45 MetaFilter comments by dougb

Your Very Own Nuclear Island Getaway Johnston Atoll, described by J. Maarten Troost in his book The Sex Lives of Cannibals as the "vilest place on earth" is for sale.
comment posted at 10:23 PM on Jul-24-06

Baltimore Officials Puzzled By Stolen Light Poles. Thieves, apparently sometimes disguising themselves as utility workers, have stolen 130+ aluminum light poles in Baltimore. How is it that no one has seen the thieves making off with a 30' pole? On the other hand, maybe this will help the city find its new slogan (I like "Baltimore: Leading the Fight Against Light Pollution").
comment posted at 1:54 PM on Nov-25-05

FDA to ban sperm donations from homosexuals. Claims the rate of HIV among gay men is statistically high enough to warrant the exclusion. Gay community suggests discrimination. See also: Gay blood ban (in effect since 1985).
comment posted at 11:47 PM on May-5-05

Mapping couplings at a high school Sociologists graphed the romantic and sexual relationships of 80% of an entire high school (832 out of ~1000 students). The research indicates that high schoolers lack sexual alpha-persons resulting in partner maps that are mostly long lines rather than the more hub and spoke like maps common in adult maps.
comment posted at 12:53 AM on Jan-31-05

Math And Science Song Information, Viewable Everywhere. For all those times you've needed a catchy acappella tune about doppler shifting [mp3] in a hurry, there's now MASSIVE, a fully searchable collaborative database of over 1700 songs about math and science, sponsored in part by the seriously pedagogical Science Songwriters Association. Biz Markie made the cut, and so can you. [via the always-effervescent Research Buzz]
comment posted at 11:52 PM on Dec-27-04

OK, Seattleites, see the American flag here ? On the sidewalk below is where your 3rd & Pine McDonalds now sits. Man, I can see five buildings here that are still standing, but that red brick one at the lower right got replaced early. Now here's the Northern Life Tower. Note how the bricks lighten towards the top, so as to make it look taller from below--very subtle, that. It's one of Seattle's two Art Deco buildings, the other being the Exchange Building. You can cut through that one, coming off the ferry at First Avenue and take the elevator to walk out on Second Ave rather than climb that steep hill, you know.
     And consider on what playground equipment our grandparents got to play. Lucky stiffs--you can't even find a decent 50s era swing set in a park in this town anymore. Penny Postcards From King County, from Penny Postcards of Washington, from Penny Postcards. Man, I loves me some vintage postcards. And if you do, too, check that last link--it's got all 50 states.
comment posted at 2:19 PM on Dec-19-04

"It turns out that not all the world's information is already on the Internet." Google's attempt at bringing the larger text-iverse into its purview has been previously discussed here. But now it's apparently a reality, at least in a limited beta. Results from aleph to zebra.
comment posted at 12:57 PM on Dec-17-03

Saw it on a truck on the street; thought I was hallucinating; Googled it, and yes, they're into concrete pumping, and it's a German company, too. One for the "Bad Business Name Hall of Shame" that I started with my Blonder Tongue thread a year-and-a-half ago. Got any more? Think of it as a MetaTurkeyShoot for the day before Thanksgiving...
comment posted at 11:20 PM on Nov-26-03

newspeak from disney: we at the Walt Disney Internet Group are dedicated to protecting your privacy and handling any personal information we obtain from you with care and respect. How is your personally identifiable information used and shared? The Walt Disney Family of Companies may use your personally identifiable information in many ways, including sending you promotional materials, and sharing your information with third parties so that these third parties can send you promotional materials. [...]As another example of Operational Uses, we may share your personal information with the Walt Disney World © Resort telephone reservations center [...] The Walt Disney Family of Companies may share your personal information with companies that offer products and/or services under brand names of The Walt Disney Family of Companies. [...] use of personal information shared with them under this Privacy Policy is subject to the same opt-out rights (and limitations upon those rights)
comment posted at 10:33 AM on Nov-16-03

The world's largest card file? "Google is in talks with several publishers to build a service that would allow Web surfers to search the full text of books online, according to a report this week from Publishers Weekly's online site."
comment posted at 10:11 AM on Oct-29-03

As the Boston Red Sox are poised to head to the 2003 World Series in a final American League matchup (the first Game 7 featuring opposing Cy Young pitchers) featuring ex-Sox Roger Clemens (the only person to ever win 6 Cy Young Awards) against Pedrom Martinez (3 Cy Young's), I thought I would offer a brief glimpse into every Boston Fan's nightmares: The Curse. [More Horror Inside]
comment posted at 12:59 AM on Oct-17-03

Sorry Matt, you can't post in this thread. Google changes its Adsense agreement so that anyone participating in the program is barred from talking about the program. First rule of Adsense, there is no Adsense.
comment posted at 12:25 PM on Oct-3-03

BlackSpotSneaker: Adbusters aims to take on Nike at their own game, by selling unionized, fair wage sneakers with the hopes of gaining marketshare that rival's Nike's multimillion dollar ad machine.
comment posted at 11:19 AM on Sep-11-03

