March 2020 Archives

March 31

How do I fix a loose faucet?

My kitchen faucet is loose. Is this something I should fix immediately, and can I do it myself? [more inside]
posted by holborne at 5:51 PM PST - 16 comments

A simple template for making a family tree?

I want to help someone create a family tree. Can you recommend a simple free resource. I'm looking for a basic template or something else no-frills and easy to fill in. A google search turns up lots of sites that may or may not be free and more involved than I need. I'd just love a quick recommendation from someone who can point me to something free and basic. Thanks.
posted by swheatie at 4:50 PM PST - 7 comments

Cleaning litterbox using a shop vac - good idea bad idea

So I am doing some studies about the best way to clean a litter box that doesn't make a big mess and doesn't ask the kitties to adjust to any kind of change. So what if I used a dedicated shop vac that had a filter bag inside? What could go wrong? Please tell me. [more inside]
posted by bleep at 4:48 PM PST - 33 comments

Live online art classes?

Looking for online art classes, that meet for live instruction, and include personal feedback. [more inside]
posted by tinymegalo at 4:24 PM PST - 5 comments

canadian kids show ear worm

help me find this song: my kids were watching Canadian TV shows c. 2011-2014. they watched a ton of TVO and CTV and possibly CBC but i cant recall. there was an alt-folk song, possibly an actual song adjusted for the kids, or possibly original for the TV show or network in question. it was vaguely alt rocky and had a kind of off-the-beat banjo/guitar/mandolin vibe. [more inside]
posted by chasles at 3:39 PM PST - 9 comments

Lay myself off or not?

Should I lay myself off? Coronavirus edition. [more inside]
posted by catesbie at 3:24 PM PST - 12 comments

Remote Onboarding

I'm starting a new job next week. Due to the state of the world, it's going to be a remote position for at least the next month or two. What can I do to make this go smoothly? [more inside]
posted by firechicago at 2:16 PM PST - 10 comments

How to handle a change in skin type after antibiotics

I took antibiotics for a severe sinus infection in late January. As is typical for me whenever I take antibiotics, the low grade acne all over my face disappeared and my skin finally got smooth after a year of crummy texturing. Fast forward to mid February and my skin turned so oily I started having to rinse my face with water every 6 hours just to get some relief. I'm still a greasy mess. What do I do now? [more inside]
posted by Kitchen Witch at 2:12 PM PST - 15 comments

Travel to care for potentially sick parent?

My friend's mom lives alone a twelve hour drive away, and might have COVID-19 symptoms. Is driving there to take care of her the correct thing to do? If not, what is, and how do you communicate that to the mom? [more inside]
posted by Pwoink at 2:11 PM PST - 19 comments

What's the best basic video tutorial for Zoom?

I'm hosting a Zoom book club, but some of the members have not used Zoom before. What's the best video tutorial that covers the basics (non-host)? They only need to know how to join a conference, how to test the aud/vid, and how to set up Speaker/Gallery view.
posted by storybored at 1:55 PM PST - 4 comments

Bird in the damper section of a wood burning stove

My MIL and her partner have a bird in the pipe of their (unused) wood burning stove. Can you please give us tips on how to get it out? [more inside]
posted by ancient star at 1:37 PM PST - 12 comments

What is the value of a car?

Should we repair the car and keep driving it, repair the car and try to sell, or sell as is? Can you give me an answer in a way that helps me understand what the "value" of the car is? Details below the fold. [more inside]
posted by rebent at 1:32 PM PST - 15 comments

Running/exercise masks while running outdoors to keep everyone safer

Where I live it is okay (for now) to run outside, and I try to do that daily or so to get a little exercise and maintain my mental health. There is a park with a track near me that has remained open, a great place to run. I'm considering wearing a mask while I do it to keep myself and others extra safe from coronavirus spread. Is this a good idea, and if so, what type of mask would be good for it? [more inside]
posted by Mechitar at 12:41 PM PST - 9 comments

Career change for a jaded developer

I've been a professional full-stack web developer for 20 years – and I want out. What fields require similar skills? [more inside]
posted by escape from the potato planet at 12:17 PM PST - 16 comments

Magical Realist Book featuring South American Maroon Communities

A friend of mine is about to start teaching about maroon communities and I remember a recommendation on NPR Books or Slate that talked about a magical realist novel in the last five years that sounded really cool. I searched for quilombos and went through the NPR list of books for the last five years through Concierge and couldn't find it. Little help? I know it's written by an American author in English.
posted by ABlanca at 12:16 PM PST - 1 comment

What’s the most ethical way to get groceries delivered right now?

We are due for more groceries and I hate putting others at risk or supporting awful companies like Instacart right now. Help me weigh my options and make sure I am treating the shoppers as well as I can? My partner was told to assume she has COVID19 and it’s likely I gave it to her in the first place, so we have been strictly self-quarantined for going on 3 weeks now and will be for the foreseeable future, so I think delivery is our only option. [more inside]
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 12:11 PM PST - 11 comments

Affordable Luxuries: The DIY Edition

It's another "give me ideas for small and affordable but nice luxurious things" thread, like this one and this one - but with the addition of a DIY option! [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:28 AM PST - 14 comments

How to find what streaming services certain films are on?

I want to start watching films from the 1000 Greatest Films list here ( Is there an easy way to find out what streaming services each film is available on? I'm in Canada, if that matters.
posted by NoneOfTheAbove at 11:20 AM PST - 9 comments

Non-Coronavirus Health and Safety Question about Insulation

During my time sequestered at home, I am finally building the audio-isolation booth for voice-over work that I have been planning and designing for over a year. The construction is a pretty basic framing job (with a few tweaks and flourishes to optimize for soundproofing), and part of the construction involves installing fire- and sound-retardant insulation in the wall cavities between the studs. And therein lies my question: [more inside]
posted by Lokheed at 11:00 AM PST - 9 comments

How the hell do I self-isolate from my partner?

Having been working from home and isolating in my apartment with my partner. Partner has come down with cold symptoms and is staying home from work. How am I supposed to follow isolation procedures from them in a one-bedroom apartment with limited supplies? Is it even worth bothering? [more inside]
posted by noxperpetua at 10:26 AM PST - 12 comments

Best online video classes/activities for little kids?

Title says it all -- music classes/cooking lessons/science demonstrations/etc.? Would love ideas, esp. if interactive in some way. [more inside]
posted by caoimhe at 9:18 AM PST - 10 comments

aw sugar sugar

Why did my granulated white sugar go brown in the container? I am not talking about caramelization. This sugar was just stored in the cabinet for about a month; when I poured it into a meauring cup, I saw it had gotten a little clumpy here and there and started to go light brown at room temperature. Then I looked more closely through the clear plastic container and saw the entire bottom of the sugar was brownish in streaks. It was Target brand.
posted by nantucket at 8:37 AM PST - 9 comments

How to install a new version of OSX on a 2009 MacBook?

How to install a new version of OSX on a 2009 MacBook? Without leaving home? [more inside]
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 8:36 AM PST - 17 comments

Not my puppy.

I need resources for training someone else’s dog from scratch. My next door neighbor has a puppy. And covid-19. I will be walking the puppy (4 or so months old). Puppy only does toileting outdoors, otherwise has not been trained beyond ‘sit’ and ‘lie down.’ Puppy pulls the leash and wants to jump on people. I would post a photo but it’s not my dog and also he’s pretty distinctive. [more inside]
posted by bilabial at 8:21 AM PST - 12 comments

Looking for artists and art print sites - examples inside

I am looking to buy some wall art. I am a huge art appreciator and am looking for a specific aesthetic. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by kbbbo at 8:03 AM PST - 3 comments

don't like my new job, coronavirus edition

I just started a new job, and I don't feel like it's a great fit. No big deal, happens all the time, just find something else, except... the world has shut down. Kind of long inside, as I'm writing to work through my thoughts. [more inside]
posted by kevinbelt at 7:42 AM PST - 11 comments

So - tell me about wearing masks

I'm getting mixed messages on masks. Apparently, they do offer some protection, but some things I've seen about them on Twitter have me confused. Do you have some real info? [more inside]
posted by FencingGal at 6:40 AM PST - 18 comments

Challenge me

Tomorrow is April 1. I would like to start a 30 day fitness challenge. Tell me about one you did and liked! [more inside]
posted by yawper at 6:07 AM PST - 4 comments

Advance Directives Addendum During Covid-19

How should my husband and I amend our advanced directives during the Covid-19 pandemic? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 5:23 AM PST - 1 comment

What problems are going to arise if I turn down my Macbook Pro fans?

My new Macbook Pro 16" is hella noisy. What should I do? [more inside]
posted by Hartster at 5:16 AM PST - 16 comments

iMessage on Windows 10 (pre-release 19592)

I believe I asked this question a long time ago and the answer is probably still "no" but I thought I'd give it a go. I use my iPhone for everything and all my friends/work colleagues have iMessage. I do not use Facetime and do not need calls over my PC. I use Windows 10. The one feature I miss about OS X is iMessage and contacts. Asking for everyone to use WhatsApp or another platform is not feasible due to the technical diversity of my friend groups (details inside if it matters). Is there anyway in iMessage on Windows 10 pre-release that doesn't involve jailbreaking something? [more inside]
posted by geoff. at 3:45 AM PST - 9 comments

March 30

Is there anywhere I can get a basic webcam in Chicago or online?

Of COURSE people have snatched up all the reasonably-priced webcams. Probably there will be some shipping from China soon, but is there any way I could get one this week? I'm in Chicago, but trying to order one online. [more inside]
posted by amtho at 11:55 PM PST - 17 comments

Why am I so sensitive to eating sweets on an empty stomach?

Or just in general if I haven't eaten in a while and I eat a little bit, I will feel like crap. Sweets exacerbate this. I'm not diabetic! [more inside]
posted by wooh at 11:31 PM PST - 12 comments

Where did the list of presidential candidates go?

I visited the website in January to contact Oregonians who were running for president as part of an interviewing project I'm doing. I seem to remember at least 3,000 people were in an spreadsheet on the site. I just visited it again this evening and I couldn't find that list anymore. Balletpedia and Wikipedia have lists of names and party affiliation, but their list is now only about a thousand people long, and no contact information. [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind at 10:16 PM PST - 1 comment

Signature required for covid testing in Los Angeles County?

I need to take a relative to a drive through appointment for covid testing tomorrow in L.A. County. My relative is highly anxious and has severe arthritis. Can you help me reassure them that either they will not need to sign anything or that the people administering the test will let me sign for them? Writing is extremely difficult for this person and they are afraid that they will be denied a test based on their inability to sign on their own. [more inside]
posted by corey flood at 9:52 PM PST - 5 comments

DJs on Twitch?

I stumbled upon this guy who is just playing a DJ Set in his living room that sounds like what you would hear in like, a cool bar in a cosmopolitain city. I am loving it. [more inside]
posted by wowenthusiast at 6:55 PM PST - 13 comments

Federal Reserve Filter: Help me understand what's going on

I've been trying to understand the recent actions taken by the Federal Reserve to keep the financial sector running and in this Bloomberg oddlots podcast episode at around the 21:40 mark the interviewee states that "the fed is basically not taking credit risk." Can anyone explain this to me? [more inside]
posted by 12%juicepulp at 6:54 PM PST - 2 comments

I have marmalade questions.

I have some citrus fruit. I have recently discovered, as someone with a very mild peanut allergy, that the TLoT&J sandwich is good. (Thin Layer of Tahini and Jam.) I think I’d like to try making marmalade but most recipes are for a ton. Can it scale down? (And do I really need a candy thermometer?) [more inside]
posted by less of course at 6:40 PM PST - 15 comments

Best Spanish streaming broadcast?

It looks like I may be called into the hospital soon--I am a pathology resident who speaks Spanish. What's the best internet-accessible streaming broadcast in Spanish? The more news, the better. The purpose is to get my ears ready to translate while I'm doing something else in the house. So far I've found CNN Argentina and Telemundo 47 NYC. CNN Español has too many English commercials on TuneIn to make it usable. I'm willing to pay something. Thanks for any ideas!
posted by 8603 at 6:06 PM PST - 6 comments

Obscure Seattle Italian restaurant id?

In a Pioneer Square alley there's a photo of a "PASTA" sign. Anyone recognize the restaurant?
posted by mpark at 4:37 PM PST - 5 comments

What can I do to not try to fix every problem at my company?

So, I'll start by saying I'm a software engineer. Currently, I'm working on their main product, it has more problems than they think and it is a disaster waiting to happen. [more inside]
posted by Tarsonis10 at 3:55 PM PST - 18 comments

Help me choke down this protein powder

I have a 5lb bag of whey protein powder that is pretty dang gross when mixed straight with water. Normally I use milk/soy milk to make it minimally palatable, but with limited grocery runs these days I don't always have that on hand. What are some other ways I can try to make use of it to add more protein to my diet? Open to both liquid and non-liquid (baking?) ideas. [more inside]
posted by btfreek at 3:55 PM PST - 22 comments

Who will sue over COVID, after COVID?

What kinds of lawsuits will there be once (hopefully soon) COVID is effectively over? [more inside]
posted by abuckamoon at 3:48 PM PST - 32 comments

Movies that are not too serious with good characters

My spouse and I are looking for diverting and not too serious movies with enjoyable characters to watch together in the evening. Neither of us are frequent movie watchers so we may have missed things that most other people have already seen. More details on things we've enjoyed and some restrictions inside. [more inside]
posted by unus sum at 3:38 PM PST - 77 comments

Traditional shelf-stable comfort meals in different cultures

What are some meals consumed in various cultures that make use of only shelf-stable ingredients, need minimal cooking, and are considered comfort food (or at least relatively tasty)? Rules: no refrigerated/frozen or ready-to-serve meals. If it requires a can or jar, it should be something that one could theoretically make and preserve themselves, even if they choose to buy it. [more inside]
posted by redlines at 3:32 PM PST - 22 comments

Good introduction to financial markets

Lately, I've been interested in the global financial system and how it works. To learn more, I am looking for a book that ideally starts at the bottom with the very first principles (what is money?) and also covers the more complex stuff like bonds, equities, derivatives, and whatever else there is that I don't know of. [more inside]
posted by milan-g at 2:49 PM PST - 5 comments

Moving email archives from one webhost to another

How can I move email archives from one host to another? [more inside]
posted by msbrauer at 1:45 PM PST - 6 comments

How to make an index of links for others to browse

I used to have a tumblr theme + plug in that created an index out of the post tags. I liked being able to index recipes and such, and liked that I could forward the whole site to others. I want to do this again, but can't find the theme, and the plug-in I was using is no longer. Alas. Any recommendations on how to do this?
posted by jrobin276 at 1:39 PM PST - 4 comments

Virtual assistants and formality

Are there any virtual assistants that, when using a language that distinguishes between multiple levels of formality, use something other than the highest level of formality with their users? [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 1:05 PM PST - 10 comments

Office chair for very tall person

Someone I know is 6'10" tall and needs an office chair. Does anyone have personal experience with an office chair that works for someone who's not just tall but *very* tall?
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:25 PM PST - 5 comments

Lead Water Filter

A few years ago I asked for options to deal with our lead water supply line and didn't do nuthin'. It turned out that buying bottled and water cooler jugs for our potable water needs made economic sense and wasn't that onerous, but recent circumstances have made going to the store a far less appealing proposition than it already was. So, I am looking for recommendations for a potable water filter and feedback on a few questions I have. [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:17 AM PST - 5 comments

Mic not working on new windows 10 laptop

I got a new windows 10 laptop over the weekend and the mic works but no apps can hear it, including Cortana. [more inside]
posted by missmagenta at 10:51 AM PST - 13 comments

Forced recruitment of medical personel

My wife is a medical doctor and immunocompromised. She is terrified that our government will pass legistlation that alows the forced recruitment of medical personel and she will be sent into a tent with 1000 Covid-19 patients without protection, which would be a likely death sentence for her. At the moment she is between jobs, so at least she has no employer that could force her to do that. Even if he did, she could simply quit. [more inside]
posted by SweetLiesOfBokonon at 10:38 AM PST - 10 comments

Best e-book reader app for PC?

I am looking for an e-book reader for my PC that doesn't suck at zooming images and maybe has an inverted text option. Ideas? [more inside]
posted by robotdevil at 10:23 AM PST - 2 comments

Recommend a bluetooth keyboard for an iPad/iPhone

Do you like your relatively portable bluetooth keyboard? Tell me about it. [more inside]
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:21 AM PST - 8 comments

Sound insulation under doors with hardwood floors

With two of us working from home full time now, and on video conferences or calls most of the day, it's become abundantly clear how much the sound travels between the rooms in our house. There are fairly large gaps below the doors, with hardwood floors. Shoving a towel in the gap helps A LOT. But that's kind of an annoying and inelegant solution. What are some better options? [more inside]
posted by primethyme at 9:14 AM PST - 14 comments

How can I trust the signals my body is sending me?

I feel like my body tends to give out "phantom symptoms" in response to stress or the power of suggestion. This has always been a problem with me, but in the time of Covid19, is extra distressing. [more inside]
posted by unicorn chaser at 9:08 AM PST - 16 comments

I need large quantities of alcohol please.

Do you have access to large amounts of common household chemicals? I am part of a group making hand sanitizer in Detroit, Michigan, according to this guide. Production is going well, our quality control is high, and we've been able to produce, bottle and label about 1100 gallons, most of which is heading to hospitals, care facilities, nonprofits, and the homeless. But we're running out of sources for isopropyl alcohol. Help! [more inside]
posted by skookumsaurus rex at 8:40 AM PST - 6 comments

What economist thought up wage subsidies?

The classic Keynes quote: "Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist." The Canadian government has announced that it will subsidize 75% of wages for many businesses for the duration of the lockdown. Is there some defunct economist who thought up this idea, or is it, for once, an innovation by "practical men [and women]"?
posted by clawsoon at 8:36 AM PST - 5 comments

Step by step for setting up a laptop for a kid

I turned an old laptop into a kid laptop and did the basics of whitelisting certain sites. Unfortunately, this really sucks. I'd love to be able to import a massive whitelist of kid-safe sites. And I'd like to make YouTube "safer" for her to browse on. Is it best to just pay for a subscription - are there more/better tools for safer kid browsing that way? [more inside]
posted by amanda at 8:24 AM PST - 3 comments

Primer on DNRs and ventilators and COVID?

Is there a good resource you can share/can you help me understand what I should be considering in terms of advance orders in the time of coronavirus? Should I/others be considering a DNR? [more inside]
posted by c'mon sea legs at 8:16 AM PST - 8 comments

Help me create an amazing Easter brunch menu!

I’m a low/intermediate level cook. I do most of the family dinners, and cook all the dishes at most of our (traditional American) holiday meals. We usually go out to a specific extremely fancy restaurant for Easter brunch. Obviously this year that isn’t going to happen. Help me astound my family! [more inside]
posted by Night_owl at 7:49 AM PST - 14 comments

Any hope for salty pancake batter

Do recipes exist [more inside]
posted by winterportage at 7:41 AM PST - 17 comments

Volunteering to support first responders

I’m a trauma therapist stuck out of work due to my impaired immune system. Is there an organization that is connecting therapists with medical providers and first responders? I would like to spend some of this time helping them manage their overwhelm and distress via telehealth or phone. The NIH has a site but I haven’t been able to find something similar in the US. I’m a psychologist licensed in Missouri, if it matters.
posted by gilsonal at 7:41 AM PST - 5 comments

Garlic Salt Recommendations?

I used to enjoy adding Trader Joe's garlic salt to omelettes and the like, but it seems they've changed their recipe or supplier because I can now hardly taste it - what brand should I try next?
posted by my log does not judge at 7:40 AM PST - 16 comments

Two plans, only one used - what to do?

During a project last year, I was notified by our permitting office that I needed an specialist to do permit plan drawings for the work I was undertaking. I found a specialist 1 on the internet. The drawings they produced repeatedly failed to get me my permits, and also caused other problems - and when questioned, they were unpleasant and rude. I eventually called specialist 2 who got me what I needed. Now specialist 1 is asking what happened with their work and (presumably) looking to get paid. What do I tell them? [more inside]
posted by Karaage at 6:58 AM PST - 19 comments

Fun/Good iOS Reading Games/Apps for Kindergarten

There are many good STEM iOS apps/games available. I’ve had a hard time finding comparable reading games for kindergarteners learning to read. Can you recommend any? Strong preference for non-subscription games but paid is fine. Familiar characters would be a plus, but not required.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:08 AM PST - 4 comments

I can safely leave NYC. Should I?

I live in New York City and have been at home in a studio apartment with my spouse for just over two weeks (with a handful of trips out for food). We are showing no symptoms of illness aside for the expected stir-craziness. We do have a car and an empty cabin to go to about 100 miles away and enough supplies to self-quarantine upon arrival for at least 18 days. But it's in a rural area that has asked visitors to stay away. We are paralyzed by guilt and indecision; should we go? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 5:43 AM PST - 52 comments

LF plain cotton plus sized underwear

I have been buying plain cotton underwear from Hanes and Women Within for a while now, but the customer service is really bad and they don't keep track of my orders online very well at all ( like I can't find orders I made in my account a year ago). I want to buy reasonably priced plus-sized cotton undies online from a place that does these things better. The reasonably priced = $4-5 apiece at most. (These are non frilly non fancy plain underwear. The kind you buy in multipacks.) Does anyone have favorites they recommend?
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 5:11 AM PST - 11 comments

March 29

Can I drink this? Random Persian liquids

Random bottles left behind in my apartment by someone who was from Iran. I don't read Farsi and apparently, Google Translate doesn't either? [more inside]
posted by acridrabbit at 9:35 PM PST - 4 comments

Please help locate this Robert Lowell poem

I recall two things about a certain poem of Robert Lowell I'm trying to locate: [more inside]
posted by bertran at 7:55 PM PST - 2 comments

What is this weird 'after-image' sensation that I am feeling?

Over the last few days in lockdown I have been noticing something weird whereby certain activities that I am do which require periods of intense focus (like puzzling or gaming for example) seem to creep into my visual field at times when I am not doing them. Has anyone else ever experienced this or have any explanation for what is happening? [more inside]
posted by sxtrumpeto at 7:02 PM PST - 20 comments

Examples of stories where an outcast's skills save the day

This should be an easy one, but I'm drawing a blank. I need a well-known example (one that most people will get the reference) of a story where a character has a trait that is looked down upon the community, but something happens and suddenly that oddball or offensive or quirky trait saves the day.
posted by robverb at 7:01 PM PST - 33 comments

Recommendations for virtual games to play online with friends?

My group of poker friends is looking for a good virtual game to play together. Ideally, it would have realtime video or audio so we could talk with each other, but we could always spin up Zoom in the background if needed. Does anyone know of a good online poker game that could be played together? What about other more general games? [more inside]
posted by bjork24 at 6:19 PM PST - 8 comments

Facebook event for people in different timezones

I'd like to invite people in multiple timezones to a Facebook event and I want Facebook to display the time in each person's local timezone. [more inside]
posted by sunflower16 at 5:54 PM PST - 2 comments

Postapocalyptic Household Hints

What was the web comedy video series with this premise: Each video provides cooking/household hints. Something very terrible (environmental catastropheish) has happened outside; everyone is confined to their homes. The hint-providing host is likable but clearly stressed to the breaking point & is packed-full-of-Prozac artificially cheery. I think I saw this on Metafilter?
posted by PaulVario at 5:35 PM PST - 5 comments

"Can I drink it?" Beer/COVID-19 Edition

Some law-flouters left two unopened, foil-sealed bottles of Modelo in my local park, in which they are prohibited from gathering. Would you, in light of coronavirus, drink them? [more inside]
posted by Dr. Wu at 4:41 PM PST - 51 comments

Does this Electric Kettle exist? Variable temp, 8oz measure, stainless

I've searched everywhere for an electric kettle, and I can't find any that meet this criteria: variable temperature, 8oz measure mark, steel or glass. Does this exist? [more inside]
posted by reeddavid at 3:29 PM PST - 8 comments

grading marx on twitter

A few months ago, I read a joke tweet. Someone pretending to be a writing instructor posted a photo of a print-out of the first paragraph of a student essay. They had marked it up with red pen, pointing to grammatical errors, insufficient citation, awkward phrasing, and generalizations. [more inside]
posted by monkeymonkey at 3:17 PM PST - 4 comments

frequency feedback noise shotgun/cardoid/fet mic

What's causing feedback/frequency noise in my microphone while recording in the isolation booth? [more inside]
posted by ljs30 at 3:12 PM PST - 5 comments

Google Domains Question

I've set up a google domain for a family member, and it has a feature where you can customize a number of different email aliases to be forwarded wherever you'd like. So the website is (for example), and we have,, and There is a built in setting where we can have this forwarded wherever we would like. Right now, we set up a address to take in all of the email by default, as it's easy to work with. The question is this: is there a way to return the email with the name and domain that came in? So, if was sent, we want gmail to have the "from" field to not indicate it's from gmail, but Is there a way to do this with our current setup, or would we have to try something else? Is it possible to do it all with one default email that receives any number of different aliases we would set up within the domain? Thanks so much.
posted by SpacemanStix at 2:47 PM PST - 1 comment

That's the whole question

With the celebrity COVID19 obituaries starting, is there a web-accessible list of all the non-celebrity COVID19 deaths? Per Country? Per state? It seems like a thing that might be a useful record for posterity.
posted by LeeloDallasMultiSocks at 2:45 PM PST - 4 comments

Best options for taking pics off my iphone an storing them elsewhere

I have an iPhone 8. I take lots of screen captures and pictures of things that I like to reference later (design ideas etc). I don't want all of these things in my recents photo album. It clogs it up and makes it difficult to scroll and find something. I am looking for options. Details inside [more inside]
posted by Alvin80 at 1:31 PM PST - 5 comments

Can I eat this: French toast batter edition

I am making this French toast batter recipe. Can I leave the batter (includes raw eggs) in an airtight container in the fridge to use again tomorrow? [more inside]
posted by tzikeh at 1:22 PM PST - 7 comments

Wordpress: Moving blog to subdirectory or two installs?

One of the things on my "Want to do when I have the time" list (which um... now there's time enough at last) is to make the home page of my website into a landing page for info about me and links to social, as well as a way to continue on to my WP-backended blog (which is irregularly updated). Ideally I would like to maybe keep this all within wordpress? I'm trying to figure out the best way to do this. [more inside]
posted by softlord at 1:15 PM PST - 1 comment

Are coronavirus deniers/conspiracists prominent outside the U.S.?

In the U.S., the coronavirus has become something of a political issue. I can't wrap my head around this. My Facebook feed is filled with friends who discount its potency and/or promote bizarre conspiracy theories around the virus and our reaction to it. Plus, there are Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones promoting the idea that everyone is freaking out for no good reason. My question: Is this attitude something common outside the United States? Has this pandemic become a political issue in other countries too? [more inside]
posted by jdroth at 11:52 AM PST - 26 comments

Pandemic sign for my neighborhood?

I have a big window overlooking an intersection, at a spot where a lot of neighbors walk by. I want to make a funny and slightly inspirational sign to put in the window. What should it say? Not too sweet -- I'd rather it be something a little wry. Shorter is probably better, so I can make the letters big.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:39 AM PST - 24 comments

In search of an engaging couch-to-5k

Looking for a couch-to-5k program that is engaging or entertaining, where it's not just a list of what to do every day, but there is some extra content that will keep me wanting to keep doing it. I'm open to different formats. My cardiovascular fitness is not stellar, but I'm an active person and have no major health issues.
posted by unstrungharp at 11:29 AM PST - 3 comments

I'm going to (finally!) move to the East Coast!

After living abroad for several years, you spent 27 months in Minneapolis. There you really learned what you like and don't like in an America city. Now you're in Chicago and are looking at moving East later in the year...primarily DC, Philly, Boston, and NYC...but are open to other options. Based on what appeals to you in a city, what would be some of the major differences between each? [more inside]
posted by signondiego at 10:54 AM PST - 26 comments

Homemade Yard Signs 101

I made a pandemic sign for my yard on posterboard. I would like to put this in my yard but I need suggestions for weatherizing it (probably packing tape? - which I have a lot of and have used for protest signs - unless there is a better way?), and for standing it in the yard. [more inside]
posted by Glinn at 10:52 AM PST - 3 comments

Hello. I am very well. We will be victorious.

Is there a term for a pre-made message, intended to boost morale, released to the public by a leader that, at the time of the message's release, is dead/deep in a bunker/surrounded by the enemy? Can you name any examples from history? [more inside]
posted by popcassady at 10:09 AM PST - 5 comments

Japanese language crochet pattern—can someone translate a phrase or two?

During my current time indoors I’m learning to crochet from universal patterns with mostly diagrams rather than text. I’m getting on all right, but sometimes I’m a little stumped by a symbol that I can’t find a reference for. Can anybody help me with the circled phrases top and bottom? [more inside]
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy at 10:02 AM PST - 8 comments

Looking for a kettle with all the mod cons...

As a Brit living in the US, one of my lifeline appliances - my electric kettle - is starting to show signs of dying. While I can go online and buy a $25 replacement, it might be time for an upgrade. My wife and I have identified a couple of features we'd like, but I can't find one that has them all. Can AskMeFi help? [more inside]
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 9:22 AM PST - 17 comments

Help me find TV/movies featuring smart, capable, complicated women

Hello! I just watched Unbelievable and was unexpectedly blown away and deeply, deeply satisfied by the relationship between the two lead detectives, played by Toni Collette and Merritt Wever. I had not known I was hungry for portrayals of women being awesomely competent, but apparently I am. So I am seeking more of that. Looking for TV shows and movies that I can binge-watch during the pandemic, that feature one or more smart, capable, ideally morally-complicated female characters in their thirties or older. Doesn't need to be workplace-centred, could be home/family, or something else. [more inside]
posted by Susan PG at 9:08 AM PST - 55 comments

Howto realtime jamming online

I want to play music in real time with a friend 128 Km away. How? [more inside]
posted by signal at 8:37 AM PST - 11 comments

How to promote a self-published textbook?

What is the best way to promote a self-published medical textbook? How to get reviews, interviews, and assistance with distribution? [more inside]
posted by deern the headlice at 8:27 AM PST - 2 comments

Best practices for keeping someone with frontotemporal dementia inside?

What are ways to ensure someone with FTD (who hates staying inside and impulsively bolts when you’re e.g. in the bathroom) doesn’t take off? [more inside]
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:27 AM PST - 17 comments

That's... a lot of pickled cabbage. And carrots.

Yesterday I shredded up some red cabbage and carrots for quick pickling, and through my never-ending belief I can eyeball ingredients, I've ended up with closer to a gallon of them. I'm planning to use them as a topping on lentil or black bean tacos, or mixed with pasta... but I think I'm going to need a few more ideas. We're pescatarian, and have tinned tuna, frozen shrimp and a wide variety of lentils in the house. Help?
posted by korej at 7:31 AM PST - 13 comments

What short story is this?

I'm trying to remember the title and author of a literary short story. The premise as best I can remember it involved a woman, looking for someone to light her cigarette, unwittingly wondering into a mental asylum (it was set in that era of psychiatry, I believe) and being trapped there. Her attempts to convince the (sadistic?) orderlies that she's sane only backfire and when she manages to call her lover on the phone, he doesn't believe her either. I think it was written by a famous Latin American author in the mid 20th century. Google is being no help at all, but maybe you know the story I'm thinking about?
posted by Panthalassa at 7:13 AM PST - 5 comments

Substitutions, Covid-19 edition

When a microbiology lab in Sweden was about to run out of swabs for coronavirus test kits, some folks there realized they had many chlamydia swabs in stock. The lab tried using those swabs instead. The substitute swabs worked. Does anyone have other examples of successful substitutions for important equipment and supplies (including clothing and personal protective equipment, PPE) needed for anything related to responding to the pandemic OR that could be applied to responding to the pandemic? [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 1:49 AM PST - 20 comments

A real pain in the boob

In the past week or so, I’ve developed breast pain/tenderness. Is this worth seeing a doctor about given the current situation? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 1:12 AM PST - 10 comments

Partner’s son has gotten into QAnon. What to do?

My partner is sheltering in place in another town with her 19-year-old son. Today she texted me that he’s been watching the QAnon video series “The Fall of the Cabal” and believes what it says, including that the CIA runs the news media and both CNN and Snopes are fake. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 1:12 AM PST - 15 comments

March 28

help me remember a short story

I remember reading a story in high school lit class where a male character must do something dangerous and heroic to save his own, and perhaps other lives. As he takes on this challenge he repeats to himself a little mantra: nerve, nerve, nerve! [more inside]
posted by vrakatar at 10:55 PM PST - 3 comments

Mycoplasma (walking) pneumonia that won't quit

You're not a doctor, and you're especially not my doctor because he's on holidays but you are maybe an ex-smoker and lifelong asthmatic who might have had mycoplasma (walking) pneumonia that won't quit and/or be anxious about being (considered) a hypochondriac, and three months into this illness (with the complication of a respiratory epidemic) have an idea what to do. [more inside]
posted by b33j at 10:53 PM PST - 9 comments

Can people get unemployment if their wages were unreported?

What kind of help exists for people whose income was partially or entirely "under the table?" [more inside]
posted by slidell at 10:26 PM PST - 16 comments

Does Zoom or Join-me work across the Great Firewall?

I have a client in mainland China I want to present to (from NZ) - it will just be me showing them my desktop. I normally use zoom and have used, mikogo and screenleap in the past - I ditched the latter two as they don't load their software on .nz servers and they're very laggy, and Join-me is twice price of Zoom. Screenhero was great until it was gobbled by Slack. [more inside]
posted by unearthed at 10:04 PM PST - 4 comments

When navigating within youtube video, fade out/in

When I google for this, all i find is creating videos with fadeout. There's an annoying pop when navigating within a youtube video, is there a chrome or FF extension that fades out then back in when navigating?
posted by rainy at 9:24 PM PST - 2 comments

Capturing a toddler on the run?

What's the best way for me to capture video of my toddler running on trails? [more inside]
posted by ph00dz at 9:04 PM PST - 4 comments

Understanding body temperate & fever

I remember reading a while ago that 'normal' body temperatures are lower than previously thought. My usual temperature definitely seems to be. Related to that, I'm trying to understand whether fever is relative or absolute. [more inside]
posted by Salamandrous at 8:34 PM PST - 7 comments

How to use fresh orange thyme?

In a rush to buy a few potted herbs last week, I bought orange thyme without smelling it first (didn't want to contaminate!). If you've cooked with it, can you tell me how you've used it successfully? [more inside]
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 7:44 PM PST - 2 comments

Command-strip conundrum

I had a Command hook on the inside of my coat closet door, for hanging very light reusable bags. I say had, because someone who will remain nameless thought they'd hang up their heavy winter coat on it rather than on a hanger and snapped the hook part right off. But when I went to remove the remaining base with the usual pull-the-strip-one-way-and-the-thing-the-other technique, the pull tab came free, leaving the remainder of the adhesive strip securely buried under the hook base. [more inside]
posted by praemunire at 7:30 PM PST - 8 comments

Beautifully written crime novels?

I really like the writing of Daniel Woodrell, but have read all his books. He can really turn a phrase. So can James Lee Burke -- but his plots are pedestrian and make the books needlessly long. I've read all the classic series by the big authors -- noir, procedurals, etc. Looking for little-known authors who don't let plot ruin their books. Bonus points if there's audiobooks available.
posted by dobbs at 7:23 PM PST - 28 comments

Etsy seamstress?

Have you worked with anyone who does custom sewing through Etsy or some other online platform? I want a set of jersey knit women's pajamas with piping made from fabric I designed at Spoonflower, and I don't know where to start. Thanks for any suggestions!
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 7:07 PM PST - 1 comment

What kind of e-reader should I buy?

This quarantine left me with no books to read and it's made me think I should get an e-reader when this is over. [more inside]
posted by fantasticness at 4:12 PM PST - 32 comments

Does a census address have to be "official"?

I live in an in-law apartment that technically uses the same address as another rental on the property. Do I have to give my neighbors my data for the form they're filling out? If I go online and put "Apt B" or "back house" in order to fill out my own form will that have any ramifications?
posted by pinochiette at 3:40 PM PST - 4 comments

Not All Change Comes From Within: Quarters Under Quarantine

I need to do laundry. How can I get quarters without leaving my apartment? [more inside]
posted by Garm at 3:39 PM PST - 24 comments

Yard cleanup/sanitation, toddler and dog edition

I’ve got a small enclosed patio that’s been used as a doggie bathroom for a couple of years. How can I clean it and prep it so toddler can play there safely? [more inside]
posted by robertthebruce at 3:35 PM PST - 2 comments

How do we deal with our new(ish) nipping, tantrum-throwing dog?

About a month and a half ago, we adopted a dog (what appears to be a pitbull/heeler mix) from a local rescue. And now we’re having some big problems with biting and other tantrum behaviors. I'm at the end of my rope, and I don’t know what to do. [more inside]
posted by Bambiraptor at 3:03 PM PST - 13 comments

Poems for upper elementary students

Please recommend some poems that 9-, 10-, and 11-year-olds would understand and enjoy. They need not be specifically written for children. I would especially appreciate poems available online. [more inside]
posted by mai at 2:29 PM PST - 19 comments

who knows anything about effectiveness of UV sterilization?

For obvious reasons we are interested in the idea of UV radiation to help clean and sanitize our homes, offices, and most importantly areas where medical treatment is provided. [more inside]
posted by specialk420 at 12:35 PM PST - 15 comments

Another "what is this book?" question

In search of the title/author of a book published in the late 90s or early 00s. It's a historical novel about an aging Victorian gentleman who is haunted by the death of his twin brother. The man eventually drills a hole in his own skull using a trepanning tool that he orders from somewhere... [more inside]
posted by Miss T.Horn at 12:35 PM PST - 3 comments

Reporting Total Tests to Positive Tests ratio/ Death rate increase

I have two questions about the Corona pandemic. [more inside]
posted by SweetLiesOfBokonon at 12:34 PM PST - 12 comments

Cononavirus ethics filter: visit my mom or no?

My mother has severe dementia and is non verbal but still makes eye contact, responds to touch, reaches out to touch me, sometimes smiles or shows sadness. Just at the last possible moment before the epidemic locked us down, I moved her from 1.5 hours away to a dementia care unit 10 minutes from my house. Due to the increased precautions, residents are being left alone in their rooms all day. But am I putting her and other residents in danger if I visit? [more inside]
posted by latkes at 11:43 AM PST - 42 comments

2 stubborn Australian youths, flights cancelled out of Vietnam

My friend's little sister and her boyfriend have been traveling around Vietnam from Australia and were in a small village where none of the news about the severity of COVID-19 really hit them until it was too late. They are both ~20. They finally made their way to Saigon only to find all the flights cancelled. Any ideas for what now? [more inside]
posted by wowenthusiast at 11:31 AM PST - 9 comments

Expanding my rock/indie music knowledge beyond my few niche obsessions

I love music but I'd like a deeper understanding of broader rock music, indie, and underground trends and family trees. What books or resources should I consult? [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:19 AM PST - 12 comments

Recipes with Whole wheat flour that *don't* call for other flours

Novice baker here. I am excited to have a 5 lb. bag of whole wheat flour, and would like to use it, but every recipe I look up with "whole wheat" in the title calls for half whole wheat flour and half some other type of flour. What recipes are there where whole wheat is the ONLY flour called for, intentionally? Similar to Neely O'Hara's question below about butter-free desserts, I want recipes where the whole wheat flour is the intended flavor - not to adapt an existing recipe for whole-wheat. [more inside]
posted by rogerroger at 10:54 AM PST - 18 comments

Resources for recording acoustic guitar at home

I'm thinking of spending my time during shelter in place doing some recording. I'm wondering if there is a single, comprehensive resource for recording acoustic guitar. There's obviously a hundred thousand videos and short articles on the internet, but I'd like to read something that is a cohesive and detailed whole. [more inside]
posted by baptismal at 10:27 AM PST - 6 comments

Texts to my personal number are showing up on my work phone - why?

I recently received texts on my work phone from someone who only has my personal phone number and I'm trying to determine if there is an innocuous explanation before I take it to my company's IT. I also want to ensure it doesn't happen again. [more inside]
posted by reader at 9:47 AM PST - 12 comments

Chasing Electrical Ghosts

What's the best way to solve ground loop/EMI issues at home? [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 9:28 AM PST - 10 comments

Butter-free desserts that aren't good for you

Butter is expensive right now, but I have lots of other dessert ingredients (flour, sugar, eggs, cocoa). So I'm looking for good recipes that don't use butter. A lot of butter-less recipes I'm finding don't use butter because they are trying to be healthy desserts. That is not what I want. I want desserts that omit butter or use oil or applesauce because it makes for a good dessert. Like brownies or banana bread. Any suggestions are welcome!
posted by Neely O'Hara at 9:26 AM PST - 25 comments

Couple's dance lessons at home

I'm looking to spice up our evenings with at home dance lessons for us on video. There's a lot of expensive companies out there, are there any that you've tried and loved? [more inside]
posted by bbqturtle at 9:09 AM PST - 2 comments

Policies on Covid-19 coronavirus in adult group residential setting

Group residential settings and the coronavirus -- need citations and info for a facility trying to set specific policies on what happens if a resident has the virus. This is a supported-living facility for adults with disabilities including developmental/intellectual disabilities. Staff are often in all-day one-on-one contact with residents, and many residents can't be left alone or necessarily follow instructions. Looking for links: good policies from such facilities; best-practice statements from professional or official groups; basic science on transmission of the virus; info on special risks to this population. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:03 AM PST - 9 comments

Buying prints that are larger than the original illustration

I would like to buy prints of the bird illustrations from the board game 'Wingspan'. The artists are selling these online in a variety of sizes. Is there any downside to opting for the largest size prints, which seem to be significantly larger than the original colour pencil illustrations? [more inside]
posted by yours in calendrical heresy at 8:58 AM PST - 3 comments

Anyone else having trouble upgrading their Basic Zoom subscription?

