How do I write an Excel formula to weight a rating by the number of ratings, so that a 4 with tens of thousands of ratings weighs more than a 5 with three ratings? [more inside]
I’m mostly only interested in tweets with links. I’m looking for both an iPhone app and a web interface (or, as a fallback, a Windows app) that will just show me that. [more inside]
In Mark Ronson's/Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk," there's a reference to "smoother than a fresh dry Skippy" (or fresh-drawn Skippy). Does this actually mean something?
I have an Excel spreadsheet I use to track glucose readings. There’s a value diabetics use called “A1C” which looks at the last three months of readings. It's based on a blood test, but can be estimated by averaging your readings for the last three months. I try to track every day, but I can’t reliably say “look at the last 90 values” – so I’m wondering how to set up a formula to tell it to only look at readings going back 90 days, not necessarily 90 readings. More inside. [more inside]
I can't get Unicode character 0CAO -- which is a part of a popular emoticon-based meme -- to correctly display in Firefox, despite, as far as I can tell, having the necessary fonts installed on the system. A picture speaks a thousand words, so: These are my Firefox font settings. This is how this page looks in Firefox. This is how it looks in Safari. This page suggested I needed Arial Unicode MS (which appears to already be part of the Mac OS X operating system?). I also installed a Kannada font from here. No go. Any ideas? It's not so much that I really love the meme; moreso that I really detest seeing those Unicode boxes pop up everywhere on God's green Earth when the character fails to display in Firefox.
Looking for two Firefox abilities: is there a Firefox extension that lets you select multiple tabs and move them to a new window with one action? And is there a Firefox extension that lets you merge bookmark folders? [more inside]
Beginning this week, I will start using a Windows XP notebook as my home computer; to date my personal computers have been Macs. I've done some preliminary research as to Windows alternatives to programs, but I'd appreciate three areas of people's suggestions: (i) general tips for owning a Windows machine as your home machine; (ii) specific tips for people migrating from a Mac to a Windows machine; and (iii) critiques and/or alternate suggestions for Windows alternatives to the Mac programs I've used. [more inside]
My internal hard drive died, and new purchases are out of the question for a while. Wondering about the drive lifespan of the LaCie d2 Quadra that is my bootable backup. [more inside]
If You've Got or Remember "Free Enterprise" (1998), Help Me Figure Out This Impression/Accent/Reference
Free Enterprise (1998): Robert: "She's a hot little spicy salsa number." 15 minutes, 13 seconds into the film. Who is he doing an impression of? If not a particular person, what archetype or accent?
At some point in the future, I'd like to follow the recommendations of some various sites I've seen online and scan most of my paper archives to PDF. It looks like this would be the best solution (I'm a Mac user) – or, at least, that's the device I've seen recommended a few million times. However, I really can't see having the discretionary $417+ to purchase this device, not for a very, very long time. Does anyone offer this device for rental? (I live in Chicago.) Is there a RipDigital equivalent for this kind of thing (a very long time ago, they did the initial move of my music from CDs to MP3s)? Are there cheaper alternatives that are just as good?
How do you multiply probability across multiple chances? Let's say that every time you roll a die, you have a one-in-six chance of having five come up. What math would you perform to come up with the probability of five coming up at some point with the dice being rolled two times? Three? Five? Ten? (I'm using dice as a shorthand here: the actual probability figure I'm working with is 24%.)
Whenever I listen to National Public Radio, I occasionally come across a news segment or op-ed by Daniel Schorr (he can be listened to here, and here's his Wikipedia article). I don't understand why, but his voice drives me up one wall and down the other. Why? [more inside]
Something that's always had me a bit curious: how is what's happening to the breasts of the female skydivers in this image that's circulated around the 'Net (NSFW) even anatomically possible? [more inside]
I was watching the Chumbawumba "Tubthumping" video, and while it's obvious that most of the women in the bathroom scenes are men in drag, I wasn't so sure about one: am I right in saying that the woman we see mouthing to "pissing the night away", "oh, Danny boy, Danny boy", and "don't cry for me, next door neighbor" is the lead singer in drag?
Could someone explain to me two references I don't get? In Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog, Billy receives a letter from "Dead, Not Sleeping" (clip). Is that a reference to something? Also, in the Total Eclipse of the Heart "literal" video I posted to Mefi, there's a lyric that says: "And I've joined the Glee Club of the Damned (reference joke!)" (clip). What's "Glee Club of the Damned" a reference to? I presume it's a reference to something since they outright say it is ...
How Can I, Early in the Process, Make Sure a Potential Employer and I Aren't Way Too Far Apart in the Potential Salary for a Position?
