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.
view with spike out
posted by mairuzu
on Mar 23, 2014 -
Sometimes, some documents I read are so convoluted that I don't understand what they are telling me. I've found this to be true in for legal documents including terms of agreements and constitutions among others. Is there any kind of program that looks at the syntax of sections of text and converts them into block diagrams showing the relationships between subjects and objects with the verb, adverbs, adjectives, etc. showing how they are connected? For instance, if it was highlighting the sentence, "See Spot run", there would be two boxes, one labeled Spot and one labeled You with an arrow connecting the latter to the former. I'm thinking of something similar to sentence diagramming but graphically represented and not nearly as complicated. It seems to me that if something could lay out all of the relationships within a document, that would make it much easier for someone to understand what it means. Or is that magical thinking on my part?
posted by CollectiveMind
on Jan 26, 2014 -
Aside from the standard stops ( etsy, eBay, etc ) where should I be looking to find a breadbox-sized, working radio from the 1930s-40s? Ideally Bakelite but not a deal breaker. Ideally shipping from the U.S? A period shell over modern electronics/cords is fine.
posted by The Whelk
on Nov 28, 2013 -
I found this object in a cigar box: Mystery Object views 1
. 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 -
In other words, something, like a pipe, that is so long and straight that it can't be laid flat on the earth because of the latter's curvature?
posted by gnossie
on Oct 17, 2013 -
I am looking for movies (or related) that contain an unusual twist: At the end, it is revealed that unbeknownst to everyone there was a person or object repeatedly appearing in the background. [more inside]
posted by 99percentfake
on Oct 3, 2013 -
You know the scene, from many an old comedy or cartoon. A is chasing B. B runs around the edge of an object, such as a large table, so as to put the obstacle between himself and A. Perhaps A and B run around the table a few times. Then A starts to get tricky. A starts to go clockwise around the table, B goes clockwise to get away, A switches direction hoping to run into B coming the other way, but B also reverses, keeping the table between them. Feint back and forth a few times, usually keeping close to the edge of the table. The usual end gag is for A to somehow overcome the barrier of the table and short-cut directly to B; such as leaping over the table, throwing the table aside, or opening the table in half and walking through it (if it's one of those tables where you can add panels to the center). What is this 'circular back and forth chase around an obstacle' called? [more inside]
posted by The otter lady
on Aug 27, 2013 -
Excel 2010. Inside a chart. Arrow keys select other objects/elements inside the chart, instead of nudging. In an identical chart in the same worksheet, the arrow keys work fine (they nudge objects/elements). Scroll Lock is not enabled. The "select objects" option in the Find and Select menu does nothing. Google shows nothing. Help!
posted by ArgyleGargoyle
on Jul 16, 2013 -
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 -
What is the item you own that is completely 'fit and forget'? What is the thing in your life which needs the least minuscule amount of attention, upgrades, tweaking, watering, oiling, sharpening, and so on? It performs 100% and you can utterly rely on its metronomic efficiency. Consulting the hive mind for recommended products you use which do their job and do it well all
Your go to thing that, y'know, just works... Every Single Time. [more inside]
posted by 0 answers
on May 27, 2013 -
My friends have a house-sit. The house's owners possess two of these objects
. We don't recognize them. The blades are sharpened, and they were stored beneath the sink.
We have some strong theories, but no real answers. The owners are Bangladeshi Americans, if that helps. [more inside]
posted by eyesontheroad
on Jan 20, 2013 -
What is this
mystery object found on the floor of a public bathroom at a Boston Best Buy?
posted by Dragonness
on Apr 30, 2012 -
A quote from a recent NYT article about American-invented Chinese takeout boxes
states, "The structure has come to represent the idea of Eastern cuisine in Western society even though this packaging is not used for food containment in Chinese culture." Is there a term for these kinds of cultural placeholders, objects which end up symbolizing another culture, while not actually having anything to do with that culture in reality? Are there other examples of this?
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Jan 15, 2012 -
What is this
? Spotted in a Goodwill, with no documentation or package. The smushed-ball thing is metal, and the cable is very flexible. The base is plastic.
posted by everichon
on Dec 21, 2011 -
I inserted a product block into an AutoCAD drawing that I downloaded from the manufacturer's website. I moved it to the layer I want, but it won't 'take' the color of that layer. What gives? [more inside]
posted by lovableiago
on Nov 11, 2011 -
Why does Outlook render spreadsheet data pasted into an email so shittily, and how can I avoid this? [more inside]
posted by goethean
on Jun 28, 2011 -
What are some "end user" products (preferably open source) or methodologies that allow complex queries of objects?
I want to allow both programmers and non-programmers to be able to access the data. [more inside]
posted by santogold
on May 20, 2011 -
What sort of performances (dance, music videos, etc) involve a solo dancer dancing with an object as their lover? [more inside]
posted by divabat
on May 16, 2010 -
I found something in the road. It's metallic and magnetic. Just curious if anyone can tell me what it might be. Photo here
posted by various
on Apr 11, 2009 -
Help me identify this mystery object. It looks sort of like a set of metallic false teeth, smaller than life-size, with a metal tube or something where the tongue should be. [more inside]
posted by kpmcguire
on May 30, 2008 -
What is this
large red and orange checkerboarded cone I saw on I-5 somewhere around Olympia, WA?
posted by 0xFCAF
on Aug 6, 2007 -
What is this thing?
I got it from ArtchixStudio
but they're not talking. I use it for jewelry-making purposes, but to me it's so odd it must have a hardware or other practical use. Here
is another view. Help me, hive mind!
posted by agregoli
on Jul 17, 2007 -
Where to find illustrated body parts to mix to create infinite character position/attitudes ? [more inside]
posted by vincentm
on Mar 14, 2006 -
Why do sites show movies embedded in a tiny web page rather than linking to it so I can view it in the media player of my choice?
posted by Nelson
on Jan 20, 2005 -
Why (in general) do you need source files? Why can't applications manipulate binary files directly? [more inside.] [more inside]
posted by grumblebee
on Jan 15, 2004 -