What do you know about that's awesome?
June 14, 2007 7:53 PM   Subscribe

What do you keep recommending? I find that on askme and in other situations there are certain things I want to recommend to people again and again. What are your frequent recommendations in any category (media, products, activities, life philosophies, etc)? Basically, what are the things you've ever discovered that you most think others should know about or experience? Further explanation is optional.
posted by lgyre to Society & Culture (55 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: chatfilter, no problem to be solved.

I recommend ChatFilter! It's like AskMe but it breaks the guidelines!
posted by TheNewWazoo at 7:56 PM on June 14, 2007 [5 favorites]

Dammit, Wazoo, I was going to recommend reading the guidelines.
posted by sanko at 8:02 PM on June 14, 2007

Movies: Memento, Run Lola Run, American Splendor, Ran, Apocalypse Now. The first four have escaped attention by most casual movie watchers, and the last one is so ubiquitous that many people think they have seen it when they actually haven't.

Defunct TV series on DVD: Home Movies, Dr. Katz Professional Therapist, Mystery Science Theater 3000. I love comedy, and these tend to sustain repeated viewing, and reward the viewer in proportion to the attention invested.

Products: iPod (any kind), Macintosh computers, Hi Def television, broadband internet (local cable company). They were all "eye opening" products for me.

Media: MetaFilter, Planet Earth television series in Hi Def

Books: David Baldacci novels, Paul and Sarah Edwards self-employment books (Working from Home, Finding Your Perfect Work)
posted by The Deej at 8:06 PM on June 14, 2007

Scarves in cold weather. The thai chicken pizza at California Pizza Kitchen. A headlamp for camping. "The Meaning of 8" CD by Cloud Cult. Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor. Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
posted by vytae at 8:07 PM on June 14, 2007

Would this be less chatfiltery if I gave some practical application, like "I want to make a list of things that other people find themselves recommending a lot so that I can check them out"? I feel like I've seen lots of people ask for recommendations.
posted by lgyre at 8:08 PM on June 14, 2007

(I thought it might be chatfilter... but this one might go either way. If it gets pulled, I recommend that the poster asks one question at a time: Recommend some good books! Recommend some good movies! Then, in about a year, she will have her answers. Or just amend this question to say "I'm writing a book...")
posted by The Deej at 8:10 PM on June 14, 2007

I tell everyone I meet to buy my album.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:13 PM on June 14, 2007

posted by milarepa at 8:17 PM on June 14, 2007

I recommend Czech Lager. Especially Gambrinus, if you can find it.
posted by gergtreble at 8:25 PM on June 14, 2007

There are CDs that I would recommend if someone asked for CDs, or books that I'd point out if someone asked for books, but they aren't things that are so great that I actively evangelize them, and typically the selection changes over time. The things you find yourself recommending time and time again are on another tier. They've withstood the test of time. Those are the things I listed in my answer, and those kinds of answers are why I think this is a good question that should stay.
posted by vytae at 8:25 PM on June 14, 2007

Zoe Lewis.
posted by alms at 8:28 PM on June 14, 2007

kurt vonnegut
sinus rinses
children of men
google adwords (until recently)
most extreme elimination challenge
wii sports
the magic bullet blending machine thing
index cards
posted by prophetsearcher at 8:29 PM on June 14, 2007

posted by pompomtom at 8:31 PM on June 14, 2007

Oh, I forgot to mention these: dinosaur comics and xkcd.
posted by vytae at 8:35 PM on June 14, 2007

I have recommended the following:

Places: Krakow, Istanbul, Dominica
Name-brand supermarket salsa: Herdez
Author: Jose Saramago
Nigella Lawson dessert: Chocohotopots
Music: KEXP's "Wo'Pop" show, Tues 6-9pm Pacific time
Herb: Basil
Magazine subscription: New Yorker
Website: Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools (see below)

I don't have a problem with this thread, mostly because I do actually recommend these things to others, but it would be nice to see the OP's list. OP: Cool Tools linked above is basically exactly what you want.
posted by mdonley at 8:41 PM on June 14, 2007

the diva cup
5% benzoyl peroxide for acne
Slings&Arrows (tv)
posted by stray at 8:46 PM on June 14, 2007

pompomtom: good call!
posted by gergtreble at 8:52 PM on June 14, 2007

The Sea and Cakes new album, Everybody. I must have told 50 people about during the last month or so. It's a shimmery gem!
posted by zenpop at 8:53 PM on June 14, 2007

I'm always turning people on to Firefox.

