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What's up with this light?

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.
posted by pjern on Apr 18, 2014 - 10 answers

 

What is this perfume?

What is this lovely scent? [more inside]
posted by ragtimepiano on Apr 14, 2014 - 4 answers

What is this charm on my necklace?

I've worn this necklace every day for nearly 10 years now, but I don't know what it is. [more inside]
posted by perryfugue on Mar 29, 2014 - 7 answers

What is this mystery object?

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
posted by mairuzu on Mar 23, 2014 - 8 answers

We know whodunnit - but why?

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]
posted by mippy on Mar 22, 2014 - 18 answers

A dove has been perched on my recycling can for hours, in the rain.

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.
posted by Katine on Mar 19, 2014 - 15 answers

What does it say?

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.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies on Mar 10, 2014 - 8 answers

More smart thrillers like Brilliance and Lexicon

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.
posted by matildaben on Mar 6, 2014 - 10 answers

File format recognition hard mode

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]
posted by handybitesize on Feb 12, 2014 - 3 answers

Identify this object from *House of Cards*

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?
posted by rensar on Feb 10, 2014 - 2 answers

What's so funny about a bloodstained mattress?

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]
posted by dontjumplarry on Feb 9, 2014 - 34 answers

More dark thrillers by women?

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]
posted by Lutoslawski on Feb 5, 2014 - 52 answers

John Steinbeck Literary Mystery

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]
posted by JCMFD on Feb 4, 2014 - 11 answers

Identify yet another mystery song heard in a Chipotle.

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]
posted by Seeking Direction on Feb 1, 2014 - 14 answers

Children's Book Including a Spaghetti Sandwich

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]
posted by gilrain on Jan 14, 2014 - 4 answers

Literary crime fiction

What are some decent, non-idiotic, contemporary crime/mystery novels? [more inside]
posted by denika on Jan 8, 2014 - 45 answers

What is this strange contraption that was attached to a radiator?

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?
posted by Aanidaani on Jan 6, 2014 - 13 answers

Help me track down a fictional landing site?

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]
posted by Narrative Priorities on Dec 18, 2013 - 11 answers

X-Files

What would cause this pattern/path to develop to and from my front door? [more inside]
posted by mazola on Dec 15, 2013 - 9 answers

A movie with a kid-killing bull

I have a dim memory of seeing a movie on television in which a young person is killed by a bull after wandering into its fenced-off bull field, but I haven't had any luck searching for a film title. [more inside]
posted by dougmoon on Dec 14, 2013 - 5 answers

I'm looking for the name of a kid's book series.

There was a short-lived kid's book series whose title that for the life of me I can't remember. It came out around the time that ESP McGee did. The main character had this unusual ability - he could draw anything and he had a photographic memory. The series was basically like Encyclopedia Brown, with a series of short mysteries in each volume, except that the clues to be gleaned were always hidden in the drawing. The protagonist, at the scene, always said "click" like a camera, and remembered the scene to be drawn later in his sketchbook. I mentioned this to a friend of mine and he asked me if it was Cam Jansen, who also says click, but I looked that series up and it's not her. Can anyone help? This has been haunting me for years.
posted by Sully on Dec 14, 2013 - 3 answers

"This towns got secrets you can't possibly comprehend!"

It's a common trope in literature, film, etc. where somebody warns another person: "You can't possibly grasp the secret that's going on here!" Which, of course, raises a mystery that an author's got to resolve, usually anticlimactically. What are instances of stories which pay off on those juicy teasers? i.e., stories in which the thing that our protagonist "can't possibly comprehend" is in fact astonishing, unexpected, and totally rewarding for the reader? (Bonus points for avoiding cosmic horror, unnecessary violence, sexual savagery.)
posted by Rory Marinich on Dec 13, 2013 - 66 answers

Smart detective fiction?

What are some particularly intelligent or well-written novels in the suspense/mystery/detective fiction genre? [more inside]
posted by Bardolph on Dec 12, 2013 - 55 answers

Lentil Soup Mystery

Many years ago I had a fabulous lentil soup in a very nice Greek restaurant (in Greece) whose owners/chefs were Cretan, and which used many ingredients from Crete (which may or may not be pertinent to my question). This soup was very, very dark, like mahogany colored, rich but not thick, and fairly "oily" (which sounds bad, but it was heavenly), and it was soooo good. Now, all lentil soup is good, really. Mine is quite marvelous, but I've been remembering this soup for so long, and have never figured out how it acquired that color, or what ingredient(s) made it so different and special. Any ideas? [more inside]
posted by taz on Dec 11, 2013 - 26 answers

"RA-1, Channel One. Special Service Air Channel."

