November 23

Budding fiction writer lacks confidence (no MFA) and needs help!

Essentially 1) Do I need to know technical details of creative writing? 2) Am I disadvantaged because I don't have an MFA? 3) How do I work in relative isolation? 4) Are online writing courses useful? [more inside]
posted by dostoevskygirl to Writing & Language at 4:55 PM - 3 answers

Can I power a portable hard drive using a USB wall charger?

I'm picking up a Wii U, and want an external HDD to go with it. Portable hard drives need a USB Y-cable to draw power from two of the Wii U's USB ports at the same time, and some people say they have stability issues / drives die from constantly powering the console on and off. But could I run the Y cable to a wall outlet (eg a 5A phone charger) instead, running the data part of the cable to the Wii U? That way the drive would stay powered when the Wii U shuts down.
posted by obiwanwasabi to Technology at 4:18 PM - 2 answers

Help me get my cursor back from the hijackers

Last night it seemed I lost control of my cursor. As i tried to click it off it became obvious I’d been hijacked. I have disconnected from the net and don’t know what do do now. [more inside]
posted by taff to Computers & Internet at 2:31 PM - 16 answers

more adventures in boundary drawing!

Help me figure out how to draw boundaries with a friend who is also a customer at a business I help manage. [more inside]
posted by thereemix to Human Relations at 1:02 PM - 7 answers

How do I deal with a lack of perks/subpar facilities at my company?

I know this may make me sound entitled but tell me if I’m over reacting or thinking out of place regarding work environment. I’ve worked at tech companies for most of my career. My last companies had pretty good facilities and would often have snacks and coffee at a minimum. Most of them would buy us lunch at least once a week. From what I read about other tech companies, this seems like the norm. [more inside]
posted by anonymous to Work & Money at 12:24 PM - 16 answers

Replacing Physical Intimacy and Comfort

When you expect to be without friends or sexual partners for the very long-term, what can replace, satisfy, or alleviate the need to physically comfort and be comforted? [more inside]
posted by anonymous to Human Relations at 11:22 AM - 21 answers

Good tours of film history in LA?

Would really appreciate any recommendations for interesting tours/places to visit/whatever really in the LA area that have strong connections to film history. [more inside]
posted by dmm9999 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation at 10:31 AM - 8 answers

How do I stop my LG smart TV from turning off my PS4?

I've adjusted every setting and yet every time I turn off my LG smart TV it abruptly cuts the power to my PS4 and it won't even turn on until the TV has been on for several seconds. What is going on? Details inside. [more inside]
posted by blackzinfandel to Technology at 10:19 AM - 3 answers

What ducks are these?

Are these ducks escaped domestic ducks of some kind, or are they a weird species of wild duck that I'm unfamiliar with? [more inside]
posted by Johnny Assay to Science & Nature at 10:07 AM - 5 answers

Clearwater Beach activities?

My esteemed mother-in-law is headed down to Clearwater Beach, Florida from late January to the end of February to avoid the Massachusetts winter and would really like to find some activities to occupy herself while there. Anyone know of any good beginner art classes, nature classes, short-term volunteer opportunities in food banks or the like, anything else that could help her feel like she was using her time well?
posted by merocet to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation at 9:19 AM - 1 answer

What's the best Scrabble app?

What’s the best Scrabble app for iPhones? Ideally ad-free, but minor ads would be okay. [more inside]
posted by Charity Garfein to Technology at 6:51 AM - 5 answers

Does the author of a book foreword get a contract?

I'm trying to make arrangements for someone to write a 3–7 pages to begin an edited anthology. It's for an academic publication. What are standard practices here? [more inside]
posted by Dr and Mrs Eaves to Media & Arts at 6:15 AM - 5 answers

Can Google lose my name?