My new pet project is ubuntu.
posted by gergtreble at 8:53 PM on June 14, 2007

The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse, by Gregg Easterbrook

Also, AdCult by James Twitchell
posted by GatorDavid at 8:54 PM on June 14, 2007

Arrested Development. Liking it is a prerequisite to being my friend. (Only kind of kidding.)
posted by cosmic osmo at 8:57 PM on June 14, 2007

Cordless electric screwdriver (mine is Black & Decker)
wireless high-speed internet
getting a dog
neutrogena dry-touch sunblock
posted by sLevi at 8:58 PM on June 14, 2007

Entertainment: Nintendo Wii
Book: Monster Blood Tattoo by DM Cornish
Car: Toyota Matrix
TiFaux: Comcast DVR
Music: Catie Curtis
TV: The Amazing Race
TV: Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends
TV/Homeworld: Planet Earth
Software: Google Earth
Software: AVG Anti-virus
Web: USA Today "Pop Candy" blog
Web: ESPN's The Sports Guy
Supermarket: Trader Joe's
Shoes: Merrell JungleMoc
Shoes: Crocs
Banking: Bank of America's Keep The Change
posted by Rock Steady at 9:00 PM on June 14, 2007

posted by Eringatang at 9:03 PM on June 14, 2007

Thai Nakorn, best Thai restaurant in Southern California
posted by growabrain at 9:03 PM on June 14, 2007

posted by nanojath at 9:08 PM on June 14, 2007

The Culture Novels by Iain Banks
Cake (the band)
posted by Argyle at 9:11 PM on June 14, 2007

TV shows Wonder Showzen, Robot Chicken, Death Note, Drawn Together, Moral Orel (all available on torrent)
posted by PowerCat at 9:14 PM on June 14, 2007

posted by padraigin at 9:16 PM on June 14, 2007

There was a period of about a year when I think I may have been the most knowledgeable person alive about the current state of American college humor magazines. My purely subjective favorite was the Berkeley Heuristic Squelch.
posted by gsteff at 9:21 PM on June 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

posted by dhammond at 9:22 PM on June 14, 2007

Fitter, Happier. More productive. Get a road bike. Floss, exercise 3 times per week, even if it's only walks. Eat fruits and vegetables. Sleep well, be kinder to animals. You will only regret the things you don't do, and almost never the things that you do. Don't skimp on eating food that tastes good. Eat small meals, but more frequently throughout the day. Eat more slowly and enjoy your meals. Don't hold grudges. Get a job that doesn't always feel like work. Don't be secretly in love with someone. Have a close group of friends, but don't try to be loved by everyone. Keep in touch with family. Smell the roses. Have the courage to tell someone that they changed your life. The great equalizer is social interaction. Go see live music. Don't be afraid to do something alone. Have sex whenever possible, safely. Travel. Be honest, be humble. Keep promises, and protect the ones you love. Make an effort to see the stars and sleep outside whenever you can. Live close enough to the ocean to hear it while you sleep at least once in your life. Learn how to surf as soon as possible.
posted by |n$eCur3 at 9:23 PM on June 14, 2007 [6 favorites]

Book: Special Topics in Calamity Physics
Videogame: Crackdown
TV Shows: Battlestar Galactica, Big Love
Web: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/
Exercise: Long walks
Podcasts to listen to during those walks:
In Our Time, Democracy Now, TWIT, MLB.com Daily Podcast
Magazines: The Economist, Consumer Reports
Food: Farmers markets, Chick Fil A
Software: utorrent
posted by aerotive at 9:25 PM on June 14, 2007

