gabriel Dishaw is an artist as well as an employee of an athletic shoe retailer. One of his most recent projects was the construction of a pair of Nike Air Max sneakers made from:

[...] discarded parts including a motherboard, an old typewriter case, an USB port, chipsets, power connectors and even the oxygen mask from a 747 airplane.


It took him about 90 hours to complete. You can read an interview with him and view more pictures at the link.

Link via Gizmodo | Photo: Freshness Mag

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Happy Pi Day!


(Video Link)


This, being the fourteenth day of the third month, is National Pi Day -- a day to recognize the mathematical constant of pi. In this video, the daughter of YouTube user kurtgodden recited the first 500 digits of pi in 90 seconds. She's memorized the first 2,300.

How will you celebrate pi day today?

via Nerdcore

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Robotech Snow Sculpture



Flickr user migpix captions this photo as "Zentradi child being held up by a Valkyrie Veritech Fighter VF-1S in Battloid mode." If I remember Robotech correctly, the sizing is just about spot on. But did the Zentradi in that series have actual children, or just clones? It's been too long for me to remember clearly. Anyway, to this day, I regret not having the Ulpio Minucci's theme to Robotech as the processional music at my wedding. That is one awesome piece of music.

Link via Make | Photo: Macross Wedding Cake

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House with a Waterslide Directly from the Bedroom Closet



This is just the right way to start the day! Look at the top of the picture. The bedroom is on the other side of the glass. Roll out of bed, drop into the waterslide, and head into the pool. This luxury home (for sale!) in Bowdon, UK, has everything one could ask for.

Link via Super Punch | Photo: Country Life

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Star Wars Version of Footprints



Footprints is a classic short item American Christian prose and can be found framed in many homes. The theology of this Star Wars version is questionable, but awesome. I have no idea who created this most excellent variation.

Link -- Thanks, Jeff Acheson!

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Giant Etch A Sketch



HAC:Manchester, a hackerspace community in Manchester, UK, made a huge Etch A Sketch. The image is projected onto the screen from the rear. An arduino controller permits the knobs to be used in the traditional manner of the classic toy. Shaking the screen, as the user above is doing, gradually erases the screen -- again, just like with an actual Etch A Sketch.

Link and Video via Make

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Waiting in Lines



The ever-clever Dominic Wilcox (whose work we have featured extensively on Neatorama), has a few suggestions about how to improve the agony of waiting in line. This is great unless you're the first in line, but that case, you've nothing to get upset about.

Link via The Presurfer

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Sunbeam Nap



This delightful picture comes courtesy of redditor kimberleykitty. Save room for me, guys.

Link via The Agitator

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An Interactive Map of Where Americans are Moving



Forbes presents an interactive county map of the United States that shows where people are moving. Just click on a county to view where new arrivals came from or people are going to. You can also select from nine major metropolitan areas.

Link via Glenn Reynolds

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Woman Goes to Court with Monkey in Her Bra

A woman was due to appear in court in Amherst, Virginia. So, naturally, she stuffed a small monkey into her bra before entering the courthouse:

The woman brought along the palm-sized marmoset to a proceeding in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in Amherst County, Va. Apparently, officials actually didn't notice the clinging creature until the woman went to an office to do some paperwork.

"I can't understand why the deputy didn't see her - she was peeking out," the woman told The Lynchburg News & Advance.

When the woman referred to a daughter, a puzzled official asked where the daughter was and the woman pulled the monkey out of her bra, the newspaper reported.


Link via Theresa Coleman's Facebook page | Photo: Lynchburg News & Advance

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Hollywood Versions of Children's Classics



Steve Murray of Canada's National Post imagined how Hollywood would treat classics from children's literature and comics, such as Humpty Dumpty, the Gingerbread Man, and Peanuts. Dr. Seuss titles in particular would seem to lend themselves well to horror movies.

Link via Popped Culture

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6 Terrifying Alternate Geek Histories

Alternate history asks what the world would be like if certain events in the past were somehow different. Shaun Clayton of Topless Robot has looked into geek history (TR prefers the term 'nerd', but that's a debate for another day) and unearthed six horrifying possibilities. Let's say, for example, Star Trek was revived prematurely with the proposed Star Trek: Phase II. Or Stephen King died of his injuries after getting hit by a van in 1999:

As much as people may debate the end of The Dark Tower series as being good, bad or "whaaa?" there is a far worse ending for The Dark Tower -- never getting finished. Somewhere there's a universe where, on a June afternoon, while taking a walk by the side of the road, King is struck by the minivan that hit him in our reality and dies in 1999. The Dark Tower series would end at Wizard and Glass and be unresolved. Further, anything Stephen wrote after that point does not exist. You may not like anything he wrote over the past 11 years, but just imagine that you have to imagine what he wrote over the past 11 years, like Cell, From a Buick 8, and Faithful, in which King relates his giddy experience in watching the Boston Red Sox finally win a World Series. If there were anything for King himself to want to exist in our universe for, it would be that.


