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"Cold-Calling" A Prior PhD Student Whose Dissertation You Read?

Is it appropriate to email a former grad student of a professor you might like to work with to ask about their PhD experience and the future of the niche field they studied? [more inside]
posted by sevenofspades on May 30, 2016 - 17 answers

Name That Critter! (Sespe Wilderness Edition)

While hiking to the Sespe Hot Springs in the Los Padres National Forest over the weekend, I kept hearing this vocalization. (The low moaning one that repeats six times.) What creature is it?
posted by mykescipark on May 30, 2016 - 4 answers

Medical Edibles - what do I do with ones I hate

I am trying to sort out using medical marijuana for chronic pain and I had no idea when I started out that it would all be so vague and experimental. I am now finding myself with things that I have tried and will not use and assume I cannot return. I hate just tossing 4 taffy bars that are just too high in THC for me. Yes I tried tiny bites. Hated it. [more inside]
posted by cairnoflore on May 29, 2016 - 7 answers

Mystery Dogtag Object

My in-laws recently moved, and found a metal dogtag-like object in the finished basement. It looks as though it has some purpose, but we cannot figure out what that might be. [Side One] [Side Two] [more inside]
posted by 1367 on May 29, 2016 - 2 answers

How to get my name off someone's tweet?

I recently Googled my firstname+lastname, which I don't share with anyone else as far as I can tell, and found a tweet near the top of the results which I'm not particularly happy about. [more inside]
posted by STFUDonnie on May 29, 2016 - 7 answers

Solo road trip advice, Virginia to Las Vegas - 4 days, full car

Virginia to Las Vegas. I-64 to I-70 to I-15. Four days on the road by myself. Any advice? [more inside]
posted by skewed on May 29, 2016 - 12 answers

Feedback on last minute Toronto trip itinerary

My landlord needs a couple of days to fix some stuff in my bathroom so I booked a last minute trip to Toronto this week, from Wednesday to Thursday (coming via train from Montréal). My birthday is also coming up shortly + I recently hit an investment milestone so I would like to treat myself a bit! [more inside]
posted by mephisjo on May 29, 2016 - 15 answers

Dealing with difficult strangers

A stranger thought I stole his citybike and proceeded to yell at me. I live in a nice area and this man "looked" to be a respectable middle aged business man, so it came as quite a shock for me. I know I shouldn't care about what crazy strangers say, but getting called a bitch and a fucking c*** really disturbs me! [more inside]
posted by Dooney on May 29, 2016 - 45 answers

Genealogy Sites?

It's been a few years since this question has been asked, and I know things have changed since then. There's so much info out there on the various genealogy sites, and I'm not sure what to do. Right now I have free trials with MyHeritage and Geni, but apparently a relative has done a lot of research into a certain branch of my family on Ancestry.com. I'm looking for insight on which to pick in terms of price and usefulness, etc.
posted by trillian on May 29, 2016 - 10 answers

Follow the stream...to safety?

I was reading this article recently about a woman who got lost on the Appalachian trail and sadly died. It made me think about how I had always been told (at least hiking in the Northeast of the US) that if you get lost, head downhill, find a stream and follow it to a town. Is that total BS or is it good hiking wisdom? [more inside]
posted by Toddles on May 29, 2016 - 22 answers

fiber optiic internet in the east end of the San Fernando valley

Anyone know how to find out if there is any fiber optic service in the Glendale/Montrose/La Crescenta/ Tujunga general area? (within say five miles of this area?) The Verizon, Time Warner etc. fiber optic "search availability" functions are really vague... even if you get them on the phone, they tell you to provide a specific address. How can they not have some sort of record of where they have laid cable??
posted by ConnieL on May 28, 2016 - 2 answers

Networking (and socializing) for socially awkward people.

