special agent conrad uno, former distiller, in defense of bitter digestif spirits like malort ("a fascinating spirit that spans and speaks to the entire history of Europe"), and why absinthe unfairly got such a bad rap.
KathrynT asks, "What should I do with all these googly eyes?"
Why does Wyoming have such a low population compared to neighboring states? barchan explains, jeb adds: "everything in the West comes back to water".
Ever wonder what a "nor'easter" is? Check out the great answers from Seymour Zamboni, plastic_animals, and weathergal in rules of thumb for weather patterns in the USA.
Lots of different places have unique colloquial weather terms too. (Gullywashers, the foxes' wedding, and lots of wind terms again from barchan.)
Also in language surveys: What are some antiquated place nicknames (like the Borscht Belt)? What do other languages call it when your foot "falls asleep"?
Different cultures also have their own languages of flower-meanings. Plus some cool info from sukeban on how new imported flowers like roses made their way into kimono designs in the late 19th century.
For geography/history detectives: How can I tell, just from clues in the document itself, when a world map was made or figure out when a photograph was taken?
Did you see the new photos from the formerly-hidden-from-visitors North Korean subway system?
Some great answers in travel threads recently: Italy: non-traditional but amazing?, and also Scotland: what not to miss.
JoeZydeco on how a vending machine knows what coin you've put in (and why the Mars candy company spun off an electronics company)
seasparrow on ancient underground water-distribution systems called "qanats"... including diagrams
codacorolla on their own academic research on Minecraft players
The evolution of thimble technology, as seen in artifacts found scattered across England
A nice discussion of the importance of the skills needed to maintain old systems
What do you see in your mind's eye? Come tell us, in the thread on people who have no mental images.
JohnnyForeign on his family's brush with an infamous caper: I "never understood the significance of the incident until many years later when my mum explained that we'd entered through the garden to avoid the crowd of journalists..."
garius on starting a print magazine that earns its keep: "We found a small local printer who'd run us up a limited run of 100 copies, which I paid for out of my own pocket, and then we started anonymously leaving copies on the magazine / leaflet table in the Rose and Crown Pub in Walthamstow, London."
yankeefog on attendance policies when producing a live tv show and working for Dennis Miller: "you would be surprised at how much of an art teleprompting is."
In jessamyn's post about the man who lived in a huge secret apartment in the landmark historic theater he rescued, other stories of secret spaces including secret tunnels all over a city.
Gimme some stories of goats misbehaving!
...or some eerie spooky stories that aren't gross or horrible!
...or some websites with fun interesting stuff for when the news gets me down.
Prepare to be amazed and maybe disgusted! MsMolly sparks a roundup of AskMe questions about everyday behaviors that you never knew other people are doing wrong - like shoes on vs. off in the house, and sit vs. stand to wipe.
And in the thread on the snowballing repercussions of the Panama Papers, some reporting direct from our Iceland bureau and some other local news coverage.
Other recent threads on corruption around the world: the Unaoil bribery scandal; Brazil's government-wide meltdown.