July Best Post Contest! FINAL AWARDS August 1, 2017 5:50 AM   Subscribe

It was a great month for posts! Read inside for the month-long winners, final-week winners, and more.

The post that received the most votes via "fantastic" flags, and therefore the best post of the month, was:

The House of Lee, about the current political scandal in Singapore, by destrius

Rounding out the top five:
Birdhouse in her Soul, about an artist's miniature birdhouses, by rangefinder 1.4

That time the Great Crown of England was pawned
by clawsoon

“...E3 displayed refreshing palette of kinky, coily, textured hair.” about representation in video games, by Fizz

All that you give: Fontella Bass rescues herself, about a remarkable musician, by Herodios

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Our best posts for the final week were "That time the Great Crown of England was pawned" by clawsoon and "All that you give: Fontella Bass rescues herself" by Herodios, so I don't even have to relink them! (Congrats!)

Prior week best posts: July 1-9, House of Lee and Birdhouse in Her Soul; July 10-16, the E3 post and History Meets Technology in Shipwreck Alley; and July 17-24, Why Women Pretended to Be Creepy Rocks and Trees in NYC Parks During WWI and How Checkers was Solved.

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First and Second Time Posters

Final week First Posts:
Sorry but ‘Sweetunia Orange Flash’ petunias will no longer be available. by bCat, who took 13 years to get around to it

The Transported Man by bitterkitten, which is about a very buzzy book by mefite analogue

A (not-so) Inconvenient Tooth, about narwhal tusks, by robot-hugs

Stop Pretending You're Not Rich, about the American myth of meritocracy, by knownassociate

Utopia Lost: The Case for Radical Technological Optimisim by zchyrs

Second Posts for the final week:
The colors of time by kmt

The Thing in the Woods by twilightlost (a 55-year-old mystery solved in the first comment, btw)

Its Baseball Thanksgiving, about the baseball Hall of Fame, by martin q blank

A Study in Cas13a, by hapaxes.legomenon

You can use the FirstPost tag to find all the first posts this month, which in addition to those mentioned above included posts by panic, Midnight Skulker, blithers, rangefinder 1.4, nothing.especially.clever, karlshea, snakeling, landunderwave, hapaxes.legomenon, busted_crayons, twilightlost, and KTamas.

In addition to those above, SecondPost posters included daybeforetheday, current resident, dayintoday, informavore, ferret branca, ourobouros, queen anne's remorse, dysh, and hanov3r.

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Our most-fantastic'd First Time Poster was possibly-obviously rangefinder 1.4's Birdhouse in Her Soul, which came in second overall. Second was robot-hugs with their Inconvenient Tooth.

The Best Second Time Post goes to martin q. blank's "It's Baseball Thanksgiving!" twilightlost ran a very close second with Women Pretending to be Trees etc.




Great work by newer posters braving the deep end!

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Finally, here are links to all the tagged categories this month, so you can flip through and enjoy what individuals were asking for this month! I tried to read and tag every post every day, and I tended a bit towards overtagging to award-providers could have a larger selection to choose from and not miss anything that might possibly be in their category, so overtagging is likely to be mine!

Mod categories:
Aquarius -- Art -- libraries/books/reading -- kidfun -- Mystery -- Weird

Member categories:
PopCultureGem -- OHenry -- Oldvideogameooh -- games (card/board)
LoTech -- Jane -- women -- Awesomedog -- AltPlanning -- OooMatron -- food
Canada/FirstNations -- NotTheUS -- GlobalSouth -- BippityBoppityBoo

Category post winners will be straggling in over the next couple day as people pick their winners -- announce them in thread and I can add them up here!

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Category Post Winners
(Links here will link to the comment below where the category decider names their best post, links it, and talks a little about it, rather than directly to the post.)

Mod Categories
Consider the LobsterMitten: Tide for First Place by emilyw
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mod: Mathematical Paintings of Crockett Johnson by Wolfdog
From the Mixed Up Files of Mx. Jessamyn E. Librarian: Staying on top of the -ography in a digital age by mandolin conspiracy and 17th Century Kindle by MovableBookLady (eponysterical)
Children of a Lesser Mod: Betting on Balls of Chaos by Stark
Tazzy Drew and the Greek Symbol Mystery: The Shaver Mystery: The Most Sensational True Story Ever Told! by filthy light thief
The Electric Kool-Aid Frimble Test: Fish Story by Kattullus

Member Categories
Remember When We Was Swell
It Did Wendell
Sunshine Sketches of a Big-Ass Country, Canadiana Edition: Unsettling Canada 150 by chapps
Sunshine Sketches of a Big-Ass Country, First Nations Edition: The old goose was coming loose, by mandolin conspiracy
Best Post About An Old Video Game That Makes You Go, Oooh I Remember Playing That: To save enough for a copy of Panzer Dragoon Saga by mippy
The Hard Way: Tide for First Place by emilyw
You Type Like a Girl: "Every woman in Hollywood was reading for this movie" by Ertigan
Run the World: a whole bunch! click to go see them
Good Doggos: How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was by Johnny Wallflower
Game On!
Best Non-US-Centric Non-Political Post Prize: Running contest, more links
Global South
Bippity Boppity Boo
Alt Planning
Carry On MetaFilter: "I am trained in gorilla warfare" by Omnomnom
FOOOOOOD: Medieval Spanish Chef by jedicus
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 5:50 AM (46 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

Thank you, Eyebrows!!

