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oh hey guys here's a document that describes everything in detail, nbd
March 4, 2013 8:16 PM   Subscribe

I really like it when an AskMe that could be pretty speculative is answered by someone unexpectedly coming up with an authoritative first-hand document. Anyone have other examples of this?

It's pretty bad-ass. I always imagine the poster dramatically throwing a stack of papers down onto a desk. "BAM! ...any fucking questions?"

Off the top of my head are rtha dropping in with BYU class syllabi earlier today, and empath first-replying with a State of Connecticut Department of Public Health memo precisely answering the OP to the letter (apologies to any mod who was wondering why someone queried the search term "empath feces").
posted by threeants to MetaFilter-Related at 8:16 PM (47 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

I did this once.
posted by hydrophonic at 8:32 PM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tracking Down An Address In 1939 Vienna: from "we have the Vienna telephone books from the 30s on microfilm" to
"I was able to locate an address in the 1938 Vienna phonebook, but I asked one of my colleagues here at the Museum who has far more experience with this kind of research to see if he could find anything else. He happened to have access to a recently-acquired archival collection from the Jewish Community Vienna (Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien, or IKG) and offered to search the collection for more information. Within only a few hours, he was able to locate fifteen pages of documents related to yankeefog's grandparents, including copies of their application for emigration from Vienna and a hand-written request from yankeefog's grandfather for financial assistance from the IKG. Copies of these documents--which, by the way, include the Vienna address yankeefog was looking for, in his grandfather's handwriting--are being sent to his family members."
posted by ocherdraco at 8:42 PM on March 4, 2013 [41 favorites]


ocherdraco, that one makes me tear up every time I read it.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:14 PM on March 4, 2013


blatant self promotion: Q: Why don't wealthy individuals/corporations ever attempt to buy out the lottery? A: Someone did in 1992.
posted by GuyZero at 9:20 PM on March 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I think the Vienna one is my favorite of practically all askmes.
posted by rtha at 9:49 PM on March 4, 2013


whoa, in-thread pics...
posted by Brody's chum at 9:59 PM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


apologies to any mod who was wondering why someone queried the search term "empath feces")

Probably not the first time. Also, weirdest call-out ever. :)
posted by empath at 10:04 PM on March 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


This should be known as "pulling a McLuhan."
posted by Chrysostom at 10:10 PM on March 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


The answers I received here were basically: "yes, here is a book summarizing years of research on that topic," "also, here are the primary sources you should check out," "and here is the reference librarian to call if you still can't figure it out." Otherworldlyglow's "does this help?" link was the exact thing I was seeking.
posted by salvia at 11:13 PM on March 4, 2013


Just FYI, I'm not an expert in pool-poo disposal, I just googled it.
posted by empath at 12:07 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't exactly call it authoritative but I sort of did this once on a question of Xenomorph diet.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:26 AM on March 5, 2013


Just FYI, I'm not an expert in pool-poo disposal, I just googled it.

don't tell me that
posted by threeants at 12:27 AM on March 5, 2013


Meep meep!
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:21 AM on March 5, 2013 [8 favorites]


apologies to any mod who was wondering why someone queried the search term "empath feces"

You know we don't pay much attention to what people type in the search but but perhaps we should.

I was always happy with my research in this question, but it definitely doesn't have the BAM effect of some of these others.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:52 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


There was one that was a complete shot in the dark about "Help me find this one specific painting" based solely on a description of the painting, and not only was it identified, but the asker was put in touch with the artist directly. I think the artist maybe even joined up to comment in the thread or something? Ring any bells for anyone else?
posted by Rock Steady at 6:26 AM on March 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yes, Rock Steady, it does! The painter turned out to live down the street from/be an acquaintance of a second MeFite--?

Not that question, but a similar drop-in answer: "My mom, Verily Hammons, did this painting in the late 60's to early 70's. It is actually of me (her daughter)."

Also this: Who illustrated these funny face packs? In which graphic designer Hal Silverman contacted the asker directly.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:04 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Aha! Please help me find information on Svenningsen, a Southern Californian painter who favored trains, active in the 70s.

Answer: "OMG! He is my neighbor and wonderful friend for about 15 years! Memail me your info and I can pass it on to him."
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:16 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


MonkeyToes: Yes, Rock Steady, it does! The painter turned out to live down the street from/be an acquaintance of a second MeFite--?

Yes, I think I must have mentally conflated the Verily Hammons and Ted Svenningsen questions. Thanks!
posted by Rock Steady at 7:18 AM on March 5, 2013


I have always been partial to: This is the question of my dreams. I am indeed a paleoanthropologist, specializing in Neandertal and other Middle Paleolithic stone technologies.
posted by shothotbot at 7:41 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Similarly, Who signed this A-Bomb pic?
In case anyone's curious about the outcome of this, I've been in contact with ecourbanist's brother. He picked up the photograph right after my Watson passed away and about a mile or so from his house. I think he and I are in agreement that it is, in fact, the same Watson I knew. So if you're ever looking for proof of the crazy, eerie, probability-defying power of Metafilter and the internet, look no further. A photograph I saw only once amongst a wall of photographs, now found eleven plus years later.
posted by zamboni at 8:06 AM on March 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


My favorite was when Mark Helprin's daughter messaged the OP in this question about a drink mentioned in the book Winter's Tale.
posted by punchtothehead at 8:18 AM on March 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is the question of my dreams. I am indeed a paleoanthropologist, specializing in Neandertal and other Middle Paleolithic stone technologies.

