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Key Lime Pie

With few cows, no ice, and lacking refrigeration the only dairy product reliably available to the Florida Keys in the late 18th century was condensed milk. Add a local plantation abundance of small, sour key limes (known to most as West Indian limes; not the more common Persian/Tahiti lime), and inevitably someone -- perhaps Aunt Sally -- put them together to create the quintessential Florida Keys confection known as key lime pie. [more inside]
posted by seanmpuckett on Nov 30, 2007 - 33 comments

Suddenly Last Summer

A gay Republican news story that you probably didn't read about in the paper: In late August, Ralph Gonzalez--Republican strategist, former Georgia GOP executive director, and "political powerhouse"--was murdered (along with his roommate, David Abrami, another Republican political consultant) by Gonzalez' "friend" and former Marine Jason Robert Drake. Characterized as the result of a "lovers' quarrel," it's a bizarre crime story that should've made at least a ripple in the national news, given some other recent incidents. But it never did. [more inside]
posted by cowboy_sally on Sep 19, 2007 - 30 comments

Another Great Compromise may be in order.

Today the DNC voted "to strip Florida of all its presidential convention delegates, threatening to leave the state without a vote for the party's 2008 nominee unless it delays the date of its presidential primary election." [More Inside]
posted by Avenger on Aug 25, 2007 - 63 comments

Bob Allen fears black people, loves oral.

Floridian, Republican, Representative Bob Allen the latest hypocrite to be arrested for sexual acts that his political persona derided. The difference? This one blames black people for his being caught soliciting a blowjob from an undercover cop.
posted by Kickstart70 on Aug 7, 2007 - 185 comments

Florida Folklife/Zora Neale Hurston

The Florida Memory Project has a great audio section. In addition to podcasts and lots of individual files, they've compiled three mix cds of their offerings (Music from the Florida Folklife Collection, More Music, and Shall We Gather at the River). The real gem of the collection, though, may be the WPA recordings Zora Neale Hurston made while she was collecting folk tales in Florida. (Previous y2karl omnibus folklife post)
posted by OmieWise on Jun 29, 2007 - 7 comments

Gross Misconduct

Man fired for saving life. Follow-up here.
posted by Snyder on Jun 21, 2007 - 410 comments

They say what boys do in these fields makes them fast. Is it a coincidence that there are so many of them in the NFL?

"I'm not from here, so when I was told that what these boys do in the fields makes 'em fast, I didn't believe it." Welcome to Muck City.
posted by kyleg on Apr 16, 2007 - 17 comments

Neither snow nor rain nor too-hot sand

Florida's Barefoot Mailmen traveled 68-mile routes between Palm Beach and Miami in the late 1800s. Walking 40 miles (barefoot) and rowing 28 miles over the course of three days each way, these letter carriers brought efficiency to a postal route that previously required that "a letter from Palm Beach to Miami begin its trip at the lighthouse community of Jupiter, 22 miles north, then by an Indian River steamboat to the rail head at Titusville. By train it continued to New York's port and from there by steamer to Havana. From Cuba, a trading schooner took the letter to Miami. It took a voyage of 3,000 miles and a period of six weeks to two months for a letter to arrive in Miami." Ed Hamilton, who disappeared in the course of duty (and whose mysterious death may have been engineered by moving his rowboat out of reach in alligator-infested waters), is honored with a bronze statue in Hillsboro Beach.
posted by occhiblu on Mar 14, 2007 - 6 comments

"SeaWorld bespeaks the essence of Orlando, a place whose specialty is detaching experience from context, extracting form from substance, and then selling tickets to it."

"All over Orlando you see forces at work that are changing America from Fairbanks to Little Rock. This, truly, is a 21st-century paradigm: It is growth built on consumption, not production; a society founded not on natural resources, but upon the dissipation of capital accumulated elsewhere; a place of infinite possibilities, somehow held together, to the extent it is held together at all, by a shared recognition of highway signs, brand names, TV shows, and personalities, rather than any shared history. Nowhere else is the juxtaposition of what America actually is and the conventional idea of what America should be more vivid and revealing."

