John Farrier's Blog Posts

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How to Turn a Dried Orange Peel into a Box



Sean Michael Ragan of Make read that it was possible to dry and shape the skin of an orange into a functional box. Although his is not as impressive as the one above, he was able to prove that it could be done. Ragan writes:

The original description mentions that the peels are “squeezed thin” after soaking, but before forming and drying, which is something I haven’t attempted yet. How, I wonder, do you squeeze an intact hemispherical citrus peel into a thin layer without damaging it?


Link via Make | Photo: Grand Illusions

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Dairy Princess is Lactose Intolerant

Even in this modern and, one would hope, civilized age, people would reject intolerance. But it is not so -- nay, not even in something as mundane as the competition for Washington State Dairy Ambassador:

She has to have worked on a dairy farm or shown dairy cows for FFA or 4-H. She must be single. She must be a legal resident of Washington. She must have a neat, professional appearance without any tattoos or piercings.

These are all the requirements of being a Washington State Dairy Ambassador. As strict as some of these requirements are, one requirement that might seem logical is missing — namely, that she be able to consume dairy products.

Laurel Gordon, 18, a senior at Elma High School, was Grays Harbor County's Dairy Ambassador for 2010 to 2011 and is a contestant for the state dairy ambassador title in next month's competition. She is also a lactose intolerant dairy princess.


Link via Stuff | Photo by Flickr user ShardsofBlue used under Creative Commons license

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Physics Student Casts Doubt on the Realism of My Little Pony Cartoon


(Video Link)


Although some television shows demonstrate an obvious departure from scientific realism (e.g. Stargate SG-1, Battlestar Galactica), you may be surprised that the highly-rated cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is not an accurate presentation of physics -- at least as it is currently understood. For a class project, YouTube user beatledude64 explained, in great physical and mathematical detail, how My Little Pony bends good science for the sake of storytelling.

via Boing Boing

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Lawyer Files Motion to Have Buxom Woman Removed from Courtroom Because She's Too Distracting

A court in Illinois is addressing a unique issue. An employee of one of the attorneys in a civil case sat at the front of the courtroom, and opposing counsel considers her non-taxable assets to be distracting. He has filed a motion to have her removed to the gallery:

That Defendant's counsel is anecdotally familiar with the tactics and theatrics of Plaintiff's counsel, [redacted]. Such behavior includes having a large breasted woman sit next to him at counsel's table during the course of the trial. There is no evidence whatsoever that this woman has any legal training whatsoever, and the sole purpose of her presence at Plaintiff's Counsel's table is to draw the attention of the jury away from the relevant proceedings before this court, obviously prejudicing the Defendant's in this or any other cause. Until it is shown that this woman has any sort of legal background, she should be required to sit in the gallery with the rest of the spectators and be barred from sitting at counsel's table during the course of this trial.


You can read the response filed by the woman's employer at the link. He disputes that there is any legal basis for her removal.

Link via Lowering the Bar | Photo by Flickr user steakpinball used under Creative Commons license

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Sleep at Work




Miss Cellania has scheduled tomorrow morning's Neatorama staff meeting for only three hours, but we all know that's an optimistic estimate. I'd better come prepared, and thanks to this design by Kawamura Ganjavian, I can. Here's how the "Ostrich" works:

OSTRICH offers a micro environment in which to take a warm and comfortable power nap at ease. It is neither a pillow nor a cushion, nor a bed, nor a garment, but a bit of each at the same time. Its soothing cave-like interior shelters and isolates our head and hands (mind, senses and body) for a few minutes, without needing to leave our desk.


Link via Gizmodo

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"Bohemian Rhapsody" Told in Rage Comics


(Video Link)


Sheer genius. Andy Graulund and Matt Miles created a music video for Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" using only exploitable image macro memes. If you're not sure what these images are, then (1) consult Know Your Meme and (2) you're not spending enough time on the Internet. Remedy that problem forthwith. There will be a quiz tomorrow, and it is worth half of your semester grade.

Link via Geekosystem

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AK-47 Turned into a Guitar



César López, a sculptor from Colombia, takes rifles formerly used by paramilitary units in his country and turns them into guitars:

The idea came to Lopez back in 2003 when, while playing in front of a Bogota country club, he witnessed a car bomb explode. In the ensuing confusion, he noticed how the army guards all carried their rifles in a manner that resembled the way he carried his guitar and out of that explosion came the first escopetarra—a Winchester rifle/Fender Stratocaster hybrid.


The Vice President of Colombia donated a dozen AK-47s to López to encourage his art. At the link, you can see photos of other rifle-guitars that he's made and a video of him performing music on one of them.

Link via Geekologie | Photo: Guns.com

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Long Exposure Photographs of Airplane Takeoffs



Terence Chang photographed planes taking off from an airport in San Francisco. By using long exposure times, he made the planes' lights look like tendrils reaching across the sky.

Link via Colossal

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Chicago Train Map Tattoo



As a testament for his love of Chicago, this man had a map of the city's train system tattooed on his arm:

I absolutely LOVE Chicago. It makes me so extremely happy and proud to call myself a citizen of this amazing city.