When I Google my name, there's a link right on the first page to an activity in my past that I wish would be forgotten forever. Short of asking Google to remove the page from its results, what can I do to bury the news to page 90 of the search engine? [more inside]
posted by Kwadeng to Computers & Internet at 5:19 AM - 8 answers

HTML email creation

What do you recommend for creation of HTML emails - newsletters for example? Not something that's too constrained by preset templates (e.g. MailChimp), but something that still helps you create responsive emails that will work in most clients. I've got Dreamweaver but I don't really feel confident in using it. Windows preferred.
posted by KateViolet to Computers & Internet at 4:16 AM - 4 answers

November 22

Who Takes the Metra Two Stops?

I'm always curious, when I take the Chicago Metra, who takes it one or two stops -- from Union Station to Western Avenue, which is like 3 miles and there are cheaper buses. Or a little farther -- but there are still cheaper buses, and CTA train options. Have you done this, or do you know who does? I'm sure there must be a million reasons -- I'd like to know a few! Non-Chicago commuter rail answers okay, more deets within. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee to Travel & Transportation at 7:22 PM - 55 answers

Motivating yourself to do difficult work you really don't want to do

I have a set of tasks I absolutely need to do that are very challenging, will take a lot of time, and that I dislike working on a whole hell of a lot. (Think something along the lines of writing a thesis on a subject you dislike intensely.) I'm really struggling with finding the motivation to even get started, and time is running out. How can I force myself to grind my way through it? [more inside]
posted by anonymous to Work & Money at 6:19 PM - 19 answers

Reeling with bestie breakup over allegations

Last week I broke up with my best friend largely due to his response to sexual harassment allegations. I'm still reeling from my decision and don't know what to think. [more inside]
posted by divabat to Human Relations at 6:05 PM - 37 answers

What is this hole in my wall and how do I fix it?

My apartment is an old warehouse that had walls constructed to divide it into units. I have two holes in the walls that look like this. [more inside]
posted by Borborygmus to Home & Garden at 5:39 PM - 12 answers

What do YOU do with clothes worn but not dirty?

What is your alternative to the dreaded Chair - you know, where you put all the stuff you will wear again but don't have the energy to re-drawer/re-hang? [more inside]
posted by tristeza to Grab Bag at 2:28 PM - 62 answers

Where did I read this odd anecdote about JFK's assassination?

Years ago, I read an account (presented as true, I think) about a group of drama students who went to a class on this date in 1963 and were immediately told of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. They decided that this must be an exercise in improvisation and began acting out the grief and shock they would feel if such an event occurred, not realising that it had actually happened. I can't remember where I read this, and Googling it just brings up general stuff about the assassination. Does it ring a bell for anyone?
posted by Perodicticus potto to Media & Arts at 2:06 PM - 0 answers

A very strange CMS issue.

We are using an old CMS (soon to be retired) and something very odd is happening that I can’t get my head around. [more inside]
posted by Lescha to Computers & Internet at 2:03 PM - 10 answers

Looking for a recording of a specific WW2 news broadcast

I'm putting together the sound effects for a play and the script calls for the following to be heard on the radio. I believe it is taken from a real news broadcast and there's lots of recordings of them on archive.org, YouTube etc. but I can't find the one with this specific section. [more inside]
posted by Jim H to Media & Arts at 1:57 PM - 4 answers

Abridged vs. UnAbridged Ebooks

I'd like to do some comparisons of abridged and unabridged books. Can you suggest some books that have abridged and unabridged versions that are both available as ebooks? I'm open to all genres/periods/etc, but I have a preference for books that would appear on a list of classic or must-read books.
posted by gregr to Writing & Language at 12:49 PM - 2 answers

Finding Open New York Cellar Doors

I have made an idle hobby out of photographing open cellar doors in New York City. What neighborhood in New York and at what time could I go to get the most bang for my buck? [more inside]
posted by Sreiny to Grab Bag at 12:44 PM - 1 answer

Hand-kissing etiquette

I'm wondering about the acceptability and frequency of hand-kissing by strangers. I was recently at a friend's casual gathering and was introduced to several persons, and kissed on the hand by one of them, as a farewell. Is this a popular or trendy thing to do these days, or was just a strange episode? The kisser in question is Western European, so perhaps it is more common there? (Although he didn't kiss anyone else, which is why it struck me as a bit odd). [more inside]
posted by stillmoving to Society & Culture at 11:56 AM - 35 answers

