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Can you translate what's written on these mysterious envelopes?

These two envelopes arrived in my office in the autumn of 2010. I've kept them around because they're neat-looking, and an interesting conversation piece. Can you translate into English what's written on them? They may be in Japanese or Chinese (?). [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Nov 14, 2013 - 16 answers

Where is Germany's gold? And does it matter?

A friend mentioned something to me about the U.S. "losing Germany's gold," and I hadn't heard anything about this story. I did some research online and read about Germany's gold holdings in the Federal Reserve Bank, and how the Fed has refused to allow Germany to audit its holdings in the Fed vaults in New York City. [more inside]
posted by Unified Theory on Aug 28, 2013 - 9 answers

Best Art Bell episodes?

I grew up listening to late-night spooky radio like Art Bell and George Noory. Recently on a road trip I burned a few CDs sort of at random to keep me company. Now I'm interested in digging through the archives to find the best episodes ever. Do any stand out to you? Please share!
posted by blandcamp on Jul 17, 2013 - 14 answers

Loose Change: Astrotower

The Coney Island Luna Park Astrotower was dismantled this July 4th. The reason given was because weight was removed from the top of the tower it began abnormally swaying, so it had to come down. The swaying was reported by an unidentified tourist. This seems fishy to me, especially the claim that a lighter, less top heavy structure would be less stable. Was there an actual safety issue, or was it more likely that there was some kind of conspiracy to bring the tower down?
posted by Sophont on Jul 8, 2013 - 5 answers

JFK and 9/11 conspiracy theories

Were JFK conspiracy theories held in the same regard as as 9/11 truthers are now? John F Kennedy conspiracy theories are a part of popular culture, feeding books, documentaries, movies etc. Which made me think 1. Were the people who held these views thought of as kooks in the 1960's? 2. 30 years from now could there be the same thread take hold in popular culture in relation to 9/11?
posted by Burgatron on May 17, 2013 - 18 answers

Real Life Royston Vasey?

Are there any real-life historical examples of the Small Town With A Terrible Secret horror trope? Towns where long-term, ongoing crimes (or unsavory religious practices one supposes) where purposefully covered up and kept hidden from the outside world and any attempt to investigate them resulted in the investigator being detained, thrown out, or killed?
posted by The Whelk on Jan 4, 2013 - 35 answers

Can you help me create a list of example of "Immersion Cinema"?

Can you help me create a list of example of "Immersion Cinema"? [more inside]
posted by codybaldwin on Oct 19, 2012 - 11 answers

Unhealthy conspiracy theories

A friend of mine has become so wrapped up in conspiracy theories that it's ruining his life. Help! [more inside]
posted by gorcha on Oct 19, 2012 - 35 answers

Team Doper: How large was the Lance Armstrong conspiracy?

How large was the Lance Armstrong doping conspiracy? [more inside]
posted by srboisvert on Oct 15, 2012 - 13 answers

Who knew Mott The Hoople even put out that many records?

Where do flea market vinyl dealers get their records? [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Jun 2, 2012 - 11 answers

It... it all fits together

Is there a name for those conspiracy maps that are so often shown in movies and TV shows? You know, the ones on cork board, with photos and index cards connected with strings.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 on Apr 6, 2012 - 6 answers

Tell me about the Illuminati

Is there a serious, modern, non-fiction, non-kook, non-speculative history of the Bavarian Illuminati, as founded for Adam Weishaupt? I mean the German rationalist club, not the conspiracy theories surrounding it. [more inside]
posted by Yakuman on Dec 21, 2011 - 1 answer

Help me relieve my boredom.

I'm sick and in bed and bored out of my gourd. Recommend guilty pleasure-type movies for me! Bonus points for government conspiracy / mysteries. [more inside]
posted by custard heart on Nov 5, 2011 - 41 answers

What is this bizarre email about?

I got an email today straight from the X-files. What does it mean? [more inside]
posted by Ian Scuffling on Oct 22, 2011 - 4 answers

The Con's Piracy

How can I encourage someone to think more critically without coming off condescending? [more inside]
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Sep 7, 2011 - 41 answers

The Twitter iPad conspiracy.

Twitter list management on the iPad? [more inside]
posted by chairface on Jun 30, 2011 - 6 answers

Osama is dead, long live Osama.

I'm curious about the immediate birth of conspiracy around two aspects of Osama bin Laden's death. Wondering if any AskMeFites can provide clarity: [more inside]
posted by kensington314 on May 2, 2011 - 25 answers

JFK Assassination : Books You Would Recommend?