The launch page for Super Sticky Post It Notes has a creepy staged picture of a mom handing her daughter a post-it laden lunch box. Besides the creepy look on mom's face and the reminder post-it stuck to the outside of the front door, I also like how the writing on each post it is horizontal, regardless of the orientation of the post it. It's like one of those "can you pick out the 12 things wrong with this picture" games. I love advertising.
comment posted at 11:35 AM on Aug-13-03

6000 breathtaking aerial photos of American towns and other sites, with particularly good coverage of towns in New England (MA, VT, CT, NH, RI, ME). All of this by one photographer, Joseph Melanson, whose mission in life is "to show you facets of your environment that you never realized no matter how long you lived there."
comment posted at 1:38 PM on Aug-6-03

Journey into Kimland • American graduate student Scott Fisher lives in Seoul Korea where he studies US-NK relations. Last year he took advantage of a brief window of opportunity: venturing North into the DPRK. His itinerary included Pyongyang, the DMZ, Mt. Myohyang, and Mangyongdae, birthplace of Kim Il-sung. The notes & photos he took explicitly document a mysterious and out-of-time North Korean culture rarely seen these days by Western eyes.
comment posted at 7:11 AM on Aug-5-03

Old white Congressman tells black activist to get out of his state: "The people of Michigan have a simple message to you: go home and stay there. We do not need you stirring up trouble where none exists. Michiganders do not take kindly to your ignorant meddling in our affairs. We have no need for itinerant publicity seekers, non-resident troublemakers or self-aggrandizing out-of-state agitators." (pdf link -- emphasis added) You'd be forgiven for assuming this letter was written in 1965 from a southern segregationist to a civil rights activist. But the writer is actually the most senior Democrat in Congress, John Dingell, the activist is University of California Regent (and Affirmative Action opponent) Ward Connerly, and the letter was written July 6, 2003. It seems Dingell isn't happy with Connerly’s efforts to promote a Michigan ballot initiative outlawing the use of race as a factor in hiring and college admissions. But Connerly isn't one to just bow his head and shuffle back to Cali: "[T]he term arrogance does not begin to capture the essence of a United States Congressman advising an American citizen to refrain from participating in the affairs of his government. Ironically, your advice is the echo of southern segregationists who sought the comfort of states' rights to practice their discrimination against black Americans. Have you learned nothing about 'civil rights' from that horrible chapter in our nation's history?" [via Critical Mass]
comment posted at 11:32 AM on Jul-22-03

Top Ten Spam Subject Lines. (PDF) Inside: I'll save you the clickthrough
comment posted at 9:11 AM on Jul-10-03

Go south, young man! An MIT student attempts to sail to Cuba on an outrigger canoe. Hallucinations, not hilarity, ensues.
comment posted at 2:23 PM on Jul-2-03

You too can discover the wonders of Scientology. Please take with you this educational material straight from the 70's. [via Daypop]
comment posted at 11:05 AM on Jun-26-03

In 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... 1... 1... 1... "In this footage obtained exclusively by The Memory Hole, watch as the President of the United States sits and does nothing after learning that his country is under attack." Andrew Card whispers about plane #2, POTUS remains engrossed in book. (Warning: Quicktime, little kids reading slowly in unison for five long minutes.)
comment posted at 6:35 AM on Jun-26-03
comment posted at 10:06 AM on Jun-26-03

Last week a Honolulu circuit court judge ordered an injunction against Mainline Airlines LLC, after discovering that the low-fare-to-Hawaii airline was not registered with the FAA. On further investigation, a college student has been accused of claiming ownership of Mainline, despite it having no planes, crew, FAA registration, or for that matter anything other that a web site. At least Frank Abagnale used a real airline to commit fraud...
comment posted at 12:36 PM on Jun-13-03

Gay Pride events are taking place worldwide this month, and PlanetOut has got a number of interesting features to mark them: most fascinating to me are a series of coming out stories from other, mostly third world, countries. The first a tale of someone growing up gay in Bosnia, and today from someone in the Phillipines, with more to follow each day this week. There's also an article commemorating the 25th anniversary of the rainbow flag (which is getting back in the pink). Good, if not terribly in-depth, stuff. Be careful when following the links, you might run into some gay/lesbian/non-vanilla NSFW stuff.
comment posted at 8:55 PM on Jun-3-03

I So Want This House It Hurts. Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House is up for sale. If price was no object and location wasn't a problem, where would you choose to really live? What architect, living or dead; what building, available or not, would you choose? [NYT reg. required for main link..]
comment posted at 11:35 AM on Jun-1-03

Bwah! Why can't I have a Jack Russell? Until yesterday, I had my heart set on a Jack Russell... [More inside.]
comment posted at 6:01 AM on May-15-03

Things to scale. Mostly terrifying. IE users can drag around.
comment posted at 7:04 AM on Apr-28-03

