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December 2003 Archives

December 31
Why do my lower back muscles contract when I am cold? How can I make them relax?
Why do my lower back muscles contract when I am cold? It is uncontrollable and often causes pain. Is there anything I can do to train the muscles to relax? Would having a stronger lower back make it worse or better?
posted by will at 11:25 PM PST - 3 comments

Children's Metric Cookbook
I'm looking to buy a children's cookbook for a young friend in Canada, but the only one I could find on Amazon.com or Google that explicitly stated it had metric measurements (Children's Quick And Easy Cookbook by Angela Wilkes) looked a little too advanced for the kid's tastes. Can anyone recommend a good one with metric measurements, basic cooking terminology, and kitchen safety tips?

Oh, and heavy on the cookie recipes...
posted by Soliloquy at 10:04 PM PST - 5 comments

What firewall should I get?
I have broadband now, and I guess I should get a firewall. Any recommendations? I'm running OS X on an iBook G3 700MHz, and I'm toying with the idea of getting a Netgear Router/Switch. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by rocketman at 8:14 PM PST - 9 comments

Can anyone recommend some good French-language blogs?
Can anyone recommend some good French-language blogs? [more inside]
posted by Hildago at 7:09 PM PST - 7 comments

Is it possible for me to make my own cheap shoe inserts?
Is it possible for me to make my own cheap shoe inserts? They don't necessarily have to be perfect, orthotic, form fitting works of art, just some extra padding. I am tall (6'7) and fat (250 lb.) and sometimes my shoes need a little help. That Dr. Scholl's crap sold at the supermarket for $15 a pop hardly seems worth it, and I have worn out the inserts in some of my existing shoes.
posted by mecran01 at 6:51 PM PST - 14 comments

Keyboard Problem
I'm sure many of you, like me, find yourselves in the position of family tech support guy. well, this latest ticket has me completely stumped. on my mother's computer, every time she presses the "1", a "`1" appears on screen. any ideas? [more inside]
posted by mcsweetie at 1:47 PM PST - 13 comments

Beige Computers
Why were computers, Apple and IBM compatibles, from a few years back available in beige and well just beige? Is there a reason why beige was the defacto colour of computing hardware?
posted by riffola at 11:33 AM PST - 13 comments

My Machine Plays DOS Games Too Speedily -- Can I Slow Them Down?
I saw a thread about DOS games, but I'm wondering - I can play DOS games on my system, but my modern computer's speed makes most games move too fast to be that enjoyable (I'm thinking of the original Oregon Trail, in particular). Is there any way to slow them down, or is this a lost cause?
posted by agregoli at 10:03 AM PST - 9 comments

UK Web Host
Can anyone recommend a good web host based in the Uk?
posted by none at 9:46 AM PST - 7 comments

PHP Development Platform
After using Homesite to edit PHP for the last few years I'm seriously thinking about upgrading to a more functional IDE. I'll use something else for C++ and Java (which I'm not even doing right now), so I really only need this for PHP development. The two that seem to jump out are Zend Studio and NuSphere's PHPEd. Has anyone used these? I'll try the free demos of each, but since I'm potentially spending $200+ I'd like to get some feedback from actual users. Or is there something better out there that I haven't run into?
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:09 AM PST - 10 comments

Lingering Cough
I've got the Toxic Death Flu. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by eilatan at 7:27 AM PST - 34 comments

Looking for Very Sturdy Desk with Few/No Drawers, Under $200
I've got a rather old and decrepit office-surplus Steelcase desk in my "home office" right now, and am looking for something newer that doesn't have drawers for me to fill up with crud.

Needs to be VERY sturdy (as I may have 2 or 3 large monitors on it at any time) and not wobbly or flimsy at all. I've looked at the IKEA "Jerker" desk, but the closest IKEA is in Houston (I'm in Austin) and buying one mail-order would be prohibitive.

Suggestions? Budget is $200 max.
posted by mrbill at 6:59 AM PST - 23 comments

Videogame Help: Prince of Persia
Exactly how do I climb the *%$&!@# walls in Prince Of Persia? (more inside) [more inside]
posted by iconomy at 6:33 AM PST - 17 comments

Selling China. Ebay?
My husband had had some Villeroy and Boch Foxwood Tales china that he bought for his ex-wife (although she never liked it). I never liked having it because 1. it's a constant reminder of the ex, and 2. even if it weren't, it's just really not my style anyway (both this particular china and the idea of china in general). He's decided he wants to get rid of it, and we are thinking we'll sell it on Ebay. But we've never sold before, do people have some tips for us? Is there a better way to sell it than Ebay?
posted by Shoeburyness at 12:05 AM PST - 14 comments

December 30
Pea Coat
The buttons are falling off my pea-coat and it's starting to shred in the worst possible places. How can I find a new coat?[more inside] [more inside]
posted by drezdn at 11:41 PM PST - 5 comments

Bed shopping and also software for room arranging
Looking to buy a new bed... and software to help me rearrange my house. [MI] [more inside]
posted by dobbs at 4:44 PM PST - 22 comments

Confronting neighbors about their dog's incessant barking.
Anyone have any experiences to share with confronting neighbors about their dog's incessant barking? [more inside...] [more inside]
posted by yalestar at 4:06 PM PST - 26 comments

Why do people misspell 'lose' as 'loose'?
Why do people misspell 'lose' as 'loose'? I was looking at this old entry at waxy. All the info on the web seems to be of the 'haha, look how stupid people are' variety but I haven't found anything that tries to explain these mistakes away. Is it phonetics, usage, words that are an exception to a rule?
posted by vacapinta at 4:00 PM PST - 19 comments

Mac application to assist with landscape design?
I am looking for an OS X application that assists with landscape design. Something with a very good plant database that is also relatively easy to use and not too pricey is preferable. [more inside...] [more inside]
posted by terrapin at 3:13 PM PST - 8 comments

Stuck On You
How does the movie Stuck on You end? Some friends went to see it recently. There was some technical problems with the projector, and they had to leave before seeing it. It's driving them crazy, but not crazy enough to sit through it again (If you haven't seen it yet, expect the thread to contain spoilers).
posted by willnot at 2:11 PM PST - 3 comments

How do I fund spending a year in Europe?
I'd like to spend a year in Europe. How can I fund it? [more inside]. [more inside]
posted by gd779 at 2:05 PM PST - 11 comments

New Years Eve Dress Code in San Francisco at the Gordon Biersch
As a European spending my first New Year's Eve abroad (in San Francisco at the Gordon Biersch), I've been wondering what a general NYE dress code is in the United States. Answers I've received so far range from "whatever you like" to "anything goes", which doesn't help me in my decision on what I should wear. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by ckemp at 1:40 PM PST - 12 comments

Spending Christmas Money
How should I spend my Christmas money? [more inside]
posted by feelinglistless at 1:13 PM PST - 22 comments

Catalog my music collection as a webpage?
I'm looking for a program that will catalog my music collection as a webpage. I'd like something that alphabetically lists artists, and each artist entry can be expanded to list songs. Preferably the program would work from an M3U playlist or based off my file structure (songs are in folders according to artist).
posted by punishinglemur at 1:04 PM PST - 8 comments

Do hardware upgrades mean HD reformatting is in my future?
I'm considering upgrading the processor (and possibly the motherboard) on an older PC. Am I going to have to reformat the HD? Obviously, I'll back up all the data just in case, but I was under the impression that the OS would just find the new hardware upon booting up for the first time. The 14 year-old at the local CompUSA claims otherwise--that I'll have to rebuild the OS once I put the new processor in place. So which is it?
posted by jpoulos at 11:57 AM PST - 8 comments

Can you solve my Windows ME blank monitor nightmare?
Can you solve my Windows ME blank monitor nightmare? [more inside...] [more inside]
posted by skylar at 10:48 AM PST - 15 comments

Help me buy lingerie for my girlfriend!
Help me buy lingerie for my girlfriend! [more inside] [more inside]
posted by plemeljr at 9:28 AM PST - 11 comments

How Can I Learn Norwegian in One to Two Months?
I want to learn a language FAST. Say in one to two months... I have a teach-yourself book and tape (Norwegian), and a few friends who speak the language. Any tips or suggestions?
posted by degnarra at 8:46 AM PST - 6 comments

Run the cat through the wall, or dont bother?
My house was completely rewired a few years ago by a previous owner. In doing so he put in the power, but left some rather large openings in the walls around the plug boxes. I have not repaired these, as I thought I would eventually get around to running some Cat 5 cable and phone jacks to every room. My question is, is it worth doing anymore? I can think of a few places I might want a hard connection to my network, but my WiFi set up makes me think this is no longer worth the trouble. The land line is not going away anytime soon, but it no longer seems worth the trouble either. Is there anything I should consider installing before I lock down the walls and lose my easy access?
posted by thirteen at 7:47 AM PST - 12 comments

iPod on OS9 questions
Ipod Q2: Ipod and OS9? One of my closest friends got a 10gig newest gen Ipod, but doesn't use/have OSX...any way to use it? the icon shows up on the desktop but Itunes doesn't recognize it...it came with only X software, and downloading older Ipod software for OS9 didn't work (neither Restore or Update worked). How to stop it from being a stylish paperweight?
posted by amberglow at 5:44 AM PST - 16 comments

Slow XP
Help me! I'm naked! With my new computer I finally got Win XP (instead of win 98, which I had been using with the older computer), but after downloading and installing all the security patches, the system slowed down to the speed of molasses, taking forever to open any folder... [more inside]
posted by taz at 3:02 AM PST - 22 comments

Free MP3 software like WinAmp, but for Mac?
My Dad's undergoing The Switch, to evil Apple computers. He wants some free MP3 playing software, preferably with the functionality of WinAmp. Any suggestions, MacFites?
posted by armoured-ant at 2:41 AM PST - 8 comments

How do you maximise the life of a lithium-ion battery?
With the recent IPod fiasco now behind us, the word is out that to maximize the useful lifespan of lithium Ion batteries, its best not to draw them down to empty (ever) and to keep them topped off and charging when not in use. Yet, when the units ship after manufacture, the batteries are apparently alltogether uncharged. My Question is, if you are planning not use your IPod or other Lithium Ion powered device for a long time, must they be left charging for all that time or is there better means of long term non use and storage that doesn't hose the battery pack?
posted by Fupped Duck at 1:04 AM PST - 10 comments

December 29
Gay Hobbits
Yes, this is a dumb question, but here goes:

Is there anything I can do to convince my son that the hobbits in LOTR are not gay? (Not meant to slam gay mefites, but I doubt gay hobbits would be true to the books. Besides, he's sure he's right and I like to prove him wrong occasionally.)
posted by konolia at 7:06 PM PST - 67 comments

Hiking boots recommendations.
In October, I will be going on an extensive backpacking trip across Europe, and I'm looking to buy (and break in) some hiking boots well before I go. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by Marquis at 4:21 PM PST - 23 comments

How to store and browse my bookmarks?
Anyone have any suggestions for a quick and versatile way to bookmarks/favorites in a multi-faceted, customizable database? I've got hundreds upon hundreds of bookmarks of "Nice Websites" that I use for inspiration and ideas, but they've grown to the point that I can no longer maintain them with just the browser. I want to be able to browse by color, style, layout, etc. Any suggestions?
posted by oissubke at 3:08 PM PST - 8 comments

Should I hack my XBox? Why or why not? Which hacks?
I got an Xbox for christmas, and I have been googling for Xbox hacks, and looking around I see a lot of people saying different things about it. Should I get a mod chip? Should I go with the software hack? Is there ways to hack the Xbox without resorting to using a pinout to plug a USB device into the controller? Who here hacks their Xbox? [more inside]
posted by Keyser Soze at 2:23 PM PST - 9 comments

Home Theater on the Cheap
Assume I'm starting from scratch except for a 32" JVC TV with s-video input. How would you build a budget home theater for a multi-purpose room? Rather than get into my particular preferences (other than that I want to play DVDs, CDs and CD-Rs), I'd like respondents to make recommendations based on the variables most important to them (e.g., getting a cheap player and being indifferent to its picture quality because it's region-free; splurging on a center channel speaker because it's that important; insisting on a combo DVD-R/PVR regardless of price because it's such a killer app; going with simple stereo separation because surround sound is overblown, etc.). Specific product and retailer recommendations are especially welcome.
posted by blueshammer at 1:03 PM PST - 8 comments

Is there any way, without buying Real One, I can listen to Real Audio on my OS X mac?
Is there any way, without buying Real One, I can listen to Real Audio on my OS X mac? [More inside.] [more inside]
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:54 AM PST - 10 comments

Recommend a good laptop case for a 15" PowerBook
I'm looking for a laptop case for my PowerBook Ti 15". I'm trying to find a basic sleeve which I can stash in a larger bag (so that I don't scream "steal this laptop" in France), but I still want a good deal of protection. Does anyone have any recommendations? [more inside]
posted by jed at 9:52 AM PST - 13 comments

What's the best personal audio device for $150?
I am looking to purchase a portable personal audio device. I have researched MP3 players, which are the expensive side for the amount of storage I would like, and the Mini-Disc players, which seem to come with buggy software. Also, I have had a hard time finding any articles that do a good job of describing the sound quality of Mini-Discs. I don't want to spend more than $150. Can anyone recommend one over the other? Had any experience with both?
posted by studentbaker at 9:23 AM PST - 20 comments

How best to connect a remote Windows network to our own?
How best to connect a remote Windows network to our own? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by vraxoin at 8:51 AM PST - 6 comments

I'm looking for a product that performs the same function as the "page" button on my cordless landline.
I'm looking for a product that performs the same function as the "page" button on my cordless landline. Press a button on the base, and the lost phone starts beeping until you find it. Ideally this is something small enough to attach to objects like keychains, remote controls, wallets, small digicams (RFID?). Anybody ever heard of anything like this?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:46 AM PST - 9 comments

How do I learn to play an acoustic guitar?
I got a guitar for Christmas! Acoustic. I've never played before, but I do read music. What now? How do I learn to play? Books, DVDs, videos? Or are private lessons the way to go?
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:32 AM PST - 25 comments

Should I choose a Pocket PC or Palm handheld?
Pocket PC or Palm?
posted by ajr at 7:52 AM PST - 16 comments

How can I improve my golf game?
Golf. Just got some clubs and looking for advice on how to start work on my game. My normal drive starts off as a hook but ends up slicing waaaay to the left (as you can see, I'm left handed) but grrrreat distance. Advice on drive? Putting and short iron shots I have gotten a real feel for but the long shots elude me. Short on taking lessons (I abhor authority when it is physically present) how to improive my game?
posted by Dagobert at 7:37 AM PST - 3 comments

Incontinent Older Dog
Yet another dog question. My wife's dog is a shepherd-dobermann cross and so old that she's technically dead - about 16 years old. She's mostly incontinent, and scooping up turds and mopping up pee is a daily and sometimes hourly chore now - I've taken up all the rugs, and she sleeps at night on a foam cushion protected by a vinyl shower curtain. I think her kidneys are failing, but very very slowly. So she drinks a fantastic amount of water and voids it randomly about the house. My wife and I take turns letting her out out night, but she's excessively nocturnal (she's a dog) and this, combined with the incontinence and her tendency to get jammed into odd spots and whine until rescued is degrading our sleep. My wife's very attached to the dog - who otherwise isn't really suffering and is even happy - but our lives are slowly coming to be dominated by the dog. Yet....neither I nor my wife believe in killing pets or other creatures for mere reasons of convenience. Any technical advice on managing this situation until the creature dies a natural death?
posted by troutfishing at 7:23 AM PST - 13 comments

Dog afraid of stairs
'nother dog question. Last year my (now) 9-year-old dog (Lab/golden mix) became afraid to descend stairs. She stands at the top and woofs until you stand at or near the bottom and reach up to her, then she will come down unassisted but tentatively as you "glilde" her down with a sweep of your arm (OK, maybe I just do the glide because it's fun). Very occasionally she has a similar problem climbing.
My first thought was her eyesight, but if it were failing, how would I know? And the presence/absence of light seems not to matter. Can a vet diagnose vision problems?

The stairs are uncarpeted wood. Does anyone think it would help to put a carpet runner on the stairs?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:27 AM PST - 8 comments

Firework-phobic pooch
How to calm a dog that hates fireworks, on a night when fireworks will be going off for many hours? (more inside) [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 4:33 AM PST - 14 comments

I am looking for a substitute for the Windows Desktop (explorer.exe) for a Terminal Server machine, with a few special requirements.
I am looking for a substitute for the Windows Desktop (explorer.exe) for a Terminal Server machine. I need an optional taskbar, the ability to log off, and a set of icons which are allocated to users on a user by user basis. I do not want Right Clicking, drag and dropping, access to the control panel or anything other than what I've mentioned above. I understand that I could use profiles to do this, but wish to use a slimline explorer substitute. Google offers no help. Can anybody help?
posted by seanyboy at 2:59 AM PST - 5 comments

Who is funding iSketch's Online Pictionary?
Do I dare? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by twine42 at 12:52 AM PST - 4 comments

December 28
How can I get my Mac Plus to start?
I have a Mac Plus and it wont start [more inside] [more inside]
posted by meech at 11:30 PM PST - 5 comments

How do I anti-lame my New Year's party?
How do I anti-lame my New Year's party? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by Zosia Blue at 9:03 PM PST - 14 comments

Does anyone remember the name of a movie where the main character was tired of zines because it seemed like everyone had a zine about themselves?
Does anyone remember the name of a movie where the main character was tired of zines because it seemed like everyone had a zine about themselves. I believe one of the words in the title began with an "H."
posted by drezdn at 8:44 PM PST - 3 comments

What kitchen knives should I buy?
What kitchen knives should I buy? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by stonerose at 6:46 PM PST - 22 comments

Can I use a 25 year old fishing rod?
I stumbled across an old fiberglass fishing rod in a cardboard mailing tube.
It still appeared to be in excellent shape, yet I know the rod must be at least 25 years old, as it was a parting gift from the previous owner, circa 1979.

