John Farrier's Blog Posts

This Is a Cucumber


Specifically, it's a Sikkim cucumber. The plant originated in the Himalayas but can now be found in gardens around the world. Marla Aufmuth spotted this one at the National Heirloom Festival in Santa Rosa, California. 

Link -via Tasteologie | Photo: Marla Aufmuth

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Batman Proposes to Batgirl


In a romantic flashback moment, Ruby, dressed as Batman from the 1960s show, proposed to his girlfriend Jennnifer, dressed as Batgirl from the same show. It was a delicious event organized by actor Dean Cain at DragonCon 2012 in Atlanta. You can watch a video of it at the link.

Link | Photo: David Ng

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Chewbacca Belly Dancing While Backed by a Klingon Band

(Video Link)

I'm conflicted. It's wrong. But it feels so right!

Raks Geek, the dancing troupe that features a TARDIS dance, presents "Let the Wookiee Dance." Musical accompaniment includes "Muaarga," a Klingon song performed by Il Troubadore Klingon Music Project.

Raks Geek and Il Troubadore Klingon Music Project -via Daily of the Day

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Gun Book Binding

book binding

Etsy seller Tammy Forsthye makes books with unusual bindings, such as this rifle book held by a model with sloppy trigger (but good muzzle) discipline. She also made one shaped like a revolver and a fitted holster for it.

Link -via Technabob

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Vicious Hot Dog

hot dog

If he bites you, just bite him back. That'll teach him a lesson.

The always brilliant Brock Davis once again creates art from the ordinary.

Link -via That's Nerdalicious!

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Runner Meets Grizzly Bear

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There's nothing like a good run to get rid of stress. At least until you meet your first grizzly bear on the trail, as YouTube user GTX449 did at the 3:10 mark in this video. Content warning: foul language. But who can blame him?

This is why I run on a treadmill.

-via Yababoon

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Mirrors on Easels Create the Illusion of Landscape Paintings


While working as the artist in residence at the Joshua Tree National Park in California, Daniel Kukla placed mirrors on easels to showcase nature's own magnificence. He explains:

While hiking and driving, I caught glimpses of the border space created by the meeting of distinct ecosystems in juxtaposition, referred to as the Edge Effect in the ecological sciences. To document this unique confluence of terrains, I hiked out a large mirror and painter’s easel into the wilderness and captured opposing elements within the environment. Using a single visual plane, this series of images unifies the play of temporal phenomena, contrasts of color and texture, and natural interactions of the environment itself. 

Link -via Colossal

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Star Wars Villains and Bunnies

Boba Fett and his rabbit

Kelly Kerrigan paints whimsical images inspired by pop culture, including a series of Star Wars characters holding their pet bunny rabbits. She makes these images in memory of her late husband, a man who loved rabbits.

Link -via The Mary Sue

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Want to Encourage Cycling? Forget about Helmets

bike helmetsElizabeth Rosenthal writes in the New York Times that strongly encouraging bicyclists to wear helmets creates the false impression that bicycling is dangerous. This is a statistically unsound fear that discourages people from riding. So advocates for bicycling should stop pressuring people to wear helmets:

On the other hand, many researchers say, if you force or pressure people to wear helmets, you discourage them from riding bicycles. That means more obesity, heart disease and diabetes. And — Catch-22 — a result is fewer ordinary cyclists on the road, which makes it harder to develop a safe bicycling network. The safest biking cities are places like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, where middle-aged commuters are mainstay riders and the fraction of adults in helmets is minuscule.

“Pushing helmets really kills cycling and bike-sharing in particular because it promotes a sense of danger that just isn’t justified — in fact, cycling has many health benefits,” says Piet de Jong, a professor in the department of applied finance and actuarial studies at Macquarie University in Sydney. He studied the issue with mathematical modeling, and concludes that the benefits may outweigh the risks by 20 to 1.

He adds: “Statistically, if we wear helmets for cycling, maybe we should wear helmets when we climb ladders or get into a bath, because there are lots more injuries during those activities.” The European Cyclists’ Federation says that bicyclists in its domain have the same risk of serious injury as pedestrians per mile traveled.

Link -via Althouse | Photo: ubrayj02

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Watch an Axe Being Made from Scratch with Hand Tools

(Video Link

John Neeman Tools is a small company of master craftsmen who make tools, mostly axes, adzes and hatchets. This is a sample of the work that they do. Watch a man turn wood, steel and leather into a finished axe. It's beautiful.