I've tried this several times over several days. I input my payment information and hit "Upgrade Now". And the form just sits there. No indication that the payment has been taken or rejected. What's the deal? I noticed also that the autofill default is messed up. The form fills in my email address as the credit card number which is wrong of course. But I erased that and put in my CC number. Argh. Any suggestions or help?
posted by storybored at 8:51 AM PST - 7 comments

Should I be a DV haven in the time of the Corona Virus?

I have a friend who's experiencing DV. She wants to come stay far away from her abuser (in Seattle) with me in the Mojave desert in California. I'm eager to help but anxious for several reasons. [more inside]
posted by sweltering at 8:19 AM PST - 15 comments

How to host an online pub quiz for self-isolating friends?

I'm organising a 'pub quiz' get-together for me and some friends under lockdown, and I want to adapt it to make it more interactive and fun for individuals joining in from home, who won't be around a table as a team. Any ideas? [more inside]
posted by vincebowdren at 8:14 AM PST - 8 comments

Activate Android Alarm with ADB?

I have an old Android phone that I use for dirty jobs, like taking pictures of motorcycle internals while I'm disassembling things. Unfortunately, I put it down somewhere, and can't find it. It doesn't have a SIM card, so I can't call it. [more inside]
posted by spacewrench at 7:32 AM PST - 5 comments

How to encourage a relative stranger

I'd like to reach out to my friend's niece, who is going through a tough time and might be clinically depressed. Help me figure out what to say. [more inside]
posted by all the light we cannot see at 7:22 AM PST - 6 comments

Euchre on iOS?

We regularly get together with another couple and kill the night playing euchre. Of course, with shelter-in-place, our get togethers are not possible. Soooo... [more inside]
posted by Thorzdad at 6:29 AM PST - 9 comments

What are some stylish and comfortable home office chairs?

Like many others, I've been working from home full time now and trying to create a comfortable and productive work space. I realized that sitting on a cheap wal-mart dining room chair is probably not helping. I'm looking for something super comfortable that I will enjoy sitting in, supportive for lower back pain, goes well with a black desk, and is somewhat cute/stylish. I liked the look of this chair. Looking for your recommendations! Thanks!
posted by koolaidnovel at 6:18 AM PST - 13 comments

Relearn Piano - Challenge.. no books or sheet music but computer!

Like everyone else I am trying to make the best of my time sitting at home doing nothing... I just bought a used piano keyboard and I would like to re-learn/practice the piano, but in my case I don't have any access to books / sheet music [more inside]
posted by aggienfo at 5:09 AM PST - 7 comments

Cooked recipes using coconut yogurt

I have a lot of coconut yogurt (similar to Greek yogurt, but not quite as sour) I need to use up by Tuesday or Wednesday. I would like to cook or bake with it. I have some flour being delivered on Tuesday and have a couple of recipes in mind, but I'd like to use some up before then. Any ideas? Other possible ingredients listed inside. [more inside]
posted by kinddieserzeit at 4:38 AM PST - 6 comments

Covid-19, Craigslist and NextDoor

I live in New Mexico, USA, which the governor recently put under a stay-at-home order. I would like to do something about national websites and people selling stuff. [more inside]
posted by NotLost at 1:52 AM PST - 19 comments

How can I support grocery store workers?

(Australia) I want to do something for our supermarket workers, who are currently working in horrible conditions, facing terrible treatment from the public, and putting their health at risk every day. I've been trying to think of what they might need other than kindness, and am coming up blank. Would love to hear your suggestions.
posted by anonymous at 1:52 AM PST - 21 comments

March 27

Quotes and parenthesis and grammar, oh my!

Where does the period go at the end of this sentence: "It was just like I remember it" (24:165). After "it," inside the quotes? Inside the parenthesis? Or as is? [more inside]
posted by zardoz at 11:47 PM PST - 8 comments

Getting to the hospital if you live alone and are too sick to drive

I'm trying to figure out a plan for a friend who lives alone in case she gets too sick to take care of herself. Specifically, how does she get to the hospital, assuming ambulances might not be available? [more inside]
posted by lbergstr at 10:20 PM PST - 17 comments

How do I play a Scrabble-like app with friends without Facebook login?

Some friends want me to join them on the Scrabble GO app, but it seems to require Facebook credentials to use. I don't want to allow Facebook to have any connection with my phone whatsoever, even through a third party. So can anyone recommend either 1) a Scrabble-like app for iOS that lets you play with friends and doesn't require a Facebook login, or 2) a way to play Scrabble GO or a similar game on the web (on my laptop)?
posted by theory at 9:14 PM PST - 7 comments

Book recommendations please

I would like to read books that are gentle and PTSD friendly. What would you suggest? [more inside]
posted by medusa at 9:00 PM PST - 21 comments

Rescue my phone number from racist Skype hackers?

I received a notification from a professional contact today that my work cell phone number has associated (hacked?), but when I try to log in with that phone number, I'm being told that there is no account associated with that number. HELP! [more inside]
posted by honeybee413 at 8:54 PM PST - 2 comments

Easyish 2-Player XBox 360 Games

My husband and I are childless and at home until god knows when so we bought an XBox 360 on eBay. [more inside]
posted by something something at 8:18 PM PST - 5 comments

What does this For Better or For Worse strip mean?

Please observe this installment of the Lynn Johnston strip and offer possible interpretations, share feelings, etc. [more inside]
posted by cocotine at 7:08 PM PST - 19 comments

Where are my skirts?

Just to distract myself from the Coronapocalypse, I'm online shopping. I want pretty, knee-length A-line skirts in cotton and linen. Probably in size 14, give or take. Where are my skirts? [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:51 PM PST - 11 comments

What's up with these weird obituary sites?

I found out today that a student at the university where I teach died unexpectedly. Wishing to know more about them, I googled their name and obituary. The first three hits (link to screenshot) were very weird: they appear to contain stilted variations of a death notice, as if it had been run through a thesaurus, or translated into another language and then retranslated into English. What's up with that? [more inside]
posted by brianogilvie at 6:44 PM PST - 4 comments

Canadian employment insurance glitch at the worst time

The Canadian federal services have been hit with a tsunami of Employment Insurance claims, including mine. But I made a foolish mistake earlier today and don't see how I can fix it and sort out my claim. [more inside]
posted by zadcat at 6:08 PM PST - 8 comments

Washing machine acting up during lockdown

I live in Michigan, and I can't figure out from reading the lockdown order whether appliance repair is essential. I've posted on NextDoor to ask. In the meantime, my washing machine is limping, not dead, so I'm throwing this out to MeFites. [more inside]
posted by FencingGal at 5:13 PM PST - 9 comments

Library/Book pun needed!

My local library is doing a Shelf Isolation Read-a-thon to encourage people to achieve their reading goals and raise money whilst they're closed. I need to have a title for my entry, and I figured who better than Metafilter to help me with a punny name. [more inside]
posted by My Kryptonite is Worry at 5:10 PM PST - 10 comments

How do I reach a person at the IRS who can help me with lost tax refund?

Last year I snail mailed my tax return right before the deadline, after running into multiple problems with online filing options. I never received a refund, even though I expected one. Then life got crazy and I didn't follow up. Now I'm worried I won't get my refund or stimulus money this year, and I'm really going to need it. But I can't get through the phone tree. Advice? [more inside]
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 4:02 PM PST - 4 comments

Hand-sewing (not machine-sewing) face masks?

I am a wanna-be sewist with a small stash of quilting cotton but I never actually got around to buying my own sewing machine. I'm vaguely competent with a standard sewing needle though; can anyone recommend the simplest possible face mask pattern for hand sewing? [more inside]
posted by serelliya at 3:37 PM PST - 7 comments

What was the PBS show that encouraged you to draw alien cityscapes?

I’m almost positive it was PBS. They drew (and had you draw) alien arcologies with all kinds of different levels and ladders/stairs and little features and what not. Anyone got any help? Thanks in advance!
posted by ftm at 3:35 PM PST - 8 comments

Should I Eat This: Ultra-Pasteurized Milk

Unopened (sealed) quart of milk got left on the counter sometime today and was out for a maximum of eight hours. It now seems to be room temperature. Best by date of 5/18. Ultra-pasteurized, but the kind that stays refrigerated at the store, not the shelf-stable kind. Can I drink it? Normally I’d toss and replace, but I just went the the store and probably won’t go to the store for at least another week.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:34 PM PST - 13 comments

Binders full of the best emojis 😄😊😃😉😍😘😚

What are your favorite emojis? And how do you use them? Are they used to represent emotional states that are not explicitly named otherwise, or other meanings you are conveying? [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 3:02 PM PST - 31 comments

NYC-Dwelling Daughter Will Not Leave, Covid19 Edition

Adult daughter, mid 20's, lives with long-term BF in NYC. Both are able to work at home and while they both say NYC now is anxiety-producing and scary, they won't leave. His family lives about 2 hours away, I live in southern Vermont. How do we convince her to leave? [more inside]
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 2:20 PM PST - 76 comments

I like my sci fi like I like my

I realized recently that SO MUCH of my very favorite media ever is listed in the wikipedia entry for hard science fiction. Local nerds: how about I tell you which things I love the most, and you tell me what I should read/watch next? [more inside]
posted by phunniemee at 2:16 PM PST - 36 comments

ISO US comm. colleges where some classes will be starting on/after 3/30

hoping some of you mefites out there are staff, faculty, or students at schools that might fit this bill! I'm trying to find relatively affordable-per-credit (out of state cost per credit) schools (could be community colleges, state schools, etc) that have the following options: [more inside]
posted by elgee at 1:13 PM PST - 5 comments

Gross question about swallowing blood.

So, I'm in the midst of an epic nosebleed. Applyind pressure to the side of my nose and leaning slightly forward, but I know I've swallowed a fair amount of blood. Should I drink some water to help dilute it in my stomach, or let it pass through on my empty stomach? Does it even matter?
posted by mefireader at 1:06 PM PST - 10 comments

Hope me make a decent webcam for an online life drawing course!

I'm setting-up a studio space to help some local colleges, universities and sketch groups continue their life drawing classes / sessions during these coronavirus days by live streaming a life model to their students and artists, eg. via Zoom. [more inside]
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:56 PM PST - 5 comments

How long does a password reset email from CA’s EDD usually take?

How long does a password reset email from CA’s EDD usually take? I am trying to file a claim but I can’t log in because I don’t remember what password I used from my last unemployment 8 years ago. I have hit the password reset twice, three hours ago, but it’s not coming. Is there normally a delay?
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 10:41 AM PST - 4 comments

2-person tag-like game in the backyard

How can we make the game of 'tag' more interesting when we're only 2 people? [more inside]
posted by bitteroldman at 10:40 AM PST - 15 comments

Donation Allocation

I had been saving money for something that seems rather frivolous in light of the current state of affairs. I would now like to donate that money to help others who are impacted by COVID-19 and the economic fallout, but I'm having major analysis paralysis trying to ensure my funds make the best impact. [more inside]
posted by chara at 10:25 AM PST - 15 comments

Best petition platform

I'm working a petition that I need to circulate very widely online. What is the best platform for me to use? [more inside]
posted by latkes at 8:59 AM PST - 1 comment

I Don't Know Which Bastard to Be

A dear old friend is dying, and wants me to come see him. I want to see him too, but getting there involves air travel, which seems to be about the most irresponsible choice I could make as someone who would be departing from King County Washington during the COVID-19 pandemic. My head thinks it knows what the correct decision is here, but my heart can't stand it, and neither one knows how to say it to my dying friend. [more inside]
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:58 AM PST - 23 comments

I Ain't Flying, That's For Sure....

I need to cancel a Jet Blue flight that's scheduled two weeks from now. However, I booked it before the time frame for which Jet Blue is waiving its change fees. Is it worth waiting until closer to the date to cancel? Details herein... [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:51 AM PST - 11 comments

Getting full refund for air tickets

We were supposed to go on a big trip and it is now cancelled. We want the money, not the credit. What can we do? [more inside]
posted by k8t at 8:50 AM PST - 7 comments

covid 19 spraying

When I was 15, 16 I worked part-time in a vet clinic. Every so often we would spray the kennel area with some type of fogger that was supposed to knock out kennel cough. I don't remember what it was other than it smelled lemony. When I see pictures of various cities spraying for Covid, it never mentions what chemical they are using. Would anyone have a good guess or know what type of chemical they are using? I am not planning on spraying anything. I am just curious.
posted by jtexman1 at 8:44 AM PST - 6 comments

Gen X ex-wife nudes. What do I do with them?

I just found a dozen nude polaroids of my ex-wife taken in the early 90's. We were together almost thirty years before our divorce last year and we are not on speaking terms right now. I don't know what to do with them. They are a record of her youth that doesn't exist anywhere else, so destroying them feels like taking something from her. If she remembers them, she might want them or want proof they are destroyed. If I sent them to her, she might see it as a hostile act and how do I prove I didn't keep any. Right now, they are back in a box in the basement, and I guess that is my third option. Just do nothing.
posted by anonymous at 7:23 AM PST - 31 comments

Advice on tuning out of compulsive behaviors?

So, there are some behaviors in my life that I just don't feel very good about. I think they damage me, they bring out the worst in me, they make me anxious and they stress me out. [more inside]
posted by Tarsonis10 at 7:18 AM PST - 5 comments

How is the “buy a 3 year iFit get free equipment” deal billed?

I am considering getting a pro-form 750R rower for “free” by signing up for their $39/month three year iFit membership (see their website for details). Has anyone made use of this offer with pro-form for either the rower or another piece of equipment? If so, how is the “subscription” billed? [more inside]
posted by eurandom at 3:29 AM PST - 4 comments

Help me stand at a standing desk properly for long periods of time

Using a standing desk for other ergonomic reasons, am getting some back pain, want to figure out why. Alternately, have some weird chairs I'm trying, but all have no backs and sitting at them...also gives me back pain. Details within! [more inside]
posted by wooh at 3:27 AM PST - 15 comments

March 26

What is the name of this book about chocolate cake and a burro?

I have vague memories of a children's book that would have been published in the United States before 1985 or so. Any of the following details might be wrong. My recollection is of a boy who had some chocolate cake that he wanted to share with his neighbors. Visiting the neighbors involved taking a dirt road up a hill. The boy was accompanied by a burro, who may have been responsible for carrying the cake. The book had single-color illustrations in a realistic style throughout. What is the title of this book?
posted by Covert Kaiju at 10:03 PM PST - 1 comment

What Film Schools will accept my Americorps money as a Non-MFA student?

I need to use my AmeriCorps education award to take classes at a university/college to beef up my portfolio so that I may apply to Film MFA programs overseas, with a feminist focus. Most programs have pre-requisites that I took at another film schools, but I fear they will likely not accept those credits as valid. Since I'm a non-degree student, does that limit what kind of classes I can take, and what schools will have me? My ultimate goal with that money is to beef up my portfolio so I can ultimately get into a European Film School. [more inside]
posted by Kombucha3452 at 9:37 PM PST - 4 comments

Elderly Aunt, Substance Abuse, and COVID-19

I live in a large US city that has issued a shelter in place for two weeks, subject to be extended. My parents live 1.5 hours outside this city, to the east, and are in their 70s. They are on a farm, they are isolating, I am very lucky that they are behaving this way considering the way a lot of my friends' parents are reacting. My elderly aunt, however, is another story. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 9:12 PM PST - 6 comments

Looking for novels, memoirs, and academic books on law?

I am looking for some interesting and stimulating memoirs, novels, and interesting academic books/academic papers on understanding law/courts -- especially from a Canadian perspective. Or any interesting Canadian trials and international famous/interesting trials. (I also loved To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, 12 Angry Men, and the Verdict as well - but want to dig deeper in the memoir, novel, academic papers/books aspect to law as well.) [more inside]
posted by RearWindow at 7:08 PM PST - 16 comments

What song did my grandfather listen to while rocking my mother to sleep?

My grandfather loved a certain song in 1953. He would listen to it while rocking my mother each night. The relative who told my mother this story has since passed away, but she insisted the song was titled "Satisfied". I cannot find a song that I think is likely to be the one he was listening to. Does anyone have a guess? [more inside]
posted by jefficator at 6:51 PM PST - 5 comments

Deep dive character studies (preferably documentaries)

Hi, I'm looking for folks' suggestions for media that would count as a deep dive character study of someone interesting, preferably mostly about one person, preferably a documentary style thing, preferably not a celebrity although I'm open to those if they are good. Examples of what I've loved within. [more inside]
posted by fairlynearlyready at 6:45 PM PST - 33 comments

Will my illustrator in Switzerland owe U.S. taxes?

You are not my tax professional. I am paying a substantial amount for illustration to a Swiss citizen, well above the tax liability cutoff for freelance work in the U.S. Does she need to pay U.S. taxes on it, or only Swiss? [more inside]
posted by babelfish at 6:23 PM PST - 4 comments

I won a residency, yeay! Corona is still going strong, boo.

I finally got an art residency -- for June 1 to 15. [more inside]
posted by Rumi'sLeftSock at 6:22 PM PST - 6 comments

Coronavirus parenting

During the pandemic, I work from home full time. As a single mom, I also care for my special needs five year old full time. And video conference teach him and see to his needs. And that was kind of okay for like three days, but isn't sustainable. [more inside]
posted by Kalmya at 6:11 PM PST - 3 comments

Is there a word for this kind of person?

In social activist spheres there’s always a type that’s quick to come up with ideas and volunteer others but is slow to make sacrifices themselves and seldom does anything substantial. Is there a word for this, like how the Germans have words like schadenfreude? At a base level, all I could come up with is a "do-nothing with fantasies" but that's not quite cutting enough. "Suicide bomber recruiter" is closer, but maybe too oblique.
posted by Roy Batty at 5:27 PM PST - 33 comments

Looking for “Keeping quiet” by Neruda in the original Spanish

I’d like to send the poem “Keeping Quiet” by Pablo Neruda to a friend but having no luck finding it in Spanish. Thank you!
posted by Gusaroo at 5:15 PM PST - 3 comments

Common-Sense-Filter: Using yoga mat outside in shared space

I live in SF and have no outdoor space of my own. My nextdoor neighbor has a protected concrete courtyard (not accessible to the street) and generously offered me and other neighbors the use of her courtyard so we can get some fresh air during shelter-in-place. I would like to bring a yoga mat out there and do some yoga/stretching, but given that it's a shared space, my yoga mat would be touching ground that others are walking on. This is probably bad, right? [more inside]
posted by rogerroger at 4:49 PM PST - 6 comments

Fun projects for a first-gen Xbox with a dead hard drive?

Our family has had a first generation Xbox console in occasional use — a friend gave it to me with an emulator installed so we could play old video games from time to time. The hard drive just died (it was manufactured in December 2001!), everything else still works. My son and I disassembled it carefully to learn about electronics and now he wants to do something cool with it. Any ideas or guides? [more inside]
posted by Stevia Agave at 4:04 PM PST - 4 comments

Can anyone offer guidance for using Photoshop/CS6 with Catalina?

I want to update to Catalina, but I don't want to stop using my copy of Photoshop (CS6). I'm told that there's a way to tell CS6 to go 64-bit, but the information on the internet is confusing, to say the least. Are there any MeFites who have solved this conundrum? [more inside]
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 4:03 PM PST - 6 comments

"But ya gay though, right?"

I'm tired of answering this question. Please give me clever responses to it. [more inside]
posted by Sterros at 3:36 PM PST - 35 comments

What is this itch in the nether region?

(NSFW) For the past month, I've had a lot of itching... down there. Haven't wanted to see a doctor because of COVID-19. Details to follow. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 3:11 PM PST - 5 comments

Ethical Dilemma

I am conducting political interviews with candidates for the 2020 year. One interview I did was with a candidate who was represented by a organization that Mashable and Gizmodo said put up fake political consulting websites, that now, no longer exist. [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind at 2:25 PM PST - 3 comments

Chocolate chip cookies with bread flour?

I can't get white flour, but happen to have a container of bread flour. Does anyone have a favorite (or workable) recipe for chocolate chip cookies using bread flour? As a reference point, in times of white flour abundance, we'd be happily using the Tollhouse recipe. [more inside]
posted by BlueBlueElectricBlue at 1:21 PM PST - 16 comments

How do I build 1,500 hospital beds in 2 weeks?

Our 1,000 bed academic medical center needs to put up 1,000 to 1,500 beds in the next two weeks. How have others done this? Are you aware of any case studies that might point us to best practices and pitfalls? [more inside]
posted by woof at 12:52 PM PST - 17 comments

Gift ideas for isolating friend

My friend recently had a 40th birthday. She is also about to defend her dissertation. I missed her birthday because I've been self-isolating for the last two weeks. I really want to get her something special.... [more inside]
posted by daisystomper at 12:47 PM PST - 7 comments

I already know they should stay home! Seeking support group

Seeking and online support group for people whose relatives at higher risk are ignoring COVID-19 advice, refusing to self-isolate, etc. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 12:44 PM PST - 2 comments

Contract dissolution (safely!) in virus times

Careful with these people? They're sometimes unpredictable or inappropriate, possibly litigious. I just want out of the contract next week as agreed. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 12:44 PM PST - 3 comments

Can you explain Allen Ginsberg?

HOWL and his other work? Why is he important?
posted by ebesan at 12:03 PM PST - 14 comments

I have a startup idea, how should I procede?

I was working on a large, high volume project. It was originally to be built with an off the shelf e-commerce platform that like all "turn-key" systems break down in certain areas pretty hard. I ended up rewriting the backend. At the time the only companies I knew that used a similar architecture were large tech companies, but the idea wasn't new ... however, everything was built in house. Since my own custom built solution worked really, really well and I decided maybe for the first time I had a potential product on my hand. [more inside]
posted by geoff. at 11:50 AM PST - 10 comments

best language learning app for people who are not language noobs

I'd like to work on one or the other of the languages I've gotten a start on but haven't gotten good at. I've tried this and that. [more inside]
posted by less of course at 11:37 AM PST - 15 comments

Looking for the Name of a Preformance Troupe from 60's - 70's

Back in the day, there was this very weird performance troupe called, as close as I remember, "Muminshots". That's not spelled correctly. They were either French, German or Dutch. [more inside]
posted by james33 at 11:11 AM PST - 18 comments

Reviving elderly laptop for my kid with Linux, Y/N?

I have a 2010-ish Sony Vaio laptop in a cupboard. My kid is doing school online using Google Classroom, currently on a iPad. This is fine for consuming video but hopeless for producing work - file management is confusing, it’s hard to tell when and where changes are saved, etc. I am only moderately computer savvy. Is Linux the best route to making this old laptop into a computer a 4th grader can use for her schoolwork ? She needs Google classroom, youtube, pdf viewer, and a word processor. [more inside]
posted by ogorki at 11:11 AM PST - 14 comments

I have a question about downgrading OSX from Catalina to Mojave.

I want to downgrade my MacBook from Catalina to Mojave. I have downloaded the Mojave installer application, "Insall macOS Mojave" (6.05GB). I clone my hard drive nightly to an external drive using Carbon Copy Cloner. So my plan is to just reinstall Mojave on my computer and then copy over everything I need from the external drive. But... [more inside]
posted by Tin Man at 10:53 AM PST - 5 comments

Script for asking bereaved friend to leave.

In a nutshell: her sister died. It's been 10 days of cohabitation, and while my heart goes out to her, I am starting to get tired of sharing my home with her. Help me talk to her about moving back to her own home? [more inside]
posted by MiraK at 10:39 AM PST - 19 comments

Definition of Love - do I accept it or try to talk it out?

We differ on what love is. He says he does not love me. I say feeling butterflies is not love instead I say its a combination of attraction, interest in one another, compatibility, making shared memories, trust, respect, and commitment. I think we have those, although commitment is a bit in doubt (see explanation below). I feel frustrated that a good relationship has been thrown away due to semantics. Should I just accept that it’s over or should I try to talk to him when things have cooled down? [more inside]
posted by kittykat020 at 10:32 AM PST - 13 comments

Online singing lessons for beginner

My spouse is tone deaf and earlier this year was talking about wanting voice lessons to see if that could be changed. I’d like to line up online lessons as a surprise — where should I look? Are there special kinds of voice teachers who work with total beginners?
posted by hungrytiger at 9:59 AM PST - 3 comments

Video games for artist with brain injury?

Trying to help a friend find a conceptually easy, but beautiful, engaging, or artistic game to play during lockdown. Their partner is willing to purchase a game system, and they are on a mac. Artist is an abstract painter, if that helps at all. Something that doesn't require remembering rules or specific controller movements beyond one or two. A world they could 'get lost' in and ramble around in might fit the bill? I'm not sure. Thank you.
posted by MountainDaisy at 9:42 AM PST - 11 comments

Need free exercise/stretching videos for bad back

I've got lower back pain from a lifetime of working slumped in an office chair. Can't see a physical therapist because of the quarantine. What are some good free videos I can watch that will teach me what I need to know? Assume I know nothing and have no experience with exercises or stretching.
posted by panama joe at 9:42 AM PST - 12 comments

What are these little tiny bug-like things in my freshwater aquarium?

I am setting up a freshwater aquarium for a betta and added some live plants. They must have had hitchhikers- what the heck are these things and how do I get rid of them? Tiny snails?? Or something?
posted by clarinet at 8:41 AM PST - 10 comments

Can you recommend a resource on video compression?

Can you recommend a resource that outlines the very basics of video compression for non-technical people, and possibly some free, non-skeevy software for easily doing this task? [more inside]
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:38 AM PST - 10 comments

The IRS giveth, and the IRS taketh?

Husband and I owe back taxes to the IRS. We've set up a payment plan, and are making monthly payments. About the $1,200 Covid-19 check: will the IRS zap it out of our account as soon as it's zapped in? Will we even be notified thusly? I've read all the Q & A about the checks in all the news sources, but the back taxes scenario isn't addressed.
posted by BostonTerrier at 8:25 AM PST - 7 comments

Water going bad

I’ve read here that water stored in reused plastic jugs can go bad/grow bacteria. Will it go bad in reused glass bottles kept outside the fridge? [more inside]
posted by dianeF at 7:56 AM PST - 7 comments

Charities fighting COVID19 in the developing world

Title says it all-- I'm looking for recommendations for charaties who are fighting the good fight against COVID-19 in the developing world.
posted by beepbeepboopboop at 7:50 AM PST - 3 comments

Why won't my iMac update?

I'm having problems getting an OS update on my iMac and have no idea why. [more inside]
posted by komara at 7:49 AM PST - 13 comments

What veg can I grow on a north-east facing balcony in Toronto?

Well, my question pretty much fit in the title. What can I grow under those conditions where I live? (And I guess, where’s a good place to get seeds and other gardening stuff?) I can keep houseplants alive by watering them when I remember to, but haven’t ever tried to grow a thing to eat.
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:03 AM PST - 5 comments

Dentist closed due to covid-19. Should I pay twice for a crown?

I was in the middle of getting a crown replaced on my incisor, when I had to reschedule due to having covid-19. I've recovered, but now the dental office is closed indefinitely due to the virus. I currently have a temporary crown on my front tooth that I am worried has outlived it's life. Since I don't know when or if the dentist will open, I am considering going to a different practice and paying again to have another crown made and applied. The idea of paying twice is stopping me though. Should I just get over the expense and do it? [more inside]
posted by polywomp at 6:40 AM PST - 12 comments

Who is making good posters related to COVID?

I’ve heard lots of good slogans related to efforts to stop the coronavirus: like “6 feet of distance means your existence,” “coughs and sneezes spread diseases,” and of course “STAY THE FUCK HOME.” With all these slogans, someone must be making good posters. Who’s doing it?
posted by ocherdraco at 6:16 AM PST - 11 comments

touching post-Covid19

A relatively trivial covid19 question. Is the current crisis going to permanently change our attitudes and conventions around touching each other? e.g. handshakes, hugs etc? Are there any resources that deal specifically with this aspect of post-covid19 life? [more inside]
posted by unicorn chaser at 4:23 AM PST - 15 comments

Rich and famous people: Who you gonna call?

How do celebrities actually get a coronavirus test? [more inside]
posted by nantucket at 4:05 AM PST - 11 comments

iPad apps for 4 and 6 year old?

I have a four and six year old and one iPad. I'd love suggestions of apps that might be fun, hopefully educational, that they could do at the same time -- and not fight? If "at the same time" is too hard, that's OK, but something they could do together would be amazing!
posted by caoimhe at 12:43 AM PST - 4 comments

March 25

Where can I read the terms (all 700 pages) of the Gubmint bailout bill?

Researching for someone who asked me the following question: "If someone owes the IRS money and it is the IRS sending out the checks to citizens, will the IRS take the money and apply it against a debt or will they send the check out regardless?" [more inside]
posted by AugustWest at 11:58 PM PST - 12 comments

Literary puzzles to lose yourself in

I just devoured the audiobook of Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia and now I want more books with slowly unwinding mystery games and puzzles at their core. What else would scratch this itch? Other specific things I liked in this book and questions about mystery as a genre inside. [more inside]
posted by ActionPopulated at 8:58 PM PST - 21 comments

Bring my overgrown yard back to life.

The yard of our rental needs some TLC. From what I can tell, little of it was mowed last summer and the leaves were not raked. We aren't talking impenetrable overgrown brambles or anything, but the long dead grass and rotting dead leaves are matted on the ground now the snow has melted. I'm thinking I should rake everything, then mow on the first dry day we have? Is there a better way? Please give me a step-by-step plan of action for clearing up this mess in time for the little baby grass shoots to thrive! Assume I am new to caring for lawns, but generally handy with my hands and with plants.
posted by Grandysaur at 4:49 PM PST - 9 comments

How not to care about opinions of others - with a twist

Al the conventional wisdom says not to care about the opinions of others, meaning haters or naysayers. The thing is this sort of wisdom has always seemed very privileged to me, because others often have big influence or even control over my prospects, safety, and other aspects of my wellbeing. I’m sure I’m not alone in this aspect. How do I reconcile these contradictions? [more inside]
posted by The Last Sockpuppet at 3:44 PM PST - 13 comments

YouTube Captions Have Overlapping Start-Times

When watching a video on YouTube with the auto-created captions, they usually "scroll" up, line-by-line, with two lines appearing on screen at any one time. However, when downloading those captions as a text file, the start and stop times for successive lines overlap. How to fix this? [more inside]
posted by klausman at 2:40 PM PST - 4 comments

Do some friendships not "translate" well to text?

Help me with this casual-texting block in a long-time friendship. [more inside]
posted by thoughtful_ravioli at 2:10 PM PST - 14 comments

Dollar-to-Peso Effects

How does the rapidly falling peso affect everyday life for lower and working class Mexicans? [more inside]
posted by j_curiouser at 1:36 PM PST - 7 comments

Fun multiplayer games for the whole family, separated by distance

To help keep spirits up, I'm trying to get together online with family for an afternoon board game thing. We don't all use the same phone/tablet ecosystem, and a lot of card-based games we've played before in person (cribbage, for instance) require secrecy, so we can't play those types of games (without having one person manage a deck of cards and not play), or games through an iOS/Android mix. Are there reliable, secure (non-dodgy, non-gambling-focused), easy-to-use, browser-based multiplayer board games (Scrabble, for instance) that we can sign up with separate accounts, and meet up online through our laptops? [more inside]
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:31 PM PST - 15 comments

DIY non-dairy yogurt

Have you made non-dairy yogurt at home and had it come out reasonably yogurty? I’ve successfully made delicious cow’s milk yogurt but would also like to do others. For allergy reasons, I would like to use coconut or oat milk. I’m looking for suggestions and tried-and-true recipes, as given current availability issues, I would cry if I wasted a carton of oat milk. Thanks in advance!
posted by stillmoving at 12:23 PM PST - 3 comments

How to Convince Hospital to Let Office Workers Work from Home

My friend has an office job at a community hospital in eastern Pennsylvania. She can do 100% of her job remotely. The hospital leadership refuses to let anyone work from home, no matter their job. [more inside]
posted by pear at 11:26 AM PST - 14 comments

Help me become a firepit guy?

Winters in Wisconsin can be a bit brutal and I'm leaning towards getting a fire pit to add some cheer to when it gets cold. [more inside]
posted by Twicketface at 11:20 AM PST - 10 comments

Self-isolating: How okay are long-distance walks in an urban area?

Partner and I are lucky enough to be employed, paid, and able to self-isolate in our home for the indefinite future. Partner has a bit of cabin fever and has been going on long daily walks. Is this okay self-isolating behavior now, and, if so, is there a point where it won't be? We're in a major metroploitan area in the US under a shelter-in-place order which specifies "taking walks outside" as an approved behavior. [more inside]
posted by pullayup at 11:11 AM PST - 19 comments

In search of rec's for tablet apps for online class presentations

Joining everyone at every level of education, I am officially teaching online only for 3 philosophy classes next quarter, and possibly also summer. Help me use technology! [more inside]
posted by zinful at 10:45 AM PST - 4 comments

My industry no longer exists. Neither does my backup industry.

I've been lucky enough to make my living as a performing artist. I figured if I were strapped for cash, I'd go the traditional server/temp route. Now that the performing arts have shut down for the foreseeable future, I need a side hustle or day job or just a job, period. Trouble is, I have almost no experience in other industries. Will you help me brainstorm other skills I can build / ELI5 what a normal job is? Soapflakes within. [more inside]
posted by fast ein Maedchen at 10:20 AM PST - 18 comments

Posting to Facebook with out logging in to FB interface?

Since FB long ago disabled post-by-email, and they've blocked tools like ITTT from crossposting from other platforms, is there any other way to post to FB to keep my friends/family up to date without having to log in and see the ads and memes? I know there are paid tools that marketers use to queue up and stage posts etc, but I'm trying to find a free tool just for personal use. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
posted by blackfly at 9:51 AM PST - 12 comments

Charities helping the hungry homeless during COVID?

It looks like the pandemic is (or will soon be) upending nearly every system of support for the urban homeless. What Toronto charities are in a position to be delivering meals to those who are sleeping outside? If people want to drop info pertinent to other locales, that's welcome.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:46 AM PST - 4 comments

How to make more yeast from the 1 packet I have left

I have one packet of baking yeast and not surprisingly all the stores are now sold out. I've been looking forward to doing lots of baking with my kids during quarantine. Can I use this 1 packet of yeast to grow more yeast, and keep it going forever? [more inside]
posted by Winnie the Proust at 9:45 AM PST - 21 comments

Acceptable specs for a decent, cheap, refurbished laptop?

My son is in fifth grade and needs to use a laptop for his homework now his school is closed. My old ACER V5-122P (specs) has been doing the job, just barely, but it can't cope with him using the internet and talking to the class on Zoom as well, it's very much either/or. [more inside]
posted by rubbish bin night at 9:35 AM PST - 8 comments

What is "the long haul"?

Can you point me to sources that explain how long I should expect to stay at home? I would like to understand if we are staying until the top of the curve, the end of the curve, etc. I would like to read about how people will be making those decisions.
posted by aniola at 9:06 AM PST - 23 comments

*How* does an asymptomatic person infect someone else with Covid 19?

It seems that there is evidence for asymptomatic spread of Covid 19. But if someone is not coughing or sneezing, *how* can they infect someone else they are standing too close to? I am not referring to someone you live with. Just someone who is out there not even knowing they have it.
posted by uans at 8:37 AM PST - 11 comments

Long lasting PC laptop with internal optical drive?

I have been prompted by Windows to upgrade to version 10. The recommendation is to get a new Laptop since mine is over three years old (manufacturer’s date December ‘09) I would like to find one which is modular in case a hard drive needs switching or RAM upgrade. I have a budget up to $4000USD. I have a substantial DVD collection I want to keep using. I don’t care if the laptop is heavy.
posted by ayc200 at 8:20 AM PST - 9 comments

Hotel not refunding for COVID-19 affected travel. Should I chargeback?

So I had travel plans to go to Eurovision this year - which meant booking an airplane ticket and 7 days of hotels well in advance at high prices. COVID-19 has affected those plans, but the hotel I booked with is refusing to refund, saying it is their policy not to refund even in the case of force majeure, and they aren't even allowing me to rebook. Personally, I find this to be an incredibly distasteful response. Under these circumstances, should I initiate a chargeback?
posted by LSK at 7:57 AM PST - 13 comments

Scheduling slots websites

Are there any websites for scheduling blocks that don't require log-ins? My community garden is investigating whether people can sign up for work times and view what times are available, to keep members socially distant.
posted by xo at 7:32 AM PST - 5 comments

Should I have groceries delivered or get them myself?

Nobody in my house is at high risk for complications of COVID-19. In the context of the virus, is it better (on a community level) for me to go to the grocery stores myself, or to get them delivered? I can afford delivery, but slots are hard to get and so I feel like I should leave them for people who need them. [more inside]
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:25 AM PST - 10 comments

A place in Florida to live in RV/Fifth Wheel for next few months?

I have a family member who can no longer afford their rent in South Florida. They will be moving into a Fifth-Wheel, towed by their truck. ANYWHERE in Florida near a coast is an option. Due to Covid-19, camping in state/national parks has been cancelled. This person has two large dogs. He is youngish (30-something), physically active and skilled at a variety of landscaping/logging/handyman/boarding/grooming horses type outdoor stuff. (I am including this because some people have open land with RV hookups they may trade for labor tasks on their property). Fifth wheel is about 28 feet if that matters.
posted by caveatz at 6:30 AM PST - 4 comments

Help me persuade my dad to stay inside

My dad lives in a large city (5mil +) in Europe and is refusing to self-isolate. [more inside]
posted by prefpara at 5:23 AM PST - 23 comments

Funny and/or inspirational quotes for electronic marquee

I own a movie theater that is currently closed. I'm looking for short messages that I can post on the electronic marquee. They should be some combination of funny, clever, and inspirational. Bonus points if they're movie-themed, although that's not strictly necessary. [more inside]
posted by JD Sockinger at 5:00 AM PST - 28 comments

Is there some sort of personal video studio in a box for people?

You know those lighted photography boxes people use to take pictures of things for eBay? I want that for a person. Or several people, each getting the exact same setup. Something they could go in to and shoot short videos with. Just head and shoulders. Or frankly just head. There has to be something like that out there right?
posted by rileyray3000 at 4:21 AM PST - 2 comments

Help please - Website for Actors faces/Names

Google-fu weak; cannot find a website that used to exist showing actors whose face you knew but whose name you didn't - anyone? (I even think that was almost the title...) TIA! db
posted by DrtyBlvd at 2:56 AM PST - 3 comments

How to self-isolate with wife who really can't handle the isolation?

My wife is in a couple of higher-risk populations, so we've been self-isolating since last week. She finds the isolation extremely unpleasant, and cannot bear even to discuss the possibility of continuing more than a couple of weeks. We may need to self-isolate until she gets vaccinated. How do I handle her increasingly erratic behavior? This is mostly a relationship-filter question. [more inside]
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 12:07 AM PST - 26 comments

March 24

Converting to islam guides?

A family member is converting to marry a long-time partner. The usual center for classes here has suspended the classes during covid19, so we would like to get a head start on what they need to know. I'm very wary of youtube because of bias, straight-out weirdos & misinformation, but they learn best through audio or video, not books. Can you recommend a mainstream and moderate source for conversion lessons online? (NB: I am taking some of the lessons alongside to better understand the new family member's faith, this is a neutral topic for our family).
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:14 PM PST - 1 comment

Sci Fi Movies which best address daily life in space

As I live out my quarantine I find myself reflecting upon those who live in solitary confinement of various sorts and my mind has gone to astronauts. Which movies best depict the various ways they find to entertain and enrich themselves?
posted by Jandoe at 9:11 PM PST - 13 comments

It's sensible to cancel this appointment, right?

