John Farrier's Blog Posts

China Turns Old Soviet Aircraft Carrier into a Luxury Hotel

Launched in 1972, the Kiev was once the pride of the Soviet Navy. But in need of cash, Russia and Ukraine sold it and another carrier called the Varyag to China. Although the Varyag is at sea, China has converted the Kiev into a luxury hotel:

This is the Kiev, currently anchored in the Chinese port of Tianjin. Once she was the flagship of the mighty Soviet navy’s Pacific fleet. Now she’s available for business retreats, intimate getaways or simple relaxation.

That’s because the Chinese have bought the aircraft carrier and transformed her into a floating luxury hotel.

The Kiev will stay permanently docked. Much as a Soviet-era sailor might resent the indignity, Kiev won’t go back out to sea. She’ll entertain guests and clients at anchor, a bizarre museum to a different country’s naval power.


View a slideshow of the hotel's fancy interiors at the link.

Slideshow and News Story -via DVICE | Photo: Xinhua

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The Philosoraptor Song is Deeply Profound


(Video Link)


I had never thought of it before, but yes: if tomatoes are vegetables, then ketchup is a smoothie. Thank you, Philosoraptor, for expanding my mind. Here's a video from Bucky Studios that collects his wisdom and presents it as a soft pop song.

-via Geekosystem

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So, You Summoned Me?



This drawing by Aaron McConnell amused me, even though I didn't understand the meaning. Then I learned that it is a reference to a 1988 album cover by Leonard Cohen. How do the two connect? McConnell explains at the link.

Link -via The Uniblog

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Lost Wedding Ring Found on Carrot in Woman's Garden

In 1995, while baking in her kitchen, Lena Påhlsson of Mora, Sweden took off her custom-made wedding ring. She didn't see it again until it turned up sixteen years later around a carrot that grew in her garden:

But as Lena was about to gather the last of the carrots from the family vegetable patch last October, she pulled out a carrot that had something attached to it.

As the carrot was so small, she was about to throw it away when she realized what it was that appeared to be “growing” around the finger-sized vegetable.

“Our daughter Anna was at home at the time and she heard an almighty scream from the garden,” Ola Påhlsson told The Local, recalling the day of the miraculous find.


Link -via Dave Barry | Photo: The Local

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The Longest Straight Staircase in the World Has 699 Steps



Team, today's stair running drill is going to be a doozy. Pictured above is Jacob's Ladder, a staircase in the UK Overseas Territory of Saint Helena. Settlers built it as an inclined plane in 1829 to help bring agricultural products into Jamestown, the capital of the island. The staircase is now accessible to tourists, but the slope is really steep and not every portion has a railing, so do not look down. You can view several more pictures at the link.

Link -via Bit Rebels | Photo: Wikimedia user Deusdixital

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Vegan S'More Cocktails in Chocolate Glasses



If a s'more cocktail isn't, by itself, a sufficiently serious chocolate delivery system, then Spabettie has a recipe for you! She used a shot glass mold to make chocolate cups, filled them with chocolate-flavored vodka and then topped them off with rice whip.

Link -via Tasteologie

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Online Retailers and the Drunk Customer Market

A lot of good, horrifying stories begin with "I was drunk, so I got on the Internet..." and go downhill from there. Some people even shop online while sloshed:

“I have my account linked to my phone, so it’s really easy,” said Tiffany Whitten, of Dayton, Ohio, whose most recent tipsy purchase made on her smartphone — a phone cover — arrived from Amazon much to her surprise. “I was drunk and I bought it, and I forgot about it, and it showed up in the mail, and I was really excited.”


And online retailers have noticed:

At QVC, the television shopping channel, traffic and viewers rise around noon, then quiet down until after 7 p.m. Then items like cosmetics and accessories sell briskly. “Call them girl treats — they seem to attract a really strong following once you get past dinnertime,” said Doug Rose, senior vice president for multichannel programming and marketing for the company. “You can probably come to your own conclusion as to what’s motivating her.”

Still, the nighttime spike requires delicacy among retailers: for reasons of propriety, they do not want to be seen as encouraging drunken shopping, and many people who inadvertently buy products in that state would most likely return them at high rates. On the other hand, a happy customer can lead to higher sales.

“In a shopping context, alcohol would lift people’s moods and make them feel more relaxed,” said Nancy Puccinelli, an associate fellow at the Oxford’s Saïd Business School who studies consumer behavior. “If we see a product and we feel good, we will evaluate the product more positively.”


Link -via Marginal Revolution | Photo (unrelated) by Flickr user somegeekintn

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Tamara de Lempicka's Spock and Uhura



Tamara de Lempicka is my favorite Art Deco painter, so this image inspired by her work makes me happy. It was composed by deviantART user lymanalpha.

