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My computer got hit by a truck. Sorta.

Yesterday my PC repeatedly failed to update Windows. My attempts to get things back on track went catastrophically wrong. I have a backup system and am now putting my system back together. What *should* I have done? [more inside]
posted by jon1270 on Jun 13, 2014 - 4 answers

Keep my baby from getting sick from the airplane

We traveled a couple of weeks ago, and my 7 month old got a respiratory virus and got very sick. Sent from pediatrician's office to ER to PICU sick. Based on timing, Occam's Razor says she caught it on the plane. We will be flying again in a few weeks. I would like practical tips for things we can do on the plane to minimize the risk of her getting sick again. [more inside]
posted by telepanda on Jun 13, 2014 - 11 answers

Four Years in our Nation's Capitol!!! What to do?!! What to do?!!

What should be my nephew check out while he's going to school in Washington, D.C.? [more inside]
posted by Hanuman1960 on Jun 13, 2014 - 12 answers

Help me find a low-key party location in Orlando

I'm planning an alumni party for my workplace's residents and fellows who will be at the national annual meeting for our specialty. The conference is at the Orange County Convention Center. I'm looking for a place within walking distance of the conference, with good food (doesn't have to be fine dining, or anything, but needs to be tasty) and a pleasant ambiance where our doctors can catch up on what they've been up to for the past year. It'll be a Tuesday night in September. [more inside]
posted by joannemerriam on Jun 13, 2014 - 3 answers

Costco Ground Beef - Packaged today, best before tomorrow. Why?

The last couple times we've gone to Costco looking for bulk ground beef (we make chili in large batches and freeze individual portions), we noticed that it had been packaged that day, and was marked best before the very next day. [more inside]
posted by heavenstobetsy on Jun 13, 2014 - 9 answers

How to respond to Mars exploration vs feed the hungry?

Today, I was enthusing about a photograph from the surface of Mars, and a friend responded along the following lines: "I find it hard to get excited about it when there are so many starving people here on Earth. We should fix our own problems before exploring other planets." How could I have responded? [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jun 13, 2014 - 39 answers

Can you name this 1980's movie?

My wife and I remember the same mid 1980's movie about a young couple, but cannot figure out what it is. [more inside]
posted by Leenie on Jun 12, 2014 - 4 answers

A good personal wiki with tags? OR, fiction writing software?

I'd like to find some software to organize and tie together less-important details in my story. Probably I want a personal wiki--but which one? I'm open to wiki alternatives also. [more inside]
posted by mattu on Jun 12, 2014 - 9 answers

Shopping for Disney shoes for August

A portmanteau for this man's poor toes:
  • Are Keen Newports good shoes for a long trip to Disney World in August? If not, what beats them? I mean, can I simply wear my running shoes?
  • Do you try on footwear like this with or without socks?
  • Do you allow extra room on the assumption that your feet will swell in the steam heat?
  • [more inside]
    posted by wenestvedt on Jun 12, 2014 - 20 answers

    Why does my brain put an article before IHOP

    The fate of the world depends on finding an answer to this question: Which is more grammatically correct -- I'll meet you at IHOP or I'll meet you at the IHOP? If grammar has no opinion, what is the most common formulation? [more inside]
    posted by angrycat on Jun 12, 2014 - 28 answers

    Best cocktails bars in each US state

    I want to sit alone for a few hours at the best cocktail bar in your city. [more inside]
    posted by Zosia Blue on Jun 12, 2014 - 146 answers

    Applying for a job when I don't know my availability

    A dream position of mine just opened up, but I'm unavailable for up to 6 months. Is it worth applying? [more inside]
    posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug on Jun 12, 2014 - 6 answers

    Is Feedly's DDoS attack as extortion common online?

    For the last two days feedly has been down for significant chunks of time because of DDoS attacks (article). They say hackers are trying to extort them for money. Is this common online? [more inside]
    posted by lownote on Jun 12, 2014 - 9 answers

    Is Lasik worth pursuing if my eyes are wonky?