Rockford, IL: So, I made this recording of a mysterious telephone loop in 1991... [more inside]
posted by mykescipark on Dec 1, 2013 - 6 answers

What are these mystery cables in my condo?

My new condo (built 2005) has a couple of holes in the wall with pink cables coming out and another hole with random wires. [more inside]
posted by globotomy on Nov 29, 2013 - 5 answers

NAME THAT FILM PART N, Regency Fop edition

Some time ago, on one of the national basic cable movie channels (USA, I think) which would run multiple showings of a given film for a month or so, I repeatedly flipped into a period film that amused me each time I watched a snippet. Unfortunately, I never watched enough of the film to get a good idea of the plot, and therefore can't effectively describe the story, sooo... [more inside]
posted by mwhybark on Nov 29, 2013 - 23 answers

Please identify this trailer music.

The UK trailer for the French film Les infidèles has a piece of music about thirty-five seconds in. Does anyone know the artist and title? The hearable lyrics are "I see you watchin the way that I walk, I know you like it the way that I talk..." which seem impervious to Googling and Midomi doesn't recognise it.
posted by feelinglistless on Nov 17, 2013 - 4 answers

I am dying to read the Amazon reviews for this one.

Help me identify this bizarre book I attempted to read as a kid. [more inside]
posted by Jess the Mess on Nov 5, 2013 - 18 answers

Highfalutin' Genre Fiction

Give me your most well written genre fiction! [more inside]
posted by latkes on Nov 4, 2013 - 49 answers

Namethisplantfilter

A friend took this picture this weekend in Berkeley Park, in Portland, OR. What is this awesome plant?
posted by mollymayhem on Oct 20, 2013 - 5 answers

Mystery Object

I found this object in a cigar box: Mystery Object views 1, 2, 3, 4. It weighs about an ounce according to my kitchen scale. It seems to be broken off of something or a piece of it was broken off (image 3). [more inside]
posted by backwords on Oct 20, 2013 - 10 answers

Who is the subject of this painting?

My great aunt recently passed away, and I was given this painting that she made. I know this is probably a wild goose chase, but I would love to figure out who is the subject. [more inside]
posted by jpdoane on Oct 20, 2013 - 5 answers

Can you identify this animal or insect sound?

The sound of this animal or insect was captured a few nights ago. I live in the Northeast, this was at night and the noisemaker in question was clearly high up in a tree. [more inside]
posted by jeremias on Oct 12, 2013 - 4 answers

a melange of mystery

I've just been put in charge of the mystery section at my bookstore. I enjoy reading mystery, but I haven't read a lot of contemporary stuff. What authors/books/series would you suggest to give me a good survey of the past 10 years? And what mysteries can you suggest for my tastes (after the break)? [more inside]
posted by wintersonata9 on Oct 9, 2013 - 31 answers

What are Mike & the bots singing in Outlaw of Gor?

There's a song Mike & the bots half-coherently sing a couple of times in Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode 519 "Outlaw of Gor." What is it? [more inside]
posted by prize bull octorok on Oct 4, 2013 - 4 answers

Creepy mysterious packages sent to my house- help!

A few weeks ago, a package was sent to my apartment from someone I didn't know in Chicago ( I live in California) They had my full name and address and I had never heard of their name. The package contained one cheap hairbrush with the tag still on. I assumed it was a mistake and forgot about it. There was no note. [more inside]
posted by tessalations999 on Sep 28, 2013 - 9 answers

Fazenda de Inhauma

I found an old MP3 with "Fazenda de Inhauma" as the title, some blog track I picked up years ago. I googled it and as best I can tell, it's a song about a neighborhood in Rio de Jainero that's been covered tons of times. So, what's the deal? Is it a favela party standard? Who made it big? Why are there so many versions? What does the song mean, lyrically? [more inside]
posted by klangklangston on Sep 19, 2013 - 3 answers

Explanation for mysteriously appearing clothing?