Okay, so my elderly mother has an appointment booked with a specialist next Friday. I'm thinking that with Covid-19, the *sensible* thing to do is cancel it and NOT visit my mother, right? How do I cancel this appointment and not sound like a nut? Details inside, of course. [more inside]
posted by VirginiaPlain at 8:28 PM PST - 14 comments

Of clogged drains and COVID-19

Our sink drain is clogged. Plunging it didn't work. Snaking it didn't work. In normal times, we would call a plumber at this point. However, my husband was exposed to COVID two weeks ago, and every family member has had a mild fever and dry cough over the last week. What do we do now? [more inside]
posted by eirias at 6:43 PM PST - 18 comments

Stafford Loans

I have a several questions on federal student aid and loans. -Is your income recalculated each year? -How does one apply for Stafford loans? [more inside]
posted by edbles at 6:38 PM PST - 2 comments

my current subletter in nyc has ghosted me - what should i do?

my subletter was supposed to sublet my nyc apartment until june - i haven't heard from him since covid started, and haven't gotten the rent for march. i know he works at a cafe that's probably shut down now and that his parents have been helping him with the rent. things have been a little haphazard this whole time, but now he's not responding to texts/calls/emails at all. i'm worried and am not sure what to do! more details below... [more inside]
posted by lightgray at 6:26 PM PST - 5 comments

Google image search is showing child abuse material under related images

I typed a bizzare but completely benign phrase into Google image search and under "related searches" there is child abuse phrases and thumbnails. How do I report that this search term is generating child abuse material? [more inside]
posted by pintapicasso at 6:18 PM PST - 5 comments

Our finances changed but Affordable Care Act premium hasn’t

My spouse has been out of work since last fall. We renewed our ACA plan for Jan 1 which is based on our 2019 earnings. Is it possible to change our rate (get a reduced rate, not change our plan) mid year based on our lower 2020 earnings so far, or is the only change possible for the 2021 rate based on our 2020 earnings? If we can’t change now is it possible we get some of the premium back in our tax return next year?
posted by ridogi at 5:40 PM PST - 3 comments

How long until I know if I am really sick (COVID-19 edition)

I woke up with a slight cough and mild sore throat. One of my housemates has had a mild dry cough for a couple of days. If this is COVID-19, how soon would I expect to find out if I have a serious case? [more inside]
posted by metahawk at 5:25 PM PST - 8 comments

Political-legal types: What options exist for removing the president?

Theoretically, not practically, as in impeachment counts as one option, even though last year's attempt was a non-starter. A lot of us know about the 25th Amendment as well. But what other remedies exist, if any?
posted by troywestfield at 4:24 PM PST - 14 comments

Dairy-free Baking Substitute for Greek Yogurt?

I would like to make this Alison Roman Lemony Turmeric Tea Cake, but I don't eat dairy. What pantry options can I turn into a DIY substitute for the greek yogurt or sour cream called for in the recipe? [more inside]
posted by stellaluna at 4:18 PM PST - 4 comments

Homeschooling as dynamically and offline as possible

I know loads of us are in the same boat here, suddenly running homeschools. I'm eager for resources that help us novices BECOME the teacher, rather than setting the kid (age 6) up with online videos, ipad apps, or zoom classes. And workbooks are good but they're more suited to practice than actual learning. Of course, my time is limited so I can't fully devote myself to this by perusing pinterest for hours - does anyone have any ideas? [more inside]
posted by malhouse at 3:04 PM PST - 7 comments

Teeny li'l noodles

Thanks to the magic of ordering groceries over the internet and allowing the order picker to make substitutions, I have ended up with a rather large amount of narrow Amish egg noodles. What can I make with these? [more inside]
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 1:51 PM PST - 18 comments

Do I need to see a doctor?

I have a painful swelling on my labia majora, the skin on my upper thigh is irritated, and a nearby lymph node is swollen and painful. It feels like I've been punched in a lymph node, basically. I would really like to not have to contact a doctor right now. [more inside]
posted by hazyjane at 1:41 PM PST - 12 comments

Corset lacing and seasoning

I recently got a corset with the intent to do tight-lacing. Questions below the fold. [more inside]
posted by pxe2000 at 1:27 PM PST - 5 comments

Can an alcoholmeter be used to test the alcohol content of hand sanitize

Hi, Can an alcoholmeter like the one in this link be used to test the alcohol content of hand sanitizer? This is made for beer and wine testing. Is there something better for this purpose?
posted by Studiogeek at 12:32 PM PST - 3 comments

My ex may got the virus (?) what can I do with my daughter? Complicated

I just heard from my 10 year old daughter on Skype that her mom is sick, that mom went for "some check-ups", and that she just got a text that she won't come back home today, "and to be good".
I'm very worried, and don't know what to do. It's complicated because they are in California, and I left & moved to Denmark last June.
I still have to hear confirmation from my ex before I do anything. But I need to get prepared. [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 11:43 AM PST - 33 comments

How do you handle dinner debates with you partner?

Who chooses what to eat for dinner and how much accomdation is needed to for the other's preferences? [more inside]
posted by CosmicSeeker42 at 10:56 AM PST - 45 comments

grief in these strange times

CW: suicide [more inside]
posted by unstrungharp at 10:35 AM PST - 12 comments

Should we stay or should we go?

Another covid-19 shelter/travel question. [more inside]
posted by Dashy at 10:34 AM PST - 40 comments

How dangerous is it to buy a third-party laptop battery?

My laptop battery is dying and the manufacturer (Lenovo) no longer manufactures or sells an official replacement for it, nor is a replacement battery sold by any large retailer. Should I buy one from a small third party seller? [more inside]
posted by splitpeasoup at 8:42 AM PST - 13 comments

Application to Generate Word documents

I create lots of documents by taking an old document and changing a few things in it. What's the best option to automate this? [more inside]
posted by Xalf at 8:36 AM PST - 4 comments

We can't produce [anything/food] unless we produce everything

I'm looking for a quote. The thrust of it was that we've designed an economic system where we can't produce anything (or maybe they just mentioned food?) unless we produce everything. Anybody know this one?
posted by clawsoon at 7:44 AM PST - 2 comments

Can you help me pronounce this last name?

Can you help me pronounce the surname Zadravecz? I'm about to interview someone and would like to get at least close on the first attempt. Thanks!
posted by griseus at 5:39 AM PST - 17 comments

Grocery shopping safety in the time of Corona

There is no delivery here (not US). I am terrified after my last trip where despite going very early such that I was the only customer, the staff crowded around me and almost touched me. Please help me protect myself. [more inside]
posted by affectionateborg at 4:25 AM PST - 17 comments

I see what you made me make him do.

Looking for a scene from a movie or tv: Out protagonist, a political operative of some sort, is sitting in a mostly empty auditorium, flipping through a book while listening with one ear to a small debate. An operative of a politician competing with our protagonists sits down closeby and asked what PO1 is reading. PO1 replies with a memorable quote from the book, and OP2 says "I'll steal that quote". [more inside]
posted by monocultured at 12:36 AM PST - 9 comments

March 23

Socially Distant Seder: what would I need to group-chat Passover?

I'm thinking of setting up a seder that would include me and my housemate, her family, my family, her SO, and some friends. Each group would seder in place, but we'd all get hooked up via FaceTime or Skype or Zoom or whatever would work best. What kind of configuration would allow for maximum socializing with minimum branching (e.g. location 1 can only see/talk to location 4)? [more inside]
posted by tzikeh at 10:21 PM PST - 6 comments

Cool online interactive multiplayer kid friendly games with video chat

Are there any other kid-friendly multiplayer games (Animal Crossing looks good, but we are switchless) that also has voice and or video chat, so they can see each other and talk to each other while playing? [more inside]
posted by edman at 8:26 PM PST - 2 comments

Do I actually want a folding kayak?

I've enjoyed kayaking with rentals and thinking of getting my own. But, I live in a small apartment, don't own a car, and live a few miles from the nearest access point. The primary use would be slow-moving (but highly trafficked) urban river, followed by occasional use on small lakes or creeks near campsites and possibly paddling around next to the shore of Lake Michigan when conditions are absolutely ideal. Is a folding or inflatable kayak actually a good idea? They seem too good to be true. [more inside]
posted by eotvos at 8:23 PM PST - 16 comments

Atmospheric, broody music for my weird campaign?

I’m planning a virtual game D&D game which will be set in the time of the Justinian Plague, 542 AD. It’s going to start in the Carpathian region, with plans to travel through the Byzantine Empire, the Slavic realm, Jerusalem, and Egypt. Themes include church politics, Christianization of the Balkans, mysticism, magic, all that good stuff. So I need appropriate tunes! I’m looking for things that will be interesting but not obtrusive. Special requests inside. [more inside]
posted by skookumsaurus rex at 7:54 PM PST - 17 comments

Consistency is the hobgoblin of better researchers than me

Ten days ago, I started taking my temperature a few times a day, entirely at a whim, on the basis that a temperature rise might be my first notice of a COVID infection. I get about 3 readings a day, but the times are random. Just now I entered the data and tried to chart it and encountered an old foe: the basic charting functions of Google Sheets assume a consistent X-axis interval between datapoints. [more inside]
posted by Sunburnt at 7:36 PM PST - 11 comments

I smooshed my finger between 2 heavy rocks 8 or 9 days ago...

I smooshed my finger between 2 heavy rocks 8 or 9 days ago... [more inside]
posted by hollyanderbody at 7:20 PM PST - 9 comments

Love in the Time of Corona

Brides and Grooms getting married in the near future -- how are you handling wedding planning? [more inside]
posted by orangesky4 at 6:52 PM PST - 15 comments

Live Jamming Online

What is a good app or PC software for jamming with other musicians online? We tried Skype but there is a lag. I found JamKazam but am unfamiliar with it. Suggestions?
posted by zzazazz at 5:28 PM PST - 6 comments

Acorn TV watch list

In honour of the Miss Fisher movie and indefinite isolation, I have a one month free trial of Acorn. What should I prioritise watching?
posted by jeather at 5:03 PM PST - 15 comments

The literary equivalent of a sun-dappled landscape

What books are the literary equivalent of these paintings? Other things I'm vibing that could appear in these novels: cottages, monasteries, herbs, laborious cooking or fermenting, identifying plants.
posted by tofu_crouton at 4:29 PM PST - 18 comments

Making Icelandic yogurt, aka skyr at home for the first time

My question is about incubating my skyr. [more inside]
posted by Beethoven's Sith at 4:19 PM PST - 12 comments

help me keep my parents safe

what are the best practices for buying & dropping off groceries (& gardening supplies) for my extremely vulnerable elderly parents? or anyone else who is very high-risk? [more inside]
posted by changeling at 3:14 PM PST - 8 comments

How to gracefully resign from a job when the boss is self-quarantined?

This is a question from a friend who came to me for advice. He's been negotiating a position at a new firm, better benefits, salary, etc, since early January. He cleared background checks & got an offer letter today. Happy times! BUT [more inside]
posted by boo_radley at 3:10 PM PST - 7 comments

How to choose between COBRA and for insurance?

I was laid off and my employer will cover COBRA for six months. After that six months, I can go with a plan from I don't consume a lot of health care and the difference between paying for COBRA and is about $130. What metrics should I use to make this decision? Are there any benefits other than familiarity to stay with COBRA over [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 2:38 PM PST - 11 comments

Sheltering in place, with a spouse who has adult ADHD

My spouse has adult ADHD, and we are both working from our (tiny) apartment for the forseeable future. On our best days, it is a challenge for our household to create and follow a routine. With shelter in place, it's even harder. If you have ADHD, or you have a spouse with ADHD, can you share any strategies that you have found to work (or NOT work) with this new normal? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 2:38 PM PST - 13 comments

Routine procedure in the midst of medical overload

I get a colonoscopy every five years because of my family history. I'm worried about this year. [more inside]
posted by Rumi'sLeftSock at 2:09 PM PST - 5 comments

How to create a Temporary, Sound-Proof "Door"

It looks likely that I will be teaching two of my college courses from home for the rest of the term. How can I create a temporary "door" that is relatively soundproof into our finished basement? [more inside]
posted by Betelgeuse at 2:06 PM PST - 7 comments

Do I job search right now?

I was going to job hunt....and then this crisis happened. [more inside]
posted by pando11 at 2:01 PM PST - 10 comments

74-year-old dad with ulcer from long-term use of NSAIDs--what to do?

For the past month, my dad has been unable to eat much beyond porridge. When he eats anything else, he has diarrhea and wakes up in the middle of the night with terrible acid reflux. After speaking with a friend who used to be a nurse, we think he might have an ulcer from long-term use of NSAIDs. He was hit by a tow truck and fractured one of his vertebra in October 2019, and he's been taking ibuprofen daily to manage the pain. He stopped taking the ibuprofen last week. What can we do? [more inside]
posted by saltypup at 2:00 PM PST - 6 comments

What do you call throat lump sensation due to anxiety?

For the last couple of days, it's manifested as a mild feeling of tightness that feels like it's right below my adam's apple. Kind of like a 'lump in the throat' but pretty low. Is there a name for this feeling? Knowing more about it would probably help me cope. [more inside]
posted by summerteeth at 1:24 PM PST - 6 comments

What is a “grocery store”

For those in states with shelter in place due to COVID 19 who can only go out for essentials what is defined as grocery stores? Is the entirety of large stores like Wal Mart included? [more inside]
posted by raccoon409 at 12:21 PM PST - 14 comments

Choose your own location: COVID Edition

My family and I are lucky to (currently) have choices about where to locate ourselves. But we are going in circles trying to figure out the best option. Relevant factors: I am highly immune compromised with lung involvement. We have two young kids. We are Canadian/American citizens. We have been in full quarantine for three weeks and so are reasonably sure we do not currently have the virus. The question: which location would you pick and why? Are there factors I'm not thinking of? (Fair warning that the descriptions below the cut are loooooong.) [more inside]
posted by jeszac at 11:59 AM PST - 19 comments

Learning jazz piano online?

Since it looks like there's going to be lot of Quality Indoor Time in the near future, I'm looking for online resources for playing jazz piano. [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky at 10:21 AM PST - 6 comments

How would you respond? Covid 19-edition...

Text communication to landscaping contractor who checked in to let me know he is ready to get to work… essentially he is exposing his four or five employees and by extension everyone they come in contact with. [more inside]
posted by elf27 at 10:14 AM PST - 14 comments

Quarantining from my family

Are any other front line people self-quarantining from their families? [more inside]
posted by pintapicasso at 10:14 AM PST - 12 comments

She can't wait it out, so where to shelter from the stock storm?

I have an elderly friend who is currently retired and drawing from an IRA to support herself and her husband who is in a memory care facility. She's worried about the stock market decline cutting into this IRA tied to stocks and needs to preserve as much as possible so she can keep up her husband's care. She has received advice to move the money into a guaranteed income annuity. Should she take it? [more inside]
posted by cross_impact at 10:13 AM PST - 9 comments

Musical collaboration on the cheap?

A friend's church has swapped to doing online services. They were wondering if there is an easy way for the choir to record their parts together from their phones or computers. Is there some standard software for layering together a vocal track and building it up? [more inside]
posted by cmm at 10:05 AM PST - 5 comments

Macrame identification and instruction

I love this Prada bag but I aint paying no grand for it, so i want to make my own. I'm a reasonably crafty person with a sewing machine and some sewing experience, but I haven't tried macrame... [more inside]
posted by WeekendJen at 9:20 AM PST - 8 comments

Create a link to a specific Excel file - in an email, using Outlook

My Google-fu has failed me. This is a thing that can be done...I've done it. I'm just pressed for time, and turning to the green for help. I need to insert a link to a Excel file that is saved in a shared folder. The file doesn't come up under 'recently used' in the 'add a link menu'. I can't seem to just right click it and paste it as a link (which might only work for folders?). I'm flustered, and need some help. Thanks in advance
posted by walkinginsunshine at 9:05 AM PST - 3 comments

Covid response for programmers and technologists.

I have skills in programming, data science. I also have plenty of free time at the moment. How and where can I apply my skills? [more inside]
posted by gregglind at 8:44 AM PST - 12 comments

youth sports and coronavirus

Sorry for another "how does coronavirus affect x" question, but... how does coronavirus affect x, where x is youth sports and general athletic participation? [more inside]
posted by kevinbelt at 7:48 AM PST - 8 comments

A guide to loving shiitake mushrooms

I have an extravagance of fresh shiitake mushrooms. I find the flavor overwhelmingly strong. Give me recipes or techniques that will help me to enjoy these. [more inside]
posted by carrioncomfort at 7:48 AM PST - 6 comments

Best of the Brand X oxygen concentrators?

I'm trying to put together a little home care setup for a medically fragile friend in case of need. Note: I am a physician and will only fire up the oxygen in consultation with another doctor who knows what s/he is doing!!! I see a lot of cheap oxygen concentrators around. Has anyone actually used one of them? (The would-be patient is superstitious and refuses to just rent a good one.) Thank you for your thoughts.
posted by 8603 at 7:19 AM PST - 6 comments

Should my wrist still hurt?

In a poorly timed accident, I broke my wrist as the pandemic set in. Should it still hurt? I fractured my wrist in 2 places on 3/12. Was a bit out of place, so the Orthopedist put it back in place and casted it on 3/14. [more inside]
posted by RajahKing at 6:55 AM PST - 6 comments

Am *I* the vulnerable population?

If I have mild asthma but am otherwise a very healthy young-ish person, should I be putting myself out there to run errands/ otherwise help people who are more at risk? [more inside]
posted by geegollygosh at 6:47 AM PST - 16 comments

What US laws are changing (or have already changed) because of COVID?

What federal laws and regulations in the United States are changing (or have already changed) to deal with COVID? [more inside]
posted by saladin at 6:23 AM PST - 3 comments

Pay off loan or invest?

Should I pay off, significantly pay down a loan, or invest? I have a lot of experience with debt, but no experience with investments. [more inside]
posted by Bucket o' Heads at 6:17 AM PST - 13 comments

Expand my repertoire - emergency landing entertainment for toddlers

So... my two and a half-year son LOVES emergency plane landings. Started with my reading him the safety card on a long flight when I ran out of other material and now he's an addict. I'm looking for suggestions on emergency landing-related books, videos available online, other things that might expand the scope of his passion? Some more detail below... [more inside]
posted by slide at 6:01 AM PST - 10 comments

Gift card for Boston restaurant with good take-out/delivery

A former student of mine, now in Boston, is defending her thesis on Friday. I'd like to send her and her husband a gift card to a restaurant that has good food and delivers. No dietary limits that I'm aware of. This is a moment of celebration but, of course, they can't go out and celebrate, so something festive would be nice. Suggestions?
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 5:26 AM PST - 5 comments

COVID-19 Custody question

Ex-spouse took our shared custody 10 year old daughter via airplane to Orlando for spring break last week. Just picked her up for my custody week and found out about this. Freaking out now and wondering a) how ridiculous was this and b) what if anything should we be doing? Our state (Indiana) is not on lock down orders.
posted by anonymous at 4:51 AM PST - 10 comments

My Blog Doesn't Recognize Me!

Weird problem - My Wordpress blog doesn't seem to think I'm logged on when I'm looking at it. Help? [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:19 AM PST - 18 comments

Creating a simple digital archive

I'm putting together a simple digital archive for my workplace. It will store pdfs of newspaper articles, blueprints, a few books, as well as image files or various sorts of photographs, etc. I'm not a librarian or archivist so I'm seeking advice on the types of information to have associated with these files. [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek at 4:18 AM PST - 1 comment

WAMP Server / Moodle installation - failing right at start...

I am trying to get a local Moodle installation on my machine for initial testing and self learning. I am stumbling right out of the gates, as I have zero knowledge about the underlying PHP / MySQL / MariaDB setup aspects. [more inside]
posted by Meatbomb at 1:19 AM PST - 6 comments

Replacement home exercise for a swimmer

I can't go swimming and I want suggestions for a replacement exercise routine! [more inside]
posted by Gilgongo at 12:43 AM PST - 5 comments

March 22

like butter

Have you ever made a Spanish tortilla with butter instead of olive oil? [more inside]
posted by nantucket at 10:42 PM PST - 9 comments

Hungry Mother Runner

Since the 'shelter in place' started a week ago, I've been running everyday. Now I am starving beyond belief. What can I eat to help with this? [more inside]
posted by Toddles at 8:38 PM PST - 11 comments

Kindle Fire Kids Edition for aging parent?

I've been considering getting my dad Kindle Fire for Kids, since it comes with the protective case. He has Parkinson's and his hands shake constantly. Can we just ignore all the "Kid" stuff and treat it like a regular Fire that's easier to hold? Or: Can we get a kid's case for a regular Fire - are they the same size & shape? Does it have the same warranty against breakage? [more inside]
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 8:32 PM PST - 5 comments

Have you seen the series Trigonometry? Is it actually funny?

Spoilers welcome! [more inside]
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 7:50 PM PST - 2 comments

What is a fever, anyway?

YANMD, etc., but I never learned this from my mom growing up and it's hard to parse the conventional wisdom now that we're in the era of Covid-19, but: how does one factor in a fever if they feel "normal," and is there a way to measure a fever's severity apart from the thermometer read-out? [more inside]
posted by witchen at 7:02 PM PST - 16 comments

Post-surgical help in Las Vegas, NV

A friend in Las Vegas, NV is being sent home from the hospital early after an emergency heart surgery, because his doctor wants to minimize his risk of contracting coronavirus in the hospital. He still needs a lot of help, and isn't sure how to get it. Are there resources I can recommend to him? [more inside]
posted by gorillawarfare at 5:53 PM PST - 5 comments

Cute and fantastical video games!

Like all of us looking to expand our game collection in these times, specifically rpg, fantasy like. (Expanding on the wholesome games theme!) [more inside]
posted by xarnop at 5:48 PM PST - 20 comments

What are some best practices for healthcare providers upon coming home?

DrMsEld's practice (PhD, not MD) is still operating, with much increased telehealth options both for the therapists working under her (two of which are in quarantine but not sick per se) and clients, and she is still going into the office to provide in-person intakes and evaluations for cases that aren't feasible for telehealth sessions per her ethical/professional opinion. That means she comes home after seeing a non-zero number of the public and I'd rather limit the potential for infection here at home. [more inside]
posted by RolandOfEld at 5:42 PM PST - 7 comments

Maintaining cardio health while locked indoors

I an a small time runner. I run for mental health reasons & insomnia prevention and run about 3-4 miles almost every day. I have been doing at-home Pilates (also a pre-quar activity) just to have something to do but not doing at least 30 min of cardio a day is messing with my sleep. What should I do? [more inside]
posted by stoneandstar at 5:40 PM PST - 15 comments

what Board games would work well for kids to play remotely?

Our ten year old likes gaming-he’s very excited about D&D recently, for instance-but recent events have put a halt to his activities. Late last week, he and a buddy played Battleship over FaceTime and it worked beautifully-for that game, not being in the same room is a feature, not a bug. What other games would you recommend? Assume relatively short attention spans and lots of opportunity for fourth grade trash talking. We have a ton of board games and are willing to by others. Prefer something they can play fairly independently while we try and WFH but also happy to facilitate or teach.
posted by purenitrous at 4:34 PM PST - 7 comments

Why would people with kids postpone marriage in 19th century Europe?

I'm doing research on families who were living in Europe (mostly France, but not only) in the second half of the 19th century, and I have noted a pattern of unmarried people having children together but getting married years after the birth of the child. [more inside]
posted by elgilito at 4:34 PM PST - 16 comments

Will replacing the interior doors in our apartment mitigate noise?

I live in a 1970s wood frame apartment building. Sound carries extremely well inside the apartment -- someone in the bedroom with the door closed can follow a conversation in the kitchen, on the other side of the apartment. The interior doors are all original and of poor quality. Should I replace them? [more inside]
posted by no regrets, coyote at 4:09 PM PST - 4 comments

Identify this artist signature?

Hi all, this is probably a long shot but I've had this painting for over a decade and am trying to figure out the artist. I don't remember where I got the painting, unfortunately. Here's a picture. There's a signature but I can't quite decipher it. B..U.. something ending in G? Thanks all!
posted by cozenedindigo at 3:59 PM PST - 2 comments

Make a simple live-action interactive character that you click on?

I'm a medical clown in children's hospitals – now locked out due to Covid – looking for ways to stay connected to patients digitally. I'd love to film a bunch of videos of me doing silly things, and present them as an interactive avatar. A web interface with an image of me that a kid can click on (or click buttons next to me) to make me dance, sing, blow bubbles, fart, etc. How? [more inside]
posted by pablocake at 3:56 PM PST - 3 comments

So... how do we know when symptom free means non-contagious?

There's a lot of great information out there, but I've yet to find guidelines on when someone who has shown symptoms (but has not been tested, as they were mild) might be considered safe to interact with again. My son has shown symptoms ... and they're (thankfully) subsiding. Is there any clear indication of when it is safe to resume contact (he's at his mother's now, I'm at risk, and I miss him). Thanks in advance and hope we're all staying safe.
posted by emmet at 3:51 PM PST - 7 comments

Safe to use Lysol wipes on pasta boxes?

We just lysol wiped a huge grocery delivery. Most of it was in non porous plastic bags or tin cans. But some of it, like pasta for instance, was in cardboard boxes. You know, the thin kind? I tried to dry the excess Lysol off of the boxes as I wiped, but now I’m a little worried: since cardboard is paper, could the Lysol wipes affect the contents? Or does the finish on the printing kind of prevent that from happenings? [more inside]
posted by summerteeth at 3:38 PM PST - 7 comments

How is this going to affect so many?

If 40-80% of population will contract SARS-CoV-2 when and how will this happen if we are isolating now? [more inside]
posted by loveandhappiness at 3:18 PM PST - 25 comments

Tips for keeping in touch with friends

What are you doing to keep in touch with your friends in these trying times, especially friends you used to see on a regular basis? I would like to do a little better at it, but don't want to be online 24/7. Thanks!
posted by ferret branca at 3:16 PM PST - 8 comments

Story about a carpet that comes to life

I remember reading a short story about a kid who is playing on an ornate carpet, pretending that the red in the pattern is lava, the green is jungle, there are snakes or something... and what he's imagining becomes real, and maybe he's eaten by a snake. I thought it was by Ray Bradbury but I'm not coming up with anything. Does anyone know what story I'm thinking of?
posted by goatdog at 3:12 PM PST - 4 comments

how can I teach my fastidious dog to 'go' on the balcony?

My dog has shockingly good housetraining and has never had an indoor accident in all the years he's been with me. I'd like him to do his doggy business on the balcony when circumstances make it difficult to go for a real walk. How can I convince him that the balcony counts as outside, not inside? [more inside]
posted by moonmilk at 2:54 PM PST - 10 comments

Why is my zoom stream to facebook live stopping abruptly?

I'm trying to use zoom to stream a split-screen remote interview to facebook live. It works fine for a while, but after a few minutes it cuts out, with a message saying "Your facebook live video has ended". I'm trying to figure out why this might be, and how I could possibly fix it. [more inside]
posted by ManInSuit at 2:22 PM PST - 2 comments

How strong is evidence on coronavirus and loss of smell/taste?

The British Association of Otorhinolaryngology (ENT UK) say that a loss of smell or taste could be a symptom of coronavirus, and could be the only one you have. Is there any published/available evidence or data to support what they're saying? [more inside]
posted by knapah at 2:05 PM PST - 8 comments

Should I feed the birds?

I have a small back yard--more like a patio surrounded by planter borders, really--that attracts the occasional hummingbird and other birds. I've gotten a lot of joy out of watching them from my window lately, and have been pondering putting out a hummingbird feeder and regularbird feeder. Should I? Or does that disrupt their ecosystems, and I should put specific plants in to attract them, instead? Any resources would be appreciated! [more inside]
posted by rhiannonstone at 1:19 PM PST - 10 comments

Actions to increase likelihood of mild covid19 recovery?

Are there any peer-reviewed (or at least clinician-generated) studies showing what to do if you have covid19 - but have mild symptoms - and want to act in a manner that most likely slows or stop the disease’s progression to a more serious phase? I’m not asking for quackery, false cures or anecdata. However, as of March 22 there have been a minimum of 300k+ infections and 95k+ that have been “recovered from” under pretty intense surveillance. Apart from the biological statistics of age, pre-existing conditions etc, are there any commonalities or trends in the *actions* (or non-actions!) of recoverees, vs worseners? Let’s assume that not-smoking, rest, hydration are a given….
posted by lalochezia at 11:48 AM PST - 12 comments

People who dislike physical contact

Hi all. I don't really have a question as such, but rather like maybe getting in touch with others who feel the same. It's, I really dislike physical contact. And so many people like it and I feel like I'm doing something wrong. Now I'm in my forties and I've had several long time relationships, and I'm just a dude who likes women, and apparently several of those women who are some of the best people I have ever met, have been silly enough to have reciprocated and we've had good relationships. So it's not like a sexual or an intimacy thing. As far as I can tell there's no complaints about that. But outside of it. Like, I want to stay away from all people unless I really like them. I'm also here in eastern europe and (south?) americans particularly are very comfortable with physical contact. But I'm not. I really really dislike it. Anyway this is not really a question but there are others like me right?
posted by Pyrogenesis at 11:10 AM PST - 16 comments

Turning an ugly concrete slab into modern looking rectangles with grass

The previous owner of my house decided that he needed to pour a concrete slab over most of the open space in our yard. Rather than demoing the whole thing, I was wondering if it would be possible to strategically cut parts of the concrete to create a look of concrete pavers with grass (or a creeping oregano) between them. Is that possible to do? The slab is already divided into blocks with lines on them. It is 4" thick and 30 years old.
posted by arnicae at 11:10 AM PST - 13 comments

What can I replace this 80s push button switch with?

My house has a few odd push button switches for exterior lights that don’t work well and need to be replaced. What are these and what is the current day equivalent? [more inside]
posted by q*ben at 10:59 AM PST - 5 comments

Lung damage from coronavirus

Can you get permanent lung damage from coronavirus? I've read some reports that pneumonia from coronavirus is particularly severe because it damages all the lungs (guardian link) and that some patients have trouble breathing (scmp link). Is that something people bounce back from, or materially different from either viral/bacterial pneumonias? Or is it something new that could cause long lasting damage.
posted by earlsofsandwich at 9:56 AM PST - 8 comments

Annotated French edition of Chrétien de Troyes’ Perceval?

Late last night, I was researching, online, editions of Perceval ou le Conte du Graal and found one that had the original poem with ample footnotes, in French, on each page that explained individual words, provided line translations, etc. I thought I’d downloaded the PDF of this book, but when I checked this morning, it was not there. [more inside]
posted by the sobsister at 9:47 AM PST - 5 comments

How to carve without killing my back?

I like to do linocuts and printmaking. And now, so much free time I have since my job has temporarily disappeared. Problem? I can't carve for more than 20 minutes at a time before the pain/stiffness in my neck, shoulders and mid back are unbearable and I have to stop. [more inside]
posted by wellifyouinsist at 9:26 AM PST - 11 comments

Telecommuting: home desk high, chair low. Seat cushion solutions?

Like a lot of people, I'll be working full-time from home till whenever. I have a workspace that is ideal apart from a monster desk (no good way to move or swap out during isolation) that's a bit too high for ergonomic typing with the desk chair raised to maximum height. Suggestions on good seat cushions designed for the purpose that would add a couple of inches of elevation (2" or 5cm would do it)? [more inside]
posted by Creosote at 8:43 AM PST - 12 comments

A question about reusing masks

If viruses don't survive long on surfaces (the coronavirus survives 24 hours on cardboard, flu viruses survive only around four hours on clothes, etc) why would they survive on masks? I have a reusable mask (Vogmask) originally purchased for wildfire smoke and would like to use it on once-a-week grocery trips. Will time alone take care of viruses? The outside of the mask can also be wiped with a disinfectant wipe, but my main question is just about time. [more inside]
posted by pinochiette at 8:05 AM PST - 8 comments

I need virtual gift suggestions!

I need suggestions about virtual Easter gifts for my kids in case we can't find/order physical gifts. I'm looking for apps, games, movies, things like that. We have an iPad, Kindles, Amazon Prime, Android phones, and a Nintendo Switch. [more inside]
posted by christinetheslp at 6:56 AM PST - 3 comments

Stardew Valley at 1366x768 resolution

I finally bought Stardew Valley to play on my laptop (on Steam.) I know the graphics are kinda retro, but it looks worse than screenshots I've seen and sometimes doesn't seem to function like it should in terms of what's showing up on the screen. From googling it seems that this is because my old Thinkpad X220's screen (max resolution of 1366x768) is a lot lower than most and the game was designed for higher resolutions. Is there anything I can do to fix this? I have both Windows 10 and Ubuntu on my laptop. I have zero experience with gaming.
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:43 AM PST - 9 comments

Because of covid19, is it safe that our cleaning help work at our home?

We are 2 people in good health in our late sixties. Our help comes every two weeks. I’m conflicted if it’s safe for us for her to come. Is it an absolute no or is there a way to make it work?
posted by Tziv at 6:28 AM PST - 10 comments

Dog walks in the time of coronavirus

Is it okay for my dog walker to keep working right now? I will preface this by saying that I absolutely intend to keep paying my dog walker regardless -- and she knows this. I live alone with my doofus coonhound in a condo in a large east coast city that has thus far been moderately hard hit by the coronavirus. My dog walker would really like to keep working right now. She enjoys the opportunity to be outside and spending time with animals. I have a high stress work from home job and really appreciate the help with managing dog care. [more inside]
posted by fancypants at 5:55 AM PST - 20 comments

Need A Script For Confronting Banjo Player

My upstairs neighbour loves their banjo. They are currently practising their banjo jazz from 9am until 8pm with tiny breaks inbetween. It is the same chords over and over. I am WFH and white noise does not cancel out the banjo. I have tried wearing headphones with ambient music, but every time I take off the headphones the plonk-di-plonk is back. I need a script to confront the banjo player. I don't want to scream QUIT THE BANJO JAZZ in their face. I need to be firm, but still polite. Help me, Metafilter.
posted by kariebookish at 5:55 AM PST - 22 comments

Help Me Understand Manufacturing

How exactly is Elon Musk making 250,000 n95 masks overnight? Is he lying? As far as I know his factories are closed, and anyway manufacturing masks seems completely different than manufacturing cars. [more inside]
posted by Literaryhero at 5:44 AM PST - 17 comments

How to anonymously help

Help me beanplate sending folks small amounts of money anonymously ($20-$50 max) [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 5:22 AM PST - 5 comments

EA mask - chlorine dioxide cloud against germs?

This makes no sense to me as walking around in wafts of chlorine dioxide seems borderline nuts, but I'm getting pushed to buy EA masks for my family as anti-COVID measures. Can someone with actual biochem understanding check them out? Sold out pre-orders and getting pushed online in Singapore - so the EA masks, scam, homeopathy or possibly useful?
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 4:44 AM PST - 9 comments

Do I sell or donate my collection of animation books, art, and merch?

What should I do with my collection of rare animation books, art, and memorabilia? [more inside]
posted by Kitchen Witch at 4:16 AM PST - 6 comments

For the Queen?

A few people have recommended For the Queen recently. I want to play the Roll20 version with a group of friends, but we're struggling to find instructions for the online version and none of us own the boxed game; does anyone have a link to the game instructions? [more inside]
posted by terretu at 3:57 AM PST - 4 comments

March 21

Getting a car in NYC

I live in New York with husband and two young kids. We’ve never owned a car. We want to own a car, stat. How do we get one, is it even possible now? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 11:16 PM PST - 9 comments

how low of a low fever is enough to be concerned about?

Even in ordinary times, my resting temp (taken orally with a mercury thermometer) is about 98.0ºF, but often spikes to around 99.0 in the afternoon. Yesterday I hit 99.3 and decided to self-quarantine for a while, but is that really enough of a fever to bother about? What's the accepted level for how low of a low fever is a covid concern? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 11:15 PM PST - 8 comments

Tumultuous convo about COVID with my best friend; was I in the wrong?

I just had an incredibly emotionally charged phone conversation about COVID with my best friend and I need some perspective. For context, I've known this woman for more than a decade and we care about each other very much. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 11:15 PM PST - 44 comments

VERY Large Peeler for Aloe Vera - Name Please

Here is the photo - - and where can it be found?
posted by watercarrier at 10:59 PM PST - 3 comments

Cutting Long Straightish Asian Female Hair

I am looking for a good, clear and simple tutorial with pictures of real women or video that will teach me how to trim my own hair straight across my back. [more inside]
posted by whitelotus at 9:44 PM PST - 5 comments

Number of confirmed Coronavirus cases worldwide by day?

Is there a dataset somewhere that shows, in a table, the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus worldwide on a day by day basis? I've seen a number of graphs, but haven't been able to find the actual values in a table that I can download. Thanks.
posted by NoneOfTheAbove at 9:41 PM PST - 7 comments

C19 won’t be transmitted via books, right?

Suppose I have a couple of friends and I want to buy each one of them a couple of books as a gift for them (via Amazon) and leave a set of books on each doorstep — in the Time of Coronavirus. Would a reasonable person (who is asymptomatic) do this, or would a reasonable person view this as a little risky? Surely the former, right?
posted by PaulVario at 9:08 PM PST - 14 comments

How to set up cable internet with self-install?

My house has a lot of coaxial wires in a box on the wall. I think there may be existing but deactivated cable service. How do I set up cable internet for my new work at home lifestyle? [more inside]
posted by Mid at 9:05 PM PST - 4 comments

What advice would you give UK restaurants currently?

If you were writing an online document, intended to reassure and give safe, practical advice to UK restaurant staff that have had to shut down due to COVID 19, what advice would you include? [more inside]
posted by lucidium at 8:37 PM PST - 1 comment

how should I capture gender and sex in medical software?

I'm working on software that presents patient data to clinicians, and stores that data for later analysis. The patient data is plotted against norms for age and gender, and included in later analysis to establish general norms for age and gender. I can't assume that someone should be categorised medically according to their gender identity: I don't know, and don't intend to make the choice as to whether or not data for a 46 year old transgender man should be plotted against norms for 46 year old cis men, nor whether their data should be included with data for 46 year old cis men in later analysis. I want to be able to handle this so people are gendered as they chose, that the appropriate context is given for categorisation of their medical data, and that this is done with sensitivity to complexity of people's relationship with their gender identity. [more inside]
posted by compound eye at 7:43 PM PST - 16 comments

And all of a sudden, I cannot smell anything

I seem to have lost my sense of smell. Truly low on the totem pole of problems right now, but damned annoying nonetheless. Anyway to get it back? [more inside]
posted by tafetta, darling! at 6:32 PM PST - 24 comments

Identify A Pill

Found some pills. They were left at my house, but don't know by whom. I've tried on-line pill identifiers -- no luck. [more inside]
posted by CCBC at 6:27 PM PST - 4 comments

Online IRS address change?

Is it possible to update my home address with the United States Internal Revenue Service via an online form?
posted by DreamStar at 5:36 PM PST - 2 comments

Report Roth IRA withdrawal for school, 2019

My partner took a Roth IRA withdrawal for a qualified educational expense in 2019. Now. How do we report this on our taxes? [more inside]
posted by blnkfrnk at 5:18 PM PST - 2 comments

the fiscal impact of marijuana legalization

This is a nerdy question about a non-nerdy topic. Back in the 20th century, we used to say [more inside]
posted by the hot hot side of randy at 2:37 PM PST - 7 comments

There's a global pandemic AND my freezer stopped working?!

OK, so I live in Brooklyn where we're sheltering in place, and as of this morning everything in my freezer has melted. The fridge still seems cold. I would ordinarily Google this problem, but everyone on the internet seems to have a cold freezer and a warm fridge, whereas I have a warm freezer and a cold fridge. Help? [more inside]
posted by sparkling at 2:33 PM PST - 8 comments

What's the status of live theatre in Hong Kong, Taiwan, S. Korea?

Calling Mefis in East Asia. Are all live theatres still shut down? If so any news on when they will reopen? We are a small improv theatre in Canada, we shutdown a week ago. We really need to get some idea of how long shutdowns last. We are paying rent and now have no income. We are going to approach the Landlord but we want to be as realistic as possible.
posted by storybored at 2:24 PM PST - 2 comments

How to help my community affected by the coronavirus?

I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area, on the Peninsula. I consider myself fortunate to be healthy and safe and am troubled by all the news of local restaurants and businesses, plus millions of residents, who are severely impacted. How can I help local businesses and families directly while practicing social distancing? [more inside]
posted by hampanda at 1:36 PM PST - 7 comments

Understanding the COVID-19 data

Why do countries some countries appear to have a much higher death per total case rate from COVID-19 than others? The data confuses me. [more inside]
posted by scarylarry at 1:16 PM PST - 16 comments

Google forms quiz tracking

I've been using Google forms for daily formative assessments in my formerly face to face classes. Is there a way for students to check if they've completed them all? Not using Google classrooms. [more inside]
posted by Acari at 12:35 PM PST - 2 comments

To Serve Bachelor Chow

Can you point me to YouTube channels featuring what I'll refer to as bachelor chow cooking? Particularly interested in non-American versions of this. [more inside]
posted by needled at 12:30 PM PST - 9 comments

Is there software to run a physical book swap?

Is there any open-source (preferred) or commercial software that would help facilitate a physical book swap? [more inside]
posted by mrgrimm at 12:28 PM PST - 1 comment

Long term planning for corona - academic edition

My university is shut down. How can we support staff welfare at my university in the long term, and help in dealing with extended shut down? [more inside]
posted by biffa at 12:26 PM PST - 6 comments

Physical distancing within an intentional community

Okay, I'm a bit frazzled so hopefully this makes sense. I'm trying to figure out how to communicate effectively with my intentional residential community about physical distancing (aka social distancing). We had a meeting yesterday and said we were all onboard with the basic concepts and the intention of flattening the curve. The sticking point (for me) is that multiple folks have romantic partners who live in other places. [more inside]
posted by overglow at 12:02 PM PST - 21 comments

Can I pre-brown a beef roast, cool & refrigerate then bake next day?