I'm ashamed to say I've been somewhat avoiding the whole job application and networking stuff. I find it very difficult to speak to people because I have a quiet voice and I'm very standoffish. I tend to have a very robotic way of speaking and I've been told I look overwhelmed and scared a lot. I find it very difficult to express myself and sometimes I wonder if I even have a personality. How do I change so I can be more likable and approachable? [more inside]
posted by sheepishchiffon on May 28, 2016 - 14 answers

Little House on the Prairie companion

I've started to read my childhood favourites to my children. This week we started Little House on the Prairie, which is still wonderful but.... Pretty culturally insensitive. We're glossing over some bits, and having some good talks about the First Nations being displaced by the settlers, but.... [more inside]
posted by Valancy Rachel on May 28, 2016 - 12 answers

Bird ID Question--small black birds with brown heads

These little birds show up every day and hang out on my wife's car. It's really cute. I can't identify them though. I am in Wisconsin. Here's a quick video of them in action. It includes one of them trilling right near the middle.
posted by Slinga on May 28, 2016 - 4 answers

I Just Want Grilled Corn, Goshdarnit

What's wrong with my grill and how do I fix it? Propane grill, 2 years old, unused for a season.. suddenly won't supply enough propane to the flame elements to cook anything (or stay lit if all five heat elements are turned on). [more inside]
posted by erst on May 28, 2016 - 11 answers

What to do with 3 full drums of diesel fuel?

My landlord's ex left 3 industrial drums of diesel fuel on the property when they split. I just moved here, and would like the yard space free, which would please everyone since they're just taking up space at this point. What's the most responsible way to get rid of them? Post on Craigslist for people who need bulk fuel? Hazmat? Thanks!
posted by hot_tea on May 27, 2016 - 9 answers

How can I fill my salad days as simply as possible?

I have tons of surplus lettuce that I need to eat this week! What is your favourite super simple homemade oil & acid combo? [more inside]
posted by OlivesAndTurkishCoffee on May 27, 2016 - 30 answers

What is the quintessential poetry style guide book (if one exists)?

My wife just graduated with her masters in poetry and I'd love to get her a high quality, hardcover, commemorative book. [more inside]
posted by TimBridge on May 27, 2016 - 10 answers

My Twitter Account has booted me out, is asking for phone number - hope!

My Twitter account wanted a phone number to verify a new account, and when I entered it it told me "unsupported phone number". Also, the drop-down menu pops back to Canada when I've selected United States. Please hope me! [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on May 27, 2016 - 12 answers

How do I handle seeing gross and unsanitary behavior at a restuarant?

I was getting take out from a restaurant yesterday when one of the workers behind the counter cut themselves. I was shocked when another worker pulled out a first aid kit, placed it on the bag my food was going to be placed in, and helped the other worker put a Band-Aid on their cut DIRECTLY OVER THE FOOD PREP AREA. This is clearly appalling behavior, but I'm not sure what to do about it. [more inside]
posted by Fister Roboto on May 27, 2016 - 10 answers

I liked your study, let's hang out?

Is it appropriate to ask out someone I met while participating in his experiment? [more inside]
posted by Guelder on May 27, 2016 - 5 answers

Help! Who was this hilarious NOLA comedian?

I was in NOLA in February or March 2016, visiting an old friend. One night we went to Comedy Gumbeaux at Howlin' Wolf, sort of an open mic style thing. The obvious crowd favorite was a younger-looking black woman who had a hilarious set about "getting marmaladed" (when a tourist gets seduced into moving to NOLA by a sexy local) and dick pics and Cain gift cards. WHAT IS HER NAME??? [more inside]
posted by leemleem on May 27, 2016 - 6 answers

Is this a bedbug?

I found this little monster crawling on the wall of a short-term rental apartment I'm staying in. HALP
posted by homodachi on May 27, 2016 - 14 answers

Yes really! Really!

Have you experienced relationships with people who respond to (what feels like) everything you say with, “Really?...” or with some variation of (benign?) incredulity? [more inside]
posted by Dressed to Kill on May 27, 2016 - 72 answers

Old metal. High crime. Bad stash.