For my "Mystery!" category we had copious contributions of cryptic and curious cases for consideration, including historical mysteries, natural mysteries, gaming mysteries, a political font mystery, fiction and fictional mysteries, geological and meteorological mysteries, a math mystery, and more!

All were fun and fascinating, but my personal favorite and winner-winner-mystery-chicken-dinner (and recipient of the Illuminati Pony Pin prize from limeonaire) is filthy light thief's post "The Shaver Mystery: The Most Sensational True Story Ever Told!," followed by runner-up ‘I am not evil. I could be if I liked' (On the Isle of Man, in the 1930's, there lived a talking mongoose) from thatwhichfalls. Readers' choice in this category, counting fantastic flags and favorites together, is Chrysostom's "What have the Romans ever done for us?" about the mystery of ancient Roman super-strong concrete.

Other great mystery-themed posts from July included: A Semi-Autobiographical SF/F Mystery Novella; Bright lights solve mystery of bright nights; 15 Years Later, Here's Why A Gamer Was Duct-Taped To A Ceiling; zunzuncito; The Calibri Font Is Threatening to Bring Down Pakistan’s Government; Man gets stuck inside ATM room rescued by note; Tomb Prospectors; Known Alias: How Stephen King Was Outed as Richard Bachman; The One Where Rachel Killed Everybody; Stay tuned, presumably, for "squid on a grid"; The Thing in the Woods; Lasseter: the man who found that fabled reef, a man from death returned; The Hijacking of the Brillante Virtuoso; and Bubble gum, bubble gum, in a dish....
posted by taz (staff) at 5:56 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]


July began on kind of a down note for weirdness, as Chuck Shepherd announced his retirement. Regardless, there were some lovely and interesting posts made that caught my interest:

The Shaver Mystery, as Taz mentioned, was excellent, as was On the Isle of Man, in the 1930's, there lived a talking mongoose.

Other ones that jumped out at me were The One Where Rachel Killed Everyone by Etrigan for being a great example of collectively building worlds out of nothing, and if I'd found 17776 (posted by creade) on MetaFilter rather than having it handed to me by everyone at once, it likely would have won despite, as far as I can tell, being fiction.

In the end, though, I have to cite Fish Story by Kattullus. I'm still not sure whether it happened or not, but it should have, because people with fish names meeting up for the sole reason of having fish names is as beautiful and strange as And Then There Were None.
posted by frimble (staff) at 6:17 AM on August 1 [4 favorites]


FOOOOOOD

Runner up: little boxy characters that I now know to be cherries
Runner up: Syria's refugees are feeding the world
Winner: Medieval Spanish Chef

Prize: TBD, gotta go to work. Will memail winner.
posted by aniola at 6:28 AM on August 1 [4 favorites]


In the category of Carry On MetaFilter, the winner is...

... {drum roll, receives envelope, opens envelope to expectant audience} ...

LA LA LAND!

Wait no ... something wrong ... {gets correct envelope, tries again} ...

"I am trained in gorilla warfare" by Omnomnom

With an honorable mention for ...

And somehow, Ashton Kutcher is involved. by Etrigan


Heck, you both get a postcard from England - message me your preferred postal addresses, Omnomnom and Etrigan.
posted by Wordshore at 6:29 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]


kidfun had a clear winner:

Betting on Balls of Chaos, a post about the marblelympics, which is a thing where a guy builds lots of "events" for marbles and then has them "compete," complete with a play-by-play sports announcer, by Stark. We ended up watching the whole thing, as a family, streaming it to our TV and it was ridiculously entertaining! (Team Momo 4 Lyfe!)

Runners up:
Mini McGee got obsessed with What football will look like in the future by creade, which is not really a kid post but he was reading over my shoulder and then demanded to see the updates every day.

Micro McGee just wanted to hear all about trains crashing, so It spread, until people talked of little else by Chrysostom hit the spot.

And while we all like this one, Nano McGee and I found it downright hypnotic: HOT Wheels! by pjern, the videos are ridiculously soothing!

Everyone gets my best wishes as a reward because I am moving sometime in the next two weeks and I cannot handle mailing things right now!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:52 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


I've been so pleased with the awesome aquarius posts that I haven't settled on one yet. I'm gonna go back over them all before announcing in here later. But every one of them is great.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:10 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


NotTheUS for July 26-31:

A piece about race and culture and interesting questions about how they intersect outside the US was posted by Joseph Gurl: Now is that a real poncho or is that a Sears poncho?

Kito the advertising dog is quite the star in Belgium. From jet_silver.

Sweet Mother is a song you've never heard of. But it was More popular than The Beatles and Literaryhero shared this amazingly in-depth article.

You know those wobbly gifs that create fake 3D? Do you like Japanese food? GiFood 3D from Think_Long is the post for you!

jacquilynne shared with us Canada's Heritage Minutes and a quest to visit them all in Ma mère me l’a dit "I can smell burnt toast!" to get her baskets back.