I would like to season and brown an English cut beef roast, cool then put it in the roasting pan in the fridge covered w/plastic wrap so a helpful non-cooking housemate can put it in the oven the next day. The usda says absolutely not but I do plenty of things they recommend not to. [more inside]
posted by RichardHenryYarbo at 11:36 AM PST - 7 comments

strategies or products for sleeping while camping with a bad back.

I don't know how to get a good night sleep while camping. Please help! [more inside]
posted by chasles at 11:31 AM PST - 14 comments

I Need to Close a Window to Open a Window — Not the Computer Kind

Help me unstick the top half of my window that has decided it wants to be the bottom half of my window. It seemed like the day to let it some air! Well, FML. [more inside]
posted by Charity Garfein at 10:25 AM PST - 8 comments

Best White Paint to Cover Dark Green Walls in Minimum Number of Coats

I have dark green walls in a big room, which I wish to repaint plain white. Of all the brands and types of paint I could get at Home Depot, Walmart etc., which is going to most likely require the least amount of coats? This is for a rental property I am leaving, so I don't have other considerations beyond making the room white in the least amount of time.
posted by 7 Minutes of Madness at 10:16 AM PST - 7 comments

Starving vs. risking the virus

I live in an area where 50% of the population is living hand to mouth, and that's not just a figure of speech. Should I have my head contractor cancel the landscaping work his team is doing in my yard so I'm not responsible for contagion? [more inside]
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:11 AM PST - 9 comments

Songs for a Hot Dog

Tomorrow, I am donning my hot dog costume to parade around and cheer up some folks in the neighborhood. What are some good songs for my hot dog playlist? [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:11 AM PST - 40 comments

Where to buy a decent, affordable sofa or sofa-bed online in Canada?

I moved into a new apartment right before the current crisis, and I need to buy a couch. For obvious reasons I’d prefer not to go couch-shopping in person right now, but couch-shopping online is risky since lots of couches LOOK nice but turn out to feel like sitting on styrofoam. I’m looking for your personal recommendations for companies that sell comfortable, affordable couches online and will ship to Canada. [more inside]
posted by mekily at 8:04 AM PST - 4 comments

Best practices for a big social gathering on Zoom?

I’m going to be hosting a big family get together on Zoom. I don’t know how many people will be there, but if it gets a lot of traction among family members we could hit my 100 person account limit. This is probably going to be chaos! What can I do to help keep things running smoothly? We are just doing this for fun and connection across the country, but I’d like it to be as successful as possible so that we might end up doing it on a regular basis. Any advice for successfully running a large video conference (one without any sort of meeting agenda) would be helpful.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:12 AM PST - 13 comments

The center will not hold, but will this coffee cup hold?

I'm sorry, I'm getting conflicting information. I know this is ridiculous, but maybe someone here knows something about the stability of paper cups? [more inside]
posted by marimeko at 6:01 AM PST - 22 comments

Stores offering special seniors-only hours?

Is there a comprehensive list of stores offering seniors-only shopping hours during the COVID-19 crisis? [more inside]
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:45 AM PST - 10 comments

Where to look for fleas

I feel absolutely dumbfounded when I ask this because I know what a flea looks like. However, heres my conun-dum-drum. I have an all white long haired house cat who never leaves the house. She sits on my lap frequently. I sometimes get the sensation (more to come) [more inside]
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 4:18 AM PST - 12 comments

March 20

Autofill/configuring thousands of Zoom licenses

I'm on a team that is configuring thousands of Zoom licenses this weekend to support our healthcare providers. For each one, we have to go in and fiddle some settings and create a reusable meeting link. Does any one know any way to make this slightly there a way to record a series of actions (e.g. fill in one box with 'virtual visit with Dr.,' then click that box, select that radio button, etc.) in Chrome? Any ideas that aren't "it's just 7000 minutes of work" would be much appreciated!
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 11:52 PM PST - 7 comments

Shut up and keep your money! (Rent forgiveness in these COVID-19 times)

I have a tenant who is wonderful. I want to provide her with free rent for a month along with a legal-ish document that states this. How? [more inside]
posted by mezzanayne at 10:09 PM PST - 17 comments

DIY face masks, sewing your own face masks

A friend phoned me today all excited that we could DO SOMETHING and start sewing face masks to donate. Apparently this is actually a thing, I was wondering if anyone has information on which materials are best? Cotton, polyester? Is there a preferable style? I've googled, but the internet is just full of unreliable information right now. [more inside]
posted by Dynex at 10:09 PM PST - 12 comments

How's your COVID bunker treating you?

We need to rent a place to hide out for a few months, pronto, but we are in analysis paralysis about where and what. I'd like to know how others feel about their current isolation setup. [more inside]
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:49 PM PST - 23 comments

Seeking Jib-Jab & Jacquie Lawson's bastard child

I love the idea of Jib-Jab but hate the execution. Does anyone offer something that is similar but not designed by college frat-boys? [more inside]
posted by Winnie the Proust at 6:38 PM PST - 1 comment

Domestic violence in the age or coronavirus

What, if anything, should I do here? [more inside]
posted by Amy93 at 6:11 PM PST - 21 comments

Ereader recommendation

I'm considering buying an e-ink reader for the first time. What models should I look at? [more inside]
posted by medusa at 5:13 PM PST - 11 comments

Recreate amazing fried eggplant

Last time I was in NYC I went to Ivan Ramen and had THE BEST eggplant of my life. The menu just lists it as “crispy eggplant - Japanese eggplant, tahini, charred garlic.” It was bite-sized pieces of perfectly crisp yet melty eggplant and I want to recreate it. I have a regular eggplant, tahini, and garlic. How do I fry the eggplant to approximate the crispy amazingness of this dish?
posted by tatiana wishbone at 3:27 PM PST - 7 comments

Chassis ground to neutral in Seattle?

I just moved to a home with a 3-prong dryer outlet. My dryer has a four-prong. I read an old ask, did my YouTube research, decided this is something I should be able to swap, and bought a 3-wire cord. However, the manual calls out that in some places the electric code does not allow you to connect cabinet-ground conductor to neutral wire. I can follow dryer instructions but government codes are inscrutable! Does Seattle allow this?
posted by rouftop at 2:52 PM PST - 14 comments

I love video games. Spouse doesn't but is open to it. Any suggestions?

Are there any video games that might engage a total non-gamer either as a spectator or a participant? She's not into competitive things (doesn't like board/card games either), her attention span for things that require investment is low, and she's distractible. Is there any hope, or are we doomed to continue netflix and chilling? The only ray of hope is that she hasn't been exposed to many games for a very long time. So it's not like she's seen the latest options and shot them down.
posted by malhouse at 2:39 PM PST - 32 comments

L.A./SoCal Public Showers (Beach or Other)

I was cruising in life in L.A. until last weekend, when due to the pandemic all work in my two jobs dried up AND I was kicked out of the room I was renting since my roommate/landlord is elderly and vulnerable to the virus. I have no problem sleeping in my car. But I do not function well without a daily shower. Does anyone know of any beach showers or other public showers that are open during the lockdown in L.A. or elsewhere in SoCal? [more inside]
posted by fenwaydirtdog at 2:30 PM PST - 10 comments

Tell me about the treehouses you have known

Now that the house and landscaping are done this will be the year we make a treehouse. I'm asking my kids to brainstorm things they might want for one and have also shown them Pinterest for collecting ideas. But what are some features you've loved or hated in the treehouses you have known? I'll take any and all tips on treehouse construction too.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:02 PM PST - 13 comments

Best affordable laptop that can run Blender and do a bit of gaming?

We are stuck in the house indefinitely and need to order - ASAP! - a new laptop so the older kid can do schoolwork and also spend time doing 3D rendering on Blender and to a lesser extent some gaming. Looking in the $1000 range. Help. [more inside]
posted by bassomatic at 1:12 PM PST - 5 comments


I need help to access an episode from the old black and white Superman TV show from the 1950's, that starred George Reeves. [more inside]
posted by elf27 at 1:03 PM PST - 4 comments

How do you really know if you are being defensive?

Are there resources I can use to help me to analyze my own behavior and reactions? [more inside]
posted by acidnova at 12:44 PM PST - 10 comments

Can I walk your dog? (and other socially distant activities)

I am try to determine what constitutes effective social distancing. Risk threshold: I am basically assuming I'm a SARS-CoV-2 carrier until proven otherwise, since there are reports of asymptomatic folks testing positive. What do you think about each of the following activities? [more inside]
posted by cnidaria at 12:13 PM PST - 11 comments

Cat has watery eye; go to the vet now or wait?

For the past few weeks, I've noticed that my cat will sometimes have a tear coming from her right eye. The fluid is clear, she hasn't shown any signs of discomfort like blinking or pawing her eye, there's nothing wrong with her left eye, and her eyes seem perfectly normal otherwise. Should I take her to the vet now, or can it wait? Pics and cat tax here. [more inside]
posted by J.K. Seazer at 11:32 AM PST - 15 comments

Remote family card game

We have a family card game that we would like to play remotely while we are unable to see each other in person. My mom and aunt have tasked us with finding a way to play...I'm looking for an app or really any ideas for playing the game exactly according to our rules. [more inside]
posted by DoubleLune at 11:23 AM PST - 6 comments

So how difficult is Unity, really

I have the vaguest of question. But in this time where I'm forbidden from going to work until May. Ever since I read Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose I've had this idea that I want to recreate the library-labyrinth in it in some game engine. And now that I'm mandated to stay home and do nothing, the idea came back. Sorry I don't even know what to ask exactly. Is this a bad project or can it be done? Labyrinth from The Name of the Rose? [more inside]
posted by Pyrogenesis at 11:14 AM PST - 9 comments

How Should I Leave This Job (Covid-19 edition)?

I'm a cashier at a grocery store. I am also in a higher risk group to get Covid-19 because of a pre-existing health issue, and I live with two people who are also at higher risk because of age/health. [more inside]
posted by Archipelago at 10:54 AM PST - 7 comments

Can I fly to the US from Mexico while the border is closed?

Being US citizens, will my son and I be able to fly to the US from Mexico while the US-Mexico border is closed? [more inside]
posted by jomato at 10:24 AM PST - 8 comments

Is there a better animation app for my kid's Chromebook. Help!

My kid (who is now homeschooling) is frustrated with her current animation app. Willing to pay for it, so doesn't need to be freeware. Here, I'll let her ask you: [more inside]
posted by avrobie at 10:17 AM PST - 1 comment

Looking immediately for monthly rental near Kona, Hawaii

My parents -- both in their 70s -- and my brother and his family -- are currently on the big island of Hawaii, scheduled to return home by plane to Wyoming at the end of next week. They're starting to think about staying in Hawaii rather than travel in the midst of COVID-19, which I'm very grateful for. I'd like to help them find a good accommodation that won't break the bank. Would love any leads on 3-4 bedroom houses where they could settle for the month of April, possibly longer.
posted by spindrifter at 10:14 AM PST - 5 comments

Does she have to go to a doctor to get inhaler prescription?

22y.o. college student daughter has asthma (no problems last 5+ years) and let her inhaler prescription expire, which she last got from her pediatrician. Now's not the time to go new doctor shopping, but would be a good time to try and get that Rx filled. Any advice on what she could do to avoid having to call on or visit overwhelmed doctors right now?
posted by maloon at 10:09 AM PST - 7 comments

What virtual boardgames to play in this new distributed world?

Due to... reasons... I'm not seeing my friends as much these days. I'd like to setup a virtual hang to play some games. We like popular euro-style boardgames like Dominion, Settlers, Ticket to Ride, etc., but are open to try other stuff. What games (and software) do you recommend? [more inside]
posted by justkevin at 9:47 AM PST - 6 comments

Looking for a Laptop

Herr Duck and I are both at home indefinitely, and we're realizing that we really need a second computer. We currently have to have a Computer Schedule for us to share a 4-year-old desktop running Windows 10. We know that we want our second computer to be a laptop. Please help us pick one so that we don't just buy the first thing that appears in front of our faces. At this point we are still willing/able to go to Best Buy to pick one up, but deliverable options are welcomed as well. [more inside]
posted by Gray Duck at 9:35 AM PST - 8 comments

Any reason this wouldn’t work?

Hand sanitizer thought: How would it work to soak a wash rag in alcohol (with a high enough percentage of alcohol) and keep it in a ziploc bag and use that to wipe off your hands? Would it continue to work as long as it didn’t dry out? This is what I’ve often done (with just water) on trips when I was out of wet wipes and it occurred to me that with alcohol it might be just as good or better than hand sanitizer. What say you?
posted by HotToddy at 9:26 AM PST - 15 comments

Musical collaboration via teleconference?

Bandmates and I made an attempt to jam via teleconferencing. We used Zoom and Skype. But the half-second lag, and the apps' choice of primacy of sounds and methods of audio compression, made it sound like we were playing backwards in a muddy river. Any alternatives you've tried that work?
posted by not_on_display at 8:50 AM PST - 20 comments

Using Google Photos with

I have a very photo driven blog. I would like to import photos from my Google Photos account. This seems to be possible using the desktop version, but not the app. (I would rather use the mobile version with my iPad.) [more inside]
posted by Biblio at 8:25 AM PST - 1 comment

Customised background for Microsoft Teams

I want to add a fake background to Microsoft Teams video calls. I want a greenscreen-like effect, where I can put an arbitrary image/video behind myself to (shoddily) fake that I'm in anther location. [more inside]
posted by metaBugs at 7:31 AM PST - 8 comments

Info Graphics Showing Full Impact of Quarantining vs. Socializing (U.S.)

I'm looking for information graphics (visual) based on actual data showing the compounding impact of continuing to socialize. Something that shows the entire chain of impact from one case transmitting (to the 2-2.5 others), to that exponential growth, to the percentage needing hospitalization, to the number of health care workers and beds, to the percentage of front line health care workers we can predict getting sick, to the time to overloaded health system, to the increased deaths predicted. [more inside]
posted by cocoagirl at 7:27 AM PST - 16 comments

Yet another COVID-19 gaming question!

This seems like a good time to get into a multiplayer online game - which should I choose? Looking for: low barrier to entry, no special equipment requirements, fun storylines. [more inside]
posted by missrachael at 7:25 AM PST - 9 comments

Nintendo Switch 101

Ok, I am so late to this party, but... I want a Nintendo Switch, and I want to play the new Animal Crossing game. Do I get a Switch Lite? Can I still buy a console (don't need the special AC edition one, thankfully)? Can I customize the colors of said console like this? Please, Nintendo Switch 101 me. :)
posted by Kitchen Witch at 7:20 AM PST - 11 comments

How to get Google Drive and Outlook/Exchange to play nicely?

My division chief prefers using Google Drive over Outlook/Office 365 for scheduling and group files. I can get the calendars to talk to each other (sort of) but is there a way to grant Google Drive access to my work email so I don't have to keep reminding her to add my personal gmail? [more inside]
posted by basalganglia at 6:54 AM PST - 4 comments

Is it legal for a company to stop paying a worker if they travel?

There is a textile manufacturing company in North Carolina that is telling its workers to quarantine for 2 weeks without pay if they travel (for work or personal reasons). Is this legal?
posted by congen at 6:54 AM PST - 3 comments

How can I most safely deliver groceries to my grandmother?

I am planning on delivering groceries to my grandmother, who does not want to leave the house in this pandemic (for good reason - she is 84 and has lung problems). How can I do this as safely as possible? More info inside. [more inside]
posted by hepta at 6:14 AM PST - 6 comments

Online social games for the social distancing era.

If I would like to play games online -- web or android -- with a friend, what are your favourite games? We are uninterested in scrabble clones, but otherwise I have no restrictions. I'm interested in both synchronous and asynchronous, group size can be managed.
posted by jeather at 5:38 AM PST - 5 comments

Keeping on top of comms while social distancing

I am social distancing, and getting a little overwhelmed by communications. [more inside]
posted by unicorn chaser at 4:14 AM PST - 7 comments

How to keep our younger kids connected.

I need help to come up with a way to help my 7 year old stay connected with their first grade class. I would like a way that kids could share pictures with their friends, celebrate birthdays, plan time to play prodigy together online, etc. and for parents to connect about how they are handling homeschooling and keeping kids happy and healthy in this surreal situation. I know Facebook groups would do all of this but I know there are parents who are anti-Facebook in the class so I am looking for other suggestions.
posted by a22lamia at 3:11 AM PST - 2 comments

Outdoor Rec. Got Wrecked

Haven't lost my job, but the value of my industry is plummeting. What can I start doing to prepare? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 2:29 AM PST - 3 comments

Can anxiety cause (real, not imagined) health consequences?

I have chronic, well-managed anxiety and chronic, well-managed high blood pressure. I do a lot of things to relax, including exercise, meditation, and laughing. I have been told by doctors that I’m in good health. But I keep worrying (anxiety, I know) that I am somehow hurting my body with these huge anxious moments during this time of heightened uncertainty. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 2:28 AM PST - 9 comments

Should I stay or should I go?

I am abroad in a poor developing country and wondering if I should cross my fingers and try to ride out the COVID pandemic here, or return to the United States. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 2:27 AM PST - 15 comments

Tools and tips for online peer support meetings?

I'm part of an organization for cancer patients and survivors. We organize many peer support meetings every month. All meetings have been canceled for now and we are thinking about arranging some sort of online alternatives. I'm looking for advice on how to do this. [more inside]
posted by severiina at 2:14 AM PST - 3 comments

Self-reporting job satisfaction to HR

European here, working in a European company but with US owners. Owners have an online HR system where we are required to put in basically our CVs. That's fine. However, there's one field that gives me pause: Current Job Satisfaction. Are there any reasons at all to not put in a high score here? Or am I being too paranoid after reading to many HR-related horror stories online?
posted by Harald74 at 1:35 AM PST - 7 comments

Better responses to delayed feedback?

I don't cope very well with delayed feedback. I would like to get better at managing these conversations. Self-isolation is a pretty good moment to explore. [more inside]
posted by frumiousb at 1:25 AM PST - 6 comments

March 19

Are processing delays expected for paper returns to the IRS

I have a wonderful semi-retired CPA tax guy who does a great job every year on my filing. He does it on paper and it always goes without a hitch. I also live in California where for the past week I have been restricted to my home, my place of work is closed until May, it is a ghost town outside etc etc. Because of family it would be good to have the cash and while I am not in a hurry, I worry that there will be delays in processing paper submissions if workers get sick or if they shut down. Is this a legit fear, should I spend the weekend typing it all into TurboTax?
posted by cgk at 11:34 PM PST - 9 comments

Methylated spirits in DIY hand sanitiser: bad?

How bad is it to use methylated spirits (aka metho or meths) as the alcohol in DIY hand sanitiser? [more inside]
posted by freethefeet at 11:31 PM PST - 15 comments

I would like to put content from my university course online

I teach a large undergraduate course in R and statistics. Especially given the COVID-19 crisis, I would like to make my videos and materials free for anyone to use by putting them on my webpage and/or Youtube. I do not fully understand the legal aspects to this. [more inside]
posted by forza at 10:36 PM PST - 6 comments

What don't I know I don't know about reupholstering my couch

Planning to reupholster my 6' sofa, replacing at least that portion of foam that's in the back, and all of the fabric. What kind, if any, of inexpensive sewing machine would I need? Other tools? Bad idea? [more inside]
posted by amtho at 9:59 PM PST - 18 comments

How Do I Get People To Sign Into a Zoom Yoga Class.

I am going to stream yoga classes on line while this crisis is on. I've set up a Zoom account and am unsure of what information to give to people who want to attend the class. I am also unsure of what I am responsible for on my end. The class is scheduled and I have a meeting i.d number. What else can I be aware of?
posted by goalyeehah at 9:23 PM PST - 6 comments

Rolls / Person / Week

So, just how many rolls of Toilet Paper do you use in a week? How do we quantify regular rolls vs. super-rolls to assess this accurately? [more inside]
posted by theora55 at 8:30 PM PST - 38 comments

How do I cut photos into squares

I need to cut about 50 rectangular photographs into 3.25" squares. Is there some kind of scrapbook/crafting gadget that would do that cleanly and quickly -- something better than just using a ruler and scissors and trying to go in a straight line?
posted by mccxxiii at 8:29 PM PST - 12 comments

What can I do with instant oatmeal?

While cleaning out my cupboards, I found a kg of instant oatmeal. It turns out I don't like to eat it as a hot cereal. What else can I do with it? [more inside]
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 7:22 PM PST - 24 comments

Social Distance Dilemma

Two of my friends are moving back to their home country in a couple of days. I'll likely never see them again. They've invited me to a goodbye-brunch tomorrow, and I'm torn between maintaining social distance (which I find absolutely critical right now) or seeing my friends for the last time. What's the safest call here? If it is "keep social distancing", how do I break it to my friends? [more inside]
posted by runnerfive at 7:04 PM PST - 18 comments

Lifter recliner chair for the elderly. But awash in options...

My mom is no longer able to get in and out of bed on her own and wants one of those big Lazyboy-like recliner chairs that can power lift the person up into a near-vertical position when necessary. [more inside]
posted by zenpop at 5:54 PM PST - 5 comments

All the cool and educational free video content

I've been seeing a lot of free livestreams and cool new videotours online, like the Met's streaming operas, and the Cincinnati zoo's daily Zoo Safaris. Plus I know a lot of museums are doing virtual tours -- what else is out there right now to stream or enjoy? Looking for culture and informational and just plain cool things that are kid-appropriate.
posted by Mchelly at 3:45 PM PST - 10 comments

Recipes that use self-rising flour

I have 50 pounds of self-rising flour and I am determined to use it. What is your favorite recipe that uses self-rising flour? Please not the ‘two ingredient wonder dough’ that uses Greek yogurt.
posted by bq at 3:37 PM PST - 18 comments

Food/gift basket in NYC

A close friend is an emergency doc in NYC working her ass off right now. I'd like to send her a food/gift basket. Something fancy that she would definitely not be buying for herself right now (ex: cheeses/meats/olives kind of stuff). Any local suggestions? (or non-local too!) thanks!
posted by namemeansgazelle at 3:25 PM PST - 5 comments

Moving During a Pandemic

Recently bought a house in Seattle. Would like to actually move there. Am having intense anxiety about that not being possible. Seeking reassurance/reality check/information about what may or may not be possible in the coming days/weeks. [more inside]
posted by Dorinda at 2:42 PM PST - 11 comments

Athleisure / work-from-home clothes from small or smallish businesses?

After less than a week of working from home, I've realized that I don't have nearly enough t-shirts, sweatshirts, leggings, sweatpants, cozy socks etc. I'd ideally like to buy these items online from small-to-medium sized businesses. Bonus points for purchases that support: workers who have lost work due the current crisis, efforts against Covid-19, and progressive causes. [more inside]
posted by cimton at 2:31 PM PST - 17 comments

COVID-19 in a small office situation

How safe is this or is it safe at all? [more inside]
posted by Crystal Fox at 2:03 PM PST - 5 comments

sim cards and new cell phones

I broke my phone; new one is on the way. Do I need to transfer my old sim card in order to retain all my info. [more inside]
posted by bearette at 2:02 PM PST - 8 comments

Can heated blankets or personal heaters make you feel fluish/feverish?

I'm thinking I'm seeing a correlation to feeling flushed or feverish with using electric personal heating sources. I'm curious if that is my imagination or if there is some reality behind the feeling, as having your body half hot and half cold does seem pretty it might be pretty strange on the body.
posted by Vaike at 1:27 PM PST - 5 comments

How to make it feel like a weekend when socially distanced

I'm working from home from the foreseeable future, and my kids' school is closed indefinitely. My kids are in elementary school and one of them thrives on structure and routine, so on weekdays we'll be sticking loosely to a daily schedule. How can we differentiate weekends from weekdays without just watching movies all day (though of course we will be watching SOME movies)? [more inside]
posted by SeedStitch at 1:26 PM PST - 12 comments

Needing a Small Investment Property Refinance in the Midwest

I have a duplex in Ohio that's financed at 6%. The property is worth maybe $65,000, with a balance remaining of $38,500. I'd like to take advantage of the economy to lower my interest rate by refinancing , but I can't find anyone who will consider a loan below $100,000 or $150,000. Any suggestions?
posted by summerstorm at 1:25 PM PST - 2 comments

For foreign job, how to show that I know the city well with only resume?

I am applying for a foreign job on LinkedIn. What should I do to show my interest with my familiarity with the city that the job is located? The upload system only asks for a resume so it would be the only shot before an interview where I can express more. [more inside]
posted by lanhan at 12:58 PM PST - 3 comments

Pandemic Twitter Updates

My employer is in the thick of the pandemic response. We are 200% focused internally, yet don't want to miss cutting edge information. What are the best accounts to follow for concise and timely updates? I want to specifically use Twitter so we can easily pull the updates into a Slack channel.
posted by sewellcm at 12:53 PM PST - 6 comments

Partner not permitted to stop working, what are our options?

My partner works as a personal assistant/laborer for a local business owner and has not been given the option to perform distancing/quarantine...and I am low key freaking out. [more inside]
posted by zinful at 11:50 AM PST - 12 comments

Depends on your definition of "diagnosed"

I'm shopping for life insurance for the first time ever. One screening question that is commonly asked alongside tobacco usage and driving habits is "Have you ever been diagnosed with depression?" While I have received professional help for depression, I'm not sure if I have ever been formally "diagnosed." Please help me understand how to answer this question. [more inside]
posted by Chuck Barris at 11:03 AM PST - 12 comments

What is Stanford's Master's in International Policy program like?

I have been thinking of doing a master's in political science with a co-op or a master's in public policy/international policy. I have also been told I sgould do a master's in political science at a top school in Canada (McGill, uWaterloo, or U of T) first and then apply to the Stanford's after finishing a master's in political science. I do not have much feedback on Stanford's Ford Dorsey's master's in International Policy and would like to learn more. [more inside]
posted by RearWindow at 10:55 AM PST - 2 comments

Troubleshooting mouse issues with multiple laptop screens

Covid work-from-home conundrum here. I'm trying to work with two laptops as the same desktop space. I cannot get my mouse cursor to move from one screen to the next. Details inside - help! [more inside]
posted by kensington314 at 10:27 AM PST - 7 comments

How to cite laws in APA style?

I need to cite these two statutes in APA style. I couldn't find how to do this. [more inside]
posted by NotLost at 10:22 AM PST - 2 comments

Help me understand assisted living

This is turning out to be very hard to google, because it's all sales pitches. My recently-widowed mother needs to get out of the huge house/yard my father refused to ever downsize out of, and none of us really understands what her options are. (Let's just assume that 6-12 months from now the world will work in a way that bears some resemblance to last month, though hopefully improved in some ways. We are keeping "build a compound in the middle of nowhere" in our back pockets for now.) [more inside]
posted by Lyn Never at 9:59 AM PST - 9 comments

where do you keep your checkbook?

Where do you keep your checkbook when you're not writing checks? I suppose the answer for women is "in your purse", but what about for men who don't carry purses? Everywhere I've tried leads to it getting lost. [more inside]
posted by kevinbelt at 9:39 AM PST - 43 comments

Shopping for my elderly father

I volunteered to shop for my father in case he couldn't get Safeway or Instacart to deliver in a timely fashion. I'm trying to figure out delivery of said produce right now. Should he drive here so I can unload into his trunk, or should I deliver them to his door? [more inside]
posted by Carillon at 9:03 AM PST - 3 comments

Low-latency alternatives for Google Voice

I've been testing Google Voice as an option for people who need to work from home and will be using their cell phones, but the latency is just ridiculous. [more inside]
posted by alex1965 at 8:58 AM PST - 2 comments

COVID-19 gathering

How bad is it really for 2-4 non-symptomatic otherwise healthy people to sit outside with lots of space between them? [more inside]
posted by greta simone at 8:52 AM PST - 53 comments

Help me with a "broadcasting" setup for a vet clinic

My wife's vet clinic is moving to a model of curbside animal intake, with clients waiting in a car and connected by video. She has asked for my help with the technology on this. Wish list inside. [more inside]
posted by argybarg at 8:50 AM PST - 4 comments

The Orville - worth watching, or annoyingly sexist?

I like Star Trek (especially TNG and DS9). I'm considering watching The Orville. I've seen varying reports of how much sexist garbage it has. Will I hate it? [more inside]
posted by kristi at 8:40 AM PST - 17 comments

What's next in this this list songs?

I write fiction and like to have a song on repeat in my ear for hours and hours when I'm writing. Having the emotional swell of music is really helpful, but there's some mystical unknown thing that makes a song work for me whereas another "similar" song won't work. Maybe there's something in common I don't see. I'd love recommendations! [more inside]
posted by Calicatt at 8:13 AM PST - 8 comments

Covid-19: How to conduct university foreign language classes remotely?

My university in Japan is encouraging (although unfortunately not yet requiring) us to conduct classes online for the upcoming semester. I am planning to teach remotely, and am doing everything I can to encourage my colleagues to do the same, but I am having difficulty working out how we will be able to conduct foreign language classes online, particularly speaking classes where students are normally required to work in pairs or small groups while the teacher circulates around the room. [more inside]
posted by mydonkeybenjamin at 8:05 AM PST - 4 comments

Coronavirus safety for retail workers and the people they live with?

My partner is still working outside the home and will be for the foreseeable future. I may have an underlying condition. How do we mitigate our coronavirus risk? [more inside]
posted by Jess the Mess at 7:41 AM PST - 4 comments

Love in the time of coronavirus

My partner has begun saying that he doesn't want to discuss politics or current affairs with me, because I'm all "gloom and doom" and "overly pessimistic". Is this something that can be worked on together? [more inside]
posted by Anonymouse1618 at 7:26 AM PST - 20 comments

Filling a US prescription in Canada

YANMD/YANML. I am a US citizen with US health insurance and a US (New York) doctor, but I reside in Ontario, Canada with my Canadian spouse. I am pending approval of a permanent residency application. Because of the border closure, for the foreseeable future I cannot travel to the US to obtain my prescriptions from the US pharmacy where I normally fill. [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings at 7:23 AM PST - 12 comments

Will my child ever sleep through the night?

My child is 10 months old and still needs to be soothed back to sleep 4-8 times a night. I can't do this anymore. [more inside]
posted by the turtle's teeth at 7:07 AM PST - 14 comments

What jobs are really, truly essential?

What jobs done by human beings are truly essential, in the sense that if someone stopped doing that job for a day there would be serious negative consequences other than lost revenue? [more inside]
posted by capricorn at 6:44 AM PST - 26 comments

Temporary Crown, or risk the dentist?

I've got a temporary crown right now (far back molar). Is it worth risking a dentist appointment to get the permanent in? [more inside]
posted by Vhanudux at 6:25 AM PST - 15 comments

Do you have a favourite cocktail recipe app for iPhone?

A good website might also work. Just looking for ways to keep myself entertained while stuck inside.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 5:53 AM PST - 7 comments

Preparing for a life without kids

I'm happily married and like my life, but what should I do to prepare for the long haul without children? [more inside]
posted by wooh at 5:37 AM PST - 20 comments

Today's fridge

I had to pull out the fridge for another reason and thought it might be a good time to clean the coils and drip pan. It's a GE side by side refrigerator/freezer that came with the house that I recently moved into. I couldn't find any official information about how to clean the the coils, which I thought was an essential monthly task for energy efficiency and lifespan of the appliance. Likewise about the drip pan, to avoid stink. [more inside]
posted by SandiBeech at 5:04 AM PST - 7 comments

You are not my travel agent - Cancellations, school trip, and Travel Ins

Not sure how travel insurance works with airlines cancelling flights and travel bans in place with regards to school trips, and where travel insurance vs individual bookings fall into all this there's [more inside]
posted by niteHawk at 4:56 AM PST - 2 comments

On lockdown with stonewalling elderly mother

My two teens, myself and my mother (80) are on COVID-19 lockdown and my mother's attitude is making things unbearable. She is extremely negative and constantly chastises the children and me, or else stonewalls me and even the kids at times. Do you have advice on how I can make the situation less unpleasant for us? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 2:20 AM PST - 10 comments

March 18

Where can I find these shelf clip/brackets?

I'm looking for a particular type of shelf bracket. They slide onto the edge of a board, like these. But instead of being straight, they come in 90 degree L, T, or X shape. I can't seem to find them anymore, the local hardware store used to have them, but I don't have the local hardware store anymore.
posted by Marky at 11:43 PM PST - 1 comment

Custody in the time of coronavirus

How are parents and kids handling custody swaps in this new situation? Has anything changed or should it? [more inside]
posted by bluedaisy at 9:58 PM PST - 4 comments

A minimalist heartbreaker

Friends, please help me remember, and possibly find, a game I once played. It was a lo-res adventure game where the main character was given a choice between claiming a treasure or proceeding with a partner. [more inside]
posted by Caxton1476 at 7:54 PM PST - 3 comments

How to report Shelter-In-Place violation

Who should I contact about a company in Santa Clara County that has told workers they are required to come in, despite the shelter-in-place order? This company does not provide any of the services exempted as "essential businesses." The health department's website suggests calling 211, but I am not physically in the county/area code.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 7:40 PM PST - 3 comments

Dancing through this

I live in a studio in NYC and am having a hard time staying motivated to be active. I want to learn some dances and need some good sources [more inside]
posted by elvissa at 7:13 PM PST - 5 comments

Vain-filter: I miss my original hair color!

For the last year, my hairstylist has been covering my (multiplying) grays with an all-over "Demi color" that is more of a gloss. It coats the outside of the hair follicle and make my hair shiny, and my roots aren't noticeable for about 6 weeks. The good: because it coats my hair, it's not damaging and my hair is shiny and soft. The bad: my natural hair color was a brownish-blonde with natural highlights, and this demi color is dark, almost black. Mefites with brownish/blonde hair, how have you handled covering grays? [more inside]
posted by rogerroger at 6:29 PM PST - 10 comments

Managing anxiety about going back into the office

After a panic attack on Monday, I've been taking sick leave from work. Unless LA shuts down in the next couple days, I'll have to go back next week. Help me make peace with it or come up with another plan. [more inside]
posted by itesser at 5:32 PM PST - 11 comments

what is covid 19 shortness of breath?

What does "Shortness of breath" means as a Covid 19 symptom specifically? [more inside]
posted by nantucket at 4:59 PM PST - 23 comments

Best Daily Score Tracking

My office is now entirely work from home and several of us have started doing this word guessing game each day and sharing our score as a way to have a shared experience and stay connected while we're all working remotely. We're looking for a better way to share our scores. [more inside]
posted by shesbookish at 4:50 PM PST - 2 comments

How to interpret my friend's analysis of systemic risk in stock market?

My good friend "Deet" made a lot of money in the past month by betting that coronavirus would cause the stock market to go down. He is now cautioning me that there's systemic risk of major parts of the financial sector collapsing. He says I should reconsider my strategy of holding my index funds long-term. Can you recommend some reading to help me understand how to interpret his view? [more inside]
posted by sandwich at 4:45 PM PST - 26 comments

[Google Sheets] Make items selectable by only 1 dropdown list at a time

I have a list of items (from a range, if it matters), and I want those items available to all dropdown lists, but each item only selectable by one dropdown list at a time. So if I select one item in any dropdown list, now it's no longer available in any other dropdown list (on a first-come first-served basis of availability). [more inside]
posted by 1,000,000 at 4:14 PM PST - 1 comment

Another should I stay or should I go question with COVID-19

A few weeks ago I passed out and gave myself multiple injuries, including what I hoped was a sprained wrist. But the pain is sharper now, and I'm really not sure what to do about it during the pandemic. [more inside]
posted by kitten kaboodle at 4:13 PM PST - 9 comments

What's the real Covid-19 death toll?

A death can only be attributed to Covid-19 if a test performed on the patient is positive, right? Are there any charts out there showing deaths due to any cause this year over last year, that might show spikes that could be attributed to untested coronavirus deaths? I'd be particularly interested in data/charts for locations where the disease is farther along than in the US.
posted by QuakerMel at 3:46 PM PST - 6 comments

Library ebooks for beginners?

I have an ancient Kindle (Touch, circa 2011), a Los Angeles library card, and a desire for library ebooks to appear on the Kindle. How do I do this? Explain it like I'm your great-great-aunt.
posted by BlahLaLa at 3:18 PM PST - 6 comments

Alternate Flour Recipes

I did an inventory of my pantry and found I had 13 different types of flours! Can you suggest vegan (or easily vegan-izable) recipes using buckwheat, rye, or tapioca flour? The recipes can call for other flours, but should incorporate one (or all!) of those. Thanks!
posted by too bad you're not me at 2:55 PM PST - 17 comments

MI-1040CR and Coronavirus Relief

We didn't have to file a Federal return but we did file a Homestead Property Tax Credit (MI-1040CR). Might this be sufficient to qualify for and trigger possible Coronavirus relief or must we file a 1040 federal?
posted by rcMAC at 1:35 PM PST - 4 comments

Ways to keep up connection in an LDR in the time of COVID-19

I want some things that my partner and I can do over the internet, video chat, or phone that will help us have fun and stay more connected. Some extra difficulty in that she is overseas with a 12-hour time difference. [more inside]
posted by coolname at 1:34 PM PST - 1 comment

Figuring out retirement savings from multiple incomes

I've been trying to figure out how to maximize my retirement contributions. I'm currently employed part time at non-profit which contributes to a 403(b) with some matching. I also do contract work where I'm self employed. I'm trying to pick between the options for the contract money (SEP, Simple IRA, Traditional IRA, individual 401k, etc.). [more inside]
posted by axlan at 1:33 PM PST - 6 comments

Checkin Apps or Tools?

Hi, I know a ton of people who live alone. Is there an app or other service that will do something like send out a message to an email or text list once a day asking for a response and then alert others on the list if there's no response within say an hour?
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 12:22 PM PST - 5 comments

Music app for Android-- listen and import ripped MP3 files?

I have a lot of great music on CDs, and I want to listen to it on my phone. What is a good app for an Android phone? Both for listening, managing the music, and importing the MP3 files from a computer? I have a Google Pixel 3 phone. [more inside]
posted by seasparrow at 12:12 PM PST - 9 comments

Blogs or journals from people who have COVID-19?

We all have some idea of the COVID-19 symptoms, and range of outcomes, but I'd like to read reports from fellow humans actually going through it. Can you recommend some links?
posted by mono blanco at 11:12 AM PST - 41 comments

Isolation Negronis

Can I Drink It: 2+ year old, opened bottle of sweet vermouth (Martini Rosso). I know in terms of flavour, this is a nightmare for anyone with taste, but is it health hazard to drink it? I had a sip and I personally found it drinkable. Judge away.
posted by noxperpetua at 10:25 AM PST - 14 comments

Can I Eat This: expired alternative flours

I have an unopened bag of Bob's Red Mill teff flour that allegedly expired in October 2019 and an opened bag of Robin Hood gluten-free all purpose blend that allegedly expired December 2018. Should I just chuck them entirely, do a sniff test (what am I smelling for?), or proceed with negligible caution? [more inside]
posted by some_kind_of_toaster at 9:42 AM PST - 8 comments

How can I (and should I) help my friend be part of her sister's death?

My friend's sister is dying very suddenly (a matter of days). There are complicated, weird, indirect family dynamics pushing my friend to stay away from her sister during this time. My instinct is to gently encourage my friend to ohmygod go be with her sister asap. Should I? Can I? How? [more inside]
posted by MiraK at 9:14 AM PST - 20 comments

Looking for a Violin Case Shaped Wine Carrier

I'm looking for a wine carrier that's shaped like a violin case. I have found the one on Amazon (Violin Case Wine Carrier by Mint Leather) but it's out of stock and looks low quality from the reviews. I'm willing to throw a bit of money at this, if custom is the way to go. Right now, specific details don't matter (number of bottles, accessories etc) so long as it 1. looks like a violin case and 2. holds wine bottle(s) 3. is available in Canada or can be shipped to Canada.
posted by platypus of the universe at 8:42 AM PST - 7 comments

Plague Playlist for Prince Prospero?

So like everyone COVID-19 is on my mind. Songs for a playlist? So far all I have is Moribund and the Burgermeister and Don't Stand So Close To Me. Plus for reading, as we shelter in place after the shopping spree: The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe.
posted by Rash at 8:30 AM PST - 26 comments

WFH, on Zoom most of the day, and I cant stand being on camera.

Like a lot of others I'm working from home these days, and spend a lot of time on Zoom. We had a strong culture of "turn your camera on" before the current situation, and now it's amplified. For various reasons, I hate having the camera on so very very much. Any strategies to get though this? [more inside]
posted by cgg at 8:15 AM PST - 34 comments

Remote office politics

I am new in my department. I came aboard around the same time as someone else who is much more strategic than me. She identified the person on our level with the greatest power and endeared herself to them. My measly authentic relationship building process can't keep up and now that I'm remote it's even more evident. [more inside]
posted by crunchy potato at 8:12 AM PST - 4 comments

How to home print and bind a picture book in the time of Covid

I make custom picture books for my son for his birthdays and Christmas. Birthday is coming up and the book is nearly ready, but I'm not ordering non-essentials for ethical reasons. He will have his hardcover eventually, but in the meantime, I want to make him a copy with materials on hand to give him on his birthday. Please advise. [more inside]
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:46 AM PST - 10 comments

Strategies for how to help my neighbours

I live in Cape Town, South Africa and we're just starting to feel the impact of the Covid 19 lockdown. What are some strategies for how my group of neighbours can help one another? I'm looking for practical suggestions e.g. how to deal with payments for communal grocery shopping etc. so one person can maybe get basic items for a number of households. [more inside]
posted by Zumbador at 2:52 AM PST - 2 comments

rationing: how feasible?

