December 2020 Archives

December 31

What do you know about octopuses?

Please tell me the most interesting facts you know about octopuses. [more inside]
posted by aniola at 11:20 PM PST - 25 comments

vegetable roasting question

Novice cook here: roasted brussels sprouts are not turning out how I want - can you help me with adjustments? [more inside]
posted by dragonfruit at 10:52 PM PST - 19 comments

Best device for streaming from your computer to tv in [2021]?

What device do I need to stream media from my computer to my tv? Until yesterday, I used a 3rd Gen. Apple TV with iTunes for this. However, I accidentally reset my modem and router yesterday and, well, it's refusing to connect to the internet and I'm wondering if it might be time to move on from this nearly-ancient device! More details about my "requirements" inside. [more inside]
posted by VirginiaPlain at 8:15 PM PST - 15 comments

Help me get started on an LED project for my kid

I'd like to build and program an LED project for my kids. Details on what I'm thinking inside but I have no what to buy to get started. How do I start? [more inside]
posted by david1230 at 7:17 PM PST - 8 comments

What are some neat websites I can share with high school students?

What are your favorite chill, silly, mildly intriguing or entertaining internet finds that I can use to build relationships with my high school students? We're learning virtually, and I had great success during fall semester with spending the first 10-15 minutes of class showing them something neat to play/discuss. But now we're headed into spring semester and I'm tapped out! Seeking anything you've seen on the internet lately that captured your interest for a few minutes. I've got examples inside... [more inside]
posted by lilac girl at 6:08 PM PST - 27 comments

Can I block this person on FB?

My mom's next door neighbor is snooping on my FB but doesn't have a profile I can block. [more inside]
posted by mermaidcafe at 4:15 PM PST - 13 comments

Men's good quality clothing basics

What are your go tos for higher quality but not super spendy men's basics? Tees, casual workshirts and work pants for someone doing a more manual labor type job, sweaters, sweatpants, socks, throw em all at me. Thanks!!
posted by fairlynearlyready at 2:00 PM PST - 18 comments

Posting links to a Wordpress blog

I currently have things set up so that if I visit an interesting webpage I can share that page to Pocket and then IFTTT will publish that as a post in a Wordpress blog of mine. Is there a way to do this with less moving parts? Bonus points if it'll save a copy of the interesting webpage so that if the site goes down or changes I'll still have access to it. [more inside]
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:37 PM PST - 3 comments

Spray foam on wet rubble walls - yea or nay?

So, we bought a century home (circa 1895) six months ago here in Ontario and are slowly discovering all the quirks of owning this old gal. As you might expect, temperature control is proving tricky: the first floor is quite chilly all year round, while the second floor is hot in summer and cold in winter. We're planning to upgrade the attic insulation, but the other question that has come up is how to insulate the basement - more details inside. [more inside]
posted by greatgefilte at 12:38 PM PST - 15 comments

Can I, should I, use a Samsung business series display as a TV?

I've found this Samsung business display, but I can't find reviews. The price/size balance is perfect for me. [more inside]
posted by Jack Karaoke at 11:51 AM PST - 6 comments

Trying to figure out Nintendo Switch

I'm not a gamer, but I received a Nintendo Switch for Christmas. I haven't actually played any games yet, because I'm still trying to puzzle-out the basics. [more inside]
posted by akk2014 at 11:11 AM PST - 15 comments

Identify academic topics related to analysis of race statistics?

Within the last several weeks, probably stemming from the coverage of Timnit Gebru's firing from Google, I read about academic work that covers problems in data analysis and statistics regarding race and racism. I think I'm remembering a passage from an article in the popular press and want to follow up in more detail. Specific example inside and curious for broad recommendations. [more inside]
posted by GPF at 9:28 AM PST - 2 comments

Convenient dog training treats that work outside

What treats get your dogs' attention when they're outside and least likely to care? [more inside]
posted by rouftop at 8:45 AM PST - 21 comments

Please help my baby and I listen to good streaming music

I've been reliant on good headphones to listen to music privately -- or an Amazon Dot to have music in the room. Now I really want to be able to stream better quality sound into my family room. [more inside]
posted by mkuhnell at 8:41 AM PST - 4 comments

Open relationships after 50?

Married 50 cis hetero male here. I've lost the thread on open relationships in the last 30 years... help? Snowflakes, etc. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 8:14 AM PST - 8 comments

Jon Ossoff cadence/accent

Is there a name or origin or any reading material about his cadence/accent? It's wonderful and very deliberate. My friend pointed out that Pete Buttigieg has a similar speaking style, and I guess perhaps Obama had it too.
posted by ftm at 7:41 AM PST - 5 comments

We need insurance.

Does anyone know of a Black or minority-owned insurance agency in or around Portland, OR? [more inside]
posted by pdb at 7:24 AM PST - 3 comments

Other games like Alba for Kids?

Are there other kids computer games that have similar dynamics / chill-ness like the recent release of Alba Wildlife game?. It’s beautiful and really scratched an itch for my kids on the spectrum. [more inside]
posted by inflatablekiwi at 7:20 AM PST - 10 comments

CIA Cockroaches

Which magazine had the CIA's remote controlled roach on the cover? [more inside]
posted by IronLizard at 6:22 AM PST - 0 comments

Best red wine for beef stew?

I'll be making this beef and bacon stew later today. What would be the best red wine to use? The recipe calls for most of a bottle, and I don't know much about wine.
posted by cozenedindigo at 4:29 AM PST - 13 comments

December 30

Good sources for clock mechanisms?

I'm trying to fix a clock belonging to my parents. The clock requires a pendulum clock movement with a 1" shaft, but while I can find that kind of mechanism fairly easily and inexpensively, I would also like it to have chimes, and finding the three attributes in one mechanism has been difficult. I have searched eBay and Amazon and found this one option, which looks exactly like the old mechanism, but will cost $84.36(Cdn). Does anyone have any suggestions as to sources, either Toronto-area or online, where I can get a chiming pendulum clock movement with a 1" shaft for less?
posted by orange swan at 5:59 PM PST - 4 comments


Can anyone help me decipher the highly stylized hiragana on this scroll? [more inside]
posted by Cogito at 5:47 PM PST - 8 comments

Hard case for new MacBook Air?

I would think this would be simple, but...I'd like one of those hardshell cases that you clip on to your laptop. I've ordered a few from Amazon but they don't allow me to open the screen beyond 90 degrees, which is not particularly useful. Are there specific brands that fit and will allow a full range of the screen movement?
posted by stillmoving at 3:27 PM PST - 3 comments

Where to find a piece of music from a 1945 film

Christmas in Connecticut with Barbara Stanwyck has a sweet scene with dishy Dennis Morgan singing "The Wish That I Wish Tonight" and I want it! [more inside]
posted by henry scobie at 3:23 PM PST - 2 comments

Is a one-off lump sum or a recurring donation more useful?

I'd like my donations to be as useful as possible. Is a one-off lump-sum donation more useful than a recurring donation that adds up to the same amount, e.g. is it better to donate $240 today, or $20/month for a year? Presumably the recipient loses less of the one-off donation to processing charges and other per-transaction overhead, which seems good. But I would imagine the ability to more confidently project income that comes with recurring donations is also valuable. So, which kind of donation is better? [more inside]
posted by caek at 2:46 PM PST - 17 comments

Full featured podcast player?

What's your favorite podcast catcher/player for the iphone? I've been using Downcast, which is OK, but I'd like a player with more playlist functionality -- I'd like to be able to make a playlist from episodes of different podcasts and shuffle it, for example.
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 2:32 PM PST - 10 comments

Help identifying cause of random hives

Looking for some ideas as to what might be causing random hives and swelling. For a little over a week my daughter (22yo) has been experiencing eruptions of hives that we can't find an explanation for. Her legs will suddenly become covered with raised itchy hives, both legs, front and back, thighs and calves. Benadryl doesn't seem to make a difference, and they subside after a few hours, only to return. She has also had two weird instances of lip swelling that lasted longer, for about a day. Benadryl also had no effect on that. [more inside]
posted by Bresciabouvier at 1:02 PM PST - 28 comments

The extremely far future of journalism

I want to write a somewhat goofy story set on board a space ship. I want a mediocre journalist character as a heroine. But it seems preposterous to imagine that media, and journalists, would still exist in any recognisable way in that kind of space opera future. Is it??
posted by Omnomnom at 12:51 PM PST - 30 comments

is there anything like a cough drop, but not sweet?

All the cough drops I've been able to find, to moisten my dry mouth or stop a tickle in my throat, are too sweet. Especially the sugarless ones. Most sugarless cough drops are sweetened not only by the hard-candy base, made of isomalt or some such indigestible sugar, but also by added sucralose, acesulfame-K, stevia, aspartame, saccharin, or other artificial sweetener. The amount of any artificial sweetener used in anything is always vastly in excess of what I can stand the taste of. (Why do people like everything so sweet!) I must be a supertaster for sweetness. [more inside]
posted by chromium at 12:01 PM PST - 22 comments

PhD in Political Science or PhD in Clinical/ Social Psychology?

I am wondering what would be a better career outcome with a Phd in Political Science or a PhD in Clinical Psychology or Social Psychology? [more inside]
posted by RearWindow at 11:58 AM PST - 9 comments

Alternatives to Plants vs Zombies 2?

I have been enjoying Plants v Zombies 2 but the ads are driving me insane especially since they have sound which I hate in a game. I would be happy to pay a one time or annual subscription fee to remove ads but Plants v Zombies 2 doesn’t have that option. There are a lot of alternatives but it is hard for me to tell which meet my below criteria. Any thoughts? [more inside]
posted by eleanna at 11:25 AM PST - 6 comments

Gift idea burnout

My wife's birthday is right around the corner. I had some great inspiration for Christmas gifts and now am feeling all used up. Things she likes are listed inside. [more inside]
posted by sewellcm at 11:18 AM PST - 23 comments

Need some New Year motivational videos

With the new year coming, I'm looking for some short motivational videos (10 minutes or less) by people who have changed their habits related to health. The changes could be around food, what they eat (such as eliminating unhealthy junk food), drinking, exercise. Not looking for how-to guides but rather people describing the inner experience of change and how much better they feel after changing a habit. Two examples inside. [more inside]
posted by daikon at 10:16 AM PST - 1 comment

Covid recovery after ventilator

Looking for actual hard information on the outcomes of ventilators and/or ICU treatment in Covid cases especially: [more inside]
posted by nantucket at 10:08 AM PST - 6 comments

How can I have a social trivia experience on the internet?

I miss the weekly bar trivia that was part of my life pre-pandemic. I would love to get together remotely with a few friends (or strangers) and play trivia once a week. How can I do that on the internet? Details within. [more inside]
posted by oulipian at 9:55 AM PST - 11 comments

I don't want this particular job, but let's talk.

A recruiter just contacted me on LinkedIn for a local hospital IT job. I don't want this particular job, but if my current job changed or went away it's a place that I would like to work. Is there any way to use this to network with people at the hospital? [more inside]
posted by Tehhund at 9:45 AM PST - 12 comments

ISO Stylish / Function Coffee Travel Mug

I am looking for a coffee travel mug. Details inside [more inside]
posted by Alvin80 at 9:05 AM PST - 14 comments

Is there a site with some of the best cheap monthly airbnbs?

So I've been nomadic for a while and I think I'd like to keep doing it. I'm looking for cheapish monthly rentals in interesting places. I've been doing the searching myself on airbnb but I have to think there's something like Curbed that looks for this stuff. Is there?
posted by rileyray3000 at 8:23 AM PST - 6 comments

Notify a PC from Google Home or Android

I have a specific issue with notifying one of the kids that it's time for dinner (or to go, or whatever). He is often on his mom's computer with headphones on and this can't be done without screaming. What technological solutions are there to this problem? [more inside]
posted by All Out of Lulz at 8:22 AM PST - 8 comments

I wish to know the timeline of the current US funding bill.

CW: politics. I wish to know the timeline of the current US funding bill containing the $600/$2000 hullabaloo. [more inside]
posted by Evilspork at 6:55 AM PST - 11 comments

Flat roof leaking after Chicago snow -- help!

We bought our first house this summer, and woke up this morning (after the first heavy snow of the season) with water dripping through our bathroom ceiling vent. What happens next? [more inside]
posted by Yo Soy La Morsa at 6:37 AM PST - 14 comments

Does foccacia dough need to rise?

I use Samin Nosrat's recipe for Ligurian foccacia bread, and there is conflicting information. [more inside]
posted by archimago at 4:10 AM PST - 7 comments

7TB of photos, want a Mac app to eliminate EXACT duplicates only

I am trying to de-dupe multiple terabytes of photos. I want a Mac app that will find all of the duplicate images (and only duplicates, not "similar" ones). [more inside]
posted by blueberry at 1:30 AM PST - 25 comments

I'm pregnant and my husband is having a breakdown

I found out three days ago that I was pregnant. I thought this was a mostly wanted pregnancy, but my husband is having a breakdown and now says that he never wanted kids. He's also talking about leaving me for good. I don't know what to do. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 12:29 AM PST - 41 comments

December 29

Word for a trick parallelism?

Friend just showed me a humorous headline: ”Padres Give Up Prospects for Yu Darvish While Cubs Give Up.” I seem to recall there’s a term (possibly a very new one, invented in the internet age) for this kind of silly parallelism, where the same word is used twice but it means something different the second time. What is it? [more inside]
posted by stoneandstar at 10:12 PM PST - 7 comments

How do you (a eco-friendly Californian) pick up your dog's poop on walks

I am looking for the cheapest compostable dog poop bags available to buy online* in California. Surely this is a solved problem! What do YOU use? [more inside]
posted by aniola at 8:00 PM PST - 7 comments

Best Netflix-only, streaming now, intelligent charming movies?

I usually watch stuff on DVD, but right now I'm doing a single month of Netflix streaming so I can watch things that are ONLY available that way. What intelligent, charming - or just great - movies should I watch? [more inside]
posted by kristi at 5:00 PM PST - 41 comments

to be eaten with peking ravioli, naturally

How do you make duck sauce specifically à la Chinese-American restaurants in New England? This is a variant of duck sauce ubiquitous in the Boston area but that as far as I know hardly exists elsewhere. It has the texture of a watery slurry and tastes fresh and bright. It is not viscous or syrupy. No grocery-store duck sauce that I've tried before is of this variant. I have a vague memory of being told that it is a mixture of applesauce and soy sauce, and while I don't detect soy at all, the applesauce rings true-- heck, if you told me it's just pure thinned-out applesauce that actually sounds pretty believable. Only looking for responses from people who know, or have a source that knows, about this specific type of duck sauce.
posted by dusty potato at 4:38 PM PST - 6 comments

How Do I Get This Tree Out of My Chicago Apartment?

I am in Chicago. I want to get rid of my Christmas tree…very very soon, ideally. I do not have a car. What do I do? [more inside]
posted by Charity Garfein at 4:21 PM PST - 21 comments

Family interference vs helpfulness

Please help me understand Western Culture and family dynamics. Is it ok or not for family to point out your flaws and give you helpful direction? If not, why not? [more inside]
posted by Coffeetyme at 4:10 PM PST - 29 comments

Friend seeking reassurance I don't want to give--what do?

A friend of mine keeps asking me to validate a choice they made that they know I don't agree with. How do I respond graciously without denying my own values? [more inside]
posted by Argyle Road at 4:06 PM PST - 24 comments

Best retirement savings account(s) for a teacher in California?

For a 30 year old teacher in California what would be the best retirement saving scheme? My salary has automatic fixed deductions paid into CalSTRS, and my employer offers a 403(b) plan without employer matching. (Asking for daughter) [more inside]
posted by anadem at 3:45 PM PST - 5 comments

Conspiracy theories: liberal edition

I'll be teaching a class on conspiracy theories and rhetoric, and most of my examples are aligned with the fringe elements of the Republican party. Obviously there is a lot of low hanging fruit. I'm wondering if there are any conspiracy theories that the left is prone to believe in? [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 2:54 PM PST - 49 comments

How to (permanently?) delete a group chat on twitter?

Me and a group of friends want to migrate our group chat from Twitter to a more secure service. Yes we know nothing is private on the internet. [more inside]
posted by roolya_boolya at 1:46 PM PST - 3 comments

Tips needed to help a friend copy files off old Mac to give to an ex

I am helping a friend who needs to give an ex-partner a large amount of files from a shared 2013 family iMac. The files that need to be copied to a new external HD and handed off will include plain old word docs, lots of photos, probably some Adobe or similar design files, music files (in iTunes), tax software files/records, and possibly a few others categories. Can you help me get this done completely so all parties are satisfied? [more inside]
posted by chr1sb0y at 1:45 PM PST - 7 comments

Somehow I've managed to break the water table

The toilet ran all night and drained our well, I think. How long will it take to re-fill and is there anything we should be doing in the meantime? [more inside]
posted by silverstatue at 1:06 PM PST - 7 comments

More yin yoga videos, please

I've recently started doing 20-30 minutes of yin yoga in the mornings, and I really enjoy it -- the meditative aspect combined with gentle movement is calming and energizing for me. [more inside]
posted by mekily at 12:07 PM PST - 7 comments

More work, less time.

I have a ridiculous amount of work to get through before Jan 01. How would you be your productive best during a short, busy period? All tips and tricks welcome. I'm exhausted just thinking about it (and just, regular exhausted from lack of sleep) and could use your help. Thank you!
posted by Nieshka at 12:05 PM PST - 14 comments

Rescue Dog & My Mom

How do we get my rescue dog used to my mom? [more inside]
posted by narancia at 11:30 AM PST - 7 comments

EnGulf me, please

Looking for a dog-friendly, public beach for early morning walks and possible Gulf dips near Ft. Myers, FL. Any recommendations? [more inside]
posted by fiery.hogue at 11:25 AM PST - 1 comment

Have to un-hire a nanny for covid reasons. What’s a good severance?

We hired a nanny to start in mid January, but the spikes in void in our area have us scared, especially because the nanny lives with roommates. We are actually thinking of going without childcare until this wave crests. She hasn’t started yet and we don’t have a contract but we don’t want to leave her completely high and dry. What would be a fair amount to give her?
posted by malhouse at 11:05 AM PST - 20 comments

How do I de-salt a Honey Baked Ham bean soup?

I have the bone from a Honey Baked Ham and want to make the soup using their packet of beans. From experience I know it will be too salty. Is there a way of reducing the saltiness without destroying the flavor? I've thought of soaking the ham bone overnight in a pan of water but I don't really know. What are your ideas?
posted by Rad_Boy at 10:56 AM PST - 10 comments

Recipes for Coñata pan?

I got a ridiculous and wonderful Chicago Coñata Pan for Christmas:
Can anyone suggest what types of dough will settle nicely into these crevices, but not puff up so much that they turn out wrong? Brownies, cookies, cornbread, white bread....??? Any recipes gratefully accepted -- I want to get started with this goofy thing ASAP. [more inside]
posted by wenestvedt at 10:30 AM PST - 7 comments

Colon cancer

I am being urged to get a colonoscopy (which, fine, I'll get one) to see if my chronically low ferritin is due to intestinal blood loss. It has been just as low as it is now (3, I forget the units), for at least 16 years. IV iron helps, then it drops again. If colon cancer had been advanced enough to deplete my ferritin stores for 16 years, wouldn't I be symptomatic by now? I can't get a straight answer out of my provider and feel like this is more of a CYA recommendation. I mean, I need one anyway because of my age, but I want to understand whether cancer is actually likely to be the cause, as opposed to my heavy periods.
posted by Bluesocking at 10:13 AM PST - 13 comments

Vaguely-Remembered Short Story: Cessna, Chimpanzee, Cigarette Lighter

I'm trying to find a short story from the 80s, possibly published in Harper's, in which an older woman, a younger man, and a chimpanzee go for a ride in the man's small plane... [more inside]
posted by spacewrench at 9:57 AM PST - 5 comments

Online community for queer women

Where do queer women hang out online? [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:36 AM PST - 14 comments

Can you help through my yearly NYC health insurance quagmire?

I live in NYC, am self-employed, and buy my own health insurance each year. Every year I go round and round trying to figure out the best option over all. This year, the cheapest option seems to be HealthFirst, but I wonder if there's something I'm not seeing. [more inside]
posted by gigondas at 9:36 AM PST - 6 comments

Repairing a broken tub faucet

Internal piece of the tub faucet broke, a round white sleeve part. How do I remove this so I can replace the faucet? From some quick research this seems like a part that's been screwed onto the stub, that comes as part of the whole faucet assembly, though it's on extremely tight and I'll need to find a good wrench to see if I can unscrew it -- but I wanted to check that was the correct approach before attempting to remove it.
posted by curious nu at 9:28 AM PST - 6 comments

Suggestions for open heart surgery recovery

My father-in-law is having open heart surgery in mid-January and we want to make his recovery as comfortable as possible. We’re looking for help in making that a reality. [more inside]
posted by indyjones at 9:19 AM PST - 10 comments

Professional AND Hip Mens Clothing?

Where should I shop for "hip" business casual clothes? [more inside]
posted by soy_renfield at 9:18 AM PST - 9 comments

Inherited property in Missouri

A relative who lives in California has inherited property (acreage not a home) in a rural Missouri county from another relative who lived in a different state. There is a will. Apparently the heir needs to file the will in Missouri and go through probate in order to become the new owner and sell the property. How does this person find a reliable attorney knowing absolutely nothing more than that?
posted by Bella Donna at 9:18 AM PST - 4 comments

Running a minecraft server with a realms-like experience

Is there a UI or minecraft server manager that offers a web admin that allows you to create servers and run minigames without having to know everything in advance? [more inside]
posted by rouftop at 9:08 AM PST - 1 comment

Tell me about your first year as a first time home buyer.

Our offer to purchase a house was accepted. We are now in the anxiety-filled waiting period while the inspection, appraisal, and mortgage underwriting processes are completed. We are also emptying out the tank in order to go through with the purchase and while I feel really great about the house we are buying, it's pretty nerve racking. In order to soothe my nerves, I am constantly googling for stories about home buyers. Can you tell me about your first year as a first time home buyer? [more inside]
posted by kmr at 8:59 AM PST - 35 comments

Book Recommendations—Romantic Suspense/Thriller Edition

I’m looking for a romance genre book that is heavily weighted towards suspense/thriller. This is for a book talk video series I participate in at my library. I really enjoy a good domestic thriller, but hardly ever read books in the romance genre. Yes, I know there are lots of lists out there, but I’m looking for personal recommendations! Bonus points if it’s not by a super well known author, and I’d prefer a contemporary setting. All levels of steaminess are fine! Any ideas? Thanks in advance, fellow readers!
posted by bookmammal at 8:42 AM PST - 8 comments

Seeking Book Recommendations

I'm looking for some book recommendations. I tend to enjoy fiction with rich character development and emotional depth (aka I end up reading a lot of sad books, though that's not a requirement). [more inside]
posted by wanderso at 8:15 AM PST - 15 comments

Please help me get into video games

Hi! I would like to give (video) gaming a whirl and see if it is for me. I know nothing, except that I loathe playing games on my laptop and feel strongly that I would need a console. I think this is because you can kinda get more physically into it? (Does this not bode well?) Anyway, please help me decide how to get a broad sampler platter of good/popular games on a console without spending all my money (just some of it). [more inside]
posted by schadenfrau at 7:37 AM PST - 19 comments

throwing windows out the window

Please tell me what to even call this function on my macbook air, then how to delete it. [more inside]
posted by nantucket at 6:54 AM PST - 8 comments

Looking for an ideal carrying case for art supplies

Got my son a bunch of new art supplies, neglected to get him something to hold them all in. What do y'all recommend? Some specifics within --> [more inside]
posted by jeremias at 6:25 AM PST - 5 comments

Loss of close friendship

This past year, I’ve been forced to acknowledge that a once close friendship that was very, very important to me is over. I’m not dealing well and looking for help. This is long. Sorry. [more inside]
posted by thatsaskatchewangirl at 5:42 AM PST - 55 comments

Printer Troubleshooting (Samsung ML-1865W, flashing orange light)

I moved, and when I went to set up my printer (Samsung ML-1865W) again, it wouldn't turn on. An orange light flashes when I am holding the power button, but otherwise it does nothing at all (no noise/light/movement.) Tried a bunch of things (listed inside), looking for any next steps before giving up. [more inside]
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:51 AM PST - 5 comments

December 28

home renovation on a budget: staggered schedule edition

I'm the one who will inherit the (40-year-old semi-detached house common in southeast asia) family home. Currently i am living there, keeping my mother company but with the existing interior layout. Our plan is I'm turning the floor I'm on to become my own studio apartment. I don't have a lot of money, but I have enough to start on a couple of big things, with future spending being planned for. Along with the fact I will need to remain there during the renovation, what would be your advice on the phases i should take? [more inside]
posted by cendawanita at 11:09 PM PST - 8 comments

History filter: Why do things the hard way?

I have a question about Operation Iceberg: The Battle of Okinawa, April–June 1945. There are things I don’t understand about fighting a war 75 years ago. [more inside]
posted by bryon at 10:59 PM PST - 9 comments

Keeping the fire alive in a pandemic

How are you and your partner handling the quarantine sexual lulls? What are you doing to keep the spark alive? [more inside]
posted by orangesky4 at 10:05 PM PST - 14 comments

Discontinuing COBRA mid-month

Is it possible to stop COBRA coverage mid-month? The COBRA administration company is saying that it isn't. We got new insurance through an employer starting 12/7 and don't/didn't need the COBRA coverage after that. [more inside]
posted by amtho at 9:19 PM PST - 6 comments

Looking for a catalog of book spines

I'm looking for pictures of the spines of every book ever published, including every changed version of the art. It's a small ask I know, but if someone knows of a good place to start that would be very helpful. [more inside]
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:59 PM PST - 12 comments

Manage Photos in iCloud Family Storage?

Short version: is it possible to manage family members’ photos in iCloud family storage so that a specific user’s photos go into a specific folder instead of just into the main stream? [more inside]
posted by Lokheed at 5:42 PM PST - 5 comments

Best books about the Franklin expedition?

I just finished watching The Terror and now I'm curious to read more about the Franklin expedition. According to Google, there are three million books on the subject, so I was wondering which ones are the best for a general reader. Any recommendations?
  • readable prose is important
  • in-depth descriptions of each part of the ship, not as important

posted by betweenthebars at 5:08 PM PST - 14 comments

How to Optimize a MBP Purchase for Gaming/Design

I’d like to trade my 2017 iMac in for a 16” MBP, but I don’t understand how to evaluate what I’d need from the latter to make the swap worth the $$$. Given the details inside, do I need to splurge on both the graphics card AND the processor, or just one or the other? Thanks! [more inside]
posted by Kitchen Witch at 5:01 PM PST - 5 comments

Help me find a new grocery list app.

The one I like (Copy Me That) has been discontinued for iphone! I want to create templates with items I buy from several different stores. Then, I want to be able to select items I need from those templates every week, and check them off as I buy them. Do you know another app like this?
posted by lgyre at 3:36 PM PST - 15 comments

Dear iPhone Please Give Me Less Rap

I have an iPhone and Apple Music. They replaced “For You” in the app with “Browse” and I can’t reset the profile. My job requires me to listen to a lot of rap, which I don’t do on the app. But the app found out and keeps suggesting lots of rap albums. I don’t really listen to rap much except for work. How can I tell it not to suggest so much rap?
posted by mermaidcafe at 3:06 PM PST - 6 comments

Will I pass this drug test in 2 days?

I have to pee in a cup in 2 days for a drug screen, and I absolutely have to pass this test. What advice can you give for someone in my situation? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 2:09 PM PST - 15 comments

Replacement socks for Under Armour allseasongear brand?

Hi all, I bought these socks from a few years ago, but it looks like it has now been discontinued. It was the allseasongear brand. I liked them because it was a thick sock and kept my feet pretty dry compared to other brands. I asked UA if there was a replacement but they said no. Some of the other UA socks have this band around the arch area, but it's too tight around the feet and causes some discomfort, in addition to being thinner socks. [more inside]
posted by eliluong at 1:57 PM PST - 2 comments

Help me spend PTA money: Ideas for remote activities for K-8 students

There is a pot of PTA money available, and I am looking for ideas for how to spend it. All of the students are learning entirely remotely and will continue to do so for... well, who knows, but assume a while. These could be physical items to buy and distribute (e.g., sketchpads), or online activities (e.g., a remote music performance), or...? Links to lists of concrete ideas are okay, and even better if you have suggestions for things that have worked well for you and your students (either as a parent or a teacher).
posted by puffyn at 1:12 PM PST - 11 comments

Promotion before ready AKA How To Lose Your Mind in 10 Business Days

Can you really fake it til you make it when you’re already struggling faking and making it? My supervisor is leaving and is pretty adamant on me taking her job, but I don’t feel ready...and I also am not excited about taking her job. How do I know if this is just completely fear based or if I could do it? And if not, how can I say no without burning bridges? [more inside]
posted by buttonedup at 12:45 PM PST - 14 comments

Converting cassette to mp3?