What late 90s or early aughts crime show starred an aging metal musician sporting a distractingly weird moustache? Thought it involved Slash but I can't find anything.
posted by es_de_bah on May 27, 2016 - 3 answers

Hotel in Brussels

I am looking for a hotel in for two nights in Brussels. I have a flight to West Africa on Tuesday, June 7 at 10:25 a.m. so I will need to get to the airport very early. I see that the hotels near the airport generally cost more than those downtown, and aren't necessarily easier to reach. For speed and safety reasons, I'd like to stay at a place that's a direct train or taxi ride away from the airport. [more inside]
posted by smorgasbord on May 26, 2016 - 7 answers

Dividing family heirlooms (animosity edition)

What is a fair way to divide family heirlooms with cousins? There was a long-term estrangement with these cousins, and we have tried to make the best of being stuck making decisions with them regarding the care of the person who owns the heirlooms (and is now in a nursing home with dementia and unable to make decisions), but it hasn't worked out really well. Now we are supposed to meet to split things up. Is there any way to make this more fair/easier? More inside. [more inside]
posted by FencingGal on May 26, 2016 - 25 answers

Is there a literary equivalent of going back to high school?

I am looking for some young adult fiction that describes current high school experience. [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches on May 26, 2016 - 9 answers

Car camping recommendations in the Plumas/Graeagle/Gold Lake area?

Planning a week long car camping trip to California's Lakes Basin region -- roughly Gold Lake/Yuba River/Feather River (the general area of this map). Looking for recommendations for campgrounds. More details/requirements below the fold. [more inside]
posted by mosk on May 26, 2016 - 2 answers

What evidence is there of economic warfare against Venezuela?

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela has claimed on a number of occasions that powers outside Venezuela are engaging in economic warfare against his country. Maduro usually blames the United States, though he has also claimed that certain Colombians are behind Venezuela's economic crisis. America's dismal record of interfering in Latin America makes it the usual suspect when things start going wrong. However, what evidence is there that the US or any other country are attacking Venezuela's economy? [more inside]
posted by A. Davey on May 26, 2016 - 4 answers

How to buy home playground equipment

My kiddo is turning three this summer and we are thinking about getting him a playground set for the backyard. I've been looking at some online and realize I'm not even sure where to start on this - the prices vary to a crazy degree and there are so many different options. If you have a playground set, what do you like or dislike about it? What should I consider when making this purchase? Was it worth the money, or is it just collecting dust?
posted by galvanized unicorn on May 26, 2016 - 17 answers

Sequence of images of numbers

I'm looking for a pack of images, each one of a number from 0 to 99. PNG format would be best, but if that's not available I'm not fussy. If there was also a way that I can script this in Photoshop or in Automator (Mac), or some other way to create them. I'd like to download something to test an idea, but eventually will have to make the images to my own specs. [more inside]
posted by nevan on May 26, 2016 - 7 answers

Looking for funny article about a young child arguing with parents

I remember reading a humorous article about a 4 year old arguing with her parent about whether she can have a cookie*, but I can't seem to find it in google. *I might have the age and cookie parts wrong.
posted by vegetableagony on May 25, 2016 - 12 answers

How to deal with a copyright claim—YouTube version

I made a trailer for a math class using Battle Without Honor or Humanity (not very creative, sorry). Now I'm embroiled in a copyright claim and I'd like to know how to respond. I checked some old asks, but they're three years old or so. [more inside]
posted by middlethird on May 25, 2016 - 15 answers

Semi-common construction or meme having to do with sacrifice

Recently I've seen occurrences that are basically "name, verbing the thing," where the second part is a sad thing. I think this sometimes shows up as a call and response, where one person says one name and a sad thing they did, and the other person names someone else who did a sadder thing (typically related to the first.) What is this and where did it come from? [more inside]
posted by punchtothehead on May 25, 2016 - 3 answers

Tokyo hotel recommendation?

Please help me find a hotel in Tokyo! (details within) [more inside]
posted by bluecore on May 25, 2016 - 13 answers

Tips for dealing with my 5 year old's broken arm

My 5 year old broke his arm yesterday. We are getting excellent health care. I'm looking for advice on how to cope with the next 4-6 weeks he's in a cast. [more inside]
posted by thenormshow on May 25, 2016 - 21 answers

How do I ebay?

