John Farrier's Blog Posts

Tremble before the Greatness of the Stachentar

A friend of redditor burnworldburn28 made this image for a mustache growing competition. The only sad thing about this photo is that it's not a family portrait.

Link -via Geekosystem

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The Swedish Christmas Straw Goat

Christmas is less than a month away, so it's time to put up your Christmas straw goat. That's what the town of Gävle, Sweden has done every year since 1966, although residents support the practice for different reasons:

Half of the people take pride in the giant animal, while the other half take equal pride in attempting to burn it down. To date, the goat has been burnt down more times than it has survived the Christmas period. Large sums of money apparently change hands, as people bet on whether it will survive, or how long it lasts before being burnt down and previous attempts to sabotage it have even included the bribing of security guards

Link -via The Agitator | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Plush Marshmallows

Marshmallows have a rough life; their best case scenario is to get eaten. In inexperienced hands, the little white bundles of sugar can meet a fiery end, as Etsy seller Brittany illustrates with her marshmallow plushes.

Link -via Super Punch

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Pocket Size Espresso Machine

Instructables user urant built a self contained espresso machine that fits in his pocket. An alcohol stove provides the heat. That part required a lot of tinkering in order to be both safe and effective. The end result is a portable machine that brews a cup of espresso in just a few minutes.

Link -via Make

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Ramen Cup Transformer

(Video Link)

To celebrate the fortieth anniversary of its Cup Noodle line, Nissen Foods is building an army of transforming robots. When not in Kill All Humans Mode, they look like harmless cups of ramen sitting in your pantry.

Link (Google Translate) -via That's Nerdalicious!

Previously: Nissen Cup Noodle Ad Featuring Yoda

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The Well of Death

(Video Link)

Driving in a bowl isn't new, but neither is this rickety track made from salvaged wood. The Mauth Ka Kuan or Well of Death from a circus in India features spectacularly fearless drivers. Skip about two minutes into the video to watch them get truly insane.


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BBC Builds Dalek Model That Imitates the Actions of On-Screen Daleks

When the Daleks on TV speak, your toy Dalek speaks. When the Daleks on TV move, yours moves. When the Daleks on TV exterminate humans, yours exterminates humans. It is indeed a flawless plan:

It works through TVs or set-top boxes that are internet enabled, sending out Wi-Fi signals to any device in the home that can also connect to the internet.

The successful trial, involving two foot high Daleks, was revealed by BBC research and development bosses in the industry journal Broadcast.

Project director Adrian Woolard said: "It's a playful illustration that shows the possibilities that exist to producers when we start to think about future connectivity in a home environment in which all devices will be IP (internet) connected.

"Effectively this puts another actor in the living room, enabling a production team to write a script and include it as part of the viewer's experience."

You can watch a video of the toy at DVICE.

Link -via DVICE | Image: BBC

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Beautiful but Deadly Snakes

Mark Laita composed a series of photographs of dangerous snakes from across the world. My favorite image is this one of the rhinoceros viper, a snake found in West and Central Africa.

Link -via My Modern Met | Photographer's Website

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South Korea Builds Robot Prison Guards

In order to control its population of rebellious human prisoners, South Korea's Ministry of Justice plans to test robot prison guards:

The robots are designed to patrol the corridors of corrective institutions, monitoring conditions inside the cells. If they detect sudden or unusual activity such as violent behavior they alert human guards.

The government should keep in mind that, with rising energy prices around the world, such a program could be expensive to maintain. There are, however, alternative energy sources.

Link -via Technabob | Photo: Yonhag

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Thanksgiving Dinner on the Death Star

It was supposed to be a fun family holiday, but things got tense yesterday. Really, Luke and Leia just can't seem to let go of the past when Vader is trying to hard to rebuild relationships. Photographer Stephen Hayford was on the scene for a portrait, but ended up taking a more revealing shot of family drama.

Link -via That's Nerdalicious! | Photographer's Website

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It's A Good Thing That He Had a Safety School

Harvey Wax failed to get into Princeton's law school, but he did get into Harvard's and went on to have a successful career. His letter, kept for many years in his family, was recently published in an anthology of rejection letters edited by Bill Shapiro. In an interview about this letter, Wax said "If you don’t get rejected, you don’t reach out even further, you don’t stretch yourself."

