John Farrier's Blog Posts

Which Enterprise Is Better, The NCC-1701 or the NCC-1701-A?

(Video Link)

The Enterprise, registry number NCC-1701, was the starship of the original Star Trek television series. The Enterprise, registry number NCC-1701-A was the starship of the movies Star Trek IV, Star Trek V and Star Trek VI. A panel at Comic-Con debated the relative merits of 12 spaceships in different science fiction franchises and decided that these two ships were the best ever. But which one should triumph in the contest? Physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson rose to make the case for the NCC-1701.

-via Geekosystem

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City of Berlin Owes Small Town Trillions of Euros

In 1562, the German town of Mittenwalde loaned the town of Berlin 11,200 guilders at 6% interest, compounded annually. Mittenwalde would now like to be repaid:

According to Radio Berlin Brandenburg (RBB), the debt would amount to 11,200 guilders today, which is roughly equivalent to 112 million euros ($136.79 million).

Adjusting for compound interest and inflation, the total debt now lies in the trillions, by RBB's estimates. [...]

Schmidt and Mittenwalde's Mayor Uwe Pfeiffer have tried to ask Berlin for their money back. Such requests have been made every 50 years or so since 1820 but always to no avail.

Reclaiming the debt would bring significant riches to Mittenwalde, a seat of power in the middle ages, which now has a population of just 8,800. Red brick fragments of medieval fortifications still dot the leafy town centre.

The people of Mittenwalde should remember the 111th Rule of Acquisition: Treat people in your debt like family...exploit them.

Link -via Boing Boing | Photo:

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The Only Known Recording of Sigmund Freud's Voice

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The father of psychology spent the last year of his life in Britain. A BBC radio crew visited him at his home on Dec. 7, 1938. He was suffering from jaw cancer and uttering every word was agonizing. But he managed to make the following statement:

I started my professional activity as a neurologist trying to bring relief to my neurotic patients. Under the influence of an older friend and by my own efforts, I discovered some important new facts about the unconscious in psychic life, the role of instinctual urges, and so on. Out of these findings grew a new science, psychoanalysis, a part of psychology, and a new method of treatment of the neuroses. I had to pay heavily for this bit of good luck. People did not believe in my facts and thought my theories unsavory. Resistance was strong and unrelenting. In the end I succeeded in acquiring pupils and building up an International Psychoanalytic Association. But the struggle is not yet over.

Link -via American Digest

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Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Candied Bacon and Nutella Maple Syrup

These luxurious pancakes by Evil Shenanigans are the right way to start the day. She kept experimenting, adding just a bit more to her recipe. The pancakes have chocolate chips and a touch of cream cheese. The bacon is candied with cocoa powder, brown sugar and cinnamon. The syrup has equal portions of maple syrup and Nutella. It's an extreme food that remains classy and appealing.

Link -via That's Nerdalicious!

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Open Air Library in a Vineyard

There's a lovely vineyard in St. Peter's Abbey in the heart of Ghent, Belgium. For short time, there's a library right in the middle of it. Browse the stacks under natural sunlight and buy or borrow a book.

Link | Photo: TRACK

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Nintendo Briefcase and Wallet

If this is considered professional by your boss and co-workers, then you work a great company. Etsy seller Woody turned a vintage NES console and controller into a study briefcase and wallet. He also sells a briefcase made from an Atari 2600 console.

Link -via Walyou

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Skateboard Swing

Margarita Germane found this swing in a friend's yard. Skateboards, swings and improvised toys--it's like so much of an idyllic childhood in one shot.

Link -via Make

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A Short Action Film Written by a 4-Year Old Kid, Starring Joss Whedon and Dave Foley

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Brett has a bright future in filmmaking. His movie Scary Smash is a gripping tale of a milkman (Dave Foley), a super soldier (Joss Whedon) and a terrible monster that threatens to destroy their city. I'm psyched up about the possibility of a sequel.

-via blastr

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This Is a 600-Year Old Bra

Archaeologists were surprised to find it and three others at a castle in Austria because the invention of the bra is thought to date back little over a century:

Fashion experts describe the find as surprising because the bra had commonly been thought to be only little more than 100 years old as women abandoned the tight corset.

Instead, it appears the bra came first, followed by the corset, followed by the reinvented bra.

One specimen in particular “looks exactly like a (modern) brassiere,” says Hilary Davidson, fashion curator for the London Museum. “These are amazing finds.”

“Four linen textiles resemble modern-time bras” with distinct cups and one in particular looks like today’s version, it said, with “two broad shoulder straps and a possible back strap, not preserved but indicated by partially torn edges of the cups onto which it was attached.”

And the lingerie was not only functional.

The bras were intricately decorated with lace and other ornamentation, the statement said, suggesting they were also meant to please a suitor.

