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If we're not in pain, we're not alive

You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website], the long-delayed "sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 25, 2014 - 84 comments

Why do people want to eat babies? The Christian Science Monitor explains

UPDATE: The headline, subhead, and lead to this story are not meant be taken seriously. Together they are, in the parlance of journalism, "the thing that gets people to read the article." The Christian Science Monitor website published a brief article summarizing a study that examined the effects of newborn baby smell on women's brains. Its lead sentence: "If you're like most normal people, you've briefly considered eating a baby or two." Via Romenesko
posted by oneswellfoop on Sep 24, 2013 - 47 comments

New, from the Soylent Corporation...

Since completing a successful fund-raising campaign, Rob Rhinehart has set up a company to make a food substitute, somewhat controversially called "Soylent", designed to be a complete food substitute -- drinking only Soylent shakes, people can stop eating "traditional food" completely. The he company's ambitions appear to be concerned with freeing up a few minutes from a busy, chewing-averse person's day, but extend as far as providing cheap food aid to the starving. [more inside]
posted by wormwood23 on Aug 28, 2013 - 124 comments

March or Be eaten by your friends

Band members must continually move to avoid being eaten by similarly deprived conspecifics. If you're a swarming Mormon cricket (Anabrus simplex), marching is the only way to avoid being eaten by the individual who is just behind you. Tips to deter your cannibal buddies from turning you into dinner: 1) Move 2) Move!!! 3) Keep your body axis parallel to the flow 4) Beware of females (shorter version). Cannibalistic interactions during swarming behaviour have also been observed in desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) (looks paywalled but actually free).
posted by elgilito on Aug 4, 2013 - 17 comments

Researchers have not yet uncovered any potential wine pairings.

Skeleton of teenage girl confirms cannibalism at Jamestown colony. [more inside]
posted by elizardbits on May 24, 2013 - 64 comments

"He's as hard-core as a baby"

Free the Cannibal Cop: His fantasies are sick. His prosecution is even sicker.
[No pictures, text has graphic content around sex and violence.]
posted by andoatnp on Feb 6, 2013 - 70 comments

Voyage of the Damned Old Party.

"This is all out of Lord of the Flies and Karl Rove is Piggy and we’re supposed to all chase him around with spikes and throw him on a fire?" An assortment of popular conservative pundits are trapped on a luxury cruise with well-heeled members of their audience, right after losing the election. One question hangs in the air: who is responsible for this loss?! Hilarity ensues.
posted by markkraft on Dec 25, 2012 - 108 comments

Winter Camping for Dummies, Iron Chef version

Alferd (or Alfred) Packer has inspired musicals, songs, tourists, cookbooks, students, films and government employees. Even the local library and the state archives have found it necessary to document Packer's journey from maneater to vegetarian. Some still claim he was innocent.
posted by QIbHom on Dec 14, 2012 - 10 comments

Mmm, tastes like chicken

It might still be September, but signs of halloween are already in the air. Or, rather, at the butcher's.
posted by overhauser on Sep 30, 2012 - 27 comments

Le Radeau de la Méduse (The Raft of the Medusa)

On July 5, 1816, the passengers and crew of the shipwrecked French frigate Méduse abandoned 147 people on a makeshift raft in a gale off the coast of Africa. When the raft was found 13 days later only 15 people were still alive. The incident inspired Théodore Géricault's painting Le Radeau de la Méduse (The Raft of the Medusa). [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Aug 31, 2012 - 34 comments

Can I get cable out here?