Truth? Fiction? Fiction about Fiction? Fiction about Truth? Honestly I have no idea but I found thatwhichfalls' post ‘I am not evil. I could be if I liked.’ fascinating in a sort of Pynchonian way.

Look, or maybe don't look, but it's basically goat.se for the planet. diamonds are forever? from the man of twists and turns.

Japanese commercials. Hours of them. ardgedee. b.y.o. vaporwave

Talk about play getting bogged down... is a post by mandolin conspiracy which doesn't get bogged down at all. Wait, I mean....

I was fascinated by Eyebrows McGee's Kuş Evi: The outer walls of houses should be bird houses about a tradition in Turkey that I'd love to see take over the US.

Also, mixedmetaphors shared a good long read about a local UK hero who sounds a lot like Wonder Woman to me in The Preserver of the Passengers.

My top 3 posts for this period are:

Everyone needs a smile from Room 641-A which is completely charming and warmed my cockles. Whatever those are, they were warmed!

Back in the early days of the BBC America channel, I saw a lot of shows with people who were British Famous. Maybe Diane Morgan wants you to visit the UK was one of them. from quarsan.

AND I LIED A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE I HAVE TWO TOP POSTS FOR THIS PERIOD!

Tied for first place are two posts full of amazing photography that took my breath away and distracted me from life for a bit: A tree's a tree, no matter how small from Stark is a photogallery of bonsai trees that gives me goosebumps while I scroll through it. Tiny Trees! Wow! And also A desert is a place without expectation from Johnny Wallflower which in the second link has many sets of astonishing photographs and, again, Wow!

Congratulations Stark and Johnny Wallflower!

And thank you SO VERY MUCH for everyone who posted Non-US, Non-Political content for me to look for this month! I hope a lot of people got a lot out of what you posted, because I sure did!
posted by hippybear at 8:57 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


And just to summarize for the month of July, the other best NotTheUS posts for the month are:

"There are plenty of other fishy names in the phone book." - Kattullus

Quilt of Belonging - Multicellular Exothermic

"I only think about the next mile" - mandolin conspiracy

The colors of time - kmt
posted by hippybear at 9:06 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


When is the Best Comment contest?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:51 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


I've added our first-post and second-post top vote-getters!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:58 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Best Post About An Old Video Game That Makes You Go, Oooh I Remember Playing That:

I had a lot of fun this month and I was pleased with everyone who decided to join in and make a post.

It was kind of tough to choose, but there can only be one and the winner is:

*** WINNER *** Mippy's post about working in a used game shop.

Runner's Up Prize for Participation:

• hippybear's post about a gamer who was duct taped to the ceiling.
• McHelly's post about Basic game Imohtep.

Mippy, I'll be contacting you within the next week and if you're open to sharing your address with me, I'll be sending you a fun video-game related prize. I'll find you in your DM.
posted by Fizz at 11:30 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]


On a semi-related note. I had lots of fun making all of my posts about video games. It was an interesting challenge to focus on that particular subject and to find interesting topics that everyone could share their thoughts and ideas on. I have no doubt some of them were better than others.

I love this community and I keep coming back because I'm always learning something new or having a laugh. I'm always interested and/or entertained. Thanks to everyone for joining in the discussion. Thanks for everyone who liked my posts. Thanks to Mods who keep this place running. Cheers.
posted by Fizz at 11:32 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


And a special thanks to Eyebrows McGee for putting all of this together for the month of July. You rock!
posted by Fizz at 11:33 AM on August 1 [7 favorites]


I think hapaxes.legomenon is the only member who made their first AND second post during July, and they deserve special recognition for that!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 2:42 PM on August 1 [8 favorites]


First of all a huge thank-you to Eyebrows McGee for running this best post contest - I really think it's drawn people in and the front page has been extra lively and fun to read this month.

Aquarius! So many good posts, seriously check 'em out. Thank you to everyone who posted one of these!

I'll mention five posts for special aquarian commendation:

-Eyebrows McGee's post on traditional Polynesian navigation - this is just perfectly fitted to my interests, thank you for posting it. You win the "exactly what I wanted" award!

A number of the other top contenders in my category have won in other categories - notably:

-robot-hugs's amazing first (!) post on narwhal tusks

-Katullus's post about people with fish-related surnames

-mandolin conspiracy's post about shipwrecks in the Great Lakes and the technology used to image them

So, finally, if we eliminate the by-a-fellow-mod post and the other already-awarded posts, rounding out my top five is:

-emilyw's post about mechanical tide-predicting computers from the 1800s! Hooray!
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:25 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


And heck, I'll also mention the other terrific posts in this category -- a fabulous variety, all deserving of watery adulation:
-chavenet with the world's deepest swimming pool
-sibilatorix with a great how-to site, all about irrigation
-Room 641-A with two posts - on gorgeous underwater photos of sea creatures and wonderful videos of a terrestrial octopus and a waterborne dog
-Chrysostom with wave energy
-hippybear with how to film a small fish carefully building an elaborate sand structure
-Eyebrows McGee with whales returning to the NYC area
-Lanark with rescuing an elephant at sea
-mandolin conspiracy with piracy and seediness in international shipping
-mixedmetaphors with a young Victorian woman who became a celebrity for her heroism in a daring lifeboat rescue
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:29 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


Thanks, everyone! The birdfeeders made me happy and I hope they helped cheer up other folks, too.