I recommend all these books constantly: Time Traveler's Wife Professional Photoshop. & How the Mind Works. Not amazon linked because i wanna get it in before this is closed.
posted by Brainy at 9:30 PM on June 14, 2007

i second the album "meaning of 8" by cloud cult.

also, the movie "idiocracy."
posted by fac21 at 9:30 PM on June 14, 2007

On AskMe, I find myself recommending Fitday.com a lot. It's a free website that helps you track your food intake and calorie expenditure.
posted by AV at 9:31 PM on June 14, 2007

to growabrain - thanks for the tip about thai nakorn.

if anyone is seeking it out, it looks like the latest news on the place is that it's open in stanton, ca. the garden grove location burned down.

posted by fac21 at 9:35 PM on June 14, 2007

Biodiesels, Bikes, Guerilla Drive-In, Grilled Veggies, Picasa, Bellydance, Metafilter, Mineral only face makeup, DIY Whoonu, Backgammon, Splenda ice cream, google docs and dieting spreadsheets, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, Shaping up and flying right, Roth IRAs, Tallahassee by The Mountain Goats, Brian Dewan, Grand Buffet, Saying "Goodbye God," and Going to Bodie, The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber, B Vitamins, Slots A Fun for Dollar Blackjack, Netflix... which brings me to

Movies (oh boy, here we go: Zardoz, Primer, How's Your News, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, Bound, Videodrome, Clockwatchers, The Gift, The Quick & The Dead, 8 Women, The Deer Hunter, The Fog of War, Kung Fu Hustle, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Day The Earth Stood Still)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:35 PM on June 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

and BEING AWESOME all the time.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:36 PM on June 14, 2007

Live theatre.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:37 PM on June 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oh, shit. I forgot drugs. Certain ones.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:37 PM on June 14, 2007

Anything Google. Google Reader, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Documents, Google Base, Google Pages, Google Scholar, Google Books, Google Products. Synergy.
posted by HotPatatta at 9:39 PM on June 14, 2007

Carne asada burritos from Roberto's in San Diego
The Pesky Combo at Rubio's Fish Tacos
Having coffee on the porch at Pannikin in Encinitas
Nutella crepes in Paris
Teaching kids stuff
Sunset Boulevard (the original with William Holden/Gloria Swanson)
Pilates & Yoga
Toum (Lebanese garlic dip)
Travel of any kind
Having a dog
My facialist in LA
Learning a language
Singing in the shower or anywhere else, even if you stink at it
Dark chocolate
Getting a professional massage
Learning how to play craps in a Vegas casino at 3am
Tequila kamikazees (tastes like a straight up margarita but smoother)
Learning how to play an instrument
The music on my ipod -- too many recommended musicians to name here
posted by miss lynnster at 9:50 PM on June 14, 2007

posted by exlotuseater at 10:18 PM on June 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

oh, and this stuff:

thunderstorms. having my hair played with. cats. dark green. full moons. redheads. candlelight. jasmine. vanilla. freckles. watercolors. billiards. sushi. cobblestones. a good sweat and then a shower, and then another good sweat. blown glass. sunsets. mockingbirds. ballet. sailing. zen. a freshly made bed. kiwifruit. miso soup. sleeping spoon-style naked. ben-and-jerrys' new york super fudge chunk ice cream. haiku. autumn. confident women. silver. japanese gardens. otters. honesty. sensuality. incense. fireplaces. smell of freshly mown grass. crickets. fireflies. butterflies. frank lloyd wright. towels warm and fluffy from the dryer. a well-cut three button suit. afternoon naps. crushed velvet. leather. violets. gentle kisses. sloppy kisses. kissing. speeding. tiramisu. pagan holidays. waking up next to someone you care about. summer rain. fall rain. rain. scotch bonnets. garlic and ginger. red-tailed hawks. crows. stained-glass windows. stars on a clear night in the mountains. a good fountain pen. postcards from old friends. masala. seeing your breath in the winter. the smell of wood burning. military surplus. panty lines. dostoyevsky. low-cut backs on dresses. crashing surf. lapping surf. surf. punctuality. celtic knotwork. violins. being clean. people who accept me for who I am. neatly pressed pants. well-broken-in blue jeans. t'ai chi. freeform jazz. waterfalls. pico de gallo. soft lips. dante's inferno. philosophy. being naked and un-selfconscious. knowing that people care about me. openmindedness. flirting. mechanical things. cedar. laughing. hugs. four-post beds. unconditional love. plaid skirts. calligraphy. being whispered to. warm fresh bread. long-island diners.
posted by exlotuseater at 10:20 PM on June 14, 2007 [3 favorites]

