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General Purpose Gifts Under $8?

What low cost item has changed your life recently? I'm looking for gifts that you could give to anyone; male or female, 20 to 60 years of age. Preferably in the $5-$10 range. [more inside]
posted by royalsong to Shopping at 5:51 AM on Dec 18, 2014 - 45 answers [149 favorites]

How do you maintain or build mental discilpline?

How do you keep yourself from growing mentally flabby, falling into lazy thinking, defaulting to mindless entertainment, devolving into a decreasing attention span and ability to focus?
posted by roaring beast to Health at 10:08 AM on Dec 17, 2014 - 22 answers [86 favorites]


One of my favorite little and silly gifts to give people is adopting a lobster from the UK's National Lobster Hatchery. What are other similar inexpensive and slightly silly -- but ideally also socially/environmentally conscious -- gifts you like to give people? Ideally it's a similar deal where they don't actually get more stuff to deal with, or if they do it's some sort of small acknowledgement that they won't feel bad about throwing out or recycling.
posted by naturalog to Grab Bag at 12:10 PM on Dec 16, 2014 - 16 answers [54 favorites]

Let Me Gladly Google That For You

How can I get paid to be a human Google + Wikipedia + Snopes? [more inside]
posted by divabat to Work & Money at 10:26 AM on Dec 18, 2014 - 17 answers [52 favorites]

Compelling true-life mysteries that end with a definite resolution

The final episode of Serial will be released this Thursday, and I fear that there will not be any sort of satisfying conclusion to the central mystery of what, exactly, happened to Hae Min Lee. So, as an antidote to the frustration that I'm likely to feel soon, I'm looking for real (non-fiction) mysteries that do get resolved in an unambiguous way. [more inside]
posted by akk2014 to Media & Arts at 12:35 PM on Dec 15, 2014 - 17 answers [72 favorites (48 in the past 7 days)]

Twisted and weird, disturbing but not gory

If I like(d) The Babadook, Confessions, Under the Skin, Gone Girl, and Welcome to Night Vale, what should I read/watch/listen to next? [more inside]
posted by Flannery Culp to Media & Arts at 5:08 AM on Dec 21, 2014 - 22 answers [47 favorites]

What is the best episode of the podcast?

I'm looking for interesting podcasts, but a lot of previous questions about them have recommendations for the whole podcast serieses, and I would like recommendations for SPECIFIC EPISODES. Think of your one or two or three favorite podcasts, and please link specifically to your ONE FAVORITE EPISODE of the podcast. I am looking not just for a Podcast name, but an easily-clickable link to your FAVORITE EPISODE of the podcast. Anything is fine - information, comedy, narrative, improv, whatever you like. Just your FAVORITE EPISODE. Thank you!
posted by Greg Nog to Media & Arts at 12:33 PM on Oct 3, 2014 - 86 answers [321 favorites (46 in the past 7 days)]

Seeking DIY food gifts that can be packaged

What great DIY food gifts are out there that can be made on short notice, don't contain pricey specialty ingredients, and can be packaged in cellophane or something similar, to be transported and given out as individual treats? [more inside]
posted by rachaelfaith to Food & Drink at 1:49 PM on Dec 16, 2014 - 37 answers [43 favorites]

Where there's smoke, there's flavor? Difficulty level: vegetarian.

So, my guy has discovered he loves lapsang souchong tea. There's something about the distinct smoky-ness that he just can't get enough of. What other vegetarian super-smoky flavored things should we try out? Candy? Spirits? Snacks? Lay it on me! [more inside]
posted by msbubbaclees to Food & Drink at 2:21 PM on Dec 15, 2014 - 56 answers [39 favorites]

Feel-Good Non-Fiction

Can you recommend some rousing, feel-good non-fiction? [more inside]
posted by kristi to Media & Arts at 9:42 AM on Dec 17, 2014 - 15 answers [39 favorites]

How do I stop feeling like this?

It hurts me to recognize that I will never be the person I have dreamed of. How can I learn to be okay with this? [more inside]
posted by 8LeggedFriend to Society & Culture at 6:37 PM on Dec 19, 2014 - 21 answers [37 favorites]

Is it still "worldbuilding" on a space station?

I'm looking for science fiction with excellent worldbuilding surrounding a particular scenario: a population trapped in an enclosed environment that they can't leave for generations, so that they have to produce or reuse everything within that environment. Preferably something like a space station or a generation ship, but those details aren't required. [more inside]
posted by darchildre to Media & Arts at 1:45 PM on Dec 18, 2014 - 31 answers [34 favorites]

Stories, passages, essays, and books to read aloud to lovers

Turns out reading aloud to lovers in bed is hot, but I’m close to exhausting my library of things that work for me. I’m looking for stuff that… [more inside]
posted by cocoagirl to Writing & Language at 1:43 PM on Dec 17, 2014 - 22 answers [31 favorites]

Nasty, harsh, scathing literary criticism

I enjoy reading erudite yet caustic criticism of literature. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus to Media & Arts at 10:41 AM on Dec 16, 2014 - 33 answers [30 favorites]

Japanese Comfort Food

A friend of mine is having to be in the hospital for the next ten days or so. I've promised him I'll make him dinner when he's out, and his request is for Japanese comfort food. I've done some googling and ramen and/or miso soup was already going to be on the menu, but I'm really interested in vetted/actually-from-Japan recipes and I don't have enough knowledge of Japanese cuisine to evaluate them. [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering to Food & Drink at 10:09 AM on Dec 21, 2014 - 31 answers [30 favorites]

Inspire a lapsed foodie to eat healthier

Ever since daylight saving time hit this year, I have gone from "eager and willing home chef who loves her grains, fresh veggies, lean protein, and fun but complicated recipes!" to a lazy, uninspired glutton of convenience foods. HELP. [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings to Food & Drink at 9:07 AM on Dec 20, 2014 - 27 answers [29 favorites]

Looking for new space opera games

My favourite games in the world are Ur-quan Masters, EV Nova, FTL and Out There. What other Mac, PC, or iOS games like this should I be playing?
posted by Dag Maggot to Technology at 10:55 PM on Dec 20, 2014 - 10 answers [28 favorites]

A good dip for raw veggies?

I have volunteered to bring a vegetable tray to my in-laws' holiday gathering this weekend, and I'd like to take along a few dips for the veggies beyond the usual suspects. I also have some constraints, detailed within... [more inside]
posted by Janta to Food & Drink at 6:02 PM on Dec 15, 2014 - 32 answers [27 favorites]

Keep that spooky spirit while driving all year round!

I'm looking for well produced spooky story podcasts. Radio Drama? Spoken word? It's all good, with exceptions... [more inside]
posted by Snuffman to Media & Arts at 3:53 PM on Dec 18, 2014 - 8 answers [27 favorites]

Negativity & Negative Thoughts

I was curious what others do to fight off negativity in their life. I am not talking about negative people but rather one's own inner demons. I went on a four mile walk yesterday and instead of relaxing and enjoying it, I was thinking about all the potential things that could go wrong in my life. I don't say this because I embrace thinking in a victim mentality but rather that to point out that I am aware that a lot of really bad things can happen to a person. [more inside]
posted by nidora to Health at 9:22 AM on Dec 15, 2014 - 25 answers [41 favorites (25 in the past 7 days)]

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