And indeed, I immediately ran out and bought a copy of The Human Career as a result!
posted by Greg Nog at 8:19 AM on March 5, 2013


There was another painting question where the daughter of the artist (I think!) showed up. A New England painting? Maybe a house next to the water, maybe boats... arrgh, trying to find it.
posted by Glinn at 8:24 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was happy to have the resources to answer this request for an obscure half-remembered recipe from childhood.
posted by donnagirl at 8:37 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


More blatant self-promotion: yes, your doctor is behaving unethically.
posted by googly at 9:13 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was always happy with my research in this question...
posted by jessamyn
You are awesome.
posted by Flying Saucer
She's a Librarian.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:09 AM on March 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


I got to answer one of those needle in a haystack "what youtube video is this" questions, because the answer is my neighbor.
posted by msali at 10:27 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


This thread, as much as I love all these answers, makes me feel much less impressive for being able to identify cancelled TV shows based on half of a synopsis.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:44 AM on March 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'll confess that I'll feel mildly miffed (and somewhat shallow) if I don't get a best answer check mark for my syllibi-linking. Although I wonder if the OP was entirely clear on exactly what they were asking to begin with, since it's wicked easy to look up the course syllabus for practically anything these days, certainly for classes at a major university.

/shrug
/gives self best answer check
posted by rtha at 10:51 AM on March 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Here you go, girl.

That's rtha's link only; no one else may click.
posted by heyho at 11:28 AM on March 5, 2013


I would never have clicked on the second example AskMe in the OP (because, eew) but as a resident of CT it amuses me on a level I can't entirely explain to think of some bureaucrat in Hartford typing a document that contains the phrase "tight fitting rubber or plastic pants." So thanks, threeants and empath!
posted by DestinationUnknown at 11:30 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


NOM NOM NOM

Thanks, heyho!
posted by rtha at 11:33 AM on March 5, 2013


apologies to any mod who was wondering why someone queried the search term "empath feces"

Google says: "Did you mean empath eyes?"
posted by ambrosen at 12:32 PM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


There was another painting question where the daughter of the artist (I think!) showed up. A New England painting? Maybe a house next to the water, maybe boats... arrgh, trying to find it.

There you go!
My mom, Verily Hammons, did this painting in the late 60's to early 70's. It is actually of me (her daughter). She lived and worked in the San Fernando Valley and exhibited all around the world. She passed away in July of 2006. Who was your g-grandfather?
posted by ersatz at 12:41 PM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nope not that one (already mentioned above)! This painting was maybe a blue, blocky house, and beside it two circles - lights from a car or boat? Water? And in the last year, and I think there was a meta. Someone will remember!
posted by Glinn at 3:39 PM on March 5, 2013


Someone will remember!

I do!
posted by lalex at 3:42 PM on March 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not a document, but IAAAA (I Am An Australian Arachnologist) was pretty cool.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:29 PM on March 5, 2013


It ain't AskMe and it ain't a first-hand document, but remember the time nickyskye verified Sonseed?
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 4:42 PM on March 5, 2013


lalex! Yay!
posted by Glinn at 5:40 PM on March 5, 2013


Meep meep!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, because I'm a jerk like that:

MEL BLANC WAS NOT THE VOICE OF THE ROADRUNNER!!!
posted by Sys Rq at 5:51 PM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, I like to supply links with my answers so there's a few that basically show off my google-fu -- a recent coup was locating the spot where a photo was taken by the poster, although others helped narrow the search first.

I also enjoyed tracking down sources on this WWII cavalry charge semi-legend.

I've nailed a few quotations to the wall, too, like this one about being kind to everyone. I usually add these sources to wikiquote at the same time so that others can share the knowledge.

To show how fair I am, here's something not by me almost exactly what you're looking for: lollusc responding to a question about the monarchy, citing his own childhood correspondence.
posted by dhartung at 9:44 PM on March 5, 2013


One of my answers is sort of the inverse of this. I referenced a fairly academic book ("for serious large collections" says Library Journal) about an obscure (in the US) musical genre. Turns out, the OP knows the author really well.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:00 PM on March 5, 2013


I was about to post my own link here but didn't need to. Thanks, Dhartung! (But I am female, by the way.)
posted by lollusc at 1:58 AM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


MEL BLANC WAS NOT THE VOICE OF THE ROADRUNNER!!!

Not in the cartoons themselves. But at Thanksgiving dinner when I was about five, he certainly was.
posted by scody at 12:06 PM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


lalex: I do!

Yes! I think that was actually the one I was thinking of. It appears we need a full-blown ArtFilter subsite.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:46 PM on March 6, 2013


I'm still pleased with my answer to this one: I ate a lot of rice pudding in WW2. Where did the rice come from?
posted by verstegan at 1:50 PM on March 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Here's one of my favorites that hasn't been mentioned yet...

Original question:
Was "I'd Really Love To See You Tonight", a song by England Dan & John Ford Coley (and covered by everybody from Barry Manilow to Reba McEntire) ever the theme song to a television show?
And the cool, definitive answer from camcgee, whose father just happened to be the songwriter.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 1:28 AM on March 7, 2013


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