Join 3,553 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

April 5, 2009
Rocks from Heaven
Rocks from Heaven “…A party of the inhabitants of the town of Casas Grandes, as a matter of curious speculation, commenced excavating in the old ruins there. One more fortunate than the others drifted into a large room, in the middle of which there appeared to be a kind of tomb made of adobe-brick. Curiosity led this bold knight of the crowbar to renew his excavations, he found a large mass of meteoric iron in the middle of the tomb, carefully and curiously wrapped with a kind of coarse linen.” [more inside]
posted by various at 9:23 PM PST - 23 comments

in the street of the sky night walks scattering poems
Should you find yourself wandering around the city of Leiden, the Netherlands sometime, you may notice some curious markings on the city's walls.

These Muurgedichten ("Wall Poems") adorn many of the town's streets (clickable map), and many English-language poets are represented: one John Keats, for instance, inside a bookshop; Dylan Thomas, E. E. Cummings, W.B. Yeats, some guy called William Shakespeare, or this ode to Charlie Parker by American William Waring Cuney. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:58 PM PST - 15 comments

Meltdown at Fox over Wolverine review
Internal drama at Fox: longtime Hollywood columnist Roger Friedman fired - or not? - for posting a review on FoxNews.com of 20th Century Fox's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," which leaked onto the internets April 1. He apparently liked it. But Fox is freaking out about the leak, more than a month before the theatre premiere, and the FBI has conducted raids. Speculation about what happened here.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:42 PM PST - 45 comments

Animal Charm
Animal Charm "Comprised of Jim Fetterley and Rich Bott, Animal Charm's tapes are mind-bendingly inventive experiments in uncanny, surreal montage that defy logical analysis. [Their work] is a tour de force of incongruous juxtapositions, startling dislocations and ingenious visual rhymes assembled from the banal detritus of late night TV." Edge TV::Slow Gin Soul Stallion::Baby Preacher Death Metal::CHANGE! CHANGE! CHANGE!::Computers Smart::A Cat Named Sloopy::Bearobics::Getting ready to use your VCR::Pet Programming::Cat and mouse game::Stuffing::Lightfoot fever::Squidcharm Crashes::more
posted by vronsky at 6:52 PM PST - 12 comments

You got yourself on video selling drug paraphernalia.
Under Pennsylvanian state law, it's illegal to sell containers if the store owner "knows or should reasonably know" that the buyer intends to use them to package drugs. A confidential informant entered a convenience store to buy tiny ziplock bags at about 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2007. After making the purchase the Philadelphia PD Narcotics Field Unit raided the store for selling drug paraphernalia destroying the store's security system in the process and allegedly stealing money, batteries, cigarettes and food among other items. He's not the first one to make this complaint either.
posted by Talez at 6:24 PM PST - 73 comments

Trust me, I'm an attorney
More brazen than Madoff? Former NYC hotshot attorney Marc Dreier (he of the now-defunct vanity firm), was arrested in Canada in late 2008, charged with spearheading an occasionally daring series of frauds. [more inside]
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:44 PM PST - 16 comments

Deflation, Swiss Bank Accounts, etc.
What's the risk of deflation? No one knows for sure, but it cannot be ruled out--as first Japan, and now Switzerland are finding out. While Japan's troubles may sound familiar, Switzerland's situation is somewhat unique: beyond the question of its currency, the issue of tax havens has put its banks in a delicate position.
posted by ornate insect at 5:29 PM PST - 15 comments

Apologies from a racist
Elwin Wilson burned crosses. He threw jack handles at kids. He hung black dolls in nooses. He threw eggs at men. He beat people up at bus stations - people who would one day become United States Congressmen. He lay in wait for the Freedom Riders in Rock Hill, SC ( more Freedom Rides video 1, 2). And now Elwin Wilson is apologizing for what he did.
posted by Addlepated at 3:25 PM PST - 248 comments

Save the seahorses, save the world!
They're sold embedded in plastic as paperweights, dried as curios and used as decorations for tourist trinkets. But the seahorse, so little researched that we don't even fully understand its taxonomy and only found out how it reproduces in 2007, is threatened, and so are its habitats. No one's really sure how many are left (they're still being found in new and unusual places like the Thames, and new species are frequently discovered), but marine biologists are sure there's far fewer than there used to be. (It's not all depressing - there's cute video and bizarre mating rituals and birth processes, as well as lots of information inside.) [more inside]
posted by rednikki at 2:09 PM PST - 30 comments