So, I am still trying to offload these discount codes and I set up an ebay account to do it. It has 3 page views, possibly all mine. Help me up my game in case it does not sell at all and I need to relist it. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California on May 25, 2016 - 7 answers

Best place to hang out in a parked car in San Francisco?

This is not a sex question, I promise. Owing to some logistical ridiculousness, I'm going to have to spend part of a weekday sitting in my parked car, somewhere in San Francisco. No leaving the car. Where's the prettiest place that can be appreciated from a parked car? [more inside]
posted by pickingupsticks on May 25, 2016 - 11 answers

We're Gonna Party Like it's (a Year that Ends in 6)

Two of my dear friends are turning 40 and 50, respectively, so we're going to have a party. Throw me some great songs from 1966 and 1976 to put on the mix! Bonus points for forgotten gems; a simple thanks for songs that are still in oldies-tight-rotation.
posted by baseballpajamas on May 25, 2016 - 18 answers

What is this potted plant?

Asking for a friend who recently acquired an unknown houseplant from another friend. Can you identify this plant and offer any advice on care? [more inside]
posted by fremen on May 25, 2016 - 4 answers

Is a gift necessary? If so, what?

A bunch of family is meeting for lunch. I feel compelled to bring a hostess gift. Should I? [more inside]
posted by catch as catch can on May 25, 2016 - 18 answers

Where have all the bohemians gone, long time passing?

There used to be bohemians (not avant garde artists, not beats, not hippies). I'd know one if I saw one, but can't seem to bring their essential qualities into focus -- except for a distain for the bourgeoisie. Are they still around? What do we call them now? [more inside]
posted by kestralwing on May 24, 2016 - 32 answers

What was/is this job title?

Ages ago I worked at Office Depot. I briefly trained with a back office person and I'm trying to remember what her title was. She was the person who collected all the cash and receipts from the cashiers and made sure everything was in order. I think she organized all the deposits for the managers to take. And probably set up the drawers with the correct amounts and denominations for the cashiers to start out with. And I think she made sure there were credit card receipts for all the actual credit card transactions, etc. [more inside]
posted by Beti on May 24, 2016 - 16 answers

Appalachian Translation: What's a railroad man?

I was listening today to Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s “I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground”, which includes the unforgettable line, “the railroad man, he’ll kill you if he can/And drink out your blood like wine”. Who is this guy? Will he? Why? [more inside]
posted by trotzdem_kunst on May 24, 2016 - 19 answers

Radiator vs. A/C: Whichever wins, we lose.

The radiators in our new home are going rogue and destroying our attempts at using A/C. How do we turn off our radiators for the season? [more inside]
posted by Luminiferous Ether on May 24, 2016 - 8 answers

What musicals/shows should I see on Broadway?

What musicals/shows should I see on Broadway while I'm in New York? I'll be visiting NYC in September of this year and I'm unlikely to be back for another few years, so I'd really like to know what good shows are on right now. [more inside]
posted by liquorice on May 24, 2016 - 29 answers

MacGyver this Cauliflower!

Hey folks! I have pretty much a full recipe of Thug Kitchen's Landlocked Ceviche in the fridge right now, minus the cilantro and avocado. Basically, a salad of cauliflower, tomato, red onion and jalepeno doused in lime juice and salt. It's...just ok. Can I shoehorn it into tonight's dinner? [more inside]
posted by theweasel on May 24, 2016 - 14 answers

shelf-stable DIY cooking kits?

I have been visiting older relatives in their late 80s still living on their own. They were once wonderful cooks and still enjoy good food but they are losing the ability to cook from scratch on a regular basis. What are some DIY cooking kits I can put together for them so they can still cook for themselves? [more inside]
posted by Sparkling Natural Mineral Water on May 24, 2016 - 24 answers

Buying tickets to a Broadway musical, idiotproof edition

How do I buy "good seats" for a long-running NYC Broadway show for the minimum amount over face value? Assume that my knowledge of musical-ticket-buying only goes so far as a Google search. [more inside]
posted by serelliya on May 24, 2016 - 10 answers

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