A very thoughtful friend just sent me some limited-edition cassettes (only 100 sets made, apparently) from an artist I like a lot. Sadly, though, I no longer have any sort of cassette player, having given my last one the old heave ho a few years ago. What's the best way to convert them to mp3 format? [more inside]
posted by holborne at 12:24 PM PST - 7 comments

Cute Masks

I'm looking for cute, cloth masks to wear to work. I have a smallish adult face and am looking for geometric patterns. Orla Kiley type prints at a moderate price. Please make suggestions!
posted by Kalmya at 10:53 AM PST - 11 comments

Learning about hunting

I'm interested in learning about hunting. [more inside]
posted by aeighty at 10:51 AM PST - 6 comments

Plumbing help: reinstalling a drain cover

I have a walk-in shower. The drain is supposed to be covered by a grate that is screwed down at a couple of holes in a PVC flange. (photo). Both of the screws are long since rusted away; it looks like one of them was never in the right spot to begin with. I'd like to affix the grate without needing to replace the flange, which would be a big undertaking, in such a way that I can remove the grate if needed. Ideas?
posted by adamrice at 10:30 AM PST - 5 comments

onomatopoeia but for meaning

Is there a word or phrase that means that a piece of writing demonstrates what it describes. For example, I have forgotten what it is, but there's a word meaning overly long or complicated, which is itself a long and complicated word. But I'm looking for a word or phrase that generalizes this idea. [more inside]
posted by eviemath at 9:52 AM PST - 7 comments

How do I re-open Picasa?

I have macOS Catalina version 10. I can't open Picasa at all and I don't see how to get an update either. Have I really lost access to those photos? Or is there an update I can use? (I did backup everything from Picasa onto CD's, years ago, if it comes to that. But I would rather be able to do things the easy way.) Please hope me!
posted by uans at 9:50 AM PST - 4 comments

Strange sound in my neck giving me the creeps!

You are not my doctor and I do have a doctors appointment with a spine doctor on the 11th, don’t worry! I’m wondering if what I’m feeling is normal and I just never noticed or what it could be. Basically I was touching my neck a couple days ago and I pressed the area kind of behind the thyroid and deep inside I could feel it crunchyish and something moves that I never felt before. The other side doesn’t do that. I just had haylauronic acid injected for a bulging disc on the other side (about 3 weeks ago)... [more inside]
posted by pairofshades at 8:34 AM PST - 5 comments

How to remove a tree stump

I cut down a large tree in my backyard to around 12 inches. The tree trunk and branches have been chipped but we still have to remove the tree stump. I am told it may sprout...I have researched and found a few good pieces of advice on using a tree stump killers. The issue I have is each of the recommendations takes months for the tree stump to rot. Before we start, does anyone have 'real-life experience' they can share, to avoid me waiting months for the tree stump to die - only to find it still sprouts?
posted by BenHiltop at 5:19 AM PST - 17 comments

Best Examples of Scientific Collaborations

I'm working on a project for which I would like to highlight some famous scientific collaboration stories, and I'm realizing that many common popularly-known scientific discovery stories have a tendency to celebrate a single genius, e.g. Newton developed his physics while quarantining during the Great Plague. What are some accessible stories that highlight the opposite - multiple people working together made an important scientific discovery? [more inside]
posted by spenser at 12:04 AM PST - 24 comments

December 27

Assorted questions about Custom Paint By Numbers

I'm thinking of getting a relative a paint by number kit. I'm thinking she'd like a picture of a particular cathedral. I've created a picture, please tell me if this is suitable for making into paint by numbers. Also, any other advice on doing this, including any particular company or etsy seller you recommend and what sort of kit to get. Specific subquestions inside. [more inside]
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:55 PM PST - 6 comments

How to paint your house (exterior)

We have a one story, approx 1000 sq/ft stucco house. We are not extremely handy, but we have done home projects of medium effort before (small plumbing stuff, modest carpentry projects). My young adult kid has taken several construction classes and we both have done some (but not a ton of) interior painting. Can we paint the outside of our house successfully? What should we know? [more inside]
posted by latkes at 9:18 PM PST - 7 comments

Best vegan gluten free Mac n cheese?

I have never found a good vegan Mac n cheese - it doesn’t help that I can’t have gluten. Please point me in the right direction or share your favorite recipes?
posted by jitterbug perfume at 9:15 PM PST - 9 comments

hollandaise for days

I have a lot of hollandaise sauce packets. Help me find recipes to use them? [more inside]
posted by nayantara at 8:48 PM PST - 7 comments

Seeking powered USB-SATA adapter for desktop-grade CD/DVD drive

Powered USB to SATA adapters to suit 3.5" SATA hard drives are very easy to come by. So are USB CD/DVD drives based on flimsy 5V-only laptop-grade drive mechanisms, and so are USB adapters designed to adapt to the SATA versions of those flimsy mechanisms. But I have had no luck tracking down a powered USB to SATA adapter that will let me use a solid reliable DVD drive of the kind typically fitted to desktop towers with my Raspberry Pi media player. [more inside]
posted by flabdablet at 7:53 PM PST - 15 comments

Eastern vegetables for Western cooking?

We live in Asia, and cook non-Asian food maybe twice a week, stuff like pasta, roast chicken and so on. So far I usually pair these meals with a salad, or something like roasted brussels sprouts or broccoli, but I'd really rather use less produce that is often air flown from Australia or farther; in contrast, we can easily get locally grown Asian (mostly Chinese) greens, like bok choy, chye sim, napa cabbage, etc. What are some good European/American dishes I could cook using such Asian vegetables? [more inside]
posted by destrius at 6:32 PM PST - 18 comments

Um, I think something's wrong with the stove?

Help me decide if this is sounding bad enough to risk having to call someone to come into my apartment during a pandemic. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:17 PM PST - 23 comments

Looking for a custom acrylic dry-erase calendar!

I'm looking for recommendations and/or experience with acrylic dry-erase calendars with a few specific (but modest) requirements! [more inside]
posted by Jairus at 5:54 PM PST - 4 comments

Movies like Shakespeare Behind Bars

What are some documentaries about prisoners involved in artistic programs—like Shakespeare Behind Bars—that are available for streaming? [more inside]
posted by pxe2000 at 3:38 PM PST - 4 comments

The View from Tuesday

What are your favorite books like Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts, but in the sense of "Characters who are all whacky and interesting to hang out with." Like E.L. Konigsburg books but for adults. Tuesday Mooney has characters with funky interests and a lot of different ages, which is what I’m looking for. I think I’m mostly looking for realistic fiction, mystery fiction or I suppose romance fiction for adults but really I want characters who are funky and interesting.
posted by azalea_chant at 2:10 PM PST - 14 comments

Do you want a washing machine while traveling?

We have a tiny converted garage that we remodelled and rent pretty successfully on airbnb.We are trying to decide whether to add a laundry room to the guest house. The goal of adding it would be to either modestly increase our rental OR to help with rentals in our slow season (which is usually late Jan through April). Money is tight for us because with COVID we have fewer guests and upgraded to a cleaning service that use haz mat suits, foggers with disinfectant etc between guests along with gaps between stays to ensure the safety of the guests and cleaning service so my spouse and I are divided on whether it is worth doing it or not. [more inside]
posted by arnicae at 11:49 AM PST - 54 comments

What is being depicted on this old greeting card?

I found this image online and find it intriguing. I’m wondering if anyone would know anything the scene? I know that the lion and the unicorn are sometimes symbols of England and Scotland but not sure where that would fit in. Who are the people shown leaving at the top left of the picture? Is that a harp coming in to the frame between them and the unicorn? What’s with the umbrella?
posted by gnuhavenpier at 10:20 AM PST - 18 comments

What should I say here?

So my parents did not get my kid anything for Christmas. There is a complicated family dynamic with a million moving parts, but I need a way to gently say to them, "This is hurtful." Help? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 10:00 AM PST - 58 comments

How to go about selling old computer bits and pieces

Is it worthwhile to sell old computer components? (Warning: not a computer person) [more inside]
posted by VirginiaPlain at 9:37 AM PST - 14 comments

Looking for an article I once read about the popularity of music

I'm looking for an article that ran perhaps five years ago, which ran simulations of musical popularity in different artificially created groups of people, showing that in different domains, different artists would become popular. [more inside]
posted by Clotilde at 8:32 AM PST - 2 comments

Examples of songs that are "dissonant" between music and subject?

Songs that are musically pretty/poignant while addressing obscure or unorthodox subjects are super interesting to me. Examples I was thinking about recently were a couple of songs by Sufjan Stevens ("Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois" and "John Wayne Gacy Jr."), and "Golden Brown" by The Stranglers (simultaneously about a love interest, and heroin). Do you have any other suggestions I could check out?
posted by jackrational at 6:44 AM PST - 54 comments

December 26

What does 56% look like?

The new variant of coronavirus, which has now spread from the U.K. to several other natiions, is said to be "56% more contagious" than the original strain. What does this mean in terms of ordinary life? [more inside]
posted by ojocaliente at 8:51 PM PST - 14 comments

The laptop that ate hard drives!

My two-year-old Dell Inspiron has had two hard drives fail. How can I make sure something about the computer isn't killing them, or fix it if it is in fact a hard drive muncher? [more inside]
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:21 PM PST - 13 comments

Steam Sale & Choice Paralysis

I got a $25 Steam gift card. Steam is having their year-end sale. For whatever reason I am wracked with choice paralysis over $25 stinking dollars. Help me spend my money! [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:33 PM PST - 23 comments

Seek advice regarding coping with dental night guard.

I've been prescribed a dental night guard. Have you ever had to cope with a night guard? [more inside]
posted by SageTrail at 5:20 PM PST - 19 comments

A Nikki Haley Take Down for Someone Too Tired to Write Her Own

I have a friend who, despite priding herself on her incisive critical thinking abilities, admires Nikki Haley (and Margaret Thatcher and Conrad Black, and... but I need to work one conservative mystique at a time). I'm thinking that there must be a well-written and solidly researched profile/article out there that comprehensively debunks Haley's image, though I haven't found it. Can anyone point me to such an article? Bonus gratitude points if the article includes a mention of the time Haley called Jared Kushner a "hidden genius that no one understands".
posted by orange swan at 3:47 PM PST - 7 comments

No pain = no gain? How do I know I'm actually getting a workout?

Recently I got a cheap stationary bike for my home, and I ride 15-20 miles every day. I check my heart rate (elevated to 140-150 bpm), get sweaty, and then...feel nothing afterward. No fatigue, no muscle soreness, nothing like when I was training for competitive running and would come in from some workouts feeling absolutely flattened. So how do I know if riding this bike at home will help me reach my goals? [more inside]
posted by knotty knots at 3:16 PM PST - 15 comments

Stopping and starting the Pill

I used to take the pill as birth control, but now I no longer need that. I'm confident I will get back on it someday. Should I stop taking the pill and then resume whenever I need it again, or is it easier on my body to just keep taking it? Specific concerns inside. [more inside]
posted by estlin at 2:42 PM PST - 9 comments

How do on-demand commercials work?

During the holiday weekend, my wife and I watched One Night Only: The Best of Broadway via On Demand on Verizon. It originally aired December 10. Every single commercial was "The More You Know," a type of PSA with NBC talent. It got annoying after a while, but I couldn't believe no company was paying to advertise to us. [more inside]
posted by Flying Saucer at 2:36 PM PST - 4 comments

Who swears on their mother's womb?

Several months ago a person swore something to me "on [their] mother's womb". It surprised me at the time because I know that phrase from a very specific and unusual context [i.e., an oath used in a Wiccan initiation ritual]. Is this phrase commonly used in another (sub-)cultural context? [more inside]
posted by heatherlogan at 1:48 PM PST - 8 comments

Watch movie on my computer w/friends: Zoom? Discord? Skype? GChat?

Six people want to watch the same movie at the same time, but it's a video file on my computer, not something on Netflix or whatever. What's the easiest/cheapest (free would be great) way to do this? [more inside]
posted by tzikeh at 12:09 PM PST - 13 comments

awesome new sci-fi

Please recommend awesome new sci-fi. [more inside]
posted by signal at 11:00 AM PST - 31 comments

Is it worth it to tear up these floors to see what’s underneath

What’s the likelihood I can save/restore wood floors beneath the existing wood floors in my house? [more inside]
posted by to sir with millipedes at 9:54 AM PST - 17 comments

Interrogating the archive

Lately I've come into possession of the massive personal audio archive of a deceased underground music figure from decades ago. As I've been making my way through it, it's got me thinking about how and why we archive -- and I'm thinking specifically about folks who are creating a body of work, not just the collecting of unrelated personal effects by your average person over a lifetime. It feels like something that's been discussed a lot in the literary and art worlds, but I just don't have anything to hand. (I should specify that I'm looking for philosophical essays, books, etc., on the subject - writers who have tackled the impulses behind such archives, not just catalogues raisonné or descriptions of the archives themselves. This article is one way into the subject.)
posted by mykescipark at 9:21 AM PST - 6 comments

Another bite identification question!

I have a single small bite, presumably, on my upper thigh that is red, a small circle, and ends with a small raised brown dot. (Zoomed-in) photos here. It does not itch at all, though somewhat hurts if I press into it or if it rubs up against clothing. It appeared overnight and I was in Manhattan, NY, when this occurred. I'm not really worried about it but mostly just curious!
posted by andrewesque at 8:13 AM PST - 13 comments

Pokemon rules

My 7 year old and I have some very specific questions about the rules of the pokemon card game, please help! Maybe you, or a friendly 6-10 year old you know, can provide answers? [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom at 6:21 AM PST - 4 comments

Which VPN has good connection to a Swedish server (from the UK)?

Trying to find a VPN that a) connects to a Swedish server and b) has a low server load. [more inside]
posted by cincinnatus c at 4:04 AM PST - 7 comments

December 25

Full copy of RAF Pigeon Service Manual

I recently came across the Pigeon Service Manual — not primarily a guide to servicing pigeons, but a guide for members of the Royal Air Force Pigeon Service describing how to care for, train, and deploy carrier pigeons. [more inside]
posted by wesleyac at 11:52 PM PST - 4 comments

Bland cornish hens from slow cooker

Today, I made made this recipe for cornish hens in the slow cooker. But they turned out very bland. [more inside]
posted by NotLost at 8:04 PM PST - 21 comments

Where would be a good place to hide a .jpg clue on the Web?

I'm making a virtual mini-escape adventure for my nephews as an Xmas present. I have a crossword puzzle they need to solve, but I would like to hide or put this puzzle somewhere on the Web. The plain way would be to put it on my Google drive and give them the link but what are some ideas for a more fun location?
posted by storybored at 6:17 PM PST - 13 comments

Doctor Who New Years Party Ideas

In honour of the upcoming Doctor Who New Year's special, we will be having a party at home. Guest list: just our household: 2 adults and our two ten year-olds. Can you help us brainstorm fun decorations / costumes / food that would make this a festive evening? Right now we are staring at a menu of jelly babies, fish fingers and custard, and I'd love something.. more appealing. [more inside]
posted by Valancy Rachel at 4:43 PM PST - 13 comments

Paralysis of overchoice

It's time for me to upgrade to wireless earbuds. There are so many choices, and so many considerations, that I'm overwhelmed and would need a lot of remedial education just to be able to make an intelligent choice. Frankly I was hoping a family member would give me one for Christmas and save me the decision-making but alas it was not to be. And so I turn to you, hoping for some help/advice about what to buy. [more inside]
posted by DrGail at 2:49 PM PST - 23 comments

So, bought the wrong stylus.... please hope us!

Teen DTMFA wanted a new stylus, for drawing on her device (she really enjoys digital art). In the horror of being inside a real store with real people pre-Christmas, we grabbed the wrong thing: a Bamboo Ink Plus stylus that is only compatible with "pen-enabled Windows 10 devices". [more inside]
posted by DTMFA at 2:25 PM PST - 6 comments

Where to live in US?

I have the opportunity to move to another city in the US that I choose, and I am weighing doing just that. I would love some suggestions for medium or even large cities with a moderate cost of living. Ideally close to Milwaukee's cost of living; though there is probably some wiggle room there. I would love suggestions, requirements and nice-to-have's inside. [more inside]
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:53 AM PST - 25 comments

How to be a good sister in law

My brother is getting married, yay! I am very close to him and a bit nervous about how to start off on the right foot with my sister in law to be. If you have a good relationship with your sibling in law, please share your tips. And if you don’t, I want to learn what not to do as well. [more inside]
posted by redlines at 11:09 AM PST - 10 comments

Give me actual control of my child's web content.

How can I add a page served by a local server to the pre-approved websites on a Kindle Fire kids' profile? [more inside]
posted by popcassady at 10:53 AM PST - 4 comments

Trying to download an overly large Flickr album that is not my own

My wedding photos are up on flickr, there are 670 of them in a single ablum. How do I get them down without buying an app for a single use? [more inside]
posted by Hactar at 9:41 AM PST - 5 comments

What recourse do I have against a wealthy customer trying to stiff me?

I'm a co-owner of a California construction subcontracting company, we install big-ticket high tech equipment that ages rapidly. Earlier this year we did some new work on the house of a filthy-rich client who we've been servicing for many years. After our invoices went unpaid for months and we started asking questions, they responded that they had decided the stuff we put in didn't meet their needs after all and that they wanted to return it for a 100% refund on the parts after nearly a year of use. They claimed that our installation was substandard (untrue) and that we had misrepresented what our equipment could do (again untrue, though unfortunately nobody has more than recollections of verbal agreements about the specifics of what we promised.) What can we do to get paid, given that this person has a vindictive streak and bottomless pockets for legal battles? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 9:38 AM PST - 10 comments

How to deal with fallout from sobriety?

I was a heavy drinker. I noticed this and scaled back significantly. I then moved back with my parents due to Covid job issues and stopped drinking entirely since around June. Drinking has never impacted my career or my life in my opinion but my friends (who don't live in town or see me) insisted I get help. I went to a psychiatrist who specializes in addiction, who did not believe I needed rehab or further addiction therapy. My friends insist I do, do not believe I'm sober and that I lied to the psychiatrist. They've also convinced my family, though that has been largely repaired. Everyone has cut off contact with me completely. Any advice? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 9:37 AM PST - 51 comments

How long can rice noodles stay in soup?

I’m making a soup that calls for rice noodles, and says to add the noodles X minutes before serving. I’m not going to be able to do this. I’d love to be able to just dump them into the soup to cook and then keep the whole soup simmering on low until we can eat about an hour later. Sub-optimal but okay idea or terrible idea? [more inside]
posted by Mchelly at 8:59 AM PST - 12 comments

Online games with little girls?

I'd like to spend more time with my neices, who are 5 and 2. I'd love to spend some lazy online time with them. Are there games, apps, web sites, entertainment experiences, or any other excuses for us to get together for an hour or so every week without getting bored? [more inside]
posted by rebent at 7:28 AM PST - 10 comments

Cheaper alternative to SoundCloud for hosting DJ mixes?

SoundCloud's free plan limits you to 3 hours of audio, and their paid plan is $12/month. That's pretty steep just to host a few MP3s. What are the best alternatives for less money? [more inside]
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:13 AM PST - 3 comments

December 24

Can you translate this handwritten Japanese text to English?

Hi MeFites, can anyone help translate this handwritten Japanese text to English? [more inside]
posted by shortskirtlongjacket at 9:25 PM PST - 6 comments

What’s the inverse of a weighted blanket?

I have been having trouble with having any weight of blanket lay across my chest or up near my neck. It will feel like it’s weighing directly on the center of my chest and triggers anxiety and eventually night panic attacks. However, I don’t enjoy being cold on my arms. [more inside]
posted by msladygrey at 8:41 PM PST - 25 comments

Time to move from speakers to a soundbar. Help!

We have an 11-month-old and the speakers on stands are just not gonna work anymore. I want to move from a 2.1 setup (JBL speakers, Marantz reciever, SVS subwoofer) to something more compact and simplified. i want to make sure I understand the component setup, as well. [more inside]
posted by rbf1138 at 8:28 PM PST - 2 comments

Is it okay to use a propane grill in low temperatures?

I'm thinking of grilling some of Christmas dinner. Unfortunately, it will be about 20 degrees F outside when I do (no snow, at least). My grill uses propane from a tank. The tank is already connected, and I know it's safe to keep outside for much colder temperatures than 20 degrees. But is it safe to actually use the grill in tomorrow's weather?
posted by Mechitar at 4:54 PM PST - 17 comments

Streaming for 4 year olds.

I haven't had television or any alternatives to television (e.g., hulu, netflix) since MacGuyver was on. The one with Richard Dean Anderson. Not in reruns. I need to set up a screen watching situation for someone else. Many snowflakes inside. [more inside]
posted by shadygrove at 3:01 PM PST - 9 comments

What's the popular food delivery app for Brisbane Australia?

I want to send a gift card for a take out or delivery meal to a friend, but I'm not sure if grubhub, ubereats, or doordash are commonly used there or if there's something Australian that's more common. She rarely eats out, so I doubt she has one she uses already, but she's used uber a lot generally.
posted by Gravel at 2:30 PM PST - 4 comments

Kaleidoscope of my dreams

Or did I dream it? I remember a long time ago having a kaleidoscope that didn't have all those little colored bits in it. It, however, looked the same as those other kinds, a tube with an eye-hole on one end and glass on the other. You looked through it and aimed it at anything, turned it, and it would transform whatever you were looking at into endless kaleidoscopic patterns. Does it have some special name? I've just spent too long doing numerous boolean searches to no avail. Help! My grandkids need this thing!
posted by mareli at 12:44 PM PST - 6 comments

Windows Task Scheduler, Windows Media Player. Starting and Stopping

For reasons, I need to play a specific playlist at a specific time every day. When that playlist ends, it leaves WMP open and the next time the specific time of day comes around, it doesn't play because WMP is still open. How can I get WMP to close? Assume that I'm using Windows Task Scheduler and Windows Media Player for good reasons and that unless there's an incredibly simple solution that doesn't involve internet access and won't make me snarl a lot, I'd like to stick with the task scheduler and media player. [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek at 11:54 AM PST - 9 comments

Movies About the End of the World

I have found myself with a sudden taste for movies about the end of the world, particularly in the form of some kind of disaster from space. Can you help me find some? [more inside]
posted by space snail at 11:47 AM PST - 23 comments

Is it the bike or me?

I'm considering taking up biking but I'm tired of falling off. I'm trying to figure out whether the issue is the bike itself or if there's something I can do. [more inside]
posted by possibilityleft at 10:36 AM PST - 25 comments

Good Quality Slipper Socks in the UK

I'm finding it unreasonably hard to get good quality slipper socks. Can you give me any suggestions? In a perfect world they would be all (or mostly) natural fibers; durable; and available for purchase in the UK, where I live. At this point, I would probably settle for two out of three. [more inside]
posted by yankeefog at 10:24 AM PST - 5 comments

OCD self-help

I have some behaviors that are consistent with OCD. I have all sorts of self-help stuff I do for anxiety already, including meditation, but I really struggle in the moment to not get stuck in a compulsive head space in a particular situation. I'm wondering if there are tools and techniques that I don't already know about. [more inside]
posted by crunchy potato at 9:19 AM PST - 26 comments

Should I condition the leather of this ornament? How?

I inherited an ornament that is basically a tooled leather belt with bells on it, and the leather is looking worse for wear at 50+ years old. The back is just the suede side of the leather. Should I put leather conditioner/mink oil on it or is it too far gone? I like it but I don't plan to go to extraordinary measures to preserve it forever.
posted by momus_window at 9:13 AM PST - 4 comments

What happens when I report an issue to Instacart?

I can't grocery shop right now because of covid, and over the holidays I have used Instacart because my buddies who usually bring me groceries haven't been available. I am interested in what happens when you report an issue with your order to Instacart. [more inside]
posted by k8lin at 8:54 AM PST - 6 comments

Looking for book recommendations on call centers

I'm looking for book recommendations on call centers. It's there a Kitchen Confidential out there? [more inside]
posted by socky_puppy at 1:02 AM PST - 14 comments

Why does my pasta stick to the bottom of the pot?

Why does my (constantly stirred, 1 lb boiled in an 8qt pot) pasta still stick to the bottom of the pot? [more inside]
posted by serelliya at 12:42 AM PST - 44 comments

December 23

Seattle vet recommendation for cats?

I recently moved to Ballard and need to find a vet for my three cats. While a nearby vet is obviously easiest, I'm willing to drive for the right practice. Do you have one that you love? [more inside]
posted by Metasyntactic at 10:53 PM PST - 11 comments

What is this in my yard? Why would it have been installed?

This looks like some sort of sump pump. I recently moved into a single-story duplex with individual laundry rooms. The washers in both rooms drain into this device. As you see, it is at ground level in the back of the unit, with an electric line feeding into it. The pipes come from the separate washers. Why aren't the drain from the washers tied into the rest of the sewage lines? [more inside]
posted by TDIpod at 10:40 PM PST - 4 comments

Please soothe my spider fears

More spiders have been popping up in our house and I am stupid afraid of spiders. We rent so are not sure this is an actual concern to bring to the landlord. Today one was crawling on the couch pillows about to hop on my shoulder (sob) as we watched TV and I am properly spooked. Is there such thing as a spider infestation or am I just too paranoid? [more inside]
posted by buttonedup at 8:18 PM PST - 20 comments

How likely is it that the MMR vaccine protects against COVID-19?

Some recent studies have suggested that antibodies from the MMR vaccine may be protective against severe COVID-19 infection, see for example here for a correlative study. I would be interested in opinions from scientists more knowledgeable than I am about how legit this is likely to be. [more inside]
posted by medusa at 5:02 PM PST - 9 comments

I don't want to know.

Is it possible to ever opt out of those "Your Year In Our App Usage" things? [more inside]
posted by pdb at 4:48 PM PST - 3 comments

Decent introduction or waste of time?

The Instapot people are flogging a Sous Vide immersion heater and it is currently available locally for C$90. I've been contemplating the tech for awhile and this is a price I can swing. Will this unit provide a decent introduction to Sous Vide cooking or should I pass? [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 4:33 PM PST - 8 comments

Easiest way to share streaming audio

I need to get two mp3 files to my mom for my dad’s memorial service and my CD burner isn’t working. Is there a site where I can upload them for her to stream? She is 77 and fairly tech illiterate. Thanks.
posted by Clustercuss at 3:20 PM PST - 9 comments

Suggestions on articulating how I am hurt by a friend's actions?

A friend backed out of two plans we made for this week, with an ambigious reason of needing time to unplug/recenter himself. One of the two plans made was on Christmas Eve. I am spending Christmas alone due to the pandemic, and am feeling hurt and brushed off by his actions, even though I validate them. I would like advice on how to best proceed with articulating and sharing how I feel, while preserving his need to take care of himself. [more inside]
posted by dubious_dude at 1:42 PM PST - 56 comments

Umbrella liability amount and tips?

We are looking into an umbrella liability policy but don't know what amount to get or anything to watch out for. Help? [more inside]
posted by wnissen at 1:37 PM PST - 8 comments

So You Think You Know Your Tartans

I have been given 4.5 metres of tartan fabric for Christmas. Can anyone tell me what tartan it is? If it's not an official clan tartan (which it almost certainly isn't), which clan's tartan does it most resemble? My apologies that the colours in the linked photo are not terribly accurate -- when seen in person, the green is a dark forest green, and the red is very dark, more like a burgundy.
posted by orange swan at 1:07 PM PST - 8 comments

Call-In Requests Xmas Eve Radio Show

Hello! Where I grew up there was a radio program on Christmas Eve where listeners called in requests for holiday songs all day. It’s still running but it was today and I missed it. Does anyone know of another call-in holiday songs request radio program that will be on tomorrow? Google skills failing!
posted by CMcG at 12:43 PM PST - 0 comments

Looking for a really neat or beautiful bird feeder

I’d like to get my parents a <$50 bird feeder that is beautiful, unusual, and/or really neat! [more inside]
posted by Triumphant Muzak at 12:29 PM PST - 6 comments

Best way to return this package?

I need to return a fairly large package via USPS. I'd like to avoid going to the post office (I'm in California, where COVID cases are surging). I think the box is too large to go in a dropoff box. It looks like USPS will let me request a pickup, though I'm a little worried about package theft if I have to leave the box out. Does anyone know if the postal carrier will scan the package when they pick it up, so that it's trackable right away? Are there any other ways to do this?
posted by pinochiette at 10:09 AM PST - 16 comments

What animal does this?

An animal is rampaging through our garden at night. Any ideas who? [more inside]
posted by niicholas at 9:53 AM PST - 16 comments

How to deal with a company that hasn't delivered and isn't responding

I ordered and paid for 4 speakers, meant to function together as a multiroom audio setup, from a Swedish speaker company 8 weeks ago. I received half of the order two weeks ago, but have no information about where the other half is. The company hasn't replied to my support ticket in 3 weeks, despite multiple followups. [more inside]
posted by ludwig_van at 9:51 AM PST - 14 comments

Are these precautions necessary for this NP work?

Next year, I will be piloting a non profit that is direct service to the public in open, outdoor settings. Specifically, I will be offering drivers in neighborhoods with a much higher number of police stops than the county statistical average (usu. consisting of higher numbers of poor and residents of color), the opportunity to have burnt out taillights replaced. The purpose is to reduce the reason for police interactions which, in the past, have led to confrontations resulting in the use of deadly force. I posted the idea, CNBSeen, to Metafilter projects earlier this year. [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind at 9:13 AM PST - 12 comments

Online sources for current and historical global coal industry data

I'm working in a small project/presentation where I'd like to create some charts that look at global coal industry stats over time. The minimum time range is from 1950 on, but earlier is also useful. I'd like to look at global production by year, in tons, and by coal type (anthracite, bituminous, lignite, etc.). National stats, and projections into the future, are also useful but not required. Thank you!
posted by carter at 9:13 AM PST - 3 comments

Pulsing noise in the walls

A few weeks ago, a new noise started pulsing in the walls of my high-rise apartment. Maintenance says "it's always been like that" (it hasn't, I've lived here 8 years and can pinpoint the day it started) and "that's the sound of water" (it isn't, I know what the systems normally sound like). I'm getting so stressed out, and wonder if you have any suggestions. [more inside]
posted by theatro at 7:05 AM PST - 15 comments

Get photos off of hard drive? Something something FAT NTFS... ???

