Questions in the Grab Bag category.
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February 8

A cat shelter. But for art.

I paint. It's therapeutic. Now I have a large number of paintings (well, and collage and mixed-media etc) and nothing in particular to do with them. I don't dislike them; I've hung some on the walls. But there's a lot of them, and it's kind of hard for me to outright destroy any. I'm considering selling some just to get them out of the house, but I have no idea how to do so. [more inside]
posted by Acheman at 10:24 AM - 19 answers

February 7

New Englanders want to see the sun

My husband and I live in New England and we want to move to a warmer location. We are in the brainstorming stage. We'd love to hear of places that tick our boxes. [more inside]
posted by pintapicasso at 9:15 AM - 27 answers

February 6

Custom-made plastic (?) dividers in Toronto or Canada?

I own a record shop and am tired of paying high prices (and insane shipping) for plastic record dividers that invariably break. I think I can get someone to cut or create me my own but have no idea what the technical terms are that I need to search in order to find a company to do it. I'm in Toronto and would like to meet with someone locally. What should I be googling? Thanks.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 6:00 PM - 7 answers

Why do well-known celebrities do commercials?

Why does Samuel L. Jackson do Capitol One commercials? Why did Shatner do Priceline ads? And I just saw Mario Lopez in a toe fungus treatment spot. Do they really need the money? Especially Shatner, who I imagine has tons of residuals from Star Trek. Other specific examples appreciated, the more ridiculous the product and well-known the celebrity the better.
posted by desjardins at 4:02 PM - 31 answers

February 5

Is this double glazing?

Help me, AskMe hivemind. Can you identify, from the linked pictures alone, whether the windows shown are single or double glazed? Can you tell me how to demonstrate it to someone else, either way? [more inside]
posted by howfar at 8:23 AM - 14 answers

February 4

Cut my ball

I have a large acrylic hamster ball I would like to cut in half. I can remove the lid to rest the sphere on a flat surface, but I would like to my cut to be parallel to the flat side, not perpendicular (like this). What's the best way to do this? The cut doesn't have to be super-precise, but the cleaner the better. [more inside]
posted by btfreek at 1:14 AM - 13 answers

February 3

in through the other door

Why do retail establishments that have two swinging doors (that you have to pull to open) usually have one locked? [more inside]
posted by dawkins_7 at 6:49 PM - 11 answers

February 2

Landlord appears to be looking for pretexts to evict me, what to do?

I live in a rent-controlled apartment in the Bay Area. Since I moved in 5-6 years ago, rents have gone up by about 50%. Last year a property management company bought the building, and they clearly want me out. First they tried to buy me off, now they've sent me a bogus warning about how smoking in the apartment (which I don't do) is grounds for eviction. How do I make this stop? [more inside]
posted by zeri at 4:07 PM - 32 answers

Smoke cigs, get free stuff?!

Back in the 1980s and 90s, my Dad used to collect cigarette coupons which got exchanged for free stuff (the arrival of the catalogue was much anticipated! ). Does anyone remember how the scheme operated (I.e how much coupons were worth) and in particular, when the scheme ended? I am particularly interested to know whether this was before the advertising of cigarettes was banned in the UK. Thanks!
posted by threetwentytwo at 9:58 AM - 21 answers

February 1

Too Many Books

My five year old is fascinated by Early Humans! Yay! Now which books do I buy? [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom at 2:12 AM - 4 answers

January 30

Looking for sites or books like Cosma Shalizi's notebooks

I really like the short explanations and exhaustive trove of links found in Cosma Shalizi's notebooks. Are there any other similar sites or books out there? [more inside]
posted by reenum at 4:26 PM - 1 answers

January 29

Making sugar scrub favors with canola oil?

I'm trying to save money, and making sugar scrub favors with canola oil is SO much cheaper than coconut, sunflower, safflower, or olive oils. Is this a bad idea? I can't seem to find many blog posters who use canola oil, but it's a fraction of the price. I'd like to avoid any disasters like rotting, but I also don't want to break the bank.
posted by onecircleaday at 3:44 PM - 5 answers

Your weight and fortune, 25 cents

I can't have a scale in my home, I don't have one at the gym, and it's not feasible to drop by my doctor's office. But once in a while I'd like to know my weight. Where in NYC is there a coin-op weight-and-fortune machine? (I used to go to the Musée Mécanique for this.) It's best if it's a minor hassle to travel to, so I'll consider all NYC locations.
posted by blnkfrnk at 6:53 AM - 13 answers

January 28

Kid "working" at major chain store, should I do something?

There's a local petco where every other weekend I've gone in, I see a small girl cleaning tanks and sweeping floors and stuff. I've talked to her, and one of the managers of the store is her dad, and on his visitation weekends, he makes her stay at the store for multiple shifts at a time, doing things like cleaning out cages. She's there so often that customers know her name. She's not being paid, by either her dad or the store. This weekend I stopped her from leaving with a sketchy customer who wanted her "help" getting something from his car. [more inside]
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 1:22 PM - 92 answers

Help me find the perfect everyday crossbody bag?

I'm looking for a smallish, durable crossbody bag with lots of pockets, a wide strap, and a not-overtly feminine appearance that nonetheless isn't an army surplus store special, and won't set me back more than, say, $60. Does such a thing exist? [more inside]
posted by aecorwin at 10:17 AM - 25 answers

Two hours a day in the car. What else should I be doing?

I spend two hours a day in a car, alone, commuting. Podcasts, Pandora, Spotify, books on tape, language learning, Kegels. What the hell else could I be doing? [more inside]
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:45 AM - 28 answers

January 27

I may be bad, but I'm perfectly good at it.

What are your favorite songs with explicit references to kink, BDSM, or power exchange dynamics? [more inside]
posted by woodvine at 12:56 PM - 75 answers

ISO confident, easygoing male role models

Looking for some examples of male role models who are confident but not arrogant. Basically "good guys" who are secure in their masculinity. I prefer people who are still alive, around 30-60 years old, and well-known (e.g. no scientists that no one outside of their field has heard of). They can be fictional as long as they're in movies or TV, not books. Chris Pratt comes to mind - not particularly suave exactly, but he comes off as very secure and genuine.
posted by desjardins at 6:28 AM - 80 answers

January 26

Great Moments in Obscure 19th Century Italian History

I’m trying to fact-check an anecdote that I’ve come across in the course of a research project, and coming up short. In a nutshell: did King Umberto I of Italy ever visit Paris at any point between 1889 and his assassination in 1900? The anecdote suggests that he did, but my (admittedly limited) understanding of French-Italian relations at the time suggests that this is unlikely.
posted by fizzyliftingdrink at 11:38 AM - 1 answers

Fancy Spa Day: Chicago Edition

My mother is having a milestone birthday, so I am trying to find a way of making the day fancy and indulgent and special. Difficulty level: Chicago, in the worst part of winter. [more inside]
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 8:54 AM - 12 answers

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