Does formal, or politely euphemistic, language exist by which, early on in the job-hunt process, you can make sure you and a potential employer aren't considering salary ranges that are half a planet apart? [more inside]
Web-Based or Mac OS X Twitter Client with Navigation, Deletion/Hide of Read Tweets, and URL Launch -- All Via Keyboard Shortcuts?
Looking for a Twitter client with very specific certain requirements. Does it exist? [more inside]
I'm looking for mottos, slogans, or quotes that are short enough to be easily remembered, that are meant to spur someone to take action towards their goals, and/or that warn against overthinking and overplanning and staying in your head – in other words, that laud the merits of action over thought. I've already thought of "just do it" (which is the precise sentiment I'm looking for), but it is so overplayed that it doesn't have much meaning any longer. Any sentiment of any length is appreciated, but ideally it would be something that easily sticks in your mind.
I have a podcast that downloads as multiple segments over multiple days. Its format arrives as YYYYMMDD_showcode_segment.mp3; so, for example, one download might result in files as 20090323_goofa_01.mp3 through 20090323_goofa_21.mp3, and also within the same download 20090324_goofa_01.mp3 through 20090324_goofa_21.mp3. What I'm looking for is a Unix script (shell, perl, what have you) that would look at a directory and look at what dates are represented there, and let me join all of the segments together by day. I can use mpgtx -j to do the actual joining; I'm looking for the code that would let the script determine what dates are in the directory and then get each day's segments united into a single MP3 for that day's show.
The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act helps unemployed people with their COBRA payments in two ways: it subsidizes 65% of their payments, and because this lower price makes it affordable for many who couldn't before, it allows people who didn't elect for COBRA the first time a second chance to elect for coverage. I was laid off on October 24, and I did elect for coverage on January 28. But I haven't paid yet. The grace period for payment ends in a few days, on Saturday — it has to either be paid online or postmarked by then. If I were to not pay, would I be given the same second chance as those who didn't elect the first time around — the difference being that I would have elected, but not paid? It's a substantial financial difference for me. A little bit more inside. [more inside]
I'm writing a shell script to take a webpage and convert it into a text file. I'd appreciate tips as to how to store URLs, save the file with the URL's title as its name, and also just general tips as to how to improve the script and/or achieve the process better. Specific questions inside. [more inside]
Semantic question: When initially proposing a "getting to know you" predate, the common invitation is to go get some coffee or to go get a drink. If you don't enjoy coffee or alcohol (yet), what alternate phrase can you use that doesn't sound weird? "Get a soda" sounds like "let's go get a malted!", and proposing "getting a drink" and then not drinking alcohol yourself can be problematic — and engaging in even a one- or two-sentence-long explanation about how you don't drink takes the question's tone away from casual and into "sounds complicated-neurotic" territory.
Is there a Firefox extension, or Mac app that can work with what is currently on Firefox, which will export the current webpage as a PDF file that is not paginated and reproduces the screen appearance, such as what Saft's "Export PDF" feature offers for Safari? [more inside]
There are two beverages that nearly every American adult seems to like, but I dislike both: coffee and beer. I would like to develop a taste for both of them. For morning caffeine, coffee's free at most workplaces whereas pop isn't; and beer is a cheap mood alterer; but more importantly, both are social lubricants, one that isn't achieved by drinking a soda while others get either awake, buzzed or drunk. It's been a while since I had either, but remembering the tastes, I think it's that I dislike the bitterness in each drink. [more inside]
I could use people's advice as to finding out the most likely future of our economy, how to come out of a period of unemployment proud as to how I used my time, and how to best prepare for the worst. [more inside]
Why do medical insurers treat obesity different than other vices? Not a GYOB (I've got one); I literally don't understand the facts of the situation. [more inside]
You've moved to a town very remote from any of your established social circles: you have no best nor casual friends nor any romantic relationships. You go into one or more meetings of utter strangers with whom you know you share some common interest (OneBrick, a Mefi meetup, a Meetup.Com thing, or something else entirely). What do you do — specifically, pretend I've got Asperger's here (no offense to those who do) — to take things from the level of "just an amiable conversation" to an actual friendship? [more inside]
What are the underlying processes occurring during an orgasm that are the biological causes of the pleasurable sensation we associate with it? Is the sensation of orgasm a function of the nervous system, or is it something neurochemical in the brain, or both, or neither? Is the reason that certain masturbatory and/or sexual acts feel good because of nerve concentration in the erogenous areas, or is it something different or more in nature? [more inside]
I'd honestly like to know why half of America voted for George W. Bush in 2000: what their reasoning was. [more inside]
I am a Mac owner who bought Hazel, an application that will do a number of different tasks to your files based on certain rules. (Think of it as Outlook rules for your Mac desktop.) However, I've really found myself stumped as to what to do with it, and it's basically just been sitting on my machine unused. If you have it, what do you do with it? If you don't have it or have a Windows machine, do you have any good ideas for rule logic, or automated rules, to apply to files on your desktop, anyway? Looks like it'll auto-run AppleScripts and Unix shell scripts, too. Basically looking to tap other people's minds on this one since my own seems to be balking at this particular mental problem. Thanks. [more inside]
Consistently, every single time I come home, my cat will come over to a particular corner of my desk -- I need not be sitting at it or indeed be anywhere near it -- and meow while faux-scratching it. He occasionally will stretch his back after the scratch, but not always. It's extremely cute, and he's such an affectionate cat that I'm even kind of touched by it. But I suppose I find myself curious as to what the gesture breaks down to. I'm assuming it's a greeting, since he repeats it without fail every time I come home after being out for more than a few minutes, but I suppose I'm curious as to what the action signifies. I doubt it's totally random, but I can't quite figure out what "animal world" thing he would be doing by that particular pattern.