So, with supermarkets being emptied, some people are commenting online demanding a return to WWII and post-war era rationing: that is, coupons issued to residents that can be exchanged for essential food/goods. This would prevent hoarding, because once you use your coupon you can't go to the next shop over and buy more. Interested in how feasible this would be in the modern era? (Australia, specifically.)
posted by freethefeet at 1:24 AM PST - 39 comments

March 17

Come over for game night… oh… wait…

How can I use something like Zoom or Google Meet to engage friends in games during this crazy time? None of us are gamers, we have no sophisticated consoles or special headsets, and don’t know anything about D&D-style games. How about Pictionary? Or? Help me think this through. [more inside]
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 11:34 PM PST - 10 comments

Does vaping increase the spread of viruses?

Walking behind a vaper and noticing the huge cloud of exhaled vape that hung in the air, I wondered whether this could be a vector for disease transmission? I understand that nebulizers are not used sometimes as they can aerosolize particles, so wouldn’t vaping do the same?
posted by stillmoving at 10:42 PM PST - 2 comments

Print Newspapers and Coronavirus

Is there any valid reason for my newspapers to stop delivery, or printing, during the outbreak? [more inside]
posted by NotLost at 10:01 PM PST - 10 comments

Why is my old cabbage sprouting new cabbages?

Last month I bought a cabbage at the grocery store. Life happened and I didn’t use it. Now it’s sprouting baby cabbages. Why, and what should I do besides devour them? [more inside]
posted by centrifugal at 8:45 PM PST - 5 comments

Flor Salvaje Telenova - Episode Guides?

Flor Salvaje is a telenovela that is on Pluto TV. I have been watching it because, telenovela. But my knowledge of Spanish is too low to follow the plot, even with Spanish subtitles. All I have been able to find online is the basic description: [more inside]
posted by ITravelMontana at 7:46 PM PST - 1 comment

Best livestream platform?

What is the best platform for live-streaming? I have upcoming events that we are planning on doing digitally. Looking for a way to livestream to an audience of at least 100 people. They will need to be able to chat with me and each other during this livestream. This needs to be as non-intrusive as possible - ideally it’s in-browser and natively works on iOS. Worst case scenario: it’s an installed app. [more inside]
posted by chuntered inelegantly from a sedentary position at 6:44 PM PST - 6 comments

Remote Spanish writing help

I'd like to do some writing several times a week in Spanish -- how could I find someone who could read and correct this for me, and how much would it cost? [more inside]
posted by andrewesque at 6:02 PM PST - 5 comments

Snuggle in that CVS tape

My 10 year old son is on the spectrum and really likes to study and collect receipts; it's his favorite part of a grocery store trip besides treat day. Is there such a thing as a receipt blanket? [more inside]
posted by hapaxes.legomenon at 5:17 PM PST - 15 comments

Sent home from work due to pregnancy. UNEMPLOYMENT?

A family member who works at a dermatologist's 's office and has been able to maintain appropriate distancing has been told not to come to work anymore due to the fact that she is pregnant, and they don't want her exposed to COVID-19. This is in New Jersey. She is a bit less than a full-time employee. Is she eligible for unemployment compensation? Or sick leave? She was planning to work for 2 more moths until her due date.
posted by mmf at 4:53 PM PST - 7 comments

UK - returning defective car (bought yesterday from dealer)

Yesterday a friend bought a used car from a dealership. Within 20 minutes of purchase, it was nonfunctional and he had to call the AA. It now mostly drives, but their investigation revealed bad gearbox issues. I understand that under the Consumer Rights Act he is entitled to a full refund, but how does that actually work? Do we just show up on the lot and ask? What if they refuse? It seems a slightly sketchy place, so we'd like to be extra prepared.
posted by wattle at 4:39 PM PST - 1 comment

What to do about this box full of coronavirus winging its way toward us

Early this year, before COVID-19 hit Italy, I ordered an item from Turin that was backordered indefinitely, and forgot about it. I got notice yesterday that it will arrive tomorrow. What is the possibility that it's contaminated, and what should I do with it? [more inside]
posted by Miss T.Horn at 4:33 PM PST - 8 comments

Should I tell my boss about my history with PTSD/anxiety

Should I tell my boss about my history with PTSD/anxiety given that Coronavirus is triggering my symptoms? [more inside]
posted by NoneOfTheAbove at 4:29 PM PST - 6 comments

How should we get groceries during the coronavirus pandemic?

We want to start having our groceries delivered. I assume this is the safest option in terms of social distancing, but what factors should we consider in choosing a specific store/delivery service? And how safe is fresh produce? [more inside]
posted by oiseau at 3:48 PM PST - 20 comments

I need organization!

In today's latest "Working from home for a while and need a (blank)" question: help me organize my browser bookmarks! [more inside]
posted by pdb at 3:28 PM PST - 3 comments

A to-do/note-taking/productivity/workflow-type app for the remote worker

Currently I am using Trello to manage my projects. It is quickly getting out of hand (too many boards, maybe I am using them wrong?). I'm looking for something that provides at minimum to-do list functionality with tasks and subtasks and ideally have the ability to create and organize notes. It would be awesome if there was tagging/search functionality. I would also like to be able hide "done" projects or put them away in a folder without deleting them entirely. Also: free? Does something like this exist? [more inside]
posted by schroedinger at 3:11 PM PST - 16 comments

Self-isolate, or serve others?

My husband, young child, and I decided to self-isolate early, thinking it is the best thing we can do for our neighbors, community, and society. We are not overly worried about our own health but want to do our part to flatten the curve. Can we do more good by self-isolating, or by risking our health to take care of others who are more vulnerable? [more inside]
posted by TrixieRamble at 3:08 PM PST - 11 comments

U.S. to Sweden travel: what chance in June?

U.S. to Sweden, starting 11 weeks from now (leaving end of May, returning to U.S. late June): help me guess the chance this could happen as scheduled? [more inside]
posted by kalapierson at 2:32 PM PST - 10 comments

Old-style/ BBC Board roleplaying platforms

Looking for places online where old-fashioned roleplaying is still going on. Does that even exist anymore? I used to around the early 2000s, and I think i'd like to spend some time thinking about someone else's life. Persnicketies under the fold. [more inside]
posted by FirstMateKate at 2:04 PM PST - 2 comments

In an Irish border town. Might be sick. So go north or south for help?

So I'm staying in an Irish border town for a month. Nearest hospitals are equally far away in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. Having chest problems that aren't super serious yet. But I might have COVID. I also have travel insurance. Which is the better way to go IF I feel like I need to be treated and/or tested?
posted by rileyray3000 at 1:45 PM PST - 10 comments

Can I use this lemon juice?

Finally I have a can I eat this question! Lemon juice in a sealed plastic bottle, best before date is August 2019. Been lurking in the back of the fridge since then .
posted by roolya_boolya at 1:39 PM PST - 8 comments

Streaming App Options for Chromebook and Iphone

I am interested in streaming live 15-20 minute yoga and breathing classes. What apps are available to me for streaming these classes to a live audience on Chromebook and Iphone
posted by goalyeehah at 1:32 PM PST - 1 comment

Monitoring my mother's health from a distance

What's the best way to monitor my mother's health from a distance during COVID-19? She's 74, has some health issues (high blood pressure), lives alone, etc. and just told me over the phone today that she has a sore throat and a "dry cough." So, naturally, I'm starting to panic, but maybe I'm overreacting. [more inside]
posted by VirginiaPlain at 12:51 PM PST - 7 comments

unemployment form question

IN PENNSYLVANIA, on unemployment forms, is "Employer UC account #" the same as either the EIN or "Employer's state ID number" that are listed on my W-2? Listing it in my unemployment application is optional but I would rather include it if I can do so accurately, because it will speed processing. No one at my job will be useful in answering this.
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:06 PM PST - 3 comments

Podcast app for Android that can create a playlist from a search?

I just switched from iOS to Android and I am now looking for this specific feature from a podcast app: I want to search a podcast feed for a key word, and then turn the search result into a playlist. [more inside]
posted by team lowkey at 11:57 AM PST - 1 comment

What's halfway between TTRPG and Fanfic?

I want to start roleplaying in some sort of online small group, preferably without the formality of a system or GM. I think this happens somewhere, I know it used to, but I don’t know how to find or start such a group. [more inside]
posted by buildmyworld at 11:22 AM PST - 12 comments

Best online tool for writer's group

What's the best online tool for a writer's group shifting to online-only meetings? [more inside]
posted by fryman at 10:03 AM PST - 8 comments

Seeking non-chintzy Youtube Art Tutorial

I am in search of a "draw along with me" youtube tutorial for oil pastels that doesn't give me something that looks like it should be sprayed on the side of a van. [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:50 AM PST - 3 comments

80 year old dad and partner are in florida alone. How can we help?

I'm not close with my Dad for many reasons but he is living with his partner in florida and has not taken coronavirus on board that much, I think he belives this will last a month or 2. He's just watching whats happening and has written to his complex manager about how they'll help with groceries. She responded that people are relying on their family. He doesn't have any nearby. Beyond setting him up on Amazon Prime, is there anything else I MUST do? I am in germany. [more inside]
posted by catspajammies at 9:19 AM PST - 11 comments

Should my wife help her boss with this weird request?

My wife's boss wants to deposit money into our bank account, for her to withdraw as cash. He wants to stockpile cash. We think this is barmy, but if there's no risk, would do it as a favour to him. Is there any risk? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 9:05 AM PST - 33 comments

Decarboxylating hash directly in MCT oil

Is it possible to decarb hash directly in MCT oil as a one pot reaction? And is there any point adding lecithin? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 9:05 AM PST - 3 comments

Should I go to my dentist appointment today?

I have a cavity. It's been brewing for a while now, but I don't have dental insurance so I put off doing anything about it. Two days ago, the pain started to ramp up when I'm eating or brushing/flossing. I called the dentist yesterday and they were able to get me in today. I don't feel sick. But someone's hands will be in my mouth—certainly that goes against social distancing protocol! [more inside]
posted by gold bridges at 7:42 AM PST - 20 comments

Facebook Groups Alternative

I'm looking for an online platform that could fill the role of an online club, like a Facebook group, but not tied to Facebook. [more inside]
posted by moogs at 7:09 AM PST - 7 comments

Food storage: the mythical "cool, dark place"

I stored potatoes in the refrigerator for years, but now I'm finding out that's not a great idea. Reading online, I'm told to store them in a "cool, dark place." Spruce Eats suggests an unheated basement or an insulated garage or shed, to which I say HA HA HA HA HA - where do you think I live? [more inside]
posted by FencingGal at 6:59 AM PST - 18 comments

How to make money during american shutdown?

I've been unemployed for about six months, trying to find work in HR consulting, project management, or non-profit work. Hasn't happened. But I'm scratching my head here thinking - surely there are some new opportunities where I could perhaps find temporary work? Some facts about my city and ideas inside. [more inside]
posted by rebent at 6:47 AM PST - 6 comments

Welcome back! Everyone has PTSD!

Do you know of any good resources for dealing with PTSD in the workplace? It seems likely that if/when working goes back to normal after COVID-19, there'll be a higher trauma load in the workforce than there usually is, and I'd like to do some reading & thinking now to help my organisation to prepare for this possibility. [more inside]
posted by terretu at 6:15 AM PST - 3 comments

Supermarket thank you

We live right on top of a supermarket and are regulars who chat with the employees. I would like to show my appreciation for how they have handled the last few days. Most of them look exhausted, but are doing an amazing job. Normally I would bake them a cake for the staff room (have done that once in the past, was much appreciated). But that doesn't sound like a good idea right now. Any ideas?
posted by Omnomnom at 6:06 AM PST - 12 comments

How can I use my food stamps (EBT) to get groceries during coronavirus

I need to use my food stamps but they’re not valid on delivery orders. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 5:23 AM PST - 19 comments

Is it safe to send letters to high risk people?

I have elderly family in isolation. We are starting to get cases in my community. I have 2 out of 3 of the symptoms. We have been isolating at home since Thursday. I read the virus lives on many surfaces for days. Is it safe to send letters to my loved ones? Why or why not?
posted by CMcG at 5:22 AM PST - 7 comments

Sometimes all I need is the air that I breathe...

Should I get hold of oxygen in preparation for a possible COVID-19 infection? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 4:23 AM PST - 8 comments

Fanfic recs for tough times

Life is hard: can we have another fanfic recs thread please [more inside]
posted by the cat's pyjamas at 2:58 AM PST - 22 comments

Excel and Sharepoint question (working from home edition)

Will a Home or Personal edition of Excel365 play nicely with my employer's Sharepoint files? [more inside]
posted by procrastinator_general at 12:33 AM PST - 10 comments

Best way to support independent stores and brands during the shutdowns

I'm in Europe and own a small handmade product brand. ALL of my clients are small independent stores, in small towns, all over western Europe. What can I do to help support these stores while they are closed? [more inside]
posted by PardonMyFrench at 12:23 AM PST - 4 comments

Pasta ideas for an easily digestible diet

I will soon be caring for a surgery convalescent. She loves pasta, but the new temporary diet restrictions cramp my style - no onions or garlic, no frying, low fat (dairy is ok), nothing that can cause gas (brassicas, pulses), no fatty meats or smoked fish, no citrus. Probably nothing too spicy either. Um. Help? [more inside]
posted by I claim sanctuary at 12:21 AM PST - 15 comments

March 16

Put on your own oxygen mask first

On the green I think we're really good at and aware of mental health management, but I realize many of my friends and family are not. Particularly when faced with a new, challenging situation that may be isolating. I want to put together a list of resources and ideas to share with them, can you help? [more inside]
posted by teststrip at 11:54 PM PST - 7 comments

Frozen milk?

I ordered some milk, didn't read the fine print, and it was delivered frozen. Is there any way to make this milk not gross? [more inside]
posted by wooh at 9:49 PM PST - 12 comments

what is the oldest painting depicting surviving object?

What is the oldest painting that depicts an object that survived to our time? I don't mean a type of an object or a similar object, but a specific one that was painted. Also I don't mean a building like the Pyramid or Parthenon or Collosseum, but something smaller, something that can be lifted by one person.
posted by rainy at 9:41 PM PST - 24 comments

What the hell is a VPN, anyway?

What the hell is a VPN? And why does a lack of decent one hamper the ability to let me work from home, anyway? [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:18 PM PST - 18 comments

Can I eat this? Dog vs. caterpillar edition

In her haste to defend her humans, our dog may have licked this caterpillar-thing. Do you know what it is? Is it poisonous? [more inside]
posted by honeybee413 at 8:29 PM PST - 4 comments

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

You can define best in whatever way is most meaningful to you—most illuminating, most entertaining, most moving, most informative, most can’t-stop-talking-about-it, most beautifully written, most fun, most comforting, most reread able etc. etc. One book. The best book. No judgment, no snobbery. I’m searching for reading list inspiration and suggestions for obvious reasons and want to keep my potential options wide open.
posted by HonoriaGlossop at 7:57 PM PST - 124 comments

Best family gaming console for citywide lockdown?

As Portland goes into hibernation, I'm thinking about getting a new gaming console to help keep my girls (7 & 11) and I occupied--but which one? [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky at 7:40 PM PST - 6 comments

Microsoft Word 2016 for Mac APA level heading style 3 questions

Microsoft Word 2016 for Mac is giving me fits for making an APA level heading style 3. I cannot seem to find a tutorial that accurately depicts how to change the style in the beginning of the paragraph. [more inside]
posted by aetg at 6:06 PM PST - 2 comments

Zoom Shrink

Can I see my therapist over zoom/Skype/teams/whatev? [more inside]
posted by j_curiouser at 5:41 PM PST - 10 comments

Dancing cheek to cheek....

Covid filter: while I am an introvert I have realized it has been 10 days since I have had any interaction with humans other than a store clerk. I am single, I live alone , I have two cats. My country is on lockdown. And I realized this evening that this will continue., [more inside]
posted by affectionateborg at 5:36 PM PST - 17 comments

How to freeze meat/fish for beginners

Can anyone give me some tips for how to safely freeze meat and fish? I have never done it before and I really don't wanna get food poisoning at this time in addition to everything else going on. [more inside]
posted by madonna of the unloved at 4:54 PM PST - 11 comments

antivirus app for android

How can I stop pop ups/virus/malware on my Samsung galaxy S7? [more inside]
posted by ljs30 at 4:16 PM PST - 3 comments

Soap kills Coronavirus, but what if your Body Wash has no soap in it?

There's a science behind how soap kills Coronavirus when you wash your hands. But products like Nivea Sensitive Body Wash and Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash note they have no soap in them. So is it time to use something else? Or am I misunderstanding terms or chemicals and these types of products will work as well to kill Coronavirus?
posted by cashman at 3:34 PM PST - 11 comments

Should I eat this: sweet potato cube edition

In a fit of something, I bought a bag of pre-cubed sweet potato. Although the sell by date is tomorrow, the cubes are slimy today. Should I rinse it off and boil it, or is it a lost cause?
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 2:56 PM PST - 11 comments

Best work-from-home chair under $200?

My company is allowing everyone to expense up to $200 for furniture and peripherals to enable them to work more comfortably from home. My current desk chair will destroy my back if I use it 40 hours + a week for the foreseeable future, so I'm going to use that money to get a new chair. What to get? [more inside]
posted by cgg at 2:27 PM PST - 14 comments

living with someone who is being reckless about COVID

My partner is unconcerned about COVID and is essentially going about business as usual. We live in a community with active clusters of infection, and there are several confirmed cases at our (very large) workplace. [more inside]
posted by unstrungharp at 1:51 PM PST - 18 comments

Online learning, 101-level weird stuff?

What are your favorite 101-level online learning resources intros for odd hobbies/interests/etc? [more inside]
posted by rmd1023 at 1:50 PM PST - 8 comments

Ways for kindergarden-age kids to socialize online?

My almost-five-year-old son's school is closed. As an adult, I'm able to address a lot of the isolation of social distancing via video conferencing tools. Does anyone know of ways to do that that might work for little kids? I'd love to organize some sort of structure through which his school friends can "be together" online, whether one-on-one or in groups. [more inside]
posted by ManInSuit at 1:23 PM PST - 5 comments

What color should this room be painted

Details and photos below the fold. [more inside]
posted by waving at 12:56 PM PST - 11 comments

Singing together during social distancing?

How do I fulfill my love of singing in big groups during coronavirus times? [more inside]
posted by rivenwanderer at 12:09 PM PST - 5 comments

Point me to reporting on CDC’s shunning of WHO-approved COVID-19 test

I’m looking for recent reporting on why the decision was made, probably by the CDC, for the US to create it’s own (initially flawed) diagnostic test for COVID-19 from scratch rather than to follow the testing guidelines that were validated by the World Health Organization back in January. I know VP Pence and the CDC did not respond to this question when posed by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and I'm wondering if anyone can point me to reporters who are currently trying to get to the bottom of this.
posted by theory at 12:05 PM PST - 11 comments

Favorite workout routines at home

Hi! What are your favorite ways for getting exercise at home, preferably with minimal equipment, and preferably suitable for a small apartment? Also open to any videos you can follow along with as you work out. Thanks for your tips!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 11:58 AM PST - 21 comments

Is there a way to legally force an autopsy if you aren't next of kin?

If a person were to go to court to force the authorities to perform an autopsy, and they are a relative, but not the next of kin, what would the legal document filed with the court be called? What would happen in the court system? This is a writing question - no one has died in a questionable way!
posted by ljshapiro at 11:53 AM PST - 2 comments

Move to Seattle For Job in South Lake Union?

I currently live in a small city, have previously lived in large cities, and have found a great opportunity in South Lake Union, Seattle. This job was previously posted last year and I passed it over after watching youtube videos about living in Seattle. Have I got it wrong? If I got this job tomorrow and had to move there, what living/ commuting/ lifestyle challenges should I expect? [more inside]
posted by my log does not judge at 11:49 AM PST - 13 comments

Recruiter response when you like where you are but are worried about lay

As with many of us at the moment I work in an industry where layoffs are a given at this point but nobody can predict who will get a notice or when. A recruiter reached out to me about a position, how do I respond? [more inside]
posted by mireille at 11:47 AM PST - 4 comments

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Pandemic Edition

My parents plan on returning from Florida to Boston at the end of this week. What's the safest way to get them home? [more inside]
posted by firechicago at 11:23 AM PST - 10 comments

Simple online web conferencing?

With restaurants and coffee houses closed in Illinois, we're looking for some way for our French conversation group to meet online for the next month or so. [more inside]
posted by Joleta at 10:53 AM PST - 3 comments

Looking for quote about caution/paranoia in virusspreading

I read a quote this past weekend from the something of Health from I believe the Bush administration. He said something like: "Whatever seems as overly cautious and paranoid before an outbreak, will seems like grossly underestimated danger afterwards." But he said it a million times better. It was a pullout quote in what might have been in the NYTimes.. Fierce Googling gives me nothing. Please help
posted by Thisandthat at 10:28 AM PST - 3 comments

Ratios for a king-cake-based bread pudding?

How much egg and dairy should I add to 19 ounces of dried king cake chunks to make a sweet bread pudding? [more inside]
posted by slenderloris at 10:25 AM PST - 7 comments

Emergency dog fostering in NYC -- is this still needed?

I called the ASPCA and they were like "we have suspended all operations," so, oops. I could take a dog for however long this lasts, and it would probably be good for me, because otherwise I am holed up by myself. I'm in Brooklyn. Caveats: I've never fostered before, so I won't be on any organization's pre-approved list. Anyone know anywhere that is still looking for emergency dog fosters?
posted by schadenfrau at 10:08 AM PST - 7 comments

Road trip advice, snow edition (PDX to Minneapolis)

I'm immunocompromised and have an important doctor's appointment in Minneapolis next week, so I'm driving there from Portland, Oregon. What kinds of snow conditions can I expect if I follow this route? Mainly: I-82 and 395 through eastern Washington, and I-90 through Montana, South Dakota, and Minnesota. [more inside]
posted by quartz at 9:19 AM PST - 7 comments

What to do during social isolation w/ neck/shoulder issues?

I'm looking for things to do during coronavirus social isolation, but the problem is that I have neck/shoulder issues so I cannot do activities involving a lot of screen time and I can't read physical books. I can do some cooking, cleaning, organizing, etc. but not a lot. I can't do things requiring manual dexterity like handwriting, drawing, or knitting. Right now my best bets are podcasts, audiobooks, radio, music, talking on the phone, walking outside, and meditation. Any other ideas for things I can do?
posted by hijol at 9:07 AM PST - 4 comments

COVID math question

If there are 7 billion people on the planet, and we have 164,000 reported cases of COVID, that’s .0023% right? Since the virus has been “in the wild” since, say, December, I’m unclear on the epidemiology risk. Is it that the numbers are vastly underreported? Or have infections not increased exponentially as anticipated? Trying to wrap my head around this.
posted by Gusaroo at 8:35 AM PST - 22 comments

Ethical daycare closures

Our daycare ought to be closing soon. Rather than just assume they are doing right by their workers, what should we push them for? (USA) [more inside]
posted by Tehhund at 8:12 AM PST - 8 comments

Wrong heat pump installed, now what?

I signed a contract to have a Mitsubishi MXZ-3C30NAHZ2 installed, they installed a MXZ-3C30NA2. The contractor's proposal is to "upgrade" the installed heat pump exterior unit with a crankcase heater and some boards. They also propose to pay the difference in rebates. They say that it will not violate the warranty since it will be all Mitsubishi parts and they talked to the factory representative. Is this possible? Should I just ask to have the wrong one removed and the correct one installed? [more inside]
posted by bdc34 at 8:06 AM PST - 5 comments

Which video calling app is best for online piano lessons?

I'll be taking online piano lessons with my teacher this week. She is just getting set up for it. What's the best free video calling app for this? Looking for good sound quality and a tight algorithm that minimizes dropouts. I have 10M/7M DSL.
posted by storybored at 7:54 AM PST - 7 comments

True Unlimited Data?

Here in Montreal's Old Port, we have copper wire to the nearest transmitter, which means data rates of around 8 Mps. My phone hotspot gets 70 Mps, but I have a data cap of 15 GB/month. There are "unlimited data" plans but they throttle bandwidth after 15 GB/month. Are there true unlimited data plans not visible to the ordinary consumer?
posted by musofire at 7:50 AM PST - 0 comments

Shopping local without leaving your home- suggestions?

I'm trying to work out an idea for a local shopping aggregator beyond simply having a list of places that deliver. Both for myself and my neighbors- I'd like to find a way to shop local without leaving my house. Does this exist? If not do you have ideas for how I could create something like this?
posted by arnicae at 7:50 AM PST - 4 comments

How to host an online party for family and friends

I want to host an online party tomorrow night for about 30 people. I've never done anything like this before and I'm looking for tips from anyone who has. [more inside]
posted by night_train at 6:30 AM PST - 11 comments

Accessing xfinitywifi from a Windows 10 laptop

Hello. I greatly apologize for burdening the board with this issue...I went through both levels of xfinity tech support and they couldn't help me. [more inside]
posted by 8603 at 6:08 AM PST - 5 comments

Trying not to rOCD the boat

Some of the stuff on relational OCD sounds like me... Any experiences to share? [more inside]
posted by existentialwhale at 4:59 AM PST - 3 comments

Can I share a PC screen with a Mac?

Can I set-up two monitors at home with my work laptop (PC) and my home computer (iMac)? [more inside]
posted by anya32 at 3:37 AM PST - 8 comments

People who didn't catch Covid-19 from housemates?

So my sister has developed a persistent dry cough over the weekend and is self-isolating on medical advice. She won't be tested and has no other symptoms (no fever for example). She lives with us. Do you have any reports of people living in the same household that didn't spread the disease? [more inside]
posted by hazyjane at 2:31 AM PST - 11 comments

Therapist quirk

My therapist likes to begin a session with checking in on how I feel right then in the session, beginning by observing the body and grounding, and then asking me about what's going on for me. I feel this is preventing me from getting to the important or difficult stuff that is not going to turn up in my body or mind naturally during a session. I wish she'd dig more or create space for me to bring stuff up. [more inside]
posted by miaow at 1:16 AM PST - 6 comments

March 15

Board Games for the Extremely Young

My 3.5 year-old niece, since December, has been obsessed with the two board games she owns: Hoot Owl Hoot and Candyland Junior. What’s something similar I could send her so her parents- who are in Seattle and kind of trapped with her and an infant right now- get a little relief from the tedium of those two games on infinite repeat? [more inside]
posted by charmedimsure at 11:34 PM PST - 23 comments

Economists: contextualize and rationalize the latest Covid-related news?

I have only taken elementary economics courses, so my understanding of the latest developments in the US with the fed cutting rates is only surface-level. But the recent decision for the fed to further cut rates already seems drastic and quite scary. I'm hoping someone with an economics background can provide some context. [more inside]
posted by unid41 at 10:03 PM PST - 6 comments

What is this metal cable spanning my garage ceiling?

Our newly purchased house has a detached garage. A section of the garage has been finished off as a bonus room. The previous owners made some... interesting choices with their DIY work, including leaving this metal cable exposed, spanning the length of the room. [more inside]
posted by bluloo at 9:54 PM PST - 12 comments

Disability, capitalism & COVID

My job is to conduct in-home meetings with elderly, disabled, chronically ill people. Management has stated that "we have an obligation to the client to continue meetings" during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have a disability, how can I get out of this? [more inside]
posted by marvelousmellitus at 9:04 PM PST - 5 comments

Planning deliveries to quarrantined at-risk people

Friend of mine is on board of her church (they have cancelled services). With the stores being mobbed right now, she wants to shop and deliver groceries and prescriptions to elderly and health-compromised people in her church who need it. How best to plan the effort? She has a 14-year old daughter to help organizing. [more inside]
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 7:49 PM PST - 4 comments

Recommend me some highly structured home schooling lesson plans!

I’m looking for home-schooling lesson plans (for a 4 year old and a 7 year old) that tell me exactly what to do. [more inside]
posted by awenner at 7:47 PM PST - 4 comments

Love in the time of corona

I'm looking for stories/thoughts/solutions/perspectives on people who find they and their partner have different comfort levels on how aggressively to do social distancing, go out to places, sterilize things, etc. when they didn't have this issue in pre-corona life. [more inside]
posted by nantucket at 7:42 PM PST - 6 comments

what is ethical here - antidepressants?

I get ketamine infusions, every two weeks, to keep my suicidal depression at bay. How can I not view this as frivolous at this time? [more inside]
posted by colorblock sock at 7:11 PM PST - 27 comments

Should I go? Overdue IUD removal vs. coronavirus

Should I leave my IUD in until the peak of the coronavirus epidemic has passed in this area? [more inside]
posted by music for skeletons at 6:36 PM PST - 9 comments

Seeking whitefish and pike

My parents may cancel their Passover seder this year, so I'm trying to source fish for homemade gefilte fish or actually good premade gefilte fish. I'm looking for online leads and leads in northern Massachusetts/southern New Hampshire. Help? [more inside]
posted by marfa, texas at 6:24 PM PST - 3 comments

Where to find this Woody Harrelson-endorsed IG ad product?

Instagram’s targeted ads were, for a while, showing me this sweatshirt made of patchwork material being worn by Woody Harrelson. I liked it, thought I saved it, but guess not. Anyone have any idea what or where this hoodie is? I feel like they even called it something like The Woody.
posted by jitterbug perfume at 6:02 PM PST - 1 comment

I want to do some Star Trek kitbashing. Do I have to learn Blender now?

I have somehow gotten a bee in my bonnet (developed a hyper fixation) about a particular idea I have for a Starfleet ship concept. I don't know where it came from, it's weird. I think the only thing to get rid of it is to get it out onto something. Unfortunately, I don't draft. And I think I want to try more variations than is worth doing in plastic model pieces. How much 3-D design software am I going to have to get into? [more inside]
posted by bartleby at 6:01 PM PST - 4 comments

To FWB or to not FWB

For the past few months, I've (31) been FWB with this guy (34). He's in an open relationship. We chose not to date because we want different things in life, and he is a player. He's not objectively physically attractive but I'm strongly attracted to him. Possibly because we have a very strong intellectual connection and chemistry. Up till recently, he was a bit of a scumbag (mean jokes), but he's been very careful after I made it clear I wouldn't put up with it. [more inside]
posted by kinoeye at 5:53 PM PST - 18 comments

What can I bake with a jar of Smucker's Goober?

We have a jar of Smucker's Goober peanut butter with the grape jelly stripes, opened for one tasting at which the kid and I recoiled in horror. I do like jam with peanut butter (Nutella, people! nutella and PB is the bomb) and I feel awful tossing a practically full jar away. Is there something I can bake or cook this overly-sweetend stuff into to use up the jar?
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 5:41 PM PST - 10 comments

How to give blood successfully

I would like to donate blood because I know demand is high right now. However, the first and only time I tried, I apparently turned white and felt faint after a few minutes and the donation center worker stopped the process and told me I probably shouldn’t donate blood again. Is there hope for me? [more inside]
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 5:24 PM PST - 10 comments

COVID-level handwashing with one hand?

I made the excellent decision to fall and separate my shoulder today, and will be in a sling for at least 2+ weeks. How do I wash my other hand? [more inside]
posted by heyforfour at 5:21 PM PST - 6 comments

Meal Planning for the Pandemic

I’m looking for ideas of both what to eat, and how to structure my meal plan for the pandemic, given that the end date is basically unknown. [more inside]
posted by unstrungharp at 4:58 PM PST - 8 comments

Go or Cancel - important medical appt. tomorrow

I have needed new hearing aids for a while; old set out of commission for a while. I have an appt. at the Boston area Costco to get tested and get new ones. I'm mid-60s, have asthma and using an inhaler, otherwise healthy, and badly want to hear again, but, Social Distancing. I have been staying home since my area had reported cases. It's an important medical appt. Go / Cancel? [more inside]
posted by Mom at 4:53 PM PST - 15 comments

What song does the Cisco hold music remind me of?

For a long time I thought the infamous Cisco hold music was an instrumental version of something else. Some late-80s/90s thing with an Aaron Neville-ish singer, and a chorus that sounded something like, "Doooon't go blebble-bee toniiiiight.... No, doooon't go blebble-bee to-niiigh-hiiiiight." Now I know the true origin of the hold music (This American Life story here) but every time I hear it (and a LOT of companies use it) I still hear the blebble-bees and it drives me nuts. What freaking song am I thinking of?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:53 PM PST - 10 comments

Seeking a battery operated wall-mount LED clock

I've been trying to find a battery operated wall-mount LED clock, and have found the search much harder than I'd expected. Can you help? Parameters within. [more inside]
posted by tocts at 3:50 PM PST - 7 comments

GayFilter: An incredibly sudden break up - how can I move on?

Happy relationship - or so I thought. Found a gay dating app on my boyfriend's phone. Broke up with him. What are my next steps? [more inside]
posted by Lewnatic at 3:15 PM PST - 14 comments

Some real good bi queer or trans novels or long reads

Despite no one being ill we are sitting around. I am hoping to catch up on some research about writing styles in male or female protagonist bisexual, queer, or transgender memoir, novels or long stories of any genre except parody. No journalism! Ideally looking for more than 5,000 words and available for free or vlc. If you're too timid to respond - that's what mods are for!
posted by anonymous at 2:54 PM PST - 15 comments

Splendid Isolation: TV and Movie edition

What to watch while stuck at home? [more inside]
posted by Champagne Supernova at 12:20 PM PST - 39 comments

Moving labs online

I coordinate Anatomy and Physiology I & II and teach genetics at a community college. My college is deciding this week if we will move online for the rest of the semester. While they decide I am trying to determine the best resources to use to for our A&P and genetics labs in the event that we move online. Do you have any you recommend? Also are there places I can connect with other A&P/Bio professors in the same situation?
posted by a22lamia at 11:46 AM PST - 4 comments

How to take COVID precautions in a shared call center?

I work at a call center that provides real-time captions to phone calls for the hearing impaired. I was gonna stay home, but I think maybe our service might do more to slow the epidemic around the country than disbanding our call centers in a few places. But it means sharing cubicles and keyboards (not headsets, at least) with a few hundred people. Any precautions I could take that will slow the inevitable sharing of the virus at the call center? [more inside]
posted by straight at 10:55 AM PST - 6 comments

What are the facts on coronavirus transmission in preschools?

While all Seattle K-12 schools are closed, as are many preschools, my 3-year-old's preschool is still open, leaving the decision to me as to whether to pull him out or not. My understanding is that children of this age have not tested positively for the virus, making it unlikely for them to be carriers. That said, preschools are of course not kid-only, as there are numerous adults working on and visiting the premises, and we know that social distancing is key to "flattening the curve". [more inside]
posted by splitpeasoup at 9:37 AM PST - 20 comments

Questions to ask Risk Management before I return to work

I've been off work since Monday (after I left to go to the doctor) due to something that could very well have been the coronavirus, but I don't know that for sure... [more inside]
posted by Rumi'sLeftSock at 9:18 AM PST - 12 comments

Large Scale Galactic Civs in SF

What are the most detailed, extensively worked out galactic civilizations in written SF? [more inside]
posted by signal at 8:42 AM PST - 21 comments

Need at home project(s) or mini-challenges

I'm looking for a project or a series of small projects that'll take me 1-30 days to complete - things I can do at home alone. Perhaps cooking, making something new, learning a new skill or getting better at an existing one. [more inside]
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 8:10 AM PST - 17 comments

Board, card and video games that will work with video chat

My friends and I are all more or less stuck in our respective homes due to coronavirus. So, our socializing is about to drop to near zero. Part of our socializing is board and card games (mostly lighter stuff), with that mostly as an excuse to BS and drink and eat together. [more inside]
posted by lieberschnitzel at 7:46 AM PST - 9 comments

Need cheap online tool to communicate with patients

I am a doc (not in the US) with a large list of patients some of whom will not be able to see me in person in the near future. This question is about a sub-group of my patients who are not patients of the Big Institution that is my employer but instead see me at Small Practice. I am looking for a web-based tool to communicate with them regarding their routine concerns when they cannot come see me. [more inside]
posted by M. at 7:16 AM PST - 12 comments

What music should we discover right now?

Being stuck at home, we have started to listen to music nonstop. I'd love to take this opportunity to discover new tunes with my family. [more inside]
posted by Toddles at 7:16 AM PST - 22 comments

Is 99% Glycerine the same as glycerol? Cheap source: Glycerol/99%alcohol

The WHO recipe for hand sanitizer calls for glycerol 98%. I am having trouble finding glycerol, but I found 99% glycerine. After researching a bit, some sites say the only difference is purity. If the glycerine is 99%, is it actually glycerol? If not, does anyone have a good, fair priced source for glycerol? Also, does anyone have a cheap, reliable source for 99% gallons of alcohol? I am giving this away to my friends and neighbors so I don't want it to be too expensive to make.
posted by Studiogeek at 7:13 AM PST - 12 comments

Go to the doctor or not? Stitches removal.

We're in Minneapolis. My partner has an appointment on Thursday to get stitches removed following ankle surgery. We are otherwise entirely isolated at home. Should we go? We will need to take a cab. [more inside]
posted by Frowner at 7:12 AM PST - 13 comments

UK 🦠 filter: if husband, 70 needs to stay home for 4 mth should I also?

News out today says over 70s may have to isolate at home for four months (!) should I isolate with him or should I go out and do all the mutual aid stuff I’d been planning, and then stay 6 feet away at all times? 1br/1bath flat. He’s v healthy, I have occasional asthma.
posted by The Last Sockpuppet at 6:06 AM PST - 10 comments

Kid spoken word recordings on Spotify

We often start our day with our 6yo listening to Disney/Pixar stories on Spotify. What other spoken word recorded material for kids is available on Spotify? Disney is getting old for everyone. [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:58 AM PST - 4 comments

Was it COVID-19?

Husband came down with flu-like symptoms on Feb. 29 and tested negative that day for flu. Was it actually COVID? And if it was, do I need to do anything now? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 12:59 AM PST - 10 comments

Looking for cook books for beginners

I cannot cook to save my life. And now that there is a global crisis this may not be a joke. I am looking for a good introductory book to basic cooking, without any special focus-- I'm not vegan or vegetarian and I like simple foods of all kinds. I'd ideally like something intelligently written that will teach me how to cook pasta dishes and other easy, quick, and practical meals. Just to be clear, I honestly don't even know how to make pasta right now, that's how bad the situation is.
posted by anonymous at 12:58 AM PST - 22 comments

Status for green card replacement is no action taken

My SO has been a permanent resident in the US for a while. Her card came up for renewal last year and she completed the renewal paperwork and biometrics on time. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 12:58 AM PST - 5 comments

March 14

Best water purifying pitcher Chlorine smell NYC tap 1 person use

Bottled water has literally "dried up" in NYC, and I have been regretting all those 1.5 L bottles anyway. Years ago I used basic Brita, but mold! Wirecutter has failed me -- it's choice of Pur Classic 11 cup pitcher was "booed" by Amazon reviewers (it cracks and gets moldy?), and the Brita and Soma pitchers didn't do too well either. [more inside]
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 9:45 PM PST - 11 comments

Online alternatives to community get togethers

There's a group in my community that meets once a month at a cafe for a casual coffee catch up for people who are usually isolated due to a specific illness. There's no presentation or official business, but rather people chat to their neighbours at the table, sometimes people move around to chat to other people and sometimes there's a period of whole group chat. It's been going for years and is scheduled for next weekend but for coronavirus social distancing reasons that's not possible. What technical solutions exist? [more inside]
posted by mosessis at 9:02 PM PST - 8 comments

Easiest way to make a single stream from multiple remote streams

I'd like to make a quarantine online show with friends who all contribute a song from wherever they are. The end platform could be Facebook Live, Twitch, YouTube Live — not really important. I'm having trouble thinking of a simple way to accomplish it. [more inside]
posted by argybarg at 7:21 PM PST - 3 comments

Decimate and Quarantine

I just learned that the word "quarantine" relates to the Italian word for "forty". And I've known for awhile that "decimate" relates to the Latin for "ten". But in regular usage, the specific numeric meaning seems to have been entirely lost or at least widely forgotten. Are there other English words like this?
posted by great_radio at 6:46 PM PST - 34 comments

Social Distancing in A Studio?

Ever since my classes have moved to remote learning I find that I'm struggling to deal with a relative's constant negativity/verbal abuse in a small studio. [more inside]
posted by chrono_rabbit at 6:36 PM PST - 15 comments

Name That Shirt!

I found this wonderful shirt with all of its tags and labels removed. It's dark heather gray stretchy fleece with light gray non-fleece trim, and seems to have been intentionally designed without buttons despite the buttonholes. What is it, who made it, and how can I get more? [more inside]
posted by jinjo at 6:14 PM PST - 5 comments

Torn about flying cross-country to visit my family, COVID-19 edition.

