John Farrier's Blog Posts

The Prisoner Glass

There's a scene in episode 15 of The Prisoner in which the titular character drinks a glass of beer, only to discover a terrible message inscribed on the bottom: you have just been poisoned. Sean Michael Ragan decided to make one of his own, right down to the correct typeface. What a brilliant birthday or anniversary gift! You can read detailed instructions at the link. Link -via Craft | Photo: Sean Michael Ragan

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Wakestaking involves maneuvering a wakeboard over a skateboarding course. It appears that competitors are yanked along a tow line and must safely but acrobatically pass the obstacles. Here are highlights from a recent competition in Cologne, Germany. Link -via @Christopher Jobson

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The Gary Gygax Memorial

Gary Gygax was, perhaps more than any other single individual, responsible for inventing the role-playing game and Dungeons & Dragons specifically. He failed his last saving throw three years ago, to the lament of the gaming community. Now there's a project to build a grand monument to his life and work. The government of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where Gygax reigned, is granting space in a public park for this purpose:

The Gygax Memorial Fund has reached a huge milestone. We have been granted land for the memorial site at Donian Park. Donian Park is a four acre open space site which encompasses a wetland and the 100 year recurrence interval floodplain along the White River in downtown Lake Geneva.

One Boing Boing commenter has put it best: "He will be critically missed. We should all observe a moment of silent (10' radius)." Link -via Boing Boing | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Belly-Dancing Robot

Robots are taking all of our jobs, what with car assembly lines and ATMs and such. Now engineers are working on building robots that will put human belly dancers out of work! There's an actual paper entitled "A control system for a flexible spine belly-dancing humanoid" from, of all places, Japan. Here's a selection from the abstract:

Inspired by the rhythmic movements commonly exhibited in lamprey locomotion as well as belly dancing, we designed a controller for a simulated belly-dancing robot using the lamprey central pattern generator. Experimental results show that the proposed lamprey central pattern generator module could potentially generate plausible output patterns, which could be used for all the possible spine motions with minimized control parameters.

Link -via Geekosystem | Image by deviantART user ChadRocco

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Fist Bump

Verdan Vidak captured this excellent image. Put your bro fist right here, man. -via reddit | Photographer's Website

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Lemon Grenades

Prop designer Chris Myles took a break from making Portal props to put these lemon grenades together:

Tops from some old airsoft bb loaders, random springs to make the spoons fly off when you pull the pins, some paper plus modge podge labels, and a hacked greeting card so when the spoon comes off Cave does his rant and then a big BOOOM.

Link -via Everyday, No Days Off

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Meanwhile, in Belgium

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The geese are on parade in Diest, Belgium. Why? I don't know. I'm not sure that I want to know. The answer could be very frightening. -via Blame It on the Voices

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Fuzzy Slipper Cookies

Beth Jackson Klosterboer of Hungry Happenings made these adorable cookies that look like fuzzy slippers. The soles are made out of Nutter Butter cookies with fudge on top molded into the uppers. The fuzz consists of pink-tinted chocolate shavings.

Link -via Craft

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Hello Kitty Finally Caught

Well, of course Kitty White was finally caught. Why? Because she was sloppy. And if you don't listen to what I'm trying to teach you, you'll get caught, too. So pay attention. Link -via Doobybrain | Photo by Seymour Templar used with permission

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Engraved Hard Hat

This lovely engraved hard hat of unknown origin is up for sale on eBay. It's decorated with images of offshore oil drilling work:

Hello, up for auction is a vintage/antique B.F. McDonald engraved/hand hammered hard hat. Fantastic oil drilling themed hat. The hat has off-shore oil rigs all around the sides and a helicopter towards the top/front and a helicopter landing pad around the back. The metal work is stunning. Signed "Wisna" on the top center (5th photo down). The interior straps are plastic, with vinyl on the front where it touches the forehead. Hat is stamped "McDonald - T - Cap Standard - Mine Safety Appliances CO." on the interior bill (10th photo down). It looks as though someones name used to be on the front, as many of these hats do, and it got incorporated into the design - see second photo below.

Link -via Boing Boing

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Pun Products

As a degree project, Fuchsia Macaree imagined a "hypothetical company which make products based on puns." Macaree is a student at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland. You can view several other products at the link. Link -via NotCot

Previously by Fuchsia Macaree: Bermuda Triangle of Productivity

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Playable Receipt Printer

(vimeo link)

Joshua Noble, Martin Fuchs, and Philip Whitfield built "ReceiptRacer", a game that can be played on a receipt printer. It's like a classic arcade racing game in which the player must drive down a twisty path without hitting obstacles. A light moves over the continuously printing surface, representing the player. Sensors detect if the player has collided with any obstacles and end the game. Link -via Nerdcore | Joshua Noble's Website

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17 Facts You Might Not Know about Bonanza

In 431 episodes spanning from 1959 to 1973, the Cartwrights of the Nevada Territory's Ponderosa became a fixture of American life. Let's take a look at some facts that you might not know about Bonanza.

