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September 8

Children learning to read too early: is this a thing?
My mom says I shouldn't really encourage my just-turning-4-year-old daughter to read too soon because she'll just get bored in school. I hadn't thought of this. Is there possibly some truth to this? [more inside]
posted by kitcat at 10:46 AM - 89 answers

September 7

Would there be any way of knowing if dinosaurs had a civilization?
How would we know if dinosaurs (or some other species) achieved sentience and civilization millions of years ago? 65 million years is a long time, would a civilization with a, say, 10,000 lifespan even be noticeable in the geologic record? What if they only reached 19th century technology and didn't use nuclear power or plastic?
posted by blahblahblah at 2:36 PM - 17 answers

The "Brewster's Millions"-of-small-Internet-tasks scenario
Do you have ideas for useful or interesting things I can do using 73 online tasks with Fancy Hands in the next two weeks? [more inside]
posted by deathmarch to epistemic closure at 8:08 AM - 4 answers

September 6

Take the 5 to the 5 and then just stay on the 5.
I've noticed that it's been a trend since at least the 90's to complain about the Californians moving to your city and buying up all the property at inflated rates. But is this really a real thing? [more inside]
posted by annie o at 8:51 PM - 14 answers

2 year old son loves numbers - how can I nurture his talent?
My 2 year old son loves numbers. He can count by himself well into the 50s and can tell you what number he's looking at to at least as high as 110. As for me, well, numbers and I have never been the best of friends. How can I, a numbers-adverse dad, encourage and nurture his talent? [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:13 PM - 23 answers

September 5

Help identify short story about poor inner-city Hispanic art student
Hi, My friend and I read this story in elementary school and cannot remember the title. [more inside]
posted by watermelon at 8:24 PM - 0 answers

Help me name 7 conference rooms
I need to name 7 conference rooms. I've seen the threads with the really funny names but these have to work with stodgy overlords. [more inside]
posted by special-k at 10:48 AM - 63 answers

September 4

Words in books.
I want to give a great kid a couple of books. Not sure what to write in them. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee at 9:54 AM - 11 answers

But... I maked these!
Do people actually appreciate getting hand made knitted items, or are they mostly just annoying gifts? What knitted items would you actually appreciate receiving? [more inside]
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 8:43 AM - 93 answers

September 3

What is this savage and beautiful kitchen utensil?
My wife bought this at an estate sale here in Austin, from a box of kitchen utensils. If it's a kitchen utensil too, what is it used for? If not, what purpose could it serve but the violent ones that come to mind, perchance? And are there other tools made with this grace you could turn us on to? ("JAPAN" is stamped in the metal.)
posted by rleamon at 8:38 PM - 5 answers

Looking for a choir to join in Toronto!
I just moved (back) to Toronto, and am looking to meet new people and have some fun by joining a choir! I’m located on Bathurst and Bloor, so something in the downtown Toronto area would be nice! [more inside]
posted by tickingclock at 10:19 AM - 5 answers

crack is wack
The casing of my hair dryer has cracked and a chunk of it fell out. What's the easiest way to repair it? [more inside]
posted by thereemix at 6:28 AM - 11 answers

September 2

Who said: "Our tradition is: We shoot cannibals"?
I told this story, which I believe to be a true story, to my son recently. He would like to source it. I have no idea how to find it. I have done some googling but I don't have names or dates or anything to go on. Please hope me. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 1:30 PM - 8 answers

What are some settings for playful, raucous group shots?
What is a great setting for a staged picture that can have between 8 and 20 people doing fun things and that is NOT a workplace? Example and details inside. [more inside]
posted by arniec at 11:41 AM - 11 answers

August 31

International Prototype Metre Bar Replica
I want an International Prototype Metre bar. Actually, I'd settle for half-meter long bar (or maybe something scaled down to a manageable size?) with a Tresca cross-section, but I can't seem to find anything like this online. Any suggestions for where I could find something like this?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:19 PM - 5 answers

Translation for Japanese songs
I recently went through some of my music from late 90s-early 00s, and a fair amount included j-pop and j-rock. I lost all the titles and artist names, so I resorted to using an app to identify some of the songs. However... the identifiers are all in Japanese, and I have no idea. [more inside]
posted by virus_husbandry at 5:23 PM - 2 answers

Jim Henson Skit on 'Ed Sullivan': Black Monster on Black Background?
A question from my father I've been unable to answer: "YEARS ago, I recall watching what I believe was Jim Henson's first performance on the Ed Sullivan (TV) show. It was a tell (on stilts) black monster against a black background, dancing and dodging about in time with Halloween-style (monster) music. This was a LARGE monster, waaaay bigger than Cookie Monster, and was definitely not a hand puppet. It was a guy on stilts, covered with this monster outfit (I think), and it was a good act!!! ---Does ANYone remember this? I cannot find it on YouTube or Google......"
posted by WCityMike at 10:53 AM - 3 answers

creative, ambitious, lazy
How does an adult develop "grit"? [more inside]
posted by serenity soonish at 9:21 AM - 12 answers

August 30

Slavery and sentience in Star Wars for droids?
My kids rewatched A New Hope this week, and I ended up lost on Wookieepedia trying to find a broadly-definitive (by fans, not so much Lucas) take on droids like C3PO and R2D2. I understand slavery of sentients was eventually outlawed by the New Republic, but are droids emancipated? Can a droid be a Jedi (I saw the Skippy story)? Are droids AI or something else? How is Jar Jar Binks considered fully sentient in law, but not R2D2? Can a droid be murdered? What about copying a droid - is that like cloning a sentient being? Droids 101, please
posted by viggorlijah at 10:41 PM - 5 answers

August 29

Does a planner for two weeks at a time exist? With a To Do list?
I want a two-week planner. Not a weekly planner. Not a monthly planner. I want to know what I need to do and plan for two weeks at a time. And I want enough room to add a to-do list. [more inside]
posted by HeyAllie at 2:14 PM - 5 answers

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