Should I risk taking it out on the water, for old time's sake, or would the rod end up snappimg from fatigue? What sort of reel considerations could I make, given it's age?
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:09 PM PST - 4 comments

Should I take up the saxophone?
So in the past, I've played the piano, violin and bass guitar. But my true passion, and musical talent, has always been singing. Alas, my particular voice isn't very popular. So I want to translate my vocal talents into my newest venture, the saxaphone. Any advice on where I should purchase one, and if this is even a good idea?
posted by BlueTrain at 4:50 PM PST - 6 comments

Cheap but good options for new ink for an HP DeskJet 932C printer?
I need to get new ink for my HP DeskJet 932C and am looking for cheaper options. I've heard from friends that those refill kit thingies are completely awful, so I'm not really interested in going that route. Any suggestions for where I can find something fit for a lowly nonprofit worker's budget? Do any of you have any experience with remanufactured ink cartridges?
posted by apollonia6 at 4:23 PM PST - 9 comments

How should I store my DVDs of assorted shapes?
Where should I put all my DVDs? I'm trying to come up with a solution for storing my DVDs. I've used a couple of differant racks, but many of my DVDs have odd-shaped cases (think Star Trek TNG DVDs) and some are the cheap cardboard casing and some are black keep casing. I would like a consistant look, and was curious what other MeFiers do with their collections. CD storage books? Shelving? New Cases? [more inside]
posted by benjh at 4:02 PM PST - 18 comments

Is it safe to machine wash polyester or nylon/poly flags?
I've got a pair of cheap polyester or nylon/poly flags (one Union Jack, one stars-n-bars) that are dirty from hanging in a smoker's office for too long. Are these safe to throw in the washing machine, if I don't heat-dry them? [more inside]
posted by mrbill at 3:25 PM PST - 4 comments

What's an audioplayer with a good UI (readable at 800x600), with a remote, which manages playlists?
Audio player (.mp3, etc) with 10 foot U/I (readable on a TV screen at 800x600) which manages playlists, and can be used with a remote? Oh yes, must be wife-friendly. [more inside]
posted by daver at 1:37 PM PST - 12 comments

Angels in the Bible
Where can I get a list of angels mentioned in the Bible (or any other religious text, for that matter?). I'm mainly looking for the most important ones, so far I only have Michael and Gabriel. Are there any female angels? Or are angels sexless? Cheers.
posted by Orange Goblin at 1:28 PM PST - 10 comments

What's this illustration style?
I adore the illustration style seen in the flower logo at Infrangible -- single color, simple, early-1900s looking -- and would Google for similar stuff if I knew what it was called. Searching for "retro illustration" and "retro icons" turned up some cool stuff, but not what I'm looking for. Any hints?
posted by Aaorn at 10:17 AM PST - 8 comments

What online streams do you listen to?
I'm looking for new radio stations to listen to - anyone care to share their online streams that they listen to? [more]
posted by theNonsuch at 10:17 AM PST - 20 comments

Rust Bubble
I have a cherry 1973 toyota landcruiser with a small rust bubble (about the size of a quarter) starting on one of the front fenders - barring completely sanding and repainting the fender i'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for dealing with it? thanks in advance.
posted by specialk420 at 9:21 AM PST - 7 comments

How should I clean a laptop screen?
I know how to clean CRTs, but what's the best way to clean a laptop's (very dusty) screen, or any LCD for that matter?
posted by thebabelfish at 8:57 AM PST - 13 comments

How to go low-carb, vegetarian style?
AtkinsFilter! Okay, not really. I am not doing a low-carb thing nor do I wish to. I'm a vegetarian, which makes it hard. But therein is my dilemma, my analyses of my daily intake(s) show that I'm a little more carb-heavy in my diet than I need or would like to be. So I turn to the low-carbers for suggestions on foods that I can eat to help balance me out a bit. [More inside] [more inside]
posted by Dreama at 6:36 AM PST - 18 comments

December 27
Online app to bring out shadow details in photos?
Long ago, I recall seeing a link (maybe on MeFi, but I can't find it) for a website that displayed some pretty impressive technology used to bring out the detail from shadows in photographs. I seem to recall that there was an online version that you could use for testing (upload your photo and it would lighten the shadow areas). Does anyone remember this, and if so, do you know the URL?
posted by oissubke at 10:26 PM PST - 5 comments

How Can I Max Out the RAM on My Friend's iMac Rev. A?
AppleFilter: I am trying to upgrade memory for an old Mac [more inside] [more inside]
posted by lackutrol at 10:18 PM PST - 9 comments

Help deciding between Apple computers
As an extension of this previous thread: I've decided on an iBook. I have the opportunity to get a 14" 900MHz G3 refurb'd for $900. I can also get this discontinued model new for $1000. The comparable G4 iBook, which has almost exactly the same specs (save the processor, of course) is $1300. My $1000 could also buy me a 12" 800MHz G4.

I'm having trouble parsing the literature about the chips. I understand that, particularly with Macs, it's not just about the MHz, so should I expect the "slower" G4 chip to outperform the G3 I'm looking at? I expect to use this computer until at least spring '06, which seems like a long way off considering that the G3 chip is now technically obsolete. Also, there are obvious form factor issues; does anyone have a strong opinion about the old iBook design vs. the new? Has anyone been personally affected by the logic board problems I've heard about for the last-gen G3 iBooks? Any warnings about Apple-refurbished machines? [slightly more inside] [more inside]
posted by blueshammer at 7:04 PM PST - 15 comments

Recipes for this pasta dish
The movie _Big Night_ had a wonderful scene with a dish they called tympani. It is actually a traditional dish, although perhaps not as massive as it was in the film. The idea is that the tympani is filled to the brim with goodies like sausage, eggs, ravioli, etc. I have been able to find only one version of a receipe through google, but this particular method uses a loose pasta bottom/sides, and a shortbread-type top. I am more interested in experimenting with something that looks more like the movie version, albeit smaller (for those of you that have not seen the move, first, run out and rent it...the tympani looks as if it uses sheet pasta all around). Any advice for cooking with sheet pasta as a crust on a large pie-type dish?
posted by oflinkey at 5:14 PM PST - 4 comments

Secret Santa Revenge
For the past two years I have participated in ThinkBlank’s Secret Santa thing, happily sending a gift off to someone I didn’t know. And, both years, my supposed secret Santa has failed to send me anything. Last year I let it go, but this year I’m wondering if some sort of public shaming of my failed Santa is appropriate. Given that no one is required to sign up for Secret Santa, and most likely did receive some sort of gift, would such an action be justified?
posted by tranquileye at 4:56 PM PST - 13 comments

Considering eMachines Buy -- But Heard Bad Things About Them
What's so bad about eMachines? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by Hildago at 4:56 PM PST - 14 comments

How can I sort a few GB of imp3s into folders by artist?
I have a few Gb of mp3 which I want to sort into folders by artist (they are currently all lumped together in one single folder). My ID3 tags are in order. Is there any software that will allow me to do this in XP?
posted by signal at 2:52 PM PST - 15 comments

Price guide for old books?
I have a book question. Members of my family have a small collection of old books. These are not first editions, but they all are 100+ year old books. We have a Knight's pictorial edition of the works of William Shakespeare edited by Charles Knight. It's subtitled doubtful plays and biography and dated 1882. Any ideas what this might be or what it may be worth? Any suggestions of websites that sell antique books that I could use as a price guide for old books? [more inside]
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:46 PM PST - 7 comments

Are any of David Byrne's Powerpoint based performances available in .ppt format somewhere on the intarweb?
Are any of David Byrne's Powerpoint based performances available in .ppt format somewhere on the intarweb? [more inside]
posted by machaus at 1:43 PM PST - 2 comments

Chipping Toilet Seat
I bought a new toilet seat about 18 months ago and the laminate of the inside front is already chipping. While these things aren't that expensive to replace I'd just as soon find a way to cover it up. Can I use plain white paint or will the small but growing?
posted by billsaysthis at 12:26 PM PST - 5 comments

Why does my wrist get tired from barre chords?
I've played the regularly guitar for eight years now and find that bar chords tire my hand/wrist/forearm *very* quickly. If the ratio between them and other chords is more than 50%, I just can't get through a whole song. This isn't terribly limiting overall, but it does make certain styles inaccessible. So I need some help. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by weston at 12:20 PM PST - 18 comments

How do I minimalize the output of "Gallery" software?
I use Gallery for the gallery of photos on my website. It's got a great feature set -- the main reason I don't just switch to a different web gallery app -- but the the code is so bloated that it would take weeks for me to slim it down enough that it would match the minimalist templates on the rest of my site. I think a better solution might be to use a couple of minimalist scripts to go into the Gallery database and pull a customized, minimal version of the output that could then be integrated into my site. Does anyone know where I could download or buy such a script or add-on?
posted by oissubke at 10:47 AM PST - 2 comments

Unsalting food
Despite years of cooking, I still occasionally over-salt dishes, particularly sauces. Does anyone have any good tips for how to make an over-salted sauce taste less salty the next day? At the moment I have a curry sauce that is good for several applications; but at the moment it is *salty*!
posted by carter at 10:41 AM PST - 8 comments

Recommend books/resources for amateur to learn mathematics
I'd like to learn Math. I'm particularly interested in learning trig and calculus. I'm don't need to learn these disciplines for any purpose. I'm just interested. I'm a reasonably bright guy, with a logical mind (I've worked as a programmer), and I'm a good self-learner. I'm not in a rush (don't mind working at this for a few years). What books/resources would you recommend? I should probably go all the way back to Algebra, which is pretty much where I left off in High School years ago.
posted by grumblebee at 10:37 AM PST - 12 comments

Tranfering bookmarks from IE to Mozilla?
Is there an easy way to transfer bookmarks from IE to Mozilla?
posted by drezdn at 10:29 AM PST - 6 comments

Help for a person interviewing to be a librarian at a dental school?
My friend has an interview for a job as librarian at a dental school. His background is in the humanities. Can anybody clue him in about what resources are used in this field, and point him to books or websites that would help him to learn about dentistry? Are there any 'hot topics' in dentistry he should be aware of?
posted by stonerose at 8:52 AM PST - 2 comments

Problem with XP recognizing a USB connexion
My computer (Windows XP) will not recognize the USB connection I've added to it. [more...] [more inside]
posted by vito90 at 8:34 AM PST - 4 comments

I need a good freeware DVD player for Win98.
I need a good freeware DVD player for Win98. [more inside]
posted by wanderingmind at 12:30 AM PST - 5 comments

December 26
Xbox for Xmas
My kids just got an X-box for Christmas. I know nothing about this thing and am not familiar with console games since the PS1. Any ideas about what games are worth buying (cheap is always good, we live in the woods so peer pressure isn't a concern) for a role playing twelve-year old and a fighting fool nine-year old?
posted by cedar at 8:50 PM PST - 12 comments

Glock 19 Ammo
My anti-gun wife surprised me with a Glock 19 for Christmas. I've already got the user's manual and armorer's guide for it; anybody have suggestions on good, not-too-powerful ammo loads? (GunFilter!!)
posted by mrbill at 7:40 PM PST - 19 comments

Tips for using the advanced features of a Canon G5?
Santa brought me a Canon Powershot G5 yesterday. I've forgotten more than I remember about the control one has outside the 'auto' mode. This AskMe query had some great links on picking cameras and they all have forums with questions/answers but I'm looking for something more structured. Does anyone have links to great tips for using the camera's various features? Any book recommendations?
posted by birdherder at 4:11 PM PST - 5 comments

How do I deal with vertigo from playing 3D video games?
I get really ill when playing 3D video games. I can only take them for about an hour before I have to lie down (it goes away after 10 minutes.) I'm no moving-image slouch, I can (and in my youth, have) played 2D platform games for the entire day if I want and of course I stare at a computer all the work day with no problems. I'd like to know if anyone else deals with this problem and what they do to combat it. I'm not generally motion sick (no problems on cars, trains, planes, boats) but any game with a free camera does me in within the hour. [more inside]
posted by neustile at 3:41 PM PST - 20 comments

Advice on caring for a leather coat.
My wife bought me a nifty leather duster for Christmas. I've never had a leather overcoat before, and I'd like some tips on waterproofing it and caring for it.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:36 PM PST - 6 comments

Piano keyboard recommendations
I'm looking to buy a music keyboard for up to £300. I basically want one that's as near to a proper piano as I can, but my needs are: 61 keys (preferably weighted), connectivity to a computer (therefore not much need for extra bells and whistles on the actual keyboard), touch sensitivity, option for pedal/sustain, and a really good array of spectacular sounds. Can anyone help with a make/model? I can't find anywhere that gives an unbiased view of buying a keyboard... [more inside]
posted by wibbler at 12:46 PM PST - 10 comments

Tell me about non-stage hypnosis!
I'm kind of interested in hypnosis, both as a thing in it's own right and as a method of losing weight. Probem is, I'm skeptical as hell.

Has anyone had experience of non-stage hypnosis? And has anyone found a decent web resource that will tell you how and why hypnosis works, and how to turn your friends into mindless slaves hypnotise others?
posted by twine42 at 11:57 AM PST - 22 comments

Scheduling Chemo
My father was recently diagnosed with colon cancer and had about 1/2 of his colon removed. He's recovered well, but tests - done at the time of the surgery - revealed cancerous cells in three of his lymph nodes, so a course of chemotherapy has been scheduled.

Here's my question - the surgery was around Dec. 7th. The test results took over two weeks, and now there's a 5 or 6 week time lag between the positive test results and the scheduled chemo. Any opinions on whether this time lag is normal procedure? My worry is that my father - not one to be overly assertive in working the HMO system to get the best possible care - is getting less prompt or aggressive treatment than might be warranted. [more inside]
posted by troutfishing at 11:47 AM PST - 5 comments

Thoughts on allofmp3.com
Do you / Have you use(d) "allofmp3.com"? Curious about it, but feel uneasy about giving credit card # to a Russian Internet Co., among other concerns... Would love to hear your experiences with them, good-bad+ugly!
posted by limitedpie at 11:38 AM PST - 8 comments

How do i recycle my computer monitor
Dead computer monitor recycling? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by jca at 10:53 AM PST - 2 comments

Are there good sites for walking naive users through solutions to common computer problems?
After perusing bluehammer's question regarding his inlaws and his computer, it made me onder-is there any source online that would walk the average naive computer user thru some of these basic solutions to problems-and in some cases point out the problems in the first place? My son and husband are geeks, to be sure, but I would like to learn this sort of thing on my own. (Don't ask me to get them to show me-I don't need the aggravation.)
posted by konolia at 10:28 AM PST - 2 comments

Need engagement ring advice for best quality / value combination.
Need engagement ring advice. [more inside]
posted by PrinceValium at 9:57 AM PST - 27 comments

How do I make a website using CSS where the content scrolls but the sidebar is fixed?
Any CSS geniuses out there?
[More inside...] [more inside]
posted by Termite at 9:31 AM PST - 15 comments

Fresh Fruit
I keep buying produce that tastes terrible, and I know it's because I'm buying stuff out-of-season. I need a really good guide to fruit that tells me when it's best to buy various items. I already found a great book that helps me buy vegetables.
posted by grumblebee at 9:14 AM PST - 7 comments

New Year's Eve in New York City
Not to blatantly copy lychee, but I will be in the New York metro area on New Year's with my girlfriend, and we're not entirely sure what to do for the celebration. I know there's a heavy NYC MeFi contingent, so hopefully some of y'all might have some tips? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by cyrusdogstar at 9:12 AM PST - 6 comments

Fixing the in-law's IE 6.0 - please help.
Computing at the in-laws .... Since they don't know what their ISP password is, I'm forced to do all my web work (I'm telecommuting today) using their Windows machine. The central vagary I'm confronted with is that they have somehow let IE 6.0 for Windows XP become overrun from one of those "Do you want to set your homepage to ...?" sites, and not only has it installed itself as their homepage, but anytime you put a URL in the address bar that's not proceeded by an http:// or www., it redirects you to their shitty find4u.net page. I've changed the homepage to Google, but how can I liberate the address bar?
posted by blueshammer at 8:04 AM PST - 15 comments

Covering countertops
My wife hates the countertops in our kitchen. Short of buying and installing new countertops, does anyone have any other solutions for making them look different? Coverings, paint, anything?
posted by davidmsc at 12:17 AM PST - 18 comments

December 25
Electrical Help
I'm not well-versed in electrical terminology, but the layman's terms for what I'm looking for is the following: A power adapter that has a regular american 2-prong male wall plug on one end, and on the other end, a female plug of the auto-cigarette-lighter variety. Basically, I have a couple of devices designed to be plugged into my car's lighter, and I'd like to use them inside my home. Help with better terminology, and links to units I can buy are greatly appreciated. Thanks! [more inside]
posted by scarabic at 10:31 PM PST - 6 comments

Recommendations for free adult sites
I have been looking for free 'adult' sites for a long time, and I wanted to see what other sites mefi members know of. NSFW. [more inside]
posted by Keyser Soze at 10:30 PM PST - 15 comments

Can anyone explain the song "Milkshake"?
In keeping with the musical theme: can anyone explain the song "Milkshake"? You know, "My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard..." [more inside]
posted by Aaorn at 7:49 PM PST - 7 comments

Pink Floyd's The Wall Instrumental History
On the movie version of Pink Floyd's The Wall, there's a short instrumental piece before "In The Flesh" (I think), with a guitar and flute, the guitar part starts something like this:

E||-----------------0----|----------------------|-----------------0----|----------------------|-----------------0----|-----------------||
B||------------1---------|--1-------------------|------------1---------|--1-------------------|------------1---------|--1--------------||
G||-------2--------------|-------2---------2----|-------2--------------|-------2---------2----|-------2--------------|-------2---------||
D||--2-------------------|------------2---------|--3-------------------|------------3---------|--4-------------------|------------4----||
A||----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|-----------------||
E||----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|-----------------||

Does anybody know the history or name of the piece, and hopefully have an accurate tab of it? I've played it forever but never seem to have got it quite right.
posted by signal at 7:43 PM PST - 4 comments

Can I use Auto Driveaway for a moving van?
I'm moving to Philadelphia next month and am considering using Auto Driveaway to transport myself and some of my possesions. Anyone have experience doing this? (more ->)
posted by anonymous at 6:44 PM PST - 3 comments

I long for 'zines like Church of Subgenius. Do any exist now?
Some times I think I was born too late because I find myself drooling over things like the Mondo2000 guide to the future, Semiotext[e], Loompanics, or the Church of Subgenius books. Are there any books or zines that would appeal to a fan of these works?
posted by drezdn at 1:04 PM PST - 11 comments

New Orleans New Year
So, what's there to do for a few strapped-for-cash college students in New Orleans on the week around New Year's?
posted by lychee at 8:59 AM PST - 15 comments

How do I remove adhesive residue from a graphite pool cue?
I got a beautiful graphite pool cue for Christmas, but someone (not the gift giver) put a sticker on the shaft that has left a terrible gummy adhesive residue. How do I go about removing the residue without damaging the finish or the shaft itself? Google doesn't have all that much to say-- mostly companies selling professional adhesive removers. I have heard that WD-40 or nail polish remover would work, but would either hurt the cue? Thanks.
posted by pheideaux at 8:09 AM PST - 17 comments

How many Warner Brothers cartoons were there?
How many Warner Brothers cartoons were there? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by Bootcut at 7:35 AM PST - 10 comments

The loudest sounds on my turntable are distorted. How do I prevent this distortion?
I have a Stanton Str8-20 Turntable coupled with a Yamaha CR-640 (1980 vintage) Amplifier. Playing orchestrated music, the loudest sounds of the vinyl will distort. I had to 'tune' the turntable before using it, and this was my first time. I googled but nothing helped. Can anyone give me advice regarding the distortion, which is probably relevant to the fine tuning of the turntable? [more inside]
posted by Keyser Soze at 12:34 AM PST - 8 comments

December 24
Tamales at Christmas
When I was in college, I dated a mexican-american girl for a few years and I loved spending christmas at her house because it meant fresh tamales (her dad would set aside special veggie ones for me and her). I know it's a tradition of some sort, and I've googled around but I can't really find the story behind the tradition. Can any members of la raza clue me in and tell me how it started and why tamales are made on christmas? Does it have anything to do with religion, myth, and/or history, or is it just a thing people do? [more inside]
posted by mathowie at 11:57 PM PST - 10 comments

Problems With MP3 Transfers with PocketMac Pro, Also w/ActiveSync in Virtual PC
I use an iMac and carry a Siemen's SX56 Pocket PC from AT&T. I recently purchased PocketMac Pro to sync the two, and contacts, appointments, and little stuff is fine, but I can't get a decent connection speed to transfer MP3's. Is there something I'm missing here? In addition, I run Virtual PC and can't sync through ActiveSync, with a USB cradle. Help me, please.
posted by BlueTrain at 11:29 PM PST - 4 comments

