MetaFilter posts by absalom.
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Confronting New Madrid (Part 1): In the winter of 1811-12, the New Madrid fault in southern Missouri triggered a series of earthquakes in so powerful they altered the course of the Mississippi River and rang church bells as far away as Philadelphia... and we still don't fully understand why. A similar quake today is estimated to be the costliest disaster in US History.
Confronting New Madrid (Part 2): As dangerous as the threat of "the big one" might be, however, the real disaster is us.
posted on Jul-16-15 at 1:21 PM

In 1967, Ronald Reagan began a revolution in education by altering the scope and purpose of California's public universities: A higher education should prepare students for jobs. Full stop.
posted on Jan-27-15 at 3:46 PM

A day-by-day map of World War I.
posted on Jul-28-14 at 3:25 PM

Competitive board gamers are a serious lot. Perhaps none are more serious than the players of the most ruthless and harrowing board game of all: Diplomacy.
posted on Jun-18-14 at 10:57 AM

When the constables pulled out their truncheons, the Bodyguard responded in kind, drawing hardwood Indian clubs . . . from the bustles of their long dresses. The fight for women's suffrage was not always a metaphorical one.
posted on Jul-3-13 at 6:46 AM


posted on May-6-13 at 3:52 PM

What's it like to live in one of those six houses from the opening of Full House?
posted on May-12-12 at 1:43 PM

Fantasy Paper Minatures does exactly what it says on the tin.
posted on Mar-30-12 at 4:08 PM

Edison's footage of the Princeton v. Yale (1903) football contest.
posted on Feb-22-12 at 2:50 PM

January of last year, Wayside Creations - a YouTube troupe with a penchant for propmaking - released Nuka Break, a fan film based on Fallout: New Vegas.
posted on Jan-30-12 at 2:56 PM

Innsmouth: The Musical. Carol of the Old Ones. Shoggoth, Shoggoth, Shoggoth. If I Were A Deep One. I Saw My Mommy Kissing Yog-Sothoth. Away In A Madhouse. Freddy the Red Brained Mi-Go. I'm Dreaming of a Dead City. Awake Ye Scary Great Old Ones. The Cultist Song. Byakhee, Byakhee.
posted on Mar-25-09 at 2:01 PM

Ayn Rand and Phil Donahue.
posted on Jan-21-09 at 5:05 PM

Join the Iraqi Police.
posted on May-22-08 at 5:13 PM

Among industrialized nations, Japan has a pretty low rate of violent crime, a relatively high number of police, and a virtually non-existent acquittal rate. Yet, somehow the Yakuza persists.
posted on May-12-08 at 4:45 PM

Bobby Egan: Restaurateur and Amateur Diplomat.
posted on Apr-10-08 at 3:15 PM

Some say volcanoes killed them. Some people say an impact. Some say both. Coulda been bugs, actually. Lots of theories, some better than others. Not like it's that uncommon in the grand scheme of things.
posted on Jan-4-08 at 2:32 PM

Through alcohol and vicodin addicition, trauma, grief, and loss, Brett Favre has thrown the ball for the largest muncipally-owned professional sports team in the United States. After reinventing himself several times over, and leading his team to an improbable string of wins and accomplishments a year after almost retiring, he is Sport's Illustrated's sportsman of the year.
posted on Dec-4-07 at 2:50 PM

Is there anything Japanese sailors won't have sex with? [via]
posted on Aug-30-07 at 2:19 PM

Last summer, Uwe Boll took on four of his many critics. The "Teutonic Terror" (an amateur boxer who spent months in training for the event) so throughly savaged his opponents that three of them became gushing fans. Sure, he exploits an enormous German tax loophole to make dreadful films, but maybe he's just an industry-savvy Ed Wood. His most recent bit of empassioned lunacy suggests so. Hell, he has one more doctorate in literature than I do, and even the Wired guys though one part of Postal was funny.
posted on Aug-14-07 at 5:56 PM

MS Paint isn't just for the LOLZ .
posted on Aug-9-07 at 2:06 PM

In 1996, Al Pope from the National Coalition for Advanced Manufacturers announced "Our goal is to change the way schooling is done." And, with the School-to-Work program, corporate and educational interests became further intwined, a trend that now reaches every level and comes in many guises. The ever-present crisis of American education continues, but few ask: does it have to be this way, and just who benefits? [mostly via]
posted on Jul-31-07 at 1:53 PM

From the makers of Exit Mundi: The Other Bible. Fun articles on biblical science and scholarship.
posted on Jul-16-07 at 7:58 PM

Goodbye everyone, Since there has been discussion regarding whether or not my posts to this community are relevant, I have decided to no longer post here. I've enjoyed my time here...meeting a lot of you, but I simply find this community's rules too restrictive, and since I write what I feel, without regard to content (Is it sexist? Is it parental? Is it political? Is it, God forbid, all three??), this community will only end up stifling my originality, and I have no intentions of letting myself be censored in this way. i hope you fall off your soap box someday and bust your ass. i'm out of here. i am not sad about it either.
posted on May-7-07 at 7:34 PM

Last night there was a pretty cool coronal ejection that ought to be arriving shortly. When it does, expect Auroral activity as far south as Tennessee. (Or Northern Italy. Or New Zealand.) [Via MonkeyFilter]
posted on Dec-13-06 at 2:37 PM

The internet nerdocracy has inadvertently spawned a DDoS attack against a Hungarian government website set up to name a new bridge. Why? Because Stephen Colbert asked "the heroes" to march, and they obeyed. (We've heard from this guy before.) Next on their sights: The Saginaw Spirit team mascot. [more inside]
posted on Aug-17-06 at 8:30 PM