While not as famous as its photogenic neighbor, Boon Island six miles off the town of York, Maine has quite the history of cannibalism, ghosts and shipwrecks. Would you like to own the tallest lighthouse in New England?
posted by D_I on Jun 12, 2012 - 12 comments

Peter Greenaway's "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover"

Though it is by far Peter Greenaway’s most well known film and, for all of the visceral and intellectual challenges it proposes, probably his most approachable, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover remains a difficult film to apprehend. (the beginning and the end, both NSFW)
posted by Trurl on Aug 21, 2011 - 37 comments

Interview With The Cannibal

(NSFW) In the 1980's, a brilliant university student named Issei Sagawa went ahead and killed and, uhm, ate one of his fellow classmates. VBS TV interviews Issei Sagawa, who became a celebrity in Japan after walking free, having been deemed "sane, but evil" by a team of psychologists in France. "Was Sagawa suffering from a mental disorder? Was he really a sexual psychopath? Probably both. By his own admission, Issei Sagawa says that he had to possess a caucasian woman completely, and the only way this overwhelming need could be truly satisfied was by eating her." [more inside]
posted by fantodstic on Dec 21, 2010 - 107 comments

Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew.

Fun fact: Cannibals didn't necessarily boil people alive, but that doesn't mean that it hasn't been used as a form of execution. [Via AskMe.]
posted by grapefruitmoon on Mar 15, 2010 - 52 comments

Cannibal holocaust

"Heads were skinned and muscles removed from the brain case in order to remove the skullcap. Incisions and scrapes on jaws indicate that tongues were cut out." "Scrape marks inside the broken ends of limb bones indicate that marrow was removed." "Whatever actually happened at Herxheim, facial bones were smashed beyond recognition." - Neolithic mass canibalism in southern Germany.
posted by Artw on Dec 5, 2009 - 85 comments

It's THE DELICIOUS.

SCIENTISTS have grown meat in the laboratory for the first time. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 30, 2009 - 94 comments

"A man who, in order to escape death from hunger, kills another for the purpose of eating his flesh, is guilty of murder"

Some famous cases of cannibalism at sea: 1816 The Medusa. 1821 The Essex. 1878 The Sallie N. Steelman. [pdf] 1884 The Mignonette [pdf] 1889 The Earnmoor. [pdf] 1988 Bolinao 52 incident. [story starts on page 2] 2008 Vessel not named. As a bonus here's the legal decision in the case of The Queen vs. Dudley and Stephens, who were on The Mignonette.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 31, 2009 - 53 comments

Baaaaaaaaigai!

Zombie Sushi Bar: A clip from the 1998 Hong Kong Horror-Comedy classic "Bio Zombie" (Sun faa Sau si) shows our intrepid heroine trying to blend in at a Undead Sushi Bar with delightfully disgusting results. NSFS (Not Safe For Squeamish) [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Apr 11, 2009 - 29 comments

...the intrinsic vitality of the human organism.

Human fat was supposed to alleviate rheumatism and arthritis, while a paste made from corpses was believed to help against contusions.... For some Protestants,... , it served as a sort of substitute for the Eucharist, or the tasting of the body of Christ in Holy Communion. Some monks even cooked "a marmalade of sorts" from the blood of the dead.
. . . . The assumption was that all organisms have a predetermined life span. If a body died in an unnatural way, the remainder of that person's life could be harvested, as it were -- hence the preference for the executed.... In 1492, when Pope Innocent VIII was on his deathbed, his doctors bled three boys and had the pope drink their blood. The boys died, and so did the pope.
When we read about Burundians and Tanzanians murdering albinos to make "medicine" of their victims, we should not forget that European Medical Cannabalism was an accepted practice as late as the 18th Century.
posted by orthogonality on Feb 1, 2009 - 51 comments

And thy carcass shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away.

Spider eating a snake [more inside]
posted by Baby_Balrog on Oct 19, 2008 - 77 comments

The Missing Link found at last.

Kevin Ray Underwood found guilty of first degree murder in the April 2006 killing of 10-year-old Jamie Rose Bolin. The jury only needed 20 minutes to decide on his guilt. Previously on Metafilter, because he linked here. How could a seemingly normal, albeit "single, bored and lonely", young man become a cannabalistic child rapist and murderer? Exhibits: The blog he kept for almost four years up until the day after the murder. A collection of misc information about Underwood, including (near the bottom) the text of an online chat he had with a friend after killing Bolin. An extremely disturbing transcript of his confession to the FBI. Video footage of the trial. Deliberations will begin Monday as to whether or not he will be sentenced to death.
posted by banishedimmortal on Feb 29, 2008 - 150 comments

"I will rip the living flesh off your bones!"

