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Blowing bubbles on a plane

Given a set of points on a plane (or in a bounded region), how do I find the radii of circles centered at each point that provide the best covering? [more inside]
posted by Eamon on Oct 19, 2010 - 28 answers


Does a Carte 12-25 count as a Railplus Jeune? [more inside]
posted by superiorchicken on Oct 19, 2010 - 2 answers

Book ID help - sci-fi novel with facial tattoos

It's driving me nuts. Something brought to mind a book, and now I can't for the life of me dredge the title from my brain. It's a sci-fi novel, set primarily on space stations. People have facial tattoos based off traditional folkloric attributes of animals. One of the main characters is a security researcher who is brought in to investigate a data hack or other computer attack against a station's computers. Is this ringing bells for anyone?
posted by daveqat on Oct 19, 2010 - 2 answers

Stupid boobs.

Agony! A discontinued bra style. Help me find a similar replacement! [more inside]
posted by zennish on Oct 19, 2010 - 5 answers

Is turnaround fair play when it comes to weddings?

Despite my profile name, my wife and I recently celebrated our two year anniversary. Yay! We recently received an engagement party and wedding invitation from a couple that didn't give us a gift for our wedding. Now, we're not sure how to handle the gift situation. Do we get them a gift as we would any other wedding, do we scale down the size of the gift, or do we not give a gift at all? [more inside]
posted by love is a murderer on Oct 19, 2010 - 65 answers

Help name my mom's antique business!

Need help with a creative, un-cheesy name for my mom's antique business. [more inside]
posted by click on Oct 19, 2010 - 27 answers

Traveling in India

What are the best things to do with my family during our trip to Southern India? [more inside]
posted by bove on Oct 19, 2010 - 12 answers

The economics of advertising the oldest profession

Explain to me the economics of prostitution advertising in Vegas - specifically the people who stand on the street corners on the strip and hand out cards/books with photos & phone numbers. [more inside]
posted by ish__ on Oct 19, 2010 - 13 answers

Did newspaper obits ever darken or alter the pupils of the deceased person's photograph?

Book-finder filter: trying to locate a novel that included this weird, probably invented, practice of old newspaper obituaries: the stock portrait of the deceased person is altered to darken the pupils. Intention was to cancel out the reflection from the eyes. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I've tried searching Gale, Google, and the mssg. board on the Thanatos Archives. [more inside]
posted by wowbobwow on Oct 19, 2010 - 5 answers

Unhappy Feet needs specific walking shoe advice

With high arches and knees that, all of a sudden, are constantly hurting on the medial side of the joint, I've got to find a walking shoe to help extend the life of these parts. I walk on sidewalks mostly, in the neighborhood. I think a weekly MoTown Dance Party at the local joint is the reason for new knee problems, because I've never had them before all this dancing. I've had great difficulty finding a shoe made with high arches. Slipping in the "Dr. Scholls" type inserts doesn't do it (they slide around too much) and right now, I can't afford orthotics. My mom has feet that have all but fallen apart. She's had foot and knee surgery and hobbles around. I don't want to end up that disabled! Can anyone recommend a good shoe?
posted by sleeping beauty on Oct 19, 2010 - 15 answers

Icelandic Aurora Borealis in November

A week in Reykjavik in early November and would like recommendations for places to go and things to do. I'm particularly keen to see the Northern Lights, and would like any suggestions for how best to achieve this. [more inside]
posted by Simon_ on Oct 19, 2010 - 16 answers

A toe curling experience!

Why do my toes curl when I am experiencing specific emotional/physiological stimuli? [more inside]
posted by asok on Oct 19, 2010 - 8 answers


Fontagraphers: I know what a serif is - the little "tail" at the ends of character strokes. Mid-stroke, however, is what? [more inside]
posted by panmunjom on Oct 19, 2010 - 4 answers

A long shot. Do you know this quote that might not be a quote.

Where is this quote from? Is it from anywhere? [more inside]
posted by millipede on Oct 18, 2010 - 7 answers

Sailing, Sailing away, to where were goin

I was a guest at a sailing club and the Commodore said I could get a flying scot or comparable boat for around $1000. Sailing was fun, fun, fun. What's the best used boat that could hold 6 people in the price range of $1-2k [The lake is White Rock Lake in Dallas, TX -- pretty small lake]
posted by DB Cooper on Oct 18, 2010 - 13 answers

Help me reference my thesis!