The 300m (984ft) Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea isn't a hotel - it's a metaphor. (pictures, comparative diagram)
comment posted at 6:50 AM on Dec-5-02

Your Internet Connection Is Not Optimized! Are the ever-popular fake error message banners illegal? The people involved in the current class action suit against Bonzi Software (makers of the infamous BonziBuddy and several other programs that have been classified as Adware/Trackware and accused of being Spyware) believe so.
comment posted at 9:31 AM on Dec-4-02

An astonishing bequest of $100 million to Poetry Magazine instantly turns a 4-person literary journal into the wealthiest poetry organization on the planet. The benefactress, Ruth Lilly, has given millions to libraries and medical research labs in the midwest. But poetry has never been showered with such munificence until now. What will this donation achieve beyond ensuring the existence of the journal into perpetuity?
comment posted at 6:40 AM on Nov-19-02

U.S. states ranked according to smartness. The ranking was based on such factors as average high school dropout rate, how much teachers earn and how frequently they are attacked, etc. There are probably some other relevant factors they might have included, but didn't. What criteria do you think would be most appropriate for measuring a state's relative intelligence?
comment posted at 12:10 PM on Nov-15-02

The Google Glossary Game: Poking Friday Fun At The Bots! Credited to B from the Google Glossary Public Labs, as shown here, it uses the hilarious growing pains and machine-made imperfections of the Google Glossary and here's how it works... [Rules inside.]
comment posted at 8:27 AM on Nov-1-02

AOL kills the pop-up? "By ending third-party pop-ups and merchandise sales we are giving our members what they want," says Chief Executive Jon Miller. Clever strategy. Since there's now hardly any new users to attract to their service, they're trying to appeal to slightly more experienced net users. Are you annoyed by pop-ups? Would you sign up to AOL?
comment posted at 3:16 PM on Oct-15-02

Few Advertisers Use Pop-Ups (or do they?) "Though they seem to be everywhere on the Internet, pop-up advertisements are used by less than 10 percent of all companies that advertise online, according to a report from Nielsen//NetRatings." Do you buy this? Is this industry propaganda or a true description of what is out there? The sites I visit regularly all seem to have pop-ups (e.g. nytimes, espn, slate, theatlantic.com). For the last 1 month or so, ESPN seems to launch two pop-ups when I first visit them, in fact. What has your experience been?
comment posted at 2:12 PM on Sep-16-02

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, You May Be Very Liberal But Are You Gay Or Lesbian Enough? And, if you're a sufficiently gay man (congratulations and all that) what kind exactly are you? And are you convincing enough? Not because it's Friday or anything, but you might as well know before you go out tonight, no?
comment posted at 12:26 PM on Aug-30-02

Steven. Steven. Steven. I can't get enough of this incredibly-cute-but-I-don't-normally-go-for-such-obvious-twinkiness pitchperson for Dell Computers. Apparently, neither can anyone else, as Steven (or more properly, actor Ben Curtis) has been Dell's most successful advertising, uh, tool ever. Why do we love him? His Bill'n'Ted vocabulary? His toothy grin? Whatever the reason, at least now I no longer have to glue myself to the television to watch his latest commercial overandoverandoverand Dude, I'll get a Dell if you deliver it to me personally. So to speak. Is it wrong to love a fictional character so much? Is there a support group? Any other MeFites have a strange attraction going on here? I can't be the only one, can I?
comment posted at 6:04 PM on Jul-9-02
comment posted at 7:15 PM on Jul-9-02

Nickelodeon is airing a special tonight on families that have same-sex parents. The concern of some is that this show: "proves that this network has been co-opted by homosexual activists who are targeting children. Sodomy is not a family value. Nickelodeon has now lost the trust of parents."

My issue with it is that it appears that they are not publicizing the fact that they are showing this to the parents to allow them to decide if their children should watch it or not... I couldn't find anything on their website, except the listing in the schedule for "Nick News Special Edition" (MORE INSIDE)
comment posted at 2:09 PM on Jun-18-02
comment posted at 2:34 PM on Jun-18-02

MillerTime.com is a site run by the Miller family of San Carlos, CA since 1995. The site serves as a place for projects and code built and maintained by the family. They run their own non-profit group to help schools use technology, but their domain name, which they aren't interesting in selling has run afoul of Phillip J. Morris aka Miller Brewing Company, and is being shut down. They've filed suit against being labelled cybersquatters, but the domain is getting taken offline as we speak.
comment posted at 11:18 AM on May-10-02
comment posted at 1:10 PM on May-10-02
comment posted at 1:11 PM on May-10-02

Don't Confuse Me With The Facts
Post 9/11- fewer folks are taking vows and more are splitting up, Armed Forces Enlistment figures haven't budged, people not going to church more, Washington, D.C., the murder rate spiked 47 percent after Sept. 11; in Denver, shoplifting went up by 12 percent.
Never one to be confused with any type of facts, Government Folks say different.
I guess I'll continue to believe only that which reinforces my preconceived notions.
comment posted at 10:50 AM on Jan-16-02