    I've worn contacts for over 30 years now but have recently considered getting Lasik. I have heavy astigmatism and have been wearing toric lenses, which work most of the time but still tend to drift making my vision poor at any distance. I signed up for a Lasik seminar, attended and was interested in continuing. I stopped wearing my contacts over two weeks before my preop exam but apparently my eyes still haven't settled to a consistent shape because they couldn't get consistent results when measuring them. I have another exam scheduled in two weeks but I'm beginning to wonder if it's even worth it. Should I just accept defeat or go back and try again?
    posted by tommasz on Jun 12, 2014 - 13 answers

    ISO best practices for cleaning up broken glass outdoors

    I have a (potentially) lovely area in my yard where I'd like to put some patio furniture. Problem: it seems to have been used as a midden/trash heap at some point in the past. Things I've found there include old glass fuses, broken window glass, and old vacuum cleaner parts (some with tree roots growing right through them). I suspect the *right* way to fix it is to dig up and replace a few inches of the topsoil (or to pave it over), but I'm renting. I'm willing to put down a few inches of mulch, but I'd like to get as much of the glass up as I can beforehand. I've been picking it up by (gloved) hand but if anyone has any secret tips for locating and picking up broken glass off of dirt, I'd love to hear them!
    posted by mskyle on Jun 12, 2014 - 10 answers

    "Learn English" videos for Spanish speakers who aren't literate?

    Can anyone recommend a beginner level English language tutorial series for Spanish speakers who cannot read or write in either language?
    posted by jayCampbell on Jun 12, 2014 - 5 answers

    Here's a long shot

    It was someone's homemade outgoing machine message that included some sound effects, and then a voice saying "just show me a rich geologist" followed by a different voice excitedly exclaiming "I'm the mayor!" I definitely downloaded this in the last five years, but I don't know where. Do you?
    posted by blnkfrnk on Jun 11, 2014 - 4 answers

    Calling all librarians...

    I am looking for a reference manager that can integrate with MS Word, can attach pdfs to the references, and can be accessible maybe over the web to my colleagues in different countries. Basically EndNote, but with cloud storage and remote access. Does this exist? [more inside]
    posted by pH Indicating Socks on Jun 11, 2014 - 10 answers

    Cast Iron Radiators of Death

    Mr. Kitty and I are pretty handy, but removing 100 layers of 100 year old paint from our cast iron radiators may kill us. Who can we pay to make this problem someone else's? [more inside]
    posted by Suffocating Kitty on Jun 11, 2014 - 11 answers

    What is the greatest recording of the Blue Danube Waltz?

    What is the greatest recording of the Blue Danube Waltz? I want to dance to it at my wedding. I have Googled and whatnot. I want to hear personal suggestions from MeFites.
    posted by trip and a half on Jun 11, 2014 - 10 answers

    What happens when I dial 999 in the States?

    Let's say I'm in the USA and I dial the UK emergency number (999), or I'm in the UK and I dial the US emergency number (911) or the European number (112). What happens? [more inside]
    posted by devnull on Jun 11, 2014 - 18 answers

    Where did this Game of Thrones theory first originate?

    I've only watched the show, but I regularly read fan theories online about Game of Thrones. [more inside]
    posted by scunning on Jun 11, 2014 - 32 answers

    Do you have any suggestions for non-seasonal apartment door decor?

    What can I add to my apartment door that is NOT distastefully preppy, hideous, ghetto fabulous, arrives with an invisible "steal me" voice, or requires a million screw holes? I never thought that I would struggle to come up with a decorating idea! But I am. I like colorful, but minimalist designs, but otherwise I am open-minded. Feel free to post links to galleries of door decor(not pinterest unless it's a specific diy), photos or make suggestions based on your own projects. Sometimes a touch of inspiration is all that's needed. [more inside]
    posted by bibliophilia on Jun 11, 2014 - 18 answers

    Peculiar password problem

    The OS X GUI—but only the GUI—has stopped accepting my password. Any password. [more inside]
    posted by Zozo on Jun 11, 2014 - 13 answers

    What is this terrible spider

    My husband just sent me a picture of a spider he found in our kitchen today. Can anyone identify what it is and how high I should calibrate my level of terror (which is currently extremely, very high)? Here is photo of the terrible creature. Beyond identifying, should I be very alarmed about the possibility it may have laid eggs somewhere in our house? We live in Massachusetts, so I am guessing it hitchhiked in on bananas or something. To that point, I bought bananas on Sunday (and usually do a good check in the store for this very reason), and I did take said bananas down from their hanging perch this morning and discarded two that seemed to be rotting from the bottom (bottoms had turned brown). I am now imagining that our trash can is full of terrifying spiders. Help me, Metafilter!
    posted by banjo_and_the_pork on Jun 11, 2014 - 24 answers

    Recording Skype calls with Audio Hijack Pro

    As part of my doctoral research, I will be conducting interviews with Skype for transcription and analysis. I've heard good things about Audio Hijack Pro as a tool to record audio from Skype -- both from online reviews and from faculty mentors. I've installed the latest version of Skype on my MacBook Air and am currently using the trial version of Audio Hijack Pro (I expect to pay for the full version if I can get the demo working). It works, BUT, I am consistently hearing a horrible echo and feedback when I am hijacking the audio on my Skype test calls. Help! ( [more inside]
    posted by pantarei70 on Jun 11, 2014 - 6 answers