I've been given an unexpected ~2 weeks paid "vacation" by my employer, courtesy of the coronavirus. Thinking seriously about flying cross-country to visit my family, but feel hesitant, given COVID-19. [more inside]
posted by dubious_dude at 5:40 PM PST - 50 comments

Requesting accommodation at the office, Covid-19 edition

Looking since October, and I may finally have a job again April 1. Complication: Asthma triggered by extensive use of ammonia or bleach based cleaning products. And vinegar and citrus and dumb “scent freshener” products (I use unscented EVERYTHING at home). [more inside]
posted by tilde at 4:39 PM PST - 6 comments

Help me design a clever DnD labyrinth puzzle.

I'm trying to design a Dungeons and Dragons session set in a labyrinth with a big monster. I want to have some sort of puzzle/combat where the players have to get out the other end by avoiding or distracting the giant monster. What kind of puzzles or mechanisms can I use to make this work? [more inside]
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:39 PM PST - 11 comments

Family as Housing Co-op

What can be put in place to make our family togetherness better in this time of social isolation? [more inside]
posted by RoadScholar at 4:20 PM PST - 4 comments

Would noise cancelling headphones solve this?

Well, it's -18C outside and the next door neighbours have decided it's a good time to play basketball. On their deck. It's going to be a long year! Their deck is adjacent to my bedroom. This is going to drive me nuts! Can noise cancelling headphones cancel out the awful banging of a basketball on a wooden deck?! What type should I get? [more inside]
posted by VirginiaPlain at 3:40 PM PST - 12 comments

Gaming in the Time of Coronavirus

I'm looking for casual, easy-to-pick-up games that support online multiplayer, as well as social interaction (text or voice chat). Something with low commitment and barrier-to-entry – so I can post a link on Facebook, and people can easily join. Ideally, it wouldn't require players to install anything, and it'd be something that people can pop in and out of at will. Board-gamey things and video-gamey things are both fair game. Likewise, I'm cool with competitive, cooperative, and/or sandboxy. Whatcha got?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 3:30 PM PST - 4 comments

google authentication on non-google sites, no thanks tho

I've noticed some websites (doordash being the biggest) have started asking me to sign in and then immediately tie the account to a google account, presumably for increased security in authentication. Which is fine, except I don't use gmail any more and don't want my actual private email addresses tied to a gmail/google account, even a throwaway one, because yuck, google. Is there a workaround for this?
posted by snerson at 3:22 PM PST - 8 comments

I am the lady in the black and white portion of the infomercial right now

Has anybody actually figured out a way for dealing with cat litter that isn't messy and disgusting AND works consistently AND doesn't need a special litter type? [more inside]
posted by bleep at 3:16 PM PST - 18 comments

How to convince a rock star to cancel a show

I'm trying to figure out the best way to convince Billy Idol to cancel his show tonight in Las Vegas. Pretty much every other show on the strip has been cancelled or postponed, and Billy even cancelled his own show on Wednesday because he had a head cold. He tweeted this morning that he was excited for the show but his Facebook page has several comments asking him to cancel, and I've found one tweet doing the same. In this day and age there must be a simple way to use social media to convince him now is not the time to be stubborn. Also, I'm open to the fact that I'm being stubborn, just wanted to run this by someone else
posted by toomuch at 1:29 PM PST - 11 comments

Adonit Pro First Gen Pen

I have an Adonit Jot Pro Stylus (on this page as the "previous generation" stylus, the gray one on the right) that I bought years ago to use with my first iPad. Was probably in 2013. I found it in a drawer recently and it doesn't work with my current iPad (a Mini 2 from 2015) or on any smartphone I've tried (iPhones & Samsungs). My question is: what changed? Why doesn't this tech work? Or am I missing something?
posted by chavenet at 1:07 PM PST - 3 comments

ISO micro-grant platform for local giving

I'm looking for a community focused platform or app that will let many people donate money to a pool that many individuals can then draw from (either as a loan or outright donation). Does this exist already? Similar to micro-loans, but more donation focused. [more inside]
posted by cocoagirl at 12:59 PM PST - 2 comments

(How) Can I Eat This: Ancient Wedding Favor Soup Edition

Some years ago, Mr. eirias and I went to a wedding where the wedding favor was a ball jar containing a mix of dried beans, a sachet of spices and dried veg, and a recipe. We lost the recipe. Can I still eat this? If so, how should I turn it into food? [more inside]
posted by eirias at 11:33 AM PST - 11 comments

Trying to at least quarter-ass this online course thing

Recommended USD20-40 usb microphone for recording lectures? [more inside]
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:27 AM PST - 7 comments

What microsope should we get and what should we do with it?

As part of our 2 weeks home together due to the virus, I want to get a microscope and look at cool things with it. Please help advise which one we should get and some fun activities we can do (6th grader).
posted by ReluctantViking at 9:57 AM PST - 4 comments

Unemployed and Broke During Pandemic

I lost my job on Thursday. The why and the how don't matter; it is what it is. But after putting away half my rent (I can likely borrow the other half) and my phone bill, I've got about $200 to my name. No savings, no income. Must feed self and cat, but HOW? [more inside]
posted by MuChao at 9:45 AM PST - 26 comments

How much social distancing?

We're moving house--just as coronavirus has really escalated. I'm overwhelmed so please tell me: should I be doing ALL hangouts remotely/over the phone, even 1:1s? [more inside]
posted by c'mon sea legs at 9:14 AM PST - 4 comments

Appointment streaming

What live performances or events (musical or non) are you looking forward to during self quarantine? [more inside]
posted by lowest east side at 8:39 AM PST - 22 comments

Action planning games for 8 year old

My 8 year old daughter has a SPD and executive function difficulties. Her occupational therapist recommended "action planning" computer games. None of us play games and all we have is a Windows laptop. Do you have recommendations for games? [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom at 8:13 AM PST - 16 comments

How to vote if you're sick

We're sick. Illinois primary is Tuesday. Is there some way can we can still vote? [more inside]
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 8:10 AM PST - 8 comments

How should lovers deal with the pandemic?

How are couples dealing with social distancing during coronavirus? Cohabiting couples? Lovers who don’t live together and have to travel to be together? Staying apart? Fist bumps for the duration? No kissing?
posted by JimN2TAW at 7:25 AM PST - 19 comments

Companies Doing the Right Thing (Ethical Capitalism?!)

We've all been getting those annoying emails telling us how companies have stepped up their disinfection efforts, but is anyone keeping track of the companies truly doing the right things for their workers? [more inside]
posted by Minnowish at 6:07 AM PST - 21 comments

Contractors during lockdown

I'm a temp for a company that has decided to let everyone work from home because of the virus. However my work is not a necessity to the company so I will not be able to work from home or be paid. Other temps in the company are being paid but their work is a necessity to the company. What do I do? Am I eligible for unemployment?
posted by sheepishchiffon at 6:06 AM PST - 14 comments

Games for Distributed Team

Can you recommend any apps/online games that employee teams can play to stay more connected and have some fun when suddenly working entirely remotely? [more inside]
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:53 AM PST - 1 comment

Bikes, scooters, and rollerblades in the time of coronavirus

How are you planning on transporting yourself if you live in a big city, do not have a car, and usually rely on public transportation? Also, should I (NYC) buy a scooter? [more inside]
posted by redwaterman at 5:47 AM PST - 8 comments

Taking flight on my exercise bike. Where should I go?

I am looking for virtual journey videos to watch on my computer while I peddle on my stationary bike. I want to be able to click play, hop on and peddle away to beautiful new places. I'm not just looking for good virtual bike rides. Drone footage or a run through your favourite video game would be wonderful. Is there a video tour of your city that would be immersive? Do you have any favourite videos that you use on your bike, or on your treadmill that you can recommend to me? [more inside]
posted by Jane the Brown at 5:46 AM PST - 11 comments

Cooking in the time of coronavirus

What are your favorite things to cook/bake that may take a little extra effort or babysitting but feel fun and special? [more inside]
posted by geegollygosh at 5:35 AM PST - 24 comments

My Society's Not Falling Apart, YOUR Society's Falling Apart

Along the lines of a similar question asked here a while back, I'm interested in reading non-fiction accounts of what it's actually like day-to-day in societies undergoing radical transformations for the worse. [more inside]
posted by Rykey at 12:34 AM PST - 18 comments

March 13

Higher ed WFH stats

How can I find out how many institutions of higher education are encouraging employees to work from home due to coronavirus? (Feel free you post what your institution is doing!)
posted by HotToddy at 8:35 PM PST - 24 comments

How long should social distancing last?

Another coronavirus question: Are any experts discussing how long the social distancing efforts and event cancellations undertaken in many countries have to last to effectively flatten the curve? [more inside]
posted by Tehhund at 7:36 PM PST - 25 comments

Mentioning organizations on LinkedIn that don't show in drop down menu

I know the basics of mentioning an organization. Type @ followed by name and choose company from drop down. However, I often come across companies that I know have LinkedIn pages but do not show up in the drop down unless I type in a very specific, sometimes random name. How do I find that name out? [more inside]
posted by gfrobe at 6:04 PM PST - 3 comments

Good places to eat near the British Library

Any recommendations for places to eat near(ish) the British Library this Saturday late afternoon/early evening? [more inside]
posted by antiwiggle at 3:42 PM PST - 9 comments


Should we pause trying to conceive in light of the COVID19 pandemic? [more inside]
posted by rodneyaug at 3:30 PM PST - 20 comments

Volunteering for Coronavirus?

I am feeling unemployed and benched during this pandemic. My background is in working with older adults in nursing homes, LTC, and community settings, and I've experienced multiple outbreaks of various diseases in those settings. But I'm unemployed right now, looking for a job, and just hanging around my house! I could be doing a bunch of useful stuff if I had a place to work right now. With that said, I'd like to volunteer, probably virtually, to help. Does anyone know where I may find people looking for coronavirus help?
posted by skookumsaurus rex at 2:51 PM PST - 6 comments

Article on how Putin acquired power and money from gas/oil in Russia

I'm not sure how to find an article that I read a while ago on Metafilter about Putin. I believe the article was referencing either a lawyer or accountant who was revealing the specifics of how Putin was getting a lot of money (oil or gas) that wasn't accounted for. [more inside]
posted by burntbook at 2:41 PM PST - 4 comments

Dealing with older teens stuck at home

In the time of Corona, who's got all the hot tips for being stuck at home with older teens? My 16yo will happily game all day...but will eventually get super bored and also desperate to move his body around. I was thinking of doing a park meetup with some other boys, so they can run around and be maniacs for an hour, without touching each other. Is that nuts? What else can I/they do? [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa at 2:39 PM PST - 15 comments

Covid -19 middle school curriculum. What should we do?

My 12 year old, his best friend, and I will need to keep our days busy and productive. I am looking for suggestions how to fill our days. [more inside]
posted by beccaj at 2:16 PM PST - 10 comments

Someone at work is getting tested for covid19, should I avoid my family?

Word just came down via official email that someone where I work has respiratory illness and is being tested for Covid-19. The results won't be in until next week. Unfortunately I had a couple meetings in the building where the person works on tuesday. Last night I started getting a postnasal drip and sore throat, which is not common for Covid-19, but not great for piece of mind. [more inside]
posted by 445supermag at 2:02 PM PST - 9 comments

Advice from homeschooling parents

What advice do those of you with experience homeschooling their kids have for those of us who are suddenly faced with doing something of a short-term version of what you do, as we try to structure learning for our kids for at least the next few weeks? [more inside]
posted by umbú at 1:28 PM PST - 7 comments

Gracefully Getting Out of a Meeting

I have a meeting with a client in about 2 hours. I am at home not feeling well. I'm also not ready to have this conversation just in general. Unfortunately, I have already spoken to this client twice about this meeting and I feel really really bad about needing to cancel. is there anything that I could say that would soften the awkwardness of having to say can we please reschedule? [more inside]
posted by Kitchen Witch at 1:04 PM PST - 4 comments

Do people still call ‘#’ a pound sign?

Do younger people know what ‘pound sign’ refers to? Or do they just know it as a hashtag? [more inside]
posted by dianeF at 1:02 PM PST - 25 comments

Split screen games on consoles, is that still a thing?

I remember playing a lot of split screen shooters in the early aughts with my friends. Now my son is 10, and I wanna game with him. We have a Switch, but Nintendo games are too family friendly. We do play fortnite together (him: switch, me: PC). Xbox One or PS4? What games?
posted by aeighty at 11:14 AM PST - 13 comments

Kids have no school for a month (coronavirus/COVID-19). Who's got ideas?

Board games? Great learning apps? Ways to burn off energy? Ways to not go stir crazy? Ways to get out of the house safely? Safe to have people come over (friends, piano teachers)? Help please!
posted by malhouse at 10:34 AM PST - 26 comments

taking up space

I have a lot of issues around taking up space - either physically, or space in terms of other people's consciousness or attention. I feel like I am always making myself smaller or apologising or berating myself for needing attention etc. What is a healthy way of approaching the matter of taking up space in the world? [POC-filter] [more inside]
posted by unicorn chaser at 10:02 AM PST - 5 comments

Online platform for creating a virtual yearbook with recorded messages

The graduating seniors at my small seminary are experiencing an additional layer of disappointment and sadness right now as a result of our campus going online-only and (likely) cancelling commencement ceremonies. I would like to create a place for members of our school community, family, and friends to post videos and audio and text messages for them as a way of making up a little bit of what they won't get to experience. [more inside]
posted by notquitemaryann at 9:42 AM PST - 4 comments

I don't think my job exists anywhere else. How do I job-hunt?

I've got a weird job at a weird tech company, with a weird mix of responsibilities that may not exist anywhere else. Officially, my title is something like "technical editor." Half the time I'm editing software documentation. The other half, I'm doing things like writing internal software tools and evaluating processes. I'm considering moving, which will mean finding a new job somewhere else. I don't care if I'm still an "editor," and I think I'd be overqualified for most tech editor jobs I see. What other titles should I be looking at? [more inside]
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:35 AM PST - 17 comments

Christianity without Congregation?

Are there any major Christian theologians who did not believe in, or downplayed, the importance of an active church community? Who emphasized solitary instead of communal worship? I'm not interested in the "like God, but not church?" type groups. I'm specifically looking for scholarly theologians who, well, liked God but not church, or who wrote about religious practice when there was no community available. [more inside]
posted by Think_Long at 8:34 AM PST - 13 comments

Why did shutdown of Seattle Public Schools increase from 2 to 6 weeks?

On Wednesday, March 12, Seattle Public Schools announced that schools would be closed for at least two weeks. On Thursday, March 13, Washington state governor Jay Inslee ordered the closure of all King County public schools (including Seattle Public Schools) for a minimum of six weeks. Why was the closure extended by a month one day after it was first announced? Disagreement between state and local authorities? New information regarding the spread of the virus? Some other reason?
posted by lumpy at 8:16 AM PST - 7 comments

Rice krispie treat decorations

While in Disney I promised the kiddo we would make rice krispy treats that look like one she wanted but didn't get there. It looks like they made treats, then put a layer of something on the top, then used the sugar on top. What is that layer of something? Extra marshmallow? Something else? Recipes I see online always have the rainbow stuff mixed in, but this is not going to be an acceptable compromise.
posted by jeather at 6:30 AM PST - 6 comments

Cookie management with the latest Firefox

What's a good plug-in to manage and white-list cookies with the latest Firefox? I want to allow a select few sites, and block everything else. I had been using Cookie Monster, but it's no longer supported.
posted by JawnBigboote at 6:20 AM PST - 8 comments

What do you use to fax things when you don't have a fax machine?

I need to fax something to an organization that doesn't accept emails. I don't have a fax machine at home or at work. What online fax service have you used that has worked. [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek at 5:50 AM PST - 16 comments

Inclusive platform for managing community aid during the pandemic?

A friend has asked me for help with setting up an emergency platform for their neighbourhood group during these times of Coronavirus. They live semi rurally (outskirts of an Australian town, population ~7000) and are looking to set up a simple, effective system for mutual aid. Original request after the fold. [more inside]
posted by kandinski at 4:38 AM PST - 4 comments

How crucial is the buccal membrane for B12 absorption?

How important is it that I absorb my B12 mouth spray through the skin inside my cheeks vs swallowing some of the liquid? How much does swallowing it impact absorption vs absorbing it through my cheek membrane? [more inside]
posted by terretu at 4:38 AM PST - 2 comments

Teach me homemade Purell recipes?

Assume that I can't get Purell and can't get isoproyl alcohol. What can I use to disinfect things? The more specific the recipe, the better please. [more inside]
posted by societypages at 3:36 AM PST - 30 comments

How much flexibility do you have to customize manufactured homes?

My partner and I are looking at putting some family inheritance towards a home and we've come to the conclusion that to get what we need, we'll likely have to go with a manufactured home. What we're not clear on and what we can't get a straight answer on from several manufacturers is how much freedom we have to "customize" the design of manufactured homes. Nothing major, but things like removing a wall or moving a room. So how much can we expect to be able to change a design?
posted by Socinus at 3:17 AM PST - 7 comments

American abroad - should I return?

I am currently in India. I have traveled significantly this year, but not to any areas known to be highly impacted (so far) by COVID-19. I do not have any symptoms. Should I return to the US right away? [more inside]
posted by maya at 2:32 AM PST - 14 comments

DIY Covid-19 testing at work...

... would be difficult for most, but I am working in a life science lab. But as I have no experience in this kind of diagnostics I have some questions: 1. It seems that kits to isolate viral RNA are getting scarce, and anyways, I would not want to "take away" Kits that are needed by hospitals etc. We isolate RNA from our tissue samples with Trizol and chloroform, is this sensitive enough to get adequate quantities of RNA for qPCR or PCR? Here is the kit we use. [more inside]
posted by SweetLiesOfBokonon at 1:37 AM PST - 5 comments

March 12

Books about recurring, seasonal plague

I've read a lot of books about how humans cope with an singular, unprecedented plague. But what if it came back every year? I want to read about that. [more inside]
posted by McBearclaw at 11:24 PM PST - 13 comments

Significant women who have kid appeal?

My daughter needs to choose a famous person to do a project on. The kids get to deliver their reports dressed as the person. Help us with ideas? Here are her stipulations: [more inside]
posted by Knowyournuts at 10:34 PM PST - 55 comments

COVIDme, “where should my high risk mother go?” Edition

My 67 year old mother has four (4) high risk factors for severe complications from Covid19, in addition to her age. Options are: [more inside]
posted by schadenfrau at 9:30 PM PST - 16 comments

Dammit, I'm right! ... or am I?

I question myself way too much. This can be helpful, but it often just sends me into an anxiety spiral. How do I distinguish the times I was truly wrong from the times I was right and the other party just insisted I'm wrong? [more inside]
posted by LoonyLovegood at 8:28 PM PST - 5 comments

Handling family member with possible COVID-19

My partner is a possible COVID-19 case. We have young children. I'm anxious enough about this epidemic that I've already asked a previous question about preparing. What is your advice for risk assessment and handling in-home isolation? [more inside]
posted by medusa at 8:17 PM PST - 10 comments

Compassionate exceptions to travel bans?

In circumstances where governments are banning travel from selected destinations, are they making exceptions on compassionate grounds? For example, if New Zealand were to close their border to Australia, but close family members in NZ were life-threateningly ill, would we still be able to travel to them? Or should we be considering travelling now while borders are still open? [more inside]
posted by lollusc at 7:57 PM PST - 4 comments

Brushing and Flossing in the Shower

Does anyone else brush and floss their teeth in the shower? [more inside]
posted by jjderooy at 7:50 PM PST - 26 comments

Audiobook is Ready

I've voiced, edited and engineered my audiobook. It's ready to go. Is it as simple as picking someone to whom I can upload it to, and uploading it? What now? [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind at 7:41 PM PST - 1 comment

What's the best way to do a performance live online?

A friend and I have decided to cancel a live interview-based show we had set up for next week due to coronavirus concerns. We'd like to move it online, though - there's no reason we couldn't. Except we don't know the tools. What free technology is there that can feature 3+ people on a video call and livestream it? What's the workflow like?
posted by LSK at 7:34 PM PST - 1 comment

Dried up Jade yoga mat

I have a jade yoga mat that's a few years old and it started to dry up and crumble as they are wont to. Is there any way to moisturize it? It's so dry that it hurts the skin on my toes. I don't mind that it's old and beat up, but the dryness makes it nearly unusable.
posted by rainy at 6:17 PM PST - 2 comments

From post it scrum board to fully remote team??

My team uses a post it scrum board and now the team is fully remote due to COVID-19 - help! [more inside]
posted by teragram at 6:03 PM PST - 16 comments

Santa Cruz boardwalk + COVID-19 = bad time?

A couple weeks ago I reserved a hotel for two nights in Santa Cruz for this weekend so my 13-year-old son and I could check out the beach and boardwalk. #StayTheFuckHome? [more inside]
posted by Arthur Vandelay at 5:07 PM PST - 13 comments

What could be some implications from an inaccurate census count?

What could be some implications from an inaccurate census count? Similarly, are there any legal penalties for lying on the census?
posted by amme at 4:51 PM PST - 8 comments

UTI, drinking lots of water, can't pee. Should I go to emergency?

I am female and always have a day's worth of antibiotics ready if I can't get to the doctor quickly for a UTI. I can't see my doctor until the morning. I took one pill at 2pm (5 hrs ago), after I had sudden UTI symptoms. I have since been drinking a lot of water (for me), maybe 2 litres. I have barely peed since. [more inside]
posted by i_mean_come_on_now at 4:25 PM PST - 13 comments

Video story time, how?

I want to due streaming video story time in lieu of in person story time, as my library has cancelled in-person programs. What's the easiest way to do that? [more inside]
posted by blnkfrnk at 4:21 PM PST - 7 comments

Buying baby stuff: where to start?

I am a little over halfway into my first pregnancy and have been putting off buying stuff because it all seemed so overwhelming to me but now with the words "coronavirus" and "supply chain disruption" swirling around in my head, I think it's time for me to get off my butt and start acquiring some essentials. [more inside]
posted by Forty-eight at 3:54 PM PST - 10 comments

Can you help me figure out United Airline's flight change policy?

My husband and I have decided not to take our trip to Mexico City from March 14-19. We purchased the tickets on February 25. Fortunately, United is offering free flight changes for these tickets. But, I am having a hard time understanding how the new policy works. Can you help? [more inside]
posted by TrarNoir at 3:41 PM PST - 6 comments

I should cancel, right?

I am scheduled to run a door-to-door voter registration canvass this weekend. Should I cancel it? There are few COVID-19 cases in my area, but it seems prudent to try to keep it that way. [more inside]
posted by juliapangolin at 2:54 PM PST - 11 comments

Better consent forms

I'm a researcher who does clinical trials for PTSD treatments. In general, I'm trying to make the materials I give to participants more engaging, useful, visually pleasing, and accessible; meaning, not just the standard walls of text full of PhD-level research-speak. Right now, I'm trying to apply this concept to consent forms for a study of people age 14+, but am struggling because of how much information needs to be there for ethical reasons. I'm looking for examples of medical/research consent forms, that do this while thoroughly covering the important ethical bases, or suggestions from your experience of how to make consent forms better. [more inside]
posted by quiet coyote at 2:42 PM PST - 8 comments

CareerFilter--should I stay or should I go now?

I've just gotten a somewhat unexpected job offer, and I could use a hand and/or some advice figuring out what to do next. [more inside]
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:51 PM PST - 18 comments

Tools for mutual aid networks

I'm thinking about the need to mobilize networks of support, because yes social distancing, and also isolation kills people as sure as pneumonia. I'm wanting a way to capture contact info and organize it into a tree, where each person in the first row checks in every day or so on someone on their row, plus another person in the next row out. How would you go about designing and implementing something like this? Do you know of existing tools that do this? [more inside]
posted by ottereroticist at 1:38 PM PST - 2 comments

Should I go to the cinema in London, then visit my parents?

I bought a ticket to see The Wind at the BFI in London on Monday, now I'm wondering if I should stay home because of coronavirus. [more inside]
posted by Chenko at 1:05 PM PST - 10 comments

Exercising under quarantine

I'm under self-imposed preventative quarantine with my elderly mother. I'm used to going out and exercising multiple times per week. I'm looking for recommendations for limited-exposure ways to keep my body busy for the next 4-8 weeks. [more inside]
posted by rocket at 12:39 PM PST - 16 comments

To house or not to house?

Mr Fish and I are about to buy a flat. We have the contracts to exchange but have not yet exchanged. Is this a terrible idea at the current moment? [more inside]
posted by nerdfish at 12:29 PM PST - 10 comments

Balancing being informed with mental health needs

Trying not to obsess over COVID-19 but it's in the news all around me, and many around me seem to be blase which makes me even more concerned. I am hearing things like "the US is fighting over toilet paper, but Italy is fighting over food" and "the US is on the same trajectory as Italy but ten weeks behind." My work is not implementing telework, and doesn't seem interested in doing it as a preventative measure. Schools are not closing yet. But it's only a matter of time. How do I balance the need to be informed with the need to not feed my obsessive compulsiveness and anxiety? How do I prepare beyond the 14 day supply that we have? I am really stressed out.
posted by crunchy potato at 11:55 AM PST - 11 comments

Play multiple streams with automatic leveling within browser?

When I need to absolutely get shit done at work, I've found that playing classical opera in one tab, and a numbers station in another tab simultaneously, is great to drown out distractions. (since I don't know Italian, and many of the numbers stations are in Russian, my incoming language buffer is full, but has nothing to actually latch on to.) My biggest problem is that most of the time a playlist jumps to the next item, I have to go and adjust the volume. [more inside]
posted by notsnot at 9:58 AM PST - 3 comments

Assisting the local community in the next weeks

I'd like to figure out how to best assist others locally in the next weeks/months. [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 9:52 AM PST - 19 comments

Replacement for Body Shop Cocoa Butter Body Butter

My beloved Body Shop Cocoa Butter Body Butter has gone away for good. I stocked up but am about to finally run out so am looking for a replacement, preferably something that has cocoa butter as one of the main ingredients, and that will not irritate my eczema. I primarily use it on my hands. [more inside]
posted by gudrun at 9:35 AM PST - 6 comments

What happens if I abandon a house with ~19 years left on the mortgage?

My wife and I bought a house in Carbondale, IL, in 2009 and lived there for ten years. At the time we bought it, we were concerned with what the market would be like when it came time to sell, and we were right. We moved to Florida last summer, put the house on the market, and have had no action; it's now listed at about 75% of what we paid for it. The sale market in Carbondale is bad, but the rental market is also bad, and we wouldn't be able to rent it for what we're paying in mortgage and insurance (Southern Illinois University has more or less been destroyed in the last decade, and it's taken the town with it). If we abandon it, what's the credit hit we would face? [more inside]
posted by aaronetc at 8:09 AM PST - 11 comments

Would I be insane to travel to Paris next month?

I saw a headline about how, with flights incredibly cheap because of COVID, Millenials are taking the opportunity to travel. My first thought: oof, bad idea. My second thought: wait, how cheap are we talking? [more inside]
posted by nonasuch at 7:22 AM PST - 53 comments

Help me set up a laundry system in my tub?

I'm home as of yesterday, with a toddler. I have to giant hampers full of dirty clothes, and I need to get on top of this (slowly) and then keep up, presumably by washing the days clothes every night. Please help me set up a system and teach me best practices for hand-washing, sanitizing, and drying not-particularly delicate clothes. [more inside]
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:09 AM PST - 39 comments

Public transportation ok to take?

In the time of corona, is it safe to take public transportation? I don’t live in NYC and the transportation isn’t as widely used as there, but I’m still nervous. [more inside]
posted by buttonedup at 5:14 AM PST - 18 comments

Liquidate investments as they were for house deposit for this year?

Was planning on buying a house this year, and had invested in some mostly-cautious stocks and shares to help boost savings a bit. However, I'm now at a loss and suspect I'll lose even more this year. Given things might take 2+ years to recover, and I may need my savings to cover potential income loss (I'm freelance), or the original plan to buy a house, would you disinvest into cash? [more inside]
posted by starstarstar at 4:56 AM PST - 7 comments

Would you recommend Xero?

My accountant is trying to sell me onto Xero and I'm wondering if it would be a good move. They're trying to sell us training and ongoing support and if we say yes it's going to double our yearly accounting bill. [more inside]
posted by dance at 3:13 AM PST - 6 comments

March 11

How to buy tickets to Bob Dylan tomorrow?

Tickets go on sale tomorrow on Ticket Master at 10 am. How I can score some good seats? Thanks in advance for your help.
posted by partner at 10:36 PM PST - 5 comments

Fancy Food for Grandma

What fancy, high end foods can I buy online for my Grandma? [more inside]
posted by likethenight at 9:40 PM PST - 10 comments

Can Coronavirus be Diagnosed After the Illness?

A family member had a flu-like illness about a month ago that sounds a lot like the symptoms of coronavirus: [more inside]
posted by summerstorm at 8:47 PM PST - 11 comments

Getting Meta About Meta-Tags (and Facebook Open Graph tags)

When I post my blog posts on Facebook as posts (on my business page, my profile, or elsewhere), Facebook can no longer see the featured (or any) image. If I posted them in comments, they post with no problem. This has something to do with the open graph tag og:image:secure_url. This has been maddening. Please help...with small words. [more inside]
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 7:19 PM PST - 5 comments

Good ps4 games for a new gamer

Looking for suggestions for my new to videogames, scifi/dystopian fiction loving mom. [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight at 6:43 PM PST - 22 comments

Blinding like the Sun

Help me fix my too-yellow hair. [more inside]
posted by Crystal Fox at 6:00 PM PST - 8 comments

can't live through another flood

For the past two years, my entire house has flooded from the back left of the house due to flash flooding down the hill we live on. I have hired a drainage remediation specialist who recommends (among other things) a drain on my neighbor's property. Neighbors initially said "yes" but have decided not to allow us to dig on their property. We are financially overextended and broke from two consecutive floods. What can we do? [more inside]
posted by sciatrix at 4:00 PM PST - 21 comments

Stay Or Go

Despite efforts, my mouse situation is not improving at my apartment. I'm considering jumping ship, which would be expensive. [more inside]
posted by Aranquis at 2:50 PM PST - 20 comments

How to get a refund from my airlines for an upcoming trip?

I bought a flight with two separate tickets, from the U.S. to Barcelona on Iberia on March 20 and returning to the U.S. from Paris on Norwegian on March 28. I was hoping they'd offer refunds proactively, but that doesn't seem to be happening. There also doesn't seem to be good chat or email support for customers; one of the airlines has a chatbot with rote answers only. What do I say on the phone? [more inside]
posted by ziggly at 1:37 PM PST - 9 comments

Covid-19 illness preparation for adult, toddler, and pregnancy

The odds are high that my family will get Covid-19. How should we prepare for the illness part of it? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 1:32 PM PST - 10 comments

No-chop freezer meals

I'm looking for make-ahead freezer meals (either something you dump in the crock pot, or something you can heat up in the pan or a microwave) that don't require a bunch of chopping/peeling or a ton of effort in general. What are my options? [more inside]
posted by brook horse at 1:13 PM PST - 24 comments

Coronavirus & Household Employees

In an effort to protect our family, employees, and community from coronavirus, I'm wondering if/when to stop having outside help come to our home. Is there any official recommendation on this? [more inside]
posted by lakemarie at 1:02 PM PST - 10 comments

Exciting stockpiling ingredients

My partner and I are taking social distancing very seriously, so we need to stock our cupboards. We have a bunch of food already, but it strikes me that this is a great opportunity for us to learn to cook new at-home cuisines that are well suited to working with stockpiled ingredients. We are a vegetarian household. I'm particularly interested in Indian and Japanese cuisine, but I'm excited to try out anything that works well at the intersection of vegetarian and stockpile-friendly (as few fresh ingredients as possible). What should we be stocking up on?
posted by simonw at 12:12 PM PST - 19 comments

Online resources for improving presentation skills (imposter syndrome)

Following on my previous ask about overcoming imposter syndrome, I'm determined to sharpen my presentation skills, particularly in the context of presenting in small meetings with clients (who are executives at companies and in the government). As mentioned in the previous ask, I have major imposter syndrome. There are sooo many resources out there, and they all seem vaguely useful but not entirely on point. What online resources (courses, workshops, videos, articles, etc.) have been particularly helpful in polishing up your presentation skills, especially when it comes to overcoming the feeling that you don't know enough? "On point" defined below the fold. [more inside]
posted by saltypup at 11:32 AM PST - 4 comments

Anyone have a good source of folk songs arranged for two voices?

Looking for possible pastimes during social distancing. A few details below, but mostly what it says on the tin. [more inside]
posted by less of course at 11:28 AM PST - 2 comments

Frozen mixed vegetables... What to do with 'em?

Food question. I ended up with a large, Costco-size bag of frozen mixed vegetables (corn, carrots, green beans, peas)... what can I cook with them? [more inside]
posted by huskerdont at 10:28 AM PST - 24 comments

Coronavirus: should we pull our kids out of school?

I work from home, and my wife began working remotely yesterday, so we theoretically have minimal exposure to coronavirus. But we have two kids in a Chicago public elementary school, and our city has a couple of dozen of coronavirus cases, including several with connections to schools. The school system is staying open -- but since we’d be able to do so without major disruption to our lives, should we pull the kids out unilaterally to minimize our risk of exposure, and perhaps in some small way help limit the spread of CORVID-19 in our community? [more inside]
posted by Yo Soy La Morsa at 9:54 AM PST - 13 comments

Calling in sick while bumping it up the line?

Well, my doc says it's a plain old cold, for which I am glad. [more inside]
posted by Rumi'sLeftSock at 9:47 AM PST - 5 comments

Walk me through the PHEV federal tax credit (US)

Car shopping right now, and strongly considering PHEVs (and BEVs) for my next vehicle. I had been focusing on used vehicles due to pricing and budget, but multiple people have recommended I buy new and take the tax credits both at the state and federal level. You're not my accountant, but I need an explainer on how this works. [more inside]
posted by hijinx at 9:24 AM PST - 4 comments

Freecycle for archives and old publications?

When I'm getting rid of old publications - play programs, fanzine newsletters, ancient software manuals - is there an easy way to see if anyone would want them? [more inside]
posted by kristi at 8:19 AM PST - 7 comments

Seeking the perfect receptacle for lasagna

I am tired of having to break lasagne pasta sheets to have them fit into our various odd shaped oven dishes. Do you have the perfect pan for baking lasagna? I want to hear about it and where to buy it. Challenge: For smaller recipe size. [more inside]
posted by like_neon at 8:07 AM PST - 12 comments

finding unique retail or touristy businesses

I just started working in a new area, I moved to a new city a couple years ago, and I travel a lot. As a result, I'm often in areas I don't know particularly well. Finding interesting restaurants is pretty easy - my problem is usually finding more restaurants than I have time to try. But what about other stuff? Retail stores and the like. [more inside]
posted by kevinbelt at 7:54 AM PST - 8 comments

Bread pan that can go in the dishwasher?

I'm looking for a metal loaf-pan, not non-stick, that can go in the dishwasher without getting that weird aluminum crud. I'm in the US. Please advise.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:27 AM PST - 13 comments

Scifi/speculative fiction short story featuring german shepherd?

Thanks for entertaining yet another help-me-find-author-info query on the green. [more inside]
posted by missmobtown at 7:20 AM PST - 4 comments

How does quarantine work when you live in an apartment

We live in an apartment. If one or all of us needed to be quarantined (required self-quarantine, not infected), how does that work? I understand that you don't leave the apartment, but our laundry machines are shared with the rest of the building, the trash is communal, mailboxes, etc. We could hire someone to take care of those and leave everything outside our door, but wouldn't the bags also potentially be exposing whoever took them? [more inside]
posted by Mchelly at 6:14 AM PST - 8 comments

What are volume markings in stainless steel cooking pots made from?

I understand the printed images on the outside of mugs and glassware sometimes contains lead. What are the markings and text on the inside of stainless steel pots and pans made from? How are these markings made? Are there safety concerns about them? I'm in the market for a new pot and the vast majority I've seen have these volume markings.
posted by mayurasana at 6:02 AM PST - 5 comments

warm bathing suit that isn't a wetsuit?

ISO a warm bathing suit that ISN'T a wetsuit. Do any exist? [more inside]
posted by mirileh at 6:01 AM PST - 11 comments

Microsoft Outlook calender syncing woes

Need to be able to share my calender with my client in a way that replicates the appointments from other calendars but keeps the details of these appointments private, whilst keeping my main client appointments from the email associated with them readable and transparent. I've trawled the internet and just can't find a solution. Please help! [more inside]
posted by starstarstar at 4:53 AM PST - 3 comments

Seeking Right Kind of Career Counseling (Chicago/Midwest)

I live in Chicago. I am 45 years old and anticipate changing my career in the next 18-24 months. (I do not want to retire doing what I'm doing.) I need a solid, dependable person in which to put my faith. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 4:05 AM PST - 6 comments

Marijuana plus anxiety = ambulance?

Does this sound like a typical reaction to weed? Panic attack edition. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 12:02 AM PST - 24 comments

March 10

How do I overcome imposter syndrome and build a thriving public persona?

I've had pretty bad imposter syndrome for years, and I need to overcome it so I can give my fledgling business my best shot. An important component of developing my business is developing a public persona--one that will cause others to perceive me as an "expert" in the thing I do. I have a big mental block about this: I never feel like I know enough about something to portray myself an "expert," even when I have the most knowledge about something in a group setting. How do I go from here to blogging and posting on social media so I can establish myself as an "expert" in my industry? [more inside]
posted by saltypup at 11:45 PM PST - 7 comments

Scholarship and Grant Opportunities for a 57 Year Old Man...

I am about to make a career transition and go back to school for my doctorate in social work. I am beginning to research financial aid options (general or specific, national, state, local and private) that are available to a man of my current station. - [more inside]
posted by goalyeehah at 10:58 PM PST - 9 comments

mild Covid-19 cases

I keep hearing that "most cases" of Covid 19 are mild. Then the news shows a previously healthy 30 year old on a ventilator in the hospital with pneumonia. Or a healthy 40 year old saying it hit them like a truck and they were so sick etc. I have seen many of these clips that seem to contradict the dominant narrative, that most cases aren't severe unless the patient is elderly or has underlying health conditions. [more inside]
posted by nantucket at 6:49 PM PST - 26 comments

Wanted: broken vape things?

I need around 20 to 30 Vape sticks for a musical project (unbelievable as that may sound). They do not need to function, but they should not be broken in half or anything, And they don’t need any cartridges or whatever. Is there some place out there I can buy a lot of them for super cheap? I’m not sure what to Google to make this happen.
posted by klausman at 6:29 PM PST - 4 comments

Repair a baby blanket in Chicago

I have a blanket my grandmother made, two pieces of cotton fabric with batting in between, and it has ripped on the underside. I am looking for a seamstress/tailor/quilter/someone who knows what they are doing, ideally in River North, who can repair it so I can continue to nap under it with my cats. I don't want to do it myself because it is sentimental and I would like to pay money to have it done by someone with experience. Does anyone have recommendations? (Asking for a friend)
posted by jeather at 6:21 PM PST - 3 comments

And the category is: Best Movie Musical Sequences

I would like to compile a video playlist of the best live-action movie musical sequences. Please submit your favorites (with commentary! Criteria within. [more inside]
posted by Kitchen Witch at 5:25 PM PST - 47 comments

Help me STFU at night

I've been a sleep talker since childhood but I think I'm getting worse. I asked my GP and was told it was not considered a problem without other symptoms. Should I push for more tests? Is there something I can do to STFU in my sleep? [more inside]
posted by noxperpetua at 5:02 PM PST - 4 comments

The joys of setting up a group text

I just need to run a group text for about 10 people, be able to add/delete people on occasion, and do it over Android. Apparently that is very difficult? [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:50 PM PST - 14 comments

Two Websites Better than One?

The website I use to promote my book is down b/c I pay on a month to month basis, and this month has more month than money. Next month, that will be fixed. But my audiobook, which I've just finished, is ready to be uploaded somewhere now. [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind at 3:29 PM PST - 3 comments

How would I address a Japanese police inspector?

I'm writing a story set in Japan, and I'm looking for the appropriate honorific to use when addressing a police inspector or chief inspector using their name and rank. [more inside]
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:10 PM PST - 2 comments

horny for synths; synthy for horns

What is some good music that contains both synthesizers and a horn section?
posted by 4th number at 1:28 PM PST - 13 comments

Sharing our kid over break now that she's in college

I'm looking for advice on how to handle where my kid should live when she returns home from college for the summer. [more inside]
posted by vespabelle at 1:05 PM PST - 19 comments

TV-buying advice

I would like to buy a TV. I have not owned a TV in a very long time, and I don't know anything about current TVs, please advise. [more inside]
posted by jacquilynne at 12:39 PM PST - 38 comments

How to Volunteer for a Legislator?