Link -via Letters of Note

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Bicycle Wheel Animation

(Video Link)

As part of her dissertation project, art student Katy Beveridge attempted to discern "whether it was possible to film animation in realtime." You can see from the zoetropes that she made with bicycle wheels that it definitely is. Clever soundtracking subtly enhances the visual effects, especially the scene with the mechanical hammers.

Artist's Website (warning: auto-sound) -via Colossal

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Salmon Crossing a Road

(Video Link)

There was only about an inch of water, but it was enough for these salmon in Mason County, Washington to participate in amphibious operations training. It's time to choose sides.

Link -via Blame It on the Voices

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Lucky Iron Fish Saves Lives in Cambodia

Anemia is a serious problem in Cambodia, leading to birth defects and impaired brain development. Chris Charles, a graduate student at the University of Guelph in Canada, was trying to persuade villagers there to increase the amount of iron in their diet. A simple solution would be to stir chunks of iron inside cooking pots, but Charles encountered serious resistance to this idea. His solution, which gained broad acceptance, was to shape the iron like a local fish considered lucky:

“We designed it about 3 or 4 inches long, small enough to be stirred easily but large enough to provide up to about 75 per cent of the daily iron requirement,” said Charles. They found a local scrap metal worker who could make them for $1.50 each, and so far they have been reusing the fish roughly three years.

“We’re getting fantastic results; there seems to be a huge decrease in anemia and the village women say they feel good, no dizziness, fewer headaches. The iron fish is incredibly powerful.”

Link -via @MarilynTerrell | Photo: Christopher Charles

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Pumpkin Pie Cooked inside a Pumpkin

Blogger Brooklyn Supper suggests adding a bit of butternut or kabocha squash to a conventional pumpkin pie recipe for added flavor. You can read her recipe at the link.

This gives me a crafting/cooking idea: a pumpkin pie cooked inside a pumpkin then carved into a jack-o'-lantern.

Link -via Tasteologie

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Alcoholic Law Books

The people at Bender Bound, Inc. used to be attorneys at a big law firm, so they understand the importance of at-work refreshment. They alter thick professional books that will never be opened -- until you need a drink. Although their product range originally focused on law books, they've branched out into a variety of categories listed on their page, including this one:

You're better off with a flask from the NeatoShop.

Link -via Lowering the Bar

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Microsoft Cart Offers Free Bacon to Amazon Employees in the Hope of Luring Them Away

Microsoft wants to hire the best engineers for its Kinect project, but that's hard when there are so many tech companies in the Seattle area vying for prospective employees. It hired the ad agency Wexley School for Girls to find a solution. The agency did so: bacon. Wexley set up a food cart outside of's headquarters and invited workers there to have some bacon:

The promo made its debut today in the shadow of headquarters in South Lake Union, where a stream of bacon lovers braved the downpour for free strips of Swinery pepper bacon.

Also free were toppings, including spray cheese, Sriracha, peanut butter, maple syrup and chocolate sauce.

Serious candidates may even get a bacon air freshener.

I just looked outside the door and there's no cart from anyone in front of the Neatorama office. I feel a bit unloved.

Link -via DVICE | Photo: Brier Dudley/Seattle Times

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Watch Brine Icicle form at the Bottom of the Sea

(Video Link)

Scientists in Antarctica used a time-lapse camera to capture the formation of a brinicle -- an icicle made from brine. As the salty water sank, it froze, forming a spike of brine down to the seafloor. As it grew over several hours, the brinicle killed everything in its path, including numerous unlucky starfish.

Link -via Geekosystem

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Teenager Arrested for Drunk Driving Blames Her Boyfriend for Not Taking Her to See the New Twilight Movie

An eighteen year old girl in Aurora, Illinois was arrested for drunk driving and driving without a tire on one of her wheels. But she had a good reason:

She told deputies she was extremely upset with her boyfriend because she did not get to see the new “Twilight” movie as they were supposed to do, according to a police report.

It's hard to be a teenager these days, especially when you have a crummy boyfriend like that.

