We've wrapped up FirstPost September! A big thank you to julen for organizing and to all the posters who took part. So much great stuff to give a second look under these tags:
FirstPost (from building a medieval LEGO village, to visiting the last audio cassette factory, to a farewell from the bad boy of Canadian dance)
FirstTimeLongTime (did you see the fake Shakespeare play? You can visit Horace Rumpole to see it in person!)
SecondPost (such as Strunk and White, Grammar Police) and ThirdPost (how about a bot that makes villanelles from tweets).
It was passed among geeks on VHS and screened at sci fi cons in the 1980s: flash back to The Wizard of Speed and Time, a stop-motion live-action superhero short handmade by Mike Jittlov in 1979, and the cult feature film it inspired. First post by turtlebackriding.
Last day! Fans of odd data, now's your last chance to be counted: The Big MetaFilter Survey 2015 by Rock Steady closes tonight.
"I guess it's time I finally write a serious comment about Skyrim modding. Here goes": Ryvar completes his quest with an amazing comment on what you need to mod your world, like a
Fun question in Ask Me: You spin me right round baby right round like a what? "I need songs with specific lyrics which I can play for my daughter which represent antiquated technology that she has no real understanding of."
Lovely ink links recently on Mefi: Penmenship isn't dead: the vibrant art of well-crafted written forms introduces two talented young penmen
Chinese calligraphy and painting manual from 1633 now online, in full offers a view of "the earliest and the most beautiful example of multicolor printing anywhere in the world"
How the ballpoint pen killed cursive looks at the surprisingly complicated influence of the biro
I should be able to read that discusses Copperplate, a beautiful and elaborate script that in its time was considered a basic penmanship style
And in Ask Me: "What are some good resources for a southpaw to improve his handwriting that don't involve the kind of cursive I was (not) taught as a child?" and "What's the best non-bulky fountain pen you've used?"
Some great recent posts on the natural world: A 17th-Century Woman Artist’s Butterfly Journey: gorgeous images and bio info on early entomologist-artist Maria Sibylla Merian
The inner life of the fig: documentary on the sycamore fig tree, focusing on the intricate mutualism between a fig tree and its fig wasp
A tree grows in Israel: an extinct Judean Date Palm is grown from an ancient jar of seeds unearthed by archaeologists
My hovercraft is full of Petromyzon marinus: science, lore, and more on the fearsome sea lamprey
Satan Put the Kettle On: the mystery of Devil's Kettle Falls' vanishing waterfall
What was it like to be alive on September 15, 1985? "from the mundane to the profound, what do you remember about that time?"
Thanks to the work of everyone in this thread, I was able to make a positive identification of the song, order the vinyl, and have it professionally converted to digital. The OP has updated an old thread about a 30-year-old mystery tune in Ask Me with a YouTube video of the song. Yay, team!
Looking for more musical mysteries to solve? What's the Baby Elephant song I heard at Burning Man?
I'm trying to identify a sample from the first few minutes of this album
Loving you is . . . easy to forget? What was that song from 2008 - 2009?
Finding a song based on a music video: "a woman riding a horse and she had dramatically long hair that floated through the sky"
Of poets and liars: "the best example in all of American poetry of a wolf in sheep’s cloth" explains how everyone knows Robert Frost’s "The Road Not Taken" – and how almost everyone gets it wrong (though not everyone: "I wrote a whole commencement speech about this general idea")
Plus a post about Best American Poetry guest editor Sherman Alexie's response re a white male poet who appropriated a Chinese name to use for submission to the anthology
and in Ask Me, looking for the author who said (something like) "The poet lies ... most especially when writing about himself"
The oldest use of the f-word has been discovered, dating the word some 165 years earlier than had ever been seen. It appeared in the name "Roger Fuckebythenavele"
and in the dream-jobs-you-never-knew-you'd-kill-to-have department, litlnemo offers, "I teach a class on dirty surnames (yes, really) and this one so has to go into my list. Those medieval English people were not the most delicate of speech, let's just put it that way."
In other deep thoughts on names and other things, MCMikeNamara asks, Has Axl Rose ever commented on the fact that his stage name is an anagram for "oral sex"?