John Farrier's Blog Posts

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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Silo House

An anonymous submitter to Recyclart needed to expand her log cabin home. S/he decided that an old grain silo would be just the right structure to attach to the house:

Radiant floor heating. stamped and stained concrete floor, spray foam insulation, 7 windows and soon plaster walls along with a 6?x6? living wall. After finding a silo on a near by farm we moved it over to our house, cut out one wall and attached it to the side of our house for a much needed dining room.

You can see a large interior photo at the link.


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Why Do We Wear Pants? Because of Horses

Why do we wear pants? Even if you're currently dressed "blogger style", you've no doubt worn pants in the past. How did his fashion develop? Peter Turchin, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Connecticut, says that the domestication of horses led to pants:

The reasons why pants are advantageous when mounted atop a horse should be obvious, nonetheless, many cultures struggled to adapt, even when their very existences were threatened by superior, trouser-clad horseback riders.

Turchin details how the Romans eventually adopted braccae (known to you now as breeches) and documents the troubles a 3rd-century BC Chinese statesman, King Wuling, had getting his warriors to switch to pants from the traditional robes. "It is not that I have any doubt concerning the dress of the Hu," Wuling told an advisor. "I am afraid that everybody will laugh at me." Eventually, a different state, the Qin, conquered and unified China. They just so happened to be closest to the mounted barbarians and thus were early to the whole cavalry-and-pants thing.

Turchin speculates that because mounted warriors were generally men of relatively high status, the culture of pants could spread easily throughout male society.

Link -via Robb Allen | Photo: jdj 150

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My Little Pony Rifle

We've got MLP shotguns and MLP handguns, so let's round out the gunsafe with some MLP rifles. I don't know who made this awesome Rainbow Dash Lee-Enfield rifle, but s/he deserves high praise for creativity and rifle selection.

(Please, someone make a Fluttershy Mosin-Nagant. If you make it, I guarantee you that I will post it here.)

You can find other MLP guns at the link, where gunbrony (gun enthusiast + brony = gunbrony) Erin Palette has rounded up photos of them.

Link -via Say Uncle

P.S. Ms. Palette also owns a cute custom MLP holster.

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"Godverdikke! Ken a kapmes in me kop!"

Long, long ago--almost before humans had devised writing--there was a tradition among the people of Usenet of translating the phrase "My God, there's an axe in my head!" into different languages. The title of this post is just that in the Ostend dialect of Flemish.

At the link, you can find one of the oldest and most comprehensive archives of this sacred tradition, featuring hundreds of different translations of this phrase. Preserve it and pass it on to your children, so that the ways of the ancients are not lost to the ravages of time.

Link -via Brian J. Noggle | Photo: Naval History & Heritage Command

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The Brony Anthem

(Video Link)

At VidCon 2012, Hank Green played his new song about bronies--adult male fans of the cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. It's a hilarious expression of the competing masculinities present in that body of fandom.

A point of clarification: I'm not a brony. I'm just ponycurious.

-via The Mary Sue | Hank Green's Website

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Man's Last Wish Is to Leave a Waitress a Huge Tip

(Video Link)

While he lived, Aaron Collins was a generous person, especially to wait staff. He continued to tip generously, even after he passed away. His family writes:

Aaron passed away July 7, 2012 just 3 weeks after his 30th birthday. He left us a will full of his personality. He asked that any debt he owed his parents be repaid should he have money in the bank at his death, but also had the following request:

“Third, leave an awesome tip (and I don’t mean 25%. I mean $500 on a f***ing pizza) for a waiter or waitress.”

In this video, his family does just that. Watch the waitress's reaction.

Link -via Wizbang

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A Tumblr Blog Devoted Entirely to Gruesome Deaths in Choose Your Own Adventure Novels

Your decision to ditch your friends on the middle school field trip to the Pearl Brewery has ended badly. How badly? You can read the many ways in which you have failed at You Chose Wrong, a blog filled with terrible endings in Choose Your Own Adventure novels.