I recently switched over to a plain text file as my to-do list; I can structure it the way I want, it is an absolute cinch to access in any one of a hundred zillion different ways, it's crossplatform, and so on. However, I am running into one methodology I can't figure out how to translate into the "plain text" world, and that is repeating tasks. [more inside]
I would like to know a few things about withdrawing (not loaning, but flat-out withdrawals) from 401(k) funds. [more inside]
How can I best set up a question regarding furniture rearrangement (in terms of spatially rearranging things, with measurements) on the Internet, and is Ask Mefi the best source or are there other communities that would be better? Are there Flash tools that let you post furniture floorplans and let others come and rearrange things? Alternatively, for advice simply on arrangement of furniture, how much might a professional's advice be, and would an interior decorator be the profession to turn to? (Do they still call themselves interior decorators? It seems a '70s term.) [more inside]
I'm a very overweight man in my early to mid-thirties, and I would appreciate your advice as to how to dress in a way that's complementary to me for social situations (such as going to clubs, bars, lectures, etc.). More inside. [more inside]
Is there a way that I can access some very old PDF files that are encrypted with a password I cannot remember any longer? I have a system running Mac OS X (Leopard), and I do need to do the decryption myself. [more inside]
I recently bought a Sonicare. I like how it makes my teeth feel cleaner than they had been, and anecdotal evidence from others suggests it's going to help my gums. But I really can't figure out how the toothpaste works with this thing. [more inside]
Are there alternatives to the lotus position for classic meditation that don't leave the back unsupported? I've found that sitting in an unsupported position, or in a chair that doesn't have a seat back, ends up making my back ache rather strongly. I've thought about investigating meditation (and looking into the more classical, early practices), but have wondered if there's a "kosher" (accepted in the discipline) way of doing the more classical meditations while having your back completely supported (by lying on the ground, or doing it in a chair, or what have you).
I have an ethical or logical quandary that I'm trying to puzzle out. [more inside]
What's the most comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date blog-searching site? [more inside]
Is there a Firefox extension — preferably a Firefox 2 extension — that will alter Firefox's copying behavior so that, when you copy something, it is copied to the clipboard (or pasted from the clipboard) as its HTML, instead of plain text? [more inside]
I'm curious as to what medical condition causes something I saw a few weeks ago. [more inside]
I'm primarily looking for the most complete iCalendar out there that catalogs Chicago activities and goings-on; secondarily, I'm looking for cool iCalendars in general. [more inside]
In many places throughout the country, you often hear a eight-note melody played prior to church bells tolling the hour. Can you help me identify it? [more inside]
A medication pill has dropped on the floor and seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth. I'm concerned for my cat. [more inside]
Mefites, help me be clever yet immature on the playground of our lives. I need to know how to more effectively tell someone he's a boogerhead. [more inside]
A keystroke is misbehaving on Firefox with the del.icio.us Complete extension, and I'm at a loss as to how to debug the problem. [more inside]
I have a cat who is a wonderful and well-behaved affectionate little guy in most respects. He has an annoying compulsion I don't know how to cure: he loves to eat toilet paper and Kleenex. [more inside]
There are gay bars, lesbian bars, and leather bars. Are there "geek bars"? In geek culture, what institution, meeting, or whatever serves the purpose that "meat market" single bars do amongst the non-geeky populace? [more inside]