"A group of teenagers, en route to attend a rock concert, lose their way when their car runs out of fuel in the dead of night. They find themselves in an unfamiliar rural backwater where they are confronted by flesh-eating zombies and a psychotic cannibalistic killer dressed in a sheet. It could be the plot to a thousand Hollywood horror films but while these teenagers may dress, talk and smoke dope like young Americans they are in fact young Pakistanis, and the film - Zibahkhana or Hell's Ground - is the first modern horror film to be filmed in Pakistan."
posted by brundlefly on Aug 15, 2007 - 12 comments

Curiosity gets some of us in the end

Holy fucking shit. I mean, I've heard of people eating people before, but this is pretty gruesome. recipe
posted by baphomet on Mar 23, 2007 - 57 comments

Albert Fish: The Real "Hannibal Lecter"

Albert Fish is one of the most brutal, yet least known serial killers in American history. A true cannibal, Fish may have provided some inspiration for the character Hannibal Lecter. Fish claimed more victims than the Zodiac killer and has inspired a movie or two of his own.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Mar 16, 2007 - 36 comments

Cannibal Holocaust.

Gang rape. Animal cruelty. Exploitation. Cannibalism. Put these elements together and you have Cannibal Holocaust, arguably one of the most well known exploitation films ever made. [Some of the following links are arguably NSFW]. Released in 1980, Cannibal Holocaust was a film so shockingly violent that it saw director Ruggero Deodato arrested by Italian authorities on the mistaken belief that he had made a snuff film and saw it being banned in almost every western country in the world for the actual deaths of several animals in the film. Although Deodato now regrets the introduction of the animals and although this ban has now been lifted in many of the countries that originally censored it, the horror of this landmark film is still as powerful as it ever was, a point evidenced by the often visceral reviews the film has garnered in its time. Whilst an official sequel has never been made (there have been at least two unofficial sequels), following his cameo appearance in Grindhouse movie Hostel II, Deodato has said an official sequel is in the works with an expected release date of 2009.
posted by Effigy2000 on Feb 18, 2007 - 59 comments

Something she said to me last night, something she said to me...

This is NSFW. It's crass, crude, cheap, rude, nasty and vulgar. This is a one link 10 minute YouTube video that shows cannibalism, fire, nudity, nerds, fried sperm, rednecks, and perversion aplenty. It is certainly not to everyone's taste, but that's because it's the Butthole Surfers' BBQ.
posted by Elmore on Feb 16, 2007 - 49 comments

Eat Me.

Guess who we're having for dinner? Danish shock artist Marco Evaristti lippoed some of his belly fat, fried meatballs in it and served it, partaking himself. He also canned some of the Polpette al grasso di Marco and sold at least two cans for $23,200 each. Cannibalism? Extreme autophagy? Trenchant comment on plastic surgery, taboos and consumerism? Or just really really gross?
posted by CunningLinguist on Jan 17, 2007 - 70 comments

Another use for the cannibalism tag.

Confused by "The Case of the Speluncean Explorers"? Here's a timeline. Perhaps you need a different perspective? How about a real-life analogy?
posted by anotherpanacea on Aug 18, 2006 - 4 comments

Steaks on a train

After breakfast we elected a man by the name of Walker, from Detroit, for supper. "Cannibalism in the Cars," by Mark Twain.
posted by Astro Zombie on Aug 18, 2006 - 15 comments

"The pygmies are alive and well,"

Negative Campaign Tactics in Congo: A candidate for president in Congo's first free election in four decades defends himself against accusations of cannibalism. He dismisses as libelous electioneering claims that he ate pygmies during his years as a rebel leader.
posted by [expletive deleted] on Jul 28, 2006 - 9 comments

Eating the Unthinkable

Chef Kazuki Yamamoto will cook just about anything. Casting aside all concern for the law, he prepares exotic dishes for celebrities and the ultra-rich. No species is off limits; his dishes have included penguin, walrus, whale, seal, dolphin, hippo, rhino, sea lion, chimpanzee, gorilla, monkey, brown bear, gazelle, giraffe, zebra, mountain lion, sea turtle, gila monster, ferruginous pygmy owl, bighorn sheep, Bichon Frise, and (it is claimed) human.
posted by Rhomboid on May 13, 2006 - 44 comments

He was always a wonderful boy.