Does anyone know of a durable brand of USB drives (around 64-128 MB)?
I recently got a new Sony Vaio. Its great, except I didn't realize it didn't come with a floppy disk drive. So, what I'm looking for to replace it is a small USB drive (around 64-128 megs). I've seen a bunch online and at stores for sale, but anyone here personaly use them and know what a good brand is? I want one that hooks to a keychain and can take a good amount of abuse (I don't care about extra features like security- my main concern is will it break easily and be around for a good while). Any ideas?
posted by jmd82 at 11:26 PM PST - 15 comments

Is the "Garden Gnome" a guerrilla marketing campaign?
Faux homemade posters asking "Where is my Garden Gnome" (with the URL of this site) have been popping all over my neighborhood in nyc. On the poster (visible here, pdf) is a toll free number with a funny "homespun" message. This definitely has the feel of some guerrilla marketing campaign. (Who would pay for all those toll free calls...) Or is it some new hoax art project? An (inefficient) email harvester (see the disclaimer on the contact page...)? What? Anyone have any idea? (btw: there was an Oct 28th MeFi FPP about gnomes, but the FPP link is dead... was this related?)
posted by limitedpie at 8:53 PM PST - 10 comments

MP3 Player/Hard Drive
I'm looking for a new portable hard-drive MP3 player. Requirements: 1. At least 30GB storage 2. Long battery life (at least 8 hours, real-world not theoretical) 3. Doesn't suck 4. Not gigantic, I want to be able to hold and control it w/one hand and fit it in my oversized pockets. Price matters not. I'm especially interested in hearing from people who own a player which meets these requirements. [more] [more inside]
posted by punishinglemur at 7:25 PM PST - 21 comments

freudian slips and appearance of conversation repetition
Ever say an uncommon word or phrase -- such as "doxology" or "round-a-bout" -- in a crowded room and hear it travel across the room to different conversations? This happens to me all the time, but I have no idea what the term for it is, or if there even is one. Any guesses? In a related question, what do you call a freudian slip that you hear instead of say? (For insteance someone says "hold my glass" and you hear "hold my ass".)
posted by woil at 2:03 PM PST - 6 comments

Why does curling ribbon curl?
A vaguely Xmas-related post: Why does curling ribbon curl?
posted by adamrice at 12:07 PM PST - 3 comments

Where Can I, Languagehat, and Davehat Publish Bizarre Triptych?
Recently, on the "Mary Celeste" Metafilter thread, Languagehat, Davehat, and I spontaneously coauthored (with no prior discussion) a bizarre, surrealist triptych I've dubbed "Food-Based Psychic Spying defense technology in the Cold War - A retrospective". I think we may polish it up a bit, add some bits here and there, and try to have it published - in hardcopy - somewhere. But where? Any suggestions for venues or submission protocol? Thanks. [more inside]
posted by troutfishing at 11:15 AM PST - 4 comments

Will a Mac Quark File Work Okay on PC Quark?
If a Quark file is created on a Mac are there any obstacles to that same file being used on a PC?
posted by nramsey at 11:11 AM PST - 4 comments

Trying Teaching
I'd like to try teaching - I think. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky at 11:06 AM PST - 11 comments

How can I read faster without missing anything?
Has anyone got any tips about reading faster? Watching the BBC's Big Read, I was amazed at how quickly some people were able to absorb books, even taking into account working patterns and use of leisure time. It takes me at least a week, sometimes two to work my way through a typical novel. What's the best way to get through without missing anything?
posted by feelinglistless at 10:33 AM PST - 8 comments

Scanner Repair
I just acquired a scanner that was destined for the dump. THe only thing wrong with it is that the glass is fogged on the interior of the scanner. I would think that opening it and cleaning it would be fairly straight forward, and am wondering if anyone has had an experience to suggest this is a none trivial operation. [more inside]
posted by Grod at 10:33 AM PST - 9 comments

Looking for the complete lyrics to Percy the Puny Ponsettia.
I have googled and googled but to no avail, so I turn to you all:

What I want are the complete lyrics to "Percy the Puny Ponsettia." This was the B side to "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer." All I have been able to find on my own are sections of it. Such as "even a plant with no uncle or aunt shouldn't spend Christmas Eve by himself."

(This isn't a joke, this really is a song, and I really really want the lyrics. ) Thank you in advance.
posted by konolia at 10:03 AM PST - 3 comments

Wireless Network Setup Question (for PC)
Twiddling my thumbs... wirelessly! I'm setting up a new Windows XP Pro laptop with built-in 802.11b. It seems to detect our Apple Airport (I) base station just fine, and connect to it. Just can't get any network services through it (ie: web pages are all 404s). Any suggestions?
posted by scarabic at 9:55 AM PST - 7 comments

information regarding a blues song quoted in the Terry Southern short story "Razor Fight"
I'm looking for information regarding a blues song quoted in the Terry Southern short story "Razor Fight". (more ->) [more inside]
posted by item at 9:37 AM PST - 2 comments

How do I make myself more marketable in the current and future IT/programming environment?
How do I make myself more marketable in the current and future IT/programming environment. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:59 AM PST - 10 comments

Asking for a Raise
I need tips on how to ask for a raise at a job I started three months ago. I'm overworked and underpaid in the advertising industry which has high employee turnover and is barely recovering from a massive economic downturn. I am accurately paid for my job title and experience, but recently because of my skillset I've taken on responsibilites that are easily double my rate. How soon should I cave in on my "Highball request" and actually ask for what I'd be happy with? Should I write out my accomplishments? Note that I'm not pulling the "...or I'll quit" card, because I'm happy that I have a job; I'd just like to be happier.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:20 AM PST - 13 comments

Linux meltdown
Linux meltdown! Catastropic crash and the kernel didn't survive. I can't mount anything from the HD in rescue mode. Is there a program that will let me pick over the ruins and retrieve 12 gigs of mp3s (including some rare Clash bootlegs that I can never ever find again!)? [more inside]
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:13 AM PST - 13 comments

School vs Work
So, continue eeking out a living, or try to go back to school while i'm unemployed and the financial aid will be good? My wife is transferring to UCSC, and i'm tempted to go for it as well, any advice?
posted by th3ph17 at 6:12 AM PST - 7 comments

Healthy living software
New Years resolution time is approaching — can you recommend any good diet/nutrition/fitness tracking software (preferably web-based)? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by jdroth at 6:01 AM PST - 6 comments

Best email lists?
Which eMail Lists do you reccomend? ... [more inside] [more inside]
posted by seanyboy at 3:40 AM PST - 9 comments

December 23
Where to go for good online music?
Where to go for good online music? I used to use audiogalaxy back in the day (which had an incredibly broad catalog), and emusic (great non-mainstream stuff and plenty to explore) up until they changed the rate structure a month or two ago. I'm a member of allofmp3.com and know of the site in Spain (the name escaping me at the moment). Are there any other good alternatives of non-mainstream music at prices less than ~$.99/dl?
posted by warhol at 8:09 PM PST - 7 comments

Gift Rebate
Gift etiquette question: I bought my parents a digital camera and extra memory card for Christmas. There is a mail-in rebate for the memory card -- but to get it I have to have the barcode from inside the hard plastic shell package. Assuming my folks like the camera and choose to keep it, I'd like to get the rebate without looking like a skinflint. Other than secretly rummaging through the garbage cans in the aftermath of the gift exchange, what's the polite way to handle this?
posted by Alylex at 5:19 PM PST - 6 comments

should I get a journalism degree?
Any journalists in the audience? I have managed to land myself a position where a journalism degree would be helpful...and yet, I don't have one! (more inside) [more inside]
posted by macadamiaranch at 4:55 PM PST - 14 comments

Computer Chairs
Recently my computer chair (a cheap Office store model) bit the bullet, and I want something a little longer lasting (3 chairs in 5 years), what do you recommend? I'm looking for something like the Aeron Chair but hopefully less expensive! What's out there? (and if I get the Aeron, is it all it's cracked up to be?)
posted by madmanz123 at 4:41 PM PST - 15 comments

Christmas shopping for a new video card.
Computer hardware: As part of her Christmas present, I want to buy my wife a video card for her PC (she's a serious geek). What's a good one? [more] [more inside]
posted by normy at 4:04 PM PST - 12 comments

Can I susbstitute Gluhwein for ginger wine?
Can I susbstitute Gluhwein for Ginger wine? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by daver at 3:49 PM PST - 4 comments

When is a writer not a writer?
I've long enjoyed writing fiction, but I seem to have somehow drifted from the enjoyment of actual writing to the enjoyment of planning -- I love to develop characters, plotlines, locations, etc., but when it comes down the the actual writing, I seem to lose interest. That being the case, I have two questions: (a) What can a fella do to get back in the swing of writing, and/or (b) if I don't write fiction based on them, are there any other useful things I could do with the characters, plots, locations, etc., that I come up with?
posted by oissubke at 12:28 PM PST - 19 comments

Help me build a desktop
I want to build a desktop computer for under $500 (not including the monitor) if I can manage it. The catch is, I need quite a bit of power. Right now I'm looking at Athlon 64, but this will be the first computer I've built, any advice\experience is appreciated. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by Grod at 11:03 AM PST - 21 comments

Families and Addiction
This is a somewhat personal question. I've recently joined a 12-step fellowship to rid myself of an addiction. It's going well- almost 2 months free. I haven't told my family what's going on yet. Over the last 4 years, we haven't seen that much of eachother, so they don't have much idea of how bad my problem has gotten. They tend towards the judgemental and smothering. My sister is a social worker and she may have put 2 & 2 together. The obvious concerns aside, I'm also not that interested in invoking a lot of drama right now. To any MeFites with experience in these matters, what's a good way of breaking things like these to your family. Thanks.
posted by jonmc at 11:02 AM PST - 44 comments

Is the lack of a pun the pun?
In an interview, Joseph Heller talks about Catch-22 and a pun based on the character Sheisskopf. He says there's an additional pun in the book, which at the time of the interview, no one had found. (more inside) [more inside]
posted by lasm at 10:17 AM PST - 7 comments

December 22
What are some good world-band radio stations and any listening tips (like tricks for better reception)?
I found my old Short Wave/Long Wave radio and was wondering what are some good world-band radio stations and any listening tips (like tricks for better reception).
posted by drezdn at 10:27 PM PST - 7 comments

Solving IRQ conflicts?
What do you do when two devices want the same IRQ and are unwilling to share? (more inside) [more inside]
posted by trharlan at 8:59 PM PST - 15 comments

Why was Catcher in the Rye banned?
Why was Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger on a banned list? I bought mine at Barnes and Noble during a "banned book" sale a few months ago, and I didn't think there was anything in the book that would make it banned, other than swearing. Can anyone give me a little insight?
posted by Keyser Soze at 8:36 PM PST - 8 comments

Tell me about your lip piercing experience
I'm thinking about getting a piercing. Lower lip, middle of the right side, to be exact. I've googled and found general information on the procedure, but I'd like to ask anyone who's had this done to help me out - I suppose what I'm looking for here is not so much knowledge as experience. (more inside) [more inside]
posted by ArsncHeart at 8:29 PM PST - 9 comments

Where's a good place to find Apples In Stereo lyrics?
Where's a good place to find Apples In Stereo lyrics? I've checked the official site, but they don't have 'em.
posted by punishinglemur at 7:48 PM PST - 6 comments

Cool free or open source apps for Java mobiles?
I've finally caught up with the rising tide of technology, and bought myself a Java-enabled cellphone. Being both a fan of open source, and a cheapskate, I'm wondering if there is much active development of open source software for these devices? Does anyone know of a directory of cool free or open source apps for Java mobiles?
posted by Jimbob at 6:03 PM PST - 1 comments

Were the WTC towers added digitally to the NYC skyline in Angles In America?
Any film geeks out there? I recently watched Angels in America on HBO and in the last hour of the film there's a shot of the NYC skyline, with the World Trade Center featured in the shot and in fact ... [more inside] [more inside]
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:56 PM PST - 7 comments

Buy G4 now or wait for G5 Powerbook
My G3 Powerbook is 3.5 years old. I love my Powerbook and intend to stick with Apple. Unfortunately, my G3 is starting to deteriorate. The CD ROM is broken and programs randomly close for no reason. I lost several pages on a paper I was writing. Which is all to say that my parents generously offered to get me a new computer for Hannukah / graduation (I graduate in a few months). Since I definitely want to buy another Powerbook, should I just go out and buy the Titanium G4? Or do you think a G5 Powerbook will come out soon and I should wait?
posted by adrober at 4:20 PM PST - 30 comments

Intermittent laptop touchpad problem
Is there any way to make an intermittent problem with a laptop more regular? I have a year-old laptop that they talked me into getting an extended warranty for, and there is a problem with the touchpad I've tried to get them to fix twice, but it's never a problem when it's in for service. How can I give them something to fix?
posted by ferociouskitty at 2:59 PM PST - 10 comments

What should we do in Seattle?
I'm going to be in Seattle with my girlfriend from the 25th-29th, and I'd like to have a few fun things to do when we get there. We're planning to try checking out the underground seattle tour, and we will of course make the mandatory pilgrimage to REI... But what else should we get up to?
posted by gkostolny at 2:23 PM PST - 22 comments

Removing smoke smell from a leather jacket.
I have a nice black leather jacket that has absorbed a bit of smoke smell each time I've gone out downtown, and it doesn't seem to let any of it go. It's gotten pretty stanky. The only advice I'm finding online is to rub baking soda into it, but I'd wonder if it would ever look black again after that. Febreze is not recommended for leather. The jacket is that very soft, pliable glove-leather -- not heavy-duty Harley gear. Anyone have experience with this?
posted by Tubes at 2:19 PM PST - 13 comments

Gift for 13-year-old Boy
What can I buy my 13-year-old nephew for $15-20 that doesn't suck? He's into computer games, magic the gathering, ps/2 and isn't all that athletic. He's a little sheltered, and when I asked him if he wanted a throwing star or a bb gun, he replied, "you had better check with my mother about that."
posted by mecran01 at 1:17 PM PST - 42 comments

What does it mean for a building in California to be 'on rollers'?
What does it mean for a building in California to be 'on rollers'? Several posters here mention that they are in a building on rollers, but Google doesn't seem to turn up much immediate information on how they work or how they are constructed.
posted by anastasiav at 12:08 PM PST - 6 comments

Winter Sinus Problems
What is the best way to get rid of (and prevent) the all-winter-long sinus problems that I and so many other people seem to get? Short of taking decongestants until March, that is.
posted by catfood at 11:27 AM PST - 21 comments

Decrypt files encrypted by Windows XP?
How can one get at files "encrypted" by Windows XP when the installation that created them is no longer accessible? [more inside]
posted by Aaorn at 10:57 AM PST - 10 comments

Happy Krimble origin?
What is the origin behind the phrase "Happy Krimble"? It looks like it's an alternate way of saying "Merry Christmas", and the Beatles used it in a recorded message to their fans back in the mid-60's, but I can't find any sort of history behind it.
posted by gnomeloaf at 10:23 AM PST - 6 comments

Name Generators
Where can I find the script that spammers use to generate their random names? I write a lot of fiction, and the colorful, creative, unique name combinations that I see in my spam box are often perfect for characters. I'm guessing it's just a variation on Kleimo's census-based name generator, but I've always been curious to see the actual script. [more inside]
posted by oissubke at 9:26 AM PST - 11 comments

Removing paint from lathe plaster?
I have an old house with lathe plaster. There are rooms that have had peeling paint that just got painted over a few times in the distant past. I do not much like the way it looks, and I would like to expose the bare plaster and start fresh. Is there any way to remove all this paint? I do not want to sand the ceilings of such large rooms, as I feel I will get tired of that real easy. I have not seen any solvent that lists paint on plaster as an appropriate use. I am quite confident that the plaster itself is sound and uncracked. Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you are my only hope.
posted by thirteen at 9:07 AM PST - 15 comments

How to mourn
What's the best way to mourn the passing of a loved one? What's the best way to help one's family grieve?
posted by trharlan at 8:15 AM PST - 14 comments

Thief 3 Release Date
Does anyone have the Skinny on when Thief 3 will be released? [more inside]
posted by clavdivs at 8:14 AM PST - 3 comments

Prostitution is illegal but porn acting is not?
Why is being paid for prostitution illegal but being paid to appear in pornography legal?
posted by item at 8:02 AM PST - 10 comments

How should I prepare for a trip to Fiji?
A week from today I depart for Fiji. Advice sought. [more inside]
posted by o2b at 7:31 AM PST - 10 comments

Webzines (besides Pitchfork) that cover underground music well?
I read Pitchfork every day for their pretentious (yet current) album and single reviews, as well as their often well put together special editions (such as the current year-end edition). My question is this: are there any other webzines that cover underground music to the same extent that are worth a daily visit?
posted by Quartermass at 7:26 AM PST - 11 comments

Zoneball
I'm looking for information from a team sport from the late 1980's called ZoneBall [More Inside] [more inside]
posted by jazon at 7:18 AM PST - 2 comments

Interior monologue, externalized.
How many of you frequently talk to yourself? Why do you do it? Do you do it more when you're completely alone or do you do it when people are around? Are you halfway talking to yourself and halfway talking to the other people? [more inside.] [more inside]
posted by grumblebee at 7:04 AM PST - 29 comments

What should I do in Las Vegas?
What should I do in Las Vegas? [more inside]
posted by werty at 6:48 AM PST - 22 comments

Cafepress in Europe
Is there a european equivalent of Cafepress.com (t-shirts, cards and posters etc) for us on this side of the pond, who are tired of paying import taxes...? [more inside]
posted by dabitch at 6:27 AM PST - 3 comments

help forwarding email
The provider of my main email account is shutting up shop, and ceasing to use the domain. Aside from hoping they don't re-register the domain, is there any method (service, etc.) that I can use to get my mail forwarded to a still-functioning address?
posted by armoured-ant at 5:39 AM PST - 4 comments

What does a Conductor Do?
Can musically-inclined mefi-ites tell me what the conductor of an orchestra/band is supposed to do? I think at the most basic level they're supposed to keep the beat, but surely that can't be all?
posted by darsh at 5:29 AM PST - 11 comments

Using the Internet in local political campaigns
We've seen how Internet has been used effectively in several national political campaigns. I'm wondering if this can be efficiently adapted to smaller races (city/county/state). I'm also on the lookout for any online resources that would facilitate mounting a serious campaign; advice on tactical matters, budgeting a campaign, opportunities to exploit and pitfalls to avoid, networking with like-minded individuals, novel ways to reach out to voters, etc. [more inside]
posted by RavinDave at 1:02 AM PST - 3 comments

December 21
Advice on good free CSS editors?
I'm trying out Macromedia HomeSite. It might be the best web page program I've worked with, there's only one thing I don't like: TopStyle, the CSS editor. Do you know any good, free CSS editors?
posted by Termite at 9:33 PM PST - 12 comments

Changing career paths?
What's the best way to change career paths? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by drezdn at 8:52 PM PST - 22 comments

What should I know about starting a small business?
I want to start a small computer gaming place in Portland that also will house a "mini" brewery, where people can come in and play on computers while drinking beer. I have never owned a business before (although I had a self employed computer repair thing, wasnt registered) and I wanted to know what I should know right off the bat, before I walk into a bank and ask for a loan.