1. The historic Virginia City was the center of the famed 1859 silver strike known as the Comstock Lode. It promptly became the very image of the Old West boom town, with fortunes won and lost, exploited Chinese laborers, glamorous and impoverished prostitutes, and violent struggles with Native Americans.

Samuel Clemens worked as a reporter in Virginia City for two years and there selected his pen name of Mark Twain. In was this varied, colorful era and place that producer David Dortort decided would be ideal for the show.

2. When Bonanza premiered in 1959, the airwaves were saturated with sitcoms that depicted fathers as idiots managed by their wives. Dortort insisted that the show be an hour long instead of a half hour in order to ensure that he had time to depict Ben Cartwright as a father figure worthy of respect. It worked, and Lorne Greene received thousands of fan letters from teenage boys who wished that he was their father.

3. Dortort envisioned Bonanza as an Old West presentation of the legend of King Arthur. Ben Cartwright was King Arthur and his sons were his knights.

4.Did you notice that the characters wear the same outfits almost every episode? This was done to make it easier to work in stock footage when necessary -- not that the show was cheap. At $100,000-150,000 per episode, it was among the most expensive shows on TV during its run.

5. Lorne Greene’s father, Daniel Greene, made orthopedic shoes and boots for a living. He named his son after his first customer, a man named Lorne MacKenzie. When Lorne Greene delivered the 1971 commencement address at his alma mater, Queen’s University in Ontario, he gave the graduates advice appropriate for his heritage. Greene said “get yourself a really comfortable bed or a really good pair of shoes, because you’re going to be in one or the other for the rest of your life.”

6. Greene started out as a radio announcer. He was the chief broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and during the Battle of Britain, he was known as "the voice of doom." To time his speaking better, Greene invented a stopwatch that ran backwards.

Continue reading

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Jigsaw Puzzle Piece Tattoos

Ten high school friends, upon graduation, decided to get tattoos of puzzle pieces that fit into each other:

After graduating high school, myself and 9 of my best friends got puzzle pieces on the side of our ribcages to represent our commitment throughout middle school and high school. Most of us had been friends since 6th grade, some before. We all got something inside our puzzle piece to make ours unique. All the pieces fit together, and we had a blast getting them.


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Trapped People

Artist/prankster Dan Witz puts pictures of people behind fake ventilation grates and then places the grates in public places. This one, for example, was stuck on the outside of a condo in Brooklyn. Link -via Super Punch (where there's a video)

Previously about Dan Witz: Pranks -- It's the New Art

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Embroidered Portraits

Daniel Kornrumpf embroiders portraits in amazingly lifelike detail. He stitches in a way that imitates brushstrokes. Above is "diamonds on my neck. diamonds on my grill" on linen. Link -via Swiss Miss | Artist's Website | Photo: Libby Rosof

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Freddie Wong's Cereal Killer

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Freddie Wong has done it again! This action-packed short film depicts him as an undecided cereal shopper at a grocery store. Gun-wielding thieves should never interfere with a man trying to select a chocolate-flavored cereal. -via reddit

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House Full of Bookshelves

Are you running out of room for your books? Here's a house design by Kazuya Morita Architecture Studio that hopefully doesn't have that problem. Google Translate renders the Japanese text as follows:

Shelf-Pod is a private residence and study building, located in Osaka prefecture, Japan. The client owns an extensive collection of books on the subject of Islamic history, so he requested that we create this building with the maximum capacity for its storage and exhibition.[...]

The original image of this structure is derived from the Japanese woodcraft of Kumiko. The structural integrity against an earthquake is provided by a panel of plywood board nailed on the shelf. Initially, the horizontal resistant force guaranteed by the panels was examined in a real-scale model. Further to this, an analysis of the whole structure was performed in order to determine the placement of the windows and panels. The inter-locking laminated pine-board was manufactured precisely in advance and assembled on-site. Similarly, the pyramid-shaped roof was assembled on-site, from 12 pieces of prefabricated wooden roof panel. The completed roof has a thickness of only 230mm and sensitively covers the whole space like the dome of a Mosque.