Metafilter - to people who don't already know about it. Though these people tend to be the ones this community wouldn't want around. So, two steps back...

Another vote for the Time Traveler's Wife, and also Einstein's Dreams. And Opening Skinner's Box. Dammit, is someone here interested in reading it? I've never managed to get anyone interested in that particular book, though people take my other suggestions well enough.

Trying durian at least once - room temperature.
Star-gazing (I don't mean the hollywood variety)
Kindness - as often as you can manage it.

I absolutely cannot believe I'm typing this next part... but Mandy Moore's Wild Hope, her newest album... yeah.

Getting enough sleep.
Considering the possibility that you could be wrong.

Not flagging this question as chatfilter.

Bookmarking this page because it might get deleted (see one above).
posted by moonshine at 10:25 PM on June 14, 2007

Being squished against a barrier for three hours, to have your favourite band come on and play the best show ever.
Making people gifts and then seeing them still wearing them years later.
Live shows in general (Music, Theatre anything!).
Music Festivals.
That feeling when you finish
work/school/exams/commitments and know that you're free for the next day/week/month.
Purple Sneakers nightclub in Sydney.
Lustau Black Port.
Going to the drive ins in the middle of summer and setting up a picnic in the tray of a ute.
Special Relativity.
Albert Einstein.
Isaac Newton.
Ugh Boots.
posted by cholly at 10:33 PM on June 14, 2007

movies: Brazil, Napoleon Dynamite, Life Aquatic
music: Pixies, Baka Beyond, Andrew Bird
books: Snark Out Boys and the Avocado of Death, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
rock climbing
japanese cars
posted by fieldtrip at 10:35 PM on June 14, 2007

Either I'm too old, or the bar for "awesome" has been slipping. While I agree this is chatfilter, I'm not exercised enough to flag the post. In fact, I'll even respond.

Music: Art Tatum, particularly "Tiger Rag." Tatum said Fats Waller was his biggest influence, but Waller would get up from the piano when Tatum was brought into listen, to make way for Tatum. Keith Jarrett can keep you busy, long time, as can Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillispie, Charles Mingus, Bud Powell, Mozart, and Bach. But Art Tatum can change the way you wear your ears. This may not be immediately apparent from the first 200 times you hear him. Keep trying, and pay attention.

Motorcycles: For sheer excellence in a mechanical device, it's damn hard to beat the BMW boxer series, currently represented by the R1200RT. Cars and trucks are nothing but bad compromises these days, in comparison.

You can argue guitars and you can argue price, but a Martin D-28 Authentic 1937 sorta stops the conversation. Somebody hands you one, and either you can pick or you shut up, because there's nothing to say about the guitar but "Damn!"

Loudspeakers: You can spend more, and you can hear more. But if you want to hear the music, buy Martin Logan Summits.

The Luger P08 is just damn hard to beat as a reliable sidearm. The Mossberg 590, particularly in the .410 guage for novice users, is the best home defense weapon made.

Allen-Edmonds shoes are worth the money.

If you ever get the chance to acquire a Graflex Speed Graphic, in working order, do not screw around. Sell your first born child, and mortgage your house, if needs be. Once you have it in hand, it will teach you to see what is memorable, and with those skills, anything is possible.