This fellow links to Metafilter on his blog. Now we can return the favor.
posted by thirteenkiller on Apr 16, 2006 - 211 comments

'from a wealthy Texan background'

If you hunger for more posts like yesterday's about Michael Rockefeller, here's another morsel: a student's interview with American expat and cannibal Kapal Nath. Of course sometimes you get the impression that Nath will say anything in an interview. I suppose you could always find some neighbors to help you separate the hufu from the chaff. 'Course you could just stick to the documentaries.
posted by arakasi on Dec 19, 2005 - 7 comments

Main Course or Colonel Kurtz?

Main Course or Colonel Kurtz? Michael was a Harvard graduate, but otherwise refused to follow in his father's footsteps. After graduating cum laude and serving a hitch in the army, he went to New Guinea as a member of the Harvard Peabody Museum expedition. As he explained it, "I have the desire to do something romantic and adventurous at a time when frontiers in the real sense of the word are disappearing." In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, fortunate son of the first order, disappeared while studying the Asmat people of New Guinea. Questions remain, however. Was he, indeed, eaten by the Asmat, who had a rumored history of cannibalism, or did he decide to go native? At least one documentary has explored this.
posted by John of Michigan on Dec 18, 2005 - 14 comments

All the fine young cannibals

"I sat down to it with my bottle of wine, a bowl of rice, salt and pepper at hand. I had thought about this and planned it for a long time, and now I was going to do it. I was going to do it, furthermore -- I had promised and told myself -- with a completely casual, open, and objective mind. But I was soon to discover that I had bluffed and deceived myself a little in pretending so detached an attitude." The problems of researching what you and I actually taste like. [Previous threads]. [Via]
posted by Ogre Lawless on Dec 2, 2005 - 43 comments

Hippo Cannibals Ruin It For the

Cannibalism May Have Spread Anthrax in Hippos
posted by mcgraw on Dec 20, 2004 - 16 comments

Yeah But Was He Hungry Again in an Hour

Mexican Man Kills, Cooks and Eats His Lover
Cannibalism (Wiki) is chic. With the consensual cannibalism of Armin Meiwes and a psychosexual facet as well as arguments about the religious aspects as well as how religion stopped cannibalism along with some tips, "The natives told Father Zumbohm that the fingers and toes were the choicest morsels." And now even a Donner Party Cookbook (no, no recipes on how to serve man). Can cannibalism be considered as taboo as it once was?

Of course, there are bound to be humorous sites, movies and even a musical. And heck, why not even a Letterman Top Ten?
posted by fenriq on Dec 16, 2004 - 54 comments

I eat cannibals, it's incredible, you bring out the animal in me, I eat cannibals

Cannibalism was widespread and routine. Citing archaeological evidence and recent findings in molecular biology, archaeologist Timothy Taylor, author of The Buried Soul: How Humans Invented Death, says that cannibalism has been the norm in the past, and the more interesting question is why particular societies gave it up. (Previous discussions of cannibalism here and here.)
posted by homunculus on Nov 27, 2003 - 9 comments

So Sorry We Ate Your Great-Grandpa

Never Too Late? Descendants of the only European ever eaten in Fiji will get an apology next month from natives. (Another account, and a nice commentary.) We did cannibalism last April, but this is more about saying you're sorry. Is it worth apologizing, after 136 years?
posted by LeLiLo on Oct 15, 2003 - 14 comments

meanwhile in the congo

"We can only watch the slaughter, say UN troops" in the Congo - where machetes are turned into weapons of mass destruction - the hobbled UN presses for action, and the US and Major US Media outlets take no notice.
posted by specialk420 on May 26, 2003 - 51 comments

Come a little closer now....