By the way -- if you're a fan of alternate history (as I am), you should check out the work of Peter G. Tsouras. He is, IMHO, the best alternate history writer ever. Yes, even better than Turtledove.

Link | Image: Topless Robot | Previously: The First Alternate History

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Submarine Tank



Phil Pauley's decidedly imaginative and optimistic proposal for an oceanographic research vehicle is a submersible tank. A three-person crew would pilot a lithium battery-powered boat for two to four weeks at depths of up to 4,000 meters below the surface of the ocean.

Link via DVICE

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Man Has Julia Roberts' Face Tattooed 82 Times on His Body

Miljenko Parserisas Bukovic, a newspaper seller in Mexico, is a big fan of actress Julia Roberts. So much, in fact, that he's had her face tattooed all over his body 82 times:

He splashed out HUNDREDS of pounds on the tattoos after seeing Roberts in her film Erin Brockovich.

In the film Roberts plays a legal assistant who nearly single-handedly brings down a power company.

Miljenko, 56, said he wanted to get the tattoos after being inspired by various scenes in the Oscar-winning movie.


You can see several pictures of Miljenko's tattoos at the link. I've left a puppy as the picture for this post because (1) The Sun doesn't like other sites using their photos and (2) you might not want to see the pictures if you're eating.

You're welcome.

Link via MArooned | Photo by Flickr user tintedglass used under Creative Commons license

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Giant Circuit Board Head



Sistema Alternator is a huge sculpture made out of an aluminum frame and welded circuit boards. The whole piece uses various recycled computer parts, such as keyboards for lips. There's a chair inside for a video presentation. The sculpture was made by Colectivo GIB, an Argentine art collective consisting of Cristina Galera, Pablo Irrgang, and Florencia Botindari.

Link via Dude Craft | Artists' Website

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Papercraft Animated Version of Inception


(Video Link)


Wolfgang Matzl selected images from Victorian prints, put them on paper, and presented this rather original stop motion animated summary of Inception. It was his entry in a contest which asked filmmakers to create a movie no more than sixty seconds long.

via Nerd Bastards | Director's Website | Contest Page

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Brilliant Dog and Ordinary Cat


(Video Link)


In the mood for some dark humor? Too bad, you're getting it anyway. In a wonderfully paced short film, Graham Annable tells the tale of a remarkable dog. I won't say anything else, lest I give away the ending. Or, for that matter, the beginning.

via Super Punch | Animator's Website

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1:1 Model of Car Sculpted out of Play-Doh



To promote its new Chevrolet Orlando, General Motors had artists sculpt a full-size model of its new car. The company then placed it on a street in London:

The company crafted a full-scale Play-Doh model of the MPV and parked it in downtown London. The instillation weighs in at a staggering 1.5 tons and measures 15 feet long by almost six feet wide. If you're trying to work out the connection between Play-Doh and the Orlando, don't stretch your gray matter too hard. As it turns out, the connection has less to do with any correlation between the vehicle and the malleable goo than it does with some research conducted by the minds at Chevrolet.

The automaker pinged 1,000 UK adults in an attempt to discern the most popular toy of yesteryear. Play-Doh handily took that title with 19 percent of the vote.


Link via CrunchGear | Photo: General Motors

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Giant Knit LEGO Brick Doorstop



Ordinary LEGO bricks just aren't heavy enough to hold back a door (although you can wedge them in between the door and the floor). So Instructables user lizzyastro knitted a cover for a brick, using bottle caps to form the knobs.

Link via GeekDad

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Artist Buys Cheap Landscapes, Adds Monsters



Chris McMahon calls them "involuntary collaborations". He buys fairly dull landscapes at yardsales and then adds monsters to them. To give credit to the first artist, he just adds his own name in the bottom right corners. You can view two others at the link.

Link via Geekosystem | deviantART Profile

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Seeing Eye Dog for Blind Man Goes Blind, Gets Own Seeing Eye Dog

Graham Waspe had been aided by his guide dog Edward for six years. When Edward himself began to lose his sight, Mr. Waspe acquired a new guide dog, Opal, who helps not only him, but Edward as well:

Mr Waspe's new dog is not just aiding his owner to carry out everyday tasks, but also helping Edward to get around.

Mr Waspe, of Stowmarket, Suffolk, received his new dog last November after Edward developed the inoperable problem which resulted in him needing both eyes removed.

And the two-year-old bitch has stepped in where Edward left off as they tour their old haunts together.


Link via Ace of Spades HQ | Photo: Alex Fairfull

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QR Codes as Tombstones



Japanese tombstone maker Ishinokoe has begun offering memorials that feature QR codes. Want to know more about the person entombed there? Just whip out your smartphone and scan the code.

Link via Copyranter | Photo: Jcast

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UNICEF Landmine Stickers



Here's a clever ad that UNICEF put out a few years ago to raise funds for people who have been maimed by landmines. Stickers, camouflaged to look like pavement, were left on sidewalks. When someone steps on one, it sticks to the bottom of his/her shoe. The underside informs the victim that if it had been a landmine, s/he would have been mutilated.

Link via Everyday, No Days Off | Image: Leo Burnett

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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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