I dusted off an external hard drive that has some old digital pictures on it. Macs and Windows PCs fought over this hard drive, but I don't know who won. I plugged USB into a current Windows machine and it can see a drive prepended with FAT in the name. The files are visible in Windows Explorer but can't be opened. How do I open them (and back them up)? [more inside]
posted by GPF at 5:36 AM PST - 10 comments

Albanians in NYC

I'm an American living in NYC that's looking at moving to Albania next year and am interested in learning more about their population here. Googling only takes me so far. Is there a specific reason a lot are here, other than NYC being such a diverse city? Also just looking for general info such as Albanian-heavy areas, restaurants, ways to meet some Albanians, etc. Obviously COVID, so if there's any specific resources/articles to check out I'd appreciate that. A lot of the data I found on Google was pretty old.
posted by signondiego at 5:01 AM PST - 5 comments

Can this air return be moved? If so, by whom?

Our main air return is located in a central hallway. For many years it was never an issue aesthetically, but then we cut through a wall in our kitchen to bring in more light. Now it's kind of an eyesore and taking up good wall space that could be used for something prettier. [more inside]
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:54 AM PST - 9 comments

What did he really say?

Many commentators on the 1974 documentary film Hearts and Minds claim that the title comes from a supposed quote from Lyndon Johnson: "The ultimate victory will depend on the hearts and minds of the people who actually live out there." But there is another quote, more believable, also attributed to LBJ: "Grab 'em by the balls and their hearts and minds will follow." Does anyone know whether the first quote is real or fabricated? It sounds like it was made up to put a more diplomatic veneer on what he said.
posted by megatherium at 3:16 AM PST - 4 comments

Exposure to Covid and other Christmas miracles

I recently came home from a vegas forray and my bf had cold symptoms. After getting tested it turns out to be Covid. I dont have any symptoms although his exposure could have been through any number of sources (cont'd). [more inside]
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 2:31 AM PST - 8 comments

Moving out and backlash from family (an update)

Hi everyone, I hope you are all doing ok and staying safe. What a year this has been... I wrote a post earlier this year about me wanting to move out of my parents' home, and dealing with the emotional guilt of it since my family is very conservative/religious on some matters and does not want me to move out before marriage. I thought I would do an update on the situation, reading the comments and messages here is always so helpful. [more inside]
posted by KTN at 1:31 AM PST - 19 comments

December 22

How do I connect with my much younger and unmotivated stepsister?

I (35M) am spending this holiday with my dad, stepmother, and stepsister (18F). I am mostly doing this to try and connect more with my stepsister, who I usually see a few times a year (12 months this time). The age gap is large, but other than her parents I'm her closest family so I would like to get to know her better and offer myself as a resource when she needs it. My dad and stepmother specifically asked me to try and talk to her about life plans after high school, as she currently has none and does not seem interested in doing anything in particular. Does anyone have advice navigating either side of a sibling relationship with a large gap in years, or talking to an unmotivated and disinterested teenager in general? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 10:23 PM PST - 25 comments

Chromebox doesn't work right out of the... packaging

Just bought a brand new Acer Chromebox CXI3 to set up for use in the family room. Up until now, we had been using one of those tiny Chromebits (those candy-bar shaped computers) with the HDMI connected to the common-room television and a wireless keyboard/trackpad. I decided to replace it because the Chromebit will no longer get security updates after this month. [more inside]
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 5:40 PM PST - 2 comments

Help me get through the holidays. Alone.

I am spending the holidays alone because my friends have all either coupled up or cannot make accommodations for me (5 person rule for gatherings). [more inside]
posted by antihistameme at 5:33 PM PST - 43 comments

Save me from the end of the internet

So, I am basically in need of nonstop distraction, and finding that my current internet destinations are not up to the task, quite. By the middle of the afternoon I tend to have reached The End of The (or at least My) Internet. Does the thing I'm looking for exist anymore? [more inside]
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 5:11 PM PST - 24 comments

Using a gas stove burner without its cap: bad idea? (And if so, why?)

Kenji Lopez-Alt shows how, just by taking off the cap, a gas stove burner can be temporarily used as a wok burner. Is this a bad idea, and if so, what makes it bad? [more inside]
posted by splitpeasoup at 2:35 PM PST - 16 comments

Dealing with resubmittal of Provider claims

We have to get providers to resubmit all of our health insurance claims (already paid) to the another insurer during the past 4 months. Have you had to do this? What are your tips? [more inside]
posted by sandmanwv at 1:46 PM PST - 3 comments

Help identify this seed pod/plant?

We found this cool seed pod in a wetlands area in the midAtlantic region today. Plant identification apps/sites are not giving us much. Herbologists of MeFi, activate! [more inside]
posted by nkknkk at 1:12 PM PST - 11 comments

Continuous backup for Photos on Mac Cloud

I have my massive iCloud library backed up on google photos. But I would like an automatic backup system to a physical drive. Suggestions? [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:00 PM PST - 5 comments

Best non-Mars book/s by Kim Stanley Robinson?

I just finished the Mars series by KSR and loved it! I loved the technical science details but most of all I loved the rich interior lives of the characters. Which KSR book/s should I read next, and why? [more inside]
posted by DTMFA at 11:02 AM PST - 19 comments

Should I mention I am an undergraduate mature student in a cover letter?

I am wanting to apply to an undergraduate research assistant position at my university. It is for undergraduates and graduate students. I am a fourth year mature student in late twenties and I am not sure if I should mention that I am a mature student? [more inside]
posted by RearWindow at 10:33 AM PST - 13 comments

How to handle bad-faith twitter violations regarding privacy?

How does twitter handle false and malicious accusations of privacy violations? Specifically about reports of privacy violations regarding pictures of the twitter account owner. How can people fight back against this troll behavior? [more inside]
posted by davidstandaford at 10:04 AM PST - 7 comments

Where’s a body supposed to buy electronics these days?

Other than Best Buy or Amazon, that is. I just read that J&R Music World went out of business in 2014! I neeed a tabletop or bookshelf thing that will: 1. connect Bluetoothly with my phone’s playlist, 2. stream international radio stations, 3. play local FM radio, 4. AND play my music cds. Is there anything left in the world that will do these four things?
posted by BostonTerrier at 10:03 AM PST - 8 comments

Experience with Portland, Oregon, disability lawyers?

I’m wondering if anyone here has experience with navigating the SSI/SSDI application process with the assistance of a Portland-based attorney. [more inside]
posted by bixfrankonis at 9:48 AM PST - 2 comments

What is this tiny shelter by a driveway?

The other day, we passed by this house, and were struck by that little shelter on the driveway: namely, we were flummoxed by what its purpose might be. It's the sort of thing which, if it were a century old and British, II'd assume had something to do with horses (a place for some servant to stand out of the rain?), but this appears to be newish construction. Anyone have a sense of what it might be?
posted by jackbishop at 8:53 AM PST - 44 comments

Where are the high notes low and the low notes high?

I have an idea that in West Africa, or in some West African musical tradition (traditions?), people would say that an A880 is "low" compared to an A440, i.e. that the notes that are considered "high" in the European tradition are "low" and vice-versa. This might have something to do with the kora, where the longer strings (faster vibration, European "high") are literally higher-up on the instrument than the shorter strings (slower vibration). Is this true? [more inside]
posted by mskyle at 8:29 AM PST - 10 comments

Why did the crumbled peppermint candy on our peppermint bark...melt?

Madame Naberius and I made peppermint bark this year. All seemed to go well. Until it got weird. The peppermint candy sprinkled on top turned into a reddish slurry in the refrigerator. What's a reason - other than high temperature because this stuff was cold - why peppermint candy would just liquefy like that? [more inside]
posted by Naberius at 8:18 AM PST - 6 comments

Charlie Brown Christmas Chart History

For the purposes of writing a trivia question, I would like to know the historical Billboard chart performance of "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Specifically, I would like to know what position it reached in each year since records were kept for soundtrack albums, allegedly since 1987. [more inside]
posted by donpardo at 7:48 AM PST - 6 comments

Fuzzy /cozy house slippers with support

I (size 8 womens, wide front/narrow heel) need some slippers to keep my feet warm when I'm in the house, but most of what I see online is either unlined/not the cozy winter gear I want or seems like it won't have any support (I see a lot of memory foam.) I tend toward plantar fasciitis so I want something with more structure. Suggestions? Especially inexpensive - I will be ordering online and I'd like something cheap enough that I will feel fine keeping even if it's not 100% perfect.
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:28 AM PST - 29 comments

December 21

A little oontz oontz, a little funk

MusicFilter: I was overjoyed recently to discover Like Sugar by Chaka Khan, Watch Your Step by Disclosure and Remember Me by the Blue Boy. Can you help me with keywords or song recommendations to fill out my playlist?
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 8:22 PM PST - 9 comments

Good layman's book on historical linguistics + archeology?

Some time ago I read a neat book about, among other things, the Yamnaya people, who are believed to be the source of all Indo-European languages. There is limited archeology. But scholars can examine which words are common to all IE languages. Presumably the Yamnaya had those things. E.g. apples, and cart axels. Apples suggest an origin near Kazakhstan; cart axels suggest how they spread. To continue learning, what should I read? [more inside]
posted by musofire at 8:05 PM PST - 7 comments

Help me Grok a Hockey Management Sim, as someone who DOesn't Know Hockey

Hi, AskMe. :) This is probably a weird question, but here goes… As a totally blind gamer one of the things I like to do is support companies which are producing accessible games, however inadvertently. Someone happened to mention that Franchise Hockey Manager, a game/series I know very little about, was rather accessible, and so I decided to purchase version 6, even though this kind of sports sim is fairly alien to me. I enjoy the challenge of learning about new game genres but know very little about hockey beyond the fact it's played on ice. I'd like to learn something about it, or at least enough to enjoy the game if I can. [more inside]
posted by Alensin at 5:31 PM PST - 10 comments

Dating A Disabled Person - Advice for the non-Disabled

I’ve recently started dating a disabled person. Not only have I not previously dated a disabled person, I haven’t even known any disabled people. Help me understand how not to be stupid, ignorant, or cause unintended difficulty or pain. What should a stock ignorant non-disabled relatively-privileged fortysomething male try to learn/understand, in order to not dumbassedly mis-navigate a relationship with an amazing intelligent disabled forthysomething female? [more inside]
posted by armoir from antproof case at 5:24 PM PST - 18 comments

how did Jean Valjean end up with 650,000 francs for Cosette's dowry?

I know That Les Misérables Jean Valjean ran a factory for years, but the size of the dowry he offers for Cosette's dowry seems huge. [more inside]
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 5:23 PM PST - 4 comments

Is it ok for a dog to have a cat toy (catnip)?

I didn't pay attention and mistakenly got a cat toy that contains a small amount of catnip as a gift for my friend's dog. Is there any reason why he can't keep it/play with it?
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:15 PM PST - 4 comments

Survey about attitudes on race / racism

I need to create a survey that will tease out respondents attitudes toward race and racism (i.e. how big a problem racism is, how prevalent it is, does implicit bias exist, etc. I need to craft it in a way that will not be clearly evident that this is the main purpose of the survey. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I'm hoping to find examples of such surveys that already exist and I can adapt to my needs. Does anyone know of any such surveys? [more inside]
posted by robverb at 3:40 PM PST - 7 comments

Possible identity theft/fraud issue with unemployment, what do I do?

I received a letter from the Ohio Job & Family Services about my unemployment potentially being extended. The problem is, I don't live in Ohio and never have, and I certainly didn't file for unemployment in that state. [more inside]
posted by picklenickle at 3:32 PM PST - 8 comments

What is a good place along the Jersey Shore to explore in winter?

If I wanted to explore the Jersey Shore in the winter — specifically to take photos of desolate beach / carnival type / boardwalk scenery — where should I go? [more inside]
posted by critzer at 3:22 PM PST - 7 comments

Give me your best Lightroom tutorials

I’ve been using Lightroom (badly) for years. I’m looking for some tutorials that will help me get right with the software. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 3:20 PM PST - 4 comments

Lyft for Christmas lights?

My mom and I have an annual tradition of going to the Jerry Jingle Highway and looking at the Christmas lights. Because Mom lives out of state, she’s unable to go this year. I would like to get a video of the lights for her. Is there a way I could get a Lyft to just drive through the part of town with the lights? [more inside]
posted by pxe2000 at 2:42 PM PST - 10 comments

Dark Sky accessible during COVID driving from San Francisco?

Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions for great places to see the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn tonight that are within driving range from San Francisco (2 hours at most, with some flexibility if there's something really great a little farther away). I saw the planets and moon a couple nights ago from the Bay Bridge, but seeing them in the middle of a bunch of stars would be really cool, too. We wouldn't be spending the night. Thanks!
posted by vocativecase at 1:45 PM PST - 9 comments

Recommend Me a Book About the Progressive Era

What are some good books about the Progressive Era in American politics, and the post-WWI activities of Progressive Era leaders? [more inside]
posted by kensington314 at 12:56 PM PST - 4 comments

Call the Midwife episode with an incidental/background dollhouse?

In April of this year, my mom emailed me to say that she'd been watching "the most recent episode" of Call the Midwife, in which there were two little girls playing together near a dollhouse, which she believes to be the same model as her childhood dollhouse (she lived in England as a young girl in the 1950/60's). I'm curious to see this dollhouse, but I can't quite figure out which episode she was watching. Does anyone have an idea?
posted by unknowncommand at 12:25 PM PST - 5 comments

Calibrate my expectations re: Lard

Okay I made lard for the first time. The fat came packaged as “pork fat” with my half hog purchase. Some was definitely back fat and some seemed like possibly kidney fat. I rendered it at 225 and the lard is snowy white so it should be pretty far toward “mild” on the flavor spectrum but it seems very porky to me and I can’t imagine using it in any kind of sweet pastry and even savory seems maybe a little dubious. But I am naive in the ways of lard. What should I be expecting here?
posted by HotToddy at 11:24 AM PST - 26 comments

ISO music recommendations (Steely Dan, Sondre Lerche, Steven Wilson)...

My music collection needs some new blood. I like literate, inventive pop music and quality songcraft. I would love your recommendations (non-English language especially), special snowflakes inside. Algorithms often fail where my tastes are concerned. [more inside]
posted by 4midori at 10:38 AM PST - 31 comments

Please suggest a camera for me

Thinking about getting a new digital camera, unsure what to shop for. [more inside]
posted by komara at 10:26 AM PST - 9 comments

Will the MA RMV send me a replacement license out of state?

I live in MA, but spending the next 6+ weeks with my family in another state. I'm going to need to rent a car to eventually return, but I've misplaced my driver's license. Is there a way to get a replacement sent to me out of state? [more inside]
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 9:22 AM PST - 6 comments

What kinds of *Trails* are there?

Maine has an Island Trail. Kentucky has a Bourbon Trail. Beer Trails abound. Tell me about and link Trails you know of. [more inside]
posted by theora55 at 9:11 AM PST - 40 comments

How should I substitute unsweetened coconut for sweetened coconut?

I'm planning to make a Cook's Illustrated recipe for macaroons. The recipe calls for both sweetened and unsweetened coconut, but I was unable to find sweetened coconut in the store. How much additional sweetener & moisture would I need if I used nothing but unsweetened coconut? I want to do Christopher Kimball proud. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:31 AM PST - 4 comments

Fanless induction cooktop

I just got a cheap portable induction cooktop. While it's great for boiling water, it has a very loud fan. Are there fanless portable induction cooktops? Failing that, are there models that minimize fan noise? [more inside]
posted by Winnie the Proust at 6:36 AM PST - 3 comments

Was stuck abroad unable to work. Eligible for retroactive unemployment?

I am an American who happened to be abroad when COVID hit. I was unable to get a flight home before things locked down and I ended up being stuck abroad for several months. As I was technically unable to get work during that time as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, am I eligible for unemployment for those months? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 6:02 AM PST - 11 comments

What could cause these symptoms?

YANMHD but my husband's doctors have not figured out what the problem is. He has had pressure/pain on his head and neck for about two months. He says sometimes it feels like a headache, sometimes just as though his head/face/neck muscles are tense. He also has some TMJ issues. [more inside]
posted by chaiminda at 4:51 AM PST - 15 comments

December 20

Picking Up and Learning Poker Slang

How do you pick up poker slang? Active example after the cut. [more inside]
posted by metabaroque at 11:31 PM PST - 7 comments

How do I version-track source code with accurate file timestamps?

I'd like to store (in a modern version control system) a variety of mostly text-based files that were modified decades ago in an MS DOS environment, while preserving original file modification times until (or if) they're ever updated with a commit (and then thereafter). [more inside]
posted by fvox13 at 11:08 PM PST - 10 comments

Public radio piece about ICU doctors refusing end of life intervention

Some time in the last ten years I listened to either a podcast or a public radio piece where ICU physicians outlined the reasons why they would refuse end of life interventions except pain medication. I remember statistics given about each intervention, eg CPR, ventilators, other stuff? and the percentage of physicians who would refuse were cited for each. It was not the Terry Gross interview with the critical care/palliative care physician. This is unfortunately going to be relevant to my life soon; can y’all help me find what I’m talking about?
posted by tatiana wishbone at 9:03 PM PST - 3 comments

Can we make trivia into a side gig?

Since the first US lockdown, my husband and I have been hosting Bar Trivia via Zoom and quite frankly we're very good at it (both the questions and the MC-ing). We got our first request for a gig this evening, did it, and it went fantastic! So well, in fact, that I kinda want to monetize it now. Is this a thing we could do? How do we market this, and what problems am I not seeing? (We are in Pennsylvania US ) [more inside]
posted by deep thought sunstar at 7:27 PM PST - 5 comments

I have FSA money. I would like to purchase and donate pads/tampons

Logistically, how do I make best use of the money? [more inside]
posted by typify at 5:40 PM PST - 12 comments

From 6 inch duct to 7 inch duct for range hood

The old range hood died and I'm trying to install a new one -- the new one uses a 6 inch vent/duct, whereas the old used a 7 inch duct/vent, so I am trying to figure out how best to connect the two. Would I run into any issues if I put a cap like this one on the 7 inch duct to reduce the opening to 6 inches? The duct is just a straight run up through the roof, no bends or elbows or anything. Run is about 6 feet, I think. The new range hood is 420 CFM.
posted by AwkwardPause at 5:16 PM PST - 8 comments

How do you organise your Spotify?

I’d like to listen to more music this year via playlists but I am daunted by how to organise my Spotify. I listen to many many genres and I want to figure out more than just dumping everything into one enormous playlist, my current method. How do you do it if you’re an eclectic fan?
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 4:59 PM PST - 7 comments

small multifamily house, covid and hvac system..

would a studio apt rental in a small 2 family house (the other apt is above the studio, has two occupants, and is the only other unit in the home) have potential covid transmission vector's via the hvac system? [more inside]
posted by elgee at 3:35 PM PST - 6 comments

What happens to my music when I upgrade to Catalina?

Will I lose all my music and playlists when I finally upgrade to Catalina? I'm not excited about doing this, but not upgrading feels a little bit like Luddism. [more inside]
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 2:37 PM PST - 11 comments

Arts and alt/underground news sources in Philadelphia

I have a profile of a writer who grew up in Philadelphia--and whose most recent book has strong ties to the city--that I'm trying to place at a news outlet. What are the alternative newspapers, magazines, and websites in Philly that are currently accepting submissions or inquiries and pay their writers? [more inside]
posted by pxe2000 at 11:34 AM PST - 1 comment

Christmas Covers Canon

A companion Christmas playlist Ask to the one from yesterday. Today's playlist question is: which covers of songs from the Christmas Canon have become treasured standards in their own right? [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:30 AM PST - 12 comments

Anyone know about music licenses?

I want to download a song for my own pleasure, but the company just wants to sell me a license? [more inside]
posted by fantasticness at 10:44 AM PST - 4 comments

Gaining career confidence

I've still been thinking a lot about the feedback from my previous question and I've decided that I need to develop a plan of attack to (somehow) increase my self-confidence when it comes to my career and professional situations like interviews. My question is... where do I begin? Have you gone from poor professional confidence to a healthy amount? Is it even possible? [more inside]
posted by VirginiaPlain at 10:42 AM PST - 24 comments

Teachers! Tips for transitioning from teaching high school to elementary

After many years of teaching high school world language classes, I will be switching to teaching ESOL/ELL in elementary school. Educators who have made the switch either way, I'd love your advice and anecdotes! [more inside]
posted by smorgasbord at 10:18 AM PST - 2 comments

What are the limits to mRNA?

The new vaccine is frankly, completely bonkers. It's the equivalent of winning a war by dropping leaflets. What are the limits for mRNA getting into our cells? Could you eat it or inhale it? [more inside]
posted by wnissen at 9:22 AM PST - 7 comments

What does “not authorized to comment publicly” also imply?

What else does it mean when a journalist says their source was “not authorized to comment publicly”, besides the literal meaning of the words? [more inside]
posted by dywypi at 5:22 AM PST - 9 comments

Talking... Awkward Silence... Awkward Silence... Mute button.

How to let others know "I'm done speaking" during video meetings? [more inside]
posted by sol at 4:39 AM PST - 24 comments

Just when I had started to believe that my needs actually matter...

I come from an emotionally abusive household where my parents often told me I was too sensitive or crazy (classic gaslighting). My husband used to be pretty good about taking my feelings seriously when we met, but now it feels like I'm being treated like a crazy person again. Help? [more inside]
posted by LoonyLovegood at 12:54 AM PST - 28 comments

December 19

Evaporative cooling inside a freezer?

If you want to make something cooler than its environment, you can wrap it in wet cloth and exploit evaporative cooling (at least, to the extent that the surrounding air can take up more water vapor). Is there a version of this trick that will work in my freezer? [more inside]
posted by aws17576 at 11:06 PM PST - 21 comments

Webcomic about awesome Victorian names?

With dogs?
posted by leotrotsky at 8:15 PM PST - 3 comments

Conjunction live cam?

It's cloudy where I am and probably won't clear up. Is there a good, realistic (meaning having a view of a larger expanse of the sky, not zoomed in on the planets) live cam that will show it that I can watch? Some magnification is fine but I don't want a little box with "large so I can see the rings" magnified images, I want it to be somewhat more like it would look to me in person. Thanks!
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 7:53 PM PST - 4 comments

Sleeping Position with a broken leg

In November, I broke my left Fibia hiking, needed ORIF and am now waiting through the period when I cannot walk. I have a six inch plus titanium plate in my leg. I'm finding ways to be comfortable at night and am sleeping pretty well but now something I'm doing in my sleeping position is causing me to wake up with pretty nasty right shoulder pain. [more inside]
posted by frumiousb at 7:19 PM PST - 11 comments

Stay closed, door, plz

When you close a life door (turn down a job, make a time commitment, etc) how do you keep that door closed? What rituals/practices do you use to commit to the life you’ve chosen? [more inside]
posted by elephantsvanish at 5:46 PM PST - 11 comments

Building a Christmas Music Canon

So here's the task: I want to put together a playlist of the canonical versions of all of the most popular Christmas songs. WARNING: I have stipulations. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:07 PM PST - 66 comments

quarantine hair dye - covering grey in asian hair

I'm thinking of getting some sort of hair dye for an Asian friend who has been complaining about grey showing due to pandemic hair. What's the most reliable and simple way to dye the odd strand of grey back to dark black? I know nothing of hair dye but have heard that Asian hair is usually thicker and may require a more hardy dye treatment than caucasians. They used to go to a salon for a full dye job once every six months or so.
posted by benzenedream at 2:36 PM PST - 16 comments


I was surprised to hear some of my colleagues (we are all tenured faculty members at an R1) are giving students extra credit for completing course evaluations. [more inside]
posted by nantucket at 2:02 PM PST - 19 comments

Article about female Jewish roles

I have a strong memory of reading an article by a Jewish actress lamenting how infrequently Jewish actresses are cast to play Jewish women compared to Jewish actors playing Jewish men. The example I remember was Jewish David Schwimmer playing Jewish Ross Gellert while not-Jewish Courtney Cox played Jewish Monica. (She also noted the same pattern with the Gellert parents.) I am pretty sure it was written in the 90s and I think it could have been in TV Guide but I'm not sure about that part. This is all I remember about the article but it made an impression on me and I would love to read it again. I hope one of you fine people remember it too!
posted by Neely O'Hara at 1:16 PM PST - 4 comments

Debilitating Nipple Pain - what's wrong with me?

In the last year or so, I've started getting extremely painful nipples, roughly from between ovulation and the first day of my period. My nipples are permanently swollen and erect, day and night. Have you gone through this? Hope me for a solution! [more inside]
posted by PardonMyFrench at 1:09 PM PST - 15 comments

Cheap VR goggles to watch movies with iPhone/MacBook?

Can anyone recommend cheap (under $100) goggles or headset to watch 2D movies? I have Google Cardboard; I use an iPhone 10 XR (but could dig up my iPhone 7 for this); I have a ton of movies on a Plex server. [more inside]
posted by wenestvedt at 12:05 PM PST - 5 comments

The commuter cat

I would love to get a cat. I live alone in a one-bedroom apt. The only thing stopping me is my partner lives 2 hours away, and I am often visiting him (sometimes for a weekend, sometimes for 1-2 weeks at a time) as my schedule right now with COVID is much more flexible than his (I can work remotely, he can't). We will probably be living together in 1.5 years. [more inside]
posted by namemeansgazelle at 10:07 AM PST - 47 comments

Winter outdoor eating accessories

My parents have been eating on their covered front porch since the beginning of the pandemic. It doesn’t snow much in North Alabama, but it does get cold. They’re installing heaters, but what else could I get them as a gift to improve the experience?
posted by ocherdraco at 9:59 AM PST - 7 comments

Depressed or Evolved... which one is this state

Stuck in a state of action less apathy... for a while now. I am trying to understand where I am at and can't really pin it down. Help me with your perspectives! [more inside]
posted by gadget_gal at 9:36 AM PST - 15 comments

How great is that conjunction?

How does the upcoming great conjunction compare to others of the past or future? [more inside]
posted by stobor at 9:34 AM PST - 5 comments

Recommend me some beautifully written books

I'd love recommendations for books in English that incorporate figurative writing and that are lovely to read. Looking for fiction in novel format (not short stories) that is not from a white, male, or western point of view, and no sci-fi or similar. [more inside]
posted by sizeable beetle at 8:51 AM PST - 18 comments

Almonds to almond paste

I have whole, blanched, unsalted almonds in my baking stash. A new cookie recipe I want to try calls for almond paste (not marzipan). Can I turn my almonds into paste? [more inside]
posted by sardonyx at 8:21 AM PST - 15 comments

Late-to-detect vaccine side effects

I am pro-vaccine and will get the COVID-19 vaccine when it's available to me. I also want to encourage my vaccine-hesitant friends to do so as well. One thing that concerns some of them is fear of long-term side effects that we haven't had time to see yet from the vaccine trials. Has that ever been an issue with other vaccinations? [more inside]
posted by metasarah at 5:24 AM PST - 24 comments

December 18

How do I hack the complex world of window treatments?

Mr. Wasp and I are repainting our family room. During this process, we've also realized that we really dislike our patio and window blinds. [more inside]
posted by WaspEnterprises at 10:44 PM PST - 7 comments

Help me better process this feedback about my most recent job interview?

Today received completely unsolicited feedback regarding my most recent job interview and it's triggered a wellspring of negative emotions for me. The feedback has upset me so much that I've been intermittently crying since I read it. How am I supposed to use this feedback? It just makes me angry at myself. [more inside]
posted by VirginiaPlain at 8:59 PM PST - 52 comments

Aphorisms to Invoke at Work During Times of Stress

Today was a very bad day at work. 30% of it was my fault and due to some toxic traits I need to curb. I would like to print out some "words of advice"/"things to remember" and put them on my wall to help me make progress in that area. Please share your favorites. I'll put my specific stuff below the fold. [more inside]
posted by Kitchen Witch at 6:32 PM PST - 35 comments

How do I music in 2021?

Listening to music used to be one of my passions. Now I feel completely out of touch, like one of those people whose taste just froze in a particular year and they never got over it. Life has just gotten in the way. In 2021, I want to enjoy music again. How? [more inside]
posted by synecdoche at 5:06 PM PST - 28 comments

Can you remove envelope adhesive without tearing the paper?

I stupidly saved some old important papers inside envelopes with the flap tucked inside. [more inside]
posted by fantasticness at 5:04 PM PST - 6 comments

Please Help Me Identify Vintage French Stationary Set

About 15 years ago, I acquired a vintage stationary set, probably at a garage sale... I don't remember anymore. Pictures are available here. I want to know more about it, because it's delightful. I've tried googling the text that I can find, but I can't even figure how who the manufacturer is. I've also tried using google lens - no results. Pretty much all the information I have is in the pictures.
posted by skunk pig at 3:38 PM PST - 6 comments

My toilet tank refill noise just dropped pitch significantly - problem?

I have rented this house with one toilet for a year and a half, and until a few days ago the toilet refill noise post-flush was always the same and somewhat high pitched. It is now very noticeably lower, kind of rumbly/bass. Is this new low register a cause for concern? I am not noticing any functional issues with the toilet, just a very different sound post-flush. [more inside]
posted by vegartanipla at 2:38 PM PST - 10 comments

Best vaccine explainers

I am a nurse in a program that educates patients about their health and care. The vaccine will be available to me and my coworkers within a month. And presumably to our patients soon after. There are many concerns among my coworkers about vaccine safety that we need to address quickly. What are the best, factual, non-shaming articles or websites to share with my coworkers? [more inside]
posted by latkes at 2:12 PM PST - 10 comments

Have you surrendered a pet? Any advice for the process?