If you have a lot of time on your hands and a deep love for animation and LEDs, you might put together something like this. [via]
posted on Aug-4-06 at 8:14 PM

Posit: Settlers of Catan is the greatest board game of all time. (Read the rules and see for yourself, just don't go too crazy with changing them.) Why not spend Saturday playing online? There are several java versions available for those leery of installing things.
posted on Jul-8-06 at 9:05 AM

When it comes to collaborative art projects, the internet is kind of a mixed bag. Now with TheBroth, that bag gets a whole lot mixier.
posted on Jul-5-06 at 5:27 PM

Frozen water is one amazing mineral. (Yes, that's right, mineral!) With a little effort, you can make fire with it. With a little more effort, you can make camera lenses with it. [via Memepool]
posted on Jun-6-06 at 4:41 PM

Munch's "The Scream" destroyed. (?) According to the paper Dagbladet, it has been. "The Madonna" as well.
posted on Apr-28-05 at 5:42 PM

I searched and searched, but couldn't find a single post about the Guess the Google game. Even his Montage-a-Google project can't be found.
posted on Apr-26-05 at 5:05 PM

In 1962, Thomas Kuhn published The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. It questioned not only the "progressive" model of scientific history, but also bled over into other disciplines and brought into question human perception of just about everything else. (coining the questionable phrase "paradigm shift" in the process.)

One of the most interesting shifts came in the battle about the (not totally forgotten) aether. A modern day equivalent might be "dark matter," an undetected form of matter that explains some of the quirky behavior of gravity. Or, it could all be gravity leakage.
Let the battle begin! (The winner might just set the course of astrophysics for the next generation, or even lead to the holy grail.)
(see also here.)
posted on Mar-1-05 at 5:10 PM

Of the few memories I still have of childhood, Ed Emberley is tops among them. Though I am to this day a miserable artist, his drawing books were staples of my young life. And I always thought he was my little secret. [via BoingBoing]
posted on Jan-29-05 at 12:50 PM

Cartography is a skill pretty much taken for granted now, but it wasn't always so. Accurate maps were once prized state secrets, laborious efforts that cost a fortune and took years (or even decades) to complete.

How things have changed. (Yours now, $110) It took almost 500 years to map North America, but it's only taken one tenth of that to map just everything else. In the last 50 years, we've been able to create acurate atlases of two planets and one moon (with a second in the works). Actually, we've done a lot more than that. We're actually running out of things to map.

Maybe Not.
posted on Jan-27-05 at 5:51 PM

In 1995, Microprose released Master of Magic, a game best described as Magic: the Gathering meets Civilization. Despite a daunting list of bugs, the game developed a strong following. It's one of the top 150 games of all time (nevermind the date!), and easily one of the best turn based strategy games ever. Lots of people would love to see this franchise revived, and the good people at Stardock [makers of Galactic Civilizations] are trying to do just that. Godspeed!
posted on Jan-14-05 at 4:42 PM

The Rapanui (of Easter Island), the Mayans, and the Norse colonists of Greenland all share one similarity: each culture was brought down by preventable, human-cause environmental catastrophe. Sure, Michael Crichton says it's all bunk, but Jared Diamond (the author of the infinitely discussable, Pulitzer prize winning Guns, Germs and Steel) recently came out with a new book that suggests that maybe we ought to be worried after all. Hear him discuss it on NPR's morning edition.
posted on Jan-10-05 at 9:28 AM

NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory recently detected [reg required] the largest explosion ever detected in the universe: an eruption releasing the energy of hundreds of millions of gamma ray bursts. Just to put it in perspective, a single GRB releases enough radiation to wipe out just about everything human beings would require for survival in a 1000 light year radius. (The Milky Way spans ~100,000 light years, while the United Federation of Planets spans about 8,000). Arthur C. Clarke has gone so far as suggesting that GRBs might be one of the reasons for Extra-Terrestrial silence: Gamma Ray Bursts are so large and inescapable, a single one would wipe out even an enormous galactic empire. Makes killer asteroids seem downright quaint.
posted on Jan-8-05 at 5:10 PM

Adventure - based on the classic text game of the same name - was the first game ever to contain an easter egg. It seems laughably primitive these days, but when it first hit shelves, Adventure was a programming masterpiece. The text version of Adventure (by Willie Crowther and Don Woods) required hundreds of KB and a mainframe computer to operate, so much that Atari brass told Warren Robinett not to even bother with a 2600 version. He did anyway, and the results are near legendary. The 2600 version of Adventure went on to sell over a million copies at $25 a pop. For his effort Robinett recieved absolutely nothing beyond his $22,000/year salary. Play the 2600 Adventure. (Flash) If you're one of those who requires some eye candy, why not download the Quake 3 Adventure Map, instead?
posted on Jan-7-05 at 9:42 AM

HBO's Deadwood is quite possibly the best television show ever produced. Not only is it amazingly gripping stuff, it's also meticulously researched. (Pretty easy to do when the entire city is a registered historic landmark.)
Sure, we all know that Wild Bill and Calamity Jane were real people. As it turns out, though, almost every main character in the show (and many minor ones) had a real life counterpart, as did many of the events.
Deadwood notables EB Farnum, Reverend H W Smith, Seth Bullock and his partner Sol Star, Colorado Charlie Utter, Al Swerengen with his Gem Saloon, and the crosseyed gambler Jack McCall all lived and breathed in one of America's most storied cities.
posted on Dec-10-04 at 10:18 AM