"Welcome to the theme-park nation." [more inside]
posted by wander on Mar 2, 2007 - 61 comments

Disney's Private Government

The Reedy Creek Improvement District's goal "is to provide effective and efficient services to the public and our taxpayers." The taxpayer is Disney, and the taxes are used to provide services for Disney by contracting the services to Disney. The RCID is a county-like entity in Florida, composed of the cities of Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake, which are also controlled by Disney. The government of the RCID is elected by the landowners - Disney executives who own five-acre plots, the only non-corporate and non-government landowners. The governments of the cities are elected by the residents - about 40 Disney employees split between Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista. The Rotten Library (SFW article on a NSFW site) discusses the district, which is administered from a SimCity 2000 construction site.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on Feb 9, 2007 - 17 comments

Poonanie Monologues

Hoohaw? Florida comedy club changes marquee advertising a performance of "The Vagina Monologues" after a resident complains. The local news video (embedded windows media) had me laughing out loud. What's your favorite euphamism? And don't forget Woody's list.
posted by Brittanie on Feb 8, 2007 - 66 comments

Movin' on up

The Seminole Tribe of Florida was one of the few tribes never to sign a peace treaty or surrender to the U.S. government, hiding out in Florida's swamps and living in poverty. In 1979, they pioneered Indian Gaming, fighting in the courts and Congress for tribal sovereignty to allow gambling in their bingo halls. And now? They bought Hard Rock Cafe on December 7, for $965 million.
posted by dilettante on Jan 2, 2007 - 30 comments

An inverted jenny is better than a hanging chad

An official reviewing absentee ballots in Florida (where else?) noticed that it looked like someone had raided an old stamp collection for the postage on one envelope. One stamp was from 1936 and another stamp had an inverted biplane. An authentic "Inverted Jenny" could be worth $150,000, but the ballot and envelope are sealed in a ballot box, which by law, can not be opened for 22 months and then must be destroyed.
posted by 445supermag on Nov 13, 2006 - 46 comments

Are our library books safe?

Grandma, we only need you to fill it up to this line.
Levy County, Florida, in the Good Old US of A is requiring drug tests of its library volunteers, most of whom are between 60 and 85 years of age. “It’s not like we are a high-risk group for coming in drunk or high or stoned or whatever.” This has, of course, put a dent in their volunteer pool (scroll down to "Municipalities"). Moody said that when the county signed the contract with First Lab to provide drug-testing a year ago, urine samples were the only means considered. "We didn't know that there were other options," Moody said.
posted by iurodivii on Nov 12, 2006 - 57 comments

But each time he hit the button next to the candidate, the Republican choice showed up.

Her vote went smoothly, but boss Gary Rudolf called her over to look at what was happening on his machine. He touched the screen for gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis, a Democrat, but the review screen repeatedly registered the Republican, Charlie Crist. ...A poll worker then helped Rudolf, but it took three tries to get it right, Reed said. ... Broward Supervisor of Elections spokeswoman Mary Cooney said it's not uncommon for screens on heavily used machines to slip out of sync, making votes register incorrectly. ... Early voting problems already in Florida.
posted by amberglow on Oct 30, 2006 - 107 comments

O Florida

Krishna Maharaj is a British businessman who was convicted of the 1986 murder of a Jamaican father and son in a hotel room in Miami, Florida. He was given the death penalty, but this was commuted to a life sentence in 2002 due to irregularities in his trial. Well, "irregularities" is an understatement: none of Maharaj's seven alibi witnesses were called to the stand. Maharaj is widely understood to be innocent, and another prime suspect has been identified. In 2001, 300 British politicians wrote to Jeb Bush, requesting a retrial. Considering this possibility in 2004, the Florida judge said that “newly discovered evidence which goes only to guilt or innocence is insufficient to warrant relief" and denied the motion. The US Supreme Court refused to take the case. Krishna Maharaj must now rely on the mercy of Jeb Bush.
BBC Newsnight with 2-part video documentary
2004 FAQ
Campaign website
posted by thirteenkiller on Oct 18, 2006 - 58 comments

