John Farrier's Blog Posts

Statue Removed from French Town for Being Too Well Endowed

The government of the French town of Neuville-en-Ferrain commissioned a statue of Marianne, a traditional symbol of the French Revolution. After protests by the mayor and other residents, the statue was removed for having a little too much up top:

"It was making people gossip," said one town hall employee. "Remarks were made, during weddings for example."

Mayor Gerard Cordon persuaded councillors to approve 900 euros in this year's budget to buy a replacement, a more conventional bust of Marianne modelled on the statuesque French model Laetitia Casta.

The artist who made the rejected bust, Catherine Lamacque, said she gave it outsized breasts deliberately, "to symbolise the generosity of the Republic."

I suspect that had it been a full nude in the Academic tradition, no one would have noticed.

Link via Ace of Spades HQ | Photo: AFP

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Featured Designs from the NeatoShop:

Lace Streetcar

Canadian artist Dorie Millerson makes sculptures out of lace, such as this streetcar from Toronto. Another cool series in her portfolio called "attachments" takes old sepia toned family photographs and recreates them in lace.

Link via Colossal

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This Year's Best April Fools' Day Pranks around the Web

(Video Link)

Today is the most difficult of all days on which to be a Neatorama author because we must attempt to distinguish between the neat real and the neat fake. Confusing hijinks abound on this day, such as the subscription paywall that our friends at Boing Boing instituted (they had me falling for it for about ten seconds).

My favorite prank is Google's new motion-controlled email program, but you can view roundups of some of the best pranks this year at Flavorwire, Technabob, and Urlesque.

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Massive Home Aquarium Can Hold 4,800 Gallons

In the basement of Jack Heathcote's five-bedroom home, you can find the largest aquarium in Britain. In measures approximately 13 by 13 by 7 feet and can hold 4,800 gallons when filled to capacity. Heathcote has to clean it by hand (pictured) by diving in with the exotic fish from all of the world that he's collected:

Three of the walls of the tank are the foundation walls of the house and a large section of floor was removed by the bay window to allow access. Downstairs a wall of glass has replaced the brick wall, and behind it are some of the largest fish kept in captivity.

And the collection in the tank - which includes some valuable species - consists of two chainsaw doradids, three 2ft long Pacus, some Pangasius, a Red tail hybrid catfish, two alligator gars, eight enormous stingrays and two Fly River turtles.

They will soon be joined by two silver arowanas, which are more commonly found in the Amazon River Basin.

You can view several large pictures of the aquarium at the link.

Link via OhGizmo! | Photo: Page One

Previously: Arapaimag's Monster Home Aquarium

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If the Editors of Cosmopolitan Produced the Magazine Guns & Ammo

It'd probably look something like this. Although agitating a range safety officer (RO) is usually a bad idea. You don't want to become the that guy at the range.

Image by Robb Allen using a photo by Oleg Volk.

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Pillow Mace

Are you serious about winning pillow fights? Matthew Borgatti is, so he made this mace-shaped pillow for an upcoming flash mob pillowfight in New York City. He writes:

Surprisingly it took a good yard of cushion foam and two bags of poly-fill to do this one up right and get it nice and spherical. In other interesting news this may be the first dodecahedron I’ve ever constructed.

Link via Super Punch

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Inside the Drug Smuggling Submarine

Remember the drug smugglers' submarine that was captured by Ecuadoran police last year? The 75-foot boat was capable of shipping about 9 tons of cocaine. Jim Popkin of Wired wrote a detailed look at its design after reading a report by the US Navy:

The hull, they discovered, was made from a costly and exotic mixture of Kevlar and carbon fiber, tough enough to withstand modest ocean pressures but difficult to trace at sea. Like a classic German U-boat, the drug-running submarine uses diesel engines on the surface and battery-powered electric motors when submerged. With a crew of four to six, it has a maximum operational range of 6,800 nautical miles on the surface and can go 10 days without refueling. Packed with 249 lead-acid batteries, the behemoth can also travel silently underwater for up to 18 hours before recharging.

