It used to be that a CD or good old fashioned 12" vinyl would simply play, and your only indication of when it was about to end would be the album tracklisting printed on the sleeve. Hearing another song start up just as you thought the album was finished and got up to change the record was always an unexpected thrill - a surprise encore in your bedroom, a sort of reward for listening right through to the end. Yes, the iPod and its many variants have transformed the way people listen to music, but as someone who grew up waiting excitedly when an album finished to see if there was an extra hidden treat at the end of an album, I'll always see the death of the secret song as the sad flipside of its success. [more inside]
posted by mannequito
on Dec 16, 2013 -
On January 5th 2012, an image
was uploaded to various image boards. It contained two messages. One was obvious & easy to read. In white letters on a black background it said:
Hello. We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test. There is a message hidden in this image. Find it, and it will lead you on the road to finding us. We look forward to meeting the few that will make it all the way through. Good luck.
As promised there was another message hidden inside the image. It was the start of a bizarre, as yet unexplained chain of complex hidden messages leading those who could solve them on a journey across the Internet and around the world towards a destination none of them could predict with certainty. Is it a highly evolved ARG? Is it a recruitment campaign for the NSA?
Welcome to the mystery of Cicada 3301
posted by scalefree
on Nov 25, 2013 -
"A few days ago Colleen Theisen who helps with outreach and instruction at the Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa shared an amazing gif she made that demonstrates something called fore-edge painting on the edge of a 1837 book called Autumn by Robert Mudie. Fore-edge painting, which is believed to date back as early as the 1650s, is a way of hiding a painting on the edge of a book so that it can only be seen when the pages are fanned out. There are even books that have double fore-edge paintings, where a different image can be seen by flipping the book over and fanning the pages in the opposite direction. When I realized the book Theisen shared was only one of a series about the seasons, I got in touch and she agreed to photograph the other three so we could share them with you here
posted by SpacemanStix
on Sep 2, 2013 -
When you send people passwords and private links via email or chat, there are copies of that information stored in many places. If you use a one-time link instead, the information persists for a single viewing which means it can't be read by someone else later. This allows you to send sensitive information in a safe way knowing it's seen by one person only. Think of it like a self-destructing message, a One Time Secret
posted by netbros
on Dec 16, 2011 -
is the tale of Walter, a rookie secret agent faced with a problem seldom covered in basic training: what to do when a curious pigeon gets trapped inside your multi-million dollar, government-issued nuclear briefcase.
posted by netbros
on May 24, 2010 -
"I work at a used and rare bookstore, and I buy books from people every day. These are the personal, funny, heartbreaking and weird things I find in those books. "
posted by milquetoast
on Jul 25, 2009 -
(Previously: 1 2
the Formal Evidence Session on UK Complicity in Torture on Tuesday 28 April 1.45pm UK time.
You can (hopefully) watch it on Parliament TV
If you want to have a good look at UK / US complicity in torture, this
might be a good place to start...
Please note he has said "There is absolutely no way I am going to kill myself. Just thought it might be wise to get that out in public!". Hopefully statements like that won't be necessary.
posted by debord
on Apr 28, 2009 -
The International Institute of Social History
was founded in 1935. It is one of the world's largest documentary and research institutions in the field of social history. From their collections: Secret Societies
: Documents and illustrations of Freemasons, Jesuits, Illuminati, Carbonari, Burschenschaften and other putative secret societies and clandestine organizations.
posted by nickyskye
on Feb 24, 2008 -
The ability of Postsecret to reach out
and touch everyday lives has not waned with its increased popularity and reknown. "I feel the same way. I often wonder why I even have a phone because I rarely receive calls."
Then he offered a metaphorical ear.
"If there was a way we could contact each other, that would be cool. My phone number is 605-212-7787." [more inside]
posted by Phire
on Oct 8, 2007 -
is a tiny, picturesque
hamlet on the coast of Suffolk harbouring a big WW2 mystery: the best developed rumour is of an attempt by the Germans to invade Britain at this spot which was anticipated and intercepted by pumping fuel onto the sea surface and setting fire to it. UK files on the subject are closed, again mysteriously, until 2021. Ronald Ashford, who claims to have been an eye witness
, has a lot more information
. You can stay
posted by rongorongo
on Jul 5, 2007 -
It began with
an innocent-looking Valentine's Day card in 2005.
Inside the card were several slips of paper, a hastily cut-up printout of names of 550 secret detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The human rights lawyer who received "this weird valentine" handed it over to authorities, and this week the court martial begins for JAG LtCmdr Matthew Diaz, facing 36 years for divulging state secrets.
Whither goest thou, American Jurisprudence
posted by planetkyoto
on May 15, 2007 -
All the episodes
of The Secret Life of Machines
are available online. Created by engineer, artist, tinkerer and cartoonist Tim Hunkin
, the show took a look at the science and mechanics behind common household objects, with a bit of social history, homemade laboratory experiments, and downplayed humor. The series grew out of a long-running strip, which Hunkin has now offers as his own cartoon encyclopedia
. You can also try some experiments
of your own, marvel at the coin-operated contraptions
he made for the Under the Pier Show
in Suffolk (don't miss the film
), and read his thoughts
about his brief foray into the fine art world and his ruminations
about how art and engineering mix.
posted by hydrophonic
on Jan 5, 2007 -
The Salvador Option
--sending Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, in imitation of our actions in El Salvador. It remains unclear, however, whether this would be a policy of assassination or so-called "snatch" operations, in which the targets are sent to secret facilities for interrogation.
including this: In Iraq, in fact, as in many other places where the United States has tried to train ethical armies to fight dirty wars, the Iraqi troops are tacitly expected to do what American troops won’t. A fundamental purpose of the upcoming elections on January 30 is to create democratic legitimacy for whatever extreme measures the newly organized military decides to take.
posted by amberglow
on Jan 14, 2005 -
The secret of Harry Houdini's signature "Metamorphosis" escape trick is out of the bag
. Do not visit that page if you don't want to know how he did it.
posted by riffola
on Jun 6, 2004 -
Secret 9/11 case before high court
"It's the case that doesn't exist. Even though two different federal courts have conducted hearings and issued rulings, there has been no public record of any action. No documents are available. No files. No lawyer is allowed to speak about it. Period."
posted by Irontom
on Nov 3, 2003 -
The (not so) Secret Weblog of Laura Palmer
brings back many memories of trying to work out who the real murderer was, and being deeply infuriated with how the story ended. As Agent Cooper puts it: "I know that good is stronger than evil and yet sometimes it's difficult to see it. Even in a place like Twin Peaks." [via Caro]
posted by feelinglistless
on Apr 8, 2003 -
You've probably heard of the WWII Navajo "code talkers"
who managed to baffle crack Japanese cryptanalysts and were credited with enabling US success at Iwo Jima. Civil engineer, journalist and photographer Philip Johnston
was the determined mind behind the "windtalkers". The son of missionaries, Johnston grew up on a Navajo reservation and was one of only a handful of outsiders fluent in the Navajo language. A bit of his background is included this article
, and you can read a complete history
of his plan, view an archive of photos by Johnston
, and see copies of his enlistment application
letter to the Marine Corps commandant, as well as a recommendation letter
from the Commanding General. (more inside...)
posted by taz
on Jan 22, 2003 -