John Farrier's Blog Posts

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Lee Heng Swee, an artist in Kuala Lumpur, says that his motto is to "doodle with a smile." His goal is to make images that bring a grin to your face.

His cat-filled landscapes certainly do the job. You can see more on his Instagram page.

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Astrophysicist Gets Magnets Stuck up Nose While Trying to Developing Coronavirus Preventative

Dr. Daniel Reardon, an astrophysicist at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, was admitted into a local hospital after being unable to retrieve the magnets that he had stuck up his nose. He had placed them there in the hope of finding a way of reducing coronavirus infections.

How were nasal magnets supposed to help? The Guardian explains:

The 27 year-old astrophysicist, who studies pulsars and gravitational waves, said he was trying to liven up the boredom of self-isolation with the four powerful neodymium magnets.
“I had a part that detects magnetic fields. I thought that if I built a circuit that could detect the magnetic field, and we wore magnets on our wrists, then it could set off an alarm if you brought it too close to your face. A bit of boredom in isolation made me think of that.”

During his experiments, Dr. Reardon a magnet up each nostril. These became stuck. So he decided to use the other two magnets in an attempt to retrieve the nasal magnets. These got stuck, too:

“After struggling for 20 minutes, I decided to Google the problem and found an article about an 11-year-old boy who had the same problem. The solution in that was more magnets. To put on the outside to offset the pull from the ones inside.
“As I was pulling downwards to try and remove the magnets, they clipped on to each other and I lost my grip. And those two magnets ended up in my left nostril while the other one was in my right. At this point I ran out of magnets.”

Fortunately, hospital staff were able to remove the magnets, although the Guardian article does not explain how. Presumably their method did not involve additional neodymium magnets.

-via Richard Hernandez | Photo: Daniel Reardon


This Cat Walks with a Slipper

Twitter user @Dope_chakra writes that "sometimes my cat walks around with my slipper like he’s wearing it." His name is Meeko and, like many cats, he is an Instagram influencer. Soon, everyone will be walking around with one shoe on the front left paw.

-via Super Punch


Puppy Cuddles with Potato

Three days ago, Twitter user @meghanbits adopted a puppy. Yesterday, that puppy adopted a potato as his best friend. Such is the way with almost all young children.

His sibling, whom I gather is named Kash, is equally normal.


"I Once Convinced a Woman in College Red Dawn Was a True Story."

The most Reagan Era movie of the Reagan Era was, I think, Red Dawn. This Cold War film depicted a sudden invasion of the United States by communist nations led by the Soviet Union. The are ultimately defeated by American courage and pluck as exemplified by a band of freedom fighters led by Patrick Swayze.

Or a character that he played. I forget which. It's been about twenty years since I've watched it.

David Hookstead, a writer for the Daily Caller, has enjoyed the movie for many years. He recalls a time in college when he once persuaded a young lady of his acquaintance that Red Dawn was based on the real, historically true Soviet invasion of the United States in 1980. It was a brutal war that killed 80 million Americans.

You know, that war. The once that was a mere forty years ago. Hookstead reminisces:

That’s when I paused the movie and just took a deep dive into this great war America won in 1980. I explained to her how the Soviet nukes had knocked out key tactical strongholds of America in the Dakotas, and how “crack” paratroopers took the Rocky Mountains.
I mean, she didn’t just buy it. She was asking genuine questions about why this was never taught in high schools or colleges. I had to explain with a quivering lip that after America lost 80 million men in the great war of 1980 that we couldn’t discuss it in schools because the pain was too great.
At one point, I explained to her how D.C. took a direct nuclear strike, but we were able to hold off the Soviets at the Mississippi River (again, a direct reference to the plot of the film).
Then, later at night, she was literally talking to people how she had just learned the USA lost 80 million men in the great war of 1980. Eventually, somebody told her she was being pranked and she was far from pleased.
Still, to this day, I consider it my greatest accomplishment. If you aren’t smart enough to know Washington D.C. didn’t get nuked in 1980, then you deserve to get made fun of.

-via Kurt Schlichter | Image: MGM


Excited Dog Watches Herself Win Agility Competition

Kirk, a border collie named for Star Trek's Captain Kirk, won in the small dog agility category of the 2017 Purina Incredible Dog Challenge. Her human, Channan Fosty, played a recording of Kirk's performance, which delighted the pup. She knows who's on the screen!

-via Kurt Schlichter


"Weird Al" Hamilton

For this production of Hamilton, the lead role will provide his own accompaniment. Appropriately, his choice of instrument is Yankovic's, too.

Cosplayer Smart Alex offers this appealing mashup. For those of you with more classic tastes, he offers a Lord of the Rings/Elvis Presley mashup. The one true king of rock and roll will rule them all.