Link -via Dave Barry | Image: Summit Entertainment

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Portrait of Beethoven Made from His Own Sheet Music

To carry out this elaborate project, Erika Iris Simmons sketched an outline of the composer and then cut up the center of the sheet with an X-Acto knife. She folded and arranged the pieces, doing her best to keep them in order and the notation correct. Simmons has similar pieces at her site, including a wave formed from the text of Benoit Mandelbrot's The Fractal Geometry of Nature.

Link | Artist's Website

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Ultimate Hunting Dog Trained to Fetch Vodka

(Video Link)

Lassie has nothing on this pup. Tsar the dog knows exactly how to be man's best friend.

-via That's Nerdalicious!

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The Katskhi Pillar

In the Seventh Century, monks built a monastery on the top of a natural stone pillar outside of Chiatura, Georgia. It was used by the Stylites -- Christian ascetics who lived on top of pillars to express their devotion. That sect is now extinct, but the monastery is still there. Visitors get to the top by climbing a 130 foot ladder.

Link | Photo: Ivane Goliadze

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In the Future, Bionic Contact Lenses Will Let You Keep up with Your Twitter Stream through Your Eyeballs

If there's one big problem with the Internet, it's that you can't be on it all day, every day, without interruption. No, sometimes you must take your eyes away from the screen. Those are sad times, but they will soon be in the past. Researchers have made progress toward interactive contact lens displays. Here's the future envisioned by the developers:

They envisage hundreds more pixels could be embedded in the flexible lens to produce complex holographic images.

For example, drivers could wear them to see journey directions or their vehicle's speed projected onto the windscreen.

Similarly, the lenses could take the virtual world of video gaming to a new level.

Link -via Dave Barry | Photo: Flickr user skippyjon

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Indian Talent Show is the Awesomest Thing Ever

(Video Link)

The guys start out with light, easy tricks such as smashing fluorescent bulbs on themselves and slapping each other with sledgehammers. Then they get serious about their routine. It ends with a human pyramid on spiked boards and one guy on top of it waving the Indian flag in the weirdest and greatest display of patriotism the world has seen.

-via Kottke

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Washington, D.C. as It Might Have Been

John Diamond's 1792 design for the Capitol was topped with a weathercock. Jim Allegro and Doug Michels wanted to build the National Sofa across the street from the White House so that hundreds of people could watch the President on an enormous television. John Russell Pope proposed that the Lincoln Memorial take the form of a step pyramid. Throughout the history of Washington, D.C., architects have proposed both grand and eccentric building ideas. View a slideshow at the link of some of these that were thankfully never built.

Link -via NotCot | Image: National Archives

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A Cherry Pie, an Apple Pie and a Pumpkin Pie, Each Cooked Inside a Separate Cake, Then Stacked Together and Iced to Form Another Cake

It is a called a cherpumple, and it represents all that remains good and right in this fallen world. Pastry chef David Lowery made this 21 lb. 10 oz. concoction for guests at the Grand Geneva Resort in Wisconsin. I feel a rekindling of hope for the human race because we can still do great things like this.

Link -via That's Nerdalicious! | Photo: David Lowery

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The GIF Player Presents a Primitive Animated GIF

The phenakistoscope, invented in 1823, was an early animation display device. It presented a series of stills in sequence, much like a modern animated GIF. Pieterjan Grandry took a popular GIF file and adapted it for a phenakistoscope, which he calls the GIF Player.

When you make a cat GIF and post it on reddit, remember that you're standing on the shoulders of giants.

Link -via Technabob

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This Is a Mosaic Made from 221,184 Sprinkles

Amazing! It may look like a low resolution photograph, but the original image is composed of more than two hundred thousand nonpareils in six different colors. It took Joel Brochu eight months of work with jewelry tweezers. They're attached to a board with double sided tape and glue.

Link -via Dude Craft

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Octopus Notices Humans, Menacingly Crawls onto the Land

(Video Link)

The octopus crawled out of the sea and deposited a crab in front of the humans. YouTube user tuantube thinks that this was a friendly gesture. It wasn't. Like a cat leaving a dead mouse before you, it's a simple message that expresses "You're next."

-via Geekologie

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Paperclip Bike Rack

You can find this sculpture at the Minneapolis Art Institute. If you use this rack, make sure that your chain is sturdier than a string of paperclips.

Link -via Colossal | Museum Website | Photo: Flickr user Ardent Eye

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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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