Help me torment my child with a screaming chicken

My 10 year old and I have been taking turns hiding one of those incredibly annoying screaming rubber chickens (yes, like the one Adam Savage used for his Ultimate Duck Army) to try to surprise and scare/annoy each other. So far he has gotten me MUCH worse than I have gotten him. I need to up the ante and come up with some creative new ways to annoy him with it. The more ridiculous, unexpected, Wile E. Coyote-esque, and over the top, the better.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation at 11:54 AM - 36 answers

Philadelphia Barber Shops

Looking for an affordable hairstylist in Philly who can shave an undercut and cut mixed hair. [more inside]
posted by snufflepup to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion at 11:50 AM - 0 answers

Best crowdfunding site for raising money for a UK resident

I need to crowdfund some airplane tickets to visit my dying grandma. :( She is in Toronto. I'm in the UK. I'd like to crowdfund using a site that would get the money easily to a UK bank account, and would let people from the US, Canada and the UK contribute. It would also be nice if I can take it down afterwards for privacy. I want a reputable and well known site that will reliably send the money. Thoughts?
posted by Mistress to Computers & Internet at 11:37 AM - 1 answer

Where's Waldo's Luggage?

Are there any sub $60 luggage trackers that are worthwhile? Have you, or someone you know, had luggage lost by an airline that was then found via the gizmo? This is for maybe twice yearly travel, so a yearly access fee would not be viable.
posted by Sophont to Technology at 11:07 AM - 1 answer

Coco Movie - Appropriateness for a younger child with sensory issues

My five year old has some mild sensory issues (mostly aural) and is on the autism spectrum (high functioning / mostly social behavior related issues). His school class has a trip to the movies later today to see Coco, and I'm checking if anyone can confirm how loud it is / how scary it is relative to that age group. [more inside]
posted by inflatablekiwi to Media & Arts at 10:44 AM - 5 answers

Can I eat this? Late Blue Apron delivery version.

We ordered Blue Apron (through one of those 100% free week offers!) for the first time. The food came late, they are crediting the account so we get a free box next time, and I need some help to determine if I can still safely eat some/all of the contents of the box. [more inside]
posted by DoubleLune to Food & Drink at 10:32 AM - 7 answers

How can I hire a locksmith in Brooklyn to open this foot locker?

I inherited a 1960s steel Army footlocker from a relative, but no one has a key. What is the best way to hire a locksmith in the Brooklyn area who could help? [more inside]
posted by deern the headlice to Home & Garden at 9:17 AM - 23 answers

Is it safe to eat these oysters?

Two weeks ago, my mother bought two pints of oysters at Costco. They look just like this. The "Sell By" date is today, and we're planning to cook them in a casserole for Thanksgiving dinner (tomorrow). I'm not worried about being one day past the "Sell" date, but I am worried that she bought them two weeks ago! They've been refrigerated the whole time, and the containers are sealed. The plastic lids are very slightly convex, though. Should I toss them out, or are they safe to cook and eat? Thanks for informed advice!
posted by barefoot to Food & Drink at 8:46 AM - 12 answers

After school program supervisor grabbed my son by the arm

Yesterday, when my wife picked up our 6 year old son from his after school program, he was crying and shaken up because the supervisor of the program had angrily grabbed him by the arm and scared him. He had been playing with a toy that he had received in the previous period as an academic reward from his teacher. The supervisor informed my wife that they'd been having problems with our son playing with toys in the program, which is not allowed, though this is the first we've heard of it. [more inside]
posted by OrderOctopoda to Education at 8:16 AM - 19 answers

Budget Subscription Boxes

What are subscription boxes that are under $30 and preferrably under $20 a month that you find are worth it even at that price as gifts? [more inside]
posted by Aranquis to Shopping at 8:02 AM - 19 answers

What's the heaviest, rockiest, thrashiest, grungiest synth/piano songs?

