September 2004 Archives

September 30

Annoying Icon

OutlookFilter: I have this annoying icon in my system tray when Outlook loads emails. [mi] [more inside]
posted by MrAnonymous at 8:21 PM PST - 6 comments

Marriage Between a Tolerant Christian and an Agnostic with Atheist Leanings?

I'm an atheist and my girlfriend is a churchgoer. I'd really thinking about marrying this girl, but i have reservations about a inter-belief marriage. Have you any advice / experience with such a scenario ? [mi] [more inside]
posted by escher at 7:25 PM PST - 49 comments

SD cards - manufacturers, capacity/price ratio?

I need an SD card for my new camera (Minolta Dimage Z3). Any thoughts on manufacturers and the best capacity/price ratio? 1 Gig cards are now available, but I'm afraid at $300 I'd be significantly overpaying.
posted by schoolgirl report at 7:00 PM PST - 5 comments

I'm Looking for a PDA for Writing Purposes That Can Access the 'Net Directly

PDA suggestions? my burgeoning carpal tunnel says just fix an old lap top but-- (more inside) [more inside]
posted by ethylene at 1:42 PM PST - 3 comments

DVDs on Gaming Console?

Playing DVDs on a PlayStation or XBOX: Threat or menace? I've seen occasional references suggesting this will somehow wear out a console's DVD drive. True or false?
posted by arto at 1:33 PM PST - 11 comments

Outlook Add-Ons

Are there any freeware add-ons for Microsoft Outlook that will allow you to create a message rule that will automatically mark your messages as read?
posted by grrarrgh00 at 1:26 PM PST - 2 comments

Turning Chrome into Brushed Nickel

I recently had a plumber install new shower/tub faucets. They all have a nice brushed nickel finish. He had to cut into tile to get the valve in, so he installed a coverplate (thin oval piece) under the appartus to turn on the water. The problem is, the coverplate is chrome. It clashes with the brushed nickel finish of the new stuff. Since I already spent a buttload to get these installed, what would be a cheap way to make the chrome look more like brushed nickel? I searched for brushed nickel paint, but no luck so far.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 1:16 PM PST - 7 comments

Cake for my mother-in-law! Everyone loves cake!

Cake! I'm looking for a fabulous, over-the-top cake recipe for my Mother-In-Law's birthday. [more inside]
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:55 PM PST - 21 comments

Which fruit is this Fruit of the Loom character?

What's the orange guy from "the Fruit of the Loom guys" supposed to be? {come on in} [more inside]
posted by bob sarabia at 12:49 PM PST - 24 comments

How to connect my cell phone with bluetooth to my PC?

I've just bought a new cell phone with bluetooth and I want to connect it to my PC. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by davehat at 12:48 PM PST - 3 comments

Go away from the light!

Catastrophic health insurance (in the US): I've just been laid off and am losing health care benefits. The COBRA premiums are insane--I'm looking for something cheap that will cover near-death experiences. (I will turn to the bottle for any minor ailments.) Anyone have any advice or plan suggestions?
posted by mookieproof at 12:30 PM PST - 16 comments

Recommend some music for the heartbroken.

Music for the Heartbroken (MI) [more inside]
posted by jalexei at 10:55 AM PST - 57 comments

Tips on growing a full beard for the first time?

[NotShavingFilter] I'm growing a full beard for the first time. Tips? (Trimming methods, moisturizing/cleaning, where the neckline should be, etc.)
posted by davebug at 9:48 AM PST - 7 comments

I'm trying to identify a song....

I'm trying to identify a song, and the person or persons who produced it. Its chorus is "Have you forgotten (oh, oh, oh) where you've come from? (oh, oh, oh)." Ever heard of it? . . . more . . . [more inside]
posted by crunchland at 9:32 AM PST - 13 comments

I'd like to learn how to take pro-quality portrait photographs.

I'd like to learn how to take pro-quality portrait photographs [more inside.] [more inside]
posted by grumblebee at 9:12 AM PST - 16 comments

PHP scripts: where to find how to convert text to images?

PHP Scripts - Text to Images. [mi] [more inside]
posted by seanyboy at 8:35 AM PST - 8 comments

Renting a Montreal Apartment

Renting an apartment in downtown Montréal [plus à l'intérieur] [more inside]
posted by Succa at 8:17 AM PST - 14 comments

Win XP individual program volume control?

Is there something I can get for Win XP that can control the volume of each program individually? I'd like Windows Media Player to be loud (for those videos that have unexplained quiet sound) and Trillian and system beeps and the like to be barely audible. Is this possible?
posted by Orange Goblin at 8:13 AM PST - 6 comments

How to avoid a five-o-clock shadow

[ShavingFilter] Although I shave every morning I always get a 5 o'clock shadow about 7 hours too early. Any tips?
posted by ralawrence at 7:28 AM PST - 17 comments

Ideas for a last-minute birthday present for my brother who lives 1000 miles away?

It's my brother's birthday, I haven't gotten anything, and he lives 1000 miles away. Any ideas?
posted by davebug at 7:14 AM PST - 8 comments


US academia: When a position is described as 'tenure-track', what would the holder have to do to actually make it to tenure? [more inside]
posted by biffa at 6:38 AM PST - 14 comments

kids Hallowe'en party ettiquette

My 6 year old daughter has been invited to an American child's Hallowe'en party here in the UK. Is a gift required?
posted by Pericles at 5:47 AM PST - 11 comments

Did George W. Bush Actually Ever SAY That Our Mission Was Accomplished?

Debating politics with a (conservative) friend last night, we got to talking about the whole "mission acomplished" thing. He has challenged me to come up with a single quote where Bush says anything similar to "Our mission in Iraq has been accomplished" (as opposed to just standing in front of a sign that says it). Can anyone provide such a quote, with a link to back it up?
posted by anastasiav at 5:41 AM PST - 16 comments

Office 2003 keeps trying to re-install with registration errors!

