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]
We got these blue plastic discs at work as part of a promotional campaign, but no one here seems to know what the item does, exactly. Googling has failed us. Has anyone seen one of these before? What does it do, besides stump people? (You can see the full extent of its functionality in the linked video.)
I am trying to remember the name of a mystery series I ran across recently and my google-fu is failing. All I can remember about it is that it was a mystery series, it was available on DVD in the U.S. (my local library has copies), and there were multiple seasons. Can you help me figure out what it might be? [more inside]
Our recent cold, drizzly weather has me wanting to to curl up with a good book, but not just ANY good book, really specific specifics inside. [more inside]
That's it really... New apartment + unknown object. Picture here. Can we take it down and put up a hanging chair/potted plants/hammock or something? Thanks!
I'm looking for good mystery novels with protagonists who are not cops, not PIs, not lawyers, etc., and who are not really working with those sort of professionals, and who may also be in over their heads. They may accidentally fall into the mystery, or they may bring it upon themselves. The point is that they are "civilians" who must investigate a mystery. [more inside]
I rarely check Google Location but it's always fascinating when I do. I just did a bit of travelling around Florida and am perplexed by the readings. Suddenly I appear to leap from the Florida Keys to California and back again in the space of a couple of hours. Obviously I didn't do this. My phone wasn't on the whole time - it died around when I got 'back' to the Everglades. I've put up a screengrab of this time-bending excursion - any insights as to how this happened are most welcome.
I heard a story on This American Life HERE and it's a story about a sausage maker who inadvertently ruins their product by getting a new building. IN the end, it turned out the problem was they had shortened the route of the final delivery of the sausages and removed what was thought to be the unimportant work of a clerk named Irving. I thought it was fascinating and I want to find other stories like that. Where would I look for them?
I inherited this ornament from my dad, who had inherited it from his father. I believe my grandfather found it in Ireland in the forties. Flickr photo set [more inside]
These two pictures were taken somewhere close to Boston, MA, probably in Malden, but possibly in Chelsea or Revere. Can you tell me the address of the house? [more inside]
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.)
I am looking for recommendations for documentaries about true crime cases. [more inside]
Can anyone identify this bizarre piece of stemware? The three cups are connected at the bottom, so filling one cup fills all three. A set of 12 was given to a friend as a wedding gift with no explanation. image
I am looking for a book series to get into that's easy and light, now that I have a kiddo. [more inside]
Where is this coin from, and what is it?
I really enjoy Robb's "in death" series and recently discovered Alex Hughes' Mindspace series which I enjoyed tremendously. (And, many, many years ago, likely before most of you were born, I read Asimov's stories and will always remember fondly R. Daneel Olivaw.) What other detective series set in the future should I read?
Scene: yardwork in progress. I notice a tree where no tree has gone before, having sort of popped up in our Rose of Sharon patch. 1. What is it and B. Should I cut it down? It's already 12-15 ft. tall.
While snooping around my basement today I found a strange little box/connector of some sort that I have no idea what it is. It looks really old (the house is ~90 years old) and isn't currently connected to anything. It seems to correspond to the incoming phone line from the outside box, but I could be mistaken. Can anyone tell me what exactly this is? [img inside] [more inside]
Years ago, I read a "true story" about a man who receives a strange phone call from his brother, then later finds that the brother was surely dead at the time. Do you recognize it? Can you tell me anything about its origins? [more inside]
A little while back I stumbled upon a detective novel (Losers Live Longer) that takes place in 2009 NYC and utilizes actual city streets, restaurants, bars, etc. The writing was pretty average, but the book kept me constantly aware of the protagonist's location (oftentimes cross-streets). The real-world geography of areas I knew well really sucked me into the world and engaged me on another level than the narrative alone. Are there any other good detective or mystery novels that use post-2000s (or, better yet, post-2010) New York accurately? [more inside]
Does anyone in London recognize this restaurant, I wonder? I think it's in London, anyhow. It might be in Europe. [more inside]
I live in Deerfield, MA, USA. These sounds are coming from a tree across the street. Both the whimpering-pup sounds and the louder squeals/screeches are coming from the same place. Any idea who is making these sounds?
Characters on the bottom of a porcelain box - what does it say? [more inside]
While visiting a friend the other day, he showed me a very strange clay bowl. The bowl came with the house, which he rents. The owner does not know/recall the purpose of the bowl, nor have any guests been able to produce a convincing answer. More details and a drawing follow. [more inside]
In the late 90s, I read a lot of young adult novels - the plot of one in particular has stuck with me for years and I think about it way too much. If you could help me track it down I would be forever grateful. Basic premise, a teen girl sees something she shouldn't while at her father's house and she then goes on the run. [more inside]
Want to get a couple of mystery novels for my husband. Ideally these would have 1) very good writing and a compelling protagonist 2) have at least a mild sense of humor, though this is not a deal-breaker, and 3) be set in New York, though also not a deal-breaker. [more inside]
Garden experts: do you have any idea what these odd, ugly objects are growing in our garden? They have appeared in just the past few days next to a couple of mums. They look totally spooky. Are they a danger to our garden plants? [more inside]
I'd like examples of traits/personality types/habits/behaviors wherein most people fall into two or three "camps", none of whom are generally aware of the existence of the other(s). "Ask Vs. Guess Culture" and "Sit Vs. Stand to Wipe?" are two examples (a LOT of people are absolutely gobsmacked when they learn that Asking and/or Standing is not only an option, but a POPULAR option). I'm NOT interested in predefined typologies (e.g. the MBTI or Buzzfeedy "What Garden Implement Are You?" kinda stuff)... just ones that, 1. Arise kinda organically, 2. Involve Group A and Group B people frequently being unaware of one another's existence.