I am a politically and civically active accountant in my thirties, and I would like to volunteer for one of my legislators (at any level -- city/state/fed) starting in a month or two. Ideally, I would be shadowing them, because I am fascinated by their work. But how close can I get to that, given my time constraints and their likely desires/needs? What sorts of work should I offer to do, and how do I convince them to let me do it? [more inside]
posted by nowadays at 11:44 AM PST - 14 comments

shakiness after carrying a heavy-ish thing briefly.. your thoughts?

I was at a big box store the other day and thought I'd just be buying one thing so I didn't get a shopping cart. Ended up buying more things, including a 500 sheet ream of cheap printer paper (we're not talking cardstock here! 20lb paper.. nothing fancy!).. [more inside]
posted by elgee at 11:29 AM PST - 15 comments

Music for the cataclysm? Or maybe just the quarantine?

Help improve my sanity levels by making a playlist for my new life in my apartment! What are your best songs that embody or express that "it's coming down" apocalyptic dread and/or partying-like-it's-1999 feeling? The 80s were full of these kinds of pop songs, of course, but I'm interested in music from all eras. [more inside]
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:20 AM PST - 43 comments

Child aging off of parents' health insurance - next steps and options?

Our older child is turning 26 next month and will no longer be eligible for health insurance coverage on my husband's plan. Because of some minor complications, and because we've had the luxury of not thinking much about it to this point, the best path forward isn't clear. [more inside]
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:56 AM PST - 16 comments

Grow My Salad Game

I cook. A lot. Salads are my kryptonite. I need a book that teaches me how to think about salads. [more inside]
posted by bfranklin at 8:22 AM PST - 23 comments

Giving expired canned seafood to stray cats?

A friend has recently come across some canned tuna, salmon, and clams past their Best By dates. There are some local stray cats. Offer the contents to the strays, or no? [more inside]
posted by kristi at 7:32 AM PST - 9 comments

Freelance (academic?) editing: Where to begin?

How do I translate my (limited, but relevant) experience in academic writing/editing/publishing into an actual job or freelance career? Assume I have loads of subject-area expertise (PhD in a humanities field) and some useful editing experience, but ZERO outside-the-academy experience, and ZERO skills/experience in the practicalities/business/day-to-day-making-it-work of freelance careers. [more inside]
posted by Dorinda at 7:21 AM PST - 5 comments

The Minion Memes are Okay, But Not This?

I have Facebook, locked to friends-only. I also have a blog about classic movies. Most of my Facebook posts are simply links to my latest blog posts with a brief "hey, it's a new post" message. But last night, four of those posts got blocked by Facebook for "violation of community standards". …..Why? And how can I make sure it doesn't happen again? [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:17 AM PST - 7 comments

COVID Question: School and Immuno-compromised edition

Hey y'all. I need help coming up with guidelines/a litmus test/decision rule for when to pull my kids from school (Kindergarten and daycare respectively) in a city with about 30 cases including several in schools although not yet the ones my kids attend. We're approaching this with extra caution because I have a severe immune deficiency disease that especially impacts my lungs and puts me at higher risk for pneumonia. Assume that I have consulted with my immunologist who supports this in theory but doesn't have a lot to say about when. More below [more inside]
posted by jeszac at 7:07 AM PST - 28 comments

My Mom's going into sub today - in a county which just got COVID-19

Our county had the dubious honor of being the first to get hit w/Coronavirus :-/ Gov's declared a state of emergency. My Mom refuses to stay home from her elem. school subbing job, and I have given up trying to persuade her to do so. She is two years out from her leukemia stem cell transplant, is in her mid-60s and is on immunosuppressants. Should I continue trying to convince her, or just let her do her thing and keep my fingers crossed? [more inside]
posted by CottonCandyCapers at 6:10 AM PST - 15 comments


My dad is probably only going to live for a few more weeks. I’d like to store a sample of his DNA, to have the option of doing an ancestry test later. I’d rather not do it now, mostly because they seem sketchy in terms of privacy concerns (is that accurate?) My question is, is there a fairly easy way to collect a sample myself that could be tested later? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 1:39 AM PST - 16 comments

Switching fields mid-career within academia

I'm a middle aged woman in academia, looking for information on how to change academic fields with as little fuss as possible. For the sake of my family I'd like to remain in the same city and possibly the same university, though I'm open to working outside a university. [more inside]
posted by snippet at 12:50 AM PST - 14 comments

March 9

I want to separate my MBP display from the case.

It's difficult to google this question. I have a late-2014 Macbook Pro that I want to give to a friend. [more inside]
posted by bendy at 11:29 PM PST - 5 comments

Nonstop fire alarm

There has been a fire alarm going off in the lobby of my condo building every day for years. Please help me find someone to make this stop. [more inside]
posted by great_radio at 8:14 PM PST - 17 comments

Anybody have any tips on dealing with coronavirus anxiety?

So this whole thing is freaking me out. Generally I don't pay attention to the media, I think there's too much sensationalism, but now I'm getting the feeling that this is all very serious. I'm waiting to hear back from the colleges I applied to for grad school in Canada. I'm hoping I don't get a bunch of no's because of this damn virus. [more inside]
posted by Tarsonis10 at 7:18 PM PST - 32 comments

Mandarin tutors or schools in Taipei

we're looking for an enthusiastic, engaging Mandarin teacher or school in Taipei for beginners. Any recommendations? [more inside]
posted by tavegyl at 6:21 PM PST - 2 comments

comfort uber alles

Although I make cursory efforts to coordinate my clothing, I don't really wear nice outfits because they don't seem very comfortable. Some days, I think, wouldn't it be neat if I paid more attention to my clothing? If you were ever similar to me but then became somebody who dressed nicely... how did you change this? [more inside]
posted by gemutlichkeit at 6:08 PM PST - 18 comments

Rush wasn't there

What history books to give a kid to balance out Rush Limbaugh? [more inside]
posted by postel's law at 6:07 PM PST - 13 comments

Largest unnamed island

What's the largest (by area) unnamed island in the world? [more inside]
posted by Paragon at 4:10 PM PST - 3 comments

Laughing 1000 Miles Away - Creative Postcard Ideas

My sister moved away about 5 months ago to further her career and hates where she is. I want to start sending handmade postcards. I'd love to hear your creative (and funny!) thoughts on how to send her a laugh. [more inside]
posted by pdxhiker at 4:07 PM PST - 6 comments

2020: Best place for buying used IPhones?

As question says: looking to buy a iPhone XS used, looking for best combination of price, non sketchiness and quality phones
posted by sandmanwv at 4:01 PM PST - 8 comments

No visitors at home one day a week?

Please help us gauge what is "reasonable" and find a solution. TLDR: I use one day a week to be home and alone, and don't want people over on that day. My husband feels this is unreasonable and extreme, and says it will distress him to tell family member B that they can't stop by whenever they want. [more inside]
posted by Eolienne at 1:33 PM PST - 71 comments

Coronavirus: how to apply social distancing when you share a house

I will be visiting my mother for an extended period. It involves a long international flight. How do I keep my distance if we are sharing a home? Details inside. [more inside]
posted by rednikki at 1:26 PM PST - 6 comments

Best mid-priced drafting chair for standing desk?

I’ve seen a few previous questions but they didn’t share all my criteria. I don’t need off-brand $200 chairs from Amazon, but $1000 is too spendy. What chair would you recommend for a standing desk—for about $500? (My needs include a chair with a back and armrests, not a stool. I like mesh.)
posted by Monochrome at 1:11 PM PST - 5 comments

How to rationalize evolution with the existence of God

How can you rationalize evolution with the existence of God? Separately, how can you rationalize the idea of evolution with the Christian God? The reason why I'm trying so hard to get these ideas to co-exist is because I can't make sense of the human body within a Christian framework. [more inside]
posted by ygmiaa at 1:04 PM PST - 30 comments

How does this scam work?

Somebody's making a very inept attempt to scam me. I don't even understand how it's supposed to work. [more inside]
posted by Joan Rivers of Babylon at 12:56 PM PST - 19 comments

I need next steps for usable internet in multi-story house

I need some kind of device that makes my internet usable in the third floor of my townhouse and it's not a "wifi range extender" because I bought one and it was worse than useless. From my research I think what I need is a "Wifi mesh network" but it's not clear to me what I actually need to buy and how I would set it up. Has anybody already done this and can tell me what they did? [more inside]
posted by bleep at 11:31 AM PST - 21 comments

Shopping local using the Internet

How do you search multiple local stores for specific products? Google Shopping doesn't seem to cover the various regional stores in my area that might carry something. [more inside]
posted by soelo at 11:30 AM PST - 4 comments

Vegan & gluten-free desserts?

We're headed to a potluck, and i offered to bring something for dessert, but am now drawing a blank (my brain is literally just defaulting to fruit salad). Looking for inspiration conjuring up something delicous that's vegan and gluten-free. [more inside]
posted by speakeasy at 10:22 AM PST - 27 comments

Happy medium between breastfeeding/pumping/formula?

Is there such a thing as happy medium between breastfeeding/pumping/formula? Or will breastfeeding get eventually better without driving me insane? [more inside]
posted by Sparkling Natural Mineral Water at 9:19 AM PST - 32 comments

8" Tablet cover that does portrait mode

I finally had to give up on my beloved Nexus 7. It had a Roocase cover that was fantastic, light and it easily did portrait mode. I did get a Samsung 8" Tab A that works ok and it fits in my murse. The only cover I found that does portrait mode is this one from Best Buy. It's clunky and larger than what needed. Could anyone point me to an 8" tablet cover that does portrait mode and are lighter than the clunky Best Buy one? I have Googled for days..
posted by Ferrari328 at 8:16 AM PST - 3 comments

Streaming camera for web/YouTube

As authorities indicate that large gatherings may be unsafe due to COVID19/coronavirus (particularly among the elderly), our church is looking into setting up a camera so that we can stream services via youtube. Does anyone in 2020 have any suggestions for a camera (with audio) that would work as a wifi-linked stand-alone device, that wouldn't need to go through a computer? Ideally, as cheap as possible!
posted by Greg Nog at 7:31 AM PST - 6 comments

Help find a specific short video, potentially from Adult Swim?

There was a really funny/disturbing video I remember which satirized happy home DIY videos during an ecological collapse. The host was trying mightily to mask her anxiety with cheer while offering tips about (iirc) re-using filters and making mandatory medicines taste ok, in a way that implied everything outside the house was very, very bad. I would like to watch it again, for obvious reasons. Does anyone here remember it?
posted by paul_smatatoes at 7:28 AM PST - 9 comments

All I got was this lousy t-shirt

Tell me about minor feats I could accomplish and receive some sort of award or recognition for doing it. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 5:48 AM PST - 26 comments

Will "Witch Hazel" wipes deactive coronavirus?

I've been reading about how soap and water is the most effective prevention against coronavirus. In very simple terms, I understand this to be due to soap's ability to break bonds in fats. Since witch hazel is also effective at cleaning fats, I wonder if it could reasonably be expected to deactivate this particular virus?
posted by Jon44 at 5:08 AM PST - 9 comments

Work-friendly Cafe in Singapore? (Orchard/Downtown)

I'll be in Singapore this week, and I'll need to work remotely. Where are some good work-friendly cafes in the Orchard/Downtown area? It's very important to me that the cafe has 1) chairs with cushions so I can sit there all day, 2) electrical outlets/wifi, and 3) a vibe where they won't give you the stink eye if you only order a coffee and a pastry to stay there the whole day. Bonus points for a cafe where they don't blast the AC like crazy.
posted by facehugger at 3:21 AM PST - 3 comments

March 8

Stretch jeans slipping

My stretch jeans fit when I put them on, but after a while they keep slipping down on me. Is there some way to prevent this? [more inside]
posted by all the light we cannot see at 11:12 PM PST - 15 comments

Careers that primarily utilize Perceptual Reasoning?

I’m a decent writer and communicator, but I’m a slow reader. I grew up thinking I was Dyslexic or maybe even stupid. A recent cognition test revealed that I have a higher than average IQ, but reading is a challenge for me because my cognition predominantly favors Perceptual Reasoning. What kind of job(s) will allow me to capitalize on this and express my full potential? [more inside]
posted by hot_tea at 10:59 PM PST - 15 comments

Best way to assign people to classes based on multiple choices?

How can we improve our raffle system of assigning people to their preferred classes? Each student may have up to three ranked choices and/or two students may only want to register if they both get into the same class. Can you recommend software or any system that would facilitate this process? [more inside]
posted by abirdinthehand at 10:33 PM PST - 9 comments

Best Home KVM Switch

Please recommend a quality 2-port KVM switch to use in my home office! Details and requirements inside. [more inside]
posted by SquidLips at 9:56 PM PST - 6 comments

When should I buy a cross country plane ticket?

My family is traveling cross country this summer for a visit - we are going from a major hub to a major hub, and wanting to fly non-stop. When should I buy the tickets? [more inside]
posted by Toddles at 9:50 PM PST - 5 comments

Questions about different sleep aids

I have tried almost everything for insomnia, but have questions about the only 3 remaining things I haven't: valerian root, Gabapentin, and Ambien. Assume no interactions or contraindications. [more inside]
posted by CancerSucks at 9:41 PM PST - 33 comments

Losing weight in your 30s

Did you manage to lose weight in your thirties and kept it off? If yes, how did you do it? I'm only interested in personal experiences, thank you.
posted by simmering octagon at 9:24 PM PST - 34 comments

Remove an image from Facebook Messenger?

A person in a local hobby on Facebook messenger accidentally posted an image to the chat that was not meant for that hobby. The person who posted the first image removed it. However its still showing up for many of us. Is there any way the original poster or admin of that chat permanently remove the image?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:02 PM PST - 1 comment

What is this rug?

Anyone have any idea what this rug is all about?
posted by kittensofthenight at 8:43 PM PST - 9 comments

How to find full name of someone who died Feb 18 or 19 in Chicago

I would like to read the poetry of a particular person who died recently, but all I can remember is his first (very common) name. I only know that he was a published poet and [adjunct?] professor at more than one college/university, he had recently adopted a puppy, and he lived in Chicago (probably around Rogers Park or Andersonville). How can I find his full name, then his poetry? [more inside]
posted by amtho at 6:53 PM PST - 9 comments

Practical and serious coronavirus advice for older adults, please!

I freely admit that I'm concerned. While we are physically fit and active, I just turned 65 and Mr. DrGail is 75. We are being especially careful about washing our hands and using hand sanitizer both at home and away from home. So what other changes should we make to our lifestyle in order to minimize our chances of contracting, or serving as a transmission point for, the coronavirus? [more inside]
posted by DrGail at 4:34 PM PST - 26 comments

Coronavirus resources for institutions?

Related to coronavirus, (1) Is it fair to say that the lack of US national leadership is slowing adoption of social distancing measures? If so, (2) has anyone put together a resource for those of us with influence on when own workplaces to take action? [more inside]
posted by Spokane at 3:41 PM PST - 12 comments

Comfortable Ikea armchair

I want to buy an Ikea armchair that best meets the trifecta of affordable, comfortable, and small footprint. [more inside]
posted by skycrashesdown at 3:05 PM PST - 14 comments

Oat Groats (I think) + Instant Pot?

Cleaning out the "pantry" and found a bag if what I think are oat groats. I have two questions: one is does it seem possible to make some version of this IP Gingerbread Oatmeal and Buckwheat Porridge with just oat groats? (I don't have any steel cut oats, or a good record of eating whatever oatmeal I do buy, so don't really want to buy another item to get lost in the pantry). Two, do you have a recipe (of any kind, not necessarily breakfast) you love that uses oat groats? I'm all ears! [more inside]
posted by taz at 1:08 PM PST - 4 comments

Does "internet radio" mean the same as "streaming audio?"

I'm confused about these terms. I want to listen to SomaFM on a tabletop radio next to my bed instead of on my iPhone, which has too many distractions. I'm looking at "internet" table radios. Does that mean they provide streaming capability? Something along the lines of this, (only with better ratings.) Do please help.
posted by BostonTerrier at 1:06 PM PST - 8 comments

Should I clean this couch stain or have it cleaned?

Somebody spilled some coffee on my Victorian velvet sofa. [more inside]
posted by DMelanogaster at 12:47 PM PST - 7 comments

App that says the time out loud every half hour

Looking for an app that will audibly announce the time every half hour or so. It either needs to be an Android app that will work when the phone is locked, or it needs to be a Windows 10 app. Open to lower-tech solutions too. [more inside]
posted by brook horse at 12:23 PM PST - 10 comments

What do you do to feel less sad on the weekends?

How do you stop feeling bad during a time that you're supposed to be happier? [more inside]
posted by greatalleycat at 11:33 AM PST - 24 comments

Campaigns in the time of cholera

I am looking for insight into how Covid-19 might affect the campaigns and political success or not in the United States this year (such as the effects if people are less likely to go to political events or knock on doors or open their doors, etc.). Do you know of any media on this topic?
posted by NotLost at 11:24 AM PST - 5 comments

Am I eligible for student loan forgiveness?

I have $70,000 in student loan debt. I believe the loans are held by Fed Loan Servicing, as that's the app I use to make payments and the name on the emails I receive. I graduated in 2006 and found myself working for low wages in non-profits from 2008 till 2018. During that time I sometimes paid on time, usually fell behind and had to catch up, etc., etc. Anyway, did any of that non-profit work count towards student loan forgiveness?
posted by jwhite1979 at 9:55 AM PST - 10 comments

How to trim twitter feed to just the people I follow?

Recently twitter has started showing me several dozen tweets from people I don't follow, but fall under categories such as "liked by (person I follow)" or "user followed by (person I follow)". [more inside]
posted by Wandering_Boots at 9:28 AM PST - 9 comments

Is dating in SF as bad as people say?

I've lived in various other major cities all over the US, and am now, for the first time, considering a great job offer in SF. I'm hesitating for one big reason: as a single straight guy in my 30s, I want to prioritize meeting women and hopefully entering into a relationship, and I've heard that, post tech boom, the dating scene in SF has become very tough. I'd love to hear people's recent experiences of the (straight) single scene in SF, especially as compared to other US cities. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 8:52 AM PST - 8 comments

Mirroring a WordPress site?

I manage a WordPress site, with a blog and a ton of files, custom theme, etc. My host is closing up shop so I need to move it to a new host. Is there a simple "Mirror this site" tool I can use, either a plugin or very simple command line instructions? [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 8:45 AM PST - 11 comments

Should I move my elderly mother during this epidemic?

My mother, who is in her late 80's, is in the early stages of dementia but is otherwise healthy. She broke her hip six months ago, but completed her physical therapy and now gets around without assistance. She has agreed to move from her current facility in small-town Indiana to a facility near us in Atlanta. Should I move her now or wait for the possibility that the epidemic will abate in the summer? She will not be flying. We will drive up to get her. [more inside]
posted by donpardo at 7:47 AM PST - 5 comments

ode(s) to dog parks

I'm looking for short quotes in which people say what dog parks have meant to them - for example, in this recent interview with Edie Falco in the NYT. Please note: I am really well aware of the potential risks with dog parks, and why some of them fail. We are working hard on that angle as well as on the positive angle. Following up on my earlier post. [more inside]
posted by mmiddle at 7:41 AM PST - 2 comments

Contemporary Albanian authors that are not Kadare?

I'm currently reading Ismail Kadare's Spring Flowers, Spring Frost and it's got me intrigued about contemporary-ish Albanian history. What other fiction can I read to get more of this? [more inside]
posted by ClarissaWAM at 6:16 AM PST - 5 comments

Start new federal job, but received interview for another federal job

I sent out my resume to several organizations months ago on a job search. I finally landed a government job, and resigned from my private sector position and will start next week. However, I got another job interview for a government position which I am more interested in, and will interview in a few days. How do I convey that I am interested in this position when I haven't even started my next job? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 4:49 AM PST - 1 comment

Which design field should I go into?

I’m a woman in my early 30s based in San Francisco. I’m an artist and a teacher, and am drawn to a career change in Design. I’d like to make a career that is fueled by and fuels the creation of art solo and with other people, rather than detracting from my creative life. I’ve already considered a few options, and have decided to do a Masters degree. Which of these three should I aim for? Which field would provide the best base for my career? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 4:49 AM PST - 2 comments

March 7

How to gracefully quit my job? (If at all?)

I am planning to quit my job on Monday (with 3 week notice), but I’m currently the lone person in charge of a program in which many students and families are involved, among other programming. I imagine if I quit, the responsibilities will fall on my already overburdened coworkers’ shoulders. I feel like it is the right decision, but I sometimes I wonder if I’m being selfish, or if it’ll screw over the organization and the students and parents who are part of my program. If I quit, what is the best way to do it to preserve the relationships I have with my boss and coworkers? And is it even right / professional for me to quit at all? [more inside]
posted by Eleutheramina at 10:48 PM PST - 16 comments

Want a quick and easy way to make a video from a folder of images

I have several series of photos that I want to stitch into short quick-cut slideshow videos. Quicktime 7’s "Open Image Sequence..." function used to do exactly this, but for some reason it no longer works. Is there a small Mac app to convert a bunch of images into a video (with the ability to set the duration to show each image)? [more inside]
posted by blueberry at 9:08 PM PST - 3 comments

Help me prep for this academic job interview, esp. service component

I have a job interview coming up via Skype for a position which involves teaching plus a significant amount of department service. I have lots of relevant experience for the teaching part, but very little for the service part. Help me prep for this interview! What questions to expect, what questions to think about asking, how to address the lack of service experience, etc. [more inside]
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark at 8:02 PM PST - 6 comments

How safe is Valium?

I need to take a pain killer to help me sleep [more inside]
posted by fantasticness at 7:23 PM PST - 16 comments

two-person quarantine games, mismatched player edition

My wife and I, together for 28 years, used to play two-person games for fun, like Mastermind, Boggle, Scrabble, backgammon, checkers, and so forth. We stopped when it was apparent that I will win most knowledge and/or analysis based games, because it was no longer fun for either of us. I seek suggestions for two-player games, appropriate for quarantine, which incorporate enough chance to provide us both with the joy of a fair challenge.
posted by mwhybark at 5:26 PM PST - 46 comments

Is going forward with this large public gathering a bad idea right now?

I'm the coordinator for youth rowing at a community organization here in NYC, and we're scheduled to go to a regional athletic competition next weekend in Boston. I feel as though we should cancel our participation in this event due to concerns over spreading COVID-19, but I don't want to be over-cautious and have all the logistical work already done go to waste. The decision is not solely up to me, but up to the board of my organization. More details inside. [more inside]
posted by coolname at 4:54 PM PST - 21 comments

Static causing cat's fur to mat

It's so dry this winter that my cat is getting lots of tiny mats in her fur from the static. How can I help her? [more inside]
posted by Feminazgul at 4:50 PM PST - 5 comments

Quality of life for the last days of my Cat with FeLV

My dear little 7 year old Carioca is dying of FeLV. Commonly called Cat Leukemia. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 4:23 PM PST - 9 comments

substitute tea tree oil for aloe vera gel?

Can I use tea tree oil in place of aloe vera gel? [more inside]
posted by ragtimepiano at 3:49 PM PST - 8 comments

Stay or Go?

Coronavirus: Would you travel to NYC this coming week? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 2:35 PM PST - 28 comments

Ideas to help elderly neighbors during coronavirus?

I live in a medium sized village in England. At the end of my street is a block of 20 retirement flats and I often see elderly people walking past my house on the way to the local shops. Now that coronavirus is here I'd like to help make sure they're ok if they feel they need to self isolate.... but need ideas figuring out how to do so. [more inside]
posted by hazyjane at 1:49 PM PST - 8 comments

Is intro to accounting supposed to be this hard?

Just did pretty poorly on the timed portion of my midterm for my first part time class. Am I destined for failure? [more inside]
posted by donut_princess at 1:29 PM PST - 9 comments

Keep your hair on: Surf edition

I would like to learn to surf. I love being in the ocean and swimming. However, a few years ago I started wearing wigs full time due to alopecia. I don't have the kind where I'm bald, but I don't look like Jamie Lee Curtis with my short hair tho. More like the twin brother from Arrested Development. I haven't been in water higher than my knees since I started with wigs. [more inside]
posted by affectionateborg at 1:01 PM PST - 10 comments

I want sunflowers, but the wildlife wants sunflower seeds.

Last year I tried planting seeds directly in the ground and planting seeds in starter pots that I left on my porch - both were eaten and I didn't get a single sprout. I think I need to start them indoors if I want them. What is the best way, given my limitations? [more inside]
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:57 AM PST - 8 comments

My work chair's armrests are too far apart

Basically what the title says. I am a petite lady with an office job and shoulder/neck pain. Resting my arms on the armrests gives some relief, but the armrests are too far from my body. I'm hoping to find some kind of wedge pillow or armrest extender that will help solve this problem. [more inside]
posted by backwards compatible at 11:41 AM PST - 5 comments

Making real lemonade from real estate lemons

Last summer we purchased what we thought was going to be our forever home in my SO's childhood town. The house needs updates (kitchen, HVAC, refinish floors) but we really just bought into the neighborhood and beautiful 1 acre lot. Now a developer has purchased the 2 properties abutting us and wants to build about 20 houses, a new road behind us and a new much wider road over our private way which is the right of way to the rest of the street. What the heck do we do? [more inside]
posted by eatcake at 11:02 AM PST - 18 comments

Sadness that my feminist organization switched to helping men

I am a woman working in a field dominated by white men. I agreed to help another woman "Jane" create a professional organization to help women and minorities in our field. After I spent time and money, Jane decided to increasingly use the resources and money on white males. When I challenged her, she said this is fine because the organization's success will propel her career and she can be a female role model. A similar situation has happened to me previously. How do I deal with my feelings of disappointment? [more inside]
posted by cheesecake at 10:53 AM PST - 8 comments

Quick fix for earache

I woke up with a slight earache today. Difficulty level: I am supposed to fly out Thursday, so naturally this alarms me. Any of your quick tips, home remedies, anything to help? [more inside]
posted by intrepid_simpleton at 10:51 AM PST - 6 comments

Abusive youth extracurricular instructor; how to proceed?

My daughter (7) belongs to a martial arts studio where the head teacher frequently yells at students. Today he crossed a line in a major way and threatened to put her belt around her neck. How do we proceed? [more inside]
posted by eirias at 10:29 AM PST - 23 comments

Tactile experiences in western mass

Looking for things to do with deaf blind relative around northampton. Must be wheelchair accessible also. Thank you!
posted by chaiminda at 9:59 AM PST - 5 comments

I know its not All Summer in a Day

Help me find a short story that I read on the web (possibly linked through Mefi) about life during quarantine. [more inside]
posted by anastasiav at 9:26 AM PST - 4 comments

Is this SNP Predictive for COVID-19 Response?

I found a SNP that is correlated to the OG SARS Coronavirus that may be relevant to COVID 19. I'd love to hear thoughts from some genomics folks about this and if it likely to be meaningful. [more inside]
posted by cazcazcaz at 9:23 AM PST - 1 comment

Is BlockSite harmful?

Because I have zero self-control, I've been using BlockSite on my phone, but now a message has been popping up saying that it is harmful and it is apparently gone from the Google Play store. Do I really need to uninstall it? What are my other options for blocking sites on Android?
posted by betweenthebars at 8:50 AM PST - 5 comments

What baked treat to serve with hot toddies

What delicious baked treat should we serve tonight with hot toddies? [more inside]
posted by saladin at 8:48 AM PST - 12 comments

Debit Card with Super Detailed Online Transaction Description Postings

I currently use a Bank of America debit and credit card. I review my recent transactions online to make sure I actually made the purchase (that it was authorized) and the charge amount is correct. I find myself wishing the descriptions were more specific (with the item description), so that I can more quickly remember or pull up the specific purchase on the online vendor's website. [more inside]
posted by kinoeye at 8:35 AM PST - 9 comments

How do I respond to a persistent former boss?

She really wants to collaborate with me, but my negative past experiences are holding me back... [more inside]
posted by sucre at 8:28 AM PST - 10 comments

Computer Games with lots of Tooltips?

Hi ALl, This is a kind of specific recommend me a game, question. :) I've lately taken to playing games with OCR, and one of the things which makes a game playable is heavy use of tooltips. [more inside]
posted by Alensin at 7:57 AM PST - 5 comments

Macaroni and cheese recipe with cheez whiz

My dad and I made this recipe in the early/mid-90’s. I really believe it was from the Long Beach Press-Telegram, but my memory isn’t that reliable. Definitely a magazine or a newspaper. I’m pretty sure it had onions and was a baked dish. I want to see the original source somehow. I miss my dad extra today and would like to make this recipe... [more inside]
posted by gryphonlover at 7:17 AM PST - 4 comments

Backyard birds are pissed! Can you help me find a new shrub/bush?

I had the perfect bird perch and shelter next to my bird feeder, but it turned out to be the invasive multiflora rose shrub and had to be removed. I'm now looking for a replacement shrub or bush that will be equally useful as cover (and looks nice) but one that's native to my area (Massachusetts). Any suggestions?
posted by jeremias at 6:50 AM PST - 4 comments

Should we keep our kids home from school due to COVID-19 concerns?

Trying to figure out how paranoid to be about coronavirus. We live in the Bay Area in the Tri-Valley area. [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 6:50 AM PST - 8 comments

Should she stay or should she go now?

I'm in a medium-distance relationship, flying to and from San Jose and Santa Ana/Orange County every other weekend. My partner has tickets to fly up here next weekend. How do we figure out if/when to cancel due to public health concerns? If we cancel, how do we figure out when it's safe to fly again? [more inside]
posted by Alterscape at 5:41 AM PST - 5 comments

Can I convert a medical oxygen bottle to be charged by air compressor?

I picked up a used medical oxygen bottle for cheap and I'd like to try converting to use with my pneumatic tools. I often find an air compressor's hose or cord too short to be practical. So I want to have this bottle that I can charge with my air compressor and then hook a tool up to it and move it around without having to drag the compressor around. The bottle is rated to 2,000 PSI which is well above the pressure I'd be putting it to so I'm not worried about a failure. How would I go about doing this?
posted by Socinus at 5:05 AM PST - 9 comments

Has anyone experienced neck stiffness AFTER the flu?

Neck pain after an intense flu. [more inside]
posted by fantasticness at 4:50 AM PST - 10 comments

March 6

How to deal with self-doubt/fear as a new freelancer

Struggling with crippling self-doubt and fear as I start to freelance. How much is normal, and how do I address it and cope with it better? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 11:31 PM PST - 3 comments

Moving Money to Investments While Abroad

I've recently begun a job outside my home country (not USA) and would like to continue contributing to my investment portfolio regularly. One complication is that the currency of my new country of residence is not a common enough one that it is accepted by my brokerage. I'm not a particularly sophisticated investor, so any advice on moving money affordably will be helpful! [more inside]
posted by elected_potato at 10:28 PM PST - 4 comments

Need to go bananas...

After waiting like a year for the bananas on my tree to ripen, they seemingly did so overnight and now I have about 12 bananas that are overripe, and another 30 or so that are perfect for eating today and will be overripe in a couple of days. I also have house guests, and they brought rum (one plain, one pineapple-infused). What should I make for dessert tonight -- preferably without running to the store -- that will make best use of delicious banana goodness? [more inside]
posted by lollusc at 8:24 PM PST - 20 comments

Coronavirus detection via PCR.... is this idea feasible?

Given the difficulty we seem to be having testing samples right now (see, e.g. this article), I'm wondering if this little trick might increase our capacity by a pretty large factor. PCR experts, is this possible? [more inside]
posted by cgs06 at 8:14 PM PST - 7 comments

Consultant-filter: when "collaborate with X" means "forced to manage X"

I'm on a short contract with a large organisation, technically working for an external agency team collaborating with an in-house team. Let's say the role I was taken on as, and am on an appropriate day rate for, is "Teapot Designer", with the understanding that I would be working closely with the in-house "Teapot Designer". Turns out this person's skill set is more in the region of "Teapot Filler" - added bonus, grumpy and lazy. How do I handle this? [more inside]
posted by doornoise at 5:04 PM PST - 4 comments

Whats the best way to watch Youtube videos when offline?

My internet is spotty right now and I wish to watch Youtube videos. What is a safe, easy way for me to save or download videos when I have internet and watch them later when I'm offline? [more inside]
posted by ninazer0 at 3:09 PM PST - 14 comments

Leave Me Alone

How to get someone to leave you alone in the safest way possible. [more inside]
posted by Champagne Supernova at 1:30 PM PST - 34 comments

Advice for a middle-aged hacker seeking new challenges minus techbro BS

I'm a software engineer in my early 40s who has been fortunate to not have to deal with much Silicon Valley disruptive culture nonsense throughout my career. My career aspirations may force me outside of my comfort zone, so I'd like some advice on how to sniff out warning signs in the interview process, what questions to ask that will help me make an informed decision, and, if I do make a change, how to best survive as an older engineer in an industry that often exploits workers while paying lip service to work-life balance. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 1:22 PM PST - 17 comments

Measuring microwaves from oven

We have a new microwave oven at the office. One person measured the microwaves with a meter while the oven was running. (photo of meter at rest attached). When standing about 4 feet away with the oven on, the needle goes all the way to the right. I can't imagine, but is this cause for concern? [more inside]
posted by falsedmitri at 12:56 PM PST - 14 comments

Why am I suddenly DONE with a thing I used to enjoy?

I've played D&D for years and loved it; it was really part of my identity and the one thing I kept coming back to. But lately, in the middle of starting up a game I was really excited about, I'm just suddenly... Done. I have no interest in it, and it even actively annoys me now to see D&D stuff pop up in my social media. What's happening? [more inside]
posted by Pastor of Muppets at 12:28 PM PST - 32 comments

We require more Breath of the Wild content

My 7 year old son is a big fan of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and a less than enthusiastic reader. I've discovered that he will happily read BotW fancomics, and I have a collection on my iPad for him. He also likes a few tweets I've found -- this one about riding a bear and setting the forest on fire is basically the height of comedy in his world. I'm looking for more funny, age-appropriate BoTW tweets to add to his collection. [more inside]
posted by shirobara at 11:09 AM PST - 12 comments

I'm a Nose Picker - help me stop

So, I've been a lifelong nose picker because it's the only way I can continue breathing through my nose. Through a combination of thick mucus and weirdly shaped passages, blowing just does not work. The current virus scare has convinced me it's time to kick the habit, so I'd like some advice about how to manage my very unruly nose. I do not want to put my fingers in my nose anymore! But I need to be able to breathe. Please hope me. Is there a special nose blowing technique that works for you? Nose tweezers? A tiny gnome that you hire to clean things out? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 11:02 AM PST - 17 comments

Straight dope on bankruptcy in Ontario, Canada

About $40K in credit card debt after a small stroke and years of severe depression and lack of fulltime employment. Starting to come out of it but don't have real employment and haven't for years. Thinking of declaring bankruptcy. What's the full process and consequences? How does one prove they're "broke" when they have excellent credit? I have not missed a minimum payment on a CC in decades and have never been late with rent. No debt collection agencies are after me. I do not own any property or vehicles.
posted by anonymous at 11:02 AM PST - 2 comments

Friend doesn't understand boundaries; what to do?

The long and short of it is that I want to remain friends with someone who I think has a poor understanding of boundaries, despite my best effort to communicate mine. I'm honestly confused about the relationship. I've tried to assert myself and what I want out of the relationship, but it isn't working, and I need advice. [more inside]
posted by deathpanels at 10:39 AM PST - 18 comments

Gaaaalic bread

Can I eat this? Frozen garlic bread left unfrozen. [more inside]
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 7:49 AM PST - 10 comments

My Digestive Tract Hates Me

I have read all the Qs here about acid reflux. The responses have not helped. I have been suffering from acid reflux or some variation since August. Hoping the hive mind can help me resolve this issue. Gross details below the fold. YANMD, I get that. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 7:46 AM PST - 25 comments

Can I take hormones to feminize my face while minimizing top growth?

I'm an assigned male at birth (AMAB) non-binary person. I have some mild gender dysphoria with my face, which I want to look a bit more feminine. I'm happy with my chest as is and would be unhappy and dysphoric with full-blown breasts. I'm a chunky person so I kind of have titties already and I don't mind them at all. I think I'd be okay with a slight amount of titty growth. Is it possible to get the facially feminizing effects of low-dose hormone replacement therapy without experiencing significant top growth?
posted by fruitdroid at 7:42 AM PST - 12 comments

Beginner Drawing Tablet Recommendation? (difficulty: Chromebook)

My daughter is interested in doing more digital art. She has a Chromebook and an iPad and a birthday coming up. So I started looking into tablets (like Wacom) and immediately found myself in over my head with potential dependencies and pros/cons, given the technology we already have at home. What should I get for her? [more inside]
posted by nkknkk at 6:52 AM PST - 16 comments

Widener Library bag?

Follow-up to this question: Are there any images of the Harvard Widener Library “a wet book is not a dead duck” bag online?
posted by pxe2000 at 6:35 AM PST - 3 comments

Help me blackout my infant's closet crib in parents' bedroom!

My infant sleeps with her crib in our bedroom closet, about 2/3 of the way in. But I think I want to further create a blackout effect so she doesn't wake up with the sun, and so we have some privacy, too. Can you help me craft something? [more inside]
posted by knownassociate at 6:35 AM PST - 6 comments

COVID-19 potential exposure and self-isolation

I was recently in close quarters and some contact with a man who then told me he was a commercial airline pilot who had recently been in San Francisco. I live with an elderly parent who is in good health but still 70+. How stringently should I be self-quarantining? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 6:24 AM PST - 13 comments

Old home, majorly deteriorated peeling paint, blase landlord

Just went to look at a house I planned on renting, and there is a very significant amount of chipping/peeling paint throughout the kitchen. House was built in the 1950's, lead-based paint is extremely likely. Should I bail? [more inside]
posted by Ornate Rocksnail at 5:01 AM PST - 10 comments

March 5

Life is short

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" [more inside]
posted by sweetpotato at 9:26 PM PST - 36 comments

Covid/corona virus: info on potential Euro border/airport closings

Partner and I are booked to travel next Thursday from L.A. to Rome via Madrid, and home from Rome via London on March 22. Do aviation-afilliated Mefites know how likely it is that Madrid / Rome / London will close its airports or borders to commercial flyers during this period, OR point me to a website I can access that discusses this?
posted by goofyfoot at 6:46 PM PST - 20 comments

What are some make-ahead things to put on top of rice or something else?

I'm looking for some things that I can make beforehand, maybe preserve in some way, reconstitute, and put on top of rice, bread, tortilla, etc and have a tasty meal. [more inside]
posted by lalunamel at 6:44 PM PST - 13 comments

How to I ask my partner to stop working so much?

My spouse has a supposedly part-time position at a university near us. But...she works way way too much, is on the way... [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 6:33 PM PST - 14 comments

It looks like Covid-19 is on the way. Kid has a cold. Keep home?

Kiddo has typical cold symptoms (sore throat, sniffles, feeling gross). No fever. Our schools have us send kids when they have colds. However, husband's work has recently asked employees to stay home with either Covid-19 symptoms or a common cold. Nearish city has several new Covid-19 cases and has declared a state of emergency, and we have a few showing up now in our county. I hesitate to send my kid to school because I don't want to potentially further endanger already compromised people.
posted by moira at 6:16 PM PST - 16 comments

e-invites for 5-yr-old birthday - do we send to both parents? How?

We are sending out email invites for the birthday party for our son who is turning five. We're inviting around 15 kids, and their parents (and probably the odd sibling?) We have the email addresses of all the parents. In two-parent families - do we contact both parents, or choose one? Does evite or some other service make this easier? [more inside]
posted by ManInSuit at 5:02 PM PST - 16 comments

Mandatory office fun: online game for ~40 people

Seeking ideas for a simple game people could play online for a day while working at their desks. [more inside]
posted by Municipal Hare at 4:46 PM PST - 6 comments

Bizarre Doordash experience - should I say something?

I just had a weird experience with a Doordash driver. Should I give some feedback about it, or just charge it to the game? [more inside]
posted by kevinbelt at 4:43 PM PST - 25 comments

I need to learn Revit. How do I do this?

My wife is co-owner of a small, successful commercial interior design firm. Almost all of their work is for boutique hotels. I want to learn Revit to begin working with their company. What is the best way to learn this that doesn't waste much time? I have extensive knowledge of Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator as I worked for 20 years as an art director in ad agencies. [more inside]
posted by SoberHighland at 4:30 PM PST - 13 comments

Coming out as trans at work

I have finally admitted to myself that I'm trans, and it's becoming quite apparent that I will need to fully transition in order to be psychologically healthy. I am looking for advice about how to handle this at work. I'm interested in hearing from trans people who have done this, but also supervisors or co-workers: what could I do (or not do) that would make this as easy as possible for all of us? [more inside]
posted by forza at 4:04 PM PST - 16 comments

How to advocate for an earlier doctor appointment?

I’m having some fairly significant health concerns. Could be nothing, could also be big scary problems. I do not currently have a PCP/GP, and the GP I was recommended can’t see me for 3 weeks. I am in the US and on the best PPO offered by my employer. I’m currently experiencing a lot of anxiety driven by uncertainty and fear that if I wait, I’m letting things get worse. How can I (should I?) advocate to see a doctor sooner? Challenge level: active Coronavirus community transmission in my area. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 3:33 PM PST - 10 comments

Coronavirus - I'm too anxious, right?