Link (Google Translate) via Brian J. Noggle

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RC Truck Pulling a Car

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It was the dark of the moon on the sixth of June
And a Kenworth pullin' logs
Cab-over Pete with a reefer on
And a Jimmy haulin' hogs
We's headin' for bear on Eye-one-O
'bout a mile outta Shakeytown
I says "Pigpen, this here's Rubber Duck"
"And I'm about to put the hammer down"

-via The Presurfer

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Man Born without Arms Changes Brake Pads with Just His Feet

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Matt Stutzman was born without arms, but that didn't become him from becoming a highly successful archer, both in competition and deer hunting. He quite properly bills himself as the "Inspirational Archer", and I started to write this post with that as the central theme. But then I found this video buried in his website, and it strikes me as even more amazing than the archery. Stutzman, using only his feet, changes the brake pads on his car. Link -via Blame It on the Voices

Previously: Man Born without Arms Shoots, Reloads Handgun

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Lion Takes Nap on Top of Human

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Shanta, a lioness who lives who lives at the Cedar Cove Feline Sanctuary in Kansas, is seen here dozing on her handler, Steve. But really, if a lion is using you as bedding, I don't think that you can legitimately claim to be her "handler". The relationship has been reversed at some point.

via Geekosystem | Cedar Cove Feline Sanctuary

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How to Make a Hot Dog Fairy

Unlike most of you, I did not grow up in a household that believed in the Hot Dog Fairy. So the tradition of placing a piece of hot dog in the dirty laundry on a new moon was not a part of my childhood. But do I plan to share the innocent joy of the Hot Dog Fairy story with my own daughters, and the instructions of food artist Anna the Red will certainly help. Link -via Craft

Previously: The Marvelous Bento Boxes of Anna the Red

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Pokémon in Real Life

What do Pokémon look like in real life, rather than on the cartoon? Stephen Lefcourt took his camera out on an expedition to find out. He found a total of twelve, and you can view them at the link. Link -via Geekologie | Artist's Website

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These Euro Coins with QR Codes are Legal Tender

The Dutch Royal Mint in Utrecht is celebrating its 100th anniversary by releasing silver 5€ and gold 10€ coins. It has been reported that they include functional QR codes and are legal tender in the Eurozone.

Link -via CrunchGear | Image: The Rich Times

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The Aubin Trophy: A Masterpiece of Victorian Locksmithing

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The Great Exhibition of 1851 -- arguably the first World's Fair -- featured this masterpiece of locksmithing. The Aubin Trophy was a demonstration of 44 different locks, each of which could be turned separately or with a single master lock. One of them was made to that if someone tries to pick it, the thief will be harpooned.

The first minute of the video demonstrates the features of the Aubin Trophy. The rest is concerned with other marvels of Victorian Era locksmithing. Link - Thanks, David Eaves!

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Artist Statement Generator

Quick! We have to get the sculpture to the exhibition hall! There's no time to formulate our aesthetic rationale into a coherent philosophical statement. Just use this artist statement generator to come up with stuff like this:

My work explores the relationship between the tyranny of ageing and multimedia experiences.

With influences as diverse as Derrida and Frida Kahlo, new combinations are crafted from both traditional and modern meanings.

Ever since I was a teenager I have been fascinated by the ephemeral nature of relationships. What starts out as triumph soon becomes corrupted into a dialectic of power, leaving only a sense of chaos and the possibility of a new understanding.

As shifting phenomena become clarified through diligent and personal practice, the viewer is left with an insight into the inaccuracies of our era.

Link -via American Digest | Photo: San Francisco Museum of Art

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Is There a Scientific Explanation for Justin Bieber?

For more than a century, social scientists have attempted to create a model that will accurately predict what images, songs, or memes will become popular. Now Gregory Berns, a neuroeconomist at Emory University, thinks that certain fMRI signatures in the brains of teenagers are reliable indicators of future popularity:

The divination is performed with the help of a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine, or fMRI, scanning the brains of juveniles while they listen to demo records. Emory University plumped the findings with the bold headline, "Teen brain data predicts pop song success."

If true, this would be the equivalent of having tomorrow's stock pages today. Helpful, that. Determine what tickles the pleasure points of the adolescent id and you ought to be able to plot more efficiently how to separate teens from their money.

Link -via Althouse | Photo by Flickr user jake.auzzie used under Creative Commons license

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A Sign Made from 5,000 Rocker Switches

This would be so much fun to play with! Valentin Ruhry made this huge sign for the Austrian Cultural Forum of New York. It will be on display there through September 5.

Link and Forum Website -via Colossal | Photos: Valentin Ruhry

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The Powerpuff Girls Cosplay

Here's a clever cosplay by a man named Alex showing Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup with their father/creator Professor Utonium. It's perfect! Link -via Look at this Frakking Geekster

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Millennium Falcon Wedding Cake Includes Working Lights

It's amazing how far we've come in cake design. How much longer will we have to wait before we have a wedding cake that can actually fly under its own power?

Link via blastr | Cake by The Butter End Cakery

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Profile for John Farrier

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