Adding my huzzahs for Eyebrows McGee, and big applause to everyone for such a wonderful month of excellent content on MeFi!

For the category of "Run the World" / women being awesome:

This is the third time I've offered prizes for the best post / MeFites' Choice contest and I have to say that this year is by far the most difficult to choose winners. I loved the variety of learning about so many cool women, past and present. I need some time to ponder this more (I'll try not to beanplate too much) and I will come back to announce the winners.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 1:06 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


I do not understand what about my Chicken Soup for the Soul IPO post fits it into the Carry On MetaFilter category and it is driving me slowly insane.
posted by Etrigan at 6:45 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


"I do not understand what about my Chicken Soup for the Soul IPO post fits it into the Carry On MetaFilter category and it is driving me slowly insane."

Oh, because people immediately started making insane Chicken Soup for the Soul puns in the comments and I LOLed, basically.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:16 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


Oh wow, I don't really know what to say. Thanks to everybody who voted for my post, and I'm glad you guys liked it. Mefi is a great place, and I've always loved it for all the new things I learn, so I'm very honoured to be able to contribute to that. Cheers!
posted by destrius at 8:20 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


My picks! Two about books/reading/libraries

1. mandolin conspiracy has his finger on the pulse of MeFi this month because I really enjoyed his post on Staying on top of the -ography in a digital age. I like big books and I can not lie.

2. 17th Century Kindle, eponysterically by MovableBookLady. It's the Daily Mail and I don't care.

3. Runner up to carter who posted a few good underloved book/library posts for July (color our collections, postcard collections) and I liked them both.

Also I was hugely in love with rangefinder 1.4's Birdhouses post but I see it's already gotten mentioned so just a +1 to that one.

If winners want to MeFiMail me their mailing address, I will send along podcards. Thanks everyone for participating.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:39 AM on August 2 [5 favorites]


Speaking as someone who never wins anything...sweet! Thank you.

Even better than winning a thing, though, was that were a ton of amazing posts all through July.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:23 AM on August 2 [6 favorites]


If we could get this post added to the sidebar, that would be awesome.
posted by hippybear at 9:32 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


Sidebarred!
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:35 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


Also, prize donors might want to MeMail their awardees because at least one person I contacted didn't even really know the contest was going on.

I've got addresses for all my prize awardees and am working on getting things assembled and will go to the post office hopefully tomorrow.

Doing a NotTheUS contest means that 5 out of 6 of my prizes are being mailed internationally! That's exciting! And also feels like I'm rolling the dice because international mail doesn't always work out.

But fingers crossed!
posted by hippybear at 10:39 AM on August 2 [7 favorites]


I memailed all the first- and second-place winners each week, the top five for the month, and all the first- and second-time posters for the whole month, although I don't know that all of them check their memails!

But yeah, for your personal categories your should probably memail your winner(s) and just let them know and include a link to this thread, because not everyone follows the awesomeness in MeTa.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:42 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


I'm so thrilled my post was selected by Jessamyn! You may picture me capering around the room. Thanks.
posted by MovableBookLady at 2:53 PM on August 2 [3 favorites]


Okay all my awards are now in the mail! Iceland! Hungary! UK! Canada!

I hope people will MeMail me if/when they receive their prizes.
posted by hippybear at 3:14 PM on August 2 [3 favorites]


Oh, gosh. Didn't quite realize I was signing up to be judge, jury and executioner as well but here goes... (sorry, it's been really busy during Metafilter time at work these last few days.)

Sunshine Sketches of a Big-Ass Country, named after the classic Canadian Stephen Leacock novel, commemorating the sesquicentennial of the declaration of Confederation for the best post pertaining to Canada and/or First Nations.

RUNNERS-UP, THE WORLD NEEDS MORE CANADA DIVISION
Two of hippybear's NotTheUS winners were also standout Canadian posts, so they deserve mention but I'd feel bad about rewarding them twice:
Quilt of Belonging, by Multicellular Exothermic; an amazing fibre arts project, and what could be more Canadian than multiculturalism?
"I only think about the next mile" by mandolin conspiracy; an oral history of Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope, which made me mist up at my desk at least twice.

RUNNERS-UP, ONLY ON METAFILTER DIVISION
God, I love this place.
The Thing In The Woods, by twilightlost; a great yarn about a "weather balloon" crashing near Moncton that turns out - 55 years later - to be a spy camera. Only on Metafilter would a post like this have the first comment (7 minutes later) be r1ch linking to the exact model of reconaissance craft.
Ma mère me l’a dit "I can smell burnt toast!" to get her baskets back. by jacquilynne, about a charming Canadian couple's quixotic quest to visit the sites of every single Heritage Minute video. Only on Metafilter would something like this get posted, only to be revealed that one of the couple is Metafilter's Own lumberbaron.

RUNNERS-UP, RUNNERS-UP DIVISION
Who's a good dog? / Qui est un bon chien?, by mandolin conspiracy; it has a bilingual title, and involves the leaders of every province and territory in Canada but is mostly about a really great doggo who is just so happy to see all the people and make friends.
Learn More About Where You Live, by Capt. Renault, a website showing the historical distributions of First Nations throughout North America (the website had some bandwidth problems the day it was posted; it's back). Technically, it was posted in late June, but isn't June 27 really just the -3rd of July?
The following is an actual legal dispute. Like, for real. by Shepherd, combining intellectual property, global capitalism and music but mostly showing what the Canadian equivalent of a good ol' boy talks like. This is the post I've shared with the most people this month in real life.