There isn't a lot of point in discussing food or cooking, in a thread like this, as the culinary arts are too transient, and subject to sample errors, to be anything more than constant arguments. But I have tons of opinions in these areas I won't bore you with here :-)

In literature, you'd go far to do better than a thorough, slow read of Mark Twain. Too many readers buzz through his works as if they deserved no better attention. And yet, he wrote dialogue that deserves skilled tongues. And characters that deserve prominent places in big hearts. Mark Twain is the only writer that made me want to be a better human being, despite all those others who tried.

It is bypassed in considerations of great architecture consistently. And yet, the K├Âlner Dom was worth the 600 year construction time. It takes about 2 weeks to see, completely, if you work 10 hour days, the weather is with you, and you don't take days off.

I think more people should visit Bryce Canyon before they die, but this would not be good for Bryce Canyon. Therefore, those living east of the Mississippi River should not miss Little River Canyon, which needs visitor interest.

The Bay of Fundy fills up and empties twice a day, more or less. I have never taken anyone there who wasn't gobsmacked watching it. You start thinking in monthly tidal rhythms after a few days. After a week or so there, and a few walks on the bottom of the ocean, you feel ready to begin imagining geological time.

Let others point at mountains and deeps; life represents in swamps and wetlands. If you get a chance to stay still in the Everglades or the Okeefenokee, do. Your children will not likely get such a chance.

It would be good to see a ball game in Fenway Park, while you can.

I had a memorable day standing in line with my sons, for 2 minutes time to try reading the U.S. Constitution for ourselves. Not a copy. The original. It's hokey, and yet, it puts an all day lump in your throat. In the same way, standing on the deck of the U.S.S. Constitution can make you look at flag differently, even if you're not patriotic. She still creaks in wind, and rolls with waves.
posted by paulsc at 10:46 PM on June 14, 2007 [11 favorites]

I keep recommending the book Feeling Good, by David Burns. I'm not into self-help books, but this one's different -- a very accessible, insightful, and thorough introduction to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
posted by treepour at 10:51 PM on June 14, 2007

I used to work in a record store with a couple dozen music fanatics including emo kids, Dead Heads, metal freaks, hip-hop loyalists, a trance DJ and a jazz musician. In that environment, it's nearly impossible to find any album that everybody likes. We found three: It's a Shame About Ray by the Lemonheads, Too Far to Care by the Old 97's, and Have a Ball by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.

Also, although most of the employees hated it, Liquid Tension Experiment sold out every time we played it. We had 5 copies once, and they were sold halfway through the album. Every single time, that happened. It was odd.
posted by cribcage at 10:54 PM on June 14, 2007

Carne asada burritos from (any)berto's in San Diego
The Pesky Combo at Rubio's Fish Tacos
Having coffee on the porch at Pannikin in Encinitas

Cast iron skillets
Fire pits
Jamon Iberico
Manchego cheese
LCD Soundsystem
Pomegranate Molasses
Rivers and Tides
Cloud Atlas
Omnivores Dilemma
Haruki Murakami
posted by donovan at 11:00 PM on June 14, 2007

This is as chatfilter-y as it gets. Polling users for recommendations on anything?
posted by madman at 11:12 PM on June 14, 2007

"What laptop should I get?" A convertible model with tablet-PC functionality.
People still seem to see tablet-PCs as a bit radical, but while they can offer that if you want it, what they're really good at is simply being a laptop far beyond the clumsy ergonomic experience of the older-style laptop. Even top-line laptops seem low-budget, ungainly and nasty in comparison now. I don't recommend tablet-convertibles for use as tablet-PCs, but as that genuinely fundamentally better laptop that everyone is asking for. Everyone then promptly ignores the answer and instead buys a clumsy macbook/thinkpad/whatever instead, because that's what the other kids have :-)
posted by -harlequin- at 11:17 PM on June 14, 2007

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