I yearn for your tasty flesh

[ Gene Study Finds Cannibal Pattern ] - "Deep in the recesses of the human heart, lurking guiltily beneath the threshold of consciousness, there may lie a depraved craving — for the forbidden taste of human flesh. The basis for this morbid accusation, made by a team of researchers in London, is a genetic signature, found almost worldwide, that points to a long history of cannibalism" (NYT)
posted by troutfishing on Apr 11, 2003 - 45 comments

Man films himself eating dead baby and calls it

Man films himself eating dead baby and calls it "art" this calls to question many things. Such as cultural taboos and the importance of accepting the factor of "moral relativity". While I may find cannibalism to be sickening - some societies, such as the Anasazi apparently did not. Of course, even some in our culture can sympathize with the events that involved the Donner Party - but of course, eating a dead baby in the name of art is not a matter of survival, now is it? Can this be called art? Is doing something solely for the sake of shock value truly art?

At least there's always the humorous side of things [site appears down for now?], I suppose, even if some people don't get it.
posted by twiggy on Jan 1, 2003 - 33 comments

And this just in, from Germany ...

And this just in, from Germany ... This story is all the rage over there. It's a little too sick to describe, so I'll let you do the reading. What I find odd is that this article (from the English version of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) says he might have been "inspired by Jeffrey Dahmer," and the article in the NYTimes quotes a German saying he would expect this sort of thing in America, but not in his own country. So I ask you: When did America become the home of ritualistic cannibals?
posted by risenc on Dec 18, 2002 - 33 comments

30 years ago, a group of Uruguayan rugby players traveled to Chile to play a game against a local team. Their plane crashed in the Andes Mountains. The 27 who survived the crash were forced to eat their teammates in order to survive. After 72 days in the mountains, 16 were rescued. Their story was told in the book Alive and later a movie by the same name. Today those survivors reunited in Chile and finally played the rugby game. The Uruguayans won.
posted by einarorn on Oct 13, 2002 - 10 comments

One Man's Meat Is Another's Person.

One Man's Meat Is Another's Person. There are certain words which evoke powerful images and emotions. One such word is Cannibalism. There is a lot of myth and truth about this nearly universally distained practice. But it has happened in the United States and virtually everywhere, at one time or another. If religion were removed from the equation would cannibalism still be wrong? Is the fear of cannibalism learned or is it a self preservation instinct which might get in the way of self preservation when starving to death? Is it the last taboo?: We eat meat and we are meat.
posted by Mack Twain on Jul 29, 2002 - 76 comments

"Tita Andronica?"

"Tita Andronica?" Food for thought. Never anger a Sheila with cutlery.
posted by RavinDave on Nov 10, 2001 - 14 comments

Search wasn't working. Has there been a cannibalism link for a while? Interesting thought-experiment: If you were a cannibal, what celebrity would you most like to eat? Why? Neat how this turns all the "thin is in" BS on its head -- Camryn Mannheim, anyone?
posted by luser on May 22, 2001 - 3 comments

The Anti-Chagnon: Tobias Schneebaum reminisces

The Anti-Chagnon: Tobias Schneebaum reminisces
Schneebaum falls squarely into the romantic camp. "I'm not an anthropologist, and I didn't go to Peru to gather information," he says with mild distaste. "I wanted to meet people and have a good time. I never thought about if I was exploiting anybody. I was doing something that thrilled me, and that was the only thing on my mind." Ugh, I can't tell which is worse...
posted by rschram on Mar 26, 2001 - 4 comments

Mmmmm. Hu-ming.

Mmmmm. Hu-ming. A British archaeologist finds evidence that cannibalism still existed amongst the Celts as recently as two thousand years ago, during Roman Times.

One grisly find includes a femur which had been split lengthways in order to scrape the marrow out. Tastemungus mates :)
posted by zeoslap on Feb 28, 2001 - 6 comments


"What is most disturbing about these people is their banality, their normalness... It's the fact that these people are chatting and they are horribly normal, everyday people, yet they are capable of these acts of unimaginable savagery."

Tired of politics and Survivor 2? Let's talk about real cannibalism!
posted by lia on Feb 17, 2001 - 6 comments

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