I finished reading Richard Belzer's hilarious book UFOs, JFK, and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don't Have to Be Crazy to Believe and it has gotten me interested in the JFK assassination. I then looked at a YouTube video that basically used a computer sim that showed the shooting coming from the book depository. My main question: Can any mefite recommend a book or three (of the million written) on the subject that they enjoy and find convincing on the assassination? I am open to any suggestions. Feel free to share your thoughts on the subject.
posted by snap_dragon on Apr 29, 2011 - 21 answers

1970s French cop movie

I saw this French cop/conspiracy/scandal movie at French camp in the 1970s. Now that I have the awesome power of the internet at my disposal, I'd like to find it again. But I can't. [more inside]
posted by dhartung on Apr 20, 2011 - 7 answers

Losing my wife to the black helicopter crowd - need help.

Looking for conspiracy theory debunking in Japanese. My wife is starting to worry me. [more inside]
posted by bashos_frog on Apr 1, 2011 - 15 answers

Product Mystery Giveing Me Heartburn

What is really going on with Pepcid Complete and similar antacid/H2 inhibitor combos? recall was about packaging a long time ago but shelves are still empty and no explanation from "marketing"
posted by Barrows on Jan 30, 2011 - 3 answers

If machaivalli invited the lads around for an evening, what games would they play?

Machiavelli Filter: I'm looking for games in which I can lie to, betray, manipulate and sow discord among my friends. All in the name of supreme victory fun, of course. [more inside]
posted by metaBugs on Jan 11, 2011 - 51 answers

I Can't Go On. I'll Go On.

A person recently mentioned, as an aside, a Samuel Beckett essay (or play, or story) featuring the "Trade Union", which was described as the thing that conspires against ordinary individuals in the quotidian (i.e. when you forget to take your umbrella and it rains, that's the fault of the "Trade Union"; or when you can't find your car keys, that's down to the "Trade Union".) [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Nov 29, 2010 - 3 answers

Could somebody listen to Russia, for a moment?

Does anyone have a shortwave radio, or something that could pick up an AM station in Russia? [more inside]
posted by Bathtub Bobsled on Jun 5, 2010 - 9 answers

Single-volume book on conspiracies

I'm looking for a good book that discusses secret societies and/or conspiracy theories, but does so with at least some objectivity and academic rigor (footnotes, reliable sources, etc.) [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Apr 12, 2010 - 15 answers

Damn you, Oliver Stone.

I just watched JFK. It IS a movie (hence, adapted for storytelling purposes) but I'm somewhat convinced that there was a conspiracy behind the assassination. Please reassure me that I'm not going bats--t. [more inside]
posted by the NATURAL on Mar 25, 2010 - 37 answers

WTF

Creep me out! Lately I've been on an "unsettling stuff" kick -- I like feeling unsettled and I find it creatively inspiring -- but I'm running low on things to explore. [more inside]
posted by Nattie on Dec 3, 2009 - 102 answers

Gifts for my Conspiracy Theory Obsessed Friend!

Every year I am at a loss of what to get my best friend for Christmas. He is a man who really has everything. He likes electronic gadgets but they are usually fairly expensive, and he usually wants something very specific that he ends up buying himself. When I ask him what he wants, he hems and haws and just says, “Nothing, I don’t need anything.” [more inside]
posted by batonthefueltank on Dec 1, 2009 - 46 answers

Escaped from Greenock Prison

Browsing today's newspapers here in Scotland it would seem that there is an anti-Scottish feeling pervading the whole of the USA after the compassionate release of the Pan-Am bomber last week. Question1: Am I right in thinking that this is the case, or is it just right wing neo-con nonsense eminating from the Fox News stable? Question2: If this anti-Scottish feeling does exist, how best can I explain that we the UK/US public have been sold a lie by our Governments and that this guy was merely a patsy? [more inside]
posted by cameronfromedinburgh on Aug 26, 2009 - 60 answers

I've got this friend . . .

Stupid question filter : "There is no law that requires U.S. citizens to pay income tax" Is this true? Can anyone site the Law? [more inside]
posted by nola on Apr 27, 2009 - 33 answers

Suggest media where the bad guys are more intelligent than the audience

Please suggest books and films in which the antagonists are consistently clever, creating complex and elegant (evil?) plots-within-plots to befuddle the protagonist and audience! [more inside]
posted by metaBugs on Apr 6, 2009 - 28 answers

Ketchup monoculture

Why so few varieties of ketchup? [more inside]
posted by ryanrs on Mar 31, 2009 - 47 answers

The propaganda machine or my imagination?

Am I imagining things or has there lately been a surge of right-wing opinion dominating the forums of popular sites like digg and reddit? [more inside]
posted by drpynchon on Mar 24, 2009 - 23 answers

FDR knew Pearl Harbor was coming?