More information inside. [more inside]
posted by Keyser Soze at 8:44 PM PST - 27 comments

Can anyone recommend a good Mac OSX native word processor that isn't MS Word?
Can anyone recommend a good Mac OS X-native word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by Prospero at 7:52 PM PST - 11 comments

3 serious hardware questions
Three'fer:
(1) Is there a significant difference between running Linux on Opterons vs. Xeons? Is one clearly better? For MySQL? For Apache/PHP?
(2) Ever hosted with Cogentco? Is there anyone else with prices like that? (100Mbps at $1000/month)
(3) What's your favorite server vendor for typical 2-way 1U systems? (Looking at Dell, IBM, Penguin; where does Google buy them again?)
posted by sylloge at 7:51 PM PST - 3 comments

Massive Attack's song Teardrop - in a movie or TV ad?
I know I've heard Massive Attack's song Teardrop in some movie (or a TV ad maybe?), but I can for the life of me remember or find (via Google) where. Any clues?
posted by thebabelfish at 3:22 PM PST - 4 comments

I can't see the road...
Does anyone know how to fix a floppy car sun visor? [more inside]
posted by carter at 3:19 PM PST - 6 comments

Why do people spit in public?
Why do people spit -- especially in public? I'd be really interested in hearing from someone who spits as to why he/she does it. It seems to be a class thing, and I'm too upper-middle class to get it. I never feel the desire to spit. But is this desire natural, and has my class training has just repressed it in me? If I could understand it, maybe I wouldn't be so disgusted by it.
posted by grumblebee at 3:04 PM PST - 39 comments

Fake party sounds mix CD, what songs do you suggest?
I'd like to make a mix CD of songs recorded over (usually fake) party sounds. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by timeistight at 1:48 PM PST - 22 comments

Suggestions for a good, free cd to mp3 ripper
I need a good, free cd to mp3 ripper. Preferably one that can run pretty quickly. Any suggestions?
posted by SpecialK at 1:08 PM PST - 20 comments

Does anyone know what happened to the SubPop musician Eric Matthews?
Does anyone know what happened to the SubPop musician Eric Matthews? His last album was released in 1997, and he seems to have completely disappeared. (more inside) [more inside]
posted by theNonsuch at 1:02 PM PST - 6 comments

Where can I find a Japanese style bath in New York City?
Where can I find a Japanese style bath that's open to the public in New York City?
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:03 AM PST - 7 comments

Did Jesus live?
Is there any historical evidence of the existence of Jesus?
I ask this because I don't think there is, but would be interested to find out if there was. Please, no religious flame-wars; I'm not asking about whether he was the son of God, just whether he existed.
posted by jpburns at 7:46 AM PST - 44 comments

Help me pick the best game for a Christmas gift.
I've got a game enthusiast on my Christmas list and have the opportunity to buy him a vintage game from a collection that includes Contack, Kimbo, Numble and 3M bookshelf games Acquire, Executive Decision, Facts in Five, High Bid and Point of Law. Anybody care to make any recommendations? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by blueshammer at 6:12 AM PST - 7 comments

December 20
Kittens for Christmas
Um, we have two kittens and a Christmas tree. This is an unfortunate combination. How do we keep them from knocking it and its ornaments to the floor?
[More inside] [more inside]
posted by lackutrol at 11:30 PM PST - 21 comments

Recommend some bands and albums
Each boxing week I take advantage of record store sales and buy a heap of music. What's one album (doesn't matter when it came out) that you think I should buy and one band you think I should investigate? The recommended album doesn't have to be by the recommended band. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by dobbs at 10:13 PM PST - 68 comments

Techno Radio in Portland?
My son moved to Portland over a year ago from the SF Bay Area and misses the radio choices we have here, especially for techno. I googled for info but am not sure how current the information I found is. Does anyone have suggestions for techno radio stations in the greater metro Portland/Seattle/Vancouver area? He drives a lot between Portland and Seattle for his work and would appreciate the call sign as well as the number.
posted by Lynsey at 9:36 PM PST - 11 comments

Dissing 50 critically acclaimed classics of pop music
First Tuesday in January, I'll be starting a weekly column in Blitz the main Portuguese music newspaper, called "Revisions", where I'll be debunking, dissing and giving a thorough, admittedly exaggerated "going over" to 50 critically acclaimed "classics" of popular music which, due to excessive reverence or routine citation, have an undeserved place in the officially-sanctioned pantheon. This is a bit of a homework assignment plea, I know - but does anybody have any suggestions? I'm not just talking overhyped and overrated here - I'm talking deep historical and musicological errors, crystallized by unthinking repetition and misplaced respect. What, among the hallowed records and artists out there, is ripe - just asking - for review and revision? Thank you for any ideas you may have.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:27 PM PST - 32 comments

The Simpsons and US Culture
What episodes of "The Simpsons" reflect an aspect of US culture the best? Do you find that "The Simpsons" is a good reflection of US culture, or do you think its ideologically distorting?
posted by rschram at 3:26 PM PST - 13 comments

Learning Languages
Have any native English speakers here had to learn a foreign language (especially Spanish) for work, etc. in a relatively short amount of time? How did you do it? Any recommendations for books/classes/training programs? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by AstroGuy at 3:22 PM PST - 28 comments

Foods to eat before exercising.
What kinds of things are smart to eat before exercise? (more) [more inside]
posted by konolia at 3:01 PM PST - 12 comments

Are there any good techniques for training oneself to curse less?
I am developing a problem with cursing, and I'd rather like to curb it before I end up making a grave social mistake. Are there any good techniques for dealing with this? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by Monster_Zero at 11:28 AM PST - 27 comments

LA's Griffith Park
I was thinking about going to Griffith Park (Los Angeles) today. I've never been, and it's so massive, I don't even know where to start. A couple of web sites recommend taking the hike up from the observatory. I know the observatory is closed though, and I got the sense that hike is too. My main goal is photography. My secondary goal is to experience an LA treasure that I have shamefully left unexplored. Any experienced advice? Where to Park, what to avoid, what to do? I'll be coming in from the 110 N to the 5 N if that impacts any suggestions as to where to start.
posted by willnot at 10:50 AM PST - 3 comments

How do I find a transformer / adaptor for my Sony DSC-P3 (purchased in the U.S.) to make it usable in Italy?
I'm traveling to Italy from America in a couple of weeks, and I want to take my digital camera (Sony DSC-P3) with me. I went to go buy a power transformer and plug adaptor and the transformer said on the back that it was not for use with computers. Google and the Sony site aren't helping me determine if a regular transformer will be sufficient; they haven't suggested any alternatives either though. I thought I would try mefi travelers before I ask the dude at Radio Shack. [more inside]
posted by teenydreams at 9:05 AM PST - 6 comments

Student loan problems
Trying to solve a problem for a dear friend from highschool. She's been ignoring her school loans and came to me out of confidence. They were around 22k about six years ago; She doesn't know how to get herself straightened out. A second job isn't an option (based on her first) as the first job pays well (travel), but is being garnished; She needs a way to get them off her back, but not overwhelm her so much that she drowns trying to deal with them.

I'm ok with money, but I just can't figure out what to tell her.

Are there any counselors who specialize in this that I could send her to? If you're shy about this and dealt with this, please feel free to contact me directly by email.
posted by filmgeek at 8:43 AM PST - 12 comments

Connect my PC and my stereo
I'm looking for a wireless network client device that will access my main PC and allow me to listen to my MP3 library through my stereo. Ideally, the music selection process would be on the client end, accessible with a remote control, viewable on a television screen.
posted by crunchland at 6:51 AM PST - 8 comments

Wine for the Holidays
I've been tasked with providing the wine for a holiday dinner. I know nothing about wine and the dedicated sites are pretty heavily loaded with jargon. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by cedar at 5:23 AM PST - 16 comments

December 19
How do I make those old fun DOS games work on Windows XP?
How do I make those old fun DOS games work on Windows XP? Ever played Starcontrol II? Quake I? Has my dumb OS robbed me forever of those early joys, or is there hope? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by Happydaz at 11:34 PM PST - 9 comments

Making Money Fast
Besides stripping, or selling everything one owns, what's a good way to make a lot of money quickly- without any capital? [more inside]
posted by drezdn at 10:44 PM PST - 19 comments

Do guys really dislike dancing?
Do guys really dislike dancing? Why don't more men join dance classes and why do so many men seem to object to their sons learning to dance?
posted by Tarrama at 7:36 PM PST - 25 comments

Find This Scifi Book
This is yet another "what was this book" question. It's a sci-fi book. [More inside...] [more inside]
posted by the biscuit man at 7:00 PM PST - 7 comments

Quitting Smoking
If you have ever smoked, what story, event or argument finally convinced you to stop?
posted by cup at 5:55 PM PST - 35 comments

How to keep my lungs warm when biking in the winter?
I'm wanting to do some outdoor bike training this winter, in preparation for going over the Rockies next summer. But, of course, riding in the winter isn't pleasant. The biggest problem I've run into is that my lungs start freezing when I get into a hard climb, while the rest of my body is overheating from the extra layers (essential for big downhills). Any tips on clothing choices that get the best of both worlds, or ways to keep my lungs warm?
posted by kaibutsu at 5:04 PM PST - 8 comments

Turning paper money into paper books!
More than a year ago (perhaps two) I read an article (possibly via Metafilter, possibly on Salon) about a charity that was building libraries in remote locations (Nepal?), and where you could actually sponsor the building of a whole library for about $5000. Search and Google as I might I haven't been able to turn up either the article or the website, and the bookmark I had disappeared with my former job. Any ideas?
posted by anastasiav at 3:31 PM PST - 2 comments

Was Saddam Hussein's movie "The Long Days" ever released in any other country?
Does anyone know if Saddam Hussein's movie "The Long Days," directed by the guy who did "Thunderball," was ever released in any other country?
posted by inksyndicate at 3:01 PM PST - 3 comments

Online Story Search
I am looking for a story that appeared online several years ago about a man who wants to relinquish regular society and its technology and surround himself with pre-1950s technology. [ Details inside ] [more inside]
posted by ar0n at 2:26 PM PST - 3 comments

good, small, inexpensive speakers
Looking for good, small, inexpensive speakers... [more inside]
posted by dobbs at 2:25 PM PST - 9 comments

What do you know about saffron?
What does saffron taste like? Also what are the differences between Greek, Indian, Iranian and Spanish saffron? Also which is the best? [more inside]
posted by riffola at 1:54 PM PST - 12 comments

Lightweight, uncluttered forum systems?
phpBB, Invision, etc., are all great forum systems. The main drawback, for me, is that they all seem so bloated and cluttered. Statistics, rankings, avatars, signatures, etc., all seem to get in the way of actual content. Are there any good, robust, flexible, but more lightweight message board systems out there?
posted by oissubke at 12:58 PM PST - 5 comments

Martini Etiquette
Speaking of booze, I'm new to martinis. What's the accepted shorthand way of asking for the classic "gin, vermouth, stirred, olives" version? Too often I end up with a drink that got too much olive juice or ice bits, or the bartender asks me if I want *cringe* vodka.
posted by machaus at 12:17 PM PST - 23 comments

Printing CD Labels from iTunes
iTunes for Windows question: Anyone know of a windows app or plug-in that will enable printing of CD labels from iTunes? Seems like it does everything but that. Thanks in advance for suggestions
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:12 PM PST - 1 comments

Getting Drunk
finals are over. what will get me drunk fast and cheap? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by joedan at 9:58 AM PST - 43 comments

And then little Lucy became a magazine editor and lived happily ever after. The End.
This is yet another "help me identify a book I read in childhood" question [more inside]. [more inside]
posted by orange swan at 9:43 AM PST - 7 comments

Hannukah Rituals
Can anyone enlighten me as to Hannukah rituals? I've googled about, but only find the technicalities of ceremony. I need to know the things that people take for granted - whether presents get wrapped, if they get increasingly expensive across the days, what sort of things are usual to give and do. Everything.
posted by bonaldi at 9:11 AM PST - 14 comments

Did Yeats really say "Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire"?
Everyone seems to agree that William Butler Yeats said something along the lines of "Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire." If Google's any guide, it's become a staple of education-based speeches. But nothing I've found yet confirms it as Yeats. This page has apparently not been able to find a source, but then that seems to be the norm there for some reason. Most suspiciously, it's not in Bartlett's 16th Edition. Can anyone either say where this is from (whether Yeats or not) or point to something that debunks it?

posted by soyjoy at 8:24 AM PST - 6 comments

Online community software needed
I'm toying with opening a site based upon the MeFi model for LGBT issues and community building. What software programs do MeFi and other online communities use to administer the system? I've really only installed MT and other simple programs before, so I'm looking for ease of install as well as ease of use... Thanks in advance!
posted by moonbird at 8:21 AM PST - 9 comments

Are there deeper meanings to the names of Tolkien's characters?
I've got a friend wondering if there's an underlying logic to how Tolkien came up with his character names. Specifically, he's wondering about any meanings or allusions to the name "Boromir." Any leads on this kind of scholarship?
posted by blueshammer at 8:05 AM PST - 11 comments

Easy Pens
What's a really comfortable and easy pen to write with? Apparently I hold my pen "wrong", which causes some pain, and have a lot of stiffness in my hands to begin with. Ultimately I'm looking for something that will allow me to write for a good length of time without too much discomfort. Plus, I don't want to spend too much money, as I'd likely just lose the pen. Anywhere in the $20 -$30 (CDN) range is good.
So what are your tips or suggestions for making writing physically easier?
posted by aclevername at 8:01 AM PST - 20 comments

Question on programming for financial modeling.
Does anyone here do any programming for financial modeling? (more inside) [more inside]
posted by trharlan at 7:35 AM PST - 6 comments

Should I move my family abroad? Where?
Round 2 - On Wednesday I posted a question asking about living outside the US. In the responses, I got scolded for not providing enough background for people to offer good advice. Here's the original question: "I've been thinking about exposing myself and the family to the salutory benefits of living overseas (we live in the US now). The key question, of course, is where? I've heard some people speak reverently of New Zealand, but have never been there myself. Your suggestions and reasoning behind them would be welcome...
"
with the crucial [more inside] tag [more inside]
posted by Irontom at 7:10 AM PST - 7 comments

Can I get a domain name similar to an existing one?
I'd like to get my own domain. I assume I'd pretty quickly get a cease-and-desist letter from these guys, and that I really wouldn't have a leg to stand on, legally, even though my site contents have nothing to do with their flagship product. Are my assumptions well founded?
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:04 AM PST - 9 comments

Outlook Express BCC
I use Outlook Express and sent an email to a large list of people. I used the "To:" field to send it to myself and the "Bcc:" field to send it to the list (so no person receiving it could see who else was receiving it.) Now I need to look back and see who was included on the "Bcc:" list but when I look at this email in the "Sent" Folder it only shows the "To:" field, even when I click "All Headers" in the View menu. Help!
posted by limitedpie at 6:59 AM PST - 2 comments

Biking in the Basement
I'll soon have a basement, and be able to bring at least one bike inside for the winter, so I'm wondering: do I want a trainer? If so, do I want rollers, a fan-trainer, a fluid-trainer, a mag-trainer, what? I'm not a racer, I'm just looking for an alternative to spinning classes to keep my lungs in shape.
posted by bonehead at 6:54 AM PST - 5 comments

How can I tell if my internet browsing at work is being monitored?
I've always thought of myself as somewhat computer savvy, but apaprently I'm not, considering how clueless I am with the following question. Somewhat on the same vein as this previous thread, short of raising any suspicions by directly asking our IT guys, how can i tell if my internet browsing on my work computer is being monitored? And if it is, are there any steps I can take to counter the software, so that I may continue to waste away unproductively, with confidence? [more inside]
posted by lotsofno at 6:22 AM PST - 13 comments

How do I find a lost cat?
How do I find a lost cat? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by adampsyche at 6:07 AM PST - 21 comments

Childhood "Secret Club" Book
Can anyone remember the name of a book from my childhood?

Here's what I can remember: it was a Scholastic book, sold back in the 1960s. The plot involved kids who got together over a summer vacation and discovered records from a secret club that involved elaborate initiation rituals, strange whistle-calls, and props. The back of the book had instructions for making the props which included a spear made from a broomstick, a shield made from a peach basket (!?) lid, a whistle made from paper, and other stuff.

One of the initiation rites had to do with fighting a "monster" which turned out to be a scary bush, who's silhouette looked like a beast. At the end they figured out that it was their parents who created the club when they were kids.

The name was something like "The Secret Club," but I've never been able to track it down using search engines. Maybe I just imagined it...
posted by jpburns at 5:14 AM PST - 15 comments

C# and Web Service Resources
Anybody know of any good web/book sources for learning about C# and Web Services. Also love to hear accounts of making the transition to .NET from VB or any language for that matter. My company is about to make the change.
posted by kenaman at 2:42 AM PST - 6 comments

December 18
HTML editor
What's the best code-centric, css-aware HTML editor, or failing that, what's your favorite, and why? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:01 PM PST - 41 comments

Where is this quote from?
"As the sun sets slowly in the west, we wave goodbye and goodnight to our friends on the tropical island..."

I started saying this to my daughter as I dim the lights at bedtime - and I'm *sure* that it comes from some cheesy TV show or movie that I used to watch when I was a kid. But for the life of me I can't figure out what. My brother looked at me like I was nuts when I asked him...

The "As the sun sets..." phrase is all over the web. Can anyone out there help cool my fevered brain? Does anyone know where that phrase comes from?
posted by jasper411 at 10:14 PM PST - 11 comments

State of Quantum Physics
I'd like to read a readable, yet not dumbed-down account of the current state of quantum physics, addressing the famous paradoxes and directions modern research is taking. Any recommendations? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by evinrude at 10:13 PM PST - 12 comments

American West road trip
A buddy and I are going on a road trip starting the 28th of December for 8 days. Our first destination is the Grand Canyon but after that, who knows. Being the anal retentive that I am, I sort of plotted out a route that took us from the GC to Zion then Bryce then Salt Lake City then across upper Nevada to Tahoe. I was wondering, is this too ambitious? Are there cooler things to see or places to visit? How about places to avoid?
posted by inviolable at 9:51 PM PST - 10 comments

Hotmail Messages
why cant i send messages from hotmail anymore ? [more inside]
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:06 PM PST - 15 comments

What was this brown, slightly spicy flavor added to beer in Mexico?
A couple of years ago, I was in Monterey, Mexico, and the locals put a brown, slightly spicy flavor additive in the beer. I can't remember what it's called (probably due to too many beers) and Google has failed me. Won't you please help?
posted by kirkaracha at 4:08 PM PST - 4 comments

Cheap identical frames
Does anyone know where i can find cheap, simple black frames for wall hanging in a 4"x4" or 5"x5" format? I'd prefer 4"x4". I'm looking to buy up to 30 of them, hopefully for about $5 each, or less. I've searched through a bunch of sites via Google, but this is pretty much the closest I have gotten. I realize this is a rather specific question, but maybe someone can suggest a good resource for frames in general.
posted by edlundart at 3:34 PM PST - 13 comments

How can I convert files from Magnavox Videowriter word processor format (from my 1980s floppies) into readable format today?
I used a Magnavox Videowriter word processor back in the 1980s and filled up 20+ 400k floppies with writing that I cannot access through any other means but the Videowriter. How do I convert those old floppies to plain text so I can access my (probably horrible) early writings? [more inside]
posted by squirrel at 3:26 PM PST - 11 comments

Paying for Web Hosting
Searching for a web host is excrutiatingly painful. Tons of options, tons of discrepancies between hosts, how and who did you choose?

