Join 3,562 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

December 6, 2008
Sunny von Bulow Dies
Martha "Sunny" von Bulow died this weekend at a nursing home in New York City, nearly 28 years after being found unconscious at her Rhode Island estate (and subsequently falling into an irreversible coma) in December 1980. Her husband Claus, who obviously became a controversial figure, was found guilty of her attempted murder (the alleged method being an overdose of insulin), but his conviction was overturned on appeal and he received a second trial in which he was acquitted. The sensational case, which featured testimony from many notables including Truman Capote, attracted worldwide publicity and rocked high society. It spawned numerous books, television shows and a 1990 movie.
posted by amyms at 11:49 PM PST - 29 comments

A lot of thought.
Star Wars Technical Commentaries. Learn about the Endor Holocaust. [previously] Learn why it's not really called a "Super Star Destroyer," and why it's not actually five miles long. You can even learn what all those little pips and cylinders mean! [more inside]
posted by cthuljew at 11:44 PM PST - 66 comments

The Conglomerate Which Smiles Back (Until You Bite Its Head Off)
Why are our kids so sad? Positive psychology (previously) and our friends at Pepperidge Farm thinks its all a matter of fishful thinking. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:53 PM PST - 33 comments

Red Means Stop. (NSFW)
Red-light districts can be found worldwide. The best known one in De Wallen, Amsterdam has gone through a lot of changes recently. Other red-light districts in Europe are also in decline, with Sweden taking a completely different approach to law enforcement. [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by gman at 6:56 PM PST - 31 comments

Frozen Pizza
Here's how frozen pizza is made.
posted by sveskemus at 6:21 PM PST - 79 comments

Behind bars
Prison is boring. There is no other way to describe it. Sometimes it's scary, but mostly just annoying and boring.
posted by Huplescat at 6:14 PM PST - 40 comments

You're that guy! You're famous!
Tim Gunn on an airplane, Tommy Lee at a restaurant, Mike Tyson at the Waldorf, and other Brushes with Fame.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:31 PM PST - 107 comments

I'll take Lots 1 through 800 pz
Battlestar Galactica Auction Catalog Available for Download.
posted by troy at 5:24 PM PST - 50 comments

Spooky Action At A Distance: $245
The newest Wholphin DVD contains the instructions for an experiment called "Select Your Intention," created by a company called Psyleron. Psyleron is the result of efforts by former research scientists at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory— (1979-2007) an interdisciplinary group of physicists, psychologists, engineers, and humanists, that explored the ability of the human mind to interact directly with the physical world. (VIDEO) "Now anyone with a home computer can explore the direct impact of consciousness with the portable, adaptable, and responsive Psyleron REG-1." And now, try new Pocket Reg! [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:14 PM PST - 15 comments

International literature websites
Fiction in Translation: How to Find the Year's Best. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 4:17 PM PST - 6 comments

Cat Cam Roams Seattle
More catcam goodness (previously on Mefi). Cooper the cat roams his Seattle neighborhood. Via Phinneywood, an excellent neighborhood blog about the Greenwood and Phinney neighborhoods in Seattle. [more inside]
posted by rossination at 4:01 PM PST - 31 comments

Iranian Artists are in Demand
Iranian artists open a window to the world.; is an article discussing (in order) the art of Golnaz Fathi; a classically trained Caligrapher.
From her website 1; 2; 3; 4; and a video.
Tanavoli Parviz - sculpter.
Nadia Ghai-Far - abstract painter( click peintures and fusains).
Farhad Moshiri - multi - disiplinary.
and Shirana Shabazi - photographer.
posted by adamvasco at 1:37 PM PST - 1 comments

The Many Faces of Crime
In one of the largest jewelry heists in history, robbers -- at least two wearing women's wigs and dresses -- relieved a Harry Winston boutique of $108 million worth of diamond rings, necklaces, and watches. Despite criminal investigation teachings that robbers "have better things to do with their money than to buy an array of masks and disguises" and will opt for functional attire, many thieves express themselves creatively and impractically through costumery, dressing as Dracula and Black Father Christmas, a tree, Greek prime ministers, clowns, and ghosts, while others cover their faces with duct tape, cookie dough, drywall, and baking-flour-and-ketchup. Minimalists just wear men's underwear and women's thongs on their heads.
posted by terranova at 1:13 PM PST - 29 comments

Cursing is associated with the limbic system.
Physicians reported a deaf man with Tourette's who used sign language to spell out obscenities during fits of coprolalia. [more inside]
posted by vapidave at 1:11 PM PST - 34 comments

Goodbye to the 12-Steps?
French Doctor Finds Cure for Alcoholism in a Pill, Causing a Stir. Having himself suffered from dipsomania, Dr. Olivier Ameisen, claims in his book, Le Dernier Verre (The Last Glass), that the muscle relaxant bacloflen suppressed his craving for alcohol, curing his alcoholism. A top cardiologist in France, and doctor to a former French PM, Ameisen has called for clinical trials to verify his bold claim, while causing some in the field to accuse him of irresponsibility for suggesting alcoholism can be cured by a pill, although other pills are in the works.
posted by Azaadistani at 1:06 PM PST - 54 comments