Link -via io9

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Coffee Ad from 1652

This new "coffee" substance sold by that Sicilian fellow, Pasqua Rosée, sounds like just the right drink for me! It tastes good and it's a veritable miracle drug according to this handbill owned by the British Museum:

It supresseth Fumes exceedingly, and therefore good against the Head-ach, and will very much stop any Defluxion of Rheumas, that distil from the Head upon the Stomach, and so prevent and help Consumptions and the Cough of the Lungs.

It is excellent to prevent and cure the Dropsy, Gout, and Scurvy.

It is known by experience to be better then any other Drying Drink for People in years, or Children that have any running humors upon them, as the Kings Evil. &c.

It is very good to prevent Mis-carryings in Child-bearing Women.

It is a most excellent Remedy against the Spleen, Hypocondriack Winds, or the like.

It will prevent Drowsiness, and make one fit for Busines, if one have occasion to Watch, and therefore you are not to drink of it after Supper, unless you intend to be watchful, for it will hinder sleep for 3 or 4 hours.

I like my coffee like I like my historical documents: strong and acid-free.

Link -via Boing Boing

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S'More Ice Cream Sandwiches

Get in my belly!

All of the major components in Bright-Eyed Baker's amazing concoction are homemade: the marshmallows, the graham crackers and even the ice cream. She dipped the graham crackers in chocolate and mixed marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs into the ice cream. You can find her recipe at the link.

Link -via Tasteologie

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Casket Coffee Table

I want this table. I'll keep it in my living room. When my daughters start dating, I'll use it to terrify their boyfriends.

Casket Furniture, a company that produces caskets and casket-inspired household furniture, made this coffee table. You can find other works at their website, including gaming tables, phone booths, bookshelves and entertainment centers.

Link -via Gizmodo

Previously on Neatorama: Casket Pool Table

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Trash Can Handbag

Valerie S. Mann, an artist from Michigan, gives new purpose to discarded objects. Among other projects, she takes old cotton bags and turns them into eye-catching wedding dresses. This handbag, I would guess, started out as an aluminum trash can.

Link -via Nag on the Lake

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Reading Shakespeare Enhances Your Ability to Think

Do you ever feel mentally sharper after reading high literature? Philip Davis, an English professor at the University of Liverpool, does--particularly after reading works by William Shakespeare. The way that the Bard structured lines--what Davis calls the "functional shift"--seems to prime the mind. Davis wanted to know if this was a scientifically verifiable phenomenon. So several years ago, he asked people to read lines while hooked up to electroencephalography (EEG) equipment:

But around each of those sentences of functional shift we also provided three counter-examples which were shown on screen to the experiment's subjects in random order: all they had to do was press a button saying whether the sentence roughly made sense or not. Thus, below, A ("accompany") is a sentence which is conventionally grammatical, makes simple sense, and acts as a control; B ("charcoal") is grammatically odd, like a functional shift, but it makes no semantic sense in context; C ("incubate") is grammatically correct but still semantically does not make sense; D ("companion") is a Shakespearian functional shift from noun to verb, and is grammatically odd but does make sense:

A) I was not supposed to go there alone: you said you would accompany me.
B) I was not supposed to go there alone: you said you would charcoal me.
C) I was not supposed to go there alone: you said you would incubate me.
D) I was not supposed to go there alone: you said you would companion me.

What happened to our subjects' brains when they read the critical words on screen in front of them?

According to the EEG, subjects had a greater comprehension of more complex lines once they had read a line featuring Shakespeare's functional shift:

In other words, while the Shakespearian functional shift was semantically integrated with ease, it triggered a syntactic re-evaluation process likely to raise attention and give more weight to the sentence as a whole. Shakespeare is stretching us; he is opening up the possibility of further peaks, new potential pathways or developments. Our findings show how Shakespeare created dramatic effects by implicitly taking advantage of the relative independence--at the neural level--of semantics and syntax in sentence comprehension. It is as though he is a pianist using one hand to keep the background melody going, whilst simultaneously the other pushes towards ever more complex variations and syncopations.

