Questions in the Grab Bag category.
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October 6

What is a collateral holder?

I stayed at a hotel in Washington, DC and there was a minibar in my room. The minibar menu listed overpriced little bottles of liquor and snacks and also a "collateral holder" for $45. But what is it? [more inside]
posted by The Giant Rat of Sumatra at 11:55 AM - 10 answers

October 5

Decent autism blogs/tumblrs/etc?

Having recently accepted that my ASD will not go away, and looking to engage a little bit more with it, can you recommend any regular fixtures (regular articles, blogs, tumblrs, books possibly) that are written from an autistic perspective? [more inside]
posted by solarion at 5:25 PM - 6 answers

Uncrunchy care package?

My boyfriend is working away from home for three more weeks. Home is Maine, away is Missouri. He is sick and sad. I would like to send him a care package. Complication: Missing teeth. [more inside]
posted by pintapicasso at 10:48 AM - 8 answers

October 4

What is this symbol? (on a train at a museum)

My mom took this picture of a train at a museum in Maryland today -- is it a rail company logo?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:14 AM - 5 answers

October 3

Do you know this cat?

I am wondering if anyone knows anything about these ceramic cats. [more inside]
posted by sadtomato at 6:00 PM - 4 answers

October 2

International Trade issues

I need to write a very long paper in this area but am grasping at straws before I've started. [more inside]
posted by kinoeye at 9:52 PM - 4 answers

ISO extreme cleverness: Ensure that someone doesn't open presents early?

If I give someone a pile of 10 presents, to be opened individually at various later dates, can you think of a clever method by which I can ensure that they don't cheat, and open them whenever they want? [more inside]
posted by Jack Karaoke at 9:28 PM - 24 answers

The Young Doctors

The doctors in NHS hospitals all seem so young. Where are the older doctors? [more inside]
posted by popcassady at 2:00 PM - 4 answers

Invest In A Beautiful Metal Dog

Why does this ad for Oppenheimer Funds have a futuristic robot dog in it? [more inside]
posted by theodolite at 11:54 AM - 14 answers

October 1

Avoiding the coke bottle look: do I need high index lenses?

Ordering new glasses. Should I spring for high index 1.67 lenses over polycarbonate? [more inside]
posted by geegollygosh at 4:40 PM - 13 answers

Klassik Metal \m/

In a fit of nostalgia I'm putting together a playlist of 'definitive' metal (ish) cuts. Only one song allowed per band/artist and it has to epitomise what they were about, the distilled essence of the band's sound if you will... [more inside]
posted by Rufus T. Firefly at 12:20 PM - 29 answers

Please help me entertain my sick friend

I have a friend who's going through a really tough chemotherapy regimen and can't leave the house much, so she's bored to tears. I'm collecting some light entertainment to send her over the next few months, both for at home and for the hours of chemo. [more inside]
posted by randomnity at 10:10 AM - 15 answers

What's a good UK specific gift for an American dog?

My friend lives in the US and has a dog. Said dog is pretty awesome, I'd like to give him a gift. I'm looking for something he'd like, food or otherwise, that is UK specific. Any ideas?
posted by gadha at 5:34 AM - 9 answers

September 30

How to encourage effort, self-discipline, excellence in children?

My daughter is 5 and starting kindergarten and music lessons. I cannot lie: in these and her future...I dunno, endeavors I guess you would call them, I want her to do well. I want her to put effort in and take pleasure in her efforts. But I don't know how to foster this in her and it's time I started figuring it out. [more inside]
posted by kitcat at 1:27 PM - 32 answers

What was this "monster" math game from the early 2000s called?

As I was using Picmonic for gross anatomy, I was reminded of a computer game our sixth-grade math class played back in 2002 or 2003. The main characters were "monsters", and to advance in the game, you had to answer math-related questions. I seem to remember the name of the game starting with "Z"? I could have sworn it was "Zoonies", but the only results I get are for a Nintendo DS game. Our computers were Macs.
posted by Seeking Direction at 10:13 AM - 5 answers

September 29

Painting a Paper Mache Costume in Bad Weather

I've created a paper mache Darth Vader helmet for my son, and it needs only painting...but the weather's supposed to be rainy for the next few days, and he needs it for Friday. [more inside]
posted by Dr.Enormous at 8:02 AM - 6 answers

Why Do We Change As The Day Progresses?

Why do our expectations and ambitions tend to be so different first thing in the morning vs mid-afternoon vs last thing at night - e.g. "I have so much to achieve!" vs "I'm just busy doing some things!" vs "it can wait till tomorrow!" Is it really as simple as energy level, depleting as the day progresses? Why does this change how important things seem to us? Can our outlook at different times of the day be "reprogrammed"? And why do we tend to be delusional to these changes occuring at all (and daily)?
posted by forallmankind at 4:19 AM - 7 answers

September 28

Unlocking My Previous AT&T Phone

I just bought an unlocked iPhone 6S, and am using it with AT&T (I'm currently off-contract with them entirely). I need to get AT&T to unlock my previous phone (iPhone 5C) so I can sell it to a friend who's on Verizon. Problem is, the 5C shows "no service", because AT&T (correctly) thinks the 6S is the phone for the account. [more inside]
posted by Quisp Lover at 10:07 AM - 17 answers

September 26

Whom do you trust with your shoes and how? (West L.A. edition)

Time to give my leather boots some TLC. Recommendations for a good cobbler in LA, and tips for navigating the brave new world of shoe repair? Details below the fold. [more inside]
posted by Goblin Barbarian at 4:18 PM - 3 answers

September 25

Remembering a sci-fi book

Trying to remember a hard sci-fi book about FTL travel. [more inside]
posted by k5.user at 12:11 PM - 8 answers

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