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.)
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]
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]
What is this plant?? It looks like a mini baobab tree, and is 6 or inches high. [more inside]
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?
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]
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?
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
I need a new book to read for my upcoming trip (including long flights). It must be available on kindle. Details inside, of the kind of book I am looking for. [more inside]
Cleaning my balcony yesterday, I overturned a bench to find these small eggs attached by a fine, stiff filament • • • • (or if not egg sacs, what, fungus maybe?). I'd like to know what will be issuing from them. I'm in Sydney, Australia.
Does anyone know what happened with the 10 dollar art mystery? It’s been a while and I can’t find a resolution. There’s the Wiki, but if it has any more information I didn’t see it.
What in the world could be causing itchy scalp and neck for three members of the same family... but isn't lice? [more inside]
I saw this little critter swimming around in my outdoor goldfish pond. It's maybe a little over 1/8" in diameter, seems to paddle around carelessly with feet/paddles on its underside. It's kind of flat, roundish and transparent, except for some spidery markings/innards. Seems to have a hint of a tail, and a couple eye-like spots. A search for baby crawfish turns up nothing quite like this. Mysterious how he got in the pond in the first place.
Going through our kitchen gadget drawer, we can across what looks like nothing so much as a wand. It has a label on it that says it's from Scotland. What is this thing?
I'm trying to remember the name of a computer game I used to play in the early- to mid-90s. I think it was a series set in suburbia with two kids (possibly brother and sister?) tasked with solving crimes. It had suspects, a map with possible locations, and it was probably vaguely educational. It was not Carmen Sandiego-related. What was the name of the game?
Asking for a friend: Sometime within the last four years, I heard a dancehall/calypso song that samples/references "Every Breath You Take" in the chorus, except the line is "every breath you take, you make the dancefloor shake". Does anyone know what this song could be?
What is this thing? It's chrome, about 9 inches long, and arrived in a care package from a co-worker's grandmother's house.
I work in an art supply store. People ask for rolls of tracing paper very frequently, and I'm curious as to what they need them for. [more inside]
This comment in a Hacker News thread introduced me to Yashavant Kanetkar. Apparently his C programming books are the worst of the worst. Yet somehow, the Indian education system uses his books pervasively. I tried to find out more about this guy and the controversy around him, but web searches turned up a flat nothing. Anyone read his books or know about the story?
Can you help identify this Christmas Present? [more inside]
What kind of plant is this? The coloring is similar to alternanthera dentata, but the leaf shape is wrong.
A few years ago (at least 3 years but probably 5 or more), I was driving with my mom and we saw the extremely decorated house in these pictures: [more inside]
My mom has a bar of soap that I probably gave her as a gift several years ago. We're trying to figure out what language, if any, the logo/brandname are in and what it means. It could be mirrored or upside down but it still doesn't look like any character set I recognize. The soap was probably purchased at a fair trade store so it could be from anywhere.