Link -via Comics Alliance

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For Tax Purposes, Marvel Argues that Mutants Aren't Human

It's stunning that Marvel Comics would throw its weight behind the Mutant Registration Act. But in order to keep more money, the company's attorneys argue that mutants, such as the X-Men, aren't human:

In the non-fictional world, our world, Marvel is taking the position that mutants are not humans at all. But this isn’t an ideological or a moral stance. Instead, it is a financial one. Toys manufactured in other countries and imported into the US are subject to taxes, but those taxes are lower if the toys represent non-human characters. That has led to Marvel lawyers arguing that an action figure representing, say, Wolverine, is actually “representing animals or other non-human creatures (for example, robots and monsters).”


Link -via Nerd Bastards | Image: deviantART user Fandias

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Porsche TV Display



YouTube user Kanaal Van Ronorozco makes TV display centers in the front or back ends of classic vehicles, such as this 2005 Porsche 996. It's not a fabrication, but the actual rear of the car, right down to the brake calipers. With a push of a button, the brake lights flash and the screen opens or closes.

Link -via DVICE

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The Terrifying Work of a Lion Groomer


(Video Link)


You can't take this kitty cat to a regular pet groomer. No, lion wrangler Alex Larenty has to take care of that job, and he has to do it every day. Watch him brush the hair and file the claws on this 250 kg lion.

-via io9

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When Frank Frazetta Worked for Disney



Walt, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that two stood against many. That's what's important! Cuteness pleases you, Walt... so grant me one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to hell with you!


Fantasy artist Frank Frazetta (warning: some NSFW images) never worked for Disney, which is a shame. He would have inspired some spectacular movies. But Disney artist John T. Quinn III does, and composed this cartoon in the style of Frazetta.

Link -via Popped Culture

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Dalek Bunny Just Wants to Snuggle You into Extinction



Lea Hernandez's bunny wabbit just wants to be loved. There's no reason to be afraid.

Link -via The Mary Sue

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For Sale: The UK's Enormous Bomb Shelter Designed to House the Government during a Nuclear War


(Video Link)


Built in the 1950s, this bunker in Wiltshire could house and feed 4,000 people for three months. The United Kingdom designed it to house the government if the worst happened during the Cold War. Watch this video tour of its facilities and make an offer. It's up for sale.

Link -via Boing Boing

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S’more Quesadillas



The main problem with s'mores is that they break apart and get messy with the first bite. Fortunately, Nick of Dude Foods, the culinary innovator who introduced the world to the chocolate covered deep fried triple double Oreo and the 25-cheese pizza, has once again moved the human race forward. He's developed the s'more quesadilla. Now someone explain to me why there's no Nobel Prize for the culinary sciences.

Link -via That's Nerdalicious!

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Dubsteppin' Grandma


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Or, more precisely, she's dancing to dubstep music. She's no Marquese Scott yet, but the 94-year old grandmother of YouTube user chucklepley can bust out the moves.

-via Geekosystem

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Grand Theft Auto IV Burger in Real Life



Rampaging around Liberty City builds up an appetite, so it's a good idea to stop at Cluckin' Bell for a burger. The folks at Gourmet Gaming decided to make that gaming experience real by making their own. You can find their recipe at the link.

Link -via Kotaku

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Kraków's Amazing Nativity Sets



The Polish city of Kraków has a rich tradition of building fanciful and elaborate Nativity sets, known in Polish as szopki, that dates back to the arrival of Franciscan friars in the city in the Thirteenth Century. These have become tremendously popular and a cultivated craft:

To bring in a national color, historical figures from local legends were added to the scenes. Many other Biblical figures like King Herod and the Holy Family started making appearances too. By the eighteenth century, the figures had become movable, with stick puppets and string marionettes being introduced. While all this was taking place at Church, the excitement had gotten out of hand as decided by the Bishop Teodor Czartoryski, who banned the plays from churches in 1736. Only immobile scenes were permitted in church, the live puppet shows being passed down to the people. This was the beginning of the szopka as it is known today.


Some szopki are six feet tall! View several more pictures of them at the link.

Link | Photo: Lukasz Zoladz

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Award-Winning Animated Short of Plato's Cave


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In his Republic, presents an allegory of the value of philosophy and the nature of knowledge that is popularly known as Plato's Cave: to the unenlightened mind, the world is filled with confusing ideas, like shadows on the wall of a cave, that only reflect truths not yet discerned. Michael Ramsey's stop-motion animated presentation of this story won first place at the USA Film Festival Short Film and Video Competition in 2008.

Link -via Nerdcore (which has a different animated short narrated by Orson Welles)

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How To Cook a Big Mac Value Meal in a Rice Cooker



It's prepared on a bed of rice in a rice cooker, which magically makes everything healthier. Be sure to use all of food-like products included in the meal. Yes, even the Coke Zero. Pour it in. Cook for a few minutes and then serve with chopsticks. Read the step-by-step instructions provided by one brave culinary explorer at the link.