Please help me find an article or book I would like to use for my literary theory thesis. This is all I know about it: 1) It was authored by two french males. 2) It is about tragedy in 5th century BC Athens. 3) It introduces the phrase 'tragic moment' 4) It is from the 20th century. [more inside]
posted by rigby99 on Oct 18, 2010 - 7 answers

Nuns having fun

Help me put together a Kinky Catholic themed Halloween party. [more inside]
posted by dchrssyr on Oct 18, 2010 - 10 answers

Can't Sing but Cast in a Musical

I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew. I am doing a favor reluctantly for a group of friends. I will be performing a small part in a staged musical for a local theater company. Hint: I perform in a wheelchair, have a German accent and show some leg at the end of the play. I have never sung on stage before. I am really terrified I am going to screw this up. I have held my own in rehearsal but I know I am nowhere near the level of talent of my fellow performers. The show starts Friday and runs for three weekends. Anyone out there have any vocal exercises I can use to help build my range and confidence?
posted by extraheavymarcellus on Oct 18, 2010 - 14 answers

I'd buy THAT for a dollar

What's that site or story where a guy keeps trading up and makes a million dollars or something? I recall a story, verrry fuzzy on the details... [more inside]
posted by bunny hugger on Oct 18, 2010 - 8 answers

You Have Chosen Poorly

I know I should have spoken up sooner, but I didn't. Help me live with the consequences. Not life or death (or even remotely close). [more inside]
posted by Leezie on Oct 18, 2010 - 11 answers

When should I start to panic about IP addresses?

How will running out of IPV4 addresses affect the average internet user's Web surfing experience? [more inside]
posted by fartknocker on Oct 18, 2010 - 19 answers

She's The Bees Knees! 23 Skidoo!

Halloween Snowflake Filter: Friends are having a halloween party with the theme "Dine With The Dead". Everyone is going as a dead celebrity/historical figure. Who will I be? [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Oct 18, 2010 - 38 answers

How to deal with a preschooler during a speech-language evaluation?

I'm a new student in speech-language pathology doing my first full evaluation. My client is 3 years old. I happen to be the one who screened her and remember that she's extremely shy and unwilling to cooperate. Any thoughts as to what I could do to 1) get her to go through the necessary tests, 2) elicit a language sample, and 3) get her to open her mouth for an oral mech exam? Failing that last one, any ideas for looking at oral function that make it seem like a game? One person suggested having the child blow bubbles, anything else?
posted by RyG on Oct 18, 2010 - 11 answers

Colors not to wear in the classroom.

Is there data supporting the claim that wearing the color red is a bad choice for teachers in the sense that it negatively affects a student's attention, comfort level, etc.? I know a college professor that never wears red because of this. If so, are there other colors good-or-bad to wear? Can I blame my 6360 angstrom magenta cable-knit sweater on the Is-This-Gonna-Be-On-The-Test day I've been having in my class? Would a brown leg bandanna make my students own the quadratic formula?
posted by klausman on Oct 18, 2010 - 5 answers

Yet Another What Similar Album Do You Recommend Question :)

Similar Albums to Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea [more inside]
posted by fantodstic on Oct 18, 2010 - 39 answers

Copying Word tables into Excel without splitting cells into multiple rows

I need help copying a table from Word to Excel in Office 2007. Where there are hard returns within a cell in the Word table, Excel splits the table cell into multiple rows. I need Excel not to split cells in the Word table into multiple Excel rows. At the same time, I need to retain the paragraphs that appear within the Word table cells - that is, I can't just get rid of all those hard returns; the formatting must be preserved. My Google-fu is failing me rather seriously. Is there any way to do this?
posted by Dasein on Oct 18, 2010 - 8 answers

What GPS works best in a Pacific paradise?

I'm going to be doing remote fieldwork in the Pacific. If you've done remote fieldwork, what GPS did you use and how did you obtain the right maps for it? I've been looking at Garmin and Trimble, but I'd be very interested to hear from mefites what they think would cut the mustard.
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace on Oct 18, 2010 - 7 answers

Who is the Asian photographer who takes photos of places with a dead girl in them?

Does anyone know the name of the Asian (I think Japanese) modern photographer who takes photos of places (landscapes, interiors etc) where there happens to be a dead girl on the floor (staged)? [more inside]
posted by AbsoluteDestiny on Oct 18, 2010 - 6 answers

Looking for a suitable Chicago/Midwest place to have a really big party. Outside. Unless it's raining.

Looking for an indoor/outdoor venue for our wedding/party in the greater Chicago area, that isn't astronomically expensive, and would offer some pretty scenery, and accomodate my ridiculous desire to dress my dog up as a ring bearer. [more inside]
posted by booknerd on Oct 18, 2010 - 10 answers

In Search of Lost Sites

My website was "deleted" from the hosting company's servers. How can I restore it? [more inside]
posted by meadowlark lime on Oct 18, 2010 - 11 answers

The "Guys" of Cerebus

Who is being parodied in Guys, the eleventh volume of Dave Sim's Cerebus? [more inside]
posted by twirlip on Oct 18, 2010 - 3 answers

Seeking classical cliché music for toil

I am looking for a classical music piece, or snippet, connoting "toil" or "hardship", and I think it's Russian or at least Eastern European. [more inside]
posted by everichon on Oct 18, 2010 - 4 answers

A thermos to keep coffee fresh and hot

I hate fast instant coffee. I will be traveling by car from Toronto to Montreal. There are lots of stops where one can get Tim Hortons or McDonald's instant coffee. Unfortunately/fortunately I don't like their coffee. I can make good coffee at home. What type of thermos can keep it fresh and warm for a good portion of my trip?
posted by alshain on Oct 18, 2010 - 23 answers

Help me find this please!