Man marries daughter

A rich man was not content just to have sex with his own daughter so he asked her to marry him and she said yes and so it goes.
posted by xmutex on Sep 27, 2006 - 125 comments

The ups and downs of helium

LBJ and the helium filled astronaut. In 1964, the Skylab project wanted to send a phone call to the president. They had a hard time convincing the operators to put the call through. (g2 real audio link from npr) But today, 2 college students in florida discovered that helium can be dangerous.
posted by pyramid termite on Jun 4, 2006 - 24 comments

The Rebellion of the Black Seminoles

Rebellion: John Horse and the Black Seminoles, First Black Rebels to Beat American Slavery. "Rebellion is a Web documentary that explores the inspiring, true, and largely unknown story of John Horse and the Black Seminoles, a community of free blacks and fugitive slaves who in 1838 became the first black rebels to defeat American slavery." This visually arresting site is a treasure trove of information about the Seminoles, early Florida history, and a largely unrecognized (and successful!) slave rebellion that may have been the largest in American history. The site includes interactive maps, arresting images, and a thorough history of the rebellion. Too bad the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma expelled all its black members in 1990.
posted by LarryC on May 31, 2006 - 13 comments

Beyond the Mouse

Folkvine: A creative presentation of Florida folk artists and their work. The interface can be a little baroque, but there's some nifty stuff inside.
posted by Miko on Apr 17, 2006 - 5 comments

Take one more step, and see what happens...

Police abuse remains one of the most serious and divisive human rights violations in the United States. The excessive use of force by police officers, including unjustified shootings, severe beatings, fatal chokings, and rough treatment, persists because overwhelming barriers to accountability make it possible for officers who commit human rights violations to escape due punishment and often to repeat their offenses. This reporter went out to discover just how hard it would be to anonymously file a complaint report. As it turns out, he was threatened, roughed up, and even intimidated by the suggestion that he would be shot. After reporter Mike Kirsch filed this story, the retaliation was swift and one would have thought, illegal.
posted by dejah420 on Apr 5, 2006 - 67 comments

Christine Chubbuck

"In keeping with Channel 40's policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts and in living color, you are going to see another first -- attempted suicide." The 1976 multiple-Oscar-winning movie Network is said to have been partially inspired by this suicide. [Aug. 4, 1974 Washington Post story (PDF)]. This guy doubts that a tape exists.
posted by spock on Mar 28, 2006 - 30 comments

School shooting suspect caught via his Myspace profile

Marcus McKinney was arrested Wednesday for the gang-related shooting of Michael Jacola at Orange Park High School in Jacksonville. Florida. Marcus was caught because left his photo on his Myspace.com profile alongside various comments about belonging to a gang.
posted by tapeguy on Feb 24, 2006 - 40 comments

The Dancing House

Weird buildings.
posted by angrybeaver on Feb 20, 2006 - 64 comments

Ice vs. toilet water

Jasmine Roberts, a seventh-grade student: "I found that 70-percent of the time, the ice from the fast food restaurant's contain more bacteria than the fast food restaurant's toilet water."
posted by riffola on Feb 15, 2006 - 63 comments

Those who cast the vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.

"After watching his computer expert change vote totals this week, Sancho said that he now believes someone on the inside did the same think in Volusia County in 2000." Leon County, FL election supervisor alleges fraud in the Bush/Gore election. "In Volusia County precinct 216, a memory card added more than 200 votes to George W. Bush's total and subtracted 16,000 votes from Al Gore. The mistake was later corrected during a hand count."
posted by Artifice_Eternity on Dec 15, 2005 - 81 comments

Taking Youth Drug Awareness to New Heights

That'll teach 'em. Two 10-year old girls arrested in Florida and suspended from school for possession of... well uhm, parsely, actually.
posted by digaman on Nov 29, 2005 - 55 comments

duck!!!

