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]
I've worn this necklace every day for nearly 10 years now, but I don't know what it is. [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
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]
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.
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.
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.
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?
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
What are some decent, non-idiotic, contemporary crime/mystery novels? [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]
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]
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.
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.)
What are some particularly intelligent or well-written novels in the suspense/mystery/detective fiction genre? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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.
Help me identify this bizarre book I attempted to read as a kid. [more inside]
Give me your most well written genre fiction! [more inside]
A friend took this picture this weekend in Berkeley Park, in Portland, OR. What is this awesome plant?
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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?
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]
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]
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]
What is this plant?? It looks like a mini baobab tree, and is 6 or inches high. [more inside]