THE WINNER, FIRST NATIONS DIVISION
Unsettling Canada 150, by chapps. A thoughtful look at the complex issues around Canada's colonial history, the protests of the Canada 150 celebrations and more.

THE WINNER, CANADIANA DIVISION
The old goose was coming loose, by mandolin conspiracy. Canadian big roadside things are wonderful, the conversation was wonderful, geese are assholes but giant fake geese are wonderfulest. And look, mandolin conspiracy basically scored an eight-ender this month, note that he had two runner-up posts as well as the most favourited post tagged "Canada".

Congratulations to chapps and mandolin conspiracy as well as all the runners-up, and I'll be MeMailing you regarding some sort of prize! Hooray!
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:54 PM on August 2 [4 favorites]


Winners of the 'Run the World' category (my favorite posts about a woman/women doing awesome things)

As I mentioned earlier, wow this year it was tough to narrow down winners. I really could not limit it to five, so after much consideration, I've selected the following posts about (in no particular order):

- Mary Katharine Goddard - printer, newspaper publisher, first female postmaster in colonial America (Baltimore), and bookstore owner; instrumental in printing the first edition of the Declaration of Independence with all of the founders' names. Also inspired some additional interesting info by MonkeyToes and codex99 in the thread. Goddard, like so many women I read about, was an important part of history and I had never heard of her, and she accomplished so many things in her life; while reading more about her story, I was fascinated and infuriated, which seems to be a common theme alas for many stories here. (by Westringia F.)

- Women's Reserve Camouflage Corps - already mentioned in a prior thread as a fantastic winner. A fascinating look, via photos circa 1918, into a forgotten division of the National League for Women's Service. "They used their creativity and crafting skills to develop designs and patterns that mimicked the landscape to provide soldiers with added protection" and also developed camouflage techniques to "disguise rail lines, depots, aircraft hangars, supply bases, and trenches." (by twilightlost)

- Simone Veil - obit post about the Auschwitz survivor, Health Minister (who presented the law that legalised abortion in France), first directly elected President of the European Parliament, and French Academician. (by snakeling)

- Charlotte Salomon - artist who created Life? or Theater? (Leben? oder Theater?) -- an autobiographical series including an astonishing 769 paintings and 32,000 words -- while hiding from Nazis. She died in Auschwitz at age 26 but her work was preserved. (by BibiRose)

- Dana Lewis, who has invented and open-sourced an artificial pancreas system (OpenAPS) to monitor blood sugar levels and adjust insulin levels automatically for her diabetes. (by lumpenprole)

- Fontella Bass, singer and pianist famous for "Rescue Me"; a megapost (mentioned above as a best post for week 4) that covers her life, with a selected discography that delves beyond her most popular hit and explores her other contributions in various genres (by Herodios)

- Helen Ruth van Winkle, better known as Baddiewinkle - an 88 year old great-grandmother. "She's an Instagram influencer with more than 3 million followers, been featured by two major cosmetics lines, turned heads when she wore a bedazzled nude bodysuit to the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, and written a new Guide to Life book." (by filthy light thief)

  filthy light thief had a couple of other posts that I liked: one about Jacqui Kenny a.k.a. the Agoraphobic Traveller, who explores different countries on Google Street View and highlights her favorite views on Instagram, and one about the Traveling post office in Great Britain (not specifically about women, but I really loved learning about this because it combines mail and trains and history which is a winning combo any day in my book).

ChuraChura was on a roll last month and she seemed to know exactly what I'd be interested in. She wins a postcard for her four posts about:
- Music legend Nina Simone and the background of her song "Mississippi Goddam."
- Karen Chin, paleontologist and leader in the field of studying fossilized excrement, and how she identified the first fossil of a Tyrannosaurus rex turd... which eventually led her to evidence that worms may have helped saved the world! Totally serious and I'm now wondering where the children's book is.
- Nicole Chung's essay on being Asian American, and representation in theater and in the media at large (also really excellent additional discussion/info in the thread).
- Anne Helen Petersen writing about Charlize Theron and -- just as interesting to me -- writing about her writing about Charlize Theron.

*******

Honorable Mentions

Have I mentioned yet that I loved reading all the posts about women for this category? I think there were more qualifying posts this year than the prior two times I've done this. I really found them all worthwhile and I hope I'm not missing any. Most of them are in the women tag or jane tag but some aren't.