Ack! Microsoft Office is revolting against me! Help! Save me! [More Inside, of course] [more inside]
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:38 AM PST - 4 comments

Truck Signage

Why do trucks have signs on them that say "wide right turns"? Don't they make wide left turns too?
posted by adampsyche at 5:09 AM PST - 11 comments

September 29

How can I get my girlfriend a key to my new apartment's front door ?

Key Controversy... How can I get my girlfriend a key to my new apartment's front door or work out an arrangement so she can get in when she wants too? [mi] [more inside]
posted by drezdn at 8:56 PM PST - 18 comments

UTF-8 System Fonts

CharacterEncodingFilter: Which default system fonts have good UTF-8 support? [teh more, she ees inside] [more inside]
posted by Fezboy! at 8:18 PM PST - 5 comments

Homeowner's Insurance

My wife and I are closing on a house in a week or so. The house is in the 120,000 range. Today, I started my search for homeowners insurance. My first quote from state farm was 1,500 a year. This is our first house, so we're in the dark. [MI] [more inside]
posted by justgary at 8:10 PM PST - 21 comments

Will iDVD Convert MPEG2? Will It Output VIDEO_TS?

iDVD presales questions [mi] [more inside]
posted by scarabic at 6:24 PM PST - 4 comments

Games for my Powerbook?

Games for my Powerbook? Having recently switched from PC to Mac, what games would you recommend that I may not have heard of/seen before because they were only available on Mac? Anything from small puzzle games to graphics-intensive stuff is fine.
posted by vacapinta at 4:35 PM PST - 24 comments

Mafia control of NYC services

Do the mafia actually control the garbage-collection racket in New York City? Do they even still exist? If so, what other, uh, services are they involved in?
posted by swift at 2:53 PM PST - 31 comments

ExcelFilter: I don't see an easy one-function way to get the initial letters of a text string in Excel. Is there such a beast?

ExcelFilter: I don't see an easy one-function way to get the initial letters of a text string in Excel. Is there such a beast? [=Text(MI)] [more inside]
posted by mwhybark at 2:49 PM PST - 9 comments


I'm in the process of writing a grant for a projector and laptop to run it. It's for a small rural fire department and the total budget is roughly 4.5k. I need two prices for each and know nothing about projectors -- I'm looking for a well regarded projector manufacturer and two good online retailers selling the brand. The laptop isn't an issue, I'll use Dell and IBM (I know there are better sources but these folks like names they've heard of).
posted by cedar at 2:36 PM PST - 4 comments

Mac Newbie

I am about to order an iMac, my first Macintosh. What do you wish someone had told you when you got your first Mac? (mi) [more inside]
posted by lbergstr at 2:22 PM PST - 47 comments

I want to learn more about contemporary classical music.

I want to learn more about contemporary classical music of the Pärt, Feldman, Glass variety. Anyone have any pointers? {more inside} [more inside]
posted by josh at 1:57 PM PST - 24 comments

What are some decent, relatively inexpensive wines that I can cook with?

Oenophiler. Comments in recent cooking-related threads have indicated that one shouldn't cook with wine one wouldn't drink. I don't, in general, drink wine; nor do I know much about it. What are some winemakers whose wines are relatively inexpensive and of decent quality? [more inside]
posted by kenko at 1:45 PM PST - 32 comments

Should I read Cryptonomicon before Quicksilver?

NealStephensonFilter: I just bought Quicksilver in the airport, am enjoying it, but curious if I should be reading Cryptonomicon first. Any opinions?
posted by elsar at 1:40 PM PST - 10 comments

Who's eating my Firefox cookies?

Firefox question: Why do my cookies for sites such as the Washington Post or New York Times keep disappearing? I can not say for sure, but it seems time related - if I do not visit the site in a few weeks all of a sudden it is asking for my login info. Is there some way to prevent this?
posted by caddis at 1:26 PM PST - 6 comments

Seekng simple, cheap (free) local dialup access in San Diego.

I'll be in San Diego for the Society for Neuroscience conference in late October. My hotel seems to have no ethernet and I would like to be able to go online with my laptop. Any suggestions for simple, cheap (free), local dial up services? Should I get a temporary AOL account (shudder) and use some of those free hours? Suggestions?
posted by garethspor at 12:39 PM PST - 10 comments

Neruda's Oda a Stalin - is there a copy on-line?

Neruda's Oda a Stalin - is there a copy on-line? Is it in Rafael Alberti's Antología Poética (I can't find it)? Has anyone read it?
(Prompted by this article.) [more inside]
posted by andrew cooke at 11:53 AM PST - 6 comments

Need a 2 line cordless phone

SOHOFilter: I've recently got a second (VoIP) line into my home office and I'd like to be able to use both that line and my landline throughout the apartment. So, I am guessing I need a two-line cordless phone; trouble is I can't find one that is not 2.4GHz (bad for WiFi). A nice DECT phone would be preferrable, but I'd live w/ something plainer. Any pointers? Or is there a way to merge the two lines somehow and only use one phone set with both of them?
posted by costas at 9:20 AM PST - 7 comments

Tips on hiring a cleaning service?

Maid/Cleaning Services. [2 parter, more inside] [more inside]
posted by kerouaciness at 9:08 AM PST - 8 comments

Is my (Apple) Airport fried?

Is my (Apple) Airport fried? [more] [more inside]
posted by mattpfeff at 9:00 AM PST - 8 comments


I'd like to sign my wife up for a good chocolate-of-the-month club for her upcoming birthday. However, they are legion, and I figure most of them probably suck. Any hints/recommendations/warding spells? [Yeah, step on in for more.] [more inside]
posted by Skot at 8:45 AM PST - 15 comments

Final Cut Pro Tutorials?

Final Cut Pro 4
For the next few weeks I have access to an eMac with FCP4 installed. Can anyone recommend any online tutorials to get me on my way. Ones concerned with general video editing techniques as well as those directly related to FCP would be helpful too. [Slightly more inside...] [more inside]
posted by i_cola at 8:36 AM PST - 3 comments

Looking for definitive recipes

While the foodies are reading and posting....