Don't Go Breaking My Heart
Some of the best short-short fiction I've read recently has been that of the Heartbroke Daily, the stories of the love affairs of (fictional) Knox Dupree, who "fall[s] in love too easily" and "as a result [...] suffer[s] from near constant heartbreak." Start from the beginning and work forward. (via Presurfer) [more inside]
posted by WCityMike at 12:37 PM PST - 4 comments

your leisure is my pleasure
Idle Theory: Life Does The Least
posted by kliuless at 12:12 PM PST - 28 comments

"It fills me with contempt."
Roger Ebert gives Ben Stein a spanking. [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:11 AM PST - 174 comments

Two of Six Washed Up Feet Matched by DNA
Two of Six Washed Up Feet Matched by DNA Mentioned on MeFi at least once before, this is the latest news in the saga of six human feet (enclosed in shoes) that have, over the past few years, washed up along the coast of BC. DNA testing has proven that two of the dismembered feet--found six months apart and clad in size 7 New Balance running shoes--apparently belonged to the same woman. I'm guessing the matching sneakers were a clue. Two down, four to go.
posted by dbarefoot at 10:56 AM PST - 34 comments

Perfect for programmers over 50!
The ___ Cards in time for the holidays (or any other card giving occasion). Unfortunately, it appears they are out of their "A beautiful X'mas is what you make of it" cards. Found via: Jonathan Yuen who did the design for Victoria Chang's "Two Trains," which appeared in Born Magazine. [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen at 10:10 AM PST - 7 comments

Nerd-In-Chief
He collects Spider-Man comics. He video chats on his MacBook. He name-drops Jor-El of Krypton. He gave the Vulcan salute to Spock and jokes about "lithium crystals" (surely a misquote). He's got his own high-definition vlog on YouTube. Now, the Geek-in-Chief and his Team of Nerds are using their powers for good. Change.gov has been under a Creative Commons license for a while now, but yesterday, they took transparency a step further by announcing that "all policy documents from official meetings with outside organizations will be publicly available for review and discussion." What's next: revision control?
posted by designbot at 9:41 AM PST - 48 comments

Factory Porn
Eames Shell Chair - Something of how they get the way they are. Video.
posted by Manhasset at 8:52 AM PST - 24 comments

Wait - there was life before motorways?
A less glamorous anniversary passed with little fanfare yesterday: 50 years since the opening of the first stretch of the humble British motorway, the 8-mile two-lane Preston Bypass, which now forms part of the M6. The occasion was celebrated by the official opening of an 5.8 mile M6 extension, closing the "Cumberland Gap", allowing commuters to make the entire 400 mile journey between Glasgow and London by motorway. The total length of motorways in the UK totals around 2200 miles.
posted by HaloMan at 7:31 AM PST - 34 comments

Galactic Mail
Galactic Mail In the future, UPS & FedEx will race and fight in space. via
posted by jontyjago at 7:16 AM PST - 10 comments

From every stormy wind that blows
I don't suppose anyone could call John Etheridge famous. He was the president of the Sacred Harp Book Company, the publisher of the Cooper Revision of the Sacred Harp. He was a mainstay of the the Florida State Convention, and the arranger of the popular tune Mercy Seat. And there is an interview with him (and the other board members of the company) as part of the Alabama Arts Radio Series. Still, I don't suppose many know his name. Yet he was "a great man and a great singer," and I suspect that many on Metafilter would be glad to have and to make as much music as John did in his life. John Etheridge died on December 5, 2008.
posted by wfitzgerald at 4:03 AM PST - 8 comments

Great station cafes
The Gare de Lyon in Paris has Le Train Bleu. Grand Central Staion in New York has a superb Oyster Bar; Washington Union Station has this neo-classical wonder; while Prague this prime example of art nouveau; Helsinki, meanwhile, offers something suitably democratic. With cafes as good as this, railway stations become destinations in themselves.
posted by MrMerlot at 3:49 AM PST - 17 comments

Pride in your work? Iraqi Translators
For the past two months, Iraqi interpreters working with US forces have been forbidden from wearing masks. This decision was recently overturned. Ostensibly, this was because the security situation had become better. Some believe instead that this rule was instated to prevent asylum claims. Some think that it reflects traditional army FUBAR decision making. Personally, I think they are becoming more cautious because the back up plan is a piece of junk. [more inside]
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 3:28 AM PST - 22 comments

Eternally Surprising And Self-Generating Artworks
The bespoke generative design system at the heart of Forever will spawn unique audio-visual films everyday, forever. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:01 AM PST - 17 comments