John Farrier's Liked Blog Posts

The Most and Least Metal Words

(Photo: Robert Bejil)

What gets your heart pumping and your head banging? It's definitely not lyrics that include words such as "committee" and "approximately."

Iain, a data scientist, blogs at Degenerate State. He conducted a statistical study that determined which words are most and least likely to be associated with heavy metal music. You can see his computational methods and detailed results here.

-via Ace of Spades HQ

Man Fights off Carjackers with Pressure Washer

(Video Link)

At 2 AM on Wednesday, Michael Davis of Shreveport, Louisiana took his car to a self-serve car wash. While spraying it with a pressure washer, a man pointed a gun at him and demanded his keys and money.

Davis closed the distance with his attacker, then sprayed him in the face. When a second criminal came at him, Davis sprayed him, too.

Both attackers fled the scene, though their actions were captured on Davis's dashboard camera. Davis tells Fox 61 News: "The whole situation to me was almost surreal."

-via Nothing to Do with Aborath

Norway Considers Giving Finland a Mountain to Celebrate Its 100th Birthday

(Image: Google Maps)

On December 6, 1917, Finland declared independence from Russia. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of that event, its friendly neighbor, Norway, would like to give it a mountain.

The Norwegian government is considering ceding the peak of Mount Halti, which is on the Norwegian-Finnish border, to Finland. At 1,365 meters tall, Mount Halti would become the tallest mountain in the country, nudging out another mountain, which is 7 meters shorter. The Guardian reports:

The originator of the idea is a retired geophysicist and government surveyor, Bjørn Geirr Harsson, 76, who learned last year that Finland would celebrate the 100th anniversary of its independence from Russia on 6 December 2017 and recalled being puzzled by the location of the border when he flew over Halti in the 1970s.

Harsson wrote to the ministry of foreign affairs in July 2015, pointing out that the gesture would cost Norway a “barely noticeable” 0.015 sq km of its national territory and make Finland very happy.

-via reddit, which includes this important point of etiquette:

Real Life Tarzan Runs Straight up a Tree

(Video Link)

This guy is amazing! He doesn't need rope or hooks. He moves so quickly up the enormous tree that his method looks more like running that climbing. And since he's been caught on camera doing it, he'll have to submit to the government in keeping with the Mutant Registration Act.

-via Geekologie

Gas Station Offers Free Gas to People in Bikinis and High Heels

Would you like to refill your tank for free? At this gas station in Samara, Russia, customers could get gas for free, provided that they pumped it while wearing bikinis and high heeled shoes. The tabloid Daily Star reports that the venture was very successful, leading to cars queuing up for the duration of the 3-hour event.

Continue reading

A Literary Magazine for Only Artificial Intelligences

(Video Link)

Listen up, meatbags: CuratedAI is not for you. The vomting of words that you insist is "poetry" is nothing compared to what machines can do. That's why only superior, artificial intelligences may submit their work to this premier literary journal. It includes leaps of genius like this one:

Karmel Allison, a biomass, is the curator of the project. She tells Popular Science that AIs are capable of offering a new approach to poetry:

Allison says CuratedAI is the progression of a pet project in neural networking poetry. Enjoying writing her own poetry the old fashioned way for years, she is impressed by the generation of readable (even appreciable) poetry by machines. For her, it's a postmodern exercise. While that may seem like chin stroking art language for many, it seems pretty straightforward in this application:

"The reading is more in the reader than the writer, obviously," she says. "You can talk about what the creator was trained on, or how the creator works, but not the creator's intent— maybe the algorithm writer's intent, but it's a step removed, which is more fun for the reader, I think."

-via Marginal Revolution

It's So Hot in New York That Poop Is Bursting into Flame

(Photo: David MW)

How hot is it? It's firey poop hot. Officers with the state's Department of Environmental Conservation found that piles of horse manure in a barn in Throop, New York have been spontaneously catching fire. The AP reports:

The responding officer learned that the owners of a horse stable had been storing the manure in large piles that frequently spontaneously combusted in the excessive heat and dry conditions.

DEC officials say a shift in the prevailing winds carried the odor of burning manure into the neighbors' windows.

It took three local fire departments two hours to douse the burning manure.

-via Dave Barry

Pooper Is Like Uber, But for Dog Poop

(Image: Pooper)

Some people, like my slovenly neighbor Frank, hate to scoop their dog's poop and just leave it where their dogs excrete it. Other people don't mind picking up dog poop and would like to earn a few extra bucks. Pooper brings them together.