What's a reasonable price to be paying? $5, $10, $20/month? [more inside]
posted by jacobw at 3:09 PM PST - 46 comments

Turntable recommendation.
I just came into some perfect quality classical music, but i have no turntable. My stereo is pretty decent, so I want to ask if anyone has advice on a cheap (but high quality... how often do you hear that) record player? I'm not doing any scratching, just music playback. [more inside]
posted by Keyser Soze at 2:27 PM PST - 12 comments

Learning electronics without becoming an apprentice
I am interested in gaining a more fundamental understanding of AV electronics, things like TVs, cameras, microphones. I use a lot of this kind of stuff from the front end but would like a better understanding of how they operate from the inside. I want to know how to wire, maintain and repair them. But where to begin... [more inside]
posted by piskycritter at 1:59 PM PST - 2 comments

Free gallery creator for Windows?
What would be the best freeware "gallery creator" software under windows? I have some pictures I would like to share, but I do not have to much time to learn all http/css details.
posted by MzB at 1:25 PM PST - 18 comments

Home Theater
i'm thinking of getting someone a home theatre system for xmas. my budget is thin and the Zenith XBS245 DVD-VCR Home Theater System looks like a good deal, but i know absolutely nothing about this stuff. does anyone know if the Zenith system is up to par, or any other affordable suggestions?
posted by poopy at 1:21 PM PST - 7 comments

Martial Art Recommendations
I would like to start taking classes in some kind of martial art. I'm interested in something that will help me get in shape and also provide a little self defense. What flavor should I pursue?
posted by LittleMissCranky at 1:02 PM PST - 14 comments

Ship me some Texas Tomales!
I'm trying to find something unique to cap off my Christmas gift-giving this year, and my boyfriend has always wept at the memory of the tamales of his Texas youth. I'm now obsessed with finding him the most delicious ones in the universe. Anybody have any recommendations for a place that'll ship awesome tamales? I've seen the results of a google search for shippable goodies, but the tamales I give have to be great. Surely someone here knows. Do tell!
posted by kittyb at 11:29 AM PST - 9 comments

Give me tips on how to promote an independent documentary film
Does anyone have experience with promoting an independent documentary film? [no links to, or mention of the film itself... I'm not trying to be that guy -- more inside] [more inside]
posted by cadastral at 9:42 AM PST - 11 comments

Rape support services/books/organizations for men?
Anybody know of any rape support services/books/organizations for men? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:41 AM PST - 7 comments

Where to find cheap needle for a turntable?
I need some turntable help. I found the perfect present for my dad this year - a recording of two Xmas songs by Yogi Yorgesson that he used to sing all the time. Problem is, it's a 45. I called his wife and she told me they have a Technics SL-D1, but it currently has no needle. I know jack about record players. Can I get any old cheap-o needle/cartridge for this thing?
posted by starvingartist at 9:23 AM PST - 4 comments

After a car accident, how is the value decided for your vehicle if it is determined totaled?
When you are involved in a car accident, how is the value decided for your vehicle if it is determined totaled? I imagine it has something to do with the Kelley Blue Book price, but is it what the retail price of the car would be or the trade-in value or what? Or does it have absolutely nothing to do with any of that? And what consideration does the insurance company take if you owe more than they value it? Merry Christmas to me.
posted by nramsey at 9:08 AM PST - 6 comments

drunken upset stomach
We had our office party last night, and I got a little wrecked. Anybody got a remedy for an upset stomach? [more inside]
posted by o2b at 8:27 AM PST - 34 comments

Christmas trees made out of bamboo?
When I lived in the Philippines, we had a Christmas tree assembled out of bamboo. Every year I search online for a source for these, but this year, as previously, I've come up empty. Does anyone know who sells them? It was my understanding at the time that they were very common (there), but now all trace of them seems to have vanished.
posted by rushmc at 6:52 AM PST - 6 comments

How can I sleep well on a split shift?
What's the best way to get a good night's sleep? The newspaper I work at recently went to a crazy schedule, so I now work a split shift. My body hates it because it's used to a constant 8 hours a night. How can I trick my brain into being well rested? And what role do powernaps have in all of this?
posted by Happydaz at 1:32 AM PST - 15 comments

December 17
Where can I find out-of-print books by David Lerner?
Can anyone suggest a good way to find an almost impossibly out-of-print books. I've tried both amazon, bn, abebooks, and xlibris, but none have a copy and so far as I can tell only a thousand were ever made of any of them... In case it helps, it would be any of the poetry by David Lerner.
posted by drezdn at 10:34 PM PST - 10 comments

Best free antivirus for Windows?
What's the best free antivirus for Windows?
posted by signal at 8:55 PM PST - 13 comments

Best-of Chatfilter: books, music, and movies
I find that I never really relate to year-end "best-of" lists because much of the best movies, music, and books I encounter during the year are older works that I hadn't discovered before. So what are the Top 10 Best Things that you discovered in 2003, that weren't made in 2003? [more inside]
posted by adrober at 8:52 PM PST - 9 comments

Farting in Bed
I just started dating this really awesome girl, and we spend the night together often, and I want to know how long I have to wait before I can fart in bed.
posted by vito90 at 7:38 PM PST - 61 comments

Help me find text of a monologue from 'Angels in America.
I'm looking for the text of a monologue from 'Angels in America.' [more inside] [more inside]
posted by FunkyHelix at 7:27 PM PST - 12 comments

Do I need to see LOTR movies 1 and 2 before I see 3?
LOTR 3. Will it make any sense at all to the viewer who hasn't seen Episode 1 and 2?
posted by matteo at 5:37 PM PST - 10 comments

Where can I get the best prices for magazine subscriptions?
I'd like to order some magazine subscriptions for Christmas gifts. Where can I get the best prices?
posted by blueshammer at 4:46 PM PST - 8 comments

Music in IBM's The Future is Open ads?
Many here have probably seen IBM's "The Future is Open" ad (maybe via the post in the blue). Does anyone know the name of the (faint) music playing in the background?
posted by thebabelfish at 3:23 PM PST - 3 comments

To get a text message on my cell phone when a client emails my regular account, should I use SMS or POP?
So I just got a whizzy new cellphone with SMS and a POP client.

I want to get some kind of text message whenever a client sends e-mail to my regular account, and I've already got this working, basically. My cellular service is with T-Mobile. I use OS X and Mail.app; I've already set it so that, when a Mail.app rule is matched ("sender is in Clients group"), an Applescript is triggered that fires a short e-mail message showing the sender and subject line of the client's message to a special mobile-only e-mail account I set up. It might be nice to include the first few words, too, but I haven't gotten that far.

Questions: Would it make more sense to do this by SMS? If so, how would I send the message via SMS? Right now I've got the phone polling my mobile-only POP account every 30 minutes, and it seems to be a slow process. I'm also not sure what the billing hit would be per SMS message or for checking POP e-mail.
posted by adamrice at 3:03 PM PST - 14 comments

Is there an easy and/or cost-efficient way of aggregating 5GB of .pst files into a searchable database?
So I've got a stack of CDs with all kinds of miscellaneous data, but most importantly, 5 GBs plus of .pst files from Outlook. Is there an easy and/or cost-efficient way of aggregating these files into a searchable database?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:17 PM PST - 7 comments

Obscure Movie Recommendations
I'm a film junkie and am running out of things to watch. What's an obscure feature-length movie that's available on dvd or video that you can recommend to someone who's seen more movies than had warm meals?
posted by dobbs at 11:46 AM PST - 91 comments

Moving Overseas
I've been thinking about exposing myself and the family to the salutory benefits of living overseas (we live in the US now). The key question, of course, is where? I've heard some people speak reverently of New Zealand, but have never been there myself. Your suggestions and reasoning behind them would be welcome...
posted by Irontom at 11:46 AM PST - 24 comments

Learning Perl, PHP, MySQL
I'm interested in filling out my workday learning perl, php and mysql at my own speed. I have no programming background. Anybody have any good experiences with any online courses, or any other advice? Money is not an object, what is important is good structure (logical progression of concepts) and the ability to get personalized help when needed.
posted by luser at 11:30 AM PST - 25 comments

I'm looking for a site (not photo.net) where I can get feedback on becoming a better photographer.
I like the idea behind photo.net (post photos, then get feedback, votes, etc.), but their interface is so goofy that I can't get into it. Specifically, I'm looking for a place where I can get feedback on becoming a better photographer, not just a pat on the back. What are the best photo.net alternatives?
posted by oissubke at 11:09 AM PST - 9 comments

How hard is it to publish and produce your own book?
How hard is it to publish and produce your own book? Do you know of any small run press situations where you can vouch for the quality? Someone suggested CafePress, but it seems dubious and probably not much better than a copy center like Kinkos.
posted by agregoli at 11:01 AM PST - 13 comments

Best way to cook bacon?
do you have a tried and true way of cooking bacon? moz and i like bacon that is not crispy at all and i keep managing to mangle it. i'm using a nonstick pan on a gas stove, but we have an electric skillet, too, if that helps.
posted by sugarfish at 10:42 AM PST - 18 comments

O Tannenbaum
Christmas trees. Real or artificial? Or rather is it worth paying a high price for an artificial tree that looks very real rather than a relatively low price a real tree that looks, well, real?
posted by feelinglistless at 10:17 AM PST - 18 comments

Looking for the 2004 Beano Annual
Could someone in the UK send me the 2004 Beano Annual before Christmas? It's for my 5 year old. If someone knows how to get it in the US that works too. I'd pay via Paypal or whatever.
posted by putzface_dickman at 10:09 AM PST - 3 comments

Psychological study that says people associate critical claims with the critic rather than the criticized?
I read an article many years ago about a scientific study that said that people tend to psychologically associate criticism with the critic, and not the object or person being criticised. ***** For example - given Persons A, B and C, Person A says to Person B, "You're an uncritical thinker." If you asked Person C at a later date, "who was the uncritical thinker?" they would tend to answer "Person A". Even though Person A was criticising Person B, Person C would associate the criticism with Person A and not Person B. ***** Well, I've tried to find the research online but have reached a dead-end because I just don't know what combination of words to search for. Has anyone else come across this research? [more inside]
posted by PigAlien at 9:53 AM PST - 5 comments

Windproof Umbrellas
Do those "windproof" umbrellas actually work?
posted by Vidiot at 9:39 AM PST - 7 comments

Help developing dicipline and responsibility
My life is riddled with undependability and irresponsability. I've improved a great deal, but I still feel I have a long way to go. I'd like to find some way to get my college homework done sometime before the 10 minutes preceding class, as well as being more consistent with getting things done by deadlines. Is there anyone out there who used to be a complete lazyass that found different methods for turning themselves around? Pure willpower isn't cutting it. [more inside]
posted by angry modem at 9:11 AM PST - 28 comments

How best should I use these old Zenith Allegro speakers with a modern receiver?
I have an old Pair of Zenith Allegro speakers (50-watt, 8-ohm) with pre-attached cables and RCA-style plugs (male) for connecting to the stereo. I'd like to use them with a more modern receiver (50-watt max, 8-ohm) that accepts straight wire from the stereo; should I just lop off the ends and wire them in, or is there a better method? Also, can I use them with a >50-watt stereo if I keep the volume down, or is that just bad?
posted by The Michael The at 8:23 AM PST - 2 comments

Preventative maintenance to keep a toilet from clogging?
I know how to unclog a toilet. How do you keep it from clogging, specifically if you have no influence over who's going to use it (e.g. when you're having, say, a party this weekend)? Is there something to flush down it occasionally, or daily, that will minimize the chances of clogging?
posted by soyjoy at 8:11 AM PST - 12 comments

How does one buy a race horse?
My boss has asked me to find out how one goes about buying a race horse. I've suggested she perhaps considers a share through a syndicate and have found a few books through amazon, but does anyone have any practical advice as to reliable sources of information, reliable potential trainers or anything else she might need to consider? We're in the UK and she'd be looking to purchase here - I suspect this will make a difference to advice.
posted by biffa at 7:45 AM PST - 4 comments

Safe Filesharing
I have a, umm, friend who lives in Canada and has, in the past, shared 36+ gigs of music using a well-known P2P application. Given that he wants to continue sharing his files, he wonders what technical steps he can take to minimize potential legal action from the Canadian Recording Industry Association (or anyone else).
posted by johnnydark at 6:07 AM PST - 19 comments

drywall repair
Talk to me about drywall repair. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by kmel at 4:58 AM PST - 11 comments

December 16
Parking Drama
My girlfriend and I live in a small 4-unit apartment building in a residential part of Berkeley. Our neighbor, who lives in the house next door, just bitched her out for leaving her car parked on the curb adjoining his driveway. Her car, a small, gas-efficient economy car, is in perfect order, and was correctly parked, but she'd overstayed Berkeley's 72-consecutive-hour limit by a day or two, and he was miffed. He parks in his own garage, and seems to have no pity for her, even though the reason her car rarely moves is that she takes public transit to class daily. Anything we can do about this? How seriously would you take his threat to have the car towed next time? [more inside]
posted by scarabic at 10:17 PM PST - 33 comments

Why do lesbians have their own word?
Why are gay women lesbians, while gay men are just gay? [more inside]
posted by o2b at 6:21 PM PST - 13 comments

Does the word "paranoid" have an antonym?
Does the word "paranoid" have an antonym? In other words, can there be a one-word opposite of paranoid? My guess is no since it's a defined clinical state; however since it's used casually, has an antonym evolved?
posted by mgtrott at 4:11 PM PST - 33 comments

How do I use a Palm handheld to synchronize between Lotus and Exchange?
Is it possible to use one Palm-based handheld to synchronize Lotus Organizer at work (for contacts and calendar) and Microsoft Exchange at home? Or two different Exchange servers (we may be migrating to Exchange soon at work)?
posted by adampsyche at 3:39 PM PST - 5 comments

Partitioning a large studio apartment
I'm moving into NYC for the first time. It's a studio, but a relatively large one, and I'd like to partition it. I've looked mainly at shoji screens, but I'd rather not take up the extra space with the accordion footprint. I don't want to spend a huge amount of money, or do anything that requires a permit. What are some creative options?; for_name=condour75 [more inside]
posted by condour75 at 3:23 PM PST - 14 comments

Sexual Behavior
Why are sexually promiscuous men "studs" and sexually promiscuous women "sluts"? And on that note, is it studly or slutty to hook up with one person on a Monday and go out with a different person on a Tuesday? Just asking.
posted by adrober at 2:47 PM PST - 19 comments

Can something be both "annual" and "all year?"
Can something be both "annual" and "all year?" Say, hypothetically, an on-line film festival that runs all year but is refreshed with new films annually?
posted by djacobs at 2:40 PM PST - 10 comments

Win2K MP3 Ripping
I'm looking for a good CD to MP3 ripping program for a Win2K machine. Requirements are small RAM usage on a slow system. What are your recommendations?
posted by DBAPaul at 2:00 PM PST - 17 comments

Has anyone installed MySQL from Server Logistics? Any other suggestions?
I'm new to Mac OS X's command line and a little nervous about using it to install Mysql. After doing some research on the net I found what might be an alternative: installing Apache2, PHP4 and Mysql from Server Logistics . The post claims that by also installing one of the Barebones text editors and Tinkertool I could avoid having to use the command line altogether. It was also suggested that the Server Logistics Complete Packages are more powerful versions of Apache and Php than apple ships (I'm on Panther). Has anyone done an install this way? Any other suggestions? Should I just get over it and use the damn command line?
posted by btwillig at 1:55 PM PST - 13 comments

What are your re-occurring dreams?
I'm curious what other people's re-occurring dreams may be, or at least the ones you are willing to share with total strangers. [more inside]
posted by machaus at 1:47 PM PST - 73 comments

Moving to the UK
Along the same lines as UKnowforKids's question, my wife and I are interested in spending a couple of years or so in England, and were wondering what our best options were... [more inside]
posted by terrapin at 1:40 PM PST - 8 comments

Side Dish for Roast Duck
I'm cooking roast duck for my family on Christmas (actually Dysfunctional Family Christmas on the 21st.) I like to serve a wild rice/kashi mixture on the side. However, every time I make the dish it lacks flavor. It has a nice bite to it, what with the wild rice and other grains, but it's missing something. I usually toss some garlic cloves in, I've used broth instead of water, etc. Still, it comes out bland. How can I zip it up? [more inside]
posted by bondcliff at 1:39 PM PST - 10 comments

How to wean a relative off of Juggalo?
My partner's brother is a Juggalo -- he won't listen to much other than ICP. Any suggestions on music to break him of this terrible habit? [more inside]
posted by me3dia at 1:26 PM PST - 17 comments

Why do so many good-looking women date bad-looking men?
Why do so many good-looking women date bad-looking men? [more inside...] [more inside]
posted by skylar at 1:14 PM PST - 21 comments

How do I do the Mashed Potato?
How do I do the Mashed Potato?
posted by megnut at 12:57 PM PST - 18 comments

I'm looking for well-written sci-fi / fantasy, set in other worlds or the future, that isn't didactic or idea-driven.
Like many other geeks here, I grew up reading sci-fi and fantasy. But I gradually got tired of it, because so much of it was poorly written or antithetical to my tastes. But I still yearn for other worlds at times, so I'd be interested in recommendations. [more inside.] [more inside]
posted by grumblebee at 10:57 AM PST - 65 comments

MCSE Preparation
I'm currently working towards my MCSE and am looking for some good (hopefully free) resources as far as Skills Assesment or trainers are concerned- Googling for it only turns up pages and pages of ads. If you've gotten your MSCSE or any of the MS Certification tests what resources did you find most helpful?
posted by TuxHeDoh at 10:46 AM PST - 3 comments

Winter driving in Texas?
I go to school in western North Carolina, and tomorrow I plan on driving home to Texas. Still, I have a problem. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by Scottk at 10:36 AM PST - 14 comments

Quick, cheap poster of MC Escher's Relativity?
Ok, I want to get my friend a poster of MC Escher's Relativity. The catch is I need it by Sunday, and I can't afford to spend more than a tenner. Can anyone suggest anywhere either online or in London that I can get it?
posted by Orange Goblin at 9:57 AM PST - 5 comments

What's Dayton, Ohio like?
What's Dayton, Ohio like? (more inside...) [more inside]
posted by jennyb at 9:23 AM PST - 22 comments

Recommend some good new or used minivans.
I have an, ahem, friend who's looking into purchasing a minivan. My--I mean, my friend's--primary concerns are reliability and efficiency first, then price, then bells and whistles. Are there clear winners in the minivan world? And what's word on new or used?
posted by vraxoin at 9:11 AM PST - 19 comments

I've closed my Windows and need to reopen it again!
When I purchased my laptop, I dumped XP and installed Linux. Of course, now the inevitable has happened and I need to run a Windows-only program; is there a way to install Windows after installing Linux? Right now I have one ext3 partition.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:51 AM PST - 8 comments

setting up a stereo system using my laptop as a music source
Question about setting up a stereo system using my laptop as a music source [more inside]. [more inside]
posted by jmd82 at 8:29 AM PST - 8 comments

How does one triangulate a meeting place for a couple of dozen people in large city?
In my effort to organize a Los Angeles MeFi Meetup, I'm confronted with the fact that this is such a spread-out metro area that finding a generally-convenient location requires some high-tech assistance. Does there exist a web service or other program to which you can enter a list of zip codes (like on the 'MeFi Users Near You' list) and find out what area is the most 'freeway close' to the largest number of people? Or do you have any other suggestions how to 'triangulate' a couple dozen people?
posted by wendell at 8:24 AM PST - 2 comments

Saturn longevity?
Found out last night that my car (96 Saturn with 108k miles) has a leaking head gasket, which will set me back about $1200. Before I spring for the repair, I want to be confident that the car will stick around long enough to be worth it. How long can you reasonably expect to keep a car on the road? Is this a sign that she's crossed the line into being an unreliable money sink?
posted by COBRA! at 7:27 AM PST - 11 comments

Know of any cheap clever or ecologically friendly packaging ideas for short runs of CDs?
Clever or eco-logically friendly packaging ideas for bands on budgets who are producing their own short runs of CDs?
posted by DenOfSizer at 6:15 AM PST - 10 comments

Are there any international virtual currencies?
There's Paypal, eGold, amazon bucks et al. Is there a "net-cash" system out there that people from all over the world - from Aruba to Brazil to Zimbabwe - can use?
posted by dabitch at 4:12 AM PST - 5 comments

December 15
What music plays at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow?
At monument to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow (near the Kremlin), there is a piece of music that is played continuously. Does anyone know the name and composer of that piece?
posted by goddam at 8:16 PM PST - 2 comments

Is The Rabbit wine opener any good?
So I've been struggling with the christmas present issue - What to get for my parents? I've decided on a Rabbit wine opener, but it has mixed reviews. Does anyone have this device or an equivalent wine tool?
posted by elwoodwiles at 8:15 PM PST - 19 comments

Resources for getting prints from digital photos
What's the best place (online or otherwise) to get prints made from my digital photos? The less expensive the better, as long as somebody can vouch for the quality. [more inside]
posted by Aaorn at 7:43 PM PST - 25 comments

Automatd hard drive backup in XP?
What's a good program to automate backing up one hard drive to another one on the same box in Windows XP?