    Please help me find a good Drupal developer to pick up the pieces

    Ok hivemind, you've helped me once before, I hope you can do it again. I volunteer for an NPO that hired a less than competent development shop to create a very specialized membership database using Drupal. That includes migrating from a Filemaker database and a whole bunch of thoroughly detailed specifications for enrollment, payment systems, membership management, member profiles, various back office reports, event calendaring, conference scheduling, etc. etc. These specs describe the functions we want and I think they are clear. What's next for us? How do I find someone good to finish the job? How does bidding for a job like this work? [more inside]
    posted by Gotanda on Jun 11, 2014 - 8 answers

    Explain business to an innumerate child.

    I'm working on a novel (yeah, yeah) in which the bad guys are, among other things, a couple of rival business-criminal assholes. I know nearly zero about business, finance, and politics, and I don't want to talk about these folks in ways that show me to be the faffy prancing buffoon I really am. [more inside]
    posted by Mister Moofoo on Jun 11, 2014 - 11 answers

    From which Samuel Beckett novel is this?

    Looking for a specific passage in a Samuel Beckett novel (probably from Watt or Murphy). I'm pretty certain this is from one of his early novels, rather than any of his other works. [more inside]
    posted by cincinnatus c on Jun 11, 2014 - 3 answers

    Attending a classical Indian dance performance debut?

    A coworker invited me to her daughter's rangapravesha (indian dance performance) after I saw a fancy brochure/program at her desk and remarked, "Wow, this looks amazing! It would be great to see this kind of dance performance! Let me know when she is performing!" Did I awkwardly invite myself to what is essentially a family event, like a quinceañera or a graduation? If you've been to a rangapravesha or had one of your own, what else should I know if I attend? Additional over-thinking questions below the fold. [more inside]
    posted by NikitaNikita on Jun 10, 2014 - 8 answers

    Can I ask her what I should wear?

    I have been invited to lunch on my first day at a mid-sized federal agency by a fellow analyst. What should we talk about? [more inside]
    posted by inevitability on Jun 10, 2014 - 10 answers

    Please, please please let me get what I want....

    I need help finding a hairstylist that listens! [more inside]
    posted by PrettyKnitty on Jun 10, 2014 - 6 answers

    How do I de-program my paper-ripping cat?

    I have accidentally trained my otherwise lovely cat to be as annoying and destructive as possible when he wants to be fed by just giving in and feeding him. How do I get him to stop this behavior? [more inside]
    posted by shesdeadimalive on Jun 10, 2014 - 20 answers

    These Boots are Made for Showing Off

    I love cowboy boots, and on a recent trip to Portland let my lust overcome me and bought some. I'm normally a conservative dresser (suits, dresses, skirts with jackets) during the week, and a jeans and Tshirt kind of person on weekends. Suggestions on what to wear with the new boots? They are mid-calf. One pair are a gorgeous rich brown with tooled roses and the other is brown and black tooling.
    posted by bearwife on Jun 10, 2014 - 16 answers

    Are there Risks to Moving a PreCor 5.31 Eliptical to Another Room?

    The PreCor 5.31 is balanced with magnets, and doesn't seem to have any wheels. It's behind my desk right now, and we redid a room on the same floor I want to move it to. I'm worried that, since it doesn't seem to be built to move around, there might be an issue with taking it across the house. Anyone know of risks? Do I need to contact my dealer?
    posted by nathanrudy on Jun 10, 2014 - 2 answers

    What are the real risks to having a google account?

    What are the real risks to having a google account? What are the benefits to staying out of Google's ecosystem that outweigh the inconvenience? [more inside]
    posted by Naib on Jun 10, 2014 - 15 answers

    Evaluating a City - what to look for before moving?

    I'm visiting a new city for the first time with the idea that I might move there within the next year or two. What should I be sure to check out/consider to be sure I get the information I need to make a good decision? I've only moved for jobs, and have wound up in a city that stresses me out. How do I pick a better one? [more inside]
    posted by snaw on Jun 10, 2014 - 15 answers

    How to most effectively communicate with elected representatives?

    In the wake of recent events (left out as this isn't a partisan question, but yes, you all know what I'm referring to), I'd like to contact my elected representatives to urge them to enact and support specific changes to current US laws & policies. I've casually contacted representatives before, usually through canned twitter or emails through various petitions & other party-line websites, but I've never engaged more because I was never sure just how effective it would be - particularly when I am contacting an official who has the opposite viewpoint from mine. So my question is: what is the most effective way to use my time in contacting local and state officials to communicate my views on certain issues? [more inside]
    posted by AthenaPolias on Jun 10, 2014 - 16 answers

    Please help me finish this quiz

    I don't know and can't find the answer to this old school rap question: "This rapper’s name is sometimes sprayed on the faces of chumps who think they gonna git some from a lady who ain’t havin’ it. (spelling counts)"
    posted by denaps on Jun 10, 2014 - 4 answers

    What's happening with Truecrypt?

