Best Of MetaFilter

Posts from June 2012

The important lessons imparted by subway steps

An astute observation from MeFi member JimmyJames:

Next time people ask why sociology is important, I'm going to show them this video.

On its own, when you see one person slip, you automatically assume that person slipped, was clumsy or not playing attention. But when you look at the aggregate, you realize that the failure isn't on the individual at all, rather the structures that cause certain people to fail with almost no fault of their own. And yet, without this data, they will very quickly ascribe the mistake to themselves.

06/28/12
by mathowie

Bankruptcy is moral.
"Bankruptcy is good for the economy. You are often hurting the economy by not going bankrupt. You are often hurting yourself by not going bankrupt."

06/27/12
by jessamyn

"I was on the Sonique team"

choonagechoonage by Theis Kofoed Hjorth (cc by)

I can say with authority that Winamp3 went wrong in some very technically fundamental ways.

06/25/12
by jessamyn

Questions you didn't even know you had...

Dorade box diagramDorade box diagram

What would happen if you jumped or fell down a big ship's air intake?

06/20/12
by jessamyn

The Q&A equivalent of "Is THIS your card"
"My fiancee has been down the rabbit hole for hours, thanks to your help in launching her on this family tree quest!"

06/19/12
by jessamyn

putting rumor to rest
"I can personally attest, under oath, that [Rodney King did not charge at the police officers]. I did a forensic analysis of those first few seconds of video, it was the decisive evidence in the second trial."

06/17/12
by jessamyn

This ain't Neil Armstrong's moon globe!

Neil Armstrong’s MoonNeil Armstrong’s Moon by jurvetson (cc by)

dirigibleman lets us know about the first new moon globe in 40 years.

06/16/12
by jessamyn

(fake) House Hunting

house-interior02house-interior02 by martiniko (cc by)

Slate Magazine published a short piece today questioning how realistic the popular HGTV show House Hunters actually is. The story goes nicely with a comment from last summer on Ask MetaFilter describing just how faked and staged the show was for a member's friend that was on the show.
[via MetaTalk]

06/14/12
by mathowie

Great moments in Sports

When this video was posted to MetaFilter of school children in Kenya recreating the end of the 1986 World Series, what were the chances a member of MetaFilter is not only in Kenya currently, but also personally met and knew Bill Buckner, the subject of that famous 1986 game?

Surprisingly, the chances were pretty good.

06/13/12
by mathowie

Why Los Angeles is different, its history, and what makes it great

Los Angeles at Night from the Griffith ObservatoryLos Angeles at Night from the Griffith Observatory by @andrewghayes (cc by)

MeFi member nickrussell breaks down the history of Los Angeles (including San Francisco, and the West) in detail, going back over a century:

It's very easy to forget that London has had 1,000 years to develop. New York has had 300. San Francisco has had 175 or so. Yet Los Angeles is barely even 100 years in. And it grew so quickly, like a metropolitan puppy with big paws. It stumbled and fell all over them, before finally finding it's stride and grade.

06/12/12
by mathowie

Access to government information in the US

Hollerith census machine dialsHollerith census machine dials by Marcin Wichary (cc by), more about this image

This is really, really important and it's part of a nasty larger trend that's beginning to emerge: Americans are losing access to government information that they previously had access to.
Actually, this raises a legitimate question: Who the hell is responsible for archiving and disseminating the activities of Congress via the web? There are a handful of agencies that could ostensibly be responsible for this, and none who actually want to step up to the plate.

06/09/12
by jessamyn

on passwords
If you use the same password for MetaFilter as you did for LinkedIn, you might want to change it. Now. (last.fm also had a break-in and they are asking users to change their passwords as well)

06/07/12
by jessamyn

Most "granite" isn't. Granite that is.

Granite Installation, Santa Cecilia Countertop, and Tile Backsplash DesignGranite Installation by granite-charlotte (cc by)

The word granite has come to mean any stone counter top which is unfortunate because the many different types of stone that react in very different ways when confronted with typical kitchen usage. So let me try and shed a little light on the subject. This is not intended as a geology lecture but we'll go part way there.

06/05/12
by jessamyn

planes can "fly" underwater...
"I was on the first TIGHAR expedition to Nikumaroro in 1989...." Some firsthand reporting of what we know about Amelia Earhart's final day(s).

06/04/12
by jessamyn

Highlighting the best bits from the MetaFilter universe

MetaFilter started as a community weblog in 1999, later added question and answers, then music by members, jobs, projects by members, a podcast, and finally an area dedicated to meetups.

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