Someone left a nice heavy lamp in my building's laundry room. Probably because no one (including the local lightbulb store) can figure out what sort of bulbs these fixtures take. I'm lamp-poor at the moment and this would work great in my office. Please help me identify! There are no markings on the base of the lamp. Three images are here: http://imgur.com/a/fw3AX Thank you for saving this from the landfill! [more inside]
Raymond Chandler's novels are well known for certain details that show up that are difficult to resolve (see below). [more inside]
Asking for a friend, because this movie (TV show?) sounds fascinating. He says he watched the last 10 minutes of it about 20 years ago. What he remembers of the ending is after the cut. [more inside]
OK, so we have this ceiling fan with a light fixture above the kitchen table. One of the three lights burns out regularly, like every 10 days or so. Both of the other lights have been fine for a year or more. Any idea why this should be the case? FWIW, the voltage at the sockets is identical to within .1 volt.
What is this lovely scent? [more inside]
I've worn this necklace every day for nearly 10 years now, but I don't know what it is. [more inside]
I found this in my flat and have no idea what it is or where it came from. Any ideas? It is about 2" in diameter and has a spike that rotates out around a weighted axel that automatically rotates the spike back when let go and holds it in the retracted position with a small magnet. Front view, Back view, view with spike out
I've been hugely enjoying the TV series Cracker recently, and one of the things I like about it is that we see the details of the murder/crime first, and then the rest of the story is about the police and psychologists figuring out what happened, then finally why. Are there any novels that take a similar approach? [more inside]
There's a dove perched on my recycling can outside my backdoor. He's been there for hours, sitting in the rain. He keeps trying to get in the house, but I have cats. It seems like it's someone's pet, he's very big and pretty, completely white. What do I do? His wet little head is breaking my heart.
Can the hive mind take a look at the picture of this necklace and see if the back of it is calligraphy of some sort? It looks like Arabic or Persian. If so, does anyone know what it says? Here's the picture.
I've recently finished Marcus Sakey's Brilliance and Max Barry's Lexicon and I'd like more thrillers like them. By "like them", I mean: fast paced, lots of twists and action, an intelligent, speculative, science-fictiony central idea, but the book is not marketed as genre science fiction, but rather as a thriller. Some literary aspiration is a plus, as is a good Bechdel test score (both of the above books kind of failed on that latter criterion). Already read: Atwood, Gibson, Stephenson. I read a lot of "literary mysteries" like Tana French and the like, but here I'm more interested in action/thrillers and not so much mysteries or procedurals.
In a old old inherited MS SQL Server database, in a column named 'Image' of type TEXT we've discovered an encoded image (we assume). And even if its not critical to the work we are doing, its damnably intriguing. Can you help me crack its provenance ? [more inside]
In anticipation of season two's release this week, I've been re-watching season one of House of Cards. About eight minutes into the ninth episode, Peter Russo is being interviewed by a New York Times journalist. The man records their conversation using the device in this screenshot. I remember being intrigued by this voice recorder while watching the show last year, but could not find out the make or model. My interest is once again piqued. Googling has gotten me nowhere. Do you know what it is?
Can Metafilter offer a plausible explanation of what is going on in this curious vintage photo of a group of women holding up a stained mattress and a pillow? [more inside]
Another ReadMe Question. Lately I've been really enjoying literary-leaning thrillers and mystery type books authored by women. Can you recommend some more? [more inside]
John Steinbeck included this inscription in a friend's copy of Cannery Row: Kahn ni melm Sarat Twini Sener Ni Melm Siri Here is a copy. Any ideas on what it could mean are much appreciated. [more inside]
This past week, I was in a Chipotle and heard an interesting song. However, Shazam couldn't identify it. It was "psychedelic"-sounding with a male singer (think Beach Boys or The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows"), but the only words I could decipher were "merry go round". See the extended explanation... [more inside]
My partner and I were remembering our differing childhood experiences of homemade spaghetti. At one point, she brought up using the leftovers in a spaghetti sandwich. I've never had one, but this triggered a vivid memory of a favorite picture book which had at least one illustration of a spaghetti sandwich. Among other odd sandwiches, possibly. I'd love to remember the title of the book and, ideally, see that illustration. [more inside]
What are some decent, non-idiotic, contemporary crime/mystery novels? [more inside]
I've been trying to figure out what this strange, accordion-like contraption is. It was attached to my friend's radiator in his ~1950s-era apartment in Philadelphia. It was only secured with one bolt at 90 degrees to the radiator, but it also originally had a sheet metal housing around it that could be removed. It seems to me like it might be some kind of clothes hanger/dryer, but I have no idea. Does anyone know?
I have a question about the film, Gravity, and the geography of its ending. Obviously there are major spoilers if you click through. [more inside]