Your definitive [*] recipes please. By definitive I mean that the recipe is good, the food so tasty, that it seems a ridiculous idea to you now to even consider preparing [*] in any other way. Nay, you could even consider yourself fulfilled if you never even tasted [*] prepared in another way before you died....(More inside).

Mine are Marcella Hazan's for roast chicken with two lemons and Pierre Franey's for lamb chops with garlic, parsley, butter and red wine vinegar sauce. Since first making these, I am happily uninterested in any other way of roasting chicken or any other way of dishing up a lamb chop.

I am looking for your equivalent "definitive" recipes, for a pork roast, or a club sandwich, or a summer salad, or a smoothie, or whatever. [more inside]
posted by suleikacasilda at 8:16 AM PST - 20 comments


Is there a web site (or an RSS feed) where I can view all the stories - including local/regional bits - that go out on the AP Wire or similar?
posted by junkbox at 7:00 AM PST - 6 comments

XP Utility for Batch File Management (File Moves, or Multiple Copies)?

I know there are batch renaming utilities, but I'm looking for a more general batch-file management tool. I'm in the middle of a big job that involves all sorts of renaming and rearranging of file / folder structures. For instance, I have a hundred folders, each of which contains a subfolder called Images. Within Images, there are three jpegs. I need to delete the Images folders but not the jpegs. The jpegs need to be moved up-one-level into the main folders. Another task involved copying a single html file into all 100 folders. This is all using WinXP.
posted by grumblebee at 6:48 AM PST - 6 comments


DHTML/CSS Wizards: I am looking for free source code to create a simple two-tiered menu. When you hover above a link in a horizontal list of links, each link will display the sublinks in another horizontal bar underneath the first list of links. An example can be seen at Although I could do this easily enough in Flash, I'm hoping there is some code already out there somewhere in DHTML/CSS/XHTML.
posted by banished at 6:44 AM PST - 16 comments

Recommend inspirational and reliable cookbooks

Continuing the food theme: what cookbooks would you recommend that you find both inspirational and reliable? Inspirational, as in the recipes just beg to be tried, or the photographs look so mouthwatering. And reliable, as in you've learned to trust that the recipes will turn out well - if not every time - then much more often than not. We have shelf-full of cookbooks already, but I'd still like to add a few more…
posted by misteraitch at 3:15 AM PST - 25 comments

What are some cheap recipes?

Cheap recipes? I have about three Euros in my pocket and need to buy something for dinner. I have some old standbys for tasty cheapie meals, but I'd like to learn about your favorites and make a collection of good ones.
posted by taz at 1:21 AM PST - 16 comments

September 28

Where to Find Kronenbourg Beer in the U.S.

I'm in a desperate search for Kronenbourg beer in NYC. (More...) [more inside]
posted by Doug at 10:19 PM PST - 4 comments

Where to find royalty-free pictures of the current U.S. administration?

Royalty-free pictures of the current U.S. administration? [mi] [more inside]
posted by codger at 8:49 PM PST - 3 comments

Smells like gasoline

How do you get the smell and stain of gasoline out of clothes?
posted by ChasFile at 8:19 PM PST - 3 comments

Annoying Icons

Hi. How the hell do I fix this annoying thing on my taskbar? [mi] [more inside]
posted by Zosia Blue at 8:17 PM PST - 6 comments

Worth upgrading from 600Mhz G3 to a 1Ghz G4 iBook?

600MHz G3 iBook / 30GB / 256MB
1000MHz G4 iBook / 60GB / 512MB

Worth the upgrade? Or do I need to dig deeper into my wallet? I'd like better AVI playback and iMovie performance, as well as the ability to run GarageBand.
posted by scarabic at 8:12 PM PST - 16 comments

What's This Floor?

Bought a Milwaukee home that was built in the mid 1930's. What are my bathroom floors made out of?
posted by sharksandwich at 8:10 PM PST - 8 comments

chains underneath school bus

I've often noticed chains hanging underneath school busses. What are they for?
posted by sexymofo at 7:40 PM PST - 6 comments

What Link had most posts to Mefi

[FrontPagePostFilter]. What link has been the victim of the most front page posts on MeFi? I wonder, only because Strandbeest hit its 4th one today and I suspect that the record's got to be higher than that.
posted by warhol at 7:03 PM PST - 7 comments


MoreCookingfilter. Calling all cardomom experts. [more inside]
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:48 PM PST - 12 comments

What's a good advertising-free alternative to Yahoo Groups?

What's a good advertising-free alternative to Yahoo Groups? I'm looking to run a private mailing list, 10-20 subscribers, conversational in topic (which rules out I have shell access on a Linux account, but not root (which rules out a Majordomo install). What else is out there?
posted by Aaorn at 6:15 PM PST - 3 comments

I love meticulous documentation of the environment.

So, I love Chicago mile-by-mile and the Stanford cityblock project. Lately I've been looking for other examples of this sort of meticulous documentation of the environment. Anyone got any leads? [more inside]
posted by Jeff Howard at 6:04 PM PST - 7 comments

Karaoke Query

Karaoke Query. This should be simple enough, as I'm sure we've a mobile DJ or something similar in the group. Let's say I needed pre-recorded music (without vocals) for a popular song to be played at a wedding. Then let's say that I found said song on a Karaoke CDG. Would I be able to stick said CDG into a standard issue CD player and expect to hear the wordless tune?
posted by grabbingsand at 5:50 PM PST - 2 comments

Wireless help for my iBook

Wireless Help! iBook related. (more inside) [more inside]
posted by hughbot at 5:38 PM PST - 5 comments

What, exactly, are the Masons and Shriners?