Link -via VA Viper | Image: Hans Dunkelberg

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The Cast of Star Wars Sings "Call Me Maybe"

(Video Link)

James Covenant clipped lines from all six Star Wars movies so that the characters sing Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." I gotta tell you, I had no idea Jabba the Hutt had such a good singing voice.

-via Kotaku

Previously on Neatorama: Sesame Street's "Share It Maybe"

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This Fish Hook Is Also a Gun

There's a tiny hole in the bottom of the shaft of this fish hook. When a fish yanks on the hook, it discharges a 4mm centerfire cartridge and, hopefully, shoots the fish.

These unusual guns were produced in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries. If you can find one, I wouldn't recommend using it, as doing so would almost certainly violate the second and fourth rules of gun safety.

Link | Photo: Wayne Driskill Miniatures

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The World's Smallest Art Museum

No, it's not some fly by night operation. Filip Noteradaeme's Homeless Museum of Art is an established enterprise. Since 2003, it's appeared at various locations around New York City. The clientele is highly selective--only two people can visit at the same time--so get your tickets ahead of time. Its collection is small, so you'll have plenty of time to see everything. Browse through the HoMu's website to help plan your visit.

More Information and Official Website -via Flavorwire

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My Little Pony Shotgun

I'm having trouble tracking down information about this shotgun. So far, I can find just one mention on Equestria Daily.

It's not the first working MLP firearm we've seen. Last week, we saw a Smith & Wesson 1911 with the Rainbow Dash cutie mark inscribed on the grips. This shotgun of unknown provenance is similarly decorated with the symbol of Ponyville's master flier.


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Famous Dishes from Literature

Graphic designer Dinah Fried had a great idea for a photo series: meals from famous works of fiction. Pictured above is one from The Catcher in the Rye. Others at the link include Moby Dick and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

As much as I loved Watership Down, I doubt that photos of the characters' meals would be interesting. So its absence is not a great loss.

Link -via Nag on the Lake

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Woman Robs Convenience Store with Curling Iron

It's a gripping true crime story that will curl your hair. A woman in Kingsport, Tennessee walked into a convenience store and robbed it. She was armed with a (presumably cool) curling iron concealed in her hoodie:

The clerk, who would later identify the suspect by first name, said Yates pointed an item which was concealed inside her hoodie's pocket, acting as if it were a weapon. She allegedly demanded money, which was handed over, then left the store.

Approximately eight minutes later Yates was located jogging through a nearby parking lot. She was stopped by KPD Officer Andrea Mullins and positively identified as the suspect.

A pat down located a wad of cash in Yates' sweatpants. Meanwhile a curling iron, believed to be the "weapon" Yates had in her hoodie pocket, was found in bushes outside the Sunoco.

Link -via Dave Barry | Photo: Maegan

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How to Make a Breadcrab

Bruk bakes amazing things, most especially breadcrabs. And if you think this one is impressive, you should see the one that's built with a dip reservoir in the middle.

Link and Recipe -via Geekosystem

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Pee-wee Herman's The Dark Knight Rises

(Video Link)

For this clip from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Paul Reubens voiced over all of the dialogue using the many tones of Pee-wee Herman. But that's just a taste of the entire film, which is excellent, except for Chairry's horrible, horrible death scene.

-via Nerd Approved

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Honk to Open the Door

Dieter Volkers's Doorclaxon is a combination squeeze horn and door knob. Use it to announce your arrival with dignity.

Link | Photo: Dieter Volkers

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Watermelon Dragon

Shawn Feeney refers to his creations as "edible alchemy." I like that. The FBI-trained forensic artist makes fanciful sculptures from fruits and vegetables. This dragon sculpture is composed of 14 watermelons and 2 pineapples.