The most valuable feature, though, is the cargo bay, capable of holding up to 9 tons of cocaine—a street value of about $250 million. The vessel ferries that precious payload using a GPS chart plotter with side-scan capabilities and a high-frequency radio—essential gadgetry to ensure on-time deliveries. There’s also an electro-optical periscope and an infrared camera mounted on the conning tower—visual aids that supplement two miniature windows in the makeshift cockpit.

You can view several pictures

Link via Nerdcore

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Matthew Cusick's Beautiful Map Collages

Matthew Cusick composes collage portraits and landscapes out of maps, such as the above Red & Blue. Each work at his gallery at the link includes a detail image, demonstrating the remarkable work that Cusick put into selecting map colors and shapes.

Link via Dude Craft

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Trees Covered in Spider Webs

The floods in Pakistan devastated not only the human population of that country, but much of its fauna. Many spiders survived only by crowding into trees, producing pictures like those you see above. Duncan Geere of Wired UK explains:

With more than a fifth of the country submerged, millions of spiders climbed into trees to escape the rising floodwaters. The water took so long to recede, the trees became covered in a cocoon of spiderwebs. The result is an eerie, alien panorama, with any vegetation covered in a thick mass of webbing. (You can see images from the region in the gallery linked below.)

However, the unusual phenomenon may be a blessing in disguise. Britain’s department for international development reports that areas where the spiders have scaled the trees have seen far fewer malaria-spreading mosquitos than might be expected, given the prevalence of stagnant, standing water.

Article and Gallery via Geekosystem | Photo: UK Department for International Development

Previously: Giant Spider Web

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Maps That Show the Most Commonly Used Words in Dating Website Profiles for a Given Area

R. Luke Dubois sifted through the profiles of 19 million people in the United States on 21 dating websites. He then plotted the words that they used in their profiles the most frequently with their geographic locations. Pictured above, for example, is central Michigan. "Companionship", I think, is Lansing. You can view other maps at the link.

Link via Colossal

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The Rainbow Knight and Other My Little Pony Mashups

(Video Link)

YouTube user BronyVids has been busy mashing up scenes from the web TV series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic with thrilling action films, such as The Dark Knight. At the link, you can view similar videos using Inception and 300 as source audio.


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Spoctocus Tattoo

The Spoctocus can neck pinch eight people simultaneously and squeeze itself through the narrowest of Jeffries tubes with ease. This tattoo has been attributed to artist Daniel Limon of Tuscon.

Link via blastr

UPDATE 3/31/11: In the comments, truth points out that deviantART user stablercake may be the original designer of the Spoctocus. Thanks, truth!

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Tonight on Antiques Roadshow

Look at what Boba Fett found in his attic. Is it an imitation or an original? How much money do you think that it will fetch?

via Popped Culture

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Cat Confused by Fish under Ice

(Video Link)

What has gone wrong? The fish are right there, but protected by some invisible forcefield!

via Ace of Spades HQ | Previously: How to Drive a Cat Crazy

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Thorn Dice

Shapeways user Ceramicwombat made this awesome 3D printed dice available in different metallic finishes.

This makes me think: you know what would be cool? A d10 made out of barbed wire.

Link via Boing Boing

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Grill Made from a 1939 Dodge Pickup

As a hobby, Willie Elder restores classic cars and trucks. So it wasn't too difficult to come up with all of the parts from a 1939 Dodge pickup truck (and other vehicles) necessary to make a functional grill:

The generous grilling area is encased in stainless steel resembling an engine block. It's tricked out with valve covers, exhaust manifolds, spark plugs and a water pump. The pump is from his son's '65 Mustang, the plugs from Elder's '49 Studebaker and the manifolds from his '70 Bronco.

Some of the accessories are purely functional. The grease-drippings pan below the propane-fueled grill area — which can simultaneously cook 24 burgers, 2 pounds of chicken and a dozen hot dogs — is an oil pan from his son's '77 Corvette. And the air cleaner on the grill's lid, serving as a smoke vent, is a modified stock part for a Ford Escort.

Article and Pictures via Born Rich | Photo: Willie Elder

If you liked this post, check out Alex's huge grill mods megapost.

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Cute Then Creepy Skittles Ad

(Video Link)

Put your finger on the screen. No, really, do it. Just touch the Skittle on the screen. What's the worst that could happen?