While trimming the hedges in my front yard (single family home located in a suburban area within a large midwest city) this afternoon, I came upon a men's size medium denim jacket underneath one of the hedges under my (first floor) bedroom window. While I think the most obviously explanation is it was probably discarded there for a totally banal reason (e.g. teens fooling around), is it possible that something more sinister is afoot? Is there any reason I should be concerned, and if so, what should I do?
posted by anthropophagous on Sep 11, 2013 - 15 answers

help me take a shower

i just moved to my new apartment. i can't get the shower to work. the bathtub turns on, but nothing makes the water come out of the shower head. [more inside]
posted by millipede on Aug 31, 2013 - 18 answers

What is this mystery object my grandmother found in her home?

What is this mystery object my grandmother found in her home? Pics inside. [more inside]
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints on Aug 20, 2013 - 35 answers

What was this particular web typography plugin/package called?

I used a HTML typography package years ago and can find neither hide nor hair of it any more. It converted HTML to include proper dashes, curly quotes and other typographic elements. It may have been a blogging engine (or included with one). What was it? [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Aug 19, 2013 - 5 answers

Seeking pretty, engaging games with no violence.

Need non-violent game recommendations. Have Xbox 360 (never used), a badass PC, and iPad. Like pretty, detailed environments, exploration, puzzles/deduction, mystery, adventure. Dislike all but the most very mild violence, and also not very good with things that are time-sensitive (like having to do things very, very quickly or have a good reaction time to succeed). Many years ago in the mid-late '90s I enjoyed Myst/Riven, The 7th Guest, Zork Nemesis, the X-Files game, the Titanic game, and a couple other exploring worlds/figuring things out things that I can't remember the names of. [more inside]
posted by rabbitrabbit on Aug 16, 2013 - 48 answers

A mysterious exploding vase

We have three vases of the same shape, same material, different sizes. The smallest one blew up last night... I think... maybe... I dunno. It's a mystery. [more inside]
posted by patheral on Aug 11, 2013 - 20 answers

It looks like a mini baobab tree?

What is this plant?? It looks like a mini baobab tree, and is 6 or inches high. [more inside]
posted by shinyshiny on Aug 2, 2013 - 2 answers

What is this stuffed... thing?

I've had this stuffed object for many years, since a mystified housemate passed it along to me. No clue what it is supposed to represent. Does it look representative of anything in particular to anyone?
posted by jackbishop on Jul 29, 2013 - 17 answers

what song is this, part MCLVII

OK, I've got two tunes that have been bugging me for ages, so I finally tried to get them roughly into MIDI so that maybe they can be identified. First: I could have sworn this was a round by Moondog, beginning with the approximate lyrics "Birds are singing in the morning, in Gotham, where I live" [mp3], but I can't find it. Second: I think this might be a jazz standard or something? Please pardon the terrible timing. [mp3]
posted by moonmilk on Jul 28, 2013 - 3 answers

ISO Good Mystery Series (novels)

I think I'd like to begin following an author who writes mysteries featuring a regular protagonist and cast of recurring characters, but I have some d'ruthers. Can you help match me up? [more inside]
posted by taz on Jul 20, 2013 - 30 answers

What is this mystery thing?

In the top left of the main photo on this website there is a large balloon/bag-like thing that seems to be hanging from the ceiling. Any ideas what it could be?
posted by soymilk on Jul 16, 2013 - 9 answers

What is this tv show?

Looking for a TV show, was on some PBS station a few months ago, likely 'Masterpiece', or 'Mystery' or whatever they are calling it nowadays. So, likely British. A mystery, I think set in early 20th century. Main protagonist/mystery solver is a lady in her 30s? 40s?, she is wealthy. She ends up hiring an assistant/maid who is very relgious, even being afraid of a telephone because she was told it was the work of Satan, but ends up overcoming that fear. The episode I saw had a attempted murder by Turkish Bath of the main character, and some (fake?) abortion provider main theme, with perhaps drug smuggling thrown in. There is, of course, an exasperated police inspector and the end of the show has the main character sitting aaround with her confederates INA restaurant drinking champaign deciding to officially start aa detective agency
posted by edgeways on Jul 11, 2013 - 6 answers

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