John Farrier's Blog Posts

Security Company Uses Box to Show How Easy It Is to Break into Your Home

The security company ADT wanted to convince apartment and condo owners in Santiago, Chile that it's really easy to break into their homes. So the ad agency DDB made spring-loaded boxes and shoved them under the front doors of prospective customers. At the link, you can see a video from the ad agency showing how they work.

Link via Geekosystem | Photo: Copyranter

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New T-Shirts from the NeatoShop:

Old Computer Monitor Turned into Dog Bed

Flickr user Monica Wagner turned an old computer monitor into a bed for her dog, Zelda. At the link, you can view fourteen images of it. Sometimes the cat takes over.

Link via Gizmodo

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Boukje Voet's Book Sculptures

Dutch artist Boukje Voet shreds books into elaborate sculptures. Pictured above is the novel Catching Butterflies (according to Google Translate), which Voet shaped accordingly.

Link (in Dutch) via DudeCraft

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Boat Made of Chocolate

(Video Link)

To settle a bet, chocolatier Georges Larnicol built and launched a boat made from chocolate. The 3.5 meter craft managed to stay afloat with three people inside for an hour and a half.

It wasn't the 55-year-old's first attempt to set sail in a chocolate boat.

In August his plans were scuppered when his Chocolate boat Mark I broke into pieces.

But Mark II, which took more than 400 hours to construct, met with more success and pleased with the outcome, Larnicol is promising to build a bigger 12-metre boat complete with chocolate mask for 2012.

Link via The Presurfer

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Suspect Denies Owning Cocaine Found In His Butt

A man in Bradenton, Florida was arrested after a police search revealed illegal narcotics hidden in his bottom. When the drugs were discovered, the suspect denied owning them:

Roberts quickly disavowed ownership of the cocaine. “The white stuff is not mine, but the weed is,” he claimed, adding that the crack in his crack was the property of a friend who had previously borrowed the car and left the drug on the passenger seat. Roberts explained that when he was pulled over for speeding, he concealed the second bag of narcotics.

Link via Ace of Spades HQ | Photo by Flickr user Valerie Everett used under Creative Commons license

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Shotgun Shell Shotglass

Made By Ammo crafts shotglasses that are shaped like shotgun shells. They're made of stainless steel and weigh about a quarter pound each.

Link -- Thanks, Uncle!

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20 Unusual Century-Old Gadgets

Maurice Collins, a retired businessman in London, has an extensive collection of odd historical gadgets, most of them from the 19th or early 20th Centuries. The Daily Mail has a photo gallery of sixteen of these inventions, such as the pictured mustache protector:

Having a bushy moustache has always been something of an obstacle to refined dining - particularly when it came to mulligatawny soup. The answer was to use a moustache protector, spoon or cup - designed with a hole for the mustachioed man to sip through.

Link via Gizmodo | Photo: Daily Mail

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Blimps Big Enough to Haul Buildings

Skylifter is an Australian start-up company that hopes to use enormous blimps to move pieces of equipment to places not easily accessible by roads:

Heavy-transport helicopters, such as the Mil Mi-26 or Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane, address some of these difficulties, but their payloads are limited to 20 and nine tonnes, respectively, and the huge rotors create a powerful downdraft that makes handling that payload rather tricky. So people have long been looking for other ways round the problem. Now, Skylifter, an Australian aeronautical firm, thinks it has found the perfect solution.

The company is developing a piloted dirigible capable of carrying loads of up to 150 tonnes over distances as great as 2,000km (1,240 miles) at a speed of 45 knots (83kph). This would permit the craft to transport not just hefty components, but entire buildings, to remote areas. The company envisages modules ranging from rural hospitals and disaster-relief centres to luxury airborne cruise ships.

Link via Popular Science | Image: Skylifter

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Remembering Neil Alan Smith

Neil Alan Smith, 48, was a dishwasher at a Crab Shack in St. Petersburg, Florida. When he was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver, the St. Petersburg Times reported the story. An online commenter to the story responded:

A man who is working as a dishwasher at the Crab Shack at the age of 48 is surely better off dead.

The newspaper editors were deeply offended at this gross dismissal of the value of a human life, and responded by publishing a full obituary for Mr. Smith. He was a private man, but noted among a small circle of friends for working hard and sharing with those in need:

"He set his boundaries," said Peggy Rogers, 56, his roommate of six years. "He didn't pry into your business, so you just kind of respected that and you didn't do that to him."