Link -via Ace of Spades HQ | Photo: Rocket News 24

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Eagles and Kitty Cats BFF


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Eagles love to perch outside of YouTube user pla1554alaska's home. So do her cats, Gizmo and Suitcase. They've all managed to get along, even hang out within inches of each other.

-via Althouse

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MIT Researchers Develop Suit That Lets You Feel Like You're 75 Years Old

But if you're ninty-five, does it help you feel younger? Probably not. AGNES, a sophisticated suit developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is designed to help people understand through personal experience what it's like to get old:

AGNES simulates a gerontological atmosphere in retail, public transportation, and workplace environments. Braces and bands mimic joint stiffness and muscular fatigue. Leg straps create slower leg movements, and helmet attachments give the wearer an age-induced curved spine. Yellow eyeglasses make it difficult to read small print, and earplugs simulate difficulty with sounds and tones.


Video at the link.

Link -via Geekosystem | Project Website | Photo: MIT

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Beyonce's "All the Trekkie Ladies"


(Video Link)


Not sufficiently retro for you? Then you could try the Andy Griffith version of "Single Ladies." As for me, I think that we should start an Internet movement to summon Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, and LeVar Burton together to present a real-life version of this video.

-via The Mary Sue | Previously: Wrinkled Ladies

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Replica Race Car Opens to Reveal Slot Car Set



Slot cars, for those of you too young to remember, were among the greatest toys of the 1960s and 70s. This awesome 1:32 scale set by Slot Mods is built inside of a replica of the Porsche 917K that won the 12 Hours of Sebring race in 1971. Just push a button and you're ready to race.

Link -via Born Rich | Photo: Slot Mods

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Tents with the Class Clown in Mind



The designers at FieldCandy think that tents should be more than functional. They should be funny, too! The firm offers dozens of different designs, including this one called "Get a Room!"

Link -via Fubiz (Google Translate)

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Clerk Punches out Armed Robber, Forces Him to Clean His Own Blood off the Floor While Waiting for the Police

Derek Mothershead of the We Buy Gold store in Hendersonville, North Carolina is both tough and tidy. When he saw that a robber was armed with only a pellet gun, Mothershead took him down with a single left cross:

“When I pulled it out of his waistband I started laughing,” said Mothershead. “I said, 'Man, you came in here with a fake gun?'"

Mothershead said he dragged the man over to a desk and held him down with one hand and called 911 with the other. [...]

“He kind of begged me, begged me to let him go,” Mothershead said. “I said, 'You came in and tried to rob us. You’re going to jail.'”


Then, to add magnificent insult to injury, the clerk decided that the robber should find something useful to do while waiting for the police. Specifically, clean his own blood off the floor:

While they waited for police and paramedics, Mothershead gave Hendi a roll of power towels, sprayed the floor with cleaner and told him to clean up his own blood.


There's a video of the whupping at the link.

Link -via Ace of Spades HQ

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Mugger Makes off with Dog Poop

The heist went off poorly. Or exceedingly well, I suppose, depending on what the mugger was after:

An unknown man approached a 62-year-old woman as she was walking her dog just before 10 a.m. on the 100 block of Dakota. The man demanded the woman she give him everything she had, and he said that if she didn't, he would kick her dog.

The woman handed him a bag and the suspect fled. Unbeknownst to the suspect, the bag she gave him contained her dog's feces.


Link -via Dave Barry | Photo: Flickr user Ambernectar 13

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Hello Kitty Apple Pies



Michele Chen of I Heart Baking made these adorable pocket pies shaped like Kitty White. At first, I thought that a pastry button would be a better nose than the punch out, but Michele explains that all of the holes serve as steam vents.

Link -via That's Nerdalicious!

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Star Wars, Episode I: The Time Lord Menace


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I'm having trouble following the plot of this Doctor Who episode. I mean more so than usual. But also like a Doctor Who episode, it's great fun even when it doesn't make sense. Rick Kelvington, maker of the excellent Doctor Who/Star Trek mashup, brought the Doctor (#1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 11) into Episode I of Star Wars.

-via Nerd Bastards | Kelvington's Website

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Comical and Informative Wedding Program



Ian and Karen had a fabulously geeky wedding featuring comic book invitations, d20 cupcake toppers, Tetris centerpieces, swords, armor and kilts. It was officiated by the couple's Dungeon Master dressed as the priest from The Princess Bride. One of the most creative bits was a wedding program written like a deadpan informative pamphlet. Read the hilarious text at the link.

Link | Karen's Flickr Stream | Photo: Anne-Marie Brouchard

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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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