What, exactly, are the Masons and Shriners? A fraternal organization? Secret society? Religious cult? Charity fund-raisers? Community organization? [more inside]
posted by robbie01 at 3:47 PM PST - 21 comments

Friend Needs Basic Business Cards -- Shops That Advertise in MacWorld Trustworthy?

Business cards--I'm doing some pro-bono design work for a friend who's looking for some basic business cards. I've seen at least a half dozen ads in the back of Macworld advertising 4/1 and 4/4 cards for really low prices. Anyone here ever dealt with these places? What if I wanted to do a 2 or 3 color spot PMS cards? These shops seem to gang the job up with other 4 color work, so obviously spot colors don't fit the bill.
posted by sharksandwich at 3:47 PM PST - 8 comments

OS X or Web-Based Invoicing Software with Multiple Currencies and Billing Units?

I'm looking for software to help me with invoicing--OS X or web-based. I have some picky requirements [more inside] [more inside]
posted by adamrice at 3:41 PM PST - 2 comments

Cook to Impress!

From the general to the specific: What are your favorite recipes, the dishes you prepare when you want to impress? [more inside]
posted by jdroth at 2:41 PM PST - 17 comments


What is the least expensive way to get into silkscreening? I want to start producing some silkscreened shirts, but I am unsure about how to proceed. (MI) [more inside]
posted by Espoo2 at 1:54 PM PST - 10 comments


As a followup to my previous .htaccess question, I have another. This one appears to be harder. [I explain my blunderings inside] [more inside]
posted by jmevius at 1:46 PM PST - 5 comments

Time Warner Digital Phone service, anyone have any good or bad things to say about it?

Time Warner Digital Phone service, anyone have any good or bad things to say about it?
posted by Mick at 12:56 PM PST - 5 comments

How do you deal with anger at things you can't control?

How do you deal with anger at things you can't control? (The things are out of your control, hopefully the anger isn't...) [more inside]
posted by bendy at 12:43 PM PST - 15 comments

Hanging Pots from Ductwork

We want to hang our pots and pans from the HVAC ductwork on our kitchen. We're thinking strong magnetic hooks. [mi] [more inside]
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:41 PM PST - 5 comments

Laptop Audio MP3 Player

Do you use your laptop in your car? [Inside, there is certain to be more]
posted by mecran01 at 12:14 PM PST - 18 comments

Help me find these radio controlled clocks!

PickyClockBuyerfilter: After reading about them here, I've become obsessed with those Starck / Oregon Scientific Radio Controlled clocks. My subsequent research has spawned questions. [More inside] [more inside]
posted by adamkempa at 12:02 PM PST - 6 comments

What's your most useful general advice on cooking?

What's your most useful general advice on cooking? [more inside]
posted by melissa may at 11:51 AM PST - 68 comments

Getting email to an AOL-blocked domain

i gave my mother an email on my domain, and, being a woman of a certain age, most of her friends use AOL. unfortunately, AOL is blocking all emails from my domain. i think my doman name was hijacked for spam in the past. how do i get AOL to stop blocking my domain?
posted by callicles at 11:45 AM PST - 14 comments

Social Networking

Web communities / Friendster knockoffs. I've studiously avoided delving into any of these, but suddenly, by tomorrow, I need to be more knowledgeable than I am about them, especially I went there to check it out and it's "down for maintenance." I searched here in AskMe, and found passing references but nothing in-depth. Can anyone point me to some overview of these type of sites, which ones are tailored to what kind of connecting, which ones are still around, which not, which suck, which don't, and why?
posted by soyjoy at 9:53 AM PST - 14 comments

XP SP2 and WebDav

i have some of my remote users in the office connect to our fileserver using webdav as a means to quickly (though admittadly not-securely) access and change documents, etc. it seems though, that since using windows xp SP2 it's been dirt slow. my user will click on a directory, and it will take no less than 10 seconds for the directory to be highlighted. that's not even attempting to open the directory - that'll take another two minutes or so. i'm trying to figure out what's exactly going on here. ideally i'll be switching to VPN soon, but in the meantime, i need to get this working properly again.

posted by quadrinary at 9:11 AM PST - 2 comments

Windows XP Priority settings

In Windows XP Pro, is there some doodad/command line switch/whatever that will let me set a task's priority to "low" by default? I have an application that's a CPU hog, and I have to manually set its priority if I expect to do anything else while the program in question is running. If there's a way to set a default priority, I haven't been able to figure it out. Help?
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:01 AM PST - 5 comments

Toronto neighborhoods

Suppose, hypothetically, that I were considering a move to Toronto, Ontario. I've never been there. Can someone give a quick rundown of the city and its neighborhoods? Where should a 30-something single professional from the Boston suburbs look for a nice two-bedroom condo?
posted by jpoulos at 9:01 AM PST - 12 comments

Electric Kettle?

I want to start making an afternoon cup of tea at work. Other than a water cooler and a bathroom sink there are no kitchen facilities here. I need some sort of small electric kettle, and a pot or a cup to brew the (preferably real, not bag) tea in. Clean up should be easy and everything should be unbreakable. I don't add anything but water. Is there an all-in-one device out there? What's your system? Links to specific products appreciated.
posted by bondcliff at 8:52 AM PST - 22 comments

Can anyone recommend blogs that are safe for a teacher to allow students to visit on their classroom computers?

Can anyone recommend blogs that are safe for a teacher to allow students to visit on their classroom computers? The students are around 12-years-old.
posted by naxosaxur at 8:47 AM PST - 6 comments

Step-by-step explanation on how to connect video components?

LudditeFilter: I need a concise, step-by-step explanation, preferably with pictures, to help a non-tech savvy relative connect video components. (M to tha Izz-eye) [more inside]
posted by Dreama at 8:28 AM PST - 3 comments

I need a php or cgi image uploader script that's hopefully not too difficult to install.