The posts (in chronological order, I think) featured:
  • Sarah Pinsker and her semi-autobiographical sci-fi/fantasy mystery novella, "And Then There Were (N - One)". (by Wobbuffet)
  • Kesha and her new single, "Praying." (by hippybear)
  • Marie D. Jackson, leader of the University of California at Berkeley research team, which found more insights about the role of seawater and the strength of Roman-era concrete. (by Chrysostom) (Also mentioned above by taz as the reader's choice for Mystery post.)
  • Shaenon K. Garrity - about "Leg": "A Standalone SF/F Short Story by a Well-Known Cartoonist" (by Wobbuffet)
  • Sheila Michaels - SLNYT obit post about the person who introduced “Ms.” into common parlance. "Ms. Michaels, who over the years worked as a civil-rights organizer, New York cabdriver, technical editor, oral historian and Japanese restaurateur, did not coin “Ms.,” nor did she ever claim to have done so." (by bq)
  • Zophie Zyphon, a French collagist (still active) about whom little is known. Lots of surreal presentations. (by adamvasco)
  • Robin Nesdale - SLNYT - decided, at age 56, that she wanted to help the community and become a volunteer firefighter. She graduated last month (July 2017). (by Mchelly)
  • April aka coolirpa, creator of the video series "Thrifted Transformations" which is about "upcycling old clothes into something new." I used to watch / have on in the background a lot of Create TV, and this reminded me a lot of the DIY sewing shows on there. (by capricorn)
  • Susanne Ng and Phay Shing, Singaporean bakers; each gave up research careers to become stay-at-home moms and share photos and recipes of cute, delightful goods such as cakes and cupcakes and macarons. Most of the links are about Susanne; the blog is run by both. (by Room 641-A)
  • Marjory Collins, photographer for the U.S. Office of War Information - in September 1942, she visited the offices of the New York Times and "documented each step of the messy, physical process as news coming in over the wires was sorted, edited, rewritten, laid out, and printed, all under an ever-approaching deadline..." SL Mashable post and it made me want to learn more about Collins. (by jim in austin)
  • Maryam Mirzakhani - obit for the mathematician "known for her exceptional contributions in dynamics, hyperbolic geometry, and the theory of Riemann surfaces" and "first woman to win the Fields Medal, often described as the 'Nobel Prize of mathematics'" and 40 years old at the time of her death. (by busted_crayons)
  • A Tribute to Indian Women Architects - 10 architects listed, with a few photographs of their work and (most of) the architects themselves: Perin Jamshedji Mistry, Urmila Eulie Chowdhury, Sheila Sri Prakash, Revathi Kamath, Neera Adarkar, Chitra Vishwanath, Brinda Somaya, Samira Rathod, Anupama Kundoo, and Pravina Mehta. (by infini)
  • Jen Gunter, a board-certified OB/GYN and blogger who drops science to combat fraudulent medical claims. (by mandolin conspiracy)
  • Frances Gabe - SLNYT obit about the inventor and patent-owner of the world's only self-cleaning house after dreaming about a house that would wash, rinse, and dry itself. She built it "with her own money and her own hands." She was also an accomplished jeweler and ceramist. (by jacquilynne)
  • Olivia Gatwood reading her poem "Ode to the women on Long Island" because it's an excellent performance and it reminded me of how I missed hearing poetry. (by The Whelk)
  • Karen Maine, filmmaker who created a short film based on her experiences of growing up Catholic and learning about sexuality via AOL and in the midwest in 1990s. (by Kattullus)
  • Jane Austen and observing her death 200 years ago -- the thread had some really interesting discussion about her novels. Also gave me a chance to share some links and write about how cool Emma Thompson is. (by adept256)
  • Amanda Shendruk and her work on "Analyzing the Gender Representation of 34,476 Comic Book Characters." (by MrJM)
  • Betty Shannon, unsung mathematical genius and partner of Claude Shannon, who launched the field of information theory. Among her many contributions, she completed the wiring for Theseus, an "artificially intelligent" mouse, and helped turn his ideas into written, publishable work. Don't miss the additional info in the thread from filthy light thief. (by Jpfed)
  • June Foray - obit post of videos featuring the voice acting legend. She was one of the few women here I did know about, and one of my favorites, and this post also gave me a chance to talk about her Stan Freberg radio show characters. (by JHarris)
  • Peggy Guggenheim, who went travelling in Europe in the 1920s, and ended up changing the face of 20th-century art. (by adamvasco)
  • Suzanne Pilaar Birch, co-founder of TrowelBlazers, a website celebrating female archaeologists, palaeontologists and geologists from history, asked fellow scientists to post on social media about being pregnant in the field. (by Johnny Wallflower)
  • Pancho Barnes a.k.a. "The Other Legendary Female Aviator (who Could Drink Any Sailor Under the Table)" - she lived for flying and adventure and broke Amelia Earhart's speed record, and later ran a ranch hotel near Edwards Air Force Base. Some really nice photos of the era. (by MovableBookLady)
  • E. Jean Carroll who lives alone on an island in the woods and is the world's longest-running advice columnist. (by Gin and Broadband)
  • Aubrey Hirsch, artist whose comic "Medicine's Woman Problem" captures her long, painful journey to a diagnosis. (by nerdfish)
  • Jeanne Moreau - obit for the star of Jules et Jim and the face of French New Wave cinema. (by Chrischris)
  • Grace Darling - as referenced above already by LobsterMitten and hippybear; her father was the keeper of a lighthouse on the Farne Islands off of Northumberland, England; in 1838 she assisted in rescuing shipwreck survivors and became internationally famous and a national heroine. She died at only 26. (by mixedmetaphors)
Thank you so much to everyone who posted! I hope I got everybody's name right. (And I will also announce some impromptu categories/winners separately...) I'll MeFiMail the winners this week so I can send off their postcards. If you won, you can also go ahead and send me a message with your mailing info.

