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Ask MetaFilter Contains Everything You'll Ever Want to Know

Ask MetaFilter is a community site in which people ask and answer questions. There are tons of new questions every day, and they're all over the map -- you'll find life-and-death situations, complex technical topics, and even recipe suggestions. At the moment (as of 9am Pacific on January 6, 2011), I see a bunch of computer questions, along with these gems:

Whats the vibe like in Manzanillo, Costa Rica (Nicoya)? - 0 answers

What would be a good low maintenance freshwater fish that would thrive in a 2 gallon kids aquarium with a bubbler but no heater? - 10 answers

Wicked long shot, but I would like to identify a 15-year-old infomercial because it brought me so much joy. It featured a man in a dance club selling some mysterious service - 6 answers, including someone who found a complete video online showing the infomercial!

It's a big roiling pot of crazy awesome stuff. Check out the Most favorited posts of all time page for such hits as:

I want a badass skill. I want to know how to do something that people will see and think "wow, that is badass." - 108 answers

What are some good, somewhat dirty jokes suitable for telling to my Grandma? - 53 answers

Help! I'm stuck in my bedroom. The knob won't turn much either way and won't come unlatched. The only person who has a key to my house is out of town, so I can't even call a locksmith and have him let in. How can I get out of my bedroom? The door knob is the kind with screws only on the exterior. I've tried to slide a credit card in, but that did not yield results. Anyone have any advice to help me get out of my room? - 115 answers, and a community quickly forms around getting this woman out of her room

You get the idea. Got a few hours/days/years to kill? Ask MetaFilter. Oh, and if you're a design geek you might enjoy their ridiculous 2010 Year in MetaFilter infographic.

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History
The Queen of Code: Remembering Grace Hopper
By Lynn Gilbert, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Grace Hopper was a computing pioneer. She coined the term "computer bug" after finding a moth stuck inside Harvard's Mark II computer in 1947 (which in turn led to the term "debug," meaning solving problems in computer code). She did the foundational work that led to the COBOL programming language, used in mission-critical computing systems for decades (including today). She worked in World War II using very early computers to help end the war. When she retired from the U.S. Navy at age 79, she was the oldest active-duty commissioned officer in the service. Hopper, who was born on this day in 1906, is a hero of computing and a brilliant role model, but not many people know her story.

In this short documentary from FiveThirtyEight, directed by Gillian Jacobs, we learned about Grace Hopper from several biographers, archival photographs, and footage of her speaking in her later years. If you've never heard of Grace Hopper, or you're even vaguely interested in the history of computing or women in computing, this is a must-watch:

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Google
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Animals
Watch Christmas Island’s Annual Crab Migration on Google Street View
Google
Google

Every year, the 45 million or so red crabs on the remote Australian territory of Christmas Island migrate en masse from their forest burrows down to the ocean to mate, and so the female crabs can release their eggs into the sea to hatch. The migration starts during the fall, and the number of crabs on the beach often peaks in December. This year, you don’t have to be on Christmas Island to witness the spectacular crustacean event, as New Atlas reports. You can see it on Google Street View.

Watching the sheer density of crabs scuttling across roads, boardwalks, and beaches is a rare visual treat. According to the Google blog, this year’s crabtacular finale is forecasted for December 16, and Parks Australia crab expert Alasdair Grigg will be there with the Street View Trekker to capture it. That is likely to be the day when crab populations on the beaches will be at their peak, giving you the best view of the action.

Crabs scuttle across the forest floor while a man with a Google Street View Trekker walks behind them.
Google

Google Street View is already a repository for a number of armchair travel experiences. You can digitally explore remote locations in Antarctica, recreations of ancient cities, and even the International Space Station. You can essentially see the whole world without ever logging off your computer.

Sadly, because Street View isn’t live, you won’t be able to see the migration as it happens. The image collection won’t be available until sometime in early 2018. But it’ll be worth the wait, we promise. For a sneak preview, watch Parks Australia’s video of the 2012 event here.

[h/t New Atlas]

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