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Books that allude to books that do not exist.

In The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, the title character is negatively influenced by a "poison" book that is mentioned repeatedly in the text but never named. "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," the short story by Jorge Luis Borges, mentions several nonexistent books including a mysteriously altered encyclopedia and a History of the Land Called Uqbar. I am looking for more fictional references in novels or stories to other books that do not exist. Help, please? [more inside]
posted by BlueJae on Apr 11, 2014 - 59 answers

 

DO Fear the Reaper

Possibly-Apocryphal Biological/Chemical Disaster-Filter: years ago, a friend told me about a haunting, peculiar biological (or chemical) laboratory disaster. I've always wondered whether she was yanking my chain. She's passed away, but I'd like to know if anything remotely LIKE the disaster she described has ever occurred (in a nutshell: "some deadly skin/respiratory agent kills everyone working in a lab facility instantly"). Literally-gory details within. [more inside]
posted by julthumbscrew on Apr 11, 2014 - 22 answers

A special novel?

A family friend is graduating from high school and I would like to give her a gift. She is going to study literature at university so I would like to get her a book. I'm looking for recommendations for something special. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by sapien on Apr 11, 2014 - 14 answers

help us replace boxed rice with rice cooker recipes

Hi, me and mrs.chasles and the two littlest chasleses all eat rice, and how! we cook a LOT of white rice in the rice cooker but for flavored rice (think uncle bens type stuff) we switch to the boxes. they are great and savory but very high in sodium and quite a bit more expensive than white rice in the cooker. so how do we migrate from boxed to recipes in the rice cooker (or slow cooker)? the flavors we usually buy are like chicken and herb, wild mushroom, that sort of thing. nothing cheesey etc. In other words is it as simple as "throw some mushrooms in with the rice" or do we need to get more complex? Now with the background out of the way here is the question distilled down: how do we get that intense creamy flavor in a rice cooker? we are both good in the kitchen, so complexity or make-in-advance are all ok for us! thanks for helping!
posted by chasles on Apr 11, 2014 - 18 answers

Ideal instrument for a child to learn music?

My child (almost 5) is showing an interest in music and I would like to get him started with music lessons. Please help me pick an instrument for him. [more inside]
posted by rada on Apr 11, 2014 - 42 answers

How can I get my life in order

I'm currently 21 years old (female). I live at home with my dad and his girlfriend of 17 years. I work two jobs (one at a sandwich shop I've been at for 5 years and another at a coffee shop I've been at for 7 months). I also attend community college and this is my third year there, I will have my associates degree at the end of summer in general studies, I want to transfer to a state university in my area but don't even know what I want to go for. [more inside]
posted by anon1129 on Apr 11, 2014 - 12 answers

Please tell me this is a Viennese ladybug in my bed...

Found a little critter in the bedlinens at the Airbnb place where I'm staying. Entomologists of Mefi, tell me whether to freak out or not. (Please excuse any typos resulting from being on German keyboard.) [more inside]
posted by scody on Apr 11, 2014 - 12 answers

Name that book I half-remember from my childhood, episode n

It was a young adult (early teen or late pre-teen?) novel, featuring a boy who ran along railroad tracks. [more inside]
posted by sockpuppet13 on Apr 11, 2014 - 5 answers

21st-Century Tech meets 19th-Century Habits

I'm stumped. Are there any iPad address book apps that have space to let you record POSTAL addresses? They all seem to give space for everything but - phone, mobile, Linkedin, web, Twitter, email, Foursquare, Instagram, etc., but no space for stick-a-stamp-on-an-envelope-and-drop-it-in-the-mail mailing addresses. (I also have the sinking feeling y'all are gonna come in with like 20, so can we also turn this into "recommend me your favorite one"?) Thanks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos on Apr 10, 2014 - 2 answers

New pleasure. New pleasure. Eating!

Recently I discovered a new sensation which is entirely pleasurable - the feeling of having eaten something good. Is this something most people experience? [more inside]
posted by jet_silver on Apr 9, 2014 - 18 answers

Does The Scarlet Letter belong to a literary genre?

Does The Scarlet Letter belong to a literary genre? How would publishers market the book today, and on what book shelf would you find it in the book store? Same question for The Brothers Karamazov. Could these stories, if they were told in a prose style indicative of the 21st c, find a publisher?
posted by jwhite1979 on Apr 9, 2014 - 12 answers

What storage solution am I looking for?