Pooper is a new app that connects people who are willing to pay to have someone scoop their dog poop with people who are willing to do just that for cash. Poopers use their phones to leave geographic markers on a map. This is viewable to Scoopers, who scurry over to snag that brown gold. The Washington Post talked to co-founder Ben Becker:

Becker said they believe Pooper is what America needs now, because there’s too much dog waste on the streets. “It’s not our intention to ostracize,” he said.  “It is our intention to solve a problem in a unique way.”

The app, he said, has already gotten sign-ups “by the hundreds,” to be both poopers (customers) and scoopers (employees), even though it is only “at the tail end of an alpha rather than a fully functional public beta” testing phase in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City. He said they hope to fully launch in those cities in the fall and then expand Pooper to as many locations as the market demands.

(Video Link)

This promotional video shows how Pooper works. Some people think that it's a hoax. That would be a shame, as it would be a great job for kids who would like to earn a bit of money.

-via American Digest

Sleepy Horse Uses Woman's Head as Pillow

(Video Link)

Jimmy the horse wanted a nap. His human's head was handy, so he leaned over to use her for support. The human, Lisa Brown, explains:

I was out in the fields early one morning, and Jimmy lay down to snooze, which he does often. I took my cup of coffee and went to sit with him. I was scratching and stroking him, and he began to lean on me and then pushed me gently back until I was basically his human pillow! Jimmy has a very peaceful nature, but he's also a comic genius!

-via Tastefully Offensive

Man Throws Batarang at Pursuing Police

(Image: Warner Bros.)

Batman has been in close calls with the police, who haven't always seen him as an ally. He has always gotten away, though, through his skilled use of precision tools, such as the batarang.

(Photo: Seattle Police)

But Batman's luck ran out on Monday. Police in Seattle say that officers were summoned to a bar one evening when a man began swinging an improvised spear (a knife tied to a stick) at a bar employee. He fled when police arrived. While they chased him, the suspect threw a batarang at a police SUV, which became embedded in the body of the vehicle.

(Photo: Seattle Police)

They arrested the 23-year old vigilante.

-via Nerd Bastards

Real-Life LEGO Minifig Head is Super Creepy

Special effects artist Frank Ippolito calls his creation "Creepyfig." The costume includes a 14-pound silicone LEGO minifig head complete with hair and skin creases . . .

. . . as well as unsettlingly realistic hands that have nails and clearly defined joints.

In this episode of Adam Savage's Tested, Ippolito dons his costume and walks around the San Diego Comic-Con, to the delight and horror of other visitors. The best part comes when he visits the LEGO display in the exhibition hall and tries to attach LEGO pieces to himself.

(Video Link)

-via Kotaku

The Craziest Bike Path

UPDATE 7/28/16: Thanks to commenters T313, Rudolph, and Andre Woola, we now know! It's Entrelacement, a public art work by Michel de Broin. You can see it on Google Street View here. Go team Neatoramanauts!


Bartek Komorowski, an urban planner and biking enthusiast, posted this photo of what he says is a stretch of pathway near the Charlevoix Bridge over the Lachine Canal in Montreal. It's not for the novice rider.

Is this real? I can't find any supporting information about this section of the path, but Komorowski doesn't seem inclined to tweeting Photoshop gags.

-via Jeremy Barker

Extreme Alpine Soccer Is Played on Impossible Slopes

Franz Mair and Peppi Knünz of Montafon, Austria claim to have invented alpine soccer. It's a regular game of soccer, but played on the most extreme slopes available in the Alps. In this case, that looks like almost 40º.

(Video Link)

This video, which is a promotion for Mercedes-Benz, shows a demonstration of the sport. It's an orthopedic surgeon's dream come true.

-via The Presurfer

Baby Owls Go for a Swim

The Snowy Owl family on the North Slope of Alaska needs to move toward a new home. Daddy Owl has already scouted out a new place to live. Since the baby owls can't fly yet, they have to walk. And when they get to a river, they have no choice but to swim across it.

As this scene from Nature illustrates, they're quite good at it! Even without swimming lessons, the baby owls figure out how to row across the water with their wings.

(Video Link)

-via Gifsboom

Worried about Malaria? Wear a Chicken

(Photo: Drew Coffman)

If you're traveling in malaria-prone areas, it may be a good idea to keep a chicken close by. According to a study published in Malaria Journal, the Anopheles arabiensis mosquito, which is the primary means of transmitting malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, thinks that chickens stink (no offense, chickens). From the abstract:

When tested in the field, the chicken-specific compounds, isobutyl butyrate, naphthalene, hexadecane and trans-limonene oxide, and the generic host compounds, limonene, cis-limonene oxide and β-myrcene, significantly reduced trap catches within the house compared to a negative control. A significant reduction in trap catch was also observed when suspending a caged chicken next to the trap.

-via Seriously, Science?

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Profile for John Farrier

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