Another help-me-find-this-book question -___- When I was younger, like 9, I found a bunch of thin little paperback books in a bookstore in the mall. They were only about $1 each and were renditions of Heidi, Cinderella, etc. The most distinctive aspect was that the illustrations were anime-style! [more inside]
posted by joyeuxamelie on Oct 18, 2010 - 9 answers

Getting Glandular with Lacey

Does anyone have experience with slightly low thyroid levels in their dog? [more inside]
posted by Danf on Oct 18, 2010 - 6 answers

iPad data plan + At&t compatible android + prepaid voice = ?

I hardly talk on the phone any more, when I do it's usually only a few minutes (last bill I used 60 of an available 500). So I could probably make do with a prepaid plan. However, I use data all the time; email, Google calendar, etc. Now many people out there have put the iPad data plan to use in assorted Android phones, granted that was before the AT&T unlimited cutoff. But has anyone done it after? Split voice and data to two devices? Is the slight hassle worth it? I'd use google voice to direct calls and such, wifi at work, home, many places I frequent so I'm not to worried about going over the 2 GB limit. Anyone out there with first hand experience?
posted by tropikal on Oct 18, 2010 - 5 answers

Auto loan error in bank's favor.

My wife and I bought a car five years ago and signed a contract for a five-year loan that should be paid off this month. However, the bank erroneously set up a a six-year loan and we were initially too careless/naive to realize our monthly payment was lower than it should be (and later it was "just the amount we always paid"). Are we stuck? [more inside]
posted by JeremiahBritt on Oct 18, 2010 - 14 answers

Botulism (Hypochondia) Freakout

Paranoid filter: I ate one bite of a pumpkin butter that was given to me as a Christmas gift last December. Should I fear botulism? [more inside]
posted by tacoma1 on Oct 18, 2010 - 18 answers

Building a Camera Trap for wildlife photography.

I'm thinking about building a home made camera trap, to photograph the wildlife around my house. I've got a couple old cameras lying around, the newest being a Canon Powershot, and rather than spend a huge amount of money for a prebuilt camera trap, I'd like to convert one of these. Does anyone have any information on doing this? Am I better off just buying something pre-made, or can I construct something myself?
posted by Stagger Lee on Oct 18, 2010 - 9 answers

One Book Of McCool's

Where can I find a copy of the complete Fenian Cycle that's readable online, and/or what is the best translation of the Cycle, even if not online? [more inside]
posted by AzraelBrown on Oct 18, 2010 - 1 answer

Should I use Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 for my home theater pc?

Should I use Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 for my home theater pc? It will also function as a server. [more inside]
posted by dvrcthewrld on Oct 18, 2010 - 8 answers

I'm self-employed, and looking for a formula for dividing up my income.

I'm self-employed, and looking for a formula for dividing up my income. I am currently in the UK, and just about to file my first tax return since I've been here. Once I know what tax will actually cost me in this country, I would really like to have a sense of where the rest of my money should go. [more inside]
posted by wingless_angel on Oct 18, 2010 - 2 answers

Recovering data from Time Machine volume, without the original mac.

How do I recover stuff from a time machine backup, without the original computer. [more inside]
posted by pompomtom on Oct 18, 2010 - 5 answers

Quiting by Email

I need to resign my job sometime on monday - I'm taking a position at another company. Through contracts and sub-contracts, I have at least 3 different "bosses" who work at three locations - I only sit at the same location as one boss (one of the others is fairly accessible). Is submitting a resignation by email to the off-site bosses acceptable to mainstream north american business etiquette? [more inside]
posted by Deep Dish on Oct 17, 2010 - 11 answers

Strange OSX Crash...

MAc OS X 10.6.X Won't boot PLEASE HELP!!! So the MBP17 (Late 2009) crashed while watching netflix in FF3.x I thought no problem, just reboot and watch the next episode...Oh how wrong I was, now it won't boot. Details after the jump. [more inside]
posted by AnOrigamiLife on Oct 17, 2010 - 8 answers

Why am I waking up at 3?

What should I do about this particular form of insomnia? [more inside]
posted by enzymatic on Oct 17, 2010 - 27 answers

Jaws Parody? Scuba Diver Cellist?

Friends are looking to find a video they describes thusly: "a video clip of a bassist (or cellist) playing the jaws theme, sitting on a chair in the ocean as the tide rolls in." I can't find it. Can you help? [more inside]
posted by pixiecrinkle on Oct 17, 2010 - 4 answers

Is there a list that ranks which industries people trust the most?

Is there a list somewhere that describes which industries are rated highest in public opinion? [more inside]
posted by zooropa on Oct 17, 2010 - 8 answers

Smallest VR / IS prime lens for Nikon?

What is the smallest Nikon (or compatible) image-stabilization lens? My search results seem to indicate it is this: Nikon 18mm - 55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX (VR) Vibration Reduction Wide Angle Autofocus Zoom Lens, which is a VR version of the kit lens on a D40. [more inside]
posted by mwhybark on Oct 17, 2010 - 12 answers

How long is too long to wait for water?

[TenantsRightsFilter] I know that landlords and property management companies are required to provide hot water, but is there a time frame associated with this hot water? [more inside]
posted by sacrifix on Oct 17, 2010 - 23 answers

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