Not unlike many families, we have a pet and have had a child. They are not getting along and it seems the answer is to re-home the pet. Have you done this? Can you share any insight into this situation? [more inside]
posted by robertthebruce at 12:11 PM PST - 17 comments

Spray Paint

How do I make my spray paint more like mist? [more inside]
posted by gt2 at 11:04 AM PST - 9 comments

How to connect more to someone with a different conversational style

I'm a question-asker trying to connect with a non-question-asker, and finding it very hard. Looking for suggestions on how to connect more deeply with someone across this divide of conversational styles. [more inside]
posted by beccyjoe at 11:01 AM PST - 28 comments

Best Escape Room Puzzles

Hey escape room fans, what's the best escape room puzzle you've ever come across? I'm a relative newbie but would love to hear about creative puzzles and innovative puzzlers!
posted by storybored at 10:44 AM PST - 6 comments

Potatoes and what else?

In a world where potatoes can be sent through the mail with just an address, a return address, and postage: what else is possible with the USPS? [more inside]
posted by bunderful at 10:36 AM PST - 29 comments

How urgent is it to determine if I'm compliance with an EO?

My company has advised that US persons potentially impacted by a recent Executive Order contact their financial advisors to determine applicability. Is that something I should prioritize? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 10:31 AM PST - 1 comment


Give me the most interesting writing about the most boring topics you can find! [more inside]
posted by yeahlikethat at 10:28 AM PST - 22 comments

Sous-Vide precooking?

For Christmas I want to make goose breasts and legs sous-vide. The recipies I found say to cook it for 10 hours at 80°C and also mention I could do that before and then store the parts in the fridge. This is something I don't get, if I store it in the fridge and then put it in the oven to make it crispy, say for 20 minutes at 250°C, it will still be stone cold inside, even if I bring it to room temperature before. [more inside]
posted by SweetLiesOfBokonon at 9:11 AM PST - 8 comments

Is it unreasonable to ask coparent to plan ahead with concrete times?

My coparent and I have differing views on planning ahead and its causing friction. Am I being unreasonable by asking him commit to a pick up time? [more inside]
posted by CosmicSeeker42 at 8:49 AM PST - 28 comments

Should I buy a Cricut machine?

I probably don't need much convincing, but please tell me why you love yours. [more inside]
posted by Melismata at 7:32 AM PST - 19 comments

Need a driving simulator game for iphone, chromebook or mac

I am looking for specific recommendations for a driving simulator for a learning driver. [more inside]
posted by nantucket at 5:21 AM PST - 9 comments

What are the most boring topics?

Everything can be made interesting if you try hard enough, but which topics would you need to try really, really, really hard? [more inside]
posted by Cozybee at 12:45 AM PST - 72 comments

December 17

An escape room in a box that also teaches you stuff?

Looking for a product I saw in an ad a while back - basically an electrical engineering course mailed to you in a box, but with a fictional wrapper where you're a stranded astronaut completing these engineering projects in order to escape. [more inside]
posted by waffleriot at 11:35 PM PST - 4 comments

Doctor in/around Maryand who listens and doesn't hate fat people?

Please recommend a non-shitty doctor in Maryland, Northern VA, or Southern PA that either accepts self-pay or Priority Partners. [more inside]
posted by Flock of Cynthiabirds at 11:29 PM PST - 2 comments

Help My Mom Get into Polymer Clay

My Mom has expressed interest in getting into polymer clay. She was having fun with ceramics class, but then covid hit, and well... alas. What does she need to get started with Polymer clay if i wanted to get her a kit for her birthday? [more inside]
posted by wowenthusiast at 8:19 PM PST - 11 comments

This Cat Is Way Too Good at Hiding

I saw this guy and fell in love for obvious reasons. He's been here two weeks and still hiding very, very, well. I'm trying to be patient, but I don't know if he'll come around. What's left to try (list inside)? How long does one give a cat before saying it won't work out? [more inside]
posted by mermaidcafe at 8:18 PM PST - 34 comments

Finding an episode of Sally Jessy Raphael TV show

I would love to be able to watch my (late) father's appearance on "The Sally Jessy Raphaël Show." [more inside]
posted by davidmsc at 6:11 PM PST - 2 comments

Happy holidays, corporate style

I desperately need ideas for my department's holiday email picture and the text to go with it, please hope me. The picture needs to incorporate about 20 people's isolated headshots. [more inside]
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 5:50 PM PST - 8 comments

high-quality, ad-free internet radio?

I'm trying to get back into radio since I don't enjoy having to select the music with on-demand, and I don't love algorithmic or simplistic playlists (e.g. "The 80s!"). I do love fip - it's a french radio station with no advertising and seven different stations (reggae, world, electronic, jazz, etc).... [more inside]
posted by kamelhoecker at 5:38 PM PST - 19 comments

InteriorDesignFilter: What is this chandelier style called?

I fell in love with this chandelier on an interior design blog. The original source is a now-defunct Amazon link. What is this style called so that I can find a similar piece?
posted by serelliya at 5:20 PM PST - 7 comments

Peering into the darkness (of the curtains)

Please help me find the right terms to search for a way to cover one window that meets a wall in a corner, without letting light in along the corner side. Or maybe even just link me to a product I can buy. [more inside]
posted by bilabial at 4:00 PM PST - 8 comments

Artist of Don Quixote Print? No, Not Picasso

That Picasso guy has the "black-and-white image of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza" market sewn up, which has been a huge complicating factor in trying to find the artist of the image inside. [more inside]
posted by gknauss at 3:28 PM PST - 6 comments

Graduate public health jobs?

Background: I haven’t lived in the USA since 2005. Currently in New Zealand. I’m a registered nurse with a Masters of Public Health. I have lots of experience as an RN but none in public health. I want to look at jobs in the United States but I have no idea where or what to look for. [more inside]
posted by supercrayon at 3:09 PM PST - 8 comments

Can my dog eat this?

After a comedy of errors, we have received 21 dented cans of wet dog food. What now? [more inside]
posted by zeusianfog at 2:43 PM PST - 9 comments

Give me your subversive monogram suggestions NOW.

I just got promoted and my office gift is a portfolio (which I would actually love to use) with a monogram (not my style). I could forgo the monogram but think it might be fun to misuse it instead. [more inside]
posted by q*ben at 2:18 PM PST - 46 comments

Not Who Done Its

Help me find mysterious novels not mysteries. [more inside]
posted by Xurando at 1:33 PM PST - 37 comments

Least Creepy Fitness Tracker?

I've avoided fitness trackers (Fitbit etc.) so far, because I trust no one with my literal vital data. However, I find it really useful to be able to track my walking progress during ankle surgery rehab. Phone-only apps have seemed really inaccurate so far, and I know I won't keep up with manually recording data from a non-smart pedometer. What's the dumbest fitness tracker I can get that will still send data to my phone and is somewhat accurate? [more inside]
posted by rhiannonstone at 12:36 PM PST - 10 comments

How often is too often for getting food poisoning?

I've lived 30+ years without a sensitive stomach, but in the past 13 months, I've had three episodes of violent reaction to something I ate. Is this just bad luck or reason to see someone? [more inside]
posted by monologish at 12:36 PM PST - 18 comments

Help Me Help a Non-Profit that Needs a New Website

I am helping a a new non-profit get established and have been tasked with creating a website. My limited experience with website design and maintenance is from 12 years ago, and my how things have changed! I am thinking of recommending using Wix and hiring a designer on Fiverr to do the basic set up work. The group can afford it, and we don't need anything very elaborate at this point. [more inside]
posted by pjsky at 11:09 AM PST - 6 comments

Do you know how to prevent wedgies?

I have a big butt relative to my other dimensions. If I follow the sizing charts correctly, I end up with all the wedgies. I do not like wedgies. How do I find underwear that fit me correctly? Looking for approaches to shopping, store recommendations, etc. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 10:46 AM PST - 17 comments

I need a new TV, but I don't understand modern TVs. Advice sought.

My ~10 year old TV (which became a sort of member of the family during the pandemic) has finally died for good. I've been browsing for TVs but what's out there in 2020 makes me feel like Rip van Winkle. Can you give us some advice based on our needs? [more inside]
posted by quarterframer at 10:14 AM PST - 21 comments

How do I figure out who shipped me a package from Target?

We just received an anonymous package in the mail, and we know that it came from one of three family members. The problem is that we can't ask any of the family members who actually sent the gift (long story). I was hoping that there'd be a packing slip in the box, but it was just the item itself with no other paperwork. Is there any way to figure out who sent the package? The label has an order number on it from Target, but that's as much as I've got.
posted by richmondparker at 9:53 AM PST - 5 comments

ISO Hardware to check if three connections have been made in sequence

I am making a puzzle and want a low-battery-consumption and small-hardware way to check if three connections have been made in sequence, but not all at the same time. [more inside]
posted by Acari at 9:18 AM PST - 12 comments

Is this marinated olive oil safe?

I bought a bottle of this marinated olive oil in June, and used some of it (so it’s been open), and stored it in my pantry. Should I be worried about botulism?? [more inside]
posted by hapticactionnetwork at 9:01 AM PST - 5 comments

looking for an old clips from COPS

I'm trying to find an old clip from an episode of COPS. I know the show is extremely problematic in a lot of ways. This particular clip also touches on a lot of problematic issues, like homelessness, alcoholism, racism, and the less-than-enlightened police responses to those issues. So I'm putting the details inside. I want to make clear that I'm not endorsing the show or any of its problems. I just want to find this clip basically as a means of fact-checking a memory from my childhood. [more inside]
posted by kevinbelt at 8:55 AM PST - 2 comments

So there's "pandemic" - what other risks to my business?

I run a medium-size business. We are familiar with risk management and risk mitigation planning but in our 'future scenarios' we didn’t seriously consider something like a global pandemic lasting 12-months. We could’ve done a few things to mitigate the impacts if we thought about it properly. What other hugely impactful systemic risks have we not thought about? War - check; asteroid impact - check; alien invasion - check, ... And some deep-thinkers, or even governments, must have already thought of all the good ones - where are those listed?
posted by Xhris at 8:34 AM PST - 12 comments

help me fantasize/plan my tea & cake business

I was enjoying this this thread. Someone posted that they'd enjoy a service that sent tea and loaf cake every month. I, too, would enjoy such a service; I think I'd also enjoy providing it. Help me think through what it would take to make a success of such a business. [more inside]
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:24 AM PST - 22 comments

How does one seek an autism diagnosis as a middle-aged adult (Seattle)

For those who have been diagnosed on the Autism spectrum as a mature adult, how does one go about doing this? I would especially appreciate resources in the Seattle area, but if you or someone close to you went through a similar process in another place, that would be helpful to know too. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 8:14 AM PST - 6 comments

Real music like Blob Opera

I would like to listen to some real music that has the same attractive qualities as Blob Opera. As a non-opera acquainted person, I'm not getting there on my own. Maybe I just need the right term? Thanks in advance.
posted by HaveYouTriedRebooting at 8:00 AM PST - 12 comments

When do you Christmas? Need a timeline!

It happens every year. I celebrate Christmas in a pretty big way and always have lots of ambitions: cards, baking, gifts, decorating - but I am reluctant to start "too early." Then I end up 10 days before Christmas in a frantic jam trying to get it all done. I need a Christmas timeline! When do you do the things? What are your deadlines for getting things done? Specific queries below the fold. [more inside]
posted by Miko at 7:51 AM PST - 21 comments

Document review/editing/management best practices?

My workplace does a lot of collective editing of documents. Right now, we email versions back and forth with edits and comments and it's a mess. We are also really bad at organizing those documents when they're complete. Looking for resources to start tackling this problem (special considerations inside). [more inside]
posted by Knicke at 5:55 AM PST - 8 comments

Optimal boots

I've got a new pair of snow boots that I plan to wear on consecutive days, all day. Not interested in bringing a pair of non-boot shoes to work. During the rest of the year, I alternate days with my non-boot office shoes (wear one pair on Monday, the other pair on Tuesday) because I hear that letting the shoe dry out between wearings makes it last longer. These boots are too expensive to buy a second pair. So how should I handle them overnight to maximize their life? Northern people, help me out. Thank you!
posted by 8603 at 5:46 AM PST - 15 comments

How do I find which devices on my network are connecting to my ISP?

My ISP’s security systems keep automatically blocking my IP address because of failed logins. Tell me how to find the problem? [more inside]
posted by Beverley Westwood at 5:39 AM PST - 11 comments

Is there any such thing as a "freeform" puzzle (or other tile placement)

While playing Carcassonne, we realized that just placing the tiles to create a map was a very satisfying, and relaxing, activity. Is there anything intended for this? Not a puzzle exactly, but a set of tiles or pieces that has some rules (in Carcassonne, tiles have to be placed so that, e.g., roads connect or city walls connect) but allows for more freeform assembly?
posted by CiaoMela at 5:32 AM PST - 15 comments

Accepting a gift that may have unwanted guests

My SO's cousin, Bob, is passing along to us a small standing desk. It is new and unopened but his home probably has pests. How do we safely accept this? Non-graphic details inside. [more inside]
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 4:55 AM PST - 10 comments

Creative ways to season hummus on a low sodium diet?

I made my own hummus for the first time yesterday. It went well, but it's pretty bland without the salt. I'm not a big "spicy" person, but I'm looking for other low-sodium ideas on spices or ingredients I might toss into the food processor to liven it up a bit. I'm a very lazy cook, so simplicity is key.
posted by backwards compatible at 3:39 AM PST - 28 comments

Best online loan rate and company to pay off Covid expense credit cards?

I am completely overwhelmed and unable to do the internet research on this. I need to get a loan, in the range of $15,000 to $20,000, to pay off credit cards and pay a lawyer for my disabled friend, and pay off my own credit cards. The interest is killing me. I must maintain good credit for both of us so he can borrow for medical expenses and get into assisted living. Anybody know of a nonpredatory loan company that will give an online loan in that amount for a reasonable interest rate?
posted by KayQuestions at 1:13 AM PST - 7 comments

December 16

Recommendations for more... subtle dystopia and cyberpunk stories

I'm mostly looking for books, but I'll accept games as well. Details of what I'm trying to avoid under cut. [more inside]
posted by lesser weasel at 11:07 PM PST - 25 comments

Winter pee-itis?

This is the first time I've had this happen to me: once winter started this year, I started having frequent and strong urges to pee when it's cold around me. Most of the time the volume is small but when I do go, it's a really high pressure. [more inside]
posted by kinoeye at 8:47 PM PST - 9 comments

Best websites for apartment hunting in the Tacoma Olympia Seattle area?

I've looked at Zillow, PadMapper, and WalkScore (which I was surprised to find has an apartment search). Where else should I be researching? Do real estate agents do rental searches around here? [more inside]
posted by travertina at 6:09 PM PST - 5 comments

Humidifier Cleaning 101

I recently purchased a humidifier for the first time. I know that humidifiers have to be cleaned very regularly to avoid mold/bacteria problems, but the instructions for my machine say I should be completely emptying everything out and letting it air dry every day. How necessary is this? [more inside]
posted by verity kindle at 5:11 PM PST - 11 comments

Is this an Up or Out situation?

I found out that I’m not going to be getting the title promotion I applied and worked hard for. I’m extremely disappointed and trying to figure out if this means it’s time to move on. [more inside]
posted by Riverside at 4:57 PM PST - 14 comments

Selling gold online?

Can you recommend a place that I can send and sell a piece of gold jewelry? This is an old necklace my mother gave me. It is quite hideous and I am sure it is ideal only for scrap, rather than to sell 'as is'. I am looking for convenient and easy.
posted by nanook at 4:41 PM PST - 3 comments

What's your cities Simpson's "must-see attractions"

If you were to make a short-list of must-see attractions of your city like this one in the Simpsons episode when they were in Los Angeles, what would be on it?
posted by wcfields at 3:31 PM PST - 11 comments

Virtual Partner Massage Lessons?

Do you have any recommended partner massage lessons that you've taken during these times?. Not looking to learn how to professional massage but improve my touch at home. Thanks!
posted by sandmanwv at 2:45 PM PST - 1 comment

How do I secure my bikes outside?

I've got a covered area at the side of my yard where I want to store our bikes. What should I install that I can securely lock the bikes to? [more inside]
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:28 PM PST - 11 comments

Video Walk-through Recommendations

I've been using Loom to create video walk-throughs of work for my clients. It works pretty great and is pretty affordable. I just have a couple things it's missing so I'm looking for alternatives. [more inside]
posted by amanda at 12:38 PM PST - 6 comments

Viewing ocean life, while they're free!

Are there any viewing areas made of glass that open up to the ocean so that you can watch ocean wildlife as it's happening in nature instead of an aquarium? So you could be essentially under the water watching the fish, but in a room instead of scuba diving? [more inside]
posted by xarnop at 12:00 PM PST - 22 comments

Recommend high quality virtual Christmas Eve service

I would like to virtually attend a Christmas Eve service, and it's occurred to me that I could probably watch something of higher quality than a local church and that probably churches all over the world are doing something virtual. Can you recommend a church's Christmas Eve service that fits my criteria? [more inside]
posted by kochenta at 11:26 AM PST - 5 comments

How to handle my toxic family members death as a recovering codependent

My grandmother recently passed away. She was the remaining matriarch of an ultra toxic family system, that started with her and my grandfather, and has traveled through that entire family, sparing some, but affecting everyone. My mother perhaps worst of all. So toxic, that when I recognized my own codependency issues after my divorce a few years ago, I removed myself completely from family functions. I see my mom, but that is my only connection to that extended family currently. I have chosen not to see them as they constantly violate my boundaries and only seem capable of toxic interaction. (I have had more than a few verbal encounters with one aunt in particular). Now they are having a service for my grandmother this weekend... when the hospitals are full (so full I just had a friend die today in an ER waiting room trying to get medical attention) and covid numbers are at an all time high. I’ve already canceled hosting Christmas that is usually my favorite event of the year because of this. My mother is returning to old ways and attempting to guilt me into attending by telling me how poorly I will be talked about if not, and pushing at all of my delicately placed boundaries. [more inside]
posted by Quincy at 10:21 AM PST - 30 comments

HOME FARM FOOD MACHINE starting points plz

My spouse and I have a neglected backyard of approx 10' x 30'. We do a lot of canning and preserving and some fermenting. We have a budget for a winter project and we're pretty handy. We know basically nothing about gardening. We live in northern California (no snow, lots of sun exposure in the back). We want to build a "home farm food machine" to max out the calories, vitamins, nutrients we can grow! Gardeners of AskMe, what starting points would you recommend for us? What are good examples of this kind of system? [more inside]
posted by Stevia Agave at 10:15 AM PST - 18 comments

Support for President Trump: Policies vs Charisma

People who study political movements say Trump supporters support him for different reasons. Is there a list somewhere that breaks down the reasons/factions and the numbers within them that did support him and why they did/do? [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind at 10:11 AM PST - 6 comments

Wanting to do a very specific type of jigsaw puzzle or coloring book

Winter break is coming up and I really want to get a puzzle to do. BUT I am very picky about the kind of puzzles I like to do. [more inside]
posted by Jess the Mess at 9:18 AM PST - 14 comments

Who were these amazing indie rock / modern dance performers?

Autumn 2012 I saw a remarkable show in NYC that was a blend of live indie rock and choreographed dance, with the 5-6 member group performing both components simultaneously. I think they were touring as a band rather than it being an ongoing production at that theater. I have a nagging suspicion it was part of that year's CMJ Music Marathon, but it was definitely as much a dance performance as it was an indie-rock concert. Help me figure out who they were and, if possible, the title of a specific song. Details: [more inside]
posted by theory at 8:45 AM PST - 4 comments

The Problem With Panty Liners

I'm a woman of a certain age who now pees just a teeny weeny little bit with every laugh or cough. It's not enough to wear Depends (yet!). I wear a panty liner, extra long, to help keep me dry. But in the past few months, I've been finding that wearing these panty liners have begun to irritate my nether regions. I'm talking rubbing raw or making me itchy. It's not pretty and it's not comfortable. Suggestions?
posted by anonymous at 8:21 AM PST - 21 comments

Online Excel course recommendation needed

My Excel skills are pretty basic, and I am looking to upgrade them in specific areas, for work. [more inside]
posted by walkinginsunshine at 8:14 AM PST - 8 comments

Okay, time to become a banjo hitter.

I've got me a nice new 5-string banjo. I've got me some time indoors. What's the best online banjo course I can follow to teach myself. [more inside]
posted by lpsguy at 7:57 AM PST - 13 comments

Female / Male Body Part Science

So I'm sitting up in bed with my back straight up not against the headboard with my feet straight out in front of me and my S/O says that this position of my body is impossible for men to do. Fascinated I ask why and he goes into some scientific boohblahblah [more inside]
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 7:32 AM PST - 21 comments

Christmas present for 10yo boy?

Looking for a bit of inspiration for a Christmas present for a ten year old boy. -Big interest in audiobooks, drones, lego, relaxing and nerf guns. The usual stuff I guess. He's just not a reader yet due to dyslexia. [more inside]
posted by dance at 6:21 AM PST - 13 comments

Computer Monitor (Display) Question

I bought a new computer monitor for my home desktop computer. I love it but have two minor issues... [more inside]
posted by konaStFr at 1:59 AM PST - 10 comments

December 15

Can I be a technical writer? And at what price?

Recently, an acquaintance recommended me for a position as a technical writer for a short term project his company is engaged in. The project is very technical, involving specialized machinery and some programming documentation. While I have plenty of experience working as a writer, my niche is academic writing (mostly textbooks). I'd like opinions about whether I am qualified to do this and how to determine what I will charge. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 10:05 PM PST - 13 comments

How to find a meditation or Buddhist community?

I started meditating during the pandemic and have found it valuable. I'm interested in going farther and would like to find a meditation class or community to join. I'd also like to learn about Buddhism and possibly become Buddhist. I live in Colorado where the Shambhala community is popular. I was looking at their classes until I found out about their sexual assault and abuse problems. Where do I look next? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 10:04 PM PST - 12 comments

therapist recommendation in seattle

Polyamory friendly therapist in Seattle with experience with addiction issues [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 10:04 PM PST - 2 comments

[knitfilter] is there a quicker way to tear back many rows in the round?

ARGH. I am doing one of these (my second actually) and I absentmindedly left out the purl rows that happen every four rows. Twice. So basically I have to pick back or tear back I think nine rows. [more inside]
posted by less of course at 9:49 PM PST - 8 comments

Cargo electric bikes

What's your experience with electric cargo bikes? I would like to transition away from having two cars for our household down to one... trying to figure out what I can actually do by e-bike? [more inside]
posted by latkes at 9:09 PM PST - 14 comments

Wiring for the near novice, awesome gift at stake.

My husband and I picked up this awesome clock at a thrift store years ago. but it isn't in working order. He would love for it to work, perhaps you can help? [more inside]
posted by stormygrey at 8:11 PM PST - 7 comments

HELP, PLUMBING SAVVY! - How do I uninstall this faucet?

Faucet in question is 3-hole, but with some connections between the water lines / handles to the center faucet that I can't puzzle out how to disassemble. Photos here. [more inside]
posted by blueberrypuffin at 8:03 PM PST - 8 comments

Why can't I get Uber Connect on my Uber app in NYC??

help! I want to have a package sent from Manhattan to Brooklyn tomorrow morning [more inside]
posted by DMelanogaster at 7:48 PM PST - 3 comments

Help me find task management software for my snowflake needs

I need a "to do" list or task management software in order to organize my many tasks. Back in the day I used Outlook's "To Do" function and it worked very well for me. I've been trying to use Google's similar service in Gmail but it's a disaster. I need something that works better. That something is not Trello. Wish list inside! [more inside]
posted by rednikki at 6:55 PM PST - 10 comments

Crocheting (or knitting?) baby things

I'd like to crochet a baby blanket and possibly other baby items. A stuffed animal would be great. But is it actually possible to crochet something durable enough that it will survive baby excretions and multiple washings? What kind of crochet stiches should I be looking for? What weights and types of yarn? Do you have recommendations? [more inside]
posted by schroedinger at 4:52 PM PST - 10 comments

Question about scene in Thirtysomething TV show

Well, I think it was thirtysomething ... (more inside) [more inside]
posted by PaulVario at 4:18 PM PST - 3 comments

how to present this present?

I am thinking of knitting a something for my friend as a Christmas gift. [more inside]
posted by goodsearch at 3:01 PM PST - 7 comments

I need to collect short sound clips from a bunch of technophobes. How?

Our workplace would be more inclusive if everyone had sound file of their preferred name pronunciation the directory. I need to make it very easy for folks to record and upload their files. We tried asking people to record files on their own; most found that too burdensome. Is there anything easier? Ideally, a link to a page where you type your name, push a button to record sound, and hit 'submit'. Does such a thing exist? Can I make one without too much trouble? I want our department to feel welcoming to our many international members, this is a small but important step. Help?
posted by Ausamor at 2:51 PM PST - 10 comments

ISO leads for upcoming real time long term care info sessions/webinars

Your church, synagogue, mosque, senior center, community center, etc is hosting a webinar about long term care insurance and retirement financial planning. Attendance at this event is, ideally, open to all. You have perhaps spotted an announcement about this in their emails or on their website... could I join? if easier to memail me that's works. [more inside]
posted by elgee at 2:35 PM PST - 3 comments

Everyone loves a fire...?

Several local fire departments around here (Boston area) seem to have professional photographers (or at least relatively competent amateurs in the department) who take photos of incident responses, new hardware, and general "slice of life" stuff and put them on Twitter using the official FD account. Is there any history behind this? Is it widespread? [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 2:19 PM PST - 8 comments

Video Killed the Radio Star (and the baby book)

Finally going through 10+ years of baby pictures and videos taken on various iPhones and uploaded to my computer hard drive and Google Drive. But I'm totally out of space there now. So what to do? [more inside]
posted by nkknkk at 1:57 PM PST - 4 comments

suggestions to perform the act of kindness

I recently came across this article in ap news about this wonderful lady who celebrated her birthday by doing something good for strangers. I'm not into any social media except askmetafilter though :)) I always wanted to do something like what she did.I cannot go out volunteer that much in person( not only because of pandemic but also being a parent of a special need child).I would love to do something like sending gift/cards/letters whatever I can from home to make someone happy and smile.My struggle is finding the right people in need and their addresses. How do I find these people?Any suggestions and ideas to start my journey in doing something good will be greatly appreciated.Thanks. [more inside]
posted by SunPower at 1:35 PM PST - 12 comments

Save decaying rubber bands?

I bought a bunch of rubber bands (natural rubber) and a significant proportion of the box has gotten to that crunch stage of aging rubber. The bands are slightly speciality (four way bands) and I would like to salvage as many as possible and delay continued damage. I don't know how these have been stored other than in a closed but not otherwise sealed cardboard box.
posted by Iteki at 12:59 PM PST - 7 comments

A series of tubes*

I have a vision of a shelving unit made of stacked cylinders, sort of like pictured here but smaller in scale and without the horizontal shelf surface. To make my vision a reality, I need cylinders/tubes around 8-10" in diameter and 10-12" long. In normal times I would go wandering in hardware and salvage stores for cheap materials to repurpose, where should I look now? [more inside]
posted by doift at 12:10 PM PST - 12 comments

GiftFilter: subscription for sports fan?

Seeking recommendations for sports-oriented subscription websites with good articles and good discussion. [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:32 AM PST - 13 comments

Ideas for furnishing ground floor/entry area of house

We just moved into a townhome, and we can't figure out what to do with the space on the ground floor/entryway. What are some creative ideas for how to use this space? [more inside]
posted by jschu at 11:17 AM PST - 20 comments

Good SQL Books for Mid-Career Developers

I'm leading a small team of very smart/competent software developers. We're taking on some work that will have us interacting with a complex SQL (MS SQL / Transact SQL) database. We are not historically database people. I'd like to find a book the team can work through together for professional development, so we all skill up a bit and build shared vocabulary/language/concepts for these tasks. Any recommendations? [more inside]
posted by Alterscape at 9:48 AM PST - 8 comments

Advice for a career-changer thinking about teaching physics?

Have you gone through an alternative certification program for teaching in your state (US), and if so, what was your experience? [more inside]
posted by ToddBurson at 8:53 AM PST - 7 comments

Showy data analysis with not much data

My work has been doing a walking challenge for charity which wraps up soon. I'd like to report the final numbers along with some overly showy data science stuff. I have daily distance reports for each participant and what team they are in. Nothing else. [more inside]
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:38 AM PST - 10 comments

Help a newb buying a mountain bike just as winter starts....?

I've been trying to get a mountain bike since the beginning of Pandemic, and one is finally available just in time for all the local trails to close for winter! Is this a stupid time to buy one (pros/cons), or if I go for it does anyone have any advice on what I need to know? [more inside]
posted by MustangMamaVE at 7:15 AM PST - 22 comments

These bleedin’ radiators!

How to troubleshoot my hot and cold radiator situation in chilly Minnesota? [more inside]
posted by sucre at 6:51 AM PST - 16 comments

How to prepare for two fourth year three hour seminars an hour apart?

For next winter term I would like to take two fourth year university seminars (online because of COVID), but unforunately the two seminars are an hour apart, and three hours each, which does seem a lot. [more inside]
posted by RearWindow at 6:10 AM PST - 13 comments

How would a fraudulent election in the US today really be handled?

If there was reasonable suspicion of voter fraud on the scale the Trumpies are claiming, practically speaking how different would the response from state and federal governments look from what we're seeing instead? [more inside]
posted by Rykey at 4:28 AM PST - 8 comments

Help me find the right tech career for me.