This is for my lab. Setup: two computers, both Mac Pros. Each runs the same psychology experiment software. (Python-based, FWIW.) Our subjects have multiple sessions, and may use one computer or the other on subsequent days. We have multiple experiments running at once. We use Unison to keep their data directories synchronized (it's better than running two rsync cron jobs) but it's starting to get temperamental. I know there must be a better solution, and I feel like it's hardware based. [more inside]
posted by supercres on Apr 9, 2014 - 10 answers

Common wildflower identification, Europe

Hello, can anyone please tell me what this flower is called? [more inside]
posted by runincircles on Apr 9, 2014 - 5 answers

Rebranding or repairing a broken PhD student

This seems to be a week for academia-related questions. I am an ABD student in the humanities at a prestigious university. The job prospects in my field are grim, and they are grimmer still for me because I have not performed well in my program. My history is one of late papers, lingering incompletes, delayed time to qualifying exams, and poor rapport with faculty. I am in the beginning stages of writing a dissertation that I know will serve me no real purpose. So what do I do now? [more inside]
posted by redfishbluefish on Apr 8, 2014 - 16 answers

Can I eat this, delayed FedEx meat shipment edition

I had a shipment of frozen meat that was delayed by bad weather last week in Memphis. It was shipped on Thursday frozen in a styrofoam box to be delivered on Friday. Thanks to a weather delay, I didn't get it until Monday evening. The box sat in a truck in the local FedEx parking lot all day Saturday and Sunday (and probably most of Friday also). [more inside]
posted by fogovonslack on Apr 8, 2014 - 19 answers

Make my first Europe trip a success. Copenhagen, Sweden, and the works!

I'm going to Copenhagen for 7 nights in mid-May! It's definitely not the first Europe trip I had been longing for, but some time ago I found an insane deal on airfare and it was too good to pass up, even if it meant upstaging my plans for a much longer trip to the continent. MeFi, help me make it a success. Give your best tips on. Also, what would be viable day trips from Copenhagen? [more inside]
posted by signondiego on Apr 8, 2014 - 9 answers

Looking for a great Seattle CSA!

We're looking to switch to a new CSA this year, after a few years of using Nash's Organic Produce. Looking for recommendations, and reviews of a few specific ones that we're interested in. Snowflakes inside! [more inside]
posted by skycrashesdown on Apr 8, 2014 - 5 answers

Oops UPS

I had a return to Amazon. I printed the label they provided and put it on the envelope. I didn't realize it was a UPS label and not USPS until last night when I went to check the status of my return. I had accidentally put the envelope in a USPS mailbox on Monday last week, April 1. What is going to happen my package? [more inside]
posted by sio42 on Apr 8, 2014 - 15 answers

Cleaning mould from curtains with several constraints

I need to clean a bunch of white curtains with black mildew spots. They all have plastic rings sewed on for hanging and no tags to show what material they're made from, but they look like a cotton blend. I don't have a washing machine (I bring clothes to a laundrette) and have serious space limitations (no room to air dry, unless *absolutely* necessary). What is the best approach to cleaning these things? Will a dryer melt the plastic rings? Will a hot wash damage the curtains? Is dry cleaning an option? Thanks!
posted by hannahlambda on Apr 8, 2014 - 6 answers

Burner/pay as you go phone or service that will not deactivate?

I am looking for your experience with a brand of cheapo phone/carrier/phonecard that I can "set and forget"--pay for, plug in, and pull out as a back up on a whim that will not expire or deactivate for a reasonably long while (is never okay?). [more inside]
posted by Lardmitten on Apr 7, 2014 - 3 answers

Help me identify an indie rock/pop song with two female vocalists.

Heard the song in a restaurant and liked it, but don't have a copy of Shazam. Here's what I could hear / learned: [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Apr 7, 2014 - 13 answers

Moving to Canada from the US - question about renting an apartment

I am finishing my Ph.D this month and will be moving to Canada for a post-doc position. The town where I will be moving to has a VERY tight rental market and from what I have heard, apartments rent within hours of being posted on the local rental websites. My husband is flying out about a month before we officially move up to secure a place for us to rent, but we are worried about trying to pay for a place without a Canadian bank account. We don't want to give cash to the landlord because it is untraceable and we are pretty sure no one will accept a check from a US bank. Has anyone had to deal with this before? Any advice would be most welcome. Thanks!
posted by source.decay on Apr 7, 2014 - 13 answers

Help me identify these ..unique.. songs I heard on the radio.

I'm looking for two songs I heard on the radio but, mostly due to current [read: popular] songs that share the same keywords, my google-fu is failing me. Help me find them based upon the partially remembered lyrics and topics covered. This ain't yo' grandma's google request... [more inside]
posted by RolandOfEld on Apr 7, 2014 - 7 answers

My SSN number is publicly available...should I be worried?

I found my SSN and my wife's SSN #'s listed on a document accessible to anyone at the County courthouse. As near as I can tell it wasn't available until recently...should I be concerned? [more inside]
posted by dukes909 on Apr 7, 2014 - 10 answers

Do I apologize, or do we all just pretend this NEVER HAPPENED?

