I (probably ill-advisedly) left my computer to be used by a family member for a few months. Upon returning, there are a number of folders missing, and other folders have had their names lowercased. What? The interim user swears up and down that they've no idea how it happened- and they are a mid-to-very competent computer user. It's all backed up and therefore safe, but those files are simply gone for no apparent reason. So what sort of gremlin 1) deleted files and 2) lowercased some folder names? [more inside]
I remember one scene from a movie -- but what movie is it? A boy is sitting on the floor watching TV. We know that the kid's dad is a butcher. The boy is thinking about what he wants for Christmas (there's a narrator) -- typical toys. The Dad walks in with a large package wrapped in white paper and throws it on the floor and says "Hey kid, Merry Christmas" in a totally flat tone. We know the package is a side of beef or something like that, but I can't remember how we know that. [more inside]
I’m looking for suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat movies (horror, mystery, thriller, action) that are reasonably realistic and have a conclusive, unambiguous ending. When watching movies, I’m always willing to suspend some disbelief, but only up to a point. I’m turned off by gaping holes in the plot line, implausible twists, and puzzling endings. [more inside]
Why does YouTube always suggest Vietnamese videos to me, even though I don't speak Vietnamese, I've never clicked on a video in Vietnamese or from Vietnam, and no one in my house has either? [more inside]
What is going on in this animation? Is this real?
I have a weird (what appears to be) link attempting to get my phone to follow a URL that is a WAP request. What the? [more inside]
There has been a song on the tip of my mental tongue, as it were, for about three weeks now and I am hoping some genius mefite can recognize it from my fragmentary description. It is Caribbean in flavour and I am 90% sure it was recorded in the sixties. Unfortunately about all I have is part of the chorus. [more inside]
I stayed at a hotel in Washington, DC and there was a minibar in my room. The minibar menu listed overpriced little bottles of liquor and snacks and also a "collateral holder" for $45. But what is it? [more inside]
I may need GERD surgery, but my symptoms are unusual, and I don't know what to do. More inside. [more inside]
Someone left a thing with a free sign at work. Let's play! Top view with accessories. Inside. Bottom . [more inside]
I saw a game on Steam about a week ago that intrigued me. I want to ask my more video game savvy friend about it, but since I have no idea what it's called and now I can't find it, that's proving difficult. [more inside]
How could you find a building when all you know about it is what it looks like from above and roughly where it is (with a large margin of error, giving a triangle with an area of about 1,900 square miles)? Is there any tool/database/search that might help with this, or would finding it be a matter of putting the question to people who live in the area (or, for the less social, strictly a brute-force problem)? [more inside]
Identify mystery water creature. [more inside]
Sometime in the past three months, someone tied a six inch length of twine (with an acorn hot-glued to one end) to the undercarriage of my car. Trying to figure out why -- pictures inside. [more inside]
I noticed this on a plant in my garden a while ago but didn't have time to look at it properly. At the time it seemed scaley and white. Now its purple and irridescent with a noticeable honeycomb structure. What is it? Picture here [more inside]
What does B.M. 507.885 with a little metal cap next to it embossed SPAKE MAG mean? I saw this very carefully (and kind of beautifully) added to some concrete edging near the Southwestern Bell Telephone Building in my neighborhood and I'm wondering what it might mean. Construction symbols? Telecom stuff? A secret code or artwork of some sort?
Asking for a friend: she has a butterfly house gourd in her back yard, suspended from a wrought iron hook standing in her garden. Each evening, it begins to swing of its own accord. Can you solve this mystery? [more inside]
It doesn't seem to be candida, mites, fleas, dry skin, or psychosomatic. I've lived in three different states, changing bedding and soaps as I go but it has followed me over the past year. [more inside]
Is there a way for a closed laptop to automatically connect to the internet without someone opening it? [more inside]
Can you help me solve the mystery of how my name became associated with my parents' PO Box? [more inside]
My girlfriend recently dunked white pants in bleach water and before our very eyes some previously light yellow stains turned bright pink. What caused that? [more inside]
Can anyone identify these ancient Lush products? [more inside]
My son wants to make rice balls that he made in his Japanese class and his teacher was kind enough to give him some of the seasoning they used. It looks like this (flickr). [more inside]
What are these peculiar protuberances in three windows of a Manhattan skyscraper? [more inside]
What is this piece of furniture with a clock, large sector to 150 and a smaller selector? [more inside]
Driving through Poughkeepsie, NY this weekend, I spied this amazing billboard lurking at the back of a parking lot off Route 9. I think it was quite recently uncovered and, from a quick look at the wood frame, looks like an actual old ad. What year is it from?