I need a php or cgi image uploader script that's hopefully not too difficult to install. I'd like to be able to give some family members a place to upload pics so that they can link to them for whatever reason. I'd like them to be able to upload one or multiple pics, and a huge bonus would be if it could show the url for each pic uploaded, so that absolutely no thinking is required on the part of anyone who doesn't get the intarweb (which is most of my family). -------> [more inside]
posted by iconomy at 7:55 AM PST - 8 comments

What's a good, active, intelligent, mefi-like site for discussing movies?

What's a good, active, intelligent, mefi-like site for discussing movies? I know about, but sadly it doesn't seem that heavily used, and I must obey the Power Laws.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:17 AM PST - 6 comments

What episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force has Meatwad trying to swear?

Which episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force is the one where Meatwad tries unsuccessfully to drop the f-bomb? It's one of my favorites and it's killing me.
posted by TungstenChef at 4:47 AM PST - 2 comments

Dealing with Long Commutes

How far is too far to travel to work each day? How do you cope with a long commute? [MI] [more inside]
posted by Jimbob at 3:34 AM PST - 38 comments

Iraqi election & our forces there

Iraqi Politics Filter: Does anyone know how the elections in Iraq are going to work? If the Ba'ath party reappeared and wanted to stand, would we let them, or is it only an approved list of parties that are running?

If we don't like the way the election is going, what chance do you think there is that we'll let it go it's course?

If we are asked to leave by the next prime minister, will we go?
posted by twine42 at 12:29 AM PST - 5 comments

September 27

Most useful books to have around for rebuilding after the Apocalypse?

Bookfilter: It's the day after the end of the world. What book and or books would you want to be able to rebuild? You know, if you want to be able to hunt, plant crops, make clothes, make tools, etc. How does the well educated gentleman prepare for the Apocalypse, practically? Other than the Foxfire books, what should I buy? [more inside]
posted by geekhorde at 11:41 PM PST - 21 comments

What are your favorite DVDS? Those with commentary or unique features encouraged!

What are your favorite DVDs? Much more inside. [more inside]
posted by dobbs at 11:07 PM PST - 22 comments


Which species of penguin does Ted (alternate reference) of the webcomic Ctrl-Alt-Del most resemble?
posted by Nikolai at 10:39 PM PST - 3 comments

Windows Media movies don't work after paying for Quicktime Pro?

It seems like ever since I paid for Quicktime Pro for my Macintosh, Windows Media movies stopped working, especially embedded ones -- they complain about inability to create a "unique tmp file." Plus my file associations are screwy. Wonder what happened and how I can fix it...?
posted by inksyndicate at 9:41 PM PST - 1 comment

What is the best way to route your headphones, soundcard, and mixer for home recording?

Home-recording question, Part Deux: What is the best way to route your headphones, soundcard and mixer? (More inside) [more inside]
posted by dhoyt at 9:35 PM PST - 3 comments

How can I find a decent portrait maker for under $1000?

I would like to give my mother a pastel portrait of my grandmother as a gift for my mother's upcoming milestone birthday. However, I'm having a very hard time finding an artist who would create a quality portrait based on a photograph, despite having a well-regarded art college in my home city. Everything I look at looks more like a portrait that would win a prize at the county fair than something I'd want to give as a gift. I'd like to spend less than $1000.00 US. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by anastasiav at 8:52 PM PST - 6 comments

fancy menu system for a movie night

I'm organising a regular movie evening and was wanting a fancy menu system that would look like this... [more inside]
posted by holloway at 8:34 PM PST - 6 comments

Replacing a Furnace

Should I replace my dying oil furnace with oil or gas? A year ago gas would have been a no-brainer, but now gas supplies are increasingly constrained, while locally-produced biodiesel supplies are starting to come online. [more inside]
posted by alms at 7:28 PM PST - 2 comments

Recommendations for moving companies in NYC?

Recommendations for moving companies in NYC?
posted by skwm at 7:18 PM PST - 4 comments

Cooler than the coolest cool?

What are the best free cool programs for a mac running OSX?
posted by adrober at 7:17 PM PST - 21 comments

Lakota Ointment

Has anyone here tried Lakota topical joint care ointment? Did it work?
posted by Quartermass at 7:15 PM PST - 1 comment

What concepts do not exist in the English language?

What concepts do not exist in the English language? [mi] [more inside]
posted by pedantic at 7:11 PM PST - 81 comments

Help me identify this photographer.

I need to find a specific photographer from very, very vague information. The photographer is know for brightly colored, slightly surreal portraits, mainly of children (I think) and is not Anne Geddes. Can anbody figure out who I'm talking about? Thanks!
posted by dogwelder at 7:09 PM PST - 3 comments

How can I update my late-'90s HTML skills?

RipVanWinkleFilter: Way back in '98, I learned very basic HTML. I wrote some code, made graphics in Photoshop, saved it all in Simpletext, got a domain, and had myself a website. And, err ... six years later I'm basically using the same method. Help me upgrade my skillz? (mi) [more inside]
posted by lisa g at 7:06 PM PST - 14 comments

Help me publish my feed

I was attempting to use Jeffrey Veen's "Easiest Way to Publish Links on Your Site" and evidently it isn' t easy enough for me. It states:

"Now visit Enter your RSS address from the previous step into the text field and click 'Udpate.' Soon, you will see your links in a list on that page."

But when I get to that page, I don't see where I can enter my address. The drop down box already has preselected sites. Am I missing something?
posted by justgary at 6:59 PM PST - 10 comments

What is this bug?

BugFilter: what the heck is it? Photo and description inside --> [more inside]
posted by cedar at 6:45 PM PST - 11 comments

Old Coffee

What can you do with cold coffee? I have one of those French press things, and always end up with a cup or two left over in the morning. I hate to throw it away. Think clever, culinary...
posted by gottabefunky at 6:12 PM PST - 21 comments

Whats the difference between a blender and a food processor?