Company Website -via Sippican Cottage

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Hospital to Perform Live-Tweeted/Instagrammed Surgery

cochlear implant

What does a human eardrum look like through the 1977 filter on Instagram? You may get a chance to find out tomorrow. Doctors at the Swedish Medical Center will perform a cochlear impant surgery. They'll keep you informed of their progress on Twitter and Instagram:

As the surgery is being performed, it will be narrated on Twitter and photos of the surgery will be updated on Instagram. Dr. Backous is the Medical Director of the Center for Hearing and Skull Base Surgery at Swedish.

This live-tweeted surgery is part of a broader campaign by the hospital to build more awareness of cochlear implant surgeries, which can significantly improve and restore hearing – even for people who were born deaf.

Link | Photo: National Institutes of Health

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Terror in Düsseldorf!

sticky men

The citizens are afraid. And they should be! A street artist named Rosalie made these huge resin sculptures that look like popular flexible sticky toys. The're taking over the city! You can see more photos of the invasion at the link.


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7 Swordfighting Movies to See Before You Die

(Video Link

If you'd ask me for a movie with great swordfights, I'd immediately respond, "The Princess Bride." But James Rummel, a connoisseur of the genre, has others that you may not be aware of. The above scene is from The Mark of Zorro, a 1940 film with excellent theatrical combat. I especially like the final moment.


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Gangnam Style: Minnesota Edition

(Video Link)

"We can make you wet in ten thousand different ways." Kick it Minnesota Style with Luke Thompson's parody of "Gangnam Style." Be sure to bring a coat and an umbrella.

Link -via Ed Driscoll 

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Meet Wall-Ye, The Winemaking Robot

(Video Link

This is Wall-Ye the robot. He's here to help you get wine more efficiently than ever before:

The Wall-Ye V.I.N. robot, brainchild of Burgundy-based inventor Christophe Millot, is one of the robots being developed around the world aimed at vineyards struggling to find the labour they need.

It takes on labour-intensive chores likes pruning and de-suckering -- removing unproductive young shoots -- while collecting valuable data on the health and vigour of the soil, fruit and vine stocks.

Link -via The Presurfer

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Combination Dry-Erase Board and Clock


Il-Gu Cha's Trace of Time clock lets you combine your daily to-do list and your clock. You can set deadlines for your tasks by writing them on the face of the clock, which is made of whiteboard material. The hand has a built-in eraser, so it wipes the face clean as it moves.

Link -via Book of Joe

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Pilot Proposes to Girlfriend While Pretending That Their Plane Is Crashing

(Video Link

It's beautiful when romance and terror come together in one loving moment. Ryan Thompson, a pilot, wanted to convince his lady friend to say 'yes'. So, naturally, he created the impression that the small plane that he was flying was about to crash.

My wife tells me that if I had done this, she would have punched me.

-via Daily of the Day

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Hello Kitty TIE Fighter

TIE Fighter

The Cute is strong with this one! Jason Chalker sculpted this custom TIE fighter for a Star Wars toy and art show that takes place next month in New York City.

Link -via Worley Gig | Artist's Website

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Bullet Jewelry


Yesterday, I featured Andrew Tuohy's amazing high speed photo of a handgun being fired underwater. Tuohy is more than just a firearms expert. He's also skilled craftsman. At the top, you can find a floral sculpture--a present for his mother--that he made from spent bullets. For the project pictured below, Tuohy set sapphires, topaz, tsavorite and peridot in, again, bullets that he fired and then recovered.

Bullet Flowers Link and Bullet Gemstones Link

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Which Science Fiction Franchises Depict Space Warfare the Most Accurately?

Galactica and Pegasus

It's all speculative, of course. Humans have never engaged in a space naval battle...that we know about. Star Trek and the like aren't real, but physics is. So Foreign Policy interviewed naval analyst Chris Weuve about the real science behind interplanetary combat in science fiction:

FPWhat about ships turning in space like airplanes?

CW: Babylon 5 was closer in that it understood that there is no air in space and you don't bank. But even on that show, the ships would be under thrust, and then they decide to go back the way they come, they would spin around and almost immediately start going in the opposite direction. That doesn't work. They ignored the fact that acceleration is cumulative. But I do like that they can rotate in flight and fire sideways. Babylon 5 and the new Battlestar Galactica are far and away the best in trying to portray vector physics. There are a lot of problems with the way they do it, but I'm willing to give them an A for effort.