I got this because, not only is it such a staple of Chicago, but also because fellow Chicagoans can recognize it immediately.


Link

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Fascinating! A Spock Quilt



This 82 by 52 inch quilt was made by Carol of FunThreads for a quilting fair. She adapted an image of Spock from a pumpkin carving template. You can read instructions for making your own at the link.

Link via Dude Craft

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After 112 Years, New York Times Issues a Correction

It took them a while, but the New York Times considered it a point of honor to ensure that the error-ridden 29 June 1899 obituary for Lt. M. K. Schwenk (USN) was publicly corrected. James Barron writes:

If journalism is indeed the first rough draft of history, there is always time to revise, polish and perfect, even if pinning down the details about Lieutenant Schwenk after so many years turned out to be less than straightforward.


A descendant of Lt. Schwenk wrote in to inform the Times that many details in its obituary were wrong. So the Times assigned a reporter to spend months writing a carefully-verified obituary for the young Spanish-American War veteran who died of appendicitis on Manhattan. You can read of Schwenk's adventures at the link.

Link via Glenn Reynolds | Photo: Sigma Chi Fraternity

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Giant Bug!


(Video Link)


It's a Heteropteryx dilatata, more commonly known as a Malaysian Jungle Nymph. At six inches long, these critters are among the biggest insects in the world. They eat bramble, leaves, and unattended children.

Link via Ace of Spades HQ

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Into the Abyss





I ran across these haunting, frightening images at Colossal last week. They're the work of Isaac Cordal, who creates and poses tiny cement sculptures to reveal a dystopian vision of a sinking world. When he's done photographing them, Cordal leaves the figures in place:

Many of my sculptures I leave on the street, usually pasted on walls. They become part of the ornamentation of some cities. Their survival in the street depends on many factors. Their main predators are cleaning services, weekend thieves (they become an alcoholic's Olympics games), or curious people who think that street art is only for them. Street art is for everyone, not for one. It is here to stay in the streets.


Artist Website and Interview via Colossal

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Star Wars Crayon Sculptures



These marvelous sculptures of Star Wars characters have been attributed to an artist named Steve Thompson. The detailed work on the stormtrooper helmet is particularly nice.

via blastr | Previously: Crayon Sculpture

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New Elevators Sort Users by Rank

Elevator technology is taking a great leap forward from what you're probably used to. Newer models can be accessed by swiping ID cards and programmed and controlled by managers, either to give priority to certain users or track who is going where:

In downtown Denver at 1999 Broadway, a 43-story building, a law firm requested that the elevator have the capability to keep its attorneys away from employees of an office of the Internal Revenue Service with which it shares an elevator bank, says Jeff Blain, a Schindler sales manager who worked on the project.

At the 55-story Bank of America Building, at One Bryant Park in New York City, elevators can let bank VIPs ride separately from rank-and-file staff, says Michael Landis, Schindler vice president of marketing. Many of the bank's senior executives work on the 50th floor and are typically directed to their own elevator anyway, making the technology unnecessary. "But it's one of the features that they particularly liked and its one of the key features that won us the contract," Mr. Landis says.


Trying to hide from your boss? That's not going to work anymore:

The elevators at the 13-story Curtis Center in downtown Philadelphia, are built so the most senior executives can punch into the computer that they would like to see certain employees upon arrival. When employees swipe their ID cards to call the elevator in the lobby, they can be rerouted to the boss's floor.


Link via Geekosystem | Photo by Flickr user notacrime used under Creative Commons license

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Food Chain



Snyder, a street artist in Carlsbad, California, added a bit of stencil work to a weathered wall to create this image. It's called "Eddie the Great Gray."

Link via Copyranter | Artist's Website

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Japanese Sword Pistol



What is this thing? I'm having trouble tracking down an authoritative source (or even the origin of this photograph), but here's what's written on the sign:

This unusual item was captured by US forces during the Pacific Campaigns of World War II. It consists of a pistol known as the 7mm "Baby Nambu" and a samurai sword blade. This item was not a standard Japanese Army item and it is believed that the owner had it fabricated on his own initiative. It is further believed that it was intended to be used in frontal-type assaults.


Well, it's not a bad idea. But it has one obvious flaw: no place to mount a scope. I mean, really, who wants to go into battle with a sword pistol with only iron sights?

via MArooned

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Sonic the Hedgehog Flipbook


(Video Link)


What are you doing for the next hour? Good, because you've got a lot of entertainment ahead of you. YouTube user BloodyRenegadeX's channel is packed with great flipbook animations, such as this one about Sonic the Hedgehog.

YouTube Channel via Geekologie

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Star Wars-Themed Food Truck



You ate food from that thing? You're braver than I thought. Appropriately, the truck is called the Grillenium Falcon, and there's a fried sandwich on the side is shaped like the Millennium Falcon. It's operated by Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese in Fayetteville, Arkansas. What do you think should be on the menu?

