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]
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]