Link -via io9 | Photo: University of Innsbruck

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What Are the Optimal Military Tactics for Taking Disney World's Cinderella Castle?

At the heart of the Magic Kingdom is a fortress popularly known as the Cinderella Castle. He who controls it controls the Magic Kingdom, and is thus in a strong position to rule over all of Disney World. How would you take it? Jonathan Kirk Davis of the United States Marine Corps has laid out a complete strategic plan with maps. Below you can see a diagram of the second phase of his plan, which calls for securing Mainstreet USA and Tomorrowland. Read the rest at the link.

Link -via VA Viper | Photo: Jason Pratt

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Watch Scientists Free a Whale Shark Caught in a Net

(Video Link)

Go Team Humanity! Whale sharks, which are filter feeders, sometimes get caught in lift nets in Indonesia's Cendrawasih Bay. These scientists in scuba gear found one and pulled the net open so it could escape.

-via The Presurfer

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Chocolate Fondue Muffins

This is a great fondue idea, assuming that you haven't already shoved the entire muffin down your throat, as I probably would. Miit, a French design firm, made this muffin for My Little Lyon 2010, which appears to be an annual food and design festival in Lyon, France.

Link (Google Translate) -via Tasteologie

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Man Catches Girl Who Falls from Third Story Window

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Steve St. Bernard, a bus driver in New York City, saw a 7-year old girl standing on a window air conditioner. He positioned himself right below her and, when she fell, caught her:

The incident occurred Monday afternoon and was captured on amateur video, which soon surfaced online. It shows the girl, who neighbors said is a special-needs child, standing and apparently dancing on the air-conditioner, losing her balance and falling. One of at least two people standing on the sidewalk beneath her reaches out and catches her before she hits the ground.

"It felt like a ton of bricks ... like a whole back of rocks on me," St. Bernard said. "We went down. She touched the floor but the impact wasn't on her. It was me and her going down. I guess I absorbed the blow."

Bernard and the girl were treated at a local hospital and released. Bernard hurt his arm and is now wearing a sling and can't go to work.

Link -via Blame It on the Voices

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Driftwood Dragon

Redditor dowlingstudios carved this stunning dragon's head from a piece of driftwood. But other redditors prudently question if s/he has accurately depicted dragon skin. What do you think?


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The Dark Knight Rises Trailer Recut Using Footage From Batman: The Animated Series

(Video Link)

To promote its upcoming Batman: The Animated Series marathon, The Hub recreated the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises using just footage from the cartoon. I'm amazed that they were able to match the dialogue. Do you think they added a few lines with the help of the cartoon's voice actors?

-via Kotaku

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Tactical Lamp

The Sketchy Design Studio's Andromeda project is a lamp that looks like a modern rifle. It features three Picantinny rails which are not only stylish, but functional. They can be used to adjust the height or attach accessories, such as a scope or a bayonet.

Link -via Everyday, No Days Off

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A Cat Has Been Mayor of an Alaskan Town for the Past 15 Years

For fifteen years--almost his entire life--Stubbs the cat has had a lock on the mayoralty of Talkeetna, Alaska:

Fifteen years ago, the citizens of Talkeetna (pop. 800) didn’t like the looks of their candidates for mayor. Around that same time resident Lauri Stec, manager of Nagley’s General Store, saw a box of kittens and decided to adopt one. She named him Stubbs because he didn’t have a tail and soon the whole town was in love with him.

So smitten were they with this kitten, in fact, that they wrote him in for mayor instead of deciding on one of the two lesser candidates. Mayor Stubbs has held his position ever since.

According to local citizens, he's an effective leader:

Many citizens are genuinely happy to allow a kitteh to rule the roost. “He doesn’t raise our taxes—we have no sales tax. He doesn’t interfere with business. He’s honest,” said Stec, who converted her store into a part-time mayor’s office when Stubbs claimed victory. Not even the dogs seem to take issue with their new boss, even though there are reportedly more canines in Talkeetna than there are people. “I’ve never seen a dog mess with him,” a local business owner said.

Link -via The Agitator | Photo: Nagley's General Store

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Doctor Who Toys Sing Lou Reed's "Perfect Day"

(Video Link)

It's a simple concept, but Conrad Slater makes it work really well. A vast assortment of Doctor Who action figures sings Lou Reed's 1972 hit "Perfect Day." They're persuasive: I've been hard on Davros in the past, but now I've seen his sensitive side. Maybe he's not such a bad fellow.

-via Nerdcore

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Nintendo Controller Desk Organizer

Etsy seller Graeme Abraham found a great use for an old Nintendo 64 controller. Now it has a USB extension and places for your pens and paper clips. And, apparently, crayons.

I want to work in an office where having crayons nearby is a necessity.

Link -via Bit Rebels

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Ellen Ripley and Child

It's an alternate ending to Alien 3. You may have missed it. If the series wasn't weird enough already, artist Jska Priebe took it in an even wilder direction with this painting.