He told friends he had been married and divorced, had managed a gas station in New Hampshire before moving to Florida in 1999. He got a concession stand job at Derby Lane, then started working at the Crab Shack.

He lived in a mobile home near the restaurant and paid rent to the owner, Bonnie Schaeffer-Mott. Once, when she feared the power company would shut off the electricity, she asked Mr. Smith for help.

He gave her more than what she had asked to borrow and insisted she take it. "I'll never forget that," said Schaeffer-Mott, 51.

Every life matters.

Link via Geekosystem | Photo: Tampa Bay Online

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Michael Rianda's "Work"

(Video Link)

"Work" is a short film by Michael Rianda about a young boy who wants a pair of shoes. He wants them so badly that he's willing to slowly die in a cubicle trying to earn money for them.

via Urlesque | Rianda's Website

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Man Gets Probation in Wrong-Car Defecation

For unknown reasons, Austin Horries Purifoy, 19, wanted to relieve himself in the backseat of his girlfriend's car. Unfortunately, he selected the wrong car:

Leaving work late the night of March 11, the car's owner reported finding Purifoy in the back seat of his Honda Civic, pulling up his underwear.

"This is your car?" Purifoy said before bolting the scene, according to documents filed in court. "I thought this was Desiree's car."

Link via Althouse | Photo of unrelated Honda Civic via Flickr user Dave_7 used under Creative Commons license

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Pulsating iPhone Umbilical Cord

(Video Link)

Japanese artist Mio I-zawa, the man responsible for the mechanical tumor computer peripheral, made this umbilical cord for the iPhone. It recharges a phone while quivering ominously.

via Pink Tentacle | Artist's Website

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Cutting Open an Animal and Crawling Inside to Survive During a Storm in the Wild

Have you ever had to cut open an animal and crawl inside in order to survive during a storm? You know -- like how Han Solo cut open a tauntaun and shoved Luke Skywalker inside during a snowstorm on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back?

No? Well then, have I got a blog for you! Cutting Open an Animal and Crawling Inside to Survive a Storm in the Wild is a blog devoted entirely providing practical instructions on choosing the right animal, the right blade, and making the most of your gushy, gory survival experience. There are many animals to choose from, including the luckdragon -- a creature from the book and movie The Neverending Story. Approach the luckdragon with the right bait:

Falkor in particular is trusting of human children. Thus, if you get lost taking a class of kindergarteners to search for Uyulala the Southern Oracle, and a storm that may or may not be the work of the evil sorceress Xayide is rolling in from the north, have one of them summon Falkor.

With luck, he will find you, and when he does, his luck will run out. Use a long serrated blade to saw him open from chin to tail. Work fast, this will be a traumatic moment for the kids. Consider distracting them by pretending that a rock in the distance is the werewolf Gmork coming to steal their souls.

After the incision is made, remove the guts and herd the children inside.

Link via Nerdcore | Image: Warner Bros.

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Advertising with a Power Washer

Green Street Media is a British ad agency that emphasizes eco-friendly advertising. One medium that it uses consists of applying stenciled designs and a power washer to dirty London sidewalks. The company estimates that an ad should remain legible for 3-5 months.

Link via DudeCraft | Company Website | Photo: Core77

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Google Street View Now Covers Antarctica

Google Street View began in 2007 with images from 5 U.S. cities. Now the project is starting its photographic mapping of Antarctica:

Three years later, we’re happy to announce that you can now explore Street View imagery on all seven continents, with the addition today of Brazil, Ireland and Antarctica. You can now see images from around the world spanning from the beaches of Brazil, to the moors of Ireland, to the icy terrain in Antarctica.

Link and Antarctic Maps via DVICE | Image: Google

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Japanese Company Plans to Use Submarines to Stop Typhoons

A Japanese company is considering using submarines to diminish the power of typhoons that hit that nation:

The idea is to use a fleet of around 20 submarines in front of the gathering storm, each fitted with eight pumps capable of shooting 480 tonnes of cold water a minute. The submarines would dive to a depth of 30 meters and pump water from that depth onto the surface of the sea to lower the surface temperature.

