Chilling effects

A doctor who is a Metafilter poster analyzed photos of a famous top-gun celebrity (who is a recent father) and speculated that, because the actor had only three incisors, the middle one of which was “freakishly wide”, he might suffer from holoprosencephaly, a genetic defect that can lead to stillborn babies, and in “its more severe manifestions can lead to cyclopia, fusion of the frontal lobes, a primitive proboscis instead of a nose (located above the fusion eyeball), and other grisly abnormalities.” (Further evidence for the hypothesis: “his biological father was mildly retarded and beat him severely as a child. Mild retardation, with or without violent behaviors, can also be part of an incomplete holoprosencephaly syndrome.”) The maverick celebrity apparently had lawyers let Metafilter know that it would be risky business to keep the post up. Perhaps fearing collateral damage from a cocktail of litigation or a war of the entertainment and Internet worlds, Metafilter apparently acceded to the request to remove the speculative post rather than let a few good men be subject to an onslaught of lawyers (h/t).

Update: The commissar vanishes: even the Metafilter meta-post is down now, as is discussion about that removal. Googling reveals other discussion.


  • This post cruises to the top of the list- far and away one of my favorites for this year. Well done, Mr. Frank!

  • I’m not sure who The Firm he hired was but they seem to have made All the Right Moves. The Young Guns achieved their Impossible Mission and suppressed the Minority Report because Metafilter was concerned more about The Color of Money than standing as the Last Samurai defending free speech.

  • Cold as ice, man. So how come my hands are all clammy?

  • It is a shame that Metafilter doesn’t have the heart to engage in a little risky business.

  • With all due respect to Walter, I must say that this is far and away the best post I’ve read on this site.

    (How can a word nerrrd resist?)