My middle school kid is a keyboard player and loves it. He's been playing for years and is in our city's local version of "The School of Rock" where young musically-talented people get put together in bands and practice/perform regularly. The problem is that he's in a band of mostly metal and heavy rock-influenced kids, and though they've been receptive to what he's been interested in playing (they did kickass Joy Division and Jesus & Mary Chain covers last time), he's interested in trying to find harder, more rock oriented or upbeat stuff to try with them. [more inside]
posted by 40 Watt to Media & Arts at 7:36 AM - 30 answers

I want to create an automated series of reminders on my outlook calendar

I run a three-month program that kicks off with a new group once a month, and it involves a lot of moving pieces, including scheduling meetings (that I can't schedule until the new folks have started), and sending instructional emails at a certain time for each cohort. [more inside]
posted by spindrifter to Work & Money at 7:05 AM - 4 answers

Middle-aged man in search of the perfect wallet

I have spent years looking for a good, buy once, wallet. They are generally too small (Credit cards don't fit) or the leather is shoddy and falls apart. I will pay top dollar for a really great leather wallet. Suggestions please.
posted by captainscared to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion at 7:01 AM - 31 answers

Any Buddhist Retreats Wk of Dec 26-31 w/in a 6-hr Drive of New Haven?

Anyone know of any? I know it's a long shot but this is something I'd like to try. Doesn't have to be the whole week. Needs to accommodate beginners. Prefer something heavy on silent meditation. Thanks!
posted by ZenMasterThis to Religion & Philosophy at 6:55 AM - 4 answers

How to change from an "alpha" to a "beta"

My workplace is absolutely awash with people who are constantly jockeying for position. I am in the really fortunate position of having now been promoted to the job I want at the level I want to stay at for the rest of my career. So how can I be one of the people who manage to put their egos aside and quit playing these games? [more inside]
posted by hazyjane to Work & Money at 3:46 AM - 14 answers

November 21

Volunteering for a Paid Position

Is it appropriate to offer to work for free at a non-profit if the position is usually paid? [more inside]
posted by agentofselection to Work & Money at 10:50 PM - 14 answers

How can I change how I see a website?

Please help me bleach a part of a website! I'm doing it with a Firefox add on, but it's not updated for 57 and I doubt that it ever will be, and I can't update Firefox until I can replace the function it fills for me. I want to stay with Firefox, and get updates. Please don't suggest Pale Moon. [more inside]
posted by monopas to Computers & Internet at 9:40 PM - 3 answers

The little apartment that fell from the sky

Seeking stories of serendipity that saved people at the end of their rope - that were actually made possible by people laying the seeds of their own salvation [more inside]
posted by unannihilated to Human Relations at 9:28 PM - 5 answers

Help Me Mac My Roku and Continue Life Sans TV

So my puny 19in TV finally gave up the ghost and I feel zero need to replace it. I'm the happy new owner of a 27in iMac on which I can stream my Amazon and Netflix addictions. And yet. I miss my Roku. Details below. [more inside]
posted by eglenner to Computers & Internet at 9:12 PM - 10 answers

Help me light my loo

I'm looking for a nightlight solution for our bathroom. It just needs to be barely bright enough to illuminate the way, so we can navigate a nocturnal path to it. [more inside]
posted by Pig Tail Orchestra to Home & Garden at 8:54 PM - 20 answers

Books to read after Wandering Earth?

I'm looking for sci fi short story compilation recommendations. I've read Wandering Earth by Liu Cixin, which I really enjoyed for it's engaging read and what felt like fresh topics to me. Are there others that folks would recommend? Hoping to curl up with a book this Thanksgiving.
posted by ellerhodes to Writing & Language at 8:10 PM - 3 answers

Looking for ways to improve my office at work!

How do I make my office at work smell nice? What else can I be doing to make my office a nice, peaceful place to work? [more inside]
posted by skycrashesdown to Work & Money at 7:46 PM - 21 answers

Seeking gift ideas. Edition #659.