Company executive Koichi Kitamura, who came up with the idea, said that in an hour a fleet of 20 submarines could lower the temperature of 57,000 square meters of surface water enough to diminish the strength of the typhoon, which needs an ocean temperature of 25 to 27 degrees Celsius to form and keep spinning. He said the scheme should be able to stop a typhoon in its tracks.

Link via Popular Science | Photo (unrelated) by Flickr user DVIDSHUB used under Creative Commons license

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Giant, Driveable Radio Flyer Wagon

Fred Geller and Judy Foster of Anchorage, Alaska, needed a retirement project. They settled on building a giant version of the classic Radio Flyer toy wagon. It's built on the chassis of a 1976 Mazda pickup truck, so it can move under its own power.

Fred Keller and Judy Foster worked on the car for 11 months, and finished in August of this year, and their ride has been turning heads.[...]

The wheels are made from hub caps and detergent bottles, and the steering wheel is the actual wheel from a wagon. The handle rises eight feet high.

At the photo gallery link, you can view eight pictures of the wagon under construction.

Story Link and Photo Gallery via Geekologie | Photo: KTUU

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DUI Scooters

There's a store in Clearwater, Florida that has a unique sign. It reads "DUI Scooters". This scooter dealership caters to people who have lost their driver's licenses, but need transportation. Under the law, riders of low-powered scooters don't need a license:

They have pedals, which may or may not be used, and run for up to 25 miles on an electric charge. They fit a state and federal description of "low-speed electric bicycles." Sunset Scooters gives customers copies of the law, recommending they laminate it and keep it with them.

"At first, we had some trouble with law enforcement basically not understanding what these were," Vitello said. "Even some judges were completely mystified. But now they all seem to be on board.

Link via Marginal Revolution | Photo: St. Petersburg Times

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India Uses Monkey Security Guards

India has deployed large langur monkeys in Delhi to serve as security guards during the upcoming Commonwealth Games. They will chase smaller monkeys away from sporting venues in the city:

From Wednesday, 10 langurs will be put on duty outside several Games venues in the Indian capital, with the swimming complex seen as particularly vulnerable to monkey misbehavior, an official said.

The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has a regular team of 28 langurs which are used to scare away their weaker brethren in VIP areas of the city.[...]

Monkeys are a common sight in the verdant Indian capital, where they routinely scamper through government offices, courts and even police stations and hospitals.

Link via Hit & Run | Photo (unrelated) via Flickr user mckaysavage used under Creative Commons license

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Super Mario Bros. Sheet Music

Joseph Karam, a fan of Koji Kondo's musical score for Super Mario Bros., discovered that there is no complete body of sheet music for the game. So he decided to create a professional-level transcription:

[...] I pulled out my professional engraving software and embarked on a meticulous and uncompromising transcription project that involved (i) transcribing every pitch and rhythm while listening to the original 8-bit NES recordings hundreds of times, voice by voice, note by note, in a loop, (ii) rigorously cross-checking my work with several of the best transcription attempts out there, (iii) arranging the visual layout and pagination for clear readability, and (iv) optimizing the piano fingering by learning the pieces myself and playing them every day for several months.

Link via Geekosystem | Image: Joseph Karam

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The Fastest Lawn Mower in the World

(Video Link)

Last weekend, American Bobby Cleveland took his lawn mower out to the Bonneville Salt Flats and accelerated to a record-breaking 96.529 MPH. This performance took the title away from British driver Don Wales, who had reached a speed of 87.833 MPH on his lawn mower.

Link via The Presurfer

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The Fighter Pilot Who Shot Himself Down

On 21 September 1956, test pilot Tom Attridge was flying Grumman's new F-11F-1 Tiger. He fired a burst from his 20mm cannon while diving and accelerating. The cockpit was then struck by an outside object. Attridge immediately radioed that he was returning to base. While attempting to land, the jet lost power and crash-landed on the runway. Attridge, thankfully, escaped safely. A subsequent examination found three bullet impacts and one intact 20mm bullet in the plane. Attridge had managed to shoot his own fighter down:

How did this happen? The combination of conditions reponsible for the event was (1) the decay in projectile velocity and trajectory drop; (2) the approximate 0.5-G descent of the F11F, due in part to its nose pitching down from firing low-mounted guns; (3) alignment of the boresight line of 0° to the line of flight. With that 0.5-G dive, Attridge had flown below the trajectory of his bullets and, 11 seconds later, flew through them as their flight paths met..