Wine Glass Chairs

Marta del Valle, an interior designer based in Madrid, designed a chair series that she calls The Merlot. Each chair looks like a huge glass of red wine with an open side in which you can immerse yourself. The chairs are made of stainless steel and thermoplastic polycarbonate. Yanko Design describes them:

A product of wanting to have fun while designing, Del Valle herself admits that the Merlot chairs aren’t ideal for tedious and work-oriented actions such as studying, working or consuming long meals. But for all you fun-loving design enthusiasts, and not to mention wine lovers out there such a piece would only liven up any space it is placed in. So if you’re in the mood to “Take a seat, have a sip”, well then the Merlot may just be the next quirky piece of furniture you need in your home!

-via Toxel


Japanese Chef Has Illustrated All of His Meals for the Past 32 Years

Itsuo Kobayashi is a master of his crafts, which include both cooking and drawing. For decades, he worked at restaurants, lovingly crafting each dish for his happy customers. He made careful notes about these meals and illustrated over 1,000 of them in a notebook.

Although Kobayashi is now medically retired from front line cooking, he still prepares and draws meals from home. Lately, he's been offering them as little pop-up books. You can almost smell the flavors and feel the steam rising from these hot dishes. You can see more examples at Colossal.


Quarantined Kids Gather to Recite the Pledge of Allegiance

The schools in Broadview Heights, Ohio are closed. But the children are still gathering--while maintaining proper social distancing--to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in unison. The pandemic has not dampened their patriotism. Local teacher Jennifer Mahnic offers this video.

-via Ian Miles Cheong


Darian Mederos's Bubble Wrap Paintings

It took me a while to figure out how Mederos executes these marvelous paintings. Does he paint on bubble wrap? Does he paint portraits and then overlay sheets bubble wrap? Or does he paint the impression of bubble wrap on the canvas?

As far as I can tell, it's the latter. Darian Mederos is a master of hyperrealism. He can render nearly photographically accurate paintings, but chooses the added challenge of adding an impression of bubble wrap to obscure them. You can see more of his work on his Instagram page.

-via So Super Awesome


Woman on Antiques Roadshow Learns that her $100 Statue Is Worth over $2 Million

A woman in St. Louis visited Antiques Roadshow with a Buddha idol that she had purchased from a garage sale. She had paid between $75-100 for it. Robert Waterhouse, an Asian art specialist, appraised it at $100,000-125,000.

Waterhouse knows his field, but he had to evaluate the piece in just a few minutes. When specialists like him had more time to study the idol, they appraised it much higher. When the owner sold it, the final price was over $2,000,000!

You can see her reaction at the 3:15 mark.

-via Geekologie


Rapier Lightsaber

The rapiers of the 17th and 18th Centuries were elegant weapons for a more civilized age. Gentlemen among both the Sith and Jedi would use them in formal duels. To wear one was a mark of distinction, so it is good that Saberforge, a company that manufactures lightsabers, now offers a lightsaber rapier.

I, however, am not a gentleman and would prefer something blunter, like the lightsaber battleaxe. Hack at your enemy when he doesn't expect it.

-via Geek x Girls


Beluga Wants to Play with Seagull

It's lunchtime at Ocean, Inc. and Seagull just wants to eat his lunch in peace and quiet. He's been dealing with whiny and angry customers all day. The boss has been on him all morning about missing TPS reports. Seagull's only relief is half an hour of quiet time when he can eat his fish.

Beluga is that guy at work. All day is playtime, especially lunchtime. Beluga is aggressively social. It's not that he can't take a hint, but simply won't.

All this clip by Jan-Olaf Johansen in Hammerfest, Norway needs is a laugh track.

-via Super Punch


Scientists: Female Narwhals Are Attracted to Males with the Biggest Tusks

The motion of the ocean can carry you only so far. In the deep blue sea, female narwhals are on the prowl for males with the biggest tusks. Zackary Graham, a researcher at Arizona State University, and his colleagues recently published their research on tusk size as a factor in sexual selection:

Like walruses and elephants, male narwhals (Monodon monoceros) grow tusks; these are modified teeth. In narwhals, the left tooth erupts from their head, reaching more than 8 feet long in some individuals. The tusk grows out in a spiral pattern, giving the appearance of a sea-dwelling unicorn. [...]
When comparing individuals of the same age, sexually selected traits often exhibit disproportional growth — that is, for a given body size, sexually selected traits are often larger than expected in the largest individuals. Importantly, they compared the growth (or scaling) of the tusk to the scaling relationship between body size and a trait that is unlikely to have sexual functions. To do so, they used the tail of the narwhals, called the fluke.
"We also predicted that if the narwhal tusk is sexually selected, we expect greater variation in tusk length compared to the variation in fluke width," Graham said. This is because many sexual traits are highly sensitive to nutrient and body condition, such that only the biggest and strongest individuals can afford the energy to produce extremely large traits.

-via Dave Barry | Photo: Narly the Narwhal t-shirt now on sale at the Neatoshop

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