Something that made a complete backup of certain folders every morning would be ideal.
posted by signal at 7:33 PM PST - 19 comments

Sandwich Style
When I eat a sandwich, I tend to grasp it with my fingers underneath and thumb on top, and then I flip it around and eat it with my thumbs on bottom, thus eating the upside down (or far side first). Am I the only person who does this?
posted by oissubke at 5:35 PM PST - 29 comments

Imaginary Friends
Do any of you -- as adults -- have imaginary friends? [more inside.] [more inside]
posted by grumblebee at 5:34 PM PST - 21 comments

Muscle Mass
What would be an average increase in muscle mass (lbs or kilos) in a woman going from weak and sedentary to seriously buff and strong over a period of about a year? And for a man?
posted by suleikacasilda at 4:18 PM PST - 17 comments

Disabling XP Pro Features
Windows XP Pro: Is there any way to permanently disable My Music and My Pictures? (aka "Microsoft Tries to Be Helpful and Fails Spectacularly, as Always") [more inside]
posted by lychee at 3:59 PM PST - 8 comments

Temp Work in London
How does one go about finding a short-term job in London? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by UKnowForKids at 3:14 PM PST - 11 comments

Landline or Cellphone?
Cut the landline and go cellphone-only? Help me decide. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by Kat Allison at 3:11 PM PST - 35 comments

Imitation English
We're familiar with imitation German, imitation Swedish and imitation Chinese. What's it sound like in non-English countries when people mock English?
posted by inksyndicate at 2:46 PM PST - 12 comments

Is there a term for unbidden standard thoughts? Can I train myself to stop thinking them?
When I perform some everyday tasks, or walk past certain locations, I think the exact same things every time. It isn't just me, is it? Is there a term for these unbidden little standard thoughts, and can I train myself to stop thinking them? [examples inside] [more inside]
posted by jack_mo at 2:20 PM PST - 14 comments

Ways for a Canadian to legally work in the USA
Ways for a Canadian to legally work in the USA... [more inside] [more inside]
posted by dobbs at 1:34 PM PST - 15 comments

How do I arrange an exhibit of my photography (commissions, pricing etc)
I've been dabbling in amateur photography for a year or two now, and I'm just beginning to work up the stones to try and arrange for an exhibit of my work. I'd like to approach a few local coffeehouses / cafes to display my work (for sale). How do I go about doing this? What are the usual conventions (i.e. commissions, pricing, etc.) Can anyone share their experiences?
posted by keswick at 1:29 PM PST - 7 comments

Find me a different body for my Pentax ME super lenses
i have a pentax ME super and about a dozen lenses for it. however, it has the defective gasket. since most of the ME supers around have the defective gasket, i'd rather replace it with a fully manual SLR that does not run the risk of a defective part.

i know that sears sold a SLR that fit the same lenses, but i'm having trouble tracking down the name, body style, &c. anyone know? or have suggestions of another camera which will take my lenses? or know a good used camera dealer in or around chicago, illinois?
posted by crush-onastick at 1:16 PM PST - 10 comments

What's the current thinking on "Holiday Tipping"? Who do you think should be tipped and how much?
In my copy of yesterday's Sunday newspaper, I got the paper delivery person's holiday card, conveniently listing their home address. My question: What's the current thinking on "Holiday Tipping"? Who do you think should be tipped and how much? [more inside]
posted by jca at 11:58 AM PST - 22 comments

Reinstalling OS9 safely on a Powerbook?
About a month ago I installed Panther on my Powerbook. I did a clean install, so Classic (OS 9) was wiped from the machine. When I went to reinstall it, from the OS9 book disc, I was warned that it would also be doing a clean install, which made me nervous. So, how do I reinstall OS 9 onto my Powerbook without effecting everything that's on there right now?
posted by capndesign at 11:20 AM PST - 2 comments

What would you do if $730 (US) fell into your lap unexpectedly?
What would you do if $730 (US) fell into your lap unexpectedly? I want to surprise my wife with something really cool and unexpected, but my creativity is on its annual holiday vacation.
posted by vraxoin at 10:59 AM PST - 15 comments

Digital Rebel Lens
Lens dilemma - I'd appreciate some help in choosing my first "non-kit" lens for my Digital Rebel. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by stonerose at 10:58 AM PST - 20 comments

Can you explain the movie Mulholland Drive to me?
I just finished watching David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, and I'm stumped. Can someone explain to me what that was all about?

I should add that I'm not a huge DL fan - I don't enjoy strangeness for strangeness' sake - but didn't expect to be so utterly left in the dark. Anyone?
posted by widdershins at 10:07 AM PST - 27 comments

What cell phone service provider would you recommend?
What cell phone service provider would you recommend? [more inside]
posted by mattpfeff at 9:41 AM PST - 21 comments

Fixing Pet Photos
How can I fix dog "red eye." Well, its worse than red eye, the dog's eyes are completely gone and are replace with two glowing orange spheres. I've read some howtos on the subject of rendering eyes using simple photoshop tools, but that really isnt going to work. Anyone here experienced in digital photo manipulation want to fix this photo for me for a modest fee? Or know where I can get this service done cheaply?
posted by skallas at 8:56 AM PST - 13 comments

Email newsletter software wanted, web-based
What's a good free web-based software package for maintaining an email newsletter? [more] [more inside]
posted by staggernation at 8:22 AM PST - 11 comments

How can I get the sound files out of a Playstation game?
Any idea where/how I can get the sound files out of a PlayStation game? Specifically, I want Phil Hartman's voice clips from Blasto. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by Irontom at 7:47 AM PST - 5 comments

How do I automatically post my changing IP address?
I need to find a way to automatically post my IP address somewhere. The address changes periodically and I have to consistently reach services on a particular machine. The trouble is that the machine is behind a broadband router, and it's the router's address that's I need to publish. Anyone know of a tool or trick for this? I'm running WinXP Pro.
posted by Songdog at 6:39 AM PST - 15 comments

Name this SciFi novel
I'm looking for the name / author of a science fiction novel I read when I was a child. A brief (and possibly incorrect) synopsis is "man finds radio; radio tells man what happens in the future; there is a car or a truck drive that has a vague relavance to everything; radio ends up being either an alien or an alien artifact which may have the ability to metamorphise." I think the book was printed by Gollanz in the UK, and I probably read it in about 1982. Anybody got any ideas?
posted by seanyboy at 6:17 AM PST - 6 comments

Baseball Business for dummies?
Rule 5 draft...the waiver wire...the luxury tax...arbitration...restricted free agency...ahh, the business of baseball. Revel in it, or deplore it, as I do, but this winter, especially, it seems like the suits are particularly active...perhaps laying the groundwork for a Red Sox championship, among other oddities??? A lot of it is greek to me, tho. Can anyone recommend a website or book that breaks down this stuff? Baseball Business for Dummies?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 5:54 AM PST - 5 comments

Is there a cheap, high-quality screenprinting kit for T-shirts?
For a while now, my ex-fashion student Kaffrin, and writing student Me have been wanting to hop aboard the t-shirt printing bandwagon. Is there a cheap, high-quality screenprinting kit out there? Or any better suggestions than inkjet iron-ons to get images and text from a computer screen onto fabric?
posted by armoured-ant at 4:55 AM PST - 13 comments

Meta
how many levels of meta are possible, in practice? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by andrew cooke at 2:11 AM PST - 16 comments

December 14
Atari ST -> CD?
Can anyone transfer some old Atari ST floppies to a CD for me?
posted by neuroshred at 11:29 PM PST - 6 comments

replacement to soda
I'm interested in no longer drinking soda, because I've started to get headaches when I drink it. The problem is, not much comes in easy to carry multi-packs like soda does. What are tricks to giving up soda, and what's a good replacement that sidesteps high sugar and caffeine?
posted by drezdn at 10:56 PM PST - 38 comments

Riddle me this
I was told a riddle a few years ago and it's been driving me nuts ever since. Unfortunately, the riddle has become even harder since I don't remember a very important part of it. Since I don't remember it well, it's a two-parter: "_____" rhymes with only three words in the English language. Name them. First, what is the blank word; second, what are the rhyming words. I got two of them right off the bat, but the third one never came to me. Help?
posted by ashbury at 10:30 PM PST - 4 comments

Any suggestions for mellow instrumental background music for family videos and/or biographies?
I'm looking for good background music for videos that I'm editing together of family stuff, and later for personal biographies that I might do for people. I have only a tiny repertoire, and I can't use the same music for every family video. I'm thinking instrumental with a mellow vibe. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by beth at 10:24 PM PST - 16 comments

collective madness among Miskito people
MoJo:
Few days ago I learned about a "collective madness" affecting the Miskito indians in Nicaragua. This would be an excellent topic for the blue, but I could not find enough information, so I need help. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by MzB at 9:15 PM PST - 4 comments

Month to Visit Cross-Section of America -- Best Places? Route?
Every single year of our lives, since we were 14 or so, my best friend Chico and I, born on the 26th and 25th July 1955, have been planning on travelling through the United States. That's more than 30 years ago - and still we haven't gone... [More inside.] [more inside]
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:15 PM PST - 55 comments

Exercising a Puppy
Exercise for a psychotic puppy (more inside) [more inside]
posted by LittleMissCranky at 5:37 PM PST - 11 comments

Geometry Question
Can anyone settle a 15 year old argument for me? It turned into one of those things "we don't talk about" but it's always bugged me. The question is simple and involves three points and a circle - more inside. [more inside]
posted by twine42 at 4:26 PM PST - 20 comments

Is there any way to change a FAT partition into an NTFS one on windows XP? Or resize it?
Is there any way to change a FAT partition into an NTFS one on windows XP? Or resize it? Without buying / cracking any software?
posted by signal at 4:24 PM PST - 10 comments

Please help translate this cartoon
I found this political cartoon about Saddam Hussein, and it is in a language I can't understand or translate. Can anyone help me with this? Link inside. [more inside]
posted by Keyser Soze at 2:39 PM PST - 10 comments

What volunteer activities should I get involved in?
I am looking for recommendations on volunteer activities to get involved in. I have a fairly open and flexible schedule and would like to help out more in my community. That said, I'd prefer something that uses my skills and also gives me something back. I am thinking something arts-related or involving teaching (I've taught literacy classes in the past.) What are some positive experiences others here have had? How do I go about searching for the right thing? I am also open to working for nominal pay (e.g. working for a good nonprofit parttime.) [more inside]
posted by vacapinta at 11:37 AM PST - 10 comments

Learning Piano Again
I'm diving back into playing the piano again after 4 to 5 years of not playing. By my nature, I don't want to take lessons right now; I just want to teach myself. The piece I've decided to jump in with (La valse d'Amelie by Yann Tiersen) probably isn't the best to start with, but it's one I've picked. I can learn to read music again, but I'm looking for other pieces to work on which aren't too hard, but aren't laughably simple either. (Oh, and any ideas on how I can make my fingers not feel like lead bricks besides just playing more?)
posted by thebabelfish at 10:50 AM PST - 7 comments

Hiding Cat
I just adopted a new cat. Ever since I got her home, she's been hiding under the bed--she's absolutely terrified (strange house, strange person, existing cat--he's not been aggressive towards her, just intensely curious). How long is an acceptable period of time for her to get used to living here? She's not eaten or drank anything for at least 24 hours and I'm starting to get worried.
posted by eilatan at 8:58 AM PST - 14 comments

Conquering perfectionism in a dissertation.
Conquering perfectionism. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by .kobayashi. at 8:35 AM PST - 17 comments

Why Does Musical Taste Change?
Why does a person's musical taste keep changing? I'm suddenly listening to lot's of Paris Cafe music, the likes of Charles Trenet, Edith Piaf and Josephine Baker. How did that happen? Why do some people's tastes never seem to change?
posted by feelinglistless at 4:00 AM PST - 20 comments

I ran to Iran, should my boyfriend be my cousin?
I'm thinking of traveling in Iran and want to do so with my boyfriend. What is the best way for us to travel together without running afoul of Iranian law? Should we claim to be cousins, find a chaperone, or just give up the idea? I have German citizenship and he is Dutch, though his mother was born Iranian... [more inside]
posted by zia at 12:30 AM PST - 5 comments

December 13
Hardwood floors
Anyone know anything about refinishing hardwood floors? I discovered really nice hardwood under the ugly tile that covers the floors of my house, but there's a few areas where spills seeped through, and the wood has bleached out. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by notsnot at 10:49 PM PST - 18 comments

Can you help me find an online writer's group for various subjects?
I'm looking for an informal online writing community. I've got a lot of ideas for short stories, but without peer reviews, I just don't have any drive to finish stuff. Plus, you know, having other writers tell me what sucks is helpful, too. Subject matter varies quite a bit.
posted by billybunny at 8:41 PM PST - 16 comments

Long-Haul Flight
I'm approaching the longest flight of my life: From Los Angeles to Fiji.

I'm no stranger to intercontinental flights, but this is my first trip across the Pacific. How the heck do I bear it?
posted by o2b at 8:24 PM PST - 18 comments

Insulating a hot water heater
Anyone know how to insulate a hot water heater?
posted by adampsyche at 7:31 PM PST - 3 comments

Martell "Fine Cognac - How Do I Enjoy It?
I've received a bottle of Martell "Fine" Cognac for Christmas. I'm completely new to it. What are good ways to enjoy Cognac?
posted by nthdegx at 6:36 PM PST - 7 comments

Clearing the Air
What's the best way to clear the air in a smokey room? I'm a non-smoker, but someone in an adjacent apartment is chain smoking and it's stinking up my place. It's getting too cold to just crack the windows. [more inside]
posted by tirade at 5:47 PM PST - 5 comments

Why does exercise make us feel good?
I have always wondered why I tend to feel better after a workout. What kind of chemicals get released during and after physical exertion, and why do they make us feel good?
posted by Keyser Soze at 5:03 PM PST - 10 comments

Is the Nuala character in the Sandman books an actual mythical figure?
I have a cat Nuala, named after a character in The Sandman books. The origin is Gaelic/Celtic meaning 'white shoulders/lovely shoulders', and considering the characters in the series i've always thought Nuala must have some kind of mythical background. Googling hasn't provided anything and The Sandman Annotations don't mention her beyond the fictional role. Does anyone here know if Nuala was a mythical figure?
posted by poopy at 3:42 PM PST - 5 comments

What can I do about a noisy DJ neighbor?
OK, so the guy who lives beneath me thinks he's a DJ, and he's driving me and my GF nuts. Any advice on how to set up an electromagnetic field that is a>powerful enough to fry his equipment, and b>directional? [more inside] Oh yeah, this is all hypothetical [more inside]
posted by Grod at 11:19 AM PST - 60 comments

Ouch!
What's a good product for repairing sun damage to one's scalp?
posted by neuroshred at 10:56 AM PST - 5 comments

When my insurance (COBRA) ends in March, what can I do?
When my insurance (COBRA) ends in March, what can I do? Private insurance is prohibitively expensive, and chances are with my preexisting health problems I may not be able to get insurance at all. Worst part is my monthly prescriptions are extremely expensive-we are talking the price of a car payment here, if not more.
Any suggestions, besides moving to Canada?
posted by konolia at 10:45 AM PST - 14 comments

Going Permanent
Ok, so I'm going permanent at this place I've been freelancing for 3 years (it's been a regular gig--2-3 wks/month)--I negotiated a good salary, and an extra week of vacation for the permanent position, but I've never ever liked being permanent and have always felt trapped. Any tips and tricks to help make it psychologically more bearable and cushion the loss of my freedom? a little more inside [more inside]
posted by amberglow at 9:38 AM PST - 19 comments

Can you use a PDA (Visor) as a remote control?
Using a PDA as a remote control -- I'm a bit of a bum and the one thing I don't like about watching DVDs on my iBook is having to get up and mess with the thing to start/stop/pause the movie. I have heard you can use a PDA [I have an old good-for-nothing Visor] as a remote control, but I'd like some more info before I invest [if necessary] in software. Has anyone done this? What did you use? Did it work okay?
posted by jessamyn at 8:54 AM PST - 11 comments

High-Pitched Quiet Melody Played on WBBM Radio During Mystery Theater?
When I was a kid in the late 70s and early 80s, I used to hear this strange, eerie tune on the radio late at night. What WAS it? [more inside.] [more inside]
posted by grumblebee at 8:53 AM PST - 17 comments

The word "stat"
Where does the word "stat" come from, as in "Give me 20ccs of Ringer's Lactate, stat!"?
(I know it means quickly, but what's its origin?)
posted by jpburns at 8:22 AM PST - 10 comments

Is there any way to search for DVDs based on which subtitles are available?
I need to find a DVD with Korean subtitles. Is there any way to search for DVDs based on which subtitles are available? As a second option, can anyone recommend any good Korean-language films? [more inside]
posted by nprigoda at 7:52 AM PST - 8 comments

FM Transmitter That Plugs Into PC And Transmits to House Appliances?
I'm looking for a gadget - essentially a low powered stereo FM transmitter I can plug into the sound output of my PC and broadcast the music on my harddrive to the various clock radios and stereos around my house. I guess a 30m range would be ample (although it does have to get through some pretty thick walls). So far the closest thing I've found are tiny battery-powered transmitters designed to plug into a CD-walkman and sit next to your car stereo while you drive - pretty useless for my purposes. Does anyone out there know of a suitable transmitter? And here's the crunch - do you think it would even be legal in Australia?
posted by Jimbob at 3:43 AM PST - 8 comments

What's the matter with my BIOS?
In followup to this post regarding a troublesome CD-RW installation, I continue to have problems after I thought I had it licked. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by ajpresto at 3:11 AM PST - 10 comments

How can I stop animated gifs from animating in Firebird?
Is there any way to stop animated gifs from animating in Firebird? I'm just starting to use 0.7 (the last stable release), and I really like it, except that you apparently can't turn off the damn gifs. This is a deal-killer for me, I'm afraid. A gif (or several gifs, and I'm looking at you, Guardian) flashing at me is really distracting when I'm trying to read a page. (Bouncing java applets ditto, but they're another kind of problem.)