My oldest sister (B) and I are hung up on what to get as a holiday gift for our middle sister (C). The fact is, C has been so distant from B and me for so long that neither of us know her very well. But since our parents died, C has been at least trying to stay connected with us and that's a huge improvement that we want to nurture. [more inside]
posted by DrGail to Food & Drink at 7:44 PM - 17 answers

twitter basic

Apologies for the lamest question of the day, but is it possible to see who has liked or forwarded a tweet? I know you can see how many people have liked it. Hovering over or clicking the likes doesn't show who liked it, though. Is there a to see who liked or forwarded a tweet? [more inside]
posted by flourpot to Computers & Internet at 7:35 PM - 2 answers

Help me end intrusive thoughts

I was in a relationship that ended almost 3 years ago. I can't stop thinking about the person. Tawdry details inside. [more inside]
posted by chonched out to Human Relations at 7:03 PM - 14 answers

Need recommendations for a new printer/scanner

I'm planning to buy a new printer/scanner soon. I'd like to keep it under $100. I print mostly text documents (plus the occasional picture), and want something that will do auto double-sided printing. Oh, and NOT HP. When I look around online, most say they are wireless. I have a desktop computer and no WiFi. Can these wireless printers be attached to a computer the old fashioned way? Any recommendations for what to buy and/or what to avoid would be greatly appreciated.
posted by Dolley to Computers & Internet at 6:52 PM - 8 answers

Questions about sharing old Audio Archives online.

I have an old computer not connected to the internet (Mac OSX 10.6.8) (not my main computer) with some old audio files (Audacity 1.3.14-beta) archived on it. I would like to hear some suggestions for the easiest way to share these audio files online. [more inside]
posted by ovvl to Computers & Internet at 6:45 PM - 3 answers

Evolution 101

What are some good books to explain the basics of evolution and how it works while countering creationism and ID? [more inside]
posted by thedarksideofprocyon to Science & Nature at 5:55 PM - 15 answers

Ideas for workspaces please!

#writers and #freenlancers: where, other than your favorite coffeeshops, do you feel comfortable to buy something small and then plop down for an hour or two of work? [more inside]
posted by redwaterman to Grab Bag at 5:51 PM - 16 answers

Moving iTunes lib from one ext drive to another. Difficulty level: GRAR

I am trying to move my iTunes library from an older external drive to a newer external drive, following this how-to. I got all the way to the part in section 2 where you select iTunes and drag it to the external hard drive. This is where the problem starts. Specs and specifics inside. [more inside]
posted by tzikeh to Computers & Internet at 5:05 PM - 9 answers

How does/will American Net neutrality affect European folks?

Can anyone predict how Net neutrality is going to work out? Please refer to the likely European experience - if that is even possible. [more inside]
posted by dash_slot- to Computers & Internet at 2:58 PM - 8 answers

Holey crochet blanket, Batman!

How warm/useful is this chunky v-stitch afghan likely to be? [more inside]
posted by moira to Home & Garden at 2:16 PM - 15 answers

Domain name help

I'm thinking of registering a couple domains for my wife and young child, and hell, maybe even for myself. I've never registered a domain before and could use some guidance on both how to go about it, and what domains to choose. [more inside]
posted by noneuclidean to Computers & Internet at 2:11 PM - 11 answers

How can I get the boiler in my new flat to start up?

I just bought a new flat and I can't get the combi boiler (hot water / central heating) to start up. It turns on, and although it is old I have no reason to believe it shouldn't work. I don't want to look like an idiot calling out a plumber for something stupid I don't understand. Details and photos inside. [more inside]
posted by cincinnatus c to Home & Garden at 1:56 PM - 9 answers

Rotary Telephone Trick?

I started reading "Secondhand Time" after seeing it recommended in another ask, and I'm curious about a "trick" that involves a rotary phone. The trick was "so that the KGB agents who tapped our phones wouldn't be able to make anything out" [more inside]
posted by one4themoment to Technology at 1:38 PM - 9 answers