Artist's Website -via Blame It on the Voices

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Knight Rides across Canada to Promote Chivalry

Vincent Gabriel Kirouac of Quebec recently arrived in Saskatchewan on horseback and in armor. He doesn't hold an official knighthood, but he is making his knightly journey across Canada to promote chivalrous conduct:

He said he believes it is possible for people to behave with chivalry, even in hectic times.

Kirouac insists he has not only donned a knight's costume but has taken the role to heart.

"I am a knight," he said. "I'm trying to be that symbol of something that is incorruptible... and never to fail my duty, which is to be a knight and be good and be an example."

He said he hopes people who hear his message will adopt some of what he is espousing in their own lives.

"It's all about love," he added.

People who have met Kirouac on his journey have responded positively:

He explained that finding a place to stay has been as simple as riding into a farm yard and knocking on a door.

"You ask for the hospitality and they say 'yes' all the time," he said, adding the encounter usually begins with the person who answered the door giving him a quizzical look.

Link -via Oddity Central | Photo: CBC

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Darth Vader Has a Conversation with His 12-Year Old Self

(Video Link)

We've seen Jeremiah McDonald have a conversation with a younger version of himself. But what wasn't clear is that his idea wasn't original. It had already been done a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. When he was 12 years old, Anakin Skywalker made a video to talk to himself later in life. It's kind of awkward.

-via Nerd Bastards

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New Profession: Sorority Rushing Coaches

If you want to succeed in life, then you'd better get into the right sorority. Make it your primary focus for the first few months of college, because that's when you have to impress girls three years older than yourself. Their opinions of your body, intellect, personality and values matter. Make the best impression with the help of professionals who coach young ladies through the process of rushing a sorority:

Naming themselves the Rushbiddies, they opened shop in 2009 after hearing about the rush misfortunes of their daughters’ friends. About 50 mothers and their “chicks,” as the Biddies affectionately call them, attended one of their two-day workshops in April ($100 a couple), complete with mock rush party, wardrobe hints and paperwork prep.

And there is a mound of it. The smart rushee, the Biddies advise, will have a résumé stressing community service, leadership, academics and teamwork, letters of recommendation from alumnae of each chapter, preferably on the campus in question, and reference letters.

With the help of Ms. Foster and Ms. Grant, who wears a pink feather boa during workshops, Mrs. King asked alumnae of about 10 chapters, several from U.Va., to write her daughter’s recommendations. To guide their plaudits, she sent them packets with a professional photograph, transcript and résumé. To thank them, she dropped off a bottle of rosé in their mailboxes.

Link -via Marginal Revolution | Photo (unrelated) via ttarasiuk

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Solar Powered Ice Cream Cart

The Dutch design firm Springtime invented this ice cream cart. The solar cells on the roof collect enough energy to keep the ice cream chilled:

The ice cream carts were designed to have a solar panel attached to the roof, which charges the batteries in order to keep the ice nice and cold on a hot summer day. The design team hope that the innovative vending cart will result in a energy-neutral solution for ice cream vendors all around the world.

Link -via Gizmodo | Design Firm's Website

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The McDonald's Three-Piece Suit

In 1976, this suit was the pinnacle of managerial style. Now it's available for the modern man who wants a classy look from that era. It's for sale on eBay. If you're not a 43 long, find a way to make it fit.

Link -via Boing Boing

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Panda Pita Pepperoni Pizza

This dish from Jill of Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons looks both tasty and cute. To make your own, you'll need pita bread, shredded mozzarella, sliced pepperoni, marina sauce and a slice of provolone.


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The Real Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin

Christopher Robin was a real little boy and Winnie the Pooh was a real stuffed bear. The UK's National Portrait Gallery has many pictures of him as a young boy. Some of them include his father, A.A. Milne, the author of the Winnie the Pooh stories.

Link -via Retronaut

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Plush Spocktopus

My first thought was that Spocktopus should have an additional stripe or half-stripe on each sleeve, but Karen is probably referring to a younger Spock, before the original series began. No doubt her Trekkie friend Regena, the recipient of this gift, will appreciate her attention to detail.

Link -via Geek Crafts

Previously: Spock Octopus Tattoo

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Branding the Presidents

Meg Jannott's latest project is to create branded graphic designs for each of the 44 Presidents of the United States. Presumably that means that she's going to give 2 designs to Cleveland. So far, she's up to Benjamin Harrison.

Here's Ulysses S. Grant. He earned the sobriquet "the Butcher" while in the Army for his willingness to accept huge casualties in order to destroy Confederate armies.

Link -via Dude Craft

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Hand Feeding a Dragonfly

(Video Link)

Noelia found a cute little dragonfly. It was injured and unable to hunt for itself, so she fed it live ants using a pair of tweezers.

-via Nerdcore

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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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