I've looked on the Mozilla boards and the answer seems to be, 'no, there's no way to stop the animation', but I thought I'd ask around just to sure. I don't want to go back to IE... [more inside]
posted by Slithy_Tove at 1:50 AM PST - 14 comments

Online Application for Iranian Parliamentary Candidate Campaign Websites?
We are trying to make a website for potential candidates, Who want to run for the upcoming Parliament elections in Iran, as their campaign website. I'm looking for a free online application which enables us to do that. Do you think an online dating application would be a good tool for this purpose? Have you heard of any free dating application?

Basically we need one profile page for each registered user so he or she can:

- post a few pictures (upload or just post the URL)
- post his/her biography and contact information
- post his/her platform along with brief description
- get unregistered people's comments on his/her platform and be able to edit them
- find out how people evaluate his/her campaign by a simple rating system (0-5 stars for example)

Please note that that the application must be utf-8 (Unicode) friendly. [more inside]
posted by hoder at 12:19 AM PST - 6 comments

December 12
scared to fly, need to fly
I'll be flying 8+ hours to London two weeks from today. I have a paralyzing fear of flying, any advice?

Also, what should I do once I make it there? [more inside]
posted by esch at 11:43 PM PST - 31 comments

Printer Tune-Up
I'm getting a new (used) printer, and I have a couple of questions [more inside] [more inside]
posted by trharlan at 8:48 PM PST - 4 comments

Online Advertising on the Cheap
A company I work with has designed a rather tasteful/classy (IMHO) adult toys website ... but we don't have much of a budget left for advertising. Besides MeFi Adwords, of course, what is the best way to get the word out without having much (if any) of a budget?
(Note: Link to the site ommitted out of respect for no-self-linking. However, post a comment if you'd like me to link to it and I will.) [more inside]
posted by SpecialK at 7:36 PM PST - 17 comments

U.S. airport security issues?
Will I have troubles with U.S. airport security if I bring along an old funky laptop? [more inside] Also, have you had any troubles with airport security this holiday season? [more inside]
posted by gluechunk at 6:49 PM PST - 13 comments

Is there a device that works as a pager, sends text-messages, and has wireless web access?
I need a way to keep in touch with my sweetie. I don't want a cellphone. I was thinking a combo of text-messaging + pager would be perfect. does such a device exist? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by soplerfo at 5:48 PM PST - 13 comments

Like moths to the flame
If moths like lights so much, then why don't they come out during the day? [more inside]
posted by armoured-ant at 5:39 PM PST - 13 comments

Classical music CD library from scratch?
What's the best way to build a classical music CD library from scratch? Where the heck do I start? [more] [more inside]
posted by contessa at 4:02 PM PST - 24 comments

Why do porous objects appear darker when wet?
Why do porous objects (wood, textile, hair, etc) appear darker when wet then when dry? A googling gave me this ("surface reflection and refraction"), but that doesn't sound entirely reasonable, as it merely talks of light being scattered, but the light in question is already diffuse. This also gives some suggestions, but nothing conclusive. Any chem/physics MeFiers know this?
posted by fvw at 4:00 PM PST - 7 comments

What's the best technique to use when caught web surfing at work?
What's the best technique to use when caught web surfing at work? [more inside]
posted by arielmeadow at 3:02 PM PST - 23 comments

How can I start an NGO in Canada?
How can I start an NGO in Canada?
posted by hoder at 2:29 PM PST - 3 comments

Why am I prompted to enter a master password for a "Software Security Device" in Firebird .7 on Windows 2000?
Using Firebird .7 on Windows 2000 I am frequently prompted to enter a master password for a "Software Security Device". I didn't even know I had a Software Security Device and sure as hell don't know the password for it.

Poking around in the preferences turns up something related in advanced>certificates>manage security devices but I obviously can't change the password without knowing the old one and it will not let me unload the module. Google hasn't turned anything up and a clean install failed to solve the problem.
posted by cedar at 2:26 PM PST - 4 comments

Party Games
Holiday Party tonight...any ideas for (relatively tame) games or entertainment options?
posted by davidmsc at 1:53 PM PST - 13 comments

How do I backup multiple Movable Type blogs?
I have four blogs on one Movable Type installation. I'd like to set up a system to make backups of all my entries and templates in one click. [More inside...] [more inside]
posted by Aaorn at 1:42 PM PST - 14 comments

What does the obidos in Amazon.com's database string mean?
What does the obidos in Amazon.com's database string mean?
posted by plemeljr at 1:13 PM PST - 19 comments

Getting old Hi-8 analog tapes onto DVD.
I've got a lot of old Hi-8 analog tapes (about 40 hours worth) that I would like to get onto DVD before they deteriorate too much. Has anybody heard of a "all-in-one" product that makes this easy? Has anybody done this successfully? I'm on a PC running XP. I have no capture card, no DVD burner, and no firewire port (I do have usb 2.0). I'm not so much interested in editing them (for now, anyway) as I am in just getting them on a DVD. Suggestions/experiences appreciated.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:58 PM PST - 10 comments

Can my laptop with DVD player serve my in-car TV/DVD player needs?
I'm in the market for an in-car DVD player and tv. Can a laptop with a DVD player fill this role well? This would be my preferred solution for some obvious reasons. Is there any problem with skipping?

(I have Googled this some and couldn't find good info...)
posted by Sean Meade at 12:56 PM PST - 5 comments

Rashes that look like famous people...
Ok, so I have this rash...[more inside] [more inside]
posted by joedan at 12:40 PM PST - 15 comments

Moving Cross Country (US)
Moving cross country (US). Specifically, my girlfriend and I are heading from Washington DC to Santa Fe next spring. Twice as much crap, but shared costs and some company this time. We also each have a car. And a cat. So - any advice on minimizing costs and hassle? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky at 12:32 PM PST - 22 comments

Help me find an inexpensive, durable computer to run in a tropical environment.
Please recommend models of computers which are designed to work for extended periods in tropical (a few degrees south of the equator) outdoor environments. Besides durability, power usage and price are important considerations. [more inside]
posted by rschram at 12:14 PM PST - 6 comments

Organizing a Yankee Swap
We have a Yankee Swap at work. Anyone have an idea on how to assign the picking order, other than drawing names from a hat? Make them earn the top spot.
posted by brent at 11:52 AM PST - 9 comments

Good hard sf or biography book suggestions
I'm in the process of trying to buy Christmas presents for my father and his wife. My father likes science fiction (hard, mostly) and I've had luck with Vernor Vinge and Neal Stephenson in the past. His wife... doesn't, although I am told she likes biographies. Can anyone recommend some good hard sf or biographies that might go over well?
posted by Karmakaze at 10:00 AM PST - 36 comments

Why is my UHF reception bad?
Last night I purchased a Television Antenna hoping for an inexpensive way to get local channels without having to pay a monthly bill. The antenna has both VHF and UHF receptors. The VHF (channels 2-13) work great, but the UHF (channels 14+) isn't giving me even a damned glitch of reception. There's no switch on the antenna itself, and there was no owner's manual included. Anyone know what could be going on? Is the fact that I live in a major metropolitan area going to affect my ability to receive UHF channels?
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:57 AM PST - 15 comments

Regional Fashion
What are unwritten rules of dress in different parts of the country? Is the Pacific Northwest really more lax than other regions? Why do the differences exist? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by jdroth at 8:50 AM PST - 38 comments

On what day do the 12 Days of Christmas actually begin?
When do the 12 days of Christmas actually begin?
posted by oh posey at 8:20 AM PST - 6 comments

How do I make sure I get the awesome shower I want?
I'm gutting a bathroom and getting a new shower installed (double-length). I know this is the only time in my life I'll ever get EXACTLY the shower I want, so I'm racking my brain trying to figure out what to build in there. So far I'm thinking, stereo speakers in the walls, two nozzles (one in front, one overhead). There must be something I'm leaving out. Help me prevent a "d'oh" moment two weeks after it's done -- what am I missing?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:05 AM PST - 27 comments

Quiz examples - reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda, fact from fiction
"The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda." (See link from here.) What are some examples of leading-edge science and/or technology that might illustrate the truth of this statement? [More inside] [more inside]
posted by ajr at 7:05 AM PST - 4 comments

How do you let someone know in public that their zipper is down?
What do you do if you see someone with their fly unzipped in public? I spotted a well-dressed man this morning on the subway with his fly down and I felt like I wanted to warn him before he headed into work. But what, if anything, should I say? XYZPDQ (examine your zipper pretty darn quick)? Something else?
posted by megnut at 7:02 AM PST - 31 comments

How do gaming console laser guns work?
You know the laser guns that various gaming consoles have - well how do they work exactly? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by kev23f at 6:17 AM PST - 12 comments

Safari. CSS rendering issue. Help!
Safari CSS rendering issue.

[more inside] [more inside]
posted by signal at 5:00 AM PST - 9 comments

What do builders use to check if something is level?
What the hell is that thing that builders use for checking something is level called? The ones with the yellow liquid, and the bubble that has to be between the lines. I can't for the life of me remember.
posted by Orange Goblin at 2:25 AM PST - 21 comments

December 11
Are Tablet PCs a passing gimmick or an emerging necessity?
Are Tablet PCs a passing gimmick or an emerging necessity? [More] [more inside]
posted by Hildago at 10:43 PM PST - 10 comments

Registering a Domain
I'm, finally, looking to register a (.com) domain of my own. What's a good, cheap, fair registrar? And any tips on registering without having hosting (and therefore dns) set up yet (maybe it's all self-explanatory)?
posted by Utilitaritron at 10:08 PM PST - 43 comments

Abortion Procedures
Looking for info on the process of abortion (ed: for a script)... [more inside] [more inside]
posted by dobbs at 9:59 PM PST - 6 comments

Writing Songs with MIDI
So, I've decided to start writing songs. What MIDI programs do people recommend for beginners who want to experiment with scoring multiple parts? Ease of use is more important than sound quality, but some room to grow would be nice, as well...
posted by ph00dz at 8:49 PM PST - 5 comments

Q Clearance
I'm up for an internship at an NNSA-sponsored national lab. The position requires a "Q" clearance. I'm starting to get all paranoid about every little thing I've ever done wrong, of course. Can anyone tell me what types of things would prevent one from obtaining a "Q" clearance?
posted by answergrape at 6:00 PM PST - 14 comments

How to access a blocked website at work
On the computer I use at work, there is one -- just one -- website that I cannot access. Any idea why and how to fix it? {more inside} [more inside]
posted by anastasiav at 5:51 PM PST - 21 comments

Software for song mixing (clean up recordings, slow/speed up, mix one song with another)? OSX if possible
I'd like to create some mixed audio CDs where I would literally slow down/speed up parts of the songs to merge them together as a DJ does. I'm mainly planning to make club/dance music mixes, although I may do some downtempo/chill mixes too.

I'd like to import some tracks in from vinyl and would do that via my mixer (i.e. I know not to do it directly from the turntable itself.)

Does anyone have any thoughts on the best software to do some simple editing (I hear there is software that can cut hiss and needle pops and whatnot) and then the mixing? I have both XP and OS X, but I'm thinking I would prefer to do this on the Mac.
posted by gen at 5:37 PM PST - 10 comments

What is this song in this commerical for the Toyota Echo?
What is the song/artist in this commercial for the Toyota Echo?
posted by srboisvert at 5:27 PM PST - 11 comments

I'm trying to find a copy of the theme to "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," a US import run on BBC in the 1980s.
For years I've been trying to find a copy of the theme to "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" a US import which ran on the BBC during the 1980s. Any ideas? [half remembered lyrics inside] [more inside]
posted by feelinglistless at 4:21 PM PST - 6 comments

How to parse unencoded ampersands in URLs in PHP?
How to parse unencoded ampersands in URLs in PHP with preg_replace() while excluding already-encoded ampersands? (more inside) [more inside]
posted by brownpau at 3:55 PM PST - 9 comments

Seeking advice about Bernese Mountain Dogs
My wife and I are thinking about getting a dog. We're specifically looking at Bernese Mountain Dogs and we're just starting to talk with breeders. We've heard that they're often inbred and can be aggressive--which is trouble with such a big dog. But everything we've read says they're gentle. Does anyone have experience with Berners?
posted by anonymous at 3:32 PM PST - 21 comments

How can I learn Japanese?
I've been studying Japanese at a college level for three years now and I think I have an intermediate knowledge of the language, sentence pattern and grammar wise, and an OK vocabulary, considering I don't speak it everyday. Aside from actually living in Japan, which isn't an option right now due to college and work commitments, what is the best way to learn Japanese, especially reading and writing Kanji? [more inside]
posted by SweetJesus at 3:31 PM PST - 16 comments

English-centric programming language
It occurs to me that much of the computer programming syntax I've learned is in the English tongue. HTML's "IMG SRC," for example, comes from "image source," no? Goto, end, top, etc. To what extent do programmers who speak other tongues use English in computer programming languages? Is there a Dutch version of html? Hewbrew localization of Perl? Or are computer languages yet another vehicle of the rapidly-becoming-ubiquitos English tongue?
posted by scarabic at 3:12 PM PST - 11 comments

Shaving and Skin Advice
What are some good shaving tips for men? And is there some technique or miracle product for getting rid of blackheads?
posted by malpractice at 2:59 PM PST - 46 comments

Beginning yoga tips
Everyone tells me I should do yoga, that their favorite thing on earth is yoga, and that yoga made all the bad things in their life good. My question is, how do I get started? Is there starter yoga? [more] [more inside]
posted by mathowie at 2:27 PM PST - 21 comments

I have an Apple iBook. Advice on getting an all-in-one scan/copy/print device for it?
I have an Apple iBook. Advice on getting an all-in-one scan/copy/print device for it? [more inside]
posted by rocketman at 1:56 PM PST - 8 comments

IMAP Email display
I need a simple PHP/Perl script that displays the subjects of the last 10 emails in my inbox via an IMAP connection. I'd like to use it as an include on a personal portal page. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by machaus at 1:03 PM PST - 8 comments

What does it mean to "eq" a recording?
When a musician or sound engineer refers to "eq'ing" a recording, what's he or she talking about?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:27 PM PST - 11 comments

How can I find the meaning to life?
Do you know what you want out of life? How do you know? How did you figure it out? What tools and techniques are available to figure out the meaning of your life?
posted by webword at 11:45 AM PST - 29 comments

Getting Exercise
What are your favorite ways of compensating physically for the hours of torture that are sitting in front of a computer? I find basketball, walking, and stretching to be very helpful, but it's not always easy to find the time.
posted by callmejay at 11:22 AM PST - 24 comments

explain to me all of the steps involved in e-commerce?
Can someone explain to me all of the steps involved in e-commerce? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by hijinx at 11:09 AM PST - 13 comments

Did I kill my system with a new CD-RW?
So, I bought a CD-RW a few weeks ago and figured I'd just slap it in my system at home. Took it home, cracked the box, put it in, plugged it up, and nothing. Now my monitor doesn't see my PC... all I get is the HDD light constantly on. It may be that it's loading the OS (Win XP Pro), but I've left it alone for a while, and the light stays on.

So, what'd I do? Any ideas? [Ask Mefi rules!]
posted by ajpresto at 11:05 AM PST - 21 comments

Find This Travelogue!
I've been searching for several years for a book, the plot (or perhaps plot is the wrong word, since it was non-fiction) of which I remember clearly, but the author and title of which I do not. [ more inside ] [more inside]
posted by jacquilynne at 10:49 AM PST - 10 comments

What's the best software for recording real audio streams and converting to mp3?
What's the best software for recording real audio streams and converting to mp3?
posted by echelon at 9:35 AM PST - 8 comments

Where can I find a good (eggless) apple pie in NYC?
They say there's nothing more American than apple pie, but I've yet to have a decent apple pie in NYC. Could you please help me find a good (eggless) apple pie in NYC?
posted by riffola at 9:18 AM PST - 16 comments

Looking for remote bookmark management across several PCs
Now that I have a Real Job, I'm stuck working between two home computers and two work computers, all Windows systems. Bookmark management has become a nightmare. I'm looking for some sort of remote management system where I can combine all my bookmarks and manage them in my webspace, so I can access them from anywhere. I'm up to about 1500 categorized bookmarks, so a mostly automated system would obviously be preferential. Any ideas?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:10 AM PST - 32 comments

How can we keep our cats from fighting?
Cat Trouble- my wife and I have two huge cats, each of whom grew up being the only game in town. They seem to live for combat. How can we keep them from clawing the hell out of each other? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by COBRA! at 8:30 AM PST - 20 comments

How can I purchase a copy of The Complete Writings of Donald Judd
Here's one for the rare art book crowd, of which I am not a member. There is a book called The Complete Writings of Donald Judd. I know because the Seattle Library lent it to me about a year ago. Unfortunately, the book came due and so it was returned, and it has since dropped out of the library's catalog.

Any rare book sleuths out there who can take me further than Google, Powells or Barnes and Noble? [more inside]
posted by tomharpel at 7:19 AM PST - 13 comments

I need a phone answering machine that will forward my messages via email
I need a phone answering machine that will forward my messages via email. If the email connection is down, it will have a way to play the messages mechanically like a normal answering machine (blinking red light, press play to hear messages). Other than building one from a Linux box, and not paying a monthly fee to a service, is there a commercial solution box available? [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 5:31 AM PST - 10 comments

Help me find this Bill Hicks video.
Any Bill Hicks fans here? For months i've been trying to track down a video of Bill Hicks' infamous 12th standup appearance on the David Letterman show in 1993, that was axed at the last minute and never shown. Does anyone know if it is available anywhere?
posted by derbs at 3:45 AM PST - 16 comments

Creating Flowcharts for the Web
Does anyone have any experience with creating flowcharts for the web? I have been kicking around a number of ways to implement one and none of them are very optimal. I'd be happy with any solution that doesn't require .pdfs, huge bandwidth-sucking graphics, or crazymaking nested tables for layout, but darned if I can come up with one for myself. Thoughts? Suggestions? Sympathies and commiserations?
posted by Dreama at 1:51 AM PST - 8 comments

Is anyone keeping an updated list of "referral spam"-vertized websites?
Is anyone keeping an updated list of "referral spam"-vertized websites? My referrer logs are being overrun - it's hard to keep up with all the new spammer sites that seem to pop up.
posted by jca at 1:43 AM PST - 9 comments

December 10
What sort of internet should I get if I can't get broadband cable?
It's possible I may be moving and [ugh] to a location that does not have broadband cable access [/ugh].

This all is only in the infancy stages, and may very well not come to fruition (pending mortgage) but from what I've gathered, there isn't any broadband connections there that I can discover.