I have recently started a master’s program in Computer Science. I love it and I know I want to work in IT, but I’m trying to figure out which field exactly. Help me, please? [more inside]
posted by allnew at 3:31 AM PST - 12 comments

Intensive Outpatient Programs (aka it feels weird to get help)

My psychiatrist recently suggested enrolling in an intensive outpatient program and I feel weird about it. Am I overreacting? [more inside]
posted by hnl_u at 3:21 AM PST - 12 comments

Weird Sleep Issue - Sleeping without Sleeping?

Since last Friday I've been "sleeping" in two to three hour blocks, but it doesn't feel like I've actually slept even though when I wake I have energy. Earlier today I laid down to take a nap and the same thing happened: "slept" for 2 hours, then woke up feeling rather like I was a monitor that timed out rather than a person who truly went to bed. It's unpleasant and disconcerting. I also don't think I'm dreaming. Does this shallow sleep pattern have a name? Can I get it to stop?
posted by Kitchen Witch at 1:22 AM PST - 19 comments

Renting a car or RV during the pandemic?

My five year old wants nothing more in the world than "a car with a bed in it," so I've begun to ponder renting an RV for a Christmas gift. Proposed safety protocols inside. Does this seem safe enough? [more inside]
posted by Spokane at 1:14 AM PST - 11 comments

December 14

Can I become a Vet Tech at 50?

I'd like to be more useful, learn new skills, build more social connections into my daily life. I'm 49 years old, living in Cape Town, South Africa. At the moment, I teach an online graphic design course from home, and write fiction. This used to work out well for me as the teaching takes up the minimum of brainspace, so I can focus on my writing. But even before lockdown I felt frustrated by being so socially isolated, and not feeling useful or needed by others. Now I am frustrated, bored, and lonely and I want next year to be different. [more inside]
posted by Zumbador at 11:08 PM PST - 4 comments

What's the best way to remember dream information on an iphone?

I need the best shortcut or app or whatever so that when I'm in that nearly awake time in the morning and I think of the world's best...something...I can get that info into my phone while I'm half asleep. Writing won't work because I have to find my glasses and then I'm awake. Help.
posted by rileyray3000 at 10:59 PM PST - 3 comments

How do I get my MacBook out of a reboot loop?

I ran some terminal commands and now my MacBook is stuck in an infinite loop of rebooting. [more inside]
posted by ludwig_van at 9:02 PM PST - 10 comments

If you give birth to a child and it falls down the sink, what do?

In a letter, Walt Whitman describes a story he'd heard: a poor woman gave birth in a bathroom, and the baby slipped down the drain into the sewer and the was rescued, alive. Having somewhat recently had a child myself and being weirdly preoccupied with this odd tale, I need someone to explain to me what would've happened to the umbilical cord etc. Would it have snapped? Or would the babe have pulled out the whole placenta? Save me from late night rumination! [more inside]
posted by stray at 8:05 PM PST - 12 comments

Plates and silverware that don't make That Sound

The sound of a fork scraping on a plate makes me want to scream. This is absolutely not a judgmental thing — I have sensory processing issues. I'd like to reoutfit my kitchen with plates and silverware that minimize That Sound. I'd also like it to be reusable, convenient to wash, and ideally look reasonably grown-up. (It's fine if it says "we're hippies," but it shouldn't say "we're a preschool.") What are my options?
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:13 PM PST - 20 comments

Recommendations for Qatari activists & resources

I want to pass along some resources (things to read, organizations or people to learn from, etc) regarding Qatar and its poor record regarding homophobia, labor exploitation, women's rights, terrorism, etc. What do you recommend? (Qatar-specific preferred but regional groups are good too; anything focused on LGBTQ rights and/or sports is a plus.) [more inside]
posted by galaxy rise at 6:57 PM PST - 0 comments

Is buying my child a tipi shaped playhouse/tent cultural appropriation?

Would or could a tipi shaped tent be considered cultural appropriation? Is a tent shaped like a tipi only problematic if other more stereotypical clothing, costumes, art, decor, etc are involved? [more inside]
posted by indyjones at 6:00 PM PST - 21 comments

Health Insurance when working/living in/visiting multiple states

Do any marketplace insurance plans have a national network of providers? If not, what are some other ways to make sure I have access to care when outside of my home state? Details inside. [more inside]
posted by CancerSucks at 5:05 PM PST - 3 comments

de-stench the shirts (perfume edition)

I bought some T-shirts from a thrift store and they all smell like someone soaked them in perfume. I think it's a combination of people's personal hygiene products and the use of fabric softener and scented detergents. Please help me eradicate this very strong odor. [more inside]
posted by Crystal Fox at 4:14 PM PST - 16 comments

Amazing unnamed whippet is called?

There are photos within but will there also be her True Name? [more inside]
posted by Joeruckus at 3:29 PM PST - 57 comments

Where are my right and left arrows in Photos?

I like taking two or three photographs because that's how I get the best one. I used to be able to compare those photos by clicking arrows to go back and forth in Photos (not a slideshow, but only as many as I wanted to see at once) , but I am flummoxed. And annoyed since I got 10 on this no-longer-new laptop. [more inside]
posted by intrepid_simpleton at 2:03 PM PST - 10 comments

Is it illegal to pretend to be part of the electoral college?

Republicans are running around pretending to be state appointed electors, trying to vote or send in certificates of their votes. Is any of that illegal? [more inside]
posted by Chrysopoeia at 12:29 PM PST - 5 comments

Tips for when your kid's at college far away

I went to college 2 hours from home, in an easily accessible big city. Now KidBlahLaLa will be going to college in the fall at a school that is far away + in a remote area that's hard to get to. Parents who've dealt this, how did you manage the practical and psychological ramifications of having your kid so far away? [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:59 AM PST - 19 comments

Brain/Hand Bass Synaesthesia?

I've been playing Doom Eternal recently, and when I have my headphones on, I can *feel* my hand-nerves vibrating. Looking for resources on this sort of "synaesthesia"? [more inside]
posted by symbioid at 11:56 AM PST - 4 comments

Podcast episode about a failed secret agent turned bounty hunter

A recent AskMefi question asking for help IDing an old Snap Judgment episode made me think of this. I remember listening to a podcast episode where the narrator met a striking woman who had dreamt and planned to become a CIA agent, but had become a bounty hunter after not making it through the selection process. Do you have any idea what it could have been? [more inside]
posted by pierogi24 at 11:18 AM PST - 5 comments

Resources for mourning remotely during COVID?

Father-in-law passed away, we can't travel to be with the family. What are some good resources for mourning when you can't physically be there? [more inside]
posted by allthethings at 11:04 AM PST - 4 comments

PUA Without the Misogyny?

I'm looking for information about how cis men meet, approach, and communicate with potential sexual and/or romantic partners in a healthy, non-misogynist, non-manipulative manner. This could be along the lines of Pickup Artistry type self help/methodology (without the grossness!) or more academic. I just can't find a way to search for this kind of thing without the internet taking me straight to PUA stuff. [more inside]
posted by cmoj at 9:15 AM PST - 31 comments

Withholding attention from a scoundrel: Noticeable? Measurable?

Politico ran a story this morning about a certain person (let’s call him 45) who is trying various tactics to “stay in the conversation” (his words) to continue to garner as much attention as possible. If I make a point never to click on a news story where 45 is named, will that non-action take down his “attention” numbers a speck? Yes yes yes, I know my efforts are a spit in the ocean, but I do what I can. What I want to know is: will it help, no matter how minuscule-y?
posted by BostonTerrier at 9:01 AM PST - 8 comments

Upcycle charger from toothbrush base?

Can I upcycle the inductive charger from a busted electric toothbrush handle & base for other 12V projects? [more inside]
posted by wenestvedt at 7:56 AM PST - 5 comments

PC, XBox X or PS5?

I want to play Cyberpunk 2077 (among other things). I'm considering getting a Xbox X, PS5 or building a gaming PC. [more inside]
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:53 AM PST - 22 comments

Can you point me to a camera that I can shoot with?

I'm considering "upgrading" my smartphone from a Google Pixel 3a to one that has a pretty inadequate camera. My compromise is to buy a dedicated camera, only I don't know where to start looking. Help me? [more inside]
posted by signondiego at 6:04 AM PST - 10 comments

Which Esther Perel podcast is being quoted here?

In this excellent update on Ask a Manager the LW quotes Esther Perel's podcast How's Work?: 'She stated that often times this type behavior is the result of a person feeling unloved or unlovable, and thus they decide to behave in such a way to make themselves feel needed. “If I can’t be loved, I can be needed.”' Which episode is this? [more inside]
posted by Gin and Broadband at 4:10 AM PST - 1 comment

Non-stressful non-fiction for night time

Over lockdown, I've found that I sleep best when reading non-stressful writing in bed. What is your favourite soothing, accessible, and ideally funny non-fiction? Ideally historical. [more inside]
posted by unicorn chaser at 2:46 AM PST - 25 comments

PC Games with a good story and lots of dialogue to read

My kids really dig Costume Quest 1 + 2 and Donut County. They like the non gory and playful stories, and are actually working on their reading speed when reading all the back and forth dialogue. What other PC games are similar and have lots of text to read? We are not interested in the later tortured-logic Sierra games like Gabriel Knight, although Day of the Tentacle might work. Kids are not into Final Fantasy style RPGs and need some level of silliness in the game.
posted by benzenedream at 2:02 AM PST - 11 comments

December 13

Teleporting in The Swindle (PS4)

How do you teleport? I can't find instructions even on the YT vids.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 10:25 PM PST - 1 comment

No One Lurks to 100

I recently learned that there's a saying in Ethiopia, "No one lives to 100". I would love other sayings that translate easily/directly to English and would still carry not just the literal meaning but also the idea of why one would say it.. [more inside]
posted by I paid money to offer this... insight? at 9:53 PM PST - 18 comments

Where Should I Donate My Hair?

I found a couple old asks on this topic but they're 10+ years old so I wanted to get more updated info to work with. Which organization should I donate my hair to? [more inside]
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 7:38 PM PST - 4 comments

Why did this recipe call for me to cook half the pork?

I made bao for dinner tonight, using this recipe from Director Domee Shi. It's her family's recipe that she based the Pixar short on. I have a question about it. [more inside]
posted by bondcliff at 6:53 PM PST - 6 comments

Can I soundproof a walk-in closet to make a music practice space?

Amateur saxophone player moving from a house, where I could practice without bothering anyone, into an apartment. I'm very aware that people are working from home and want to maintain good relations with my new neighbors, but also want to be able to practice regularly. Can I soundproof my walk-in closet to the extent that not-too-loud regular sax practice at reasonable hours won't be likely to disturb anyone? [more inside]
posted by zeri at 6:22 PM PST - 10 comments

Help me get started with Raspberry Pi and programming!

Where do I even begin if I want to learn how to program one of these miniature computers? What language/software am I learning? What starter kit should I buy? [more inside]
posted by at 6:01 PM PST - 13 comments

Crossword clue says to "unscramble letters"

I'm new to solving crosswords. What does it mean when the clue says to "unscramble letters, [number] - [another number]"? See, for example, 16-across on the Toronto star's puzzle from 12/09/20. (I can't link directly to the specific date, so you will have to manually select the puzzle from the correct date.)
posted by tickingclock at 5:11 PM PST - 4 comments

Strategies (white hat) for convincing people to consent to risk

As it says above. My friend is the victim of a crime, and to prove the crime he needs a handful of witnesses - particular individuals who knew them both of old - to speak to police, demonstrating how far back the crime goes. Witnesses are scared and avoidant because the criminal is vicious and relentless, and could damage the reputations of the witnesses if he wanted to. Readings, strategies, etc on convincing the unwilling are welcome. No manipulation or anything unethical please! [more inside]
posted by The Last Sockpuppet at 4:29 PM PST - 11 comments

We've got Hill Valley covered, Doc.

I want to be transported to a place and time. There are lots of definitive rundowns out there (e.g.) of "signature films for city". I'd like help expanding on this - a whole grid of movies x time that capture the feel of what it was like to be in <famous city> during <time>.
posted by dmd at 4:15 PM PST - 7 comments

Surface disinfectants

Until I get a degree in chemistry or a hookup with a restaurant supply outlet, can anyone point me to safe and easy COVID disinfectants to use? By that, I think I mean: food-contact safe without rinse, contact time of 1 minute or less (ideally less), ideally available in a pre-diluted squirt bottle? Or does this not exist? Thank you!
posted by Spokane at 3:26 PM PST - 16 comments

YA girl soldier genre

Help me understand and avoid the YA genre that includes The Hunger Games (2008), Divergent (2011), and The Poppy War (2018). [more inside]
posted by aniola at 3:20 PM PST - 24 comments

Actually fun educational games + Activities for late elementary kids?

I have some Kids in my life who are doing online school like every kid. They are struggling, and their teacher is... out of her element. [more inside]
posted by wowenthusiast at 12:57 PM PST - 6 comments

How do I sleep with SO MUCH HAIR?

How do people sleep with long hair? [more inside]
posted by bookmammal at 11:21 AM PST - 49 comments

What is this casserole dish and how do I not ruin it?

I am very not kitchen-savvy. I bought what looks like a nice casserole dish at a thrift shop and I would like to use it properly and avoid ruining another item out of ignorance. Please, help me identify this dish and advise me on its proper maintenance! [more inside]
posted by Goblin Barbarian at 11:12 AM PST - 12 comments

PC speaker volume control broken: fix or replace?

I have a 7 year old Creative speaker system that looks similar to this: 2 speakers, a subwoofer, and a separate little volume unit with a rotary control. The volume control is faulty. How likely is it to be fixable? [more inside]
posted by snarfois at 10:14 AM PST - 6 comments

Selling a foreign currency

How can I unload this less common currency now that I'm home? [more inside]
posted by elected_potato at 9:31 AM PST - 7 comments

Referral for Biohazard cleaners (& Pest Control?) in the Chicago area

A relative of ours died in the home a couple of weeks ago and the body was not found for several days. We have gained access to the unit, and now we need help getting it presentable. [more inside]
posted by terrapin at 9:24 AM PST - 7 comments

NPR Shark Jumped; Now What?

Sadly my local public station has been eaten by Colorado Public Radio. Ideas? [more inside]
posted by j_curiouser at 8:31 AM PST - 13 comments

Blue Apron: Ok, but what if we want to eat 7 times 🤔

So Blue Apron will soon be sending us three meals every week. Well, ingredients for meals, anyway. If you've done or are doing a meal service, what's your plan for the other four dinners of the week? And other questions... [more inside]
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 7:14 AM PST - 13 comments

How to hook up in these crazy times

Have not hooked up since my drinking days years ago. Was married and then FWB but things have dried up and really just want some body to body contact. [more inside]
posted by shaarog at 7:08 AM PST - 11 comments

A truly simple kids camera for a 4 year old?

I am thinking a kiddie camera for a four year old. I am looking for something with really simple design that just lets him point and shoot. The fewer functions, the better. Preferably with no built-in games. Ideally, it would be just a box with a single large button but I am OK with something more complicated as long as it won't frustrate a 4 year old. Does a thing like that exist? [more inside]
posted by M. at 6:18 AM PST - 8 comments

Trying to identify musician

While working at a customer site I heard an interesting song: I’m trying to find out who recorded it. It was a cover of the Eagles, “Take It to the Limit” ; female vocalist, vaguely country style. The thing I liked about it was a trumpet used instead of the lush strings most versions use. Is anyone familiar with this?
posted by coldhotel at 5:53 AM PST - 4 comments

Wash - iron - before use

I just bought a new mask manufactured by this company. On the front of the package there's a sticker that says "wash - iron - before use". I'm neurodivergent and find it really challenging to follow instructions that I don't understand the reasoning behind. Neither the packaging nor the website explain why I'm supposed to wash and iron the mask before use. Frankly I'd rather not if I don't actually have to - but I don't understand why I might have to or not enough to make that call myself. [more inside]
posted by terretu at 4:00 AM PST - 22 comments

How to have the funniest Zoom meeting ever

I will be retiring at the end of the month (hooray!) Because of the plague, there will be no retirement party, which is okay by me. My boss has, however, scheduled a strategic planning meeting for the team on the day before I leave. I would like to make it the MOST. MEMORABLE. ZOOM. MEETING. EVER. Please help me. [more inside]
posted by eleslie at 3:18 AM PST - 15 comments

December 12

What is this?

We met on a dating site and have been hanging out for five months on and off, 1-2 times a month. A move has not been made aside from a hug. What is this and is it worth it to ask? [more inside]
posted by knownfossils at 10:22 PM PST - 25 comments

We don't have ghosts, so why do the lights flicker?

Plugging in or turning on certain things make the lights dim and flicker. Should we be worried about this or it's just normal in an older house? [more inside]
posted by socky bottoms at 9:39 PM PST - 17 comments

Helping my relative stay safe from a covid outbreak

Relative is in an assisted living facility under lockdown due to 3 covid cases. Nobody is allowed out of their rooms. What precautions can I recommend to my relative considering the shared HVAC? [more inside]
posted by crunchy potato at 9:04 PM PST - 7 comments

OK Google, play my music. For free.

I have two Google Home Minis. When they used Google Play Music, they could play my music, which I uploaded. Then they got rid of Google Play Music and supposedly moved everything over to YouTube Music, but it won't play my music unless I pay a monthly fee. This is my music, that I have paid for. It will pay it's own music, but it has terrible taste. Under some circumstances, it will may my music with ads. Just play my music. For free. Whatever I want to hear. When I ask. How? Thank you. [more inside]
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:58 PM PST - 8 comments

Tell me about the cool city you live in: Northeast US edition

I want to move next year. I don't know where yet, but I do know I want to end up in New England or one of the states bordering it. Please tell me about livable, affordable-sh cities. [more inside]
posted by Nibbly Fang at 5:20 PM PST - 38 comments

I need public domain/revenue-free/non-copyright 1970s-ish porno music

I have a project that requires that a soundtrack that sounds like this. I glanced at the Free Music Archive but couldn’t find what I was looking for. Help me find a free soundtrack for a project from that sounds like porn from the age of sexy-body-hair. TY.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 4:30 PM PST - 4 comments

PC strategy/tactical game from 2000s involving savanna/jungle animals?

My daughter was watching Zig & Sharko season 2 episode 16 when I heard a monkey sound effect that instantly reminded me of a game I used to play in the mid-late 2000s on the PC. Please help me find this game again! [more inside]
posted by srrh at 4:01 PM PST - 3 comments

Chim Chiminy Corona

How do we make it safe for a contractor to come into our home right now? [more inside]
posted by miles1972 at 3:55 PM PST - 5 comments

What do I do about work gifts this year?

What are people doing about gifts for coworkers this year? I haven't seen mine in person since March, nobody is coming in to the office now, I'm sure as heck not driving around to everyone's house, and it seems like massive overkill to mail or mail order anything. But it also feels a little bit wrong to do nothing. What seems to be the norm for this year? Do you have any good ideas?
posted by HotToddy at 3:33 PM PST - 17 comments

Please recommend a high-quality USB-C monitor

I asked this last week but I didn't explain right what I need help with. I have a 13-inch Macbook Pro and I am looking for a monitor that I can use that will look the same as my Macbook in terms of resolution, and I'm finding this a difficult thing to evaluate when looking at the listings because all of these numbers mean nothing to me without being able to actually see it. Could you recommend one please and thank you? I can't spend more than $500 and the cheaper the better. [more inside]
posted by bleep at 3:09 PM PST - 8 comments

Where can you launch model rockets in Seattle?

I bought my son an Estes model rocket and some B engines. It didn't occur to me that maybe there might be laws about launching them until my son asked if we'd get in trouble for setting them off in a local park. Now I'm looking online and I'm very confused about what the rules are. Does anybody know where it's legal to launch this kind of rocket?
posted by rouftop at 2:47 PM PST - 3 comments

Home Movie: The Princess Bride

I just found out about Home Movie: The Princess Bride, which was originally shown on Quibi. [more inside]
posted by Joleta at 2:29 PM PST - 5 comments

What were these mysterious cookies from my childhood?

When I was a kid in Washington DC, my parents used to receive a basket of cookies every year around Christmas-- a formal basket, nicely arranged, wrapped in cellophane. The basket contained a few varieties, but the ones I remember most were brown, smallish, sort of egg-shaped, with a sprinkling of grainy chopped nuts on top. [more inside]
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:23 PM PST - 3 comments

What's Excel's spec?

In short I'm asked to build a program that takes a complex site and turn it into an Excel sheet. Ignoring that this is a huge request, I'm trying to define what Excel formulas actually are. Like in a normal language at some point I'd build an abstract syntax tree to represent the language, this is what I'm trying to do with things like =SUM(A1:B3) ... but I'm having a hard time figuring out my question because Google is full of answers on how to use Excel. [more inside]
posted by geoff. at 12:48 PM PST - 7 comments

Online therapy options

Hi! Please help me figure out which online therapy service I should choose, or, if they're all terrible, how I can find an appropriate therapist that will do FaceTime / zoom / phone sessions. [more inside]
posted by schadenfrau at 10:25 AM PST - 14 comments

meditation apps

I struggle with significant anxiety, often leading to anxiety attacks and then almost immediately a feeling of depression. I am interested in exploring meditation apps, but I have a few parameters I'd like to follow and am having trouble figuring out which app is best for me. Can you help? [more inside]
posted by nayantara at 9:57 AM PST - 15 comments

Replacing Storm Windows: 1988 Edition!

Our storm windows are showing their age and letting moisture and water in, ruining the interior windows...except we don't have windows that are anything I have seen before. What am I looking at here? (Photos and more details after the fold) [more inside]
posted by TinWhistle at 9:28 AM PST - 5 comments

Sending things for repair internationally

So I have this relatively expensive item of clothing. I live in the US. The clothing was made by a company in the UK, and they offer repairs on their products. I sent them my item of clothing for repair. How should I have filled out the customs form? [more inside]
posted by so fucking future at 8:47 AM PST - 6 comments

How to make this Christmas more Christmasy?

We are hosting a small family gathering on Christmas day, in line with our government's COVID recommendations. We will be 5 adults and two children total (one preteen and one younger child). What touches can I add to the celebration to make this Christmas pariculary merry and full of Christmas cheer? [more inside]
posted by Blissful at 7:32 AM PST - 14 comments

Educate me about graphic novels

My precocious, 9 year old daughter loves graphic novels. So does her 12 year old sister. I know nothing about graphic novels. What are some barn-burner, best-of-all time books that they might have missed while scraping our local libraries for content? (PS if it’s fantasy it counts for double). [more inside]
posted by q*ben at 7:00 AM PST - 29 comments

Feedback on getting old photos into my moms icloud?

I would love some feedback on the best way to migrate an old photo library to my mothers icloud photo storage? My mother uses an iphone and an ipad. She uses a shared family storage plan supplied by me and is for her icloud storgage. She does not use or have access to a computer that syncs with her iPhone or iPad. [more inside]
posted by silsurf at 6:04 AM PST - 4 comments

Plug-in hardware for a Mac that boosts performance?

Recently I learned of hardware that is used with an Apple computer (namely Macbooks and Macbook Pros) that you plug in via USB (or the like) and acts like an external CPU and/or GPU, giving a boost so that you can do graphics-intensive things like games and video rendering. But I don't know what it's called! [more inside]
posted by zardoz at 4:57 AM PST - 7 comments

Shop broke laptop; I need a new one.

A couple of weeks ago, I took my two-year-old HP laptop to the shop for a couple of problems: It made an intermittent whirring sound (apparently a fan problem), and it intermittently kicked me off the wi-fi. But now the computer needs to be replaced. [more inside]
posted by NotLost at 4:39 AM PST - 10 comments

When Santa got stuck up the chimney

I'm looking for scenes in Christmas films where people suffer an injury or accident. This is for a Christmas-themed first aid training, so if treatment, first aid or any other kind of response is shown then all the better, but also not required. Comical/cartoonish/unrealistic is fine. [more inside]
posted by Acheman at 3:03 AM PST - 20 comments

Based on this description, should I consider a HAG Capisco chair?

Is a Capisco chair a good fit for me? I'm asking about the low-rise version, not the tall one. My desk is typical height: 29 inches. I'm a guy: 5'9, 145 pounds, in my 40s. I work from home and spend at least 8 hours a day at my desk, usually sitting in odd positions: legs crossed, or one leg crossed, or with one leg crossed and my other foot on the chair with my knee up, or I'll sit on the front of the chair with my feet on the base of the chair, sort of behind me. [more inside]
posted by 2oh1 at 2:41 AM PST - 11 comments

SNOOOOOOORE => snooooooore could be improved somewhat

What earplugs can I use for tiny ears? [more inside]
posted by vernondalhart at 12:51 AM PST - 13 comments

December 11

Award for teacher who went above and beyond to support a trans kid?

I was hoping to nominate my kid's elementary school teacher for the Look for the Good project's hero award. Even though they said their due date was Dec 15th, the link to nominate is now broken. Can you either help me find an active link and/or suggest a different program that I could nominate them to? The teacher made my kid's gender transition in school a beautiful, positive thing with no extra time to prepare + COVID. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 10:22 PM PST - 2 comments

Late to the party but that means the problem is well hashed out right?

Semi lock down looks to extend well past even Ukrainian Xmas this year. What will be the easiest internet meeting thing I can get my extended family to use in order to have a virtual Xmas dinner? [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 8:34 PM PST - 9 comments

Bracing for a repair job.

I use an Ankle Foot Orthosis for foot drop, from Spastic Paraparesis, on my left foot. The problem is that the Velcro on my brace cuff has worn out, and will no longer hold the brace onto my leg - namely, the strap that attaches to the Velcro patch has been worn smooth, and thus will not stick. (The actual Velcro itself is fine.) Is there a way where I can repair this/fix this myself? [more inside]
posted by spinifex23 at 7:57 PM PST - 13 comments

Futuristic Technologically Advanced Fiction Book Recommendation

My 17-year old son, who doesn't/hasn't read for pleasure, expressed some interest in giving it a try. He said he's most interested in futuristic technologically advanced society type fiction. I'm going to the book store tomorrow and was thinking I'd like to try to get something for him. Any suggestions? I think it needs to really grab his attention from the beginning and it'd be best if it were an easy read. Whatcha got?
posted by Sassyfras at 7:44 PM PST - 45 comments

Should I flatten a warped vinyl record?

Earlier this week I purchased a few used records and one of them is a bit warped. It sounds and plays fine, to my ears. With that in mind, can I just continue to play it as is? Do I *NEED* to flatten it?
posted by VirginiaPlain at 6:33 PM PST - 4 comments

Questions About a Vintage Straight Razor

I inherited this vintage razor. Box is embossed: "Harrison Brothers & Howson, Cutlers to Her Majesty" and "Corporate Mark (five pointed crown logo) Alpha". Blade is stamped "Made in Sheffield". I am curious about the vintage ("Her Majesty" must be Victoria, right?) and approximate value, since I may wish to sell it. Canadian Toonie for scale.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 6:05 PM PST - 8 comments

Video games for ancient gamers

My household is acquiring a Nintendo Switch, and I’d like to find a game for myself to get sucked into this winter. Problem: the last games I enjoyed were Civ II and the Sims on my college PC. Is there a modern Nintendo world-building game that scratches that exploration/world building itch? [more inside]
posted by Maarika at 2:57 PM PST - 17 comments

How to restrain a cat for an enema?

Yep. Pretty straightforward. My friend (really) has to give her cat enemas on her own and the cat keeps escaping because she can't really figure out how to keep the butt free but the back legs contained, especially when it's just her trying to do both? Is there a handy gadget that will make this unpleasant task easier? Thanks!
posted by clarinet at 12:13 PM PST - 21 comments

AT&T fiber-to-the-home cable type?

Got my new AT&T fiber connection installed today. Because I am paranoid and also klutzy, I'd like a spare fiber optic cable for between the router/gateway and the wall. Turns out there's quite a few kinds of these cables! What kind am I looking for, please?
posted by humbug at 11:20 AM PST - 10 comments

Finding Contact Information for a HOA in Chicago Due to Relative's Death

A relative of my wife has passed away unexpectedly and alone at his condo in Chicago. The relative told her she is the executor, but never sent her the copy of the will. This question is how she has asked me to help. [more inside]
posted by terrapin at 11:14 AM PST - 5 comments

MapFilter: Help me grok the terrain of the Big Apple

I'd like to experience the varying elevations and contours of New York City through my computer. Everything is fairly flat in Google Earth, even in 3D view, and color-coded topographic maps leave me cold. Ideally, I want the ability to place myself anywhere in space (virtually fly) to see the city's hills and valleys. I don't care about built environment so much, just the land contours.
posted by timnyc at 9:22 AM PST - 8 comments

Where can I find organic/sustainable women's pajamas?

I have decided to treat myself to some nice PJs for my staycation time over the holidays. Not having a lot of luck finding what I want thus far. [more inside]
posted by pixiecrinkle at 9:07 AM PST - 10 comments

Turning Holiday LIghts Off at Night?

Should you turn your outside holiday lights / decorations off at night? Why or why not? [more inside]
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:30 AM PST - 30 comments

Caring for a spouse post-lumpectomy

What tips/suggestions/must-dos/don't-dos/must-gets do you have to help me care for my wife following her lumpectomy? [more inside]
posted by Thorzdad at 5:43 AM PST - 12 comments

Divided by a common tongue

I can't believe I'm asking this, but: You live in a country where you write today's date as "11 December". How do you read that? The eleventh of December? Eleventh December? Eleven December? Something else? Do you ever use "December (the) eleventh" when speaking? (Please specify the country whose English you speak in your answer, and thank you!)
posted by trig at 5:32 AM PST - 72 comments

Simplify my baking

What utensils can I buy that'll make beginner level baking (more) easy and fun? [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom at 2:03 AM PST - 44 comments

When is the morally right time to disclose an emotional affair?