FPWhich are the most realistic sci-fi movies in portraying space warfare?

CW: There isn't any show that does a really good job across the board. Some do better at different parts. For example, the new Battlestar Galactica is probably the best at depicting life on board a ship. That ship is very spacious compared to a U.S. Navy warship, but the inside of it looks correct. One of my all-time favorite TV shows is Star Trek, especially Star Trek: The Next Generation. But one thing that drives me crazy is that on Star Trek, you're either on watch or off duty, when a real naval officer has a whole other job, such as being a department or division head. So he's constantly doing paperwork. Most shows don't get that right at all.

And which science fiction franchise is the worst in terms of the physics of flight? Star Wars. Read why at the link.

Link -via VA Viper | Image: Balsavor

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Bike Matador


For its latest project, the Carmichael Collective placed a matador in the the bike lanes of Minneapolis to tease riders with a red cape. Then, presumably, he speared them. That's not shown in the photos and the video at the link, but it's safe to assume that the Carmichael Collective sought maximum authenticity.

Link | Carmichael Lynch

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Queen Victoria, Artist

Prince Albert

Among the Queen's talents was a gift for art. Victoria filled her notebooks with sketches and watercolors:

From her subtle yet rich watercolors to her seemingly austere but remarkably expressive black-and-white ink sketches (with a style reminiscent of Wendy MacNaughton’s), the drawings complement her observations of daily life and capture everything from members of the Royal Family to foreign military uniforms to the people and places the Queen encountered during her travels, and even her faithful dog.

Pictured above is Victoria's watercolor of her beloved Prince Albert.


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In Which Nation Is Beer the Cheapest? USA! USA! USA!


Well, of course! Our national anthem began as a drinking song. That's the stock we come from. Behold our awesomeness:

Analysts at UBS, a Swiss bank, have calculated that it takes a German earning the national median wage just under seven minutes of work to purchase half a litre of beer at a retail outlet. At the bottom of the pint glass, low wages and high taxes mean that boozers in India must toil for nearly an hour before they have earned enough to quench their thirst.

Link -via Dave Barry

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Wire Bonsai


Kevin Iris, an artist in Wisconsin, loved to grow bonsai trees. But he found shaping their growth with wire guides too challenging. Sometimes, he had as much wire as he did tree. This inspired him to begin wrapping and folding thousands of wires into metal alternatives.

Link -via Colossal

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Recycled Tire Coffee Table


It's the perfect living room piece for the gearhead in your family. Instructables member bigern00 drilled holes for three wooden legs, then added shaped plywood supports and a wooden top to make this table a sturdy, durable structure.


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Ford's "Wrist Twist" Steering System from 1965

(Video Link

Robert J. Rumpf knew nothing about cars. He was a missile engineer, not an automotive designer. Ford hired him for that reason. Hopefully he'd bring an outside perspective to their design team. Rumpf's work led to this, the "wrist twist" steering system. Instead of one large steering wheel, this car has two small handheld wheels that are twisted like dials. Would you like to drive a car that was equipped with them?

Link -via Retronaut

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Bat Men

Mad MenStarring Roger Sterling as Two-Face, Harley Quinn as Peggy Olson, the Joker as Don Draper, Pete Campell as the Riddler and Joan Holloway as Poison Ivy. Bill Walko made a great cartoon and a great premise for a TV series. But I agree with Jeremy Barker, "it gives too much credit to Pete."

 and Artist's Website -via Popped Culture

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Sluggo, The Street Slug of Ann Arbor


Every now and then, you'll see Sluggo pop up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He's a character created by street artist David Zinn. He's made a mess here, but normally, he's a helpful fellow. You can see more photos of Sluggo's adventures at the link.

Gallery -via MyModernMet

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A Father's Revenge Is Coming


Do you remember the father who carefully prepared a Dr. Seuss book for his daughter over a 13-year period so that she would have the perfect high school graduation gift? Redditor jagknowny is pretty much doing the same thing. But there's a risk--and one that he appears to be aware of: she may sue him for defecation of character.

Link -via Blame It on the Voices

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Shield Turns a Backpack into Body Armor


LaRue Tactical's kevlar composite armored plate might help you stay safe out in the world. The half-inch thick panel slips into standard backpacks and provides level IIIA ballistic protection. That means it can stop a 9mm or .44 magnum round.

Product Page -via The Firearms Blog

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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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