A very slightly raised roughly 1/4" circle redness/bruise with a teeny scab in the middle: what bit me? [more inside]
In the mid-1800s, a snail spent years glued to a specimen card in the British Museum before scientists realized it was still alive. What became of this snail? Help me solve a scientific History Mystery, AskMe! [more inside]
A month ago, my family moved into a new (to us) home. It is a one story ranch, with a straightforward layout. The house has three motion-activated security lights along the roofline. The lights are hardwired. I have found the indoor switch that activates light #1- no problem there. I cannot find the switches that activate the other two lights. [more inside]
I keep getting followed by spammy Twitter accounts that don't link to anything or sell anything, as far as I can tell. What is their purpose? [more inside]
Help me remember this book or movie -- possibly from the mystery genre -- from the single plot point I recall? [more inside]
This weekend, I heard a great song while in a gas station shop. I REALLY enjoyed it, but not being a regular pop listener, I don't know where to even start to look for it. [more inside]
I've been dating my boyfriend for five months and we are head over heels for each other. For a myriad of reasons I want to spend less time with him. [more inside]
I've recently picked up The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammet. It blends a fairly standard hard boiled mystery novel plot with elements of the occult. I think this is something I'd like to read more of, although the occult aspect is most important, and the mystery can be of any sort (hardboiled or no). What are some other works that have an investigator taking on mysteries with occult elements (either real or imagined)? [more inside]
What is this mystery object? It's a metal spike-thing, about 8" long and 1" in diameter, hollow, with a perforated drillbit-looking tip and a flared, mushroom cap-shaped top. My son found it during a family walk near some (active) railroad tracks near our ancestral home in southern New Jersey. Our retired engineer father said, "It appears to be... a nozzle of some sort?" There was a spider living inside of it; he has since been evicted. Thanks, Hivemind!
I have an utterly unremarkable Flickr profile. I have no one image that has attracted any large amount of attention. I do, however, have followers in China. I get a new one every week or two. I cannot figure out why. [more inside]
Over on the image sharing site MLKSHK there's this account - thefabulous52 - that posts strange collages and I'm trying to understand what's going on, or why, or ... anything at all, really. [more inside]
My father recently acquired this item at a second-hand store in Maryland. He's trying to identify it. Can anyone shed some light on the situation? [more inside]
That's basically the question. I'm not a gamer AT ALL but decades ago I enjoyed two games, Ceremony of Innocence and Myst and haven't played since. I'm now in the possession of a new three day old 13 " MacBook Pro and thought I'd take advantage of the retina graphic aspect of it with a visually stunning game. Games with riddles and puzzles and stories like the above, the first one in particular are the only ones I've enjoyed. Do you know of any others?
What kind of cart is this? It came from a surplus school auction.
Last week, I noticed a small bite on my knee. It disappeared and I forgot about it. Yesterday, an identical bite was on my wrist. Googling "insect bites" is a horrible thing, and none of them looked like mine. More below the fold. [more inside]
I've powered through three series in a binge, and now I am hungry for more. I need action, maybe some romance, but no horror. Please recommend me some airport fiction that fits my criteria. I'm not looking for anything highbrow here. [more inside]
I love their style and characters. Not wasteful, wordy. Any suggestions for similar books?
What is this mystery tool? It's not really a clamp, since it will not lock into place. I would prefer not to have random guesses, since it's not really helpful, but if you have seen or used this device, you'd solve a great mystery. [more inside]
Help me find Berkeley's hidden pinball house... [more inside]
I'm looking at a 1940 census sheet, and it says that my relatives lived on "JB Street" in Superior, Wisconsin, but my Googlefu is broken. Does anyone know how I can find out what JB might stand for?
Do you remember the book my mother read a decade or two ago? It was a romance and/or mystery featuring an orphan with a birthmark on her face, raised by her uncle (who turns out to be her father) and her controlling aunt (who turns out to have murdered her parents, and later her boyfriend and others with poisoned tea) as she investigates her own past. My mother probably checked it out from the public library in the mid-to-late nineties, but on the outside edge, could have been between 1990 and 2004. [more inside]
My sister recently had a young Japanese student staying with her family. As a parting gift, he left one of these small mat type things for each of her young girls. She didn't ask what they were at the time, we don't read Japanese, and we're both stumped. Can you tell use what they are? [more inside]
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]