A friend needs some moral guidance about emotional affairs, and how a good person should handle them. When is the 'right' time to be honest, and when should you keep it to yourself for the sake of your partner's wellbeing? [more inside]
posted by twirlypen at 1:54 AM PST - 29 comments

Tips for working with Excel as an API?

I recently was sought out by a company, looking to build an Excel "microservice." Basically they want to feed data raw data in and have a proper Excel document binary come out. The CSV won't cut out the client has specific requirements. Some are simply color and branding. Others are having filter drop down functionality set. They want it to work in the latest version of Excel, for now, they did not think that Teams and Web might not behave the same. There's a lot out there like Rust Chamomile but I'm more interested in the process and pitfalls. Scale is not an issue. [more inside]
posted by geoff. at 12:49 AM PST - 8 comments

December 10

Things that look like a part but are actually a whole

Harry S. Truman's middle name is famously just S. Less famously, You Suffer is a 1.3-second-long song, but if you didn't know that you'd probably think you're hearing a clip. What other things look like a part of something but are actually complete? [more inside]
posted by aws17576 at 10:37 PM PST - 51 comments

Where to find a Medi-Cal planner/estate attorney in the Bay Area?

Asking for a family member who might need nursing care in the not too distant future. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by un petit cadeau at 9:12 PM PST - 3 comments

Scientific primer books/literature by BIPOC authors?

I was talking with someone about rereading A Brief History of Time and we were wondering if there were similar books/literature available from BIPOC authors. We're reasonably scientifically/mathematically literate so it doesn't need to be entry level pop-sci, but that's fine too. We were specifically thinking quantum- or astrophysics and the like, but other natural science topics (ocean life, geology, chemistry and genetics, etc) would be great too.
posted by curious nu at 8:22 PM PST - 16 comments

Another excel question

I have a spreadsheet and I need to filter on a column that can have multiple items in one cell, but I want the filter to only have single items to choose from. [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger at 7:21 PM PST - 5 comments

Why does my Facebook think I am in Fresno when I am in the Bay Area?

Why does Facebook think I am in Fresno when I am in the Bay Area? [more inside]
posted by gt2 at 7:11 PM PST - 6 comments

Where is the sad version of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”?

The original lyrics to “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” are more depressing than the popular rendition. Have any notable artists covered the original sad version? Do you have a link to any?
posted by Monochrome at 6:49 PM PST - 11 comments

How can I attend a work meeting without having an existential crisis?

I have a job where part of my role is to attend meetings with my peers within my group and also other colleagues. I have gotten better over my 8 year career but I have always had a lot of anxiety based around meetings specifically. Working from home due to COVID has actually helped the situation quite a bit because I am less distracted and nervous when I don't have to see others' facial expressions or worry about how I look or if I'm sitting weirdly or what to do with my hands. I'm fine when I'm doing other parts of my job, it's just any meeting. More details inside... [more inside]
posted by koolaidnovel at 6:19 PM PST - 5 comments

Toys and coping processes for a dog that chews ALL THE THINGS

Help! We have a nearly 16 month old dog who is very focused on chewing things. We thought Lucy would grow out of it, but so far no luck, and we are starting to accept that this is just her personality. What would you recommend? Both chew toys, and also house arranging processes to make our lives a little more bearable? [more inside]
posted by seasparrow at 5:46 PM PST - 21 comments

Am I really drinking too much caffeine?

YANMD. My doctor thinks I'm drinking too much caffeine. Is she right? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 5:44 PM PST - 32 comments

Recommend the best Sondheim recordings

I have been appreciated Sondheim musical recently, mostly through listening to snippets on YouTube. I am a fan of Company, which I saw in person, and West Side Story (I know, not his music). I'd like to acquire some recordings of whole musicals. [more inside]
posted by mai at 4:51 PM PST - 9 comments

is it youtube or is it me?

For the past few weeks, I have noticed when I listen to music on youtube, the sound is off. Everything with my system is fine. [more inside]
posted by jtexman1 at 4:07 PM PST - 5 comments

Will non-Samsung Blu Ray players work with my Samsung TV?

Usually I buy Samsung a/v stuff. I inherited a 10-year-old Samsung TV (model UN40C6300), which works fine with my old DVD/VHS machine. I want to get a Blu Ray player for it, but I see Samsung has stopped making BR players for the U.S. market, and I prefer to buy new. Can I reasonably expect any new Blu Ray player (1080p, I guess — no 4K on the horizon) to work with it? Any compatibility issues I should know about? [more inside]
posted by cupcakeninja at 3:30 PM PST - 4 comments

What's a great gift for your real estate agent?

I just bought my first home and the buyer's agent was kind and helpful. What should I give to him as a thank you gift? He's married with kids. I was planning to spend about $150.
posted by ponibrown at 3:19 PM PST - 14 comments

I need help learning forgiveness

I do my star sign Taurus a huge proper being as stubborn as I am on this subject but I'm kind of worried I dont know what's best for my heart and spiritual peace. I have several horrible instances of betrayal in my memory and time is no friend to wounds of dignity. I tell myself "let's forgive them" as a show of my maturity, But I close my eyes to pray that I am at peace with it and the minute I relive [more inside]
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 2:56 PM PST - 40 comments

Electric baseboard heating in a condo is the worst.

Winter is here, and with it my renewed hatred for my electric baseboard heating. So much money for so little actual warmth! [more inside]
posted by backwards compatible at 2:39 PM PST - 11 comments

Fix my beer fridge!

Save beer, fix fridge, we all win. Can I use the compressor/start relay combo I found (ZHB35-120P15) to replace the one I removed (ZHB60-120P4.7)? And what do those numbers and letters mean, anyway? [more inside]
posted by rich at 1:31 PM PST - 4 comments

How to video chat for the technologically illiterate

What is the easiest method for video chat with an android phone? I want to help my parents to video chat with my brother and his kids. [more inside]
posted by hydra77 at 1:16 PM PST - 12 comments

How to create your own app?

I am one guy w/out any tech experience that has an idea for app. I've hired a design company to design it for me, and I've sent them my app requirements and signed an NDA. But I'm curious whether or not I own the design. For instance, if I wanted to leave and hire another designer would I be able to? Any advice on transferring ownership of an app to an entity? I'm also worried about liability if I'm ever sued. Thanks for any advice here! :)
posted by matt755811 at 1:03 PM PST - 5 comments

Disinfecting car after service: COVID edition

My car is due for service in a few weeks. It will need some significant work (but probably all done in a day). My concern is about mechanics working inside the car and driving it without wearing masks (or wearing them properly). How do I disinfect my car when I pick it up, so that I'll be able to drive it home safely? (Anxiety triggers ahead...) [more inside]
posted by yellowcandy at 12:31 PM PST - 23 comments

Delays to China Post packages?

I have several small items from EBay that have been stuck in Los Angeles since October. Is there anything specific holding them up? Can I find out when/if I will ever receive them? [more inside]
posted by wenestvedt at 12:27 PM PST - 6 comments

New Downstairs Neighbors Smokers, Nightowls, Sound and Smoke Travels

I've live here since February of 2020; but the lower unit has been empty since May. Monday night, new tenants moved in. They smoke, a lot. They also seem to work second shift, I think, and so are up until 4-5 in the morning talking and smoking. Smoke and sound seem to travel up from the floor unimpeded. [more inside]
posted by [insert clever name here] at 12:04 PM PST - 14 comments

Kitchen Faucet suggestions

I need a new kitchen faucet. Are there brands or styles that are more reliable? [more inside]
posted by Endure You Are Not Alone at 11:19 AM PST - 15 comments

Good digital thermometer for adults?

Do you have a digital medical thermometer for adults (not infants) that you recommend? [more inside]
posted by bluecore at 10:51 AM PST - 11 comments

Another gift question: Niece Edition

I could really used some suggestions for what to get my niece for Christmas, whom I haven't seen in a year for obvious reasons. Basically all I have to go on: - she is 7 - she is apparently super, super into witches right now, possibly with a Wicca angle. -She is a smart cookie but doesn't seem hugely into reading. - I am in the UK and will need to receive this and then post it on before Christmas. [more inside]
posted by stillnocturnal at 10:18 AM PST - 18 comments

What's a game like Clash of Clans but without the nickel and diming?

I want to get my kids a strategy game that scratches the same itch as Clash of Clans, but CoC is clearly designed to get you to open your wallet as much as possible. Is there a similar mobile game that doesn't include all those cursed in-app purchases?
posted by malhouse at 8:23 AM PST - 8 comments

How do I send an anonymous SMS to a list of 1000 people?

I am trying to co-ordinate an outreach service for a local high school. I have a list of around 1000 cell phone numbers and would like to send an SMS to all of them. Is there a service or way I could this? I'm in Canada.
posted by cacofonie at 8:21 AM PST - 7 comments

Bad fit: Planning the future

Some friends and I have gotten new non-tech jobs at software companies. The job search was stressful during lockdown, but I am curious how to handle a possible bad fit? [more inside]
posted by Freecola at 8:12 AM PST - 16 comments

How can I stop having dysfunctional relationships?

In my dating history there have been some good experiences and many bad ones. I am a woman in my mid thirties and I feel somehow resentful about the bad dating experiences that I have had. I don’t know how good-looking I am but I guess I am sort of good-looking, at least, this is what some men say to me. I am quite fit and I guess that I have an ok/pretty face. I am a good person too and I guess I’m quite smart… But I also have faults, one of them being, I guess, that I am quite lost in life and that I haven’t been very successful in my career, because of different bad decisions that I have made and because of obstacles that I have had to face that were out of my control. I don’t have any debt though and I am not in a terrible financial situation, but I guess that I could be doing better in that department. I feel that some men that approach me don’t take me seriously or don’t respect me because of this (they don’t say it, but I sense it). Because of this, sometimes I think that I shouldn’t think about men now and that I should focus on my career. [more inside]
posted by Fromthesouth at 8:05 AM PST - 15 comments

Teach me how to sufganiyot

This year, I'm thinking I might finally try to make sufganiyot (traditional Jewish jelly donuts) for Chanukah. Do you have any recipes you recommend? And any tips for a first-time donut-maker? Thanks & chag sameach!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 7:20 AM PST - 8 comments

Why does my phone hate the WiFi here?

My Android phone hates the WiFi at my brother's house. It's not the WiFi, which works fine on a wide, wide assortment of other devices. So what's the problem? [more inside]
posted by jacquilynne at 6:39 AM PST - 6 comments

Need a little Merry in my Christmas

Christmas is effectively canceled, I won't be seeing friends or family, and live alone. I often find a midnight service at a church with a good choir, go to a Messiah sing-along, plus a few parties and visiting. Looking for free or affordable virtual events with good music, esp. great choirs, but other musical styles welcome. NPR will surely have some Christmas eve options, looking for more. What foods and treats are people making in small batches to make the holiday special for one or two? thanks.
posted by theora55 at 5:50 AM PST - 22 comments

blocked caller can still leave voicemail - how to prevent? (UK mobile)

There's a certain person that I don't appreciate hearing from, so I blocked their number on my mobile phone. But I just discovered that they can still leave voicemail. Can I block that too? [more inside]
posted by rd45 at 4:39 AM PST - 3 comments

1980s video with stories about a cherry and a dragon

On behalf of someone else, I'm seeking a 1980s-era videotape with a man telling stories. The only details I have so far: one story was about a maraschino cherry, and one might have been about a dragon who gets too big. Details under the cut! [more inside]
posted by theatro at 4:15 AM PST - 3 comments

How is the name "Silone" in "Joshepine Silone Yates" pronounced?

I've heard two different pronunciations of the family name, "Silone", as in Josephine Silone Yates. One is sih-LOAN, and the other SILL-on (I found the latter here). Which one would Josephine Silone Yates most likely have used herself?
posted by Kattullus at 4:14 AM PST - 5 comments

How do I go from software contractor to service provider?

I've been in software development for twenty years. Both my degrees are in it, and I've got a bucketload of experience covering distributed systems, cloud, fintech, bioinformatics. But I'm tired of working for other companies and I would love to build a bespoke software development company that reflects my core values. How do I go from here to there? [more inside]
posted by gmb at 3:28 AM PST - 2 comments

Trying to forgive myself for not being more responsible in the past.

I'm hoping that some members of this community might be able to provide me with some helpful thoughts about how to move past my past and the ways that it has affected my present and future. [more inside]
posted by chiorlemas at 12:50 AM PST - 19 comments

December 9

Will You Shut Up, Man?

Seeking strategies and support to get my father to honor my frequently repeated request to stop bringing his libertarianism into our conversations. [more inside]
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:41 PM PST - 38 comments

Legal liability when giving sample products to friends?

I’m currently making a new type of adult product (similar to some existing sex toys). I want to give some prototypes of the product I’ve made to a friend to get user feedback. However, I’m wondering how concerned should I be about liability and legal issues in this situation? [more inside]
posted by strekker at 5:17 PM PST - 8 comments

Help me navigate the world of autographed guitars

I am researching the options available for celebrity autographed guitars. I am gathering that CharityBuzz is legit, as I've seen artists recently promoting their signed instruments for charity on this site. What about Prestige Gifts out of Las Vegas? Seems like a pure for-profit enterprise - with some questionable authenticity... [more inside]
posted by Ike_Arumba at 4:52 PM PST - 6 comments

Are mood swings inevitable with Emergency Contraception pill (Plan B)?

I am well into perimenopause. My periods have been irregular af, and my last one was so heavy and painful, and my moods were terrible. My period ended a couple of days ago and I am just starting to feel better. My boyfriend ejaculated inside of me last night, it was a heat of the moment thing. I bought a Plan B morning after pill just now and I'm terrified that it's going to send me into a moody hell. Can you help me think this through? YANMD. [more inside]
posted by bright and shiny at 4:50 PM PST - 14 comments

Teenage stepsons

This is a common remark amongst friends and acquaintances. Yes. I have two stepsons, and I'm not sure I want that anymore. This year has been rough, and generally, I coped, with some ups and downs, till now. And now, I am wondering if I should be in this situation and whether it is better for me to remove myself from it. Which will be heartbreaking and devastating for my partner and myself. The two boys are almost 16 & 19 respectively. One of them is a kinda cliched, selfish, self-absorbed teen who grunts, and the other, well, is quite nice, though has his own issues which can be irritating - and he never leaves the house, though finally he has a part time job. [more inside]
posted by summerinwinter at 3:59 PM PST - 27 comments

What should I know about buying bitcoins before I actually do?

My long time sports-betting website recently stopped accepting deposits made by credit card, and now only accepts bitcoin. I've never dealt with or bought bitcoins before, and could use some advice about how (un)safe i should feel about doing so for the first time. Thanks
posted by BadgerDoctor at 2:24 PM PST - 14 comments

Do authors get paid for each time an ebook is borrowed from the library?

Does checking out an ebook or digital audiobook from a public library in the US lead to the author getting any royalties (or benefit them in any other direct way)? Does this differ by platform (Hoopla, Overdrive, Axis360)? [more inside]
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:59 PM PST - 7 comments

Compare Birmingham, AL and Asheville, NC. Begin.

Have you moved from Birmingham to Asheville? How would you compare the cities? What is different better? What is different worse?
posted by John Borrowman at 12:56 PM PST - 6 comments

Looking for a virtual gift card that can be signed by multiple parties

A coworker is having a baby, and I'd like to get him a gift (essentially a sum of money virtually delivered or in some kind of e-gift card), with a "card" that can also be personalized/signed by all of his coworkers. Can you recommend a good service that allows this function? I spent some time googling this and it gave me a headache that I could not resolve.
posted by kensington314 at 12:16 PM PST - 7 comments

Online simulation of noise cancelling ear protection?

I'm not even sure this is technically feasible, but is there any sort of online simulator to compare the effect of different kinds of both passive and active noise cancellation? [more inside]
posted by bixfrankonis at 11:40 AM PST - 5 comments

Fun sciency things for stocking presents?

In the past I've gotten things like supertaster test strips, pH test strips, and miniature UV flashlights for my family as gifts. What other fun, inexpensive things are there that you can use to do little experiments around the house? Preferably under $5 each.
posted by exceptinsects at 11:31 AM PST - 15 comments

Team project management software

My work has shifted things around and we're gonna have a lot projects happening in 2021, almost weekly, with different, but sometimes overlapping deadlines. We'll need to track who's doing what and when. What do you suggest for a team of roughly 20 people? We've been pretty small and not used to project management, if that matters. Most of these people aren't going to be tech savvy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:04 AM PST - 13 comments

Indoor automated garden kit: 2020 edition

I'd like to give my partner an Aerogarden-type thing for Christmas. He'd like to grow herbs and small plants such as green onions. Ideally, the setup would allow him to grow not just proprietary seed capsules or whatever, but also let him transplant a couple of things he's currently got growing in jars. [more inside]
posted by wintersweet at 10:09 AM PST - 9 comments

Study where people justified an advantage they'd been randomly assigned

I'm looking for a study I read about, probably in the last 10 years, where participants were put in groups and played a game. One player, randomly chosen, was given an advantage like extra start money or an extra die to roll. The researchers found that the person with the advantage would quickly begin to justify their winning by saying they were good at the game or things along those lines. [more inside]
posted by Awfki at 9:48 AM PST - 2 comments

Will I hate the movie American Psycho?

Other movies I hated: Inglorious Basterds and No Country for Old Men. I hate them because they show a murderer or abuser as cool & badass. Both movies bothered me for a long time and I absolutely hate them. [more inside]
posted by cmcmcm at 9:27 AM PST - 25 comments

Should I get a cat?

Many loving yet lonely single souls have adopted pets during the pandemic. I am wondering if I should join them. But I live in a tiny place (300 square feet) that includes a roughly 100-sq-foot loft. Is that enough room for a cat? If a cat will feel imprisoned here, then I shouldn't get one. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 9:15 AM PST - 26 comments

Resources to understand the economy without abstractions/money

I am interested in understanding the economy as it pertains to the wellbeing of people, rather than the value of some subset of publicly traded companies. Particularly, I'm interested in answering questions about what the material and labour requirements are to sustain a society that can provide adequate food, water, shelter, healthcare, transportation, etc for all of its members. [more inside]
posted by wesleyac at 9:06 AM PST - 4 comments

Taking good video of holiday lights

I've been asked to do video of a holiday light display with my iPhone. Help me do this well. Seeking information and/or resources to move me along the learning curve for this. [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek at 8:08 AM PST - 3 comments

How are libraries charged for patron database use?

When I use my library's databases (NewsBank,, Ebsco), is the library charged for each search I do, or for each item I retrieve? Is there a way to find out which services cost the library less? [more inside]
posted by kristi at 7:59 AM PST - 12 comments

Rules/play variants for Among Us?

My friends and I have been playing Among Us at least once a week, and to keep things interesting we like to play with variants on the rules. Please -- give us to your Among Us hacks! [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:45 AM PST - 6 comments

Jewelry designers/jewelers/gemologists of MF: career advice needed!

What are realistic enough-money-for-groceries-and-health-insurance career options for jewelry designers vs. jewelers vs. gemologists, etc. and do you need a college degree for that or something else? [more inside]
posted by SinAesthetic at 6:23 AM PST - 9 comments

I Need a New Job

I'm starting to look for a job outside of my current organization for the first time in ages, and I feel like everything has changed. Help me start my search like a competent adult, please? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 5:37 AM PST - 5 comments

Just okay-ish cookies, please!

I do not want your best cookie recipes: I want your okay, everyday, good enough, that'll do cookie recipes! The cheaper and easier the better! [more inside]
posted by gakiko at 4:30 AM PST - 37 comments

Making up and making of.

I just watched this Apple Ad and its making of (so cool!) I also recently watched the making of of Apocalypse now (awesome!) and all this made me wonder about making-ofs. Please tell me about your favorite behind-the scenes/making of content and stories (be it videos, books, documentaries etc.).
posted by mathiu at 2:19 AM PST - 22 comments

Gallstones - do any 'natural' methods really work?

Just discovered I am very full of gallstones. Can't really think why as my (European) diet is pretty good. Not amazing but pretty good. Anyway a friend has recommended a 'detox' using olive oil, lemon juice and epsom salts. I'm generally very wary of such things as they're usually a load of nonsense. But I wondered if MetaFilter had an opinion? [more inside]
posted by dance at 1:44 AM PST - 30 comments

December 8

High quality photo processing and retouching for digital wedding photos

We finally got our (pre-COVID) wedding digital photos - yay! They were taken with a nice camera by a friend who posed them well, but they're badly in need of processing, color correction, shadow wrangling (they were taken around noon on a blindingly bright day), etc. I want to embiggen, print, and frame some of them, so I'm willing to pay for a professional to process them beyond the surface level things you can do with an app. [more inside]
posted by Munching Langolier at 11:45 PM PST - 6 comments

Can I make money while keeping my disability benefits?

I live on social security disability and I can't make more than a hundred or so dollars a month in my state or else I'll lose my benefits. I am genuinely disabled but I'm still capable of learning how to do things to make money like forex trading or starting an online business and could definitely use more than I get each month from social security (social security disability barely covers my living expenses and I live very humbly). So my question is: is there a way for me to make more than a few hundred dollars a month while keeping my disability benefits?
posted by defmute at 10:26 PM PST - 13 comments

How to I Wake Up to a Playlist with Android?

I have a Samsung Galaxy s10, and I want to wake up to a playlist, randomly shuffled, every morning. This playlist is stored internally on the phone, not on spotify, youtube, etc. Can you suggest an app for this (either an alarm clock app with this functionality, or a music player with an alarm feature)? [more inside]
posted by carlypennylane at 8:48 PM PST - 4 comments

Should I spend Christmas at my friend's house? Difficulty level: COVID

A friend wants me to spend Christmas at her house. Please help me assess the COVID risk of doing so. [more inside]
posted by orange swan at 8:02 PM PST - 58 comments

Good things happening to nice people

BookFilter: Serious, literary fiction primarily consisting of happy things, likable characters, people doing their best and things working out for them. I have the perfect example in mind but I don't want to spoil that book for you -- suffice it to say, I know it can be done. Not really looking for YA or genre fiction (unless it's spectacular). Thanks for any suggestions!
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 7:11 PM PST - 27 comments

What is … ?

I'm guessing some odd Unicode character. But I'm on mobile and can't 'view source' or otherwise investigate. Might just be me and my phone. But I keep seeing it and it's driving me batshit. [more inside]
posted by shoesfullofdust at 4:30 PM PST - 17 comments

Should I distance myself from friend?

I find my friend defensive and draining, but she means well and I'm worried its actually me just picking faults. Would appreciate perspective. [more inside]
posted by starstarstar at 4:00 PM PST - 40 comments

Cat constipation - what treatment options, what to do right now?

Our cat has had several episodes of severe constipation, one resulting in a trip to the emergency vet. Today she had another. Details are unappealing. [more inside]
posted by Frowner at 3:11 PM PST - 23 comments

Looking for the perfect denim jacket.

Shopping online for a denim jacket for myself. Details beneath the fold. [more inside]
posted by pxe2000 at 1:46 PM PST - 7 comments

Sourcing Ethical Electronics Components

I'm getting started with learning about electronics. This means purchasing a handful of resistors, capacitors, and other components. Can I do this ethically? Where? [more inside]
posted by mr_bovis at 1:42 PM PST - 8 comments

how can I get less annoying ads fed to me on youtube?

I don't mind having to watch the occasional ad, but I want better ads than the ones they serve up. [more inside]
posted by fingersandtoes at 1:41 PM PST - 11 comments

Can an end user of Google Apps tell if Google Vault is enabled?

My workplace uses Google Apps for Education for staff communications, files, etc. A colleague of mine asked if there was a way to tell if Google Vault was enabled or not. [more inside]
posted by MiG at 1:37 PM PST - 2 comments

Cream substitutes in soup

I want to make this potato leek soup tonight but don’t have heavy cream to stir in at the end. I do have whole milk, some half and half (maybe half a cup?), buttermilk, plain Greek yogurt, and a lot of goat cheese. What option/combo is going to give me the best results to add some creaminess to the soup?
posted by skycrashesdown at 1:12 PM PST - 19 comments

why are my tomatoes gross

Tonight I discovered that a can of tomatoes had turned into some kind of eldritch abomination in my cupboards. Could it be botulism? Or something else? Is there anything I can do to feel clean again? Warning: possibly disgusting description/images of foodbourne evil within. [more inside]
posted by fight or flight at 12:17 PM PST - 11 comments

Please help me source the Funkiest of all Pickles

My partner likes really strong, funky fermentation flavors. I'd like to surprise and delight them some interesting pickles for the holidays. Where should I get the best, funkiest, most-pickle-y of pickles? [more inside]
posted by wym at 12:12 PM PST - 21 comments

Please advise me on the next step in my art self-education

I've been teaching myself to sketch, draw, and paint for a few years. But I still feel like it's incredibly difficult. I feel like I'm trying to art, or trying to learn how to art, in the wrong way. Looking for advice and class recommendations inside! [more inside]
posted by rebent at 11:57 AM PST - 18 comments

What's the word for "keeping the shared inbox under control"?

My partner is fantastic at jumping into the "info@[organization].com" email account and whipping it into shape - answering basic inquiries, forwarding things to the right people, sorting things into appropriate folders, setting up filters, setting reminders for recurring tasks, etc. What is the word for this? How do we describe it on a resume?
posted by sibilatorix at 11:21 AM PST - 14 comments

Show me your old manuals!

I like to collect interesting images and digital documents for inspiration and education. Lately I'm on an old user manual kick, but finding them is slow going (especially during the pandemic). It occurred to me that Metafilter has just the kind of people who would fondly remember (or collect!) cool user manuals. My target is machinery and computer manuals created between 1970-1990, but honestly if it's a neat manual I wanna look at it. Links, PDFs, images, vague memories/leads, I'll take em all. [more inside]
posted by Stoof at 11:13 AM PST - 18 comments

Help with suggestions for hedges / fence extension

My parents have a front yard with a fence around it. Because of regulations, the solid part of the fence (wood) is about 3 feet high (above that it is just a metal gate), and in order to keep some privacy, they have thick hedges just outside the fence which extend to about 6 feet high. They need to cut the hedges down and I'd like to help them find a quick fix for keeping some privacy above the 3 feet or so of solid fence, and something that is easy and safe to do given the pandemic. [more inside]
posted by melamakarona at 10:51 AM PST - 3 comments

Identify this JFK alternate history?

Seen once in a bookstore maybe five years ago. [more inside]
posted by Epixonti at 10:27 AM PST - 5 comments

Ner Mitzvot menorah oil cups UK by Thurs evening

I’m so silly and I did not realise the lovely menorah I have just purchased does not come with the oil cups. Where can I get these shipped to me in the uk by evening thurs? Otherwise I’ll just get (44) fat candles
posted by The Last Sockpuppet at 9:29 AM PST - 5 comments

Please recommend a USB-C monitor

I need to get a monitor for my new 13-inch Macbook Pro. In the past when using most monitors with my retina-screen laptop there is always a subtle pixelization on the screen which bothers me (I am a designer/using this work). None of the review sites or shopping filters use the terminology I would be looking for (either retina display or 200dpi) What kind of specs should I be looking for in my new monitor to make sure that's not what I wind up buying? [more inside]
posted by bleep at 9:12 AM PST - 10 comments

Health Insurance If I Resign

I'm in Utah and I'd like to resign soon. I don't have any health conditions (beyond work stress), but I'd like coverage (I have a reasonable emergency fund) in case of COVID. Do I need to apply now to meet the Dec 15 deadline? That seems weird - I'm currently employed. What happens if I apply in Jan, and am I even eligible if I resign? Help!
posted by my log does not judge at 8:45 AM PST - 13 comments

Can you help me knit these mitts?

I am a proficient knitter but I am having trouble with this pattern for fingerless gloves. I have more details inside. [more inside]
posted by Biblio at 8:26 AM PST - 7 comments

Is a 529 even worth it?

Should I continue to invest in my high school kid's 529 savings plan, or have I reached a "too little too late" stage? [more inside]
posted by RajahKing at 7:49 AM PST - 12 comments

95% Effective Vaccine

I'm confused abut what 95% effective for the vaccine means in a context where social distancing and other preventative measures are in place. Is the vaccine only 95% effective in this context and if the social distancing measures are removed does it become less effective? Does that matter?
posted by edbles at 7:20 AM PST - 15 comments

Plumbing Filter: Do I *actually* need to fix this toilet problem?

Toilet seal was cracked and leaking, so I had a plumber come in to repair it. Way too much money later, he leaves, and a few hours later I see that there is still a very small amount of water leaking from the base of the toilet. They are refusing to fix it, and I'm thinking its maybe not serious enough to need fixing? More below. [more inside]
posted by dazedandconfused at 5:58 AM PST - 25 comments

What is the VERY BEST book of Christmas sheet music for piano?

Hi, I'm an intermediate piano player* who would like to learn to play Christmas music on the piano. I'm looking for fairly straightforward, but beautiful, versions of the classics, and would like to buy a single book rather than finding versions of each song individually. I'd particularly like to learn "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". What book would you recommend? [more inside]
posted by capricorn at 5:44 AM PST - 3 comments

Sending present to India -- how? what?

A friend who lives in India just had a baby. My ideal would be to send money, but I can't find a way to do that without him participating (he said flat out no when I suggested a cash gift transfer for the baby -- but trust me, that is politeness as I absolutely know he could use it.) What's the best way to send another gift -- is there a kind of Amazon equivalent that is reliable?
posted by heavenknows at 3:55 AM PST - 2 comments

Purse similar to the Palm Springs Mini?