Whats the difference between a blender and a food processor? Seems to me the only difference is that a blender has more speed options, but I could be wrong. Please let me know.
posted by thebwit at 5:51 PM PST - 5 comments

Multi-user XP Remote Desktop setup

I need help setting up Windows XP Pro Remote Desktop for multiple outside users. (MI) [more inside]
posted by lynda at 4:45 PM PST - 9 comments

Codemonkeys, help me work up software that uses a haptics device.

I have a 7 month long software design project to do (with 5 other geeks) that will be using a haptics device in this lab. The project seems to be pretty wide open, however, we bring limited skills to to table (i.e. we need to learn OpenGL or some other graphics API on the fly) and have a very narrow window for coding after doing all the design documentation. Does anybody have a any good ideas that would involve 3D represention and tactile feedback using a gimbled stylus?
posted by srboisvert at 4:11 PM PST - 5 comments

Voter Registration Confirmation

I sent a voter registration card in the mail several weeks ago and have received no card or confirmation. How can I be sure I'm registered? [more inside]
posted by swift at 3:42 PM PST - 7 comments

I'm a loser, baby.

I've never understood. Is loser an all-American, classless and politically neutral term of derision, or is it predominantly used by people who tend to place a high value on the importance of winning and success, i.e. significantly more likely to admire capitalism and be critical of more cooperative and less competitive frames of mind ? [More inside.] [more inside]
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:15 PM PST - 23 comments

Travelling with Laptop

I'm going to be travelling/out in public with my notebook computer a lot in the next month. Any tips? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by wackybrit at 2:31 PM PST - 13 comments

Recommend simple and cheap Mac database software.

Any recommendations for simple and cheap Mac database software?
posted by ajr at 1:59 PM PST - 8 comments

Sanitation Station

Does putting TP or one of those safetyguards on the toilet seat actually do anything? Or is this just a salve for our collective germophobia?
posted by PrinceValium at 11:10 AM PST - 38 comments

Scanning Negatives

Film scanning! I have a fair number of negatives (easily a few thousand) which I need to scan (every day they call to me telling me that they are decaying and need to be recorded digitally). (the more it is inside) [more inside]
posted by biscotti at 10:08 AM PST - 15 comments

Where should I volunteer?

I need to do a "Service Learning" project (aka volunteering) for a Political Science class this fall. The group that I work with must be political in nature, but I'm having a hard time thinking of something more interesting that working for a Presidential campaign, especially considering Illinois is anywhere near being a swing state. Any suggestions of groups that I could volunteer for? [more inside]
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:29 AM PST - 9 comments


Programming Filter: I need some advice on a tree-building algorithm. (Tree as in the "+" and the tree branches out, like in Windows Explorer.) The language is PHP, but since I'm looking for an algorithm rather than actual code, any programmer with mad skills should be able to help. More inside. [more inside]
posted by SpecialK at 9:01 AM PST - 17 comments

Name That Tune

At the Frankfurt Musikmesse '04, Powercore did a demo of some of it's latest Whizzbang equipment to let DJ's apply less-fake sounding filters to music samples and other fun things. The guy who did the presentation, Jim Motley,
seems like an absolute spaz, and it's kinda fun to see how into it he is. Here's for the question - does anyone recognize the music that he's messing with in there? It seems like a British version of Ozomatli, which could be a fun thing.
I can't get this outta my head. Anyone recognize it?

Here's Jim, freakin' out.
More videos here.
posted by kahboom at 8:59 AM PST - 4 comments

Clearing a Work Computer

I'm changing jobs and want to make sure I wipe clean anything I don't want to leave behind on my computer (personal, not work-related). Other than deleting files, what else should I do that will not ruin anything that the company needs on the hard drive? Also, is there a way to import all my browser faves into a text file or something to save them and take them all with me?
posted by archimago at 8:17 AM PST - 7 comments

What are your house porn rules?

What are your house porn rules? [more! inside!] [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 8:16 AM PST - 20 comments

HP Ad Music

The new Hewlett Packard ads with the frames people make endless pictures with - what song is playing? It sounds so much like The Kinks, and it's driving me crazy. I just need to know, and my google fu is weak.
posted by FunkyHelix at 7:23 AM PST - 6 comments

Saving downloaded JPGs in Firefox

Firefox: How do I get it to simply save jpg's already downloaded, rather than downloading them again after hitting Save? Fetching the big APOD pic twice does not make much sense, especially on a dial-up. PS: The Firefox Help is almost useless. I am beginning to have my doubts about the utility of this browser over IE.
posted by mischief at 7:14 AM PST - 6 comments

September 26

IE and Print Stylesheets

Is there any way of forcing IE to ignore a print stylesheet, and using the screen stylesheet, when printing a page?
posted by jedro at 9:46 PM PST - 10 comments

C# Question

A C# question: I'm starting a new project at work, and we're going to be fully commenting each class/method/whatever, as well as write extensive unit tests (using NUnit). I very much like how the compiler generates warnings for uncommented methods, but it also warns me about my uncommented unit tests. Is there a way to disable these warnings for my unit tests? [more inside]
posted by Khalad at 7:52 PM PST - 11 comments

In Moveable Type 3.01D, to delete all content but retain templates and config settings, which MySQL tables should I truncate?

A Movable Type db question: hypothetically, if I wanted to delete all my entries, categorizations, comments, and trackbacks, while leaving templates and config settings intact, leaving me with a nice, clean tabula rasa, which MySQL tables should I truncate? (I'm on Movable Type 3.01D.)
posted by brownpau at 6:29 PM PST - 2 comments

Gmail Attachments

My gmail storage is filling up with attachments. Have I missed some way to trash attached files (outbound and inbound) without also trashing the messages? Or does it not exist yet?
posted by zadcat at 4:14 PM PST - 5 comments

FM antenna/reception issue

FM antenna/reception issue (and we need to listen to Little Steven tonight!- MI) [more inside]
posted by oflinkey at 3:47 PM PST - 10 comments


My girlfriend took her work laptop (running XP Pro) home, and I thoughfully messed with the settings when she left it on the table.