(hippybear, I am truly impressed by the fact your prizes are already in the mail!)
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 2:41 AM on August 3 [9 favorites]


Oh! Yay! Thank you!
posted by ChuraChura at 8:39 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


I feel so special. My gratitude to every MeFi poster who dig up such wonderful things.
posted by hapaxes.legomenon at 12:07 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Yay too! - and thanks to all for organizing and participating.
posted by carter at 1:39 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


I am grateful that my post was chosen, even as a runner-up. I am glad to be able to make a contribution to the community.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 4:05 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


While reviewing all of the posts I bookmarked from last month, I have some impromptu categories/winners:
I also missed some posts when writing up my long list yesterday. So, here's a few more Honorable Mentions for posts about women doing awesome things (I've only included the ones I haven't seen mentioned yet):
  • Katie Baker's retrospective on A League of Their Own 25 years after its release, including quotes from people related to the film. (by Etrigan)
  • Lindsay Ellis' film crit theory via The Transformers movies. (by Eyebrows McGee)
  • Max Alexander, creator of knitted sculptures (featured in the post are scientifically accurate depictions of actual moth species; I also really like her knitting octopus), knitted animations, and jewellery for knitters. (by web-goddess)
  • Susan Straight's essay and interactive map of American novels, and being one of the "kind of book nerds who spends three months listing 737 books, delving geographically into the exact places where they are set." (by mixedmetaphors)
  • Scharlette Holdman - obit post - she studied anthropology and became a civil rights activist, running chapters of the ACLU in the 1970s; her pioneering work with defense lawyers (as a non-lawyer) contributed to the decline of the death penalty in the U.S. (by mzurer)
  • Sarah Crespi and Jia You and their article on "Cracking the mystery of egg shape." (by Quietgal)
(If you wrote a post in July about women doing awesome things and it's not here or above, it's likely because someone else already mentioned it, or I just stupidly forgot to bookmark it. Trust me, I probably saw it and appreciated it!)
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 11:32 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Thanks very much to Eyebrows and hippybear for choosing my posts. I don't post very often but this competition did spur me on, and I was lucky to find a few interesting things that I thought Metafilter would enjoy. I'll be trying to keep up this flow!
posted by Stark at 1:05 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


I am so late to the party on this (I've been, uh, a little busy recently) but I wanted to get my picks for best art post in before the week was properly over, so!

First up: there were a lot of posts tagged with art, which isn't shocking because there usually are a bunch of those anyway, but I couldn't have bought myself more trouble if I tried in terms of biting off more than I had time to chew. I cannot emphasize enough how much good stuff there was in July under that tag; go browse those because folks ran the gamut, with everything from galleries of artwork to stories of artists to examinations of lives and art movements and social movements bearing in one sense or another on the subject. It's an embarrassment of riches that I've barely had time to browse and can't do justice to.

So: the stuff I did dig in on, the stuff that jumped out for me in particular where I am right now. Here's the stuff I personally perked up at:

- Johhny Wallflower's post about the gorgeous color landscape photography of Luca Tombolini. Flat, chromatically surprising images of dunes and desertscapes, at a glance more prog rock psychedelica than photography despite the reality of the work.

- DirtyOldTown's on the playful graffiti art of Tom Bob, a body of clever (if occasionally problematic) visual puns and imaginative extensions of banal urban fixtures.

- Room 641-A's on hundreds of pages of newly digitized content from da Vinci's notebooks.

- Too-Ticky on Ronit Baranga's fantastical anatomical ceramics work, with fingers and mouths growing in and from dishware and strange soggy ruminations on anatomy and inflexible objects. Really bothersome stuff in the best way.

And a quartet of posts filled out a subcategory that I didn't know was in the running until I went through everything and realized it must've been: Art Wot Has Bugs.

- jacquilynne on Kate Kato's recycled papercraft bugs and flowers and so forth.

- web-goddess on Urania Sloanus' knitted moths.

- Room 641-A again on Alexander Semenov's hypercolorful marine photography. Absolutely gorgeous pictures of absolutely weird underwater critters.

- Johnny Wallflower again on Igor Siwanowicz's microphotography of insects.

But, if I have to pick a winner, it's the one that felt like it was literally tailor-made for me, not just by the poster but by the artist. A post that, aside from having a good narrative hook to it—here's another unexpected side to a beloved children's book author—just landed square in the middle of My Whole Thing. I don't know if Wolfdog had me dead to rights or was just firing blindly and what-are-the-odds'd it, but:

Best art post of the month, in cortex's opinion, is Mathematical Paintings of Crockett Johnson in which, thanks to Wolfdog, I learned that Johnson, author of the playful, Calvinball-esque Harold and the Purple Crayon books, was also a serious mathematics wonk as well as a painter, and created a whole series of beautifully rendered paintings based on and incorporating hard math figures and proofs and theorems.

The paintings are fantastic, and inspiring; the story is great; the simple economy of the post (like many of the others I mentioned) hits my sweet spot for approachable, "just show me one great thing" post browsing in a way that otherwise impressive and lovingly-crafted megaposts rarely do. Just about exactly what I was hoping for from an art post when I was busy last month failing to give any actual indication of what I was hoping for. Good on you, Wolfdog.