I really love the style of this purse but $2k is too rich for my blood. Does anyone else make mini backpack purses in a similar style? Something with more pockets would also be nice.
posted by madonna of the unloved at 12:50 AM PST - 4 comments

Gift for burnt out friend in Sweden

I am in Australia and would like to send my friend in Sweden some sort of rest-encouraging or restorative gift as she is feeling burned out. Is there a website in Sweden or elsewhere that could post it to Sweden that might have something nice to send to her? [more inside]
posted by Chrysalis at 12:26 AM PST - 6 comments

December 7

Can you be REALLY allergic to your own dandruff?

I don't know how else to explain it. Lately I've had more dandruff than usual. I've always had a bit but now, absentmindedly scratching my head, it's...a bit. I've also been having really itchy eyes and sneezing. So much so that I'm taking allergy pills twice a day. More than ever before. But today I thought, "what if they're connected?" So is that possible? Can I be allergic to myself?
posted by rileyray3000 at 8:39 PM PST - 7 comments

Setting boundaries with mom over Christmas

Covid numbers and public health orders in my region mean I’ve decided that I’m just not comfortable seeing my 60-something parents for Christmas. My mom is not going to take this well and I have terrible boundaries. How do I navigate this? [more inside]
posted by vanitas at 7:23 PM PST - 30 comments

What to get two girls (ages 4 and 6) for Christmas?

Normally I’m good at Christmas and birthday shopping but this year I’m hitting a roadblock. Trying to spend about $200 combined on something that isn’t a shiny pink and purple plastic toy. [more inside]
posted by stoneandstar at 6:11 PM PST - 25 comments

How do I explain my OCD to my family?

I was recently diagnosed with OCD but have yet to tell my parents. I want to tell them because I’d like to ask for their financial help in order to access appropriate treatment. I'm struggling with how to explain my OCD to them so they'll take it seriously, particularly since I struuggle with covert/non-visible compulsions. Any advice or experiences with disclosing OCD to family? Are there any resources I could share with them about OCD that might help them understand it? [more inside]
posted by runnerfive at 6:02 PM PST - 8 comments

Where can I advertise a room for rent, E. Village, NYC, with roommates?

There's an apartment in our brownstone that has 3 roommates, women in their 20's They need another roommate to share the rent. She'd get her own (small) bedroom. These days, it's hard to find people. Any places/websites you know of to list such a thing locally? Thanks.
posted by DMelanogaster at 5:15 PM PST - 10 comments

Long depression is lifting. What the hell do I do now?

Looking for recommendations - books, articles, anecdotes, etc. — on how one re-learns how to live and re-orients their life if/when long-term depression lifts and space suddenly opens up for entertaining the possibility of hope for the future. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 5:12 PM PST - 6 comments

Rock 'N' Roll Alternate Histories blog

I'm trying to find a certain alternate history blog concerning rock music that I read a couple of years ago. [more inside]
posted by frodisaur at 5:07 PM PST - 6 comments

Getting deep sleep

Looking to improve quality of sleep [more inside]
posted by aetg at 4:42 PM PST - 11 comments

Help me not get swindled?

I am a first time homebuyer trying to purchase a co-op in Brooklyn. My closing is set for Thursday and I just received the list of closing costs. They seem high, almost $8,000 for a $365,000 apartment. I am single and kind of alone on this undertaking. My lawyer was recommended to me by my real estate agent and is also pals with my mortgage lender. I feel like something is not quite right here. Can you advise me or share your related experiences? What should I be asking before I write the checks and sign the papers?
posted by ponibrown at 4:06 PM PST - 17 comments

It's a Mac v Windows question

I need a new laptop. Can you help me work out whether I should get a Mac or a Windows machine? Many details follow. [more inside]
posted by FavourableChicken at 3:36 PM PST - 16 comments

stuff is hard! also, boundaries!

BossFilter: How do I deal with an (understandably burnt-out) boss who struggles to organize and strategize our work, and also dumps on us emotionally constantly? [more inside]
posted by Sock Meets Body at 2:58 PM PST - 10 comments

How do you know when to say goodbye

I have been in a difficult workplace for years and I'm about at the end of my tether. I've also had, in the same time, been in relationships that have been either abusive, or withholding, or simply with people who refused to commit meaningfully. It's been terribly lonely. I've been far away from family and any meaningful support system. An opportunity has arisen to shift out of this city to a city where I have family and friends. I should be thrilled. And yet. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 2:03 PM PST - 17 comments

How do I secure a toilet set on a loose flange?

The flange and bolts under my upstairs toliet are not secure. I'm looking for a way to secure the toilet to the floor without demolishing my bathroom. [more inside]
posted by archimago at 1:32 PM PST - 12 comments

Budget but Good Headset for Gaming

My 14-year-old nephew would like a wired headset for Christmas, mostly for Xbox. Specs within [more inside]
posted by FirstMateKate at 12:36 PM PST - 3 comments

Help with 6V solar wiring project

I'm converting dataloggers from using an AA battery pack to solar. Please check my work / make recommendations / suggest a better place to ask this question. [more inside]
posted by momus_window at 12:16 PM PST - 13 comments

De-stinking wood chairs from a smoking household

I acquired four nice wooden chairs from my Buy Nothing Group, then realized on the way home that they reek of cigarette smoke. Can I / how do I get the smell out so I can use them? Help! [more inside]
posted by centrifugal at 11:46 AM PST - 9 comments

Best age to start reading Harry Potter?

My six-and-a-half year old really wants me to start reading the illustrated Harry Potter books aloud but I’m worried a lot of the details are going to go over his head. What age did the kids in your life start having the series read to them? Or when did they start reading it on their own?
posted by not_the_water at 10:41 AM PST - 24 comments

Short Beginner Cookbook

I am thinking of getting a short beginner’s cookbook. It would have an overview of a variety of relatively basic lessons about terms, skills, techniques, picking produce and cuts of meat, etc. Ideally, each "lesson" would be followed by one or more recipes. [more inside]
posted by NotLost at 9:37 AM PST - 16 comments

SongFilter: Guy whose girlfriend stays home and does K all day

Been bugging me for a while, but I can't seem to track down this song that I know I used to listen to. All I can really remember is that the song is about a guy talking about how his girlfriend just wants to stay in bed all day doing ketamine. I remember it also being a shoegaze or synthy song. I think it was from around 2010-2014? It's definitely not Magnetic Fields. Thanks in advance!
posted by homesickness at 9:36 AM PST - 1 comment

Free stock images of serious conversations

My holy grail of free stock/high-res images is a pic of two adults (preferably, with at least one who presents as a woman) who appear to be friends talking to each other, but are NOT laughing/smiling. I can only find a couple of them- can you help me find more? [more inside]
posted by quiet coyote at 9:03 AM PST - 11 comments

Board game type gift for large family with small children

What is a good board game or similar present to give to a religious, conservative family with six kids? Budget would hopefully less than $50 USD, but willing to go a bit higher for something great. [more inside]
posted by seasparrow at 8:15 AM PST - 29 comments

welp, this is awkward

New developments in my job since my last question; help me figure out how to navigate what is going to be an extremely awkward situation. [more inside]
posted by nayantara at 8:06 AM PST - 42 comments

What are the tax implications for UK citizen selling US shares?

I want to sell my stocks from a US broker account, but how do I work out what I need to do to keep HMRC happy? [more inside]
posted by Tapioca at 7:43 AM PST - 4 comments

Switching insurance and Dependent Care FSA

My spouse and I have been covered under his work health insurance since we got married 6 years ago. Now we have looked at our different employers' coverage and decided we want to be insured through my work instead. I have a (hopefully basic) question about the health insurance piece, and a more complicated question about the FSA for Dependent Care. [more inside]
posted by Bebo at 6:40 AM PST - 3 comments

Setting Goals for CRM team

My boss has asked me (the CRM administrator) to come up with some departmental goals for for the CRM team for next year. I need some ideas. Difficulty: my company doesn’t own the CRM, and I have no control over creating processes, modifying layout, adding fields, etc. [more inside]
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 6:32 AM PST - 6 comments

Help me retire

I'm in my mid-30s and am not currently contributing to retirement (although I have some contributions from past jobs.) How do I get started now that I've started a new career? [more inside]
posted by soonertbone at 6:17 AM PST - 7 comments

Open world, RPG style, kid safe browser game?

I'm looking for a kid safe (5-10 years old) open world adventure game where we can walk around and explore. I have a mac. I currently use Google Street view. I'm looking for something with more of a goal. Maybe something a bit like Zelda, top down I can run in a browser. I tried Pokemon but it glitched every single time I used it. Something where I can edit the environment and items would be really cool but something we can just play with would ALSO be useful as well.
posted by jago25_98 at 5:51 AM PST - 10 comments

Boyfriends kids up everynight

I am a light sleeper after about five hours of sleep, but I really need eight hours of sleep. My boyfriend's kids wake up at 2 or 3 am most nights, and I can't get back to sleep. We have been looking at houses together, but after a trial of staying with them for two weeks, I feel sick and miserable from lack of sleep. Should I give up on this? [more inside]
posted by Kalmya at 5:04 AM PST - 34 comments

Learning and unlearning love

Apart from personal experience, what book, article, movie, podcast... has broadened your outlook on love, dating and sex the most? [more inside]
posted by Desertshore at 2:16 AM PST - 19 comments

Breast reduction questions

I am meeting with a well reviewed and recommended plastic surgeon later today about a breast reduction. I have questions and concerns - please help me sort them out! [more inside]
posted by a22lamia at 2:10 AM PST - 15 comments

December 6

New pressure cooker/air fryer! Give me your best pescatarian recipes.

What are your favorite ways to use your pressure cooker or air fryer for vegetarian or pescatarian meals? Specific recipes you have actually tried and loved would be great, but I'd also take recommendations for really great sources for recipes (no-fail sites or books). [more inside]
posted by charmedimsure at 10:32 PM PST - 6 comments

amuse my bouche

Inspired by the Christmas pudding question below, what are foods and drinks that are often considered an “acquired taste”? [more inside]
posted by jeweled accumulation at 10:07 PM PST - 54 comments

All I need is love?

I have a lot of love, and it wants to get out into the world. When I'm in a romantic relationship, my partner is by far my biggest source and destination for love. It feels wonderful, yet fragile, because so much happiness is dependent on one relationship. When I'm single, nothing comes close to relieving the pressure from the love that gets bottled up in me, or filling the void left by the absence of romantic reciprocation. Can you suggest some approaches I might not have tried? [more inside]
posted by gray17 at 8:35 PM PST - 18 comments

P words

Please share with me all words that start with the letter p and are related to pirates, puffins, walking*, and anything else relevant to this IRL thread. Please and thank you! [more inside]
posted by aniola at 7:00 PM PST - 33 comments

Can my mom's iPhone 6S be fixed, and for how much?

My mom's iPhone 6S started malfunctioning today. The screen is largely unresponsive, except apparently for one spot (one number out of six appears when she tries to put in the initial pin code). I called Apple support and they advised a hard reset (Home + the off button at the top), which didn't help. They also said that this can sometimes happen if the software is not updated, but my mom says the software has been recently updated. Help? [more inside]
posted by ClaireBear at 6:51 PM PST - 9 comments

Best books for tweens

I texted my niece and nephew today to ask what books they want for Christmas, and my 13-year-old nephew texted back “books are u serious” [more inside]
posted by elvissa at 6:18 PM PST - 16 comments

Flame on

My loved ones won't eat Christmas pudding (acquired taste I guess), but they do want a flaming steamed pudding of some kind that goes with traditional brandy hard sauce. What's a good recipe? Definitely has to be something we can light on fire.
posted by blnkfrnk at 6:01 PM PST - 4 comments

I need a bit of help deciding which Roku to buy

We have a Samsung smart TV in our living room. We are looking for a Roku to pair with it to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube, Apple TV+, and CBS (assuming, it is supported). 4K support will be nice. Quick start and stability of connection are the important critera. Having a hard time deciding which Roku will make most sense. Some additional details inside ... [more inside]
posted by justlooking at 5:49 PM PST - 17 comments

Librarians of MF: help me create spine labels for my book collection!

I want to assign LOC call numbers to my book collection, then hand-write and affix spine labels. I have a few specific questions for you. [more inside]
posted by leftover_scrabble_rack at 5:12 PM PST - 6 comments

Scholarship/grant opportunities for orphaned teenager

This kid has had a rough life but is currently thriving in his Boy's Home - and is looking for scholarship and grant opportunities for when he leaves in a couple years (especially in English and/or entrepreneurial categories). I am going to suggest sending his essays in to the Concord Review for publication in order to help his college resume, and apply for the NCTE Essay contest - but what else should we be thinking about to boost his chances of scholarships? [more inside]
posted by egeanin at 5:11 PM PST - 14 comments

Country Song about Session Musician Who Wagers his Soul

In the song, the musician looses, in fact he says he knows he's going to loose. [more inside]
posted by randlesc at 4:51 PM PST - 3 comments

Conversation-lubricating Christmas Zoom/Webex crafts

Looking for project ideas for upcoming Christmas Zoom calls to make people more comfortable. Special wishes inside :) [more inside]
posted by Tandem Affinity at 3:02 PM PST - 13 comments

Slice of life Comics/Manga about rock bands.

Please recommend comics or manga to read about struggling musicians / bands. [more inside]
posted by signal at 2:41 PM PST - 11 comments

Ballet for Kids on YouTube (or similar)

My 4-year-old is obsessed with ballet right now. Normally I'd enroll her in a kiddie dance class so she could dance around and be very excited and run off some energy, but, you know, Covid. But she could extra definitely use some energy-burning activities at home! Can you help me find some kid-friendly beginner ballet/dance sorts of things online? [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:13 PM PST - 8 comments

How do I climb a brand new learning cliff?

How should I approach developing an intuition for how to create the sounds I want with the (very expansive) palette of Ableton Live? [more inside]
posted by Alterscape at 12:30 PM PST - 8 comments

Looking for a Blog of Dissections of Muppets

A long while ago, I'm sure I saw a blog of a (fairly) serious blog covering the dissection of (various) Muppet Characters... The only one which sticks in my mind is Big Bird, but I have a feeling it looked at the bone structure and biology of various Muppet characters. Does anyone else remember this and know where it is? [more inside]
posted by Dub at 11:39 AM PST - 8 comments

who watches the watchmen?

I'm moving out of my Panopticon of a duplex (landlord-neighbor is really into cameras, surveillance, and general micromanagement) and into my very own rental house. But I'll have to leave my apartment by itself for a bit, and my landlord will be entering when I'm not there to do some landlord-things. Is there a camera I can use to make sure he doesn't mess with my possessions while I'm away? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 11:26 AM PST - 11 comments

Ant farm?

My toddler would be fascinated by an ant farm like this cool gadget. Is there a way to have a small ant farm that's totally self-contained and fun for a toddler, and not horrible for the toddler's parent? I don't particularly like ants, but I do like science projects. [more inside]
posted by nouvelle-personne at 10:38 AM PST - 13 comments

Deepfake myself

I'd like to deepfake my head onto a video of another person singing. Right now, what is the best free software for making this happen? [more inside]
posted by klausman at 10:37 AM PST - 3 comments

Good replacement for Muji recycled yarn socks?

My spouse and I are seeking a replacement for Muji recycled yarn socks. These socks "are discontinued and will not be back in stock". My spouse writes: "I’ve worn these socks for about 15 years without finding anything similar, and my last sets (purchased around 2018) are wearing out." He really loves these - help us find a suitable replacement? [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 10:15 AM PST - 8 comments

Safety in anti-racism

I am a non-Black person of color and work in a public-facing role, and spend the majority of my days alone with a series of semi-strangers whom I am helping (indoors, 5x5 room, masked). Our organization has provided BLM badge holders for anyone who wants them. Last week, the person I was helping went on a rant about how he was offended by the BLM badges, including the use of the n-word. I told him that was unacceptable and asked leadership to ban him, which they have. But he knows who he saw that day, and I am starting to get worried for my personal safety. How can I not dread going to work any more than I usually do? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 10:02 AM PST - 5 comments

How do I reassure ppl i know about the upcoming covid-19 vaccines?

Difficulty level: for residents of provably authoritarian countries who've been actively pro-democratic and thus reflexively skeptical of govt actions (which is usually warranted). They don't want to be antivaxxers, but they've been susceptible to 'skeptical' claims right now. I'm usually okay with countering the misgivings about the vaccine development turnaround time, but the new one I'm hearing is they're 'not sure' about the mid-term to long-term impact. How should I reply? (I have basic grasp of biology, public health and medical practice)
posted by cendawanita at 9:09 AM PST - 17 comments

How to get my money back from Ticketmaster

The event has been postponed indefinitely and terms don't allow for refunds on postponed-but-not-rescheduled events. Can I get my money back? [more inside]
posted by greta simone at 6:44 AM PST - 8 comments

My aged father is not following Covid precautions

My father lives in a different state, one with a very high COVID count. He is not an anti-masker nor did he vote for the orange guy. He understand the risks of COVID but simply does not apply the proper safeguards to himself. [more inside]
posted by captainscared at 5:11 AM PST - 18 comments

December 5

Blogger Help: All of my posts were removed from blog - now have a list

Don't know what happened. There is no blog, only a list of the individual posts throughout the years with a monogram letter next to each post. I can access them to edit but not to post. I want to upload them to a newly created blog - would this be possible? Can I download them in one file to have on my HD? Does anyone know what happened and if this is fixable?
posted by watercarrier at 10:09 PM PST - 6 comments

How to deal with anger: Covid denial plus apocalypse fantasies edition

So I've relocated to a very isolated area in Canada from downtown Oakland, CA. Hooray! Except, I'm completely traumatized by my experience of the last year (Covid related and much more) and am having a hard time coping with people's attitudes right now. This is a small community, far away from any real danger, so their experience of the pandemic has been much different from my own. I need some sanity checks and some ideas on how to cope. (a flurry of backstory below) [more inside]
posted by ananci at 9:46 PM PST - 31 comments

Advice for Compacting Items in Photograph?

I have a number of bins that take up a lot of surface area on my 'bathroom' dresser. Photo. [more inside]
posted by metabaroque at 9:22 PM PST - 9 comments

Surely, all the best llamas have globes

In my online trivia league, geography is one of my weakest categories, and I was thinking if I had a globe I could regularly study it might help [more inside]
posted by Cogito at 9:16 PM PST - 8 comments

What type of scientist do I want to be?

At the tender age of 32, and with no college degrees whatsoever, I have decided that I am going to become a scientist. I'd like to start pinning down, however roughly, which STEM field I'm aiming for. Are you a scientist or otherwise working in a STEM field? Do you love, hate, or just tolerate your job? Does your job fit any of my criteria below, or do you know of one that definitely does - or definitely does not? Please let me know! [more inside]
posted by quiet_musings at 9:01 PM PST - 14 comments

COVID Conundrum Number 1,530,423

My partner and child and I are considering a trip around the holidays to see grandparents - with CDC levels of precautions. Can you weigh in on our plans? [more inside]
posted by bananacabana at 8:40 PM PST - 54 comments

the thorns under a pot ...from the Bible

I have two questions from "The moon and sixpence". ,Chapter 3. 〜a neat repartee was more highly valued than the crackling of thorns under a pot〜 Do native speakers get the meaning easily? And what does he really want to say with this phrase? Does he mean that repartee is also vanity ? And from the last part of Chapter 3, 〜how much they paid a thousand; 〜 What is a thousand? A thousand word(s)? line(s)? or ....? If you read it "a thousand words", please tell me why.Thank you for helping me with my poor English.
posted by mizukko at 7:01 PM PST - 5 comments

Missing highlights

How do I get back my Kindle Highlights that are appearing inside the book on the cloud reader, but not in the notebook? [more inside]
posted by colorblock sock at 5:19 PM PST - 0 comments

Pleasure reading for historians

I'm looking for recommendations for books (as gifts) that are in the line of popular history that is nevertheless appealing to academic historians. [more inside]
posted by expialidocious at 3:40 PM PST - 13 comments

Ring Fit Adventure - still worth it?

Despite my resolution to keep going for walks outside during the winter, this first taste of cold weather has me wanting to hibernate. For those who have Ring Fit Adventure for the Nintendo Switch, do you still recommend it? I've read some reviews but I'm curious to hear MeFi's take.
posted by cozenedindigo at 2:10 PM PST - 18 comments

Public Private Partnerships

The frequencies of many public radio stations have been purchased over the years by religious broadcasters; Bible Broadcasting Corporation comes first to mind. I want to understand how these sales happen? [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind at 12:22 PM PST - 4 comments

Where can ~$1000 do the most good these days?

My husband and I are lucky in that COVID has been only an inconvenience for us and not a hardship. We have money (say, $1000) we want to donate to help ease the hardships other people are experiencing. [more inside]
posted by DrGail at 11:44 AM PST - 24 comments

Noob-friendly RDR2 Online server?

I want to play RDR2 because I love the scenery, the Old West, and horses. I am abysmal at actually playing games (aiming, dodging, shooting, navigating complex menus, etc). I don't like being griefed and pvp. Are there any servers you can suggest for a little old lady noob? Thanks!
posted by The otter lady at 11:39 AM PST - 7 comments

Problem renewing drivers license, green card edition

A person has a green card that will expire more than 5 years from now, and that "end of stay" date is listed on the card. When they renew their drivers license the RMV/DMV folks say that "System X" (whatever system the feds make available for them to verify immigration status) doesn't list an end of stay date for this person's green card. Therefore they will only renew the drivers license for 1 year. Folks at USCIS swear up and down that their system has the correct date for this green card. [more inside]
posted by duoshao at 11:20 AM PST - 3 comments

I should probably be more afraid, right?

From the very start of the pandemic, it feels as though I haven't been able to make myself be afraid of the virus, and it's starting to seem pretty weird. Is this an actual, like, psychological thing? What terms could I search if I wanted to know more about this? [more inside]
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:13 AM PST - 34 comments

Organize my recreation!

You love to consume media - podcasts, tv, movies, books, video games, all of it. You like to keep a running list of what you want to watch/read/listen to in a simple and easy way. Tell me how you do it! [more inside]
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:59 AM PST - 2 comments

How to Wii bowl in 2020

I have never owned any type of gaming console but pandemic winter life in my small apartment has gotten a little too sedentary. I had a great time playing Wii tennis and bowling (as well as Guitar Hero and Rock Band) back in the day. I've been thinking it would be fun to get either a newer Wii-type console or a used Wii but I have absolutely no clue how to go about filling the Wii bowling-shaped hole in my heart. [more inside]
posted by forkisbetter at 8:45 AM PST - 10 comments

Am I being a jerk about my boyfriend's Burning Man obsession

My new beau is a self proclaimed "Burner" he talks about it all of the time. Apparently his ex girlfriend took him a few years ago and now he seems to have made it a big part of his personality. I'd personally prefer to like travel with that time and energy, but it's important to him, so I told him although I would not go, I'd absolutely send a friend of mine who would like it, with him (I love him a lot so I want him to have a buddy that will keep him safe...he is 64 and has had two strokes) But, he does a LOT of drugs there, and I told him that I didn't think after the strokes he should do drugs again. He said I was being unreasonable and now we are in a standoff. If you don't enjoy something sober, or fear that you won't, is that just an excuse to do drugs? [more inside]
posted by lextex at 7:59 AM PST - 45 comments

Why shouldn't I put my modem and router in the garage?

We just bought a house and I'm planning out the network infrastructure and I think the best place for the modem and router is in the un-insulated garage. Is that a bad idea? [more inside]
posted by Uncle at 7:59 AM PST - 12 comments

Tell me about your digital TV antenna setup that works well.

We ditched cable and bought a digital TV antenna. Yay! But the reception is intermittently terrible. Boo! If you have a good setup that would work with our circumstances, I'd love to hear about it. [more inside]
posted by COBRA! at 7:25 AM PST - 8 comments

Watch acting behind the scenes

I'd like to know more about how acting is done. I know absolutely nothing about it, and I'd love to watch a long documentary showing actors practice lines, shoot a scene, discuss retakes with directors, things like that. Google gives maaaany options but it's swamped with advice about how to be an actor or deep dives into special effects, neither of which I want. Instead I'd love to watch minutia about how actors plan a character, memorize lines, interact with each other & the camera. Any genre welcome!
posted by abecedarium radiolarium at 3:15 AM PST - 13 comments

short science fiction stories for kids to expand horizons

What are some collections or individual science fiction stories that are ideal for a 10 year old, and aren't full of war/rape/dead girlfriends/50s gender roles? Especially looking for stories with radical changes in perspective or which promote empathy for others.
posted by benzenedream at 12:11 AM PST - 13 comments

December 4

Can my home office hardware situation be improved?

I am considering getting a docking station or widescreen monitor. Please help me think this through. [more inside]
posted by NotLost at 10:41 PM PST - 11 comments

Where can I buy advantame?

Where can I buy advantame, a new high-potency artificial sweetener? [more inside]
posted by ryanrs at 8:54 PM PST - 3 comments

Putting the NO in Synology.

I'm having issues opening my firewall for my Synology server. Difficulty level: My ISP is the problem. And they're totally stumped. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark at 7:35 PM PST - 5 comments

Seeking PS4 games that two non-gamers can enjoy together

In a fit of folly a few years ago, I bought a PlayStation 4. It's been sitting largely unused, except for when my young nephew visits. I'd like to find some easy games (with a shallow learning curve) to play together with my wife while we are home for the holidays. [more inside]
posted by alex1965 at 7:35 PM PST - 18 comments

In search of the simplest ereader

Help me choose an ereader for my dad-- criteria inside. [more inside]
posted by geegollygosh at 4:30 PM PST - 10 comments

Home cooked treats for holiday gifts (with restrictions)

Suggestions please for edible treats i can make and gift to my family. Various family allergies make this complicated: treats must be dairy-free, gluten-free, with no soy. [more inside]
posted by anadem at 2:31 PM PST - 30 comments

How to help my 75yo dad with GERD symptoms + caused by accident / Advil?

My dad has been suffering from severe GERD symptoms since February. We’re very worried. He's become quite thin because he's unable to eat anything other than rice porridge most days, constantly wakes up in the middle of the night from the acid, and has generally been miserable. His gastro prescribed him some PPIs, but they're no longer effective. Two questions: (1) What can I do to help him from afar, and (2) Could this have been caused by his being hit by a tow truck in October 2019 or his subsequent use of Advil? [more inside]
posted by saltypup at 2:25 PM PST - 28 comments

Samsung Front Load Washer Squeaks

Our front load Samsung washer just started making a squeaky noise: a small one when it changes direction and a more rhythmic one when tumbling or spinning. I've done some searching and found some possibilities but I also have questions. [more inside]
posted by oneirodynia at 2:15 PM PST - 5 comments

How do I reorganize this social media database for work?

Are there any good out-of-the-box solutions (ideally web apps) that will help me organize our backlog of Instagram content? Not looking for a scheduling app like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck—more like a fusion of Dropbox/Google Sheets/Todoist—or at least that's how I'm imagining it. [more inside]
posted by miltthetank at 1:54 PM PST - 3 comments

Play the PS4 version now, or wait for the PS5 version?

I'm planning to get a PS5, but not right away - I don't have the money or the patience to fight for one. I'm probably going to wait until demand settles. There are a couple of games I'm really interested in that will have PS5 versions, but are available on the PS4 much sooner. Should I wait to play them? Can anyone who owns both consoles tell me how different the experience really is? [more inside]
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 1:36 PM PST - 9 comments

Backpack Filter

Can you help me identify this backpack? I can't really make out the logo and search attempted have been so far unsuccessful. Thanks!
posted by stinkfoot at 1:27 PM PST - 6 comments

Is a "write your own obituary" workshop worthwhile?

I'm interested in (virtually) attending a workshop in which participants write their own obituaries. I'd be interested to know if you've done this and, if so, whether you think it's a worthwhile exercise. [more inside]
posted by cheapskatebay at 1:00 PM PST - 11 comments

I need brand identity and strategy, how do I ask for that?

I used to work for some of the largest ad agencies and I'm used to structuring large creative deals. Now I need a brand identity and a logo for my own company. I've engaged a couple of great people I know and trust but I'm clueless how to structure a contract so that I get what I want in the end (basically a logo, typography, variation on dark and white backgrounds) ... and that they get paid. Is the standard practice of give me three logos, etc. still how things work? Is there a better way to work so in the end I know I will have a deliverable. [more inside]
posted by geoff. at 12:56 PM PST - 1 comment

A Social history of Computing

Hi, AskMe. :) This is going to be kind of broad, but I'm wondering if anyone has resources about the adoption of computers over the past few decades. Books or articles preferred, I don't get as much from video content. [more inside]
posted by Alensin at 12:23 PM PST - 17 comments

Not a fast-talker, just a fast talker

I talk fast, always have. I know it's hard for some people to understand me, so I want to learn to slow down. Whenever I focus on speaking more slowly and clearly, I start out strong but then I lose focus (and speed up) as soon as I start thinking about the content of what I'm saying. Did you struggle with something like this? Have any tips?
posted by mosst at 12:15 PM PST - 12 comments

Baking question: Color crust?