Almost Perfect
Almost Perfect (1994) is an account of "the rise and fall of WordPerfect Corporation" from the point of view of former executive vice-president W. E. (Pete) Peterson. [via reddit].
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 12:38 PM PST - 122 comments

Their names are WHAT and WHY and WHEN/and HOW and WHERE and WHO.
Read all about it! Discover all the news! Read all about it! Track down all the clues!
With interesting people there's a mystery to be solved! An adventure is unfolding, so why not get involved? Come on and
READ ALL ABOUT IT.
Young Chris is left an old coach house by his missing uncle. As he and his two friends fuddle with the lock, a strange figure watches. The kids do not yet know the building is the entrance to a mystery that spans time and space! Aided by Otto the IBM Selectric robot typewriter and Theta the spooky as hell talking viewscreen, they will find that the concerns of an alien tyrant reach into the government of their own town. (24 of 40 15-minute episodes, including the entire first season, of this early-80s TV Ontario-produced "educational" show are on YouTube.) [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 12:37 PM PST - 20 comments

Flaming garbage cans in hip hop videos
Flaming Garbage Cans In Hip Hop Videos. Pretty self-explanatory; a blog that tracks the use of the flaming garbage can in hip hop music videos.
posted by Demogorgon at 12:15 PM PST - 19 comments

Tone Matrix
Tone Matrix.
posted by slater at 12:14 PM PST - 37 comments

Diet Trend Smackdown--and no winners?
"People lose weight if they lower calories, but it does not matter how." According to recently published study in the New England Journal of Medicine, "For people who are trying to lose weight, it does not matter if they are counting carbohydrates, protein or fat. All that matters is that they are counting something." [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 10:32 AM PST - 98 comments

Barefoot and crafting in the kitchen
If you’ve got extra kitchenware about is never used to cook or contains food anymore, here are some (low calorie!) ways to use it again. If you’ve kicked your caffeine habit, your metal coffeepots can become lamps, or your teapot can morph into a camel. Other items of kitchenware can become recycled toys. [more inside]
posted by orange swan at 10:26 AM PST - 7 comments

Congrats, you're a millionaire! April Fools! That'll be $819.99
Who are the Fools here? "Many customers of Zecco Trading logged into their brokerage account yesterday to be greeted with a slightly higher buying power than before… on the order of 6 to 13 million dollars!" So what'd these customers do? They bought stocks. Oops. SEC may be getting involved. [more inside]
posted by waraw at 9:56 AM PST - 41 comments

No end in sight
It's shocking enough that 90 people have been killed in mass shootings in the US in the past 2 years. But it's even more shocking that 44 of those deaths have occurred within the month since March 10, 2009, when Michael McClendon touched off a firestorm of violence that ended with the deaths of 10 people in rural Alabama. This has been a month of grave infamy in the United States. [more inside]
posted by baphomet at 9:24 AM PST - 287 comments

The Forbidden Railway - a train trip to Pyongyang
In September of 2008, two Austrians traveled 13,000km by rail from Vienna to Pyongyang - without asking permission and going through the official Koran travel agency. [more inside]
posted by dunkadunc at 8:56 AM PST - 36 comments

Sleepy John Estes with Yank Rachell - Mailman Blues & African African
Sleepy John Estes with Yank Rachel - Mailman Blues
More about Sleepy John Estes
From Stephan Wirz - American Music: Illustrated Sleepy John Estes discography
See also The Tennesseean Encyclopedia - Sleepy John Estes [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 8:06 AM PST - 9 comments

Well if you liked Gigli...
Clerkdogs works surprisingly well versus other web-based recommendations, partly because paid enthusiasts are involved, and partly for its intuitive interface. [more inside]
posted by hypersloth at 5:28 AM PST - 51 comments

Strings, not Threads, nor Duct Tape
Nuclear puppet shows: Atomic survival PSAs by the U.S. Civil Defense
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:17 AM PST - 14 comments