Aside from saving money on admission to Disney World and other theme parks, Florida residents can now use deadly force! A series of ads being runned in British papers warns potential tourists of Florida's new Shoot-First law (or the "Stand Your Ground" law for the 'backers out there). Paid for by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. [Previously on mefi]
posted by icontemplate on Sep 30, 2005 - 53 comments

Kubla Khan

Xanadu Home of the Future sits rotting in Kissimmee, Florida. It was built in the early 80s by Roy Mason and combined a unique architectural approach with an environment controlled by Commodore computers. Squatters were probably not part of this future plan. You can buy this visionary piece of futures past today or you could buy one in Sedona. However, be aware that the Gatlinburg and Wisconsin Xanadus were not preserved.
posted by PHINC on Jun 10, 2005 - 26 comments

ScandalFilter!

A Florida court has blocked a thirteen year old girl's abortion. The judge's ruling comes in spite of Florida state law which specifically does not require a minor to seek parental consent before an abortion.
posted by thirteenkiller on Apr 30, 2005 - 170 comments

Big Ass Shark!

Giant Mako Shark Video
On Friday some fishheads in Pensacola, FL, cruising only 300 yards off the beach came up on a 10' mako shark that happened to be munching on what might have been (before it got munched) a world record tarpon. The video is almost 8 min. long and there are some good shots of the shark near the boat. It is also rich in loud, NSFW language. BTW, the mako is the only shark known to jump when hooked.
posted by wsg on Apr 24, 2005 - 27 comments

New proposed Florida law

Don't pick up a ten dollar bill on the ground at Disney World You may be shot, legally, of course!
posted by lee on Apr 6, 2005 - 105 comments

The Academic Freedom Bill of Rights

The Academic Freedom Bill of Rights is slowly making its way through the Florida Senate. This bill would give students the right to sue professors if they feel their beliefs are not being respected during a class.
posted by hex1848 on Mar 24, 2005 - 60 comments

This Is Your Brain On Jeb

Blogger analysis of Terri Schiavo's CAT Scan. Healthy brain. Terri Schiavo's brain.
posted by fandango_matt on Mar 23, 2005 - 105 comments

People Are Strange

Before he broke on through (to the other side), Jim Morrison--yes, of The Doors--starred in this promotional film produced by Florida State University, circa 1964.
posted by fandango_matt on Mar 10, 2005 - 9 comments

270 Miles From Graceland

Music for the Kind : A half-completed tentative lineup for the fourth annual Bonnaroo Music Festival has been announced. With no advertising budget, the festival draws 90,000 fans to the pastures of Manchester, Tennessee for some of the best that live music has to offer. Smaller local festivals, like Langerado and Wanee Festival in Florida, have popped up featuring many of the same artists. Phish may be phried, but the music jams on and there could be a brighter future for selling music than more MTV.
posted by trinarian on Jan 22, 2005 - 12 comments

If you live on Planet Earth, you might be interested in this

Clinton Eugene Curtis gives sworn testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary. [RealPlayer, sorry]
Yang Enterprises (YEI) respond.
Brad Friedman responds in kind.
... next ... previously ...
posted by Pretty_Generic on Dec 19, 2004 - 27 comments

Lies, Damn lies, and everything looks like a nail

We conclude that the study is entirely without merit and its “results” are meaningless. Remember Florida and those electronic voting machines? Remember those plucky Berkeley grad students who proved something was wrong with the evoting counties? It turns out they were completely wrong.
posted by allan on Dec 7, 2004 - 29 comments

In sworn affidavit, programmer says he developed vote-rigging prototype for Florida congressman; Congressman’s office silent

In sworn affidavit, programmer says he developed vote-rigging prototype for Florida congressman; Congressman’s office silent - Will this go the way of the Wayne Madsen report? Perhaps this is, as some have noted, just another Rovian Hit. At this point in time, I keep my tinfoil hat ready. Even if it were true, I doubt the Republican-majority-ed House and Senate are can hardly be expected to investigate themselves. For now, I just keep laughing at HERCUBUSH (Quicktime) (Real) and trying to convince myself that we are all in Bush now.
posted by jackspace on Dec 6, 2004 - 35 comments

Fearless Leader

Apparently, the reports of our leader's pictures being taken down around the country aren't true. WTF???
posted by jpburns on Nov 24, 2004 - 198 comments

Did Lightning Strike Twice in Florida?