I switched the computer from her work domain to our home workgroup in an effort to transfer some mp3s from our central computer. Of course, the settings wouldn't take effect until I restarted. So I did. Now, I can't get past the login screen-- it tells me that it can't log in and to make sure that the domain and password are correct.

What do I do, besides make her call tech support first thing tomorrow?
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:31 AM PST - 15 comments

Best pre-paid cellular access in LS?

Pre-paid cellular access? (More inside!) [more inside]
posted by loquacious at 4:44 AM PST - 6 comments

Any UK/EU mefites interested in starting a community weblog?

Any UK/EU mefites interested in starting a community weblog? [more inside]
posted by dash_slot- at 12:07 AM PST - 100 comments

September 25

What should do with

InadvertentDomainSquatFilter: Many months ago I registered the domain name "". What should I do with it? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by mkdg at 10:25 PM PST - 13 comments

What is the Most Lossless QuickTime Format I Can Save As?

I have a bunch of iMovie 3 projects which I'd like to export as QuickTime movies and then convert to MPEG2 with TMPGEnc Express on Winders. I wish that TMPGEnc could just import a DV stream, but it won't, so my question becomes: what's the most lossless QuickTime format I can save as? Size-to-quality isn't the issue. I have lots of space, I just want to lose very little in the QuickTime export. Which format do I export in, and with which settings? wish I had a Superdrive...
posted by scarabic at 9:39 PM PST - 7 comments

Home recording: What difference will a new soundcard make?

Home Recording: my current setup is a Mackie 1402 board direct into an Audigy Platinum card. I was thinking about getting a higher-quality card--this was recommended--though truthfully, I'm not sure what noticeable differences to expect. Also, what is the advantage to having a breakout box if I've already got a decent mixing board?
posted by dhoyt at 9:14 PM PST - 8 comments

I want more facial hair.

[Beardfilter] I have practically no facial hair. But I want to grow sideburns and a beard. Is there a way I can promote facial hair growth?
posted by timyang at 8:37 PM PST - 13 comments


Once upon a time, there was a young(ish) girl who had a cable box, a tivo box, a VCR, and a televison that played together quite nicely. She could record one channel on the Tivo, and watch a different channel, AT THE SAME TIME. Then one day the evil cable company convinced this girl to upgrade to digital service, and now, alas, she cannot figure out how to recreate this lost paradise. Why (oh why!) is this scenario no longer so? Can anyone answer her call of distress? [For we have to get ourselves back to the garrr-r-den!]

Seriously, any ideas? 'Cause this really BLOWS.
posted by lilboo at 7:04 PM PST - 12 comments

Kath & Kim

For the Australians: What's the deal with Kath & Kim? Are they supposed to be stereotypes or parodies of typical Australians? from a certain place? of a certain class? (they're showing it on Trio--a cable network here) And--what's a hornbag?
posted by amberglow at 6:56 PM PST - 34 comments

Finding underground poker clubs (assuming they exist)?

Thinking of Rounders, how does one go about finding underground poker clubs (assuming they exist)? [more inside]
posted by o2b at 2:20 PM PST - 10 comments

How do I retrieve files from a drive that says it needs to be formatted?

External Hard drive will not open, cpu informs me that it needs to be formatted. Need some assistance please. (MI) [more inside]
posted by chiababe at 1:17 PM PST - 6 comments

Dog Training

How do train a small little yippy dog to not bark so much while in the backyard? [more inside]
posted by Espoo2 at 12:10 PM PST - 11 comments

Why is my wall buzzing?

The Tell-Tale Buzz, or: This Wall, It Vibrates? For the last several weeks (nearly a month now), a buzzing/vibrating noise has been coming from the wall between my apartment and the next one, driving both me and my neighbor crazy. What on earth could be causing this? (more inside -- literally) [more inside]
posted by Zonker at 10:48 AM PST - 15 comments

Modded XBox

Recently The Howie linked to a place that sells modded Xboxen. My question is--if I get one of these modded boxes, can I just use it as a turnkey solution for running a little dual-boot computer that can emulate a bunch of game platforms, play my mp3s with a decent interface, and play quicktime movies that I've ripped with a reasonable amount of clarity? (oh yeah, and save xbox games to the HD). Or, is it one of those deals where I *could* do most of that stuff, but I'd spend a heck of a lot of time messing with config files and otherwise slowly morphing into a Eunuchs Guru...

Or would I just be better off getting a cheap little mini-itx computer and putting an lcd monitor on it?
posted by mecran01 at 9:08 AM PST - 15 comments

What alternatives are there to Outlook for email?

Reborn Firefox user looking for e-mail advice. (mi) [more inside]
posted by NekulturnY at 8:16 AM PST - 11 comments

Firefox customization

Firefox question. Unmodified, just-installed firefox opens a new tab behind the current tab, instead of on top as Mozilla does; and the right-click popup menu for tabs does not have "close this tab" first in the list, as in Mozilla. Are these two behaviors customizable? I know I'm being lazy but these two misfeatures are deal-killers for me. If you knowledgeable firefox users tell me they're fixable in userChrome.css or users.js or whatever I promise I'll rtfm-rtfm-rtfm and become as rabid a firefox zealot as you might desire. But if they're not changeable then it's all wasted effort and I'll stay with Mozilla (or whatever they're calling it this week.) Thanks!
posted by jfuller at 5:58 AM PST - 11 comments

Do I have to install Windows XP Service Pack 2 now?

I was going to hold off installing XP Service Pack 2 for a few months. Whilst I use Firefox rather than IE6, the jpeg vulnerability is listed as affecting XP itself. Do I really need to installing it as soon as possible? Is everyone else installing SP2 now?
posted by Blue Stone at 5:27 AM PST - 6 comments

Cheezy answering machine messages from the 80s.