I "met" an internet friend over the weekend who it turns out is someone I actually dated in high school. I am really embarrassed and hate that I've been an accidental jerk, and I'm not sure what to do now. You know, other than feel like kind of an idiot. [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities on Apr 7, 2014 - 48 answers

Need help securing/troubleshooting my household WiFi Network

I am incredibly geeky (though I certainly know geeks who are moreso) and somewhat hackerish, been running my household WiFi and Wired network to dozens of devices for several years and everything was fine until my Mom's new housesitter brought a laptop into the network that was profoundly infected with various malware. I THINK the malware issue is still contained to his laptop but household broadband utilization went from 200 - 300 GB per month in January/February to more than 650 GB in March and we're still racking up 10-12 GB per day in April. I need help with what to do without alienating anyone and what I can do to support the housesitter while he also works locally on his computer to remove the malware. Brainstorming, new techniques, anything like that would be helpful. [more inside]
posted by kalessin on Apr 7, 2014 - 5 answers

Making flat 3-d looking logo, into actual 3d logo

I am creating a physical 3-dimensional object from a flat logo (that looks 3-dimensional), help needed. [more inside]
posted by Sreiny on Apr 7, 2014 - 7 answers

Y2K show that made "Ancient Aliens" look like PBS's "Frontline"

In the lead-up to Y2K, there were many "we're all screwed" documentary-style programs on basic cable in the US. There was one in particular that was so out of whack with reality that its predictions were more like a fever dream than anything else. One scene involved kitchen appliances rising up and attacking a woman. I'm trying to figure out what show that was. [more inside]
posted by chambers on Apr 7, 2014 - 9 answers

State of the Art in Computer-Generated Poetry

Hello my merry minions! I would like to write some software that writes some poems, sort of like this guy did. Could you point me to some examples of existing procedural poetry generators so that I can build off of them? Bonus points if there's source code or a description of the techniques they used. Thanks so much!
posted by zscore on Apr 7, 2014 - 5 answers

Tell me about these "local communities"

So, frequently I will read people (eg on this very website) talking about local communities, how great they are, and the various things which are apparently destroying them. I tend to be "what are these things? Why do people like them so much? I don't get it.". So, where can I read about these things? [more inside]
posted by curious_yellow on Apr 7, 2014 - 14 answers

Do I fight to keep this kitty?

I'm having a battle of ownership over a cat. Back on January 29, when it was -50 C, I found a very cold and very friendly kitty on the street outside my house. I brought him inside, shut him up in my spare bedroom and stuck up lost cat posters all over the neighborhood. After two weeks with no response I took him to the vet, got his first shots and had him tested for FHIV, and started introducing him to my female kitty. That night I got a call from his owners, a (very poor, aboriginal) family who live in a small apartment on the corner facing my house. I took him back to them, told them that I'd had some of his shots done and that he'd need to be fixed; I gave them the name of the low-income clinic that does it for 25 bucks, and told the kid that I'd be happy to pay for the rest of the shots, too. I also told them that he shouldn't be outside in this cold. Then I went to Vancouver for February break. [more inside]
posted by jrochest on Apr 6, 2014 - 62 answers

Phone plans for the monosyllabic.

Your secret weapon: cell phone plans edition! Rarely talk, text even more rarely. Best prepaid(?) plans for Los Angeles WeHo area, rollover minutes, cheapo? [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Apr 6, 2014 - 18 answers

DC Cab (not the movie, but the taxi)?

A relative of mine needs to get from the Southwest area of Washington DC, to Union Station, around 3am tonight/Monday am. I haven't been here very long, and I've only caught cabs in cab ranks from the airport or flagged one down, never called one for a late-night pickup, so I don't know what's best. Looking at Yelp for taxicabs, they're full of zero-to-one star reviews and horror stories. So please help! How can I best and most reliably get someone from southwest DC to Union Station in the wee hours?
posted by theatro on Apr 6, 2014 - 16 answers

Help me find this type?

Found font I'd love for my Save the Dates and need your help to track it down! [more inside]
posted by xicana63 on Apr 6, 2014 - 4 answers

Chic bag for my laptop and books

I've been carrying what is a Kenneth Cole Weekender bag for my schoolbooks and laptops. It's not really good at supporting all the weight. What are some chic looking alternatives that can handle the weight of a few notebooks and a somewhat large-ish Toshiba laptop that won't kill my arm but look pretty killer. Nothing frumpy please! [more inside]
posted by discopolo on Apr 6, 2014 - 6 answers

Who is on the tv?