Link -via Geekologie

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DeLorean Monster Truck

Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads. That's all thanks to Rich W.'s amazing DeLorean DMC-12 monster truck. You can view more pictures of it and his other DeLorean mods at the link.

Link -via DVICE

Previously by Rich W.: The DeLorean Limo

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Professional Snuggler Will Cuddle for Money

Jacqueline Samuel's business, dubbed The Snuggery, is the best place to go for a good cuddle:

Jackie started thinking about a business centered around cuddling at the start of grad school, and says she and her sisters even tried selling hugs on the street for $1 each, making up to $80 per day. And although she hasn’t been able to get certified as a professional cuddler, the University of Rochester graduate has studied the “Cuddle Sutra” and is versed in over 100 non-sexual positions. Still most of the time, she and her clients start out by spooning. Some of her affection-seeking customers (all men) have questioned her about getting some extra attention, but Samuel says most of them respect her boundaries.

Video at the link.

Be sure to let us know in the comments if you think that the NeatoShop should offer this service.

Company Website -via Oddity Central | Photo: The Snuggery

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The Liberator Pistol

The FP-45 pistol was a small and specialized but potentially terrifying weapon. Technologically, it was simple: it fired just a single .45 caliber bullet down an unrifled barrel. It was so cheap that the United States could afford to manufacture hundreds of thousands of them and airdrop them over Nazi-occupied territory. The plan was that untrained civilians would use them to kill solitary German soldiers:

The pistols would be air dropped by the hundreds of thousands into enemy occupied territory, where it was expected the Germans would never be able to recover all of them. Useless as a battlefield weapon, the issue of providing useful weapons to the enemy was moot. On the other hand... as a weapon of terror in the hands of the resistance, the Liberator might have had extraordinary value. A common civilian, alone with a conquering German soldier, suddenly produces the single shot .45 and drops the man in a surprise attack, afterwards making off with the soldiers weapons. Now the German Army is down one soldier, the resistance has one more battle rifle, and every other German soldier has to wonder.... will he be next?

I say might have had, as the OSS never carried out the plan to any degree. Aside from a few FP-45's finding their way to the Philippine resistance and perhaps China, the Liberators were not deployed as expected. They languished in warehouses, and after the war... almost all were destroyed.

At the link, you can find more pictures and a video of a Liberator being fired.

Link | Photo: Liftarn

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My Little Pony Holster

DeviantART member Annadill made this holster for his TM Colt Python. He inscribed it with the three apple cutie mark of Applejack. Unlike standard Pythons, this one doesn't fire .357 cartridges, but airsoft pellets. Annadill made it for the Equestria Task Force, his My Little Pony-themed airsoft team.


P.S. A previous MLP post of mine earned a facepalm from gunblogger SayUncle. It was one of my proudest moments as a blogger. I'm aiming for a full facedesk from him now.

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Doctor Who Plush Bunnies

The Doctor bunny, Donna bunny and Rose bunny are ready for another adventure. Etsy seller Catherine Boucher crafted these plushes as well as others featuring characters from Game of Thrones and Harry Potter.

Link -via The Mary Sue

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Whopper with Cheese

One thousand slices of cheese.

Researchers at RocketNews24, who previously invented the Whopper with 1,050 strips of bacon, have once again pushed back the boundaries of burger science:

This time Mr. Sato was considerate enough to call Burger King 3 days ahead and ask if 1000 slices of cheese on a Whopper was a thing that could actually happen. The manager graciously agreed to let him have it his way and 3 days later he went to the store to pick it up.

Like last time, the burger was so epically huge that the staff had to tape together several sheets of wrapping paper in order to completely cover it. They also provided Mr. Sato with a few plastic trays to load the 12kg (25lbs) burger on so he could safely transport it to our office.

Link -via Kotaku

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The Book Fountain

(Video Link)

In Budapest, the capital of Hungary, you can find this lovely book-shaped fountain. With each spray, a page of water turns.

-via Bit Rebels

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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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