Florida is the New Florida Although many discussions of voting anomalies focused on Ohio, a statistical analysis of Florida voting patterns performed by sociologists at University of California, Berkeley suggests that electronic touch screen voting in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade may have credited George Bush with up to 260,000 extra votes in Florida. The discrepancy is not enough to change who won Florida, but it could have narrowed Bush's lead to 90,000 votes instead of 350,000, highlighting the need for better auditing of elections with electronic voting.
posted by jonp72 on Nov 18, 2004 - 33 comments

The Bush Pledge

"I want you to stand, raise your right hands," and recite "the Bush Pledge," said Florida state Sen. Ken Pruitt. The assembled mass of about 2,000 in this Treasure Coast town about an hour north of West Palm Beach dutifully rose, arms aloft, and repeated after Pruitt: "I care about freedom and liberty. I care about my family. I care about my country. Because I care, I promise to work hard to re-elect, re-elect George W. Bush as president of the United States."

Sooooo...Can I invoke Godwin's Law on reality?
posted by solistrato on Oct 29, 2004 - 40 comments

More irregularities in Florida?

Postal Ballots go missing in Florida. "Some 60,000 absentee ballots were despatched by authorities in Broward County, north of Miami, this month. However, only 2,000 of them have been delivered. "
posted by viama on Oct 28, 2004 - 24 comments

Harris is.... Hard to Kill!

Missed Opportunity A Florida motorist was arrested on Wednesday on charges of trying to run down U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris.
posted by adamms222 on Oct 27, 2004 - 38 comments

One man, one vote.. well sort of!

Democracy Republican style.
Greg Palast's film will be broadcast by Newsnight on Tuesday, 26 October, 2004 by the BBC. You can also watch the show from the BBC website, either live or on demand for 24 hours after originally broadcast, by clicking on the latest programme button.
posted by DrDoberman on Oct 26, 2004 - 8 comments

And so it starts...

SEIU union and other Democratic groups have been holding rallies at early voting locations in Palm Beach County, where they have a captive audience of voters standing in line. Normally campaign workers can not come with in 50 feet of polling places, but apparently that rule does not apply to this year's new Early Voting in Florida.
One woman who voted early in Boca Raton, at the Southwest County Regional Library, complained that as she stood in line, two men behind her were "trashing our president," Fletcher said, declining to identify the woman. She tried to ignore them. Then the man touched her arm and said, "Who are you voting for?"

"I said, `I don't think that's an appropriate question,'" the woman said she responded.

"Uh oh! We have a Bush supporter here," screamed the man behind her.

For the 2 1/2 hours she had to wait in line, she was heckled by the man. As they neared the voting room, someone in the rear of the line yelled, "I sure hope everyone here is voting for Kerry!" she reported.

That's when the man behind her held his hand over her head and screamed, "We have a Republican right here!" There were "boos and jeers" from the crowd.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood on Oct 23, 2004 - 105 comments

The Path to Florida

The Path to Florida A long Vanity Fair article (part one and part two, both PDFs) about the experiences and reactions of US Supreme Court clerks during the 2000 election and Bush v. Gore [PDFs hosted at SCOTUSblog; via Intel Dump]
posted by kirkaracha on Sep 23, 2004 - 11 comments

Maybe there is a god...

God hates Bush voters.
posted by jpburns on Sep 22, 2004 - 47 comments

science

View the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tall oak tree just outside the buildings of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons.
posted by semmi on Sep 20, 2004 - 18 comments

Let him enforce it!

"It's up to the judge to determine, based on the law, whether Nader should be on the ballot or not" - Jeb Bush. In fact, the court has issued an injunction barring placing Nader on the ballot. But today, Bush's Secretary of State issued an order [pdf] to local elections officials, telling them to ignore the current injunction and place Nader's name on the ballot anyway. [via Kos]
posted by falconred on Sep 13, 2004 - 44 comments

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