"Wait for the Beep! You gotta leave your name, you gotta leave your number . . " It was this cheezy late night tv commericial for an answering machine tape with "wacky" messages. Does anyone know the source for this or if there exist any samples?
posted by jeremias at 4:25 AM PST - 4 comments


Looking for a small appliance they used to sell on TV to make hamburger patties. It was simply a clear plastic tube with circular dividers. Drop in meat, divider, meat, divider, meat, diver, meat, etc. -- then smush it into even patties. Can't Google, cuz I don't know what the hell it was called.
posted by RavinDave at 1:26 AM PST - 7 comments

September 24

WinXP Virus Management

WinXPVibratesFilter: While the brand new XP that lives within my Powerbook, courtesy VirtualPC, appears fully functional and not terribly dog slow, what should I do to rope it off from these viruses I'm told of time and again by my Wintel-using fellow-geeks? Free, as ever, is the best. Also, for whatever reason, the Windows Update website auto-scan thingy just autoscans, unto infinity. I've managed to whack the pseudo-box into updating despite this, but it makes auto-updating, as a class, suspect.
posted by mwhybark at 5:12 PM PST - 8 comments

Pronunciation of Mies

How do you pronounce the German name Mies, as in Mies van der Rohe? Does it rhyme with keys?
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 3:06 PM PST - 13 comments

Travelling from New Jersey to Washington, DC cheaply & quickly?

Job interview in Washington, DC. I live in New Jersey. Cheapest/fastest/best way to do this? (More Inside) [more inside]
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:42 PM PST - 16 comments

Quick T-shirts

the letter eth: right now i'm working on trying to find a way to get under 20 shirts made and ready by next weekend but besides that -- (mi if anyone wants to wait for it) [more inside]
posted by ethylene at 1:45 PM PST - 27 comments

Our office Macs won't connect to new NetGear wireless router

I just installed a new NetGear wireless router in the office. We are going to use the firewall on that router for the whole office. But, I can't get the Mac's in the office to connect. (More inside of course...) [more inside]
posted by trbrts at 1:37 PM PST - 6 comments

Microsoft Word Error

All of a sudden, Word's giving me this error when trying to save anything at all, even a new document with one word in it: This operation couldn't be completed, because an error occured. The specified encoding is not supported for this operation (MacOS Error code: -8738). WTF?
posted by dobbs at 1:07 PM PST - 5 comments

Movable Type

In Movable Type, how do you jigger it so the URLs of the individual entries display the title of the piece, as opposed to the entry number?
posted by solistrato at 1:01 PM PST - 3 comments

.htaccess underscores

.htaccess question. I want to turn all the underscores in a url into dashes. More inside.. [more inside]
posted by jmevius at 12:15 PM PST - 7 comments

Which of Aristotle's works is this quote from?

Context, please. This quote resurfaces from time to time, often as a back-handed commentary toward the left, but never with a source or any surrounding text: "Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms." It is attributed to Aristotle, but which work (if any)?
posted by grabbingsand at 11:20 AM PST - 6 comments

Capitalizing on a spike of traffic?

If I suddenly posted something on my website that I knew would get a ton of traffic, what would be the best way to, literally, capitalize on that traffic? If lightning struck, who would I call/partner with to make sure I got the maximum $$ possible out of all those eyeballs? Assume "selling out to the Man" would not be a concern, and further assume I would have very little time to arrange whatever the answer is. Also, assume the new higher traffic would be short-lived, a few weeks at most.
posted by luser at 11:06 AM PST - 9 comments

What I am looking for is a directory 'diff' tool.

What I am looking for is a directory 'diff' tool. I have two identical directories, fairly deeply nested, with lots of files. I want to modify some files in one of the directories, run the 'diff' tool against the two directories, and have it return a list of files have been modified. I am familiar with grep and diff, however I am unsure as to how to format this exact request. [mi] [more inside]
posted by patrickje at 11:06 AM PST - 11 comments


Dona nobis possum. What do I do now? [more inside]
posted by emelenjr at 10:51 AM PST - 23 comments

flash based portfolio - seen this one?

Looking for a flash based portfolio that I saw a year or so ago. Full browser window sort of thing, white background I seem to recall. All of the projects were on small little horizontal strips, scattered around the window. Each strip had a project picture on the left and whitespace or maybe a spot of text, such as a title on the right. Clicking on a strip would cause it to visually float up (I seem to recall that there was a nice 3d effect and generated shadow) and expand to give more project detail. Does this ring a bell for anyone? Simple and elegant in it's execution.
posted by warhol at 10:19 AM PST - 0 comments

Trashy Animals

TrashTalk: How do I keep animals from getting into my garbage? [more inside]
posted by grateful at 9:49 AM PST - 11 comments

Firefox and SSL

Firefox problem... Firefox has suddenly stopped allowing SSL pages. I've went into Tools/options/ and checked use SSL 2.0 and 3.0, and tried using just 2.0, but some sites that have always worked in the past have stopped working. Firefox 1.0 on a computer running XP.
posted by drezdn at 9:09 AM PST - 2 comments

video stream automation

I'm looking for a video stream automation application, preferably open-source but I'm interesting in any suggestions. More than a playlist, less than a rack full of industry-standard hardware. For example, there is the popular SAM2 for audio which does scheduling, scripting, weighting, etc. Is there anything like this out there for the prosumer-level video broadcaster? [more inside]
posted by travis vocino at 8:43 AM PST - 1 comment

Hiring for a Job

JobFilter: There are plenty of online resources for those seeking a job, e.g. resume tips and example cover letters. However, I can't seem to find any examples that would be useful for the person on the other end... [more inside]
posted by Eamon at 8:16 AM PST - 4 comments

et al

I often use et al when making notes to list people for meetings. What would or could or should one use as a shorthand when listing a series of places? E.g. "I am traveling to Guadeloupe et ___ (other surrounding islands) or "Tyson's Corner et ____ (other surrounding suburbs).
posted by Dick Paris at 8:03 AM PST - 8 comments