And, again, there were so many other good posts, just in this category, to say nothing of everything else mentioned up thread. I know these contests provoke folks to get out and try a bit, but for me on a personal level the most valuable thing about them is usually how it reminds me to look, because people post wonderful stuff year round and it can be easy to take it for granted. It's nice to have a nudge to crack my eyes open again and take in the sights.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:40 PM on August 4 [3 favorites]


I know these contests provoke folks to get out and try a bit, but for me on a personal level the most valuable thing about them is usually how it reminds me to look, because people post wonderful stuff year round and it can be easy to take it for granted. It's nice to have a nudge to crack my eyes open again and take in the sights.

I felt this way about my NotTheUS thing. It had me clicking on posts that I might have overlooked, discovering things that I was thrilled about, and I really digested and participated mentally in all the posts that had literally zero US content and perhaps a drop or two of politics but not much...

It was exciting, and I find myself continuing to look at posts from my category more than I had before. I'm happy about that.

I hope running one of the contest categories was equally rewarding for everyone who did it.
posted by hippybear at 9:52 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Late announcement as well, because I didn't feel like I had properly read some of them with the leisure and curiosity and non-weekday grar they deserved until now.

*** In the LoTech category:

Winner and strong leader from the very first day, "Tide for First Place" by emilyw! Amazing post, Emily.

Your prize is a Pickett model N 531-ES slide rule manufactured for the Capitol Radio Engineering Institute. Includes a leather slide rule case "made of the finest top-grain genuine California Saddle Leather."* This slide rule is guaranteed (by me) to be the finest-quality curiosity and conversation-starter when placed in a prominent position on your desk-top at work.

Also included is an instruction manual, "How to Use Log Log Slide Rules" from 1953, with tutorial and practice exercises. Congratulations! I'll be me-mailing you for delivery details.

Runner-up, and might have edged out the win except for the surprise factor. (I cheated by living in Hawaii for a while and knowing about that previously): "We Know the Way: The Art of Polynesian Wayfinding" by Eyebrows McGee. Super-fascinating, well-put-together post!

Special mention of "Irrigation Tutorials (dot com)" by sibilatorix. You better believe that's in my bookmarks for reference now.

Thanks for the enjoyable reading, everyone who participated in any category!
posted by ctmf at 12:16 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


* "This leather is slow-tanned using natural tan-bark from the rare Lithocarpus Oak which grows only in California." ehhh, not sure that was even 100% accurate in 1953.
posted by ctmf at 12:20 PM on August 5


The winner of You Type Like a Girl: Posts about womanhood, cultural femininity or gender identity online (or offline) is Etrigan for "Every woman in Hollywood was reading for this movie". Thanks for this post; I enjoyed both the article and the MeFi discussion so much.

Prize is an only slightly dog nibbled, horribly expensive, absolutely wonderful copy of The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service which I discovered thanks to a FPP (Call Jane from ArtW) and which my mother sent me for Valentines Day because my mama is a badass.

Etrigan, MeMail me your postal address and I'll get that in the mail to you. Alternatively, if you don't want to reveal your real life info, I will make a donation in your name to Alabama Reproductive Rights Advocates, which funds abortions for women in need in Alabama.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:57 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Sorry for the delay. July is my busiest work month and this year was no exception. I've spent the majority of this weekend trying to catch up on Real Life Things.

I have a hard time making qualitative judgments, so in the absence of other quantifiable metrics, I chose the post that I shared with the most friends and family. So that said, the winner of the Good Doggos post is How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was, Johnny Wallflower's post featuring the livestreams from the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Mount Juliet, TN. This probably shows a little bit of personal bias given that four of the five dogs in my immediate family (including my own) are ~11.5 or older and I have several friends and co-workers with senior dogs as well.

Johnny has deferred the award I offered, so I'll be making a $25 donation to the OFSDS in MetaFilter's name (assuming they'll let me do that).

Strong runners-up were jacquilynne's Who let the dogs go to the dogs? and spamandkimchi's I roll on the stinkiest corpse, both of which were shared widely as well.

Thanks to all that posted this month using the awesomedog tag. They're good MeFites, curtex.
posted by Ufez Jones at 1:16 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Okay, so now curtex is now the alternate name for Mr. Josh.
posted by hippybear at 6:17 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Whoops! Sorry for the delay! Horace Rumpole wins the Game On category with How Checkers Was Solved.
posted by aubilenon at 2:36 PM on August 16 [2 favorites]


I just had to publicly thank Homeboy Trouble for the awesome Canadian Heritage Minute buttons he sent me as a prize, from Historica Canada.
Thanks, eh!
posted by chapps at 10:07 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


I'm so sorry, I've had a really busy month followed by PMDD hell.

So AltPlanning and BippityBoppityBoo only had one post each: Room 641-A's post about pens and Literaryhero's post about the Peter and Paul trick. Thanks for contributing!

For the Global South award I pick: the man of twists and turns' in-depth look at the geopolitics of Doklam! Not a lot of people ever talk about Bhutan so this was cool to see.

I'll be in touch soon :)
posted by divabat at 12:58 AM on August 23 [1 favorite]


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