Link via View From The Porch | Photo:

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Twitter's New Design Is Based on the Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio is a mathematical constant that, since the Renaissance, artists have incorporated into their works as an expression of aesthetic perfection. Doug Bowman of Twitter says that the site's redesign is directly based upon it:

To anyone curious about #NewTwitter proportions, know that we didn't leave those ratios to chance.

This, of course, only applies to the narrowest version of the UI. If your browser window is wider, your details pane will expand to provide greater utility, throwing off these proportions. But the narrowest width shows where we started, ratio-wise.

Link via Gizmodo | Image: Doug Bowman

Previously: The Amen Break and the Golden Ratio

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US Army to End Bayonet Training

The use of the bayonet has been part of basic training since the beginning of US military history. Although its use in combat has becoming increasingly less common, US Army trainers had kept it in place for psychological reasons:

“Traditionally in the 20th century – certainly after World War I – bayonet training was basically designed to develop in soldiers aggressiveness, courage, and preparation for close combat,” says Richard Kohn, professor of military history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Bayonet training is, in short, used to undo socialization – to “basically to try to mitigate or eradicate the reluctance of human beings to kill each other,” Mr. Kohn says. It is one of the challenges in US or Western society “where we have such reverence for the individual, where we socialize our people to believe in the rule of law, and all of that,” he adds. “What you’re doing with young people is trying to get them used to the highly emotional and irrational and adrenaline-filled situations in which they are liable to find themselves whether they are within sight of the enemy or not – and the reluctance to take a life.”

Nonetheless, the US Army has decided to eliminate bayonet training from its basic training program and to use that time developing other skills.

Link via Glenn Reynolds | Image of the 65th Infantry during the Korean War via of the US Department of Defense

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Surprised Vader

(Video Link)

Remember the "surprised kitty" video (below) that made it around the Internet a few months ago? It shows a kitten playing with a human in fairly superior kitten cuteness. YouTube user CapnPeteStraw offers this parody, featuring an adorable baby Darth Vader. (via GearFuse)

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If Celebrities Went by Their Real Names

Ross Luippold of The Huffington Post photoshopped nine movie posters, album covers, and title cards that imagined a world in which celebrities went by their real names instead of their stage names. Tom Cruise's real name is Thomas Mapother?

Link via Geekosystem

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Augumented Reality T-Shirt Suggests What It's Like to Be Shot

(Video Link)

The World Wildlife Fund created augmented reality t-shirts in an effort to raise awareness of the threat that poachers pose to Siberian tigers. When people in trendy clothing stores in Moscow tried on the shirts in front of mirrors, the mirrors displayed images of the wearer getting shot in the chest.

via Gizmodo

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23-Foot LEGO Aircraft Carrier

Ed Diment built a LEGO Minifig scale (that's 1:40) aircraft carrier modeled after the Essex-class carrier USS Intrepid (CV-11). It will be on display at BrickCon this weekend in Seattle.

Link | Photo: Ed Diment | Previously: LEGO Aircraft Carrier in Water

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Chinese Bullet Train Sets New Speed Record

A commuter train between Shanghai and Hangzhou set a new speed record yesterday. It reached 258.86 MPH during its journey:

"The new record of 416.6 km per hour shows that China has achieved a new milestone in high-speed train technologies," Zhang Shuguang, deputy chief engineer of the Ministry of Railways, was quoted as saying.

The rail service has been largely unsuccessful in attracting customers due to high ticket prices. Its managers hope that this new record will counteract that problem.

Link via Popular Science | Photo (unrelated) via Flickr user occam used under Creative Commons license

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Bond Bike Has Flamethrower, Ejector Seat

(Video Link)

The B.O.N.D. (Build of Notorious Deterrents) Bike is a bicycle that comes equipped for many commuting situations. Should you encounter heavy snow, the rear tracks and forward skis will propel you forward when your tires lose traction. An ejector seat and a flamethrower mounted into the handlebars helps the rider address interpersonal conflicts. The bicycle is not available for sale, but it will go on public display at a bike show in London next week.

Link via DVICE

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Profile for John Farrier

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