    Recently I noticed a lot of controversy about whether Truecrypt is secure or not. It looks like their webpage is raising concerns about it, even to the point of suggesting that people migrate their data away from it. Arstechnica and others are following the story. What's going on? Might this be a hoax? Are truecrypt encrypted flashdrives not safe? If not, what level of security do they provide, if any? What would be a good alternative if we are to migrate away as quickly as possible?
    posted by jasper411 on Jun 10, 2014 - 8 answers

    At your age? With no degree?

    I have been thinking about a career switch, but I'm feeling overwhelmed by the possible choices. I'm increasingly interested in some kind of tech field. But god... so many different ways to go there. Programming? Web development? Database administration? Heck, what about blogging? Or this fancy data science thing that everyone's talking about? [more inside]
    posted by natteringnabob on Jun 10, 2014 - 11 answers

    Should I continue pursuing her?

    Basically, there is this girl I really really like, and there are a few things that tell me that the feelings are mutual. But she has already told me... twice... That she just wants to be friends with me. The way she acts with me doesn't match what she says though. [more inside]
    posted by AbePlaysGuitar on Jun 10, 2014 - 74 answers

    How is non-stolen offline credit card fraud possible?

    I just got notified about suspicious credit card activity that is indeed not me. Talked to my bank and all is good. But what boggles me is how this even happened. I have my credit card with me right now (not stolen/lost). The purchases that were made also seem to have required a physical card (gas station, fast food restaurant, home supplies store, etc.). So how was it even possible for the fraudster to make physical purchases without an actual card? As far as I know, whenever you make a purchase offline, you have to swipe a physical card, correct? I am bewildered and now highly paranoid. I just want to know so I can be more aware and hopefully prevent something like this from happening again.
    posted by pockimidget on Jun 10, 2014 - 17 answers

    My Grits Runneth Over

    Due to a miscommunication, my wife and I each bought a giant carton of quick-cooking grits for a recipe that used about half a cup. I hate to waste food, but I'm a Yankee and not in the habit of a bowl of grits for breakfast. What can I make with this avalanche of grits? [more inside]
    posted by murphy slaw on Jun 9, 2014 - 19 answers

    Oh god oh god the dog is sick.

    Yesterday my family adopted a companion dog for my elderly grandmother. Today, the vet says the dog has a long list of medical concerns. I am not sure if it is best to keep the dog and deal with his health problems or return him to his rescue group (which makes me a little sick to my stomach but might be best?). We only have a few days to decide. [more inside]
    posted by Snarl Furillo on Jun 9, 2014 - 26 answers

    Please help me buy my first car! Snowflakey details inside.

    I am, unfortunately, in the market for a (used) car. I know nothing about cars. I need a car for upcoming PhD research travel to inaccessible places, but, being a PhD student, have very little money. I need help figuring out: a cheap but reliable car model, a price bracket to spend that will have me driving something that won't literally fall apart on the road, what my deal-breakers should be, and a game plan on where and how to actually purchase a used car. Help? [more inside]
    posted by ClaireBear on Jun 9, 2014 - 29 answers

    Can I drive a car with temporary documentation into Canada?

    Last week, I bought a new car. Can I drive in and out of Canada with a temporary license plate, registration, and insurance card? [more inside]
    posted by ddbeck on Jun 9, 2014 - 4 answers

    Does twitter ads hold itself accountable for followers it did not get?

    Debating using Twitter ads at the company where I work- you only pay if the ads actually work, according to twitter - only if people follow you, they say. Our question - if it charges per follower, is it per follower who clicked through the ad and ended up clicking follow after being led there by the ad, or does it charge for every single - even organic or gained otherwise - follower you or your company or brand amass during the time the ad is running? This is a very big distinction as far as I am concerned.
    posted by jitterbug perfume on Jun 9, 2014 - 3 answers

    Help me find a memorial poem my mom and I both like.

    I'm reading a poem for my grandmother's memorial service. I want to find something I like that will also get my mother's OK. [more inside]
    posted by superfluousm on Jun 9, 2014 - 7 answers

    Doctoral advisor moving universities

    My doctoral advisor is moving universities. What do I need to know? What are good questions to ask? [more inside]
    posted by lullu73 on Jun 9, 2014 - 14 answers

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