I went with a relative to their surgery appointment yesterday. The surgeon "had a cold and so he wouldn't shake hands". He did not wear a mask when he talked to us, although I assume he wore one during surgery. My relative said he coughed a little. Today, we had to call the clinic and the surgeon is out sick. not doing well with this information. [more inside]
posted by Frowner at 3:13 PM PST - 20 comments

What archival system should I use for a large document collection?

I recently joined a team that is transcribing more than 6,000 letters to and from a very prominent writer. The work until now has been done in a very primitive fashion. There's an Spreadsheet log of each letter and a Word file for each transcription. I would like to bring the operation to the XXI century. What kind of software should I use to archive these documents? [more inside]
posted by Omon Ra at 2:43 PM PST - 4 comments

What's your favorite online radio station with curated music?

What are your favorite online radio stations that play a diverse set of music? [more inside]
posted by lalunamel at 2:09 PM PST - 22 comments

Please tell me it's not just crop tops now

I am looking for some Instagram accounts or blogs (or...Facebook groups? not sure what is out there) to follow for style/outfit inspiration. [more inside]
posted by cpatterson at 2:03 PM PST - 14 comments

Gong Fu Cha in Western NY?

My wife and I have been enjoying Gong Fu Cha together for several years in Austin. We're traveling to visit her family in Buffalo in a couple of weeks and can't find any teahouses or Gong Fu Cha meetups in the Buffalo, NY area using basic searches on the interwebs. Any clues about a tea scene in Buffalo, NY? [more inside]
posted by SenorJaime at 1:42 PM PST - 2 comments

Need to retrieve an erased draft email from Hotmail/outlook!

I accidentally overwrote a draft email in hotmail/outlook and I really need to get it back! Can I somehow get to an earlier draft or see a cached version or something? [more inside]
posted by silverstatue at 1:03 PM PST - 2 comments

How is the RAV4 hybrid?

I am once again thinking about a new car, and after my last question I am considering the RAV4, particularly the hybrid. Does it hold up? Is it a pain? Is maintenance expensive? [more inside]
posted by clarinet at 11:52 AM PST - 12 comments

Good better best horrible

How do I truly accept and be comfortable with knowing that I am at best profoundly average, and at worst actively bad, at whatever I do for a living? How much of my compulsive need to be excellent at everything stems from actual competitiveness and how much from deeply internalised anxiety? How do I make this get better? Because this needs to get better, like, yesterday. Less vague questions after the jump.Apologies in advance for the wall of text. [more inside]
posted by Nieshka at 11:34 AM PST - 14 comments

Are there any public, modern financial case studies of actor finances?

I'm very interested about the financial world of actors, like all the income sources and tax deductions one would have as a low-mid tier actor. Broadcast royalties, likeness marketing, video sales, streaming rights, day rates, etc. I know some minimums are in SAG-AFTRA publications but it would be interesting to see the whole picture for an anonymous, like a year's worth of finances. [more inside]
posted by basehead at 11:34 AM PST - 5 comments

I need some Lightroom shed here

I am wondering how to perform an adjustment in Lightroom. I am using V6. After much research, I am thinking what I want to do may not be possible. But maybe someone knows more than I do. [more inside]
posted by jtexman1 at 10:32 AM PST - 6 comments

Best way to vote for yearbook superlatives

What is the best tool for my kids' tiny 8th grade class to vote on their yearbook superlatives? [more inside]
posted by widdershins at 9:58 AM PST - 5 comments

Help me truly accept my partner and stop worrying about our relationship

I (28 F) have been with my girlfriend (26 F) for 2 years and although I'm happier with her than I've ever been in my whole life, I still sometimes find myself judging her and doubting my feelings for her. The vast majority of the time these are minor irritations that I look at logically and tell myself to lighten up. Other times, I find myself losing respect for her, even though I realize I’m holding her to an impossible standard. This makes me really unhappy and anxious. My gf is incredibly perceptive and emotionally intelligent, so she sees this happening and feels hurt and devalued. She accepts me for who I am, so why can’t I do the same for her? She has asked me a couple of times if I’m truly happy with her. [more inside]
posted by Anon4689 at 8:11 AM PST - 27 comments

How do I podcast?

I have an idea for a podcast, and content for about ten episodes. What do I need to know? [more inside]
posted by aspersioncast at 7:49 AM PST - 7 comments

It's 2020--should we have to clear browser cache?

From a cloud-based development perspective is it a reasonable request to ask paid users of a product to clear their browser cache? [more inside]
posted by eggman at 7:25 AM PST - 21 comments

Forum for discussing qigong in general?

The forums I've found are for specific systems, but I'd like to find a forum which permits comparing systems and possibly discussing side issues. I'm hoping this exists. [more inside]
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 7:19 AM PST - 2 comments

It's called a breakup because you go broke?

I want to end my long-term relationship, but in addition to being terrified about this for all the usual reasons, I am also struggling with its effect on my partner's finances. How can I navigate this in a way that is both caring and responsible, but also healthy? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 7:13 AM PST - 17 comments

Resources for women and non-binary folks in tech?

I'm looking for reading material, conferences, etc. that relate to being a woman or non-binary person in tech. I'm a junior professional developer and the only woman on my product team, and it's wearing me down. [more inside]
posted by marfa, texas at 7:00 AM PST - 8 comments

Urgent music request: forgotten AOR!

Last year I discovered two albums that, despite my familiarity with the artists, had somehow escaped my notice but which are easily IMO their best work: Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti and Journey's Infinity. Obviously I knew the songs therein that got radio play, but there's so much good stuff on each that never did! Help me find more forgotten/never-noticed rock/early-metal from the mid-'70s through the mid-'80s. Timely replies preferred, as I have a road trip tomorrow. [more inside]
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:56 AM PST - 27 comments

Bitten in a hotel bed overnight

I just woke up in my hotel bed covered in what appear to be bug bites. Red, itchy, pretty small (1-2cm across). Some on my back, wrist, chest. What do I do? [more inside]
posted by bilabial at 6:55 AM PST - 10 comments

I can't look at the news anymore. What are some alternative websites?

I've been obsessing over coronavirus updates and I have to stop. Problem is, I work at a computer and surf the internet when I take breaks. What can I look at to replace the awful news. I like sites like Kottke and boing boing that have cool, interesting and smart links to tech and culture. Any suggestions on what to look at as well as any stories on how to stay mentaly sane during this crisis? Thanks.
posted by captainscared at 6:45 AM PST - 10 comments

Chromebook - ms office - google docs/sheets

I'm struggling a bit with my new Chromebook. Any feedback would be appreciated. [more inside]
posted by GernBlandston at 5:52 AM PST - 4 comments

Vary keyboard sequence/arpeggio tempo during performance/playback?

I'm probably buying a music keyboard/synthesizer soon. I'm excited to discover that many of them have (and let you create) pre-recorded/sequenced arpeggios/song sections that let one perform with a cool backing sound. I'm used to expressing emotion in performance partly by varying tempo -- is it possible to vary these sequences/song sections' playback tempo expressively while they are playing back? [more inside]
posted by amtho at 3:45 AM PST - 10 comments

March 4

What the actual f*ck does "taking ownership" mean in a work context?

Hi! I'm well past my umpteenth job and now in an independent contractor role. I've recently been told that I need to "take more ownership" in the context of my work duties. Clearly I don't know what the hell this actually means, because I've been getting the same feedback for 10 years from different people, and I guess nothing's changed. [more inside]
posted by themaskedwonder at 10:08 PM PST - 37 comments

How many times a week minimally should I train for a 10k race.

It’s in the first week of May and I run 5 or 10k each time I run. I also go 4 times a week to a 45 minute boot camp if that is relevant.
posted by Tziv at 9:11 PM PST - 7 comments

How tangled am I getting in Dad's finances?

Base facts: Mom recently passed away after a long illness. Dad is nearly 89, debt-free and reports he should have more than enough resources for his lifetime. Most of his assets are held in a Living Trust and he plans to add my sister and me as backup Trustees. My siblings and I are scattered across the country, no one living closer than 1000 miles from him or each other. Mom had been the exclusive payer of bills and writer of checks for the past 40+ years, as well as co-trustee of the Living Trust. [more inside]
posted by peakcomm at 8:53 PM PST - 12 comments

Who was that scarred man, or, no one, you’re high, Alec

CW for (possibly apocryphal) self-harm. In the Errol Morris episode of Here’s the Thing (11/12/2019) he and/orAlec Baldwin mention an actor who intentionally scarred himself for better or more interesting acting roles. Did this happen and who was this guy? [more inside]
posted by pepper bird at 7:07 PM PST - 2 comments

How perilous is rear-wheel drive (RWD) in icy/snowy/rainy conditions?

Is it just-drive-slow-and-be-extra-careful perilous, or just-not-a-good-idea perilous? [more inside]
posted by BadgerDoctor at 6:27 PM PST - 17 comments

More stories about double lives

I just finished watching Breaking Bad for the third time. One of things I like most about the show is its depiction of a person leading a double life. Where can I find more stories about double lives? [more inside]
posted by daikon at 5:19 PM PST - 37 comments

Know of any blogs or books about families who move away from the US?

Sometimes, I daydream about packing up our family and moving abroad for awhile. Would love to have our kids exposed to more of the world and learn a second language in the process. Maybe for a year, maybe permanently. But I’d love to read about what that experience is really like (outside of the daydream world in my head). Do you know if any great blogs written by a family who have moved out of the US for an extended period of time?! [more inside]
posted by summerteeth at 4:16 PM PST - 19 comments

Another would you eat this question - chicken soup edition

I know we all have other pathogens on our mind, but I figured I'd give us a fun break! Would you eat this chicken soup? It's made with a chicken thawed with dubious methods. [more inside]
posted by pazazygeek at 3:44 PM PST - 12 comments

Are Kirkus reviews worth it for the author?

My wife is publishing a book this summer, and was wondering if she should pay for a Kirkus review. [more inside]
posted by MtDewd at 2:53 PM PST - 9 comments

SF story ending: old character recalling their life since the present

I have a (possibly false) memory of an SF story set in the future, in which a final/penultimate chapter is told in the first person, by a key character who is revealed to be from our own time. In my head that chapter starts "I was born in [year], in [city]", with the year sometime in the latter 20th or maybe early 21st century. The chapter is them retelling their life from our time up until the period of the story, and expands on aspects of the worldbuilding previously only hinted at. What am I thinking of? [more inside]
posted by automatronic at 2:43 PM PST - 12 comments

Metafilter, what is my cat's name?

I just adopted a giant 4 year old baby-cat. She is the sweetest. I haven't been able to settle on a name yet, so I implore you... Help me name my cat! [more inside]
posted by mingo_clambake at 2:18 PM PST - 62 comments

That one video that was like super happy? And there was a song?

What was that video that got shared a lot a few years ago where it was a bunch of scenes from around the world of joyful or touching moments? And it was set to music? I thought the song was Jungle Drum, but that's not turning anything up and it's definitely not the official music video for that song. Pretty sure I saw the video shared on Cup of Jo and Design Mom, among other places. [more inside]
posted by last_fall at 1:49 PM PST - 13 comments

Long, slow, slightly dreamy, methodical character study movies?

I just watched Girl (2018), and now I'm in the mood for long, slow, slightly-dreamy-but-nevertheless-linear-and-methodical character study movies. Can you recommend some?
posted by zeek321 at 12:47 PM PST - 21 comments

What should an executive director of a small non-profit know?

There is a chance that I will become the executive director of the small non-profit where I work (15 employees, few funders, annual budget under $3 million). If I don't become the executive director, I will likely take on several related duties. So: specifically what are books and other resources that I can take in to help me figure out this new role? [more inside]
posted by kensington314 at 12:23 PM PST - 7 comments

Who do I follow in twitter ?

I use the web interface version of Twitter. I want to see a list of those people I follow. I've seen this list before but I can't find it now. Please tell me how to find it ! Thanks.
posted by southof40 at 12:23 PM PST - 5 comments

How to find Wordpress upgrade project resources

What's are some effective methods to find the best person/team to upgrade a Wordpress site with custom code and other factors? [more inside]
posted by diode at 11:13 AM PST - 3 comments

How do I catch up from my lecture readings if I am behind?

I am eight weeks behind in my assigned lecture readings, due to focusing on other courses -- not the greatest with time management. [more inside]
posted by RearWindow at 10:45 AM PST - 12 comments

Mid-divorce, ex just fired lawyer #3 – good or bad news?

Two years into a contentious divorce, just as the first big change in parenting time is around the corner, I hear my ex just fired her third lawyer. Is this good or bad news, and should it affect my strategy going forward? [more inside]
posted by El Curioso at 10:04 AM PST - 6 comments

Advice and Books for First Time Managers?

I recently got a promotion (yay!) and I will be managing direct reports for the first time. I'm really looking forward to this and I want to do a good job of it. I know there are tons of great leaders here on Metafilter and I'd love to hear from you. What advice would you give a first time manager, especially a woman? Are there any books you found especially interesting or helpful? [more inside]
posted by chatongriffes at 9:11 AM PST - 17 comments

End-of-days comfort

Warning: disturbing medical conditions below the fold + very long Ask. My dad is dying of COPD and congestive heart failure. His final days are being spent in a nursing home. His hospice nurse visits there twice a week. The nursing facility appears to be understaffed, especially on weekends. What, if anything, might make him more comfortable at this time? [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 8:59 AM PST - 12 comments

Radio stations with minimal talking and no ads?

I listen to a lot of streaming radio on my Alexa and am looking for more stations that are music-only. My two go-to stations for this are Radio Paradise and Folk Alley. Are there others that are 99% music all the time? I especially love indie, folk, classical, old country, and jazz, but suggestions from all genres are welcome!
posted by fourpotatoes at 8:36 AM PST - 24 comments

Which candidate has the best chance of defeating Trump?

I have a Presidential primary election coming up, and I have decided I will select the candidate that has the best chance of defeating Trump - regardless of my own personal taste/distaste for any particular candidates. What are the best polling resources to answer this question?
posted by saeculorum at 8:22 AM PST - 15 comments

I have management experience, I swear

How can I emphasize management experience on my resume when it's not reflected by my current title or official job description? How can I make sure my job applications aren't passed over immediately because they lack the words "manager" or "lead" in big bold letters? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 8:03 AM PST - 12 comments

What kind of lawyer do I need?

I have a friend, A, who is estranged from their family. We have agreed that we would like me to be, effectively, their legal next of kin (notified in case of emergencies, &c.) but I am not willing to take on additional legal responsibility for them. What kind of lawyer should we contact and do you have any suggestions? They are a resident of DC and I am a resident of Maryland. [more inside]
posted by an octopus IRL at 7:05 AM PST - 5 comments

Global Pandemic playlist

What songs should be on my Global Pandemic playlist?
posted by 0bvious at 4:41 AM PST - 82 comments

Recommendations and experiences of equestrian NYC

A friend and I, both former riders, would like to get back in the saddle. But it's been 30 plus years, and for now we're just looking for a quiet, easy ride in the NYC area. Can anyone recommend a horse riding place, or share their experiences? Ideally it would be accessible by public transportation. Or, if in the burbs, quick train plus short taxi/car service.
posted by Morpeth at 4:02 AM PST - 4 comments

Looking for learning resources on self-development...

After a series of life crisis, I finally have myself pulled back together enough to feel better and want to start learning something again. I know I am no longer able to continue my previous career path, due to my own health and anxiety issues, I would like to learn something new that's creative (and healthy), which I can also apply to future jobs in general. [more inside]
posted by lanhan at 12:16 AM PST - 6 comments

March 3

Are LEDs and dimmers fundamentally imcompatible?

I really enjoy the aesthetics of old-timey lanterns at night in my apartment, but I'm on my second LED lamp and already I'm having the same issues as the first. [more inside]
posted by lesser weasel at 10:37 PM PST - 15 comments

Bad Yelp review made up entirely of lies, fake person account--what next

My company recently received a very bad Yelp review. We know the reviewer is lying about having used our service, having come into our office, having had the conversations he says he's had with our staff. What steps can we take to either a) have Yelp take it down or b) write a response that will be well-received by other potential clients reading our reviews (we know there's nothing we can say to this guy that will change his mind)? [more inside]
posted by tzikeh at 8:21 PM PST - 15 comments

How To I Apply To Colleges For MSW Degree

I am interested in getting my Masters in Social Work. I went to junior college after high school. Since, at that time, I did not feel I could go to a 4 year college, I made no effort to speak with guidance or scholarship counselors. Because of that I am unsure of the process required to get into a Master's program. I did get into a major University through what I would call divine providence. It took very little effort and I did not go through the formal process that is required now. [more inside]
posted by goalyeehah at 8:17 PM PST - 3 comments

Please Help Give My Hands Something to Do Other Than Touching My Face

In the interests of keeping myself and others healthy, I can wash my hands for twenty seconds, no problem, but stop touching my face??? Unpossible. At least, not without something to redirect my hands to. Do you have any recommendations for specific necklaces or kinds of necklaces that are good for fidgeting with? [more inside]
posted by yasaman at 7:59 PM PST - 15 comments

A different coronavirus travel question - what to do in/near Baltimore?

We had a trip planned in a few weeks that has been affected by COVID - our lodging has fallen through, but it looks like I won't be able to cancel the plane tickets and I'm okay with taking the risk of flying. But now I have no plans at our destination! What's good to do in/near Baltimore with young children? Where should we stay? More details inside. [more inside]
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 7:58 PM PST - 8 comments

How to deal with the grad school waiting game?

So, I applied to 5 different schools, most haven't answered, except one, which was a no, which also just adds more anxiety to this whole process. There are still 4 to go, and this one that said no wasn't really high up my list. I still would've preferred a yes. Nonetheless, this really threw me off. [more inside]
posted by Tarsonis10 at 7:53 PM PST - 12 comments

Working Through a Moderate Food Allergy/Sensitivity

I am really sensitive to soy in all its forms (except soy lecithin.) It gives me weird acne and occasionally stomach issues. This is majorly cramping my style when it comes to eating out with my friends/dates because it means I pretty much can't have any Asian cuisine. Is there *anything* I can do to desensitize myself?
posted by Kitchen Witch at 6:46 PM PST - 4 comments

Travel to NYC this march, should I cancel because of Corona virus

Due to the outbreak is it a bad time to travel to NYC? I'm not a panicked but things seem to be escalating a bit. Not sure if I should play it safe or not? Any thoughts? I'm supposed to vacation there in 2 weeks.
posted by irish01 at 6:34 PM PST - 16 comments

How to fix a buzzing sound on a vhs tape?

I'm in the process of transferring old VHS tapes to my computer. I'm encountering a buzzing noise on one of the tapes and wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to fix it. [more inside]
posted by NoneOfTheAbove at 6:33 PM PST - 3 comments

Help a Canadian Stay In Her Own Lane

Of late years, I've become so consumed by what's going on south of the border that I am embarrassingly uninformed about what's going on in my own country. I want to correct that. What are the best Canadian/Ontarian/Torontonian political Twitter accounts/Facebook pages? I already follow the worthwhile major Canadian news outlets, and most of my elected leaders/representatives. I'm looking for good politicians, reporters, critics, and lesser known publications to follow. In general, I want social media accounts that will infuse my newsfeed with intelligent, reliable coverage and analysis of Canadian news and politics. What do you suggest?
posted by orange swan at 5:25 PM PST - 13 comments

English as She is Spoke in a 100 years.

Linguists: based on current trends, what would you expect 2120 English to sound/look like? [more inside]
posted by signal at 5:09 PM PST - 18 comments

Habit tracker app that tracks times of day

I'm looking for a habit tracker app for iOS that can record what time I mark the habit done, and that makes it easy to see trends in those times. I've found bedtime apps that work like this — they're basically super-limited single-issue habit trackers, where the only habits you can have are "go to bed" and "wake up." But I want to be able to do it for more habits, and for things that don't necessarily happen once a day.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:09 PM PST - 2 comments

What character can relate to both luxury and poverty at the same time?

Much in the same way a folkloric court jester combined wisdom and folly. Is there an iconic character (folklore, mythology, or world history) who could typically walked with kings and commoners alike?
posted by omar.a at 4:48 PM PST - 46 comments

Recommendation for beginner's YouTube video camera

My grandson who is 16 is interested in making YouTube videos. He is just a beginner and I know nothing about this. I envision a camera that is good at making head shots (such as on a tripod) as well as one you can carry to record other scenes. Could you please make recommendations for such a camera and any other resources that might be useful? Thank you.
posted by Rad_Boy at 3:19 PM PST - 6 comments

Best sources for info about COVID-19

Is there anyone who has committed to give regular, not-sensationalized updates about the spread and impacts of the novel coronavirus strain? Twitter handles, blogs, or any other source welcome as long as they have said that they will continue posting updates and are careful to only report things that we actually know, not speculation. [more inside]
posted by Tehhund at 2:53 PM PST - 38 comments

Can you still build a 2019 model car?

My husband and I are considering buying a "new" Subaru Outback. I see on the Subaru website that you can still build up a 2019 model. Is this actually true? Can we get a new 2019 car built and shipped to a dealership? [more inside]
posted by ancient star at 12:33 PM PST - 3 comments

Classical Piece Starting w Oboe

Asking for a friend: They're trying to remember a classical piece they thought may have been Beethoven; it starts with a solo instrument probably oboe, and builds with the addition of other instruments to a great crescendo. That's all I've got. Any guesses? [more inside]
posted by shocks connery at 12:27 PM PST - 23 comments

Who did I hear bashing the Fed today?

I was letting my local colorado public radio stream this morning at about 9 mountain. I half-heard a woman economist/money-person really down on the 'corona' interest rate cut. Who was it? [more inside]
posted by j_curiouser at 10:59 AM PST - 4 comments

Cold feet or wake-up call?

About to buy a house but afraid we're making a terrible mistake if we go ahead - and a different terrible mistake if we don't. Can you help me separate fact from feeling? [more inside]
posted by socksister at 10:45 AM PST - 16 comments

Are the showers too cold?

Is there a minimum water temperature a locker room shower should reach? [more inside]
posted by logicpunk at 10:37 AM PST - 7 comments

Scratch my brain itch - find this book!

My google skills are failing me, and I cannot pull the author or title out of my memory bank. Can you help me find this book to reread? [more inside]
posted by House of Leaves of Grass at 9:59 AM PST - 5 comments

Going away present for friend moving to Baltimore

A friend and her partner are moving to Baltimore soon and I’d like to get them a nice going-away gift. Something to help them get acclimated to their new city would be nice — or an experience like a museum or restaurant or something else. L-friendly is a plus. Roughly $100 is my range. Ideas?
posted by mboszko at 9:48 AM PST - 7 comments

What's up with this M&Ms commercial?

OK, last year M&Ms ran an ad during the SuperBowl introducing their new bar, with a commercial starring Christina Applegate. The last few months I've noticed the same commercial, only with a different actress, and I thought I was going nuts. Same script, same footage, same animations, just different actress for no apparent reason. Searches online turned up nothing, which is weird because I figured somebody would have wondered about the switch and mentioned it. I finally found proof I'm not crazy. I found the commercial in question with the new actress online - except it's in Spanish. I still can't find an English version of this commercial online. I'm guessing they only paid Applegate for a limited run of the commercial, and are now using a less expensive actress? Does that make sense?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:31 AM PST - 7 comments

iOS 13 media player, good with podcasts, with full-screen controls?

Is there a media player for iOS 13 that works well with podcasts and audiobooks - ideally with huge or full screen controls for pause and play that you can use without looking at the iPhone? [more inside]
posted by kristi at 7:17 AM PST - 2 comments

Recommend me some Japanese music/educate me in Japanese music

Snowflake details within! [more inside]
posted by wooh at 6:40 AM PST - 27 comments

Job hunting in the time of Coronavirus

So assuming "We'll set up a time to get you in the office to interview with others next week" isn't the new "Don't call us we'll call you but we won't call you", what would you suggest for follow ups on phone interviews that haven't turned into in-person interviews this week? I've had four local calls this last month at software companies that went dead silent after a promise of a follow up. [more inside]
posted by tilde at 5:47 AM PST - 9 comments

What to say to show love to distant family w/gambling addiction?

What can I say in an email to show love and support to a distant family member whose gambling addiction has recently come to light? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 4:59 AM PST - 3 comments

Can I pay someone to raise a puppy for its first year?

I have wanted a dog for a long time, but due to a chronic illness, I'm not in a position to manage all the work involved in raising and training a puppy. I can manage caring for an adult dog, however - walking, playing, grooming etc. [more inside]
posted by Zaire at 3:43 AM PST - 15 comments

Does face yoga actually work?

I keep seeing advertisements for this face yoga stuff. I doubt that it would do anything to tighten up wrinkled skin as it claims, but I'm wondering if it might have any other beneficial effects. [more inside]
posted by all the light we cannot see at 1:13 AM PST - 6 comments

Literary therapy to power through anxiety

I have generalised anxiety on occasion and tend to have phases where I get mild panic attacks multiple times a day. I was on medication a couple of years ago and started exercising a lot - things got much better but the coronavirus panic has really affected me. I’d like recommendations for engrossing reads, preferably long novels, that will help me center myself. [more inside]
posted by bigyellowtaxi at 12:18 AM PST - 25 comments

March 2

Recommend a good attorney to help with an asylum case in NYC

Recommend a good attorney to help with an asylum case in NYC - The title pretty much sums it up.. much thanks!
posted by rainy at 9:17 PM PST - 1 comment

ISO: reasonable sanitizing routine for a condo dweller with a toddler

I have some hand sanitizer, some bleach wipes, some Lysol spray, and of course soap. What's my routine for keeping myself and my toddler (and grandmas who don't live with us but we see plenty) healthy? Both now and if things get bad later? [more inside]
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:34 PM PST - 24 comments

Dumb couple stuff, creativity needed!

My little brother and his girlfriend are moving in with each other in a couple months after being long distance their whole relationship. Help me buy them fun care package things they can enjoy once they're actually living together! [more inside]
posted by phunniemee at 4:43 PM PST - 10 comments

Looking for a chickpea recipe that will go well with tachin

I've recently been playing around with tachin (persian baked yogurt rice) recipes, and they look so pretty and taste so good I want to take it to a get-together. However, one of the participants is vegetarian, so I'm going to make the tachin just with barberries and then have side options. One is going to be the ground lamb I like as filling, so I am looking for a vegetarian option. I'm thinking something with chickpeas. [more inside]
posted by tavella at 4:23 PM PST - 16 comments

unable to add two Firefox add-ons

i have a desktop computer with windows 10 and the current version of the firefox browser. i am unable to add two specific firefox add-ons and get the error message "the add-on could not be downloaded because of a connection failure." [more inside]
posted by ydaltak at 4:07 PM PST - 4 comments

Beyond Frank'n Furter, Ziggy & Hedwig: Album Recs Plz!

Hello AskMefi, I just had rotator cuff surgery and am chillin' to groovy tunes until the nerve block wears off. And possibly beyond depending on how that goes! Looking for full album listens to continue/expand upon this sequence: [more inside]
posted by acanthous at 1:39 PM PST - 24 comments

What was this strange British children's book about a jalopy?

I was born in England in the early 80s. One of my most salient memories from my early childhood is a children's book I owned, about a old timey Model T jalopy... that also possibly had a personality? The jalopy made terrible sounds - something like bzzzjjjrrrrrmppp! - and the sound it made was the jalopy's name, and also the title of the book. The book was bright orange. This has bothered me for about 30 years. I don't want to die without knowing what the hell this book was. Can anyone help? My googling has left me empty handed.
posted by palominopearl at 1:05 PM PST - 5 comments


A couple years ago, I wrote a fanfic with very specific details and themes. In a few days, a book will be published that has a striking number of them. I did not write the book. What should I do? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 1:04 PM PST - 12 comments

How can I improve my academic essay writing?

I am a fourth-year undergrad studying Sociology and Political Science and I keep receiving B's on my academic essays because my grammar, style, and writing sentences are choppy and not concise. My papers do not flow well and my ideas and arguments get buried because of this. [more inside]
posted by RearWindow at 12:59 PM PST - 20 comments

I have a partially torn hamstring. Now what?

It's on the semimembraneous hamstring, it's chronic (the pain has been going on twelve years). I am excited for the many treatment choices to come. [more inside]
posted by societypages at 12:56 PM PST - 1 comment

We need a website... like, yesterday

Dear Mefites, The organization I work for, a small-ish group of researchers and support staff, is having a website crisis. We need a new website fast, and there is limited local expertise available to us. Help me find resources and wrap my head around our options. [more inside]
posted by Eriogonum at 12:13 PM PST - 21 comments

Where can I buy half-height/"short" square plastic milk crates?

Where can I buy half-height/"short" square plastic milk crates? I know they exist (or existed), but I haven't found what I'm looking for after hours of searching. I'm also open to any non-milk crate suggestions, as long as the container 1) stacks easily and stably, 2) has a square bottom with sides around 13-14", and 3) can stack 4 to 5 deep in 26" of vertical space. I think it's a big plus if it doesn't need a lid to stack. [more inside]
posted by cosmic.osmo at 12:11 PM PST - 14 comments

How can I (a musically illiterate person) hear some old sheet music?

I am researching family history for a documentary project. One ancestor was a member of a military group that had its own music called "Owen's Quick Step". The sheet music for this march is in the Library of Congress. Ideally I could hire someone to record the piano piece for me to use in this project, but I don't know how to go about this. Can anyone advise? [more inside]
posted by jefficator at 11:56 AM PST - 5 comments

What article did I read about Haitian vodou practitioners?

A few years ago, I read an article (that might have been from Metafilter) about an investigative journalist who went to Haiti to experience vodou. The thing that I remember most was a discussion of how Haitian priests who created zombis needed permits to move their zombis across other priests' territories. I'm dying to read this article again, but my Google-fu is failing me! [more inside]
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:53 AM PST - 5 comments

Help us during an unexpected and ill-timed eviction

The landlord has blindsided us at a very critical time in our lives where we don't want to move and need at least more time than they have given us. We've done some footwork already, but want to have plenty of ammo if need be.... [more inside]
posted by kilohertz at 11:45 AM PST - 14 comments

a battery for charging things in a van

I'm looking for a large battery suitable for carrying in a car or van, used to charge personal electronics, including a laptop. It must be able to be charged from the vehicle's round 12v outlet. It would be nice if it could also jump-start a V6, but that is optional. Budget is sub-$300. The Anker Powerhouse line seems like it might be good, but I'm unclear on whether it can be charged over 12v.
posted by 4th number at 11:30 AM PST - 11 comments

Partner is miserable most of the time: what to do?

My partner is miserable most of the time. We are co-parenting a child from a previous relationship together. They are already in therapy and on meds. We are in couples' counseling, but our therapist is on a five week vacation. Assume DTMFA is not a viable solution here. [more inside]
posted by unstrungharp at 11:30 AM PST - 26 comments

Does a recording of George Orwell's voice exist?

I am positive I once listened to a recording of George Orwell's voice but I cannot find it anywhere. Am I mistaken? [more inside]
posted by NailsTheCat at 11:05 AM PST - 3 comments

What Bollywood movie was I recommended?

In the context of recommending Bollywood movies that an American 10 year old might like, someone suggested a title that I don’t remember now. I know that it was the same word twice, and that those words started with G or J sound.
posted by xo at 10:52 AM PST - 9 comments

NE Australia campervan tour - with kids

After a conference in June, we have a couple of weeks to tour around Australia. We think we want to rent a campervan. But seeking suggestions! [more inside]
posted by k8t at 9:24 AM PST - 5 comments

Help me get over my secret shame

NB: Please be kind in your answers; I already feel huge shame about this, and it’s taking me a great deal of courage to ask this, even anonymously. I’m an adult in my 30s, and I still pick my nose and eat what comes out (when I’m in private). For health reasons, I want to stop this gross habit (even without considering nose contents, it is a disease vector to put my fingers in my nose and mouth on a regular basis). Have you successfully stopped this or a similar habit in adulthood? How did you do it? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 9:11 AM PST - 34 comments

Help me automate a file copy and renaming task on OS X.

Help me copy and rename a file 220 times. [more inside]
posted by rocketman at 9:07 AM PST - 11 comments

Help me track down this episode of an obscure 1982 PBS show

Surely this cannot be too obscure for the website that helped me track down the 90s teens-in-space show Earthstar Voyager: I have this memory of a specific episode of the short-lived children's program "Powerhouse." [more inside]
posted by johngoren at 8:30 AM PST - 4 comments

How Far Can a Business Go Under Before It's Gone Under?

Legally speaking, in the USA, is there a point that marks an official "ending date" when an LLC business officially goes out of business? (I'm not talking about liquidation or bankruptcy). Specific situation inside. [more inside]
posted by Rykey at 8:10 AM PST - 7 comments

The finer points of saying "hi"

What are the unwritten rules of greeting people (and saying goodbye)? [more inside]
posted by Brain Sturgeon at 8:07 AM PST - 10 comments

Seeking credit card recommendations

I'm looking for a credit card with a few particular specifications. Your recommendations would be most appreciated. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:03 AM PST - 8 comments

Choose your own adventure for reading together

I recently got a flash of nostalgia from a story about Choose your own adventures-style books. I thought it would by fun to read one of those together with my spouse, but I'm struggling to find the right material. One I tried was about retelling Hamlet, I think, but it was horribly written. And what I remember of the titles from my youth, they had all some kind of combat or inventory managment, which I'm not terribly interested in recreating. We could just win all combats and pass all inventory checks, but I would prefer a book without such gimmicks. [more inside]
posted by SweetLiesOfBokonon at 6:33 AM PST - 13 comments

What vegan belts and shoes are durable?

What vegan belts and shoes are durable? I am especially interested in men's items that are fashionable. There are many belts and shoes constructed from man-made materials, but they often fall apart after a short period of time compared to items made from leather.
posted by mortaddams at 6:13 AM PST - 10 comments

Expense tracking

Looking for recommendations for an Android expense tracker that will sync between two people.
posted by Mitheral at 5:01 AM PST - 7 comments

So how do I buy a desktop computer?

I've only ever owned laptops, with their tradeoffs in price, weight, and features. It seems like desktop computers are a whole different ballpark - which ones are good, how do I choose? [more inside]
posted by Cozybee at 3:38 AM PST - 17 comments

Asthma frustration, is there anything else I should be doing?

YANMD, but maybe you can help me bug my doctor about what's next. When I have a Asthma flare up, it is taking a long time and lots of medicine to get me back under control. Details inside. Is there anything else I should be looking at? [more inside]
posted by AlexiaSky at 3:23 AM PST - 12 comments

March 1

Nightlife in/around Katsushika City, Tokyo?

I’m spending 5 nights at a hostel in Katsushika City, in Tokyo! I’ve read that this area is really quaint and quiet, with lots of temples and such, and not very much nightlife. Does anybody have some good recommendations for bars or restaurants I should go to that are somewhat close via the train? All the places I wanna go to are an hour away, so I’m gonna find a night to go to a few of them. In the mean time, what can I do at night around Katsushika?
posted by gucci mane at 11:50 PM PST - 14 comments

Movies as pretty on the inside and outside as Call Me By Your Name?

I recently saw Call me By Your Name for the first time and was instantly taken with its beauty. Visually, cinematographically, sentimentally, directorially, the performances, the physicality of the acting and the way the characters interact with a sensual backdrop and each other. What are more movies like this? [more inside]
posted by jitterbug perfume at 10:15 PM PST - 39 comments

I'll be glad I printed that out when the Internet goes down

Apart from contact info for various and sundry friends, relatives, and service providers, what would be useful info to have printed out if our Internet is offline due to a natural disaster? Example I already have open in another tab: The dilution ratios for using bleach to make water drinkable.
posted by DebetEsse at 8:41 PM PST - 9 comments

What can I do with my 70 year-old Aunt in or around Phoenix in April?

My Aunt's lived in Phoenix for the past few decades. She's mentally sharp and mobile. So am I! Last year we visited Taliesin West and enjoyed it. What do you recommend for this year? How can we best get us some culture?
posted by boghead at 7:11 PM PST - 11 comments

who are your favorite recipe/cookbook/food writers?

i've been in a cooking rut, and i really want to find some new cookbook writers/chefs to get excited about. who do you recommend? [more inside]
posted by lightgray at 4:49 PM PST - 32 comments

Gardening 101

Gardening newbie, looking to grow some herbs in my backyard. [more inside]
posted by cozenedindigo at 4:18 PM PST - 11 comments

So, where's that super simple DIY tax form?

I've heard repeated for several years that major accountancy companies have deliberately lobbied the US government to keep the income tax process as obscure and opaque as possible, for their own benefit. I've also been told that people can file their own taxes via a pretty simple form that is, by design, hard to locate. So where is it? [more inside]
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 3:24 PM PST - 30 comments

Tips for creating an Edinburgh Fringe show?

I'm starting to consider producing a simple show at the 2021 Edinburgh Fringe. Does anyone have tips or hard-won knowledge on venues, publicity, lodging, free vs, ticket pricing, etc. etc.? And do you think US fringe festivals are a good introduction, or are they just too different to help? [more inside]
posted by msalt at 2:47 PM PST - 7 comments

Where to start my last minute voting research?

Hi, everyone. For Reasons, I am unprepared to vote in the U.S. democratic primary this Tuesday. In terms of decision-making, that is - I am a registered voter and know my polling location. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 1:39 PM PST - 23 comments

Is there such a thing as a 20-minute legacy game?

I'm looking for a game that: can be played by two players; gives both players a chance to play equal roles (EG neither spends the whole game as DM); has some sort of pre-created story; and takes less than an hour to play. Does such a thing exist? [more inside]
posted by yankeefog at 1:25 PM PST - 7 comments

laminate or double glazed for stained window?

Niche question: we are having a pane of stained glass made to replace a current window. Right now there is an ordinary double-glazed window. We have the option of putting the new stained glass inside double glazing or use attach it to laminate glass instead. Thoughts? [more inside]
posted by caoimhe at 1:01 PM PST - 3 comments

Can you help me learn more about the purpose of these stone slabs?

I'm trying to learn more about how these stone slabs were made and what their purpose may have been. Location: New England. Estimated date of creation: Unknown but guessing 1800-1900. Any ideas? [more inside]
posted by jeremias at 12:27 PM PST - 5 comments

iTunes won't shuffle to downloaded videos shared from another Mac

I share music and videos from one Mac's iTunes to another, but the second one, when shuffling, will only play iTunes Store purchased videos, not others. [more inside]
posted by fabius at 11:05 AM PST - 1 comment

Make my home even better

We are currently living in and renovating a small apartment - we have all the furniture we will ever need, and frankly probably everything we will ever need full-stop. But I want to set a goal for myself, and the reward is using the money I save to buy something nice/life-changing for the apartment. [more inside]
posted by Megami at 10:31 AM PST - 40 comments

Chair repair despair, mes cheres.

We've thought of a couple of solutions for repairing these chairs but haven't done anything I think out of uncertainty about what's the best way to go. Difficulty level: no access to anything like a wood workshop.So... [more inside]
posted by less of course at 9:45 AM PST - 12 comments

I've had sciatica for a while but this is new and terrible

I've had a herniated disk for decades and have had sciatica related to this, mostly years ago until I learned new movements and core strength and got mostly rid of it. I did something a week ago that reactivated it, and it's mostly okay and manageable except I get these moments of excruciating, screaming (literally) pain that last for usually under 10 minutes. They come on without any evident stressors that I can tell and they are really debilitating but then they let go and I'm back to just having my sciatica acting up, which is a pain I'm familiar with. Anyone know what is going on with me? [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:17 AM PST - 16 comments

Help me find a story about a man with extra thumbs

Many times I've been amazed at the ability of Metafilter to provide obscure information. If you can do this one, I'll be truly impressed... [more inside]
posted by Joan Rivers of Babylon at 6:13 AM PST - 4 comments

Why grandma doesn’t want to play as much anymore

I’m looking for resources to help me help my nine-year-old understand how aging is affecting her grandparents. [more inside]
posted by TEA at 5:57 AM PST - 3 comments

Why can't I buy a siphonic toilet in the UK?

I grew up in the US but have lived in the UK for nearly a decade and a half, now. When asked what the UK does badly, I always say "toilets". The "washdown" design is smelly, messy, and the only advantage over the siphonic design used in the rest of the world is that it doesn't clog as easily. But both designs use the standard 3L/6L flush, so why can't I buy a siphonic toilet in the UK? [more inside]
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 3:46 AM PST - 14 comments

Relationship Advice with a Drinker?

I (40’s female) have been in a relationship with “Steve” (40’s male) for one year. There are many positives in the relationship as well as a strong emotional and intimate connection. But he’s a drinker, which has been interfering in our relationship. I don’t have experience with a partner like this and I’d like some perspective before deciding to end it for good. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 1:48 AM PST - 32 comments

How do I find out the things that I believe in are not real?

I've been reading about flat earthers, anti-vaxxers, anti-taxers and similar folks. One thing they seem to have in common is the ability to reject obvious facts. It kind of spooks me. I'd like to find a test that determines which less than mainstream thoughts are in my head, and how to remove them.
posted by Marky at 1:30 AM PST - 12 comments