What person / movie / tv show is on the TVs during this sequence of American Graffiti? [more inside]
posted by dilaudid on Apr 6, 2014 - 5 answers

Can I Ignore This Error Code (97 Mazda 626 Filter)

The car my son drives (97 Mazda 626 with the 6 cylinder engine) is throwing a P1195 OBDII code. That is a error reading from the EGR sensor, but there are a variety of things that could cause that, and Google didn't turn up any advice about whether or not that is really a critical issue to deal with. [more inside]
posted by COD on Apr 6, 2014 - 8 answers

A dance show called Joe

I'm trying to find anything about this group dance performance. [more inside]
posted by ethnomethodologist on Apr 5, 2014 - 4 answers

Kanji wear it, redux

Same question as last time - what do these letters say? The blood and skulls make it school unfriendly, but I'd like to know what the kids are parading around saying ...
posted by tilde on Apr 5, 2014 - 5 answers

Great Saturday brunch in Washington, D.C.?

Just looking for great brunch recommendations in Washington, D.C. Having drinks is a plus but bottomless isn't important.
posted by glaucon on Apr 5, 2014 - 10 answers

Like, I like Like

Does anyone remember a recent article by (I think) a linguist whose main point was defending the colloquial use of "like", as a way to explicate internal monologue in a way that wasn't really done before? For obvious reasons this is very hard to google for. I don't remember if I saw it here on Metafilter or some other source.
posted by bleep on Apr 4, 2014 - 15 answers

What is the term for this jacket?

I'm wondering what the proper term for this jacket is. I am told it is Japanese. It is made of heavy cotton and is hand stitched. [more inside]
posted by fozzie_bear on Apr 4, 2014 - 4 answers

Hack my diet

I'm trying to lose weight at the moment and could do with some help optimizing my food intake. [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on Apr 4, 2014 - 17 answers

Pizza in Brooklyn?

I'll be in Brooklyn next week for work staying at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott and I'm looking for a great local place to get a slice. This is the one food I crave the most and I just can't find any great pizza here in Central Florida. So please help me out and tell me where to get a great slice! Not just classic NYC style either, I'm open to any style.
posted by white_devil on Apr 4, 2014 - 19 answers

Help me unlock my vintage school locker!

Bought an old school locker at a flea market and two of the lockers won't open. [more inside]
posted by Sweetie Darling on Apr 4, 2014 - 3 answers

Flying Allegiant Air --is it a bargain, or PITA?

My husband and I are considering flying Allegiant Air from Tennessee to Ft. Myers, FL in a few weeks (prices are about 50% of other airlines). Has anyone had any experiences (good or bad) with this airline? Thanks,
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs on Apr 3, 2014 - 20 answers

Help me find a pair of novels set in the future with magic.

Trying to find a pair of novels set in the near future North America that I read sometime between 1990 and 2004 approximately. The "big idea" is that neopagan magic "returns" (or at least everyone believes it does, and acts accordingly) with the millennium. The protagonist of one novel is pregnant with the next world spiritual leader. In one scene, a prophet yells at her, "you're full of fish!" Another novel with the same setting (perhaps the same novel) involved a conspiracy and had a genderqueer magical cyberpunk/hacker as a minor character. I remember them as similar to Galveston by Sean Stewart but I'm pretty certain they're not by Stewart. It's not Bone Dance or DeLint, and they had nothing to do with Shadowrun. Help appreciated. They're probably not all that great, but the pair were striking enough that a few things stick out.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos on Apr 3, 2014 - 2 answers

Ladies, fashionistas, advice-givers, lend me your ears....

I have a lovely light chiffony navy blue pleated skirt that I surprisingly fit into after only a month of dieting (I bought it thinking that it was aspirational). The weather suddenly turned cold again after being unseasonably (and unregionally) warm for a bit here in beautiful San Francisco. I want to wear the skirt while it fits but need some help deciding what to wear it with. [more inside]
posted by janey47 on Apr 3, 2014 - 12 answers

Achieve customer's confidence in a service they're not paying for

I work for an IT company that provides certain VIP customers with consultancy services, free of charge for them. My job is basically help them identify new business needs, get first-hand information about their plans and projects, do some consulting work related to IT management methodologies, suggest ways to fix non-optimal business processes and in general, manage the business relationship at the highest level (CIOs and CEOs). [more inside]
posted by Matrod on Apr 3, 2014 - 7 answers

Like Gleick is to Information Theory, X is to Social Choice Theory

What are some great, accessible books that would allow me to learn more about social choice theory without having to become an economist? I am thinking something along the likes of James Gleick's "popular science" Information Theory book, but for social choice theory. [more inside]
posted by TheyCallItPeace on Apr 3, 2014 - 2 answers

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