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]
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]
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]
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]
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?
Is there a way for a closed laptop to automatically connect to the internet without someone opening it? [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 is this piece of furniture with a clock, large sector to 150 and a smaller selector? [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]
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 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]
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]
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]
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 am looking for recommendations for documentaries about true crime cases. [more inside]
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]
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]
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?
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]
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]
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]
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]
What is this lovely scent? [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
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?
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
What is this mystery object my grandmother found in her home? Pics inside. [more inside]
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]