This is a good ad, but Skittles would be hard pressed to surpass the comedic brilliance of this one.

via reddit

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Enigma Machine Tattoo

The Enigma machine was a series of encoding devices used by Nazi Germany and broken by Polish and British military intelligence before and during World War II. Ross submitted this photo to Geeky Tattoos of his tattoo, taking the form a wiring diagram for one of the Enigma machines.


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Classical String Quartet/Comedy Troupe

(Video Link)

The MozART Group is a classically-trained string quartet, but its members certainly don't limit themselves to traditional performances. This video presents a sampling of their eccentric acts. The bluegrass "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" at 4:30 is especially good.

via Theo Spark | Official Website

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Graffiti Stairs Optical Illusion

This work of work of art, according to Neatoramanaut chriskayTO, can be found in a subway station in Toronto. Examined from the correct angle, it looks like a staircase.

Link via Geekosystem

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Rocket Propelled Machete

(Video Link)

Yes, the machete-flinging crossbow was cool (though it does need a flaming chainsaw bayonet, IMHO). This is possibly even better: a machete shot toward its target with what appears to be a model rocket.

via Michael Hawkins in Say Uncle's comments

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Vinyl Record Sculpture

Angelo Bramanti and Giuseppe Siracusa made this marvelous sculpture from vinyl records. Wouldn't it be cool to see portraits of musicians melted into their own records?

Looking around the artists' website, it would appear that they're fond of using old media storage formats to create works of art, such the skyline of Syracuse rendered in VHS cassettes.

Link | Artists' Website

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Very Cheap Wolverine Costume

Flickr user Vó Maria's got the right idea. You might not even have to leave your kitchen to complete a Wolverine costume. Caleb Goellner of Comics Alliance, however, correctly points out that one needs a three-pronged fork to make this really convincing.

Link via Comics Alliance

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The Big Lebowski with Tara Reid Playing Every Role

(Video Link)

Should there be a sequel to The Big Lewboski? The production costs might be kept low if Tara Reid plays every single role. There appear to be some continuity problems, though.

via Nerd Bastards

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Little Geek Growth Chart

Do you want to track the growth of your children in a culturally appropriate manner? Then check out this growth chart by Tumblr blogger geeky dad. You can download it at the link, though he asks for a donation to his daughter's college fund.

Link via Boing Boing

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At $820,000 This Is the World's Most Expensive Rifle

The level of detail in the engraving on this VO Vagen rifle by Viggo Olsson and Ulf Olsso is simply amazing. The picture above doesn't really do it justice, so be sure to go to the link to see larger images. Shaping and coloring the claws on the bolt lug was an especially nice touch. Nonetheless, seeing these pictures reminded me of a line by Jeff Cooper:

[...] I once saw a weapon featured on a magazine cover that was extolled by its maker as the finest rifle in the world. In was far from that, though it was indeed pretty. Among its failures was the fact that it was not fitted with sights.

Link | Photo: Luxist

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Crossbow Fires Machetes

(Video Link)

YouTube user JoergSprave makes fancy slingshots. He was challenged by fans to create one that could fire a machete, and the result is something like a crossbow. "What is it good for? Nothing except attracting people's attention on YouTube." That's a perfectly fine reason.

via Geekologie | Maker's Blog

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Embroidered Book Covers

Penguin, the publishing house, asked crafter Jillian Tamaki to reproduce three covers from their classic novels in embroidery. After two months of work, she completed wrap-around covers for Emma, Black Beauty, and The Secret Garden.

Link via Dude Craft

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Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

What a brilliant idea! The preparation appears to be fairly straightforward, but you'll need an ice cream scoop to cover the oreos in chocolate chip cookie batter. Or your fingers.

Link via Ace of Spades HQ | Photo: Picky Palate

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15 Websites That Forbid You from Linking to Them

Yes, there are websites that forbid people to link to them. I'm not sure if that's a legally enforceable demand, but they make it anyway. Malcolm Coles has descriptions of (with links to) fifteen websites that disallow linking, including BBC Magazines:

Oh, the BBC. How could you? “You are not permitted to create a link to any part of our Services other than the home page unless you have our prior written consent.”

Link via Marginal Revolution

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Profile for John Farrier

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


Blog Posts

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