I want to make some Christmas treats, Santa Hats using this pan and Pistachio cake mix. Any hints on keeping the crust green? I know that when I usually bake in a metal pan, the crust comes out light brown.
posted by Marky at 11:58 AM PST - 5 comments

Bookfilter: Old sci-fi story that’s driving me nuts

Trying to locate a sci-fi novel from my past: an advanced/altered human ( perhaps a spy or soldier) is given a message delivered from the future warning of a civilization-ending event. Part of the message includes video of mummified bodies in a shelter/tunnel, all of which have essentially thick “smart glasses” which are in vogue at that time. Our hero has to defuse the coming apocalyptic vision, of course. Help me, Global Hive Mind!
posted by HannoverFist at 11:57 AM PST - 6 comments


My starting point is this Bartkira poster, showing Bart pointing a gun at the viewer while workers of the Springfield nuclear power plant walk around him, busy with their work. If I remember correctly, there is original art from Katsuhiro Otomo that this parody is based from, where Kaneda points a gun at the viewer, and the Colonel's soldiers are walking around him, getting things ready for the 2020 Olympics. If I'm remembering correctly, is the original available in poster form anywhere?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:43 AM PST - 2 comments

LED Lights for Kids

Please give me all ideas for cool LED lights for a kid's bedroom that don't take a lot of complicated setup. Also, any ideas for small gifts for an almost-10 year old who likes reading, biking, acting, and puns/jokes. Thanks!
posted by bookworm4125 at 11:16 AM PST - 7 comments

My data may have been stolen!

What other proactive steps can I take to protect myself in case of stolen financial data? [more inside]
posted by pdb at 11:12 AM PST - 3 comments

Twitter tutors?

I was just put in charge of tweeting for my office (part of a larger library/archive). I got the official rules & regs from the boss, but I don't know much about etiquette, best practices, etc., and I don't use or enjoy Twitter much in my personal life. Can you recommend readings, tutorials, articles, etc., and/or give your own thoughts and advice on professional tweeting? [more inside]
posted by theatro at 11:06 AM PST - 9 comments

How to celebrate/mark son's college graduation

My son is graduating in a couple weeks with his BS in film. This is a wonderful achievement for anyone, but especially for him who has had significant learning difficulties (he is on the autism spectrum), and I am very, very proud of him. [more inside]
posted by primate moon at 9:58 AM PST - 9 comments

Fast/easy way for 50 to 200 people to co-create a list of topics online?

I want to give a group of 50 to 200 people a way to collaboratively create a list of discussion topics online, in real time. With smaller groups (up to 75 or so) we have used a shared google doc with a table in it, and it works great! But I gather google docs don’t work with over 100 people editing. I welcome ideas, suggestion! [more inside]
posted by ManInSuit at 9:29 AM PST - 3 comments

What is this heart shaped sculpture & where can I find it?

Wondering if anyone knows what this sculpture is or what company makes it. Link to picture: It looks like it is meant to sit on a windowsill and is about 9 inches tall. Heart shaped with lights at the end of sticks defining the heart. I think it is the cutest thing I've ever seen and my materialistic brain will die of sadness if I cannot have it.
posted by leafmealone at 9:19 AM PST - 5 comments

Sabbatical/voluntary unemployment - what to consider?

After 20+ years of continuous employment in a white collar job, I'm likely to be laid off early next year. I have substantial savings, and am considering taking a year or so off before beginning a job search. What should I consider in deciding whether to take such a "sabbatical?" [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 8:46 AM PST - 11 comments

Concrete noob wants to level a concrete floor

My basement has a fairly rough concrete floor. There is a 10' x 10' (3m x 3m) section that is about 2" lower (50mm). I'd like to level the floor so it's not a tripping hazard - and make it look less weird. [more inside]
posted by kamelhoecker at 8:03 AM PST - 14 comments

Computer Filter

Where can I best identify processes in Mac OS (Big Sur) on Activity Monitor? [more inside]
posted by bad grammar at 6:50 AM PST - 12 comments

Cat trying to destroy internet connection. Help!

My cat is a butthole and has been trying to destroy my fibre internet connection. She keeps pulling on the cord, which yanks the green plug out of the panel along with the thin fibre cable its attached to. Now she's figured out how to take the panel cover off, and has been trying to chew the fragile cable inside (which is tightly looped up and can't be covered with split loom like the larger outside cable is). Is there something I can buy to cover the panel and secure the plug? I've taped it for now, but she's already chewing the tape.
posted by Stoof at 6:23 AM PST - 24 comments

Limited podcast series about international environmental politics?

Are there any podcasts that are the international version of US-focused series like Timber Wars, Derailed, or Richest Hill? There's no shortage of ongoing series or interview-of-the-week podcasts, but I'm hoping to find something that's more like a concise, self-contained 5-10 episodes of investigative, explanatory journalism on the same story, and related to climate change, international environmental law, or global environmental politics/policy. An ongoing series with discrete, standalone seasons would work too. Thanks!
posted by brozek at 6:18 AM PST - 3 comments

Bubbliest bubble bath?

What brand of bubble bath produces the MOST bubbles physically possible? I want to luxuriate in the most unbelievably frothy bubble bath possible. I am in the UK, prepared to buy online or in store or ship from other countries if that's the right solution. [more inside]
posted by citands at 2:39 AM PST - 19 comments

December 3

Help me ID this object from TV

On a ten-year-old Danish television show, there appeared this coffee pot(?). I am interested in purchasing this model, but don't know who made it or who might've sold it. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it!
posted by aswego at 10:43 PM PST - 5 comments

How to find interesting youtube channels

I recently used my adblocker to block all youtube recommendations. Overall, I'm extremely happy with this change, since it means that I don't get sucked into hours-long youtube rabbit holes, but it does mean that I'm limited to the set of channels that I already know about. How do I branch out and find more interesting channels, without using the youtube recommendation algorithm?
posted by wesleyac at 8:03 PM PST - 5 comments

Stolen Debit Card Questions

My debit card info was stolen and I'm trying to figure out a few things. [more inside]
posted by marimeko at 7:10 PM PST - 9 comments

Favourite streaming services?

What are your favourite streaming services that I may not have heard of? [more inside]
posted by poxandplague at 6:48 PM PST - 18 comments

Best gaming system for younger kids to play online with friends/family?

My elementary school-aged kids are begging us for a video game system. The only reason we'd buy one right now is if they can use it to play games with their cousins across the country as a way to stay connected. Is there a system that would fit the bill? They're pretty young, and I'd need the online multiplaying to be really good (they have tried various ipad games but they've all been laggy/frustrating to play with people in other places). Thank you!
posted by malhouse at 5:43 PM PST - 10 comments

Fancy virtual/concept meals in Houston, TX?

I'm looking for fancy, conceptual food/cooking gifts that are available virtually in Houston, TX. For example, the Zoom cooking classes and accompanying groceries available from Pondicheri, or the alcohol/food pairings that can be picked up from Underbelly or Rainbow Lodge. Local is great, but doesn't have to be local.
posted by anonymous at 5:15 PM PST - 3 comments

Need a Script to Use to Get Boss to Shift My Responsibilities

My boss keeps shifting some of his project/people management responsibilities to me and has been for months. I was not hired to do this. I have been crying about it all week. I need help coming up with a script to use tomorrow morning so I can ask him to let me focus on what I was hired for. [more inside]
posted by Kitchen Witch at 5:12 PM PST - 23 comments

Jingle balls, jingle balls

I want to make balls for Christmas—delicious dessert balls that is. [more inside]
posted by msbubbaclees at 4:51 PM PST - 14 comments

Books for a Newly Minted Academic

My brother finished his PhD in the spring (computer science/machine learning), and is applying to faculty jobs. For Christmas, he asked for books about tenure or professorship or faculty topics, to help him prep for his new role. He specifically wanted Advice for New Faculty Members, but it's a couple decades old, so it's out of print and hard to find. What are good, thoughtful, possibly more recent books about transitioning to faculty life? [more inside]
posted by thoughtful_ravioli at 3:15 PM PST - 14 comments

Options for accessing organization google account

Is there a way to get access to an organization's google account that is inaccessible because one person won't share it? [more inside]
posted by medusa at 2:49 PM PST - 5 comments

Help identifying a music video

Hi all, looking for a music video I saw some months ago and now can't locate. Difficulty level: I don't recall the name of the artist or song. But at least the video was memorable... [more inside]
posted by camcgee at 12:28 PM PST - 3 comments

Search engine spyware?

I posted this awhile back and I thought it had fixed my Chrome spyware issue - but when the browser restarts so does the spyware. Any clues to fixing it? [more inside]
posted by critzer at 12:13 PM PST - 2 comments

A formula tells a story, yes?

I was trying to refresh my knowledge of high school chemistry to help a family member with their homework and didn't like the way their textbook and several other sources I looked into introduced formulas without giving any real explanation of what the formulas represented in real life. Just X is defined by A times B divided by C, the end. Do you know resources that are not like that? [more inside]
posted by M. at 11:30 AM PST - 4 comments

Simple physical music

I'm looking for more music like this. Instrumental tunes with one or two instruments and a strong focus on being able to hear the physical action of the mechanics of the instrument making the sound. This maybe sounds silly since of course a physical action generates a sound. I'm talking about the noises the audience doesn't usually hear. In this one you can hear the musician breathing and the action of the keys being depressed. Bonus: the slower and moodier the better.
posted by sewellcm at 11:17 AM PST - 17 comments

How can I revive my French?

I'm looking for the best resources to refresh my french vocabulary and grammar (preferably for free). [more inside]
posted by donut_princess at 8:29 AM PST - 12 comments

What can our little family build?

One of the ways I'd like to make our long, cold winter cozy and fun instead of tedious and demoralizing, I'd like to find some low-stakes projects that our little family can do together while eating snacks and listening to music. Jigsaw puzzles are an obvious choice, and will definitely be on the menu, but it would be fun to have some other options. [more inside]
posted by juliapangolin at 8:03 AM PST - 22 comments

How to hack online learning

I am going to take a fully online course in January 2020 for a professional certification. I am paying for this myself (I will write it off on my taxes) and it is important to me that I pass and pass well. My history with online learning (many years ago) is not great - I failed the shit out of some professional classes that I should have passed because I just didn't jive well with online learning. I need tips/tricks to make the format work for me. [more inside]
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:58 AM PST - 9 comments

Tell me about shipping gifts from Canada to the US

Due to everything, I'll be staying in Canada for Christmas while my parents and siblings celebrate together in the US. Naturally I'll need to ship gifts from here to there, but I'm having trouble finding answers to my specific questions online. [more inside]
posted by mekily at 7:41 AM PST - 10 comments

My Own Private (or public) Google

I have a hard drive with ~3TB of assorted files (html, video, etc.) scraped from a large (public) website at a finite point in time. The files aren't arranged in a particularly human-readable way, but (I think?) in folders by file type. How do I make them my own private google -- or open to the public is fine? [more inside]
posted by rdn at 7:37 AM PST - 5 comments

Is there great decaf coffee that tastes EXACTLY like caffeinated coffee?

Do you know of a really good decaf whole bean (ideally available via mail order) that tastes exactly like caffeinated coffee? [more inside]
posted by kristi at 7:10 AM PST - 16 comments

VPN struggles

Please help me troubleshoot my VPN and internet connection woes before I get fired from my new job. [more inside]
posted by geegollygosh at 6:34 AM PST - 26 comments

Tell me about asynchronous classes for adults

I am thinking of taking an online writing workshop, but it's an asynchronous class, and I'm not sure how well that would work. Please share your experiences. [more inside]
posted by FencingGal at 6:18 AM PST - 3 comments

How does this Chinese device for catching locusts work?

Here is the patent. The original text is in Chinese and English text is available through automated translation. Could a good speaker of Chinese with some engineering background tell me how this thing is supposed to work? [more inside]
posted by elgilito at 3:02 AM PST - 6 comments

Audio-based stories pushing the envelope on the use of audio

Could be books, dramas, podcasts, anything audio based -- but used to tell a fictional narrative. Basically, I have been listening to a lot of audiobooks, as well as some audiodramas. I like the format a lot! That said, I'm looking for audio-based media like this where they reallllly lean into the audio. Sort of like if the radiolab folks made a really elaborate audio narrative. Heavy use of music, editing, sounds, just really really leaning into the "audio" part of the equation. [more inside]
posted by wooh at 12:28 AM PST - 18 comments

December 2

What do you like and not like about online university classes?

Help me figure out my optimal online teaching strategy... details inside. [more inside]
posted by ec2y at 10:07 PM PST - 9 comments

another night in with the ol' ball-and-chain (my PhD)

Fell out of love with dream job. Can't quit. How do I finish this PhD ASAP? [more inside]
posted by icosahedron at 9:14 PM PST - 32 comments

Let's table this issue

Woodworkers of MeFi: what's the best way to finish a door with painted details so that it can be used as a dining table? Specific issues inside. [more inside]
posted by Miss T.Horn at 9:08 PM PST - 7 comments

Dating dilemmas

I'm just beginning to feel ready to date after more than a year of recovery after a terrible relationship. Specific silly question inside. [more inside]
posted by miaow at 8:34 PM PST - 11 comments

Meditations on First Biography

I’m looking for a decent, introductory-level biography of Descartes. I have no interest in a staid academic biography, but rather something aimed for novices and maybe capping out at 250 pages (in English). I have the academic background, but that was a long time ago, and I’m interested in a refresher only. Does such a lighter biography exist? Thanks in advance!
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:16 PM PST - 2 comments

Joyful multi-speaker frog poem published in a book before 1998?

In 1998 or so [year could be off] I remember reading a cheerful poem either in a child's book or child-friendly book in the strikingly joyful voice of several frogs very happy about... water? The poem was unusual in that it was laid out as a call-and-response or simultaneous-speaker text, where both voices were on the page at the same time. I can't confidently recall any of the words in the poem. [more inside]
posted by Tick Tock Tourmaline at 6:07 PM PST - 4 comments

How to buy an Amazon gift bag, but not from Amazon?

The drawstring gift bags that Amazon uses for gift wrap are perfect: [more inside]
posted by Former Congressional Representative Lenny Lemming at 5:22 PM PST - 6 comments

Canadian sites that sell products from Malta?

This is a long shot, but I'm curious: are there any stores (which offer online shopping) that carry products (food or otherwise) from Malta in Canada? I'm gathering possibilities for a Christmas gift. I'm in the US so can't visit in person. Thanks Mefites!
posted by cozenedindigo at 5:18 PM PST - 6 comments

How do I manage COVID winter in Chicago with my toddler?

Cold weather is coming. How do I entertain a toddler when the regular options are out? [more inside]
posted by huskerdont at 4:44 PM PST - 19 comments

Nervous Breakdown, Covid-19, and Work. How Can I Overcome This? [UPDATE]

My previous question was here: I'm giving an update with additional question and more answers now six months have passed. [more inside]
posted by GiveUpNed at 4:03 PM PST - 7 comments

"once you feel you are avoided by someone never disturb them again"

I've run across this quote a few times recently, at times attributed to the Buddha and at times to anonymous. Assuming it is correctly attributed to the Buddha, could someone supply the original source so it can be encountered in context? Also very welcome would be secondary sources discussing its significance.
posted by bricoleur at 3:35 PM PST - 15 comments

What's the best way to save old text messages?

Assuming you might need them for legal proof in the future [more inside]
posted by fantasticness at 2:34 PM PST - 13 comments

Where can I see BattleBots?

I absolutely love BattleBots and I'm excited to finally see the 2020 season. I don't have cable. Does anyone know where I can stream it?
posted by christinetheslp at 1:55 PM PST - 4 comments

How do I not be like this?

(Content warning transphobia) I’m worried I’m turning into a TERF. No queer-friendly therapists or community available to me. Who can I talk to or how can I train my feelings to match my values. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 12:49 PM PST - 52 comments

Canary in the Coalmine - Intelligence Report

My four year old took an intelligence test for school. What are the "secret terms" that might be added to give more information in the report than what is stated? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 12:49 PM PST - 8 comments

How to navigate potential rent increase in 2021

Our landlady has the past two years increased our rent around the anniversary of our move in date. After the first year we've been month-to-month lease. We love our place and have no plans to move. Given the state of the world, the fact that we've been able to keep paying rent on time, and the current local market, I'd love to not have a rent increase this year. I'm not amazing at these sorts of conversations, so would love some advice on how to proceed. [more inside]
posted by Carillon at 12:33 PM PST - 11 comments

Brits etc. Playing Americans on TV

Is it obvious to American audiences when Brits (or Australians or whatever) play Americans on TV? [more inside]
posted by iamsuper at 12:05 PM PST - 68 comments

What kind of advice do we need? Disability and finance

A relative is very ill and will be unable to work for an unspecified period, possibly permanently. We need expert advice but I'm not sure what kind. [more inside]
posted by Frowner at 12:05 PM PST - 10 comments

Watching "30 Rock" on Hulu: Why was Carrie Fisher's line changed?

In "Rosemary's Baby" (season 2, episode 4 starring Carrie Fisher as Rosemary), Rosemary describes to Liz Lemon the plot of a movie screenplay she's writing. Rosemary says, "women in their 50s join the army and get laid by a bunch of grateful 18-year-olds." This isn't the original line! (More below) [more inside]
posted by quixotictic at 10:30 AM PST - 6 comments

What was this very sophisticated building set?

A friend who passed some time ago, spent his last year building an elaborate scale-model “town” on top of a very large, dedicated table in his office. He sometimes worked on it with his grandson, but it was mostly for his own amusement. It definitely wasn’t legos. And it didn’t have a historical theme, but was modern. Also, it may have been more a collection of things rather than a coherent town. Not sure. [more inside]
posted by Gusaroo at 9:25 AM PST - 7 comments

Which podcasts would be interested in my book?

I've written a book on memory techniques for kids. I'd like to go on podcasts to talk about it. Do you have suggestions for podcasts that I could pitch myself to? [more inside]
posted by yankeefog at 8:59 AM PST - 6 comments

Will these lights work with this adapter

I live in the UK. I have holiday lights from the US that I’d like to plug in without burning down my tree. I am clueless about currents. Will the adaptor specs (in this link) work with the lights (specs in same link)?
posted by Jellybean_Slybun at 8:39 AM PST - 1 comment

What to do when your family member is being COVID reckless?

Our healthy, active but elderly and still at-risk dad is really pushing it with social activities. He wants to go to a big dinner party next week, but that means my sister wants to cancel Christmas because she feels he might spread COVID (and she feels like this is a way to incentivize not going to the party.) Now he is upset and feels we don’t understand why this dinner party so important to him and that we are ganging up on him as a family. How do we handle this with my dad that won’t ruin everything? [more inside]
posted by buttonedup at 7:19 AM PST - 61 comments

Birthday video how to guide?

I’d like to make a video birthday card where friends and family send in video clips. How to best do this? [more inside]
posted by inevitability at 7:09 AM PST - 4 comments

Best Gift Guides?

What are your favorite gift guides? Most of the sites I see these days have everything broken down into about 20 different versions of "The Best Gift for the ____ in Your Life," but I prefer lists that are more general and all-emcompassing. Spy has THIS GUIDE, which is the closest thing I've been able to find, but I'd love your suggestions.
posted by richmondparker at 6:50 AM PST - 6 comments

Are the Hilda books good if you've already watched the Netflix show?

Our son (5 years old) is quite enjoying the Hilda series on Netflix. We're thinking of getting him some of the books for Christmas, but we're not sure whether they'll be as enjoyable now that he's watched the show. [more inside]
posted by number9dream at 5:46 AM PST - 7 comments

Gift ideas please!

I have two people I would like to buy gifts for. One is my mom, who helped take care of me and my baby for 3 months. I would like to get her something that will kind of commemorate her time with him. I was thinking of something where I could print a photo album of pictures I took of them, or perhaps a customizable piece of jewelry? I'm just not sure where to get these done. Any other ideas welcome! The one "bond" I guess they share is that they have the same birthday. [more inside]
posted by Forty-eight at 12:16 AM PST - 14 comments

December 1

It's 11 p.m. Do you know where your TV station is?

At 11 p.m. tonight, KOIN TV in Portland, OR was apparently off the air. It was not broadcasting OTA, nor on the CBS All Access stream, nor streaming on its own website. It was dark for 17 minutes until it seemed to be joined in progress w/anchors in studio and an budget related OSHA story with a live field reporter. [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind at 11:32 PM PST - 6 comments

What's an appropriate Xmas gift for our bimonthly house cleaners?

We pay $150 for a thorough house cleaning that takes 2-3 hours, twice a month (until recently once a month). My partner read that an amount equal to one cleaning session (i.e., $150) was standard or expected. [more inside]
posted by eggman at 7:58 PM PST - 11 comments

How to get latest video featuring Dr Hotez, Dr. Fauci

How do I get the latest video(s) by (insert name here)? Videos/podcasts that are two months old are out of date, everything moving so fast; I want the latest/greatest. I have tried duckduckgo, youtube, google -- useless. Or at least useless to me without you telling me the magic search to punch up. Extra credit: Ordered by date, then length.
posted by dancestoblue at 7:44 PM PST - 3 comments

Best colour printer for occasional home use?

I already have a laser printer, black ink only, that fulfills 98% of our requirements. But I still want to spoil myself with a colour printer, for use in personal projects or printing up the occasional photograph. What do you suggest?
posted by uans at 7:36 PM PST - 12 comments

Can I use Amazon or eBay shower faucet cartridge to fix my shower leak?

My tub/shower faucet started dripping. A plumber said I need to replace the faucet cartridge. To my horror, I can't get a replacement part from the manufacturer, because they went out of business. I found some parts on Amazon and also similar (but not the same model) faucets on eBay. What's the likelihood I can use the cartridge from one of them? [more inside]
posted by sandwich at 6:35 PM PST - 5 comments

Help me with my pandemic fatigue.

I'd like your best ideas on activities to stay busy and occupied, including but not limited to interesting websites (some interests below). Really, the more odd the better. I've been doing well and the vaccine news is heartening, but I am getting a little squirrelly and would like all your good suggestions. Both of my jobs went away due to Covid-19, and I have no idea if/when they will return. [more inside]
posted by Rumi'sLeftSock at 6:10 PM PST - 35 comments

Ramble on

How do I stop rambling during job interviews? [more inside]
posted by VirginiaPlain at 5:54 PM PST - 15 comments

Where can I find some washing-up liquid?

Is it possible to order a bottle of what the British delightfully refer to as "washing-up liquid" (what we Yanks would boringly call "dish soap") in the United States? Any brand, any size is fine—I just need it to actually say "washing-up liquid" on the label. Cheers!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 4:59 PM PST - 13 comments

Help identify this young adult space book...

It’s a recent science fiction book, protagonist is a teenage girl involved in a space program with rigorous testing. [more inside]
posted by sol at 4:22 PM PST - 3 comments

How does clinical trial efficacy work (simply put)?

Confused about the data provided on the recent COVID studies, and why they mean vaccines were judged to be 95% effective [more inside]
posted by troywestfield at 4:05 PM PST - 11 comments

Save me from dinner-time silence

Please suggest some light discussion questions/topics for family dinner conversation. [more inside]
posted by darchildre at 3:46 PM PST - 21 comments

Should I stay in a country because of jobs or should I move?

I am in a tricky life situation and I need some help. I am currently living in a country and I don’t know if I want to stay here. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed many aspects of my life here and I cherish the experiences that I have had but this country is lacking for me on the personal side. People here are very distant and aloof. Communicating is also a challenge. I do speak the local language but not perfectly. That has led to a lot of awkwardness and misunderstandings in my interactions. [more inside]
posted by Fromthesouth at 3:05 PM PST - 8 comments

Are there any outdoor lights that give the impression of fireflies?

I haven't hung holiday lights for many years, but I thought this might be a good year to do it again...I'm having a bit of a hard time describing what I'm looking for, is there such a thing as 'subtle' Christmas lighting these days? I have eaves, a picket fence, and a huge hedge I could light. [more inside]
posted by lemonade at 2:40 PM PST - 5 comments

Alabama Heat Pump Dual Fuel or Not

I'm buying a house in Tuscaloosa, Alabama that needs a new HVAC outdoor package unit. I have a quote to replace the unit with a new gas furnace & AC for $4,875. I have a second quote for a dual fuel heat pump for $6,575. Both units are quoted by the same company and they would be installing Heil equipment. Questions: Will a heat pump save me money? Is it nuts to have a dual fuel heat pump in Alabama (we do have ~30 days a year below 35F)?
posted by gregr at 2:10 PM PST - 10 comments

Looking for very simple webhost for a static html page

I'm not looking for anything fancy, I'm planning on hosting my personal webpage as a static HTML page (Tiddlywiki if you are interested) and I'm pretty sure I can get away with minimal host services that way. Who is best and cheapest? I tried AWS before and it was super complicated and got expensive.
posted by gzimmer at 1:29 PM PST - 8 comments

Boox-compatible app blocker, perhaps?

I have a Boox e-reader. It won't let me hide the built-in browser. I need to make the built-in browser disappear. How?
posted by aniola at 1:20 PM PST - 4 comments

A Cabin of Our Own

Where can I spend a week in the woods or on the beach in late January, with my boyfriend and dog? Must be a reasonably easy drive from the Washington, DC area. [more inside]
posted by rue72 at 1:12 PM PST - 12 comments

Special snowflake jeans

My boyfriend wants a pair of high rise, slim leg, preferably black jeans. I have scoured the internets but for men it seems slim or skinny leg jeans only come in lower rise. Do jeans like this even exist? [more inside]
posted by vanitas at 12:54 PM PST - 8 comments

How can I record singing on iPad Pro (GarageBand) with mic + headphones?

I have an iPad Pro. It doesn't have a headphone jack. It has just a USB-C port. I've been recording my voice with the iPad's internal mic but it's not good enough. I own a nice external microphone (Apogee) with male lightning I bought for my old lightning-port iPad. I can buy a female-lightning-to-male USB-C adapter and, I hope, use the microphone with the iPad Pro -- but then how do I monitor what I'm doing? [more inside]
posted by DMelanogaster at 12:35 PM PST - 8 comments

How to find the secret location of a political event?

Republicans will be hosting an event in NYC that some local folks would like to protest. NYYRC 108th Annual Gala with Sarah Palin & James O'Keefe How can we find the location? [more inside]
posted by andoatnp at 11:44 AM PST - 9 comments

Different way to fold crescent rolls?

My family has long made butterhorns - they look very much like the crescent rolls from the poppin' fresh can. But they are assuredly NOT crescent rolls! Is there a way to roll or fold them that will distinguish them from crescent rolls? [more inside]
posted by dirtdirt at 11:16 AM PST - 4 comments

Seeking personal recommendations for male therapist in Seattle area

A close friend of mine would like to ask the AskMe community for personal recommendations for a male therapist in the Seattle area (Burien/Renton/Tukwila also OK). [more inside]
posted by matildaben at 10:59 AM PST - 0 comments

What are some great overlooked jobs in the health industry?

For people who are in the know about medical jobs, what are some great jobs that pay well, are in demand, and would be a good fit for someone with a strong background in chemistry? [more inside]
posted by Foam Pants at 10:39 AM PST - 16 comments

Follow-up question on Windows weirdness

Previously on me being bad at tech, I thought my files were all gone. They're not, and people were I think right about why, but I'm not sure what to do next. (Before the details: restarting/logging out didn't work.) [more inside]
posted by less of course at 10:21 AM PST - 3 comments

Is it worth to ask my insurance company for a "cosmetic" fix to my ear?

This is a hard question to ask, but I'm thinking about asking my (USA-based) health insurance company for a medically necessary surgery/fix to my right ear, which is in the form of microtia. [more inside]
posted by dubious_dude at 10:10 AM PST - 10 comments

your experience with at home laser hair removal?

I'm considering buying a tria 4x but would really like to hear from anyone who's used it, re its effectiveness and (especially) how it compares to salon lasering. [more inside]
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:05 AM PST - 8 comments

Online Scrapbook/Guest book or something like that

Ideally, multiple pages for multiple users to post videos, photos and text messages to send to another person as a virtual get well soon card. [more inside]
posted by missmagenta at 8:58 AM PST - 5 comments

What mysterious therapy did I receive as a kid?

I received some strange traumatizing therapy as a child: what was it? I was taken into a tiny dimly-lit room where I had to lay on a mechanized table. I was given one earplug and headphones that played grating, disturbing sounds like silverware scraping and things like that. Meanwhile, the table would move in different patterns (jerking back and forth, or in a more circular pattern. I was left alone in the room until the end of the session. This was at a child's therapy center of some sort in LA in the 80s. [more inside]
posted by asimplemouse at 8:11 AM PST - 9 comments

Do I need a realtor to buy the home I've been renting?

I've been renting a house for a few years from a couple who moved away. They have a local property manager (PM) that I contact for repairs, but I've also communicated with them directly over mail and other minor things. They are thinking of selling the house and the PM reached out to me to see if I would be interested in purchasing, which I am if the price is right. The PM is a licensed Broker and offered to "coordinate the transaction". Do I need him? [more inside]
posted by tryniti at 6:45 AM PST - 23 comments

Gremlins of the human kind

How does one cope with a domestic partner who's sabotaging your healthy way of eating by bringing junk food into the house? [more inside]
posted by Sheydem-tants at 6:23 AM PST - 26 comments

the anxiety spike

I made a few mistakes at work last week and have fallen behind on a project that was assigned to me. I'm scared I'm going to lose my job. [more inside]
posted by nayantara at 6:18 AM PST - 12 comments

New refrigerator seems to be running 24/7 with a high pitched whine

I recently bought a new refrigerator when the old one broke down. It seems to run constantly -- at least 90% of the time -- and emits a rather high pitched whining sound for a majority of the time it's running. This can't be normal, can it? [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 6:11 AM PST - 7 comments

A rose by any other name would smell as doggy

We have just fostered a new pup. He needs a name! [more inside]
posted by yggdrasil at 5:57 AM PST - 51 comments