Is there any factual basis to the idea that FDR knew the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor, and allowed it to happen to get the U.S. citizenry behind the war? [more inside]
posted by tzikeh on Mar 14, 2009 - 42 answers

What song was this?

Looking for the title/artist of a conspiratorial hip-hop track from the mid-90s. [more inside]
posted by FatherDagon on Feb 2, 2009 - 7 answers

conspiracy theory art

A while ago I read about an artist, then recently deceased, whose works consisted of the names of entities in popular conspiracy theories connected with graceful arcs (according as they were held to be in cahoots). Maybe it wasn't only conspiracy theories but also more legitimate political connections. I can't find his name or examples of his work online, and I would like to. Only you can help!
posted by kenko on Dec 27, 2008 - 4 answers

Information on Zeitgeist: the Movement?

Zeitgeist: the movies versus the movement... objective thoughts? [more inside]
posted by WhaleRider on Dec 4, 2008 - 13 answers

Banking Conspiracy Beach Reading

I'm looking for accessible, credible writing about global banking conspiracies that doesn't lapse into anti-semitism or tinfoil haberdashery. Does such a book exist?
posted by mecran01 on Oct 29, 2008 - 13 answers

Did I invent the memory of a murderous conspiracy?

Did a journalist investigating the 2000 election in Florida die under suspicious circumstances? If you remember this story even slightly, help me find it. [more inside]
posted by damehex on Aug 23, 2008 - 9 answers

A Conspiracy Theory-Themed (Housewarming) Party

We have decided to host a conspiracy-themed party in order to celebrate our new home, and we need more drink/food/activity/decoration ideas! [more inside]
posted by S_Alzis on Jun 9, 2008 - 32 answers

The Curse of 50 Perry

What happens in 50 Perry Street in the West Village of NYC? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 27, 2008 - 7 answers

"You're very clever, young man, very clever. But it's turtles all the way down!"

Dear Hive-Mind, Want to help me brainstorm up a list of strange (pre-existing) theories? [more inside]
posted by Jezztek on May 12, 2008 - 41 answers

How to deal with an intelligent conspiracy theorist friend?

A friend of mine, who is highly educated (married with two kids, accomplished medical researcher), is absolutely convinced that September 11 was a huge conspiracy initiated by members of the US government. She has a detailed complex explanation for everything. She takes it deeply personally when I scoff at her, telling me I should read the evidence before forming an opinion. I see her as gullible and she sees me as ignorant. Is there an analysis available comprehensively somewhere addressing the conspiracy theorists to the satisfaction of the leading academics in the relevant areas (material engineering, aerodynamics, media relations, architecture etc)? How do you deal with people like this? [more inside]
posted by vizsla on Mar 19, 2008 - 62 answers

Federal Reserve bailout

Without sounding conspiratorial... I'm wondering how much arm twisting it took by political/economic elites to get the Fed to adopt its current Liquidity Plan. Will Carlyle Capital directly benefit from it? A couple of days ago I read this story about their recent notice of default on a margin call. [more inside]
posted by purenitrous on Mar 12, 2008 - 8 answers

The Religiosity of Conspiracy and Ideology

Does anyone know of any books or articles that look at conspiracy theories from an anthropology of religion or psychology point of view? [more inside]
posted by Sangermaine on Nov 22, 2007 - 6 answers

Best 9-11 'Conspiracy' Book?

Best 9-11 'Conspiracy Theory' book for the skeptic? [more inside]
posted by jjsonp on Aug 14, 2007 - 21 answers

What are these hoofprints?

What are these hoofprints in Turkmenistan? [more inside]
posted by fish tick on Jun 14, 2007 - 7 answers

Potato Chip Bags - Ziploc?

[ObviousFilter?] Why haven't potato chip bags adopted Ziploc-type seals? Chip-clips are just "ok," and yet I see every other fresh product adopting the Ziploc-type seals. Is this a conspiracy to make my chips go stale (aka inedible) sooner?
posted by tdabbott on May 8, 2007 - 15 answers

"idea obfuscation?"

i think there is a term--rhetorical or otherwise-- for the way "conspiracy theory" can serve to cloud the environment of ideas thereby rendering politically unpopular notions inert regardless of their veracity. anybody know what im struggling to effin describe and label?
posted by oigocosas on Apr 18, 2007 - 27 answers

How do I respond to 9/11 Conspiracy theorist friend?

How do I respond to a friends who's advocating 9/11 conspiracy theories (specifically the " Loose Change" video). [more inside]
posted by aggienfo on Apr 14, 2007 - 39 answers

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