Link via Super Punch | Photo: redditpoweruser

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Enormous LEGO Star Wars Diorama



Do you remember the scene in The Return of the Jedi when Emperor Palpatine arrived at the second Death Star? Using a huge supply of minifigs and a detailed setting totaling 30,000 pieces, LEGO artist Jay Hoff recreated it. You can see several other photographs at the link.

Link via The Mary Sue

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Steel Jack Sparrow Sculpture



At 2.7 meters in height, Krittayakorn Chaijit's sculpture of Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean is perfect for the tasteful living room. It's made from recycled car and machine parts and coated with lacquer to protect it from rust. At Chaijit's website, you can see his other sculptures of Optimus Prime, the alien queen from Alien, and the Predator.

Link via Technabob | Artist's Website

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Steampunk Music Box Spider Sculpture



CatherinetteRings, an Etsy seller from Montreal, made this music box that looks like a robotic spider. When wound, it plays "Frère Jacques." I think that taxidermed eye really sets it apart from other steampunk spider music boxes.

Link via Boing Boing

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Star Wars Brand Logos



Barn Bocock remade six corporate logos for Star Wars fans. You can probably guess what Pizza Hut was turned into.

Link via Fanboy

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Phil Kirkland's Surreal Textbook Illustrations



Back in the early 1970s, an illustrator named Phil Kirkland created some amazing textbook illustrations, mostly for psychology and health books. Pictured above is his "Moving from Youth to Adulthood". I think that I missed this section of adolescence, because I don't remember it at all.

Link via Ace of Spades HQ

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Shaving with a Helicopter


(Video Link)


Back when I drove a forklift for a living, we had driving contests, like picking up and transporting an egg without breaking it. Helicopter pilots, however, are a more daring breed, as you can see from this video. Among other tricks, the pilot shaved a man on the ground. No -- not with the blades of his aircraft. Presumably he's still working on that stunt. Rather, the pilot had a safety razor attached to a landing strut and maneuvered the chopper so that he shaved a volunteer's face without drawing blood.

via Geekosystem

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Markus Reugels's Water Drops



German photographer Markus Reugels specializes in high-speed photography, and captures a lot of images of water drops. By adding chemicals to the water and raising his shutter speed to one sixteen thousandth of a second, he's been able to take some truly amazing shots:

By thickening the water with guar gum he was also able to alter the shape of the splashes, making some of them take on the bizarre look of something from a science-fiction film or a nuclear mushroom cloud.

The shapes, which varied from 3cm to 15cm, were altered even further by adding sugar and, by putting rinse aid in the dish, he was able to increase the height of the droplet splashes.


His images on Flickr are really amazing. You really should check them out.

Article Link and Flickr Photostream via reddit

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14 Facts You Might Not Know about The Addams Family

Ah, The Addams Family! Although this show lasted only two years -- 1964 through 1966 -- it has endured as a pop culture phenomenon, spawning movies, cartoons, revivals, and comics. Let's take a look at some things you might not know about that show.  

1. The show was preceded by the one-panel cartoons of Charles Addams, which made their debut in The New Yorker in 1937. These works of dark humor featured the same characters that would later grace the show. Addams was known as a man of ghoulish if playful interests, and his house was filled with instruments of torture and medieval weapons, particularly crossbows. He hoped to someday put his crossbow collection to practical use:

“I have this fantasy,” he said, smiling, “A robber breaks into my apartment and just as he comes through the door, I get him -- right through the neck. Always through the neck.”

2. John Astin, who played Gomez Addams, was initially offered the role of Lurch.  

3. Astin’s crazed, maniacal look as Gomez Addams had prior service. While living in a rough neighborhood of New York City, he would get between his apartment and the subway station safely by acting a bit deranged. No one bothered him.

4. Fans sometimes stop Astin, speak French to him, and expect him to react as Gomez did when Morticia spoke the language of love. Ringo Starr from The Beatles once grabbed Astin’s arm and started kissing up its length before Astin stopped him from going past his elbow.







(Video Link)

5. Ted Cassidy released a 45 rpm single consisting of a dance song called “The Lurch”. Here he is demonstrating it on a 1965 episode of the variety show Shindig!

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Star Wars Bathroom Tilework



Emily Jagoda, an architect, designed this bathroom's tilework. It's for kids, but I'd love to have it in mine.

Link via Technabob | Jagoda's Website

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Close-Up Footage of a Mosquito Sucking Blood


(Video Link)


For the first twenty seconds, she bores her way in. Then she starts to tank up, and her body swells with blood. This is an everyday event, but it's so fascinating at this close-up view.

via First Things

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Human-Powered Helicopter


(Video Link)


Students at the University of Maryland build a functional helicopter that is powered only by human exertion:

The X-shaped helicopter, called Gamera, has 42-foot diameter rotors at each end of 60-foot long crossbars. A pilot's module is suspended from the middle, where Wexler, a biology student, sat and pedaled with feet and hands. Pilot included, the contraption weighs just over 200 pounds.


Judy Wexler pedaled hard enough to lift the craft (just barely) off the ground for four seconds. Skip ahead to three minutes into the video to see the flight.

Link via Walyou

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