Am I overlooking anything? Someone suggested I attempt accessing via AOL Broadband, but I'm clueless to AOL and cringe even posting those three letters in a Meta thread, albeit Ask Meta.
posted by bluedaniel at 10:50 PM PST - 42 comments

Should I Buy This Karman Ghia?
I've just moved out to san fran and feel like i need a convertible. found a sweet little Karman Ghia for 5 grand. Has anybody had any experience with these good/bad/ugly?

oh, and how long has ask metafilter been here? (pretty damn cool)
posted by NGnerd at 9:23 PM PST - 14 comments

How and when did you first learn about Discordianism?
How and when did you first learn about Discordianism?
posted by oissubke at 9:18 PM PST - 12 comments

Can I fake a fixed IP address?
Can I fake a fixed IP address? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by dg at 9:10 PM PST - 16 comments

Extending my network.
I have a Linksys 4 port Cable/DSL router, and two computers. I am having a LAN party tonight with one or two more machines, but I can't move the router to another room, where my friends will be. I'm not too worried about lost packets, am I able to use a 100TX hub (intel) while keeping the internet gateway and be able to see all my computers?
posted by Keyser Soze at 7:57 PM PST - 7 comments

Encyclopedia recommendations for a bright 10 year old
Where can I find an Encyclopedia of Electricity for a very bright, engineering-oriented ten-year-old? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by soyjoy at 7:44 PM PST - 18 comments

In HTML documents, how can I get list bullets to display as list bullets again?
For some reason bullets are no longer being displayed as they're supposed to, black dots. Instead they look like some arabic character. [screen grab inside]
posted by Grod at 6:41 PM PST - 10 comments

Why does Outlook convert an ellipsis to a question mark?
Why does Outlook convert an ellipsis (...) to a question mark (?) ? This is happening on outgoing emails -- I only can tell it's happening when people reply to me and I see the email I sent in the body of their reply. It does not appear in the saved copy on my machine. I use Word as my email text editor.
posted by bowline at 5:19 PM PST - 4 comments

What should I know about switching from Windows to a Mac?
So I'm finally going to do it. I'm finally going to make the switch. After using PCs for many years I've got my sight set on a shiny new 1.25Ghz 15" PowerBook.

Does anyone have any warnings / suggestions / stories that they'd like to share about their switch? [more inside]
posted by bshort at 5:02 PM PST - 39 comments

Are there PVRs that link to free TV listings and have no monthly fees?
If I don't want to pay a monthly fee for a PVR service or build one from scratch are there any pre-built PVRs that link to free services for TV listings.
posted by davidwg at 4:30 PM PST - 15 comments

Getting broadband and wifi: what equipment should I get, etc?
So I'm about to take the plunge (finally!) into broadband 'Net access. What's even more exciting for me is that I get to play with this WiFi stuff I hear so much about. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by Vidiot at 4:18 PM PST - 14 comments

Finding an Electrician
How do I find a good electrician and how much should I expect to pay for small projects? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by mathowie at 3:45 PM PST - 18 comments

Sharing Holidays
I'm recently engaged and my fiancée and I are stuck between families. Ideally we could see both sets of family for Christmas but geography rules it out.

How do you handle sharing the holidays with a minimum of stress or hurt feelings? Rotating, where you go to one house on one year and the other house the next year? Split each holiday into halves and see both each year? Any ideas?
posted by jmevius at 2:23 PM PST - 19 comments

Where are the best places online to buy a new car stereo in-dash receiver?
I am in the market for a new car stereo in-dash receiver, and I was wondering what the best method of buying one would be, and where the best places on the Web to purchase might be? I only want to purchase an in-dash receiver with MP3 capability (no pre-amps, etc.), but I'm also interested in a system that I can plug a portable MP3 player into if necessary. I am looking to spend under $250 total for a receiver. [more inside]
posted by timothompson at 1:29 PM PST - 12 comments

Physics Homework
Ok, its homework help time! You'll probably groan at me to do the work myself, but believe me, I am. I'm just a little short of time, and textbooks and Google are not helping me. I'm analysing the data collected from my Physics coursework, and realised I need to know: Is the coefficient of restitution of two particles a measure of the percentage of kinetic energy retained after a collision? Or is it the energy lost? Or something else entirely?
posted by Orange Goblin at 1:13 PM PST - 8 comments

I need some ideas for Frugal Christmas decorations.
I need some ideas for Frugal Christmas decorations. We're quite strapped this year (due to unexpectedly having to move when our landlord sold our rental house out from under us), and buying a tree would mean cutting into the meager budget for the children's presents. We're forgoing presents for ourselves or anyone else, or at least delaying them until the new year when our financial situation will be better. I have lights, ornaments, garland and such from years past, but what can I do with them with no tree to put them on? Does anyone know how I could cheaply make some sort of a tree-like thing for hanging the ornaments on? Or some sort of way to display them? I only want something 3 or 4 feet high that I could put in my bay window.
posted by Shoeburyness at 12:46 PM PST - 30 comments

what the hell does the phrase "the human spirit" actually mean?
what the hell does the phrase "the human spirit" actually mean? is it just a term created by publishers and marketing departments to sell material or does it imply something more?
posted by Stynxno at 12:40 PM PST - 9 comments

Cool Cameras
I know about the Lomo & the colorful, high-contrast photos it produces, heard about the light leaks and sometimes questionable lens quality of the Holga, and seen some of the stuff Heather has been doing with her pinhole camera. Are there any other fun/odd cameras that I should be considering?
posted by jkottke at 12:12 PM PST - 14 comments

Compact digital camera recommendations
My wife's B-day is coming up on the 15th.
She wants a nice digital camera.
Since I am always stuck on the fact I have to purchase her a nice B-day gift, followed immediately by purchasing her an even nicer Christmas gift, I am asking your advice about digital cameras that won't be more than the $500 range.

She wants a good quality one. But she also wants a smaller one that fits into her purse. I am going to go check out some buyer guides, but I thought I might ask people's advice on a good one to make her happy.
posted by Seth at 12:00 PM PST - 8 comments

What's a great Christmas gift that can't be guessed in 20 questions?
Christmas is coming, and to my brother and me that means one thing: The Dreaded 20 Questions Gift. About 5 years ago, my mother started this trend of giving everyone a small gift wrapped in tissue paper. The object is to guess what the gift is based only on touch and the answers to Yes or No questions. (And you can't open any other gifts until you guess what it is. Sometimes this goes on for HOURS!) My brother and I hate it, because our mother is a whiz at getting fantastic gifts, and we can never find anything worthy. This year I'm determined to best her. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by emptybowl at 11:12 AM PST - 30 comments

Digital Audio Recording
I'm thinking about doing a bit of home recording & have been pondering 4-tracks & the like for a few weeks. Lately, though, I've been thinking it'd make more sense to do it all digitally through my computer & not worry about tapes & stuff. Given the need for hardware and software, what can fellow MeFites recommend that might set me back less than, say, $300?
posted by zempf at 10:36 AM PST - 11 comments

Communities
I am writing a term paper right now on Virtual Community (surprise - I am using MeFi as my case study!). Can I ask people here if they consider MeFi to be a 'real' community? Why or why not? (Interpret 'real' as you will). Also, any links to prior MeTa discussion on this topic would be grrreat. Thanks!
posted by Quartermass at 10:34 AM PST - 11 comments

Help me sleep before an exam
Law school final exams are here! The key is analysis and clarity rather than rote memorization, so rest and concentration are ideal. But I'm a complete insomniac. What's the best way to ensure 8 hours of sleep before a 9 AM exam? Chemical solutions (over the counter), while not preferred, are OK unless there is a chance that they will interfere with mental ability the next morning.
posted by PrinceValium at 9:51 AM PST - 26 comments

Design for greymatter site?
I'm not sure how this will go over, but I figured I'd ask. I've grown out of my livejournal and am looking to set up something using greymatter. I have the web space, and decided how I will focus my writing. The only problem now is the design. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by FunkyHelix at 8:46 AM PST - 14 comments

Winter Skin
It's indoor heating season for many of us. Has anyone conquered really dry skin? How? I'm dying here!
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:40 AM PST - 34 comments

What is the (price no object) ideal computer set-up?
I married into a large family. Our favourite nephew will be 18 on the 19th of January 2004. He's computer-mad and savvy enough to fulfill all our needs. We've all agreed (around 40 relatives) we'll chip in to give him the best system that has ever been had. We need to know what's the best possible combination of computer; printer; broadband connection for someome who's passionate and obsessed. What is the (price no object) ideal set-up?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:48 AM PST - 25 comments

iBook Clamshell Mode
AskAppleFilter Is there any way of shutting my iBook without it going to sleep? Specifically I want to play music via iTunes with the li' puppy shut up snug.
posted by i_cola at 6:31 AM PST - 13 comments

Shopping Surprises
While chasing down a $16 dollar copy of $30 Film School, I learned Half.com
has been doing business with Reservation Rewards.

In spite of ignoring the offer to join the service, I may still end up becoming
an "instant member", as shoppers on buy.com and other sites have.

Anyone else discover any suprises while shopping for the holidays?
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:16 AM PST - 6 comments

Experience of health care plans and life insurance please.
From the insurance dilemma department.....I'm leaving my [much despised] job this month and have been shopping for an individual health insurance policy. What. A. Jungle. Anyone here ever heard of/know about healthcareadvantageplans.com or this "insurance alternative"? I'm not sure I understand how these beasties work.

Signed, clueless. [more inside]
posted by yoga at 5:37 AM PST - 11 comments

Christmas Gift Theme Ideas
Christmas gifts: I'm doing another theme present for my SO this year. Previous efforts have included the five senses (taste: choc, smell: perfume, sound: music, touch: jewellery and so on) and the original elements (wind fire water earth).

Now I need more famous groupings of things. Can anyone help?
posted by bonaldi at 5:36 AM PST - 23 comments

Adobe Director technical question.
This might be a little too specific, but does anyone know of a method to force a CD drive to spin continuously while running a Director app? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by backOfYourMind at 5:22 AM PST - 8 comments

Seeking open source software resources (case studies, advice) for web design and consulting
I'd like to move my web design and consulting business to running on completely open source software. Any penguins have any good case studies, papers, blog posts or advice on making the switch?
posted by will at 4:42 AM PST - 12 comments

December 9
Online Portfolios for K12
A K-12 school I am involved in wants to be able to publish digital portfolios of student work on the web. As to additional functionality (i.e. Commenting on work, Blogging) I'm open to proposals. Since the budget doesn't allow us to pay someone to hack apache and write code we're looking for an out of the box solution. I believe that Userland's Manila would let me do this at least in part - are there any other solutions I can be looking at?
posted by dhacker at 11:19 PM PST - 5 comments

Getting Started with Self-Employment
Are you self employed, or a small business owner? If so, what do you do, and how did you get started?
posted by oissubke at 10:09 PM PST - 21 comments

Kennedy portrait
Why is Kennedy looking down in his Official White House portrait? A friend of mine asked me this and it's driving me crazy. I can't find the answer anywhere, although I did discover that the painting was done in 1970 by Aaron Shikler, so my guess is that he is looking down because it was painted after his death, but of course I can't find a definite answer anywhere.
posted by banished at 7:39 PM PST - 9 comments

How can I get one of these eyeball webcams without reading Japanese?
For obvious reasons, I want this. The problem is that I don't read Japanese. I've tried Google, but searching "eyeball webcam" doesn't really narrow down results.

Is there a caring, Japan residing MeFite that can help me accomplish this goal?
posted by eyeballkid at 6:08 PM PST - 20 comments

Tutorial for Implementing eCard Functionality on Website?
I've been asked to install an 'e-card' function on a friend's website. I've never really used or sent them, so it's unfamiliar. Would anyone be able to recommend a good tutorial?
posted by moonbird at 4:12 PM PST - 3 comments

Sending a WebCam to Australia
To those Australian Mefites, a question: I want to send a friend of mine who lives in Brisbane a webcam. To send it from Canada is not only costly but very time consuming. Could anybody suggest some ideas regarding ordering it online from an Australian company and having them send it?
posted by ashbury at 2:15 PM PST - 7 comments

Should I join the military, and if so, which branch?
I went into an Army recruitment center, got 79 out of 99 on a pre-test, and I was told by a sergeant that I could be doing intelligence for the military.

What should I do? I don't even have a High School diploma, and im getting my GED right now. They told me that if my scores are high enough it shouldn't matter. Should I do the Air Force instead? I want to have a great career, and this feels like a good start. Help!
posted by Keyser Soze at 2:03 PM PST - 52 comments

Good, inexpensive digital camera
What's the best digital camera in the $200-$300 range? Picture quality is the most important criteria for me, compactness #2. I have a lot of experience with traditional SLR photography and hate to not use my Nikon, but the quality /price ratio for digicams is finally getting reasonable (and the price of film development is getting worse by the day). Any advice would be much appreciated.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 1:42 PM PST - 27 comments

Tips for building some sort of blogging application from scratch
I'm well and truly sick of hand-coding my website, and so it's about time I got myself some sort of blogging application. Because I'm a contrary type, though, I'd quite like to have a go at building it myself. What do you think - is there any point at all in my trying this? If there is, should I do it using PHP to edit an RSS file? And what features would you include if you were starting from scratch?
posted by calico at 1:32 PM PST - 25 comments

Unions
If a union challenges your previously non-union position and wins, now making your job the only union position in the immediate office, what can you do about it? Can you really be forced to work a union position if that's not how the job was presented to you 4 years ago when you took it?
posted by nramsey at 1:20 PM PST - 10 comments

MetaTalk/Blogroots - killing the conversation
Why did closing off weblog-related MetaTalk content and moving to the dedicated Blogroots seem to kill the conversation? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by adam at 12:46 PM PST - 15 comments

Hot Coffee vs Iced Coffee
This comment by furiousthought reminded me of a coffee question for which I have never been able to get a sufficient answer. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by anathema at 12:10 PM PST - 24 comments

MP3 Player
Can anyone recommend an MP3 player that meets ALL the following requirements? 1. At least 512MB of capacity 2. FM tuner 3. Under 60 grams 4. Costs under $200 5. Driver-less "pen drive" functionality, a.k.a. mounts as a volume, no software required to load files. [more] [more inside]
posted by scarabic at 11:36 AM PST - 19 comments

eating healthy on a small budget
Hope this isn't too stupid: I want to eat more healthy foods. I have a very small food budget. Any ideas? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by eilatan at 11:26 AM PST - 44 comments

MeFi Playgroup in NYC?
I am a little uncertain if this question fits the new mold of AskMeFi, but if it works, I'll toss $100 into the site hat in gratitude.... We are expecting our first child in June, and live in NYC. We want to start or join a Manhattan playgroup, but think a mefi-community playgroup would be about the coolest thing ever. So, my question to AskMeFI is: Are there any MeFi-ites in NYC with a baby due in '04 who'd like to start a playgroup with us?
posted by limitedpie at 9:51 AM PST - 4 comments

Quirky mp3 file format issue preventing a Linksys media adapter from seeing the files.
Quirky mp3 file format issue more inside [more inside]
posted by jonson at 9:37 AM PST - 9 comments

What am I missing about Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver?
Quicksilver. What am I missing? (more)
posted by heather at 9:18 AM PST - 16 comments

What's the best GigE networked storage device?
Anyone have any thoughts about the best GigE networked storage device? Should I roll my own? I have a hybrid environment (XP and OS X) and right now I backup the Powerbook with a Firewire HDD, but was thinking that networked storage would be best, but Firewire beats 100baseT Ethernet by 4X. My Powerbook supports GigE and I could add a GigE card to my XP machine for $50. Run some Cat 6. Replace my 10/100 router with a 10/100/1000 router. Is there such a thing as GigE networked storage for consumers?
posted by gen at 8:17 AM PST - 4 comments

What is Ask MetaFilter?
MetaFilter 2.0 - Ask MetaFilter is born. What is Ask MetaFilter? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:50 AM PST - 42 comments

Basic HTML Training
I need to put together a quick (1 day) training course in html for customer service\marketing types (i.e. people with absolutely NO html experience) How did you learn html? Can you recommend a site that you found helpful?
posted by lilboo at 7:45 AM PST - 20 comments

Graphics card problems on an old PC
My machine is a dinosaur (Win 2K, 700Mhz processor,) and after installing a new graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce2 MX/MX 400, 64MG), I'm having bizarro problems that never happened when I was just using the factory (ATI Rage Pro, 32MG) installed card... (more inside) [more inside]
posted by headspace at 7:17 AM PST - 9 comments

What camera should I get for video editing and production?
I was thinking of getting into video editing and production. I want to do it on the PC because I can get the equipment cheaper, and I want to do it at minimal cost but professional quality. I am looking at Adobe Premiere for video editing. My biggest question, though, is what camera should I get? I was looking at the Canon XL1S, but I also saw an ad in Wired for a JVC GR-HD1... which is better and why? Or is there another alternative camera I should get?
posted by banished at 3:41 AM PST - 11 comments

December 8
Next steps for beginner digital photog?
I'm finally getting the hang of taking nice digital photos with my Coolpix 4500, especially now that I've got a tripod that has put an end to months of blurry indoor photos. My question is this: For an digital photographer wannabe, what's the next step? Telephoto lens, maybe?
posted by oissubke at 10:08 PM PST - 26 comments

Projection TVs
Anyone know a good resource/faq for projector TVs? I want to get one but know zip about them (how big a wall do I need, how dark does it have to be, how big does the room (throw?) have to be, what's the cheapest one I can get that's still half decent, etc?).
posted by dobbs at 10:06 PM PST - 3 comments

Online Stock Quotes
Stock quotes. No, not like "We don't need no steenkin' badges," the current price of a given stock. I need to put a little box on a page that will update (when refreshed) with current quotes for, say, five different specific stocks. This has got to be easy. Anybody got a free javascript lying around to do this? And if that's ridiculously simple, what about plotting the five specific stocks against each other over time?
posted by soyjoy at 9:18 PM PST - 6 comments

Is it possible to direct certain groups of sounds from my computer to multiple destinations?
Is it possible to direct sound from my computer to multiple destinations? In other words, I'd like to listen to MP3s (Winamp) through speakers positioned various places in my home, but I also want users of the computer to be able to hear system sounds, game sounds, etc. (and have those sounds NOT output to the remote speakers). Can I use two sound cards for this, and assign various software to output to the appropriate card? I'm on XP pro and I like long walks on the beach.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:47 PM PST - 10 comments

Where to direct people about scams and spam?
When administering websites and email accounts for the average Jose (hinternet tourists, the lot of them), what's a good FAQ to cc: to them for information on spam and scams?
posted by brownpau at 8:39 PM PST - 2 comments

I need good new places to go around San Diego for wildlife / nature photos.
I need a new photo destination. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:05 PM PST - 18 comments

Car Repair?
Ok mefi gear heads, riddle me this: how can you tell if a timing belt has been replaced? [more inside]
posted by Hackworth at 7:50 PM PST - 10 comments

Help me understand Perl.
What exactly is Perl? I've recently acquired a domain and am interested in server-side programming. The problem is that I have no experience and it's difficult as hell to find a reliable resource for beginners (minus any quick scripts). Any help would be most appreciated.
posted by poopy at 6:47 PM PST - 28 comments

Started My Own Blog: Need Advice on CSS, Non-FTP Updating & Automated Archiving
I'm in the process of starting my own weblog (it launched on Thursday). I can write pretty decent basic HTML by hand (in notepad), but CSS wrestled me to the ground and stepped on my head and a lot of tech jargon passes me right by (I'm a designer and a writer, not a programer, I guess). What advice does Metafilter have for me? [more inside]
posted by anastasiav at 2:22 PM PST - 35 comments

SVG - amazing, yet not popular?
Why are there almost no SVG links from the Metafilter Community? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by meikel at 2:20 PM PST - 15 comments

Questions about HDTV
I've got some HDTV questions [more inside]
posted by mathowie at 1:31 PM PST - 28 comments

Your favorite DVD commentary tracks?
What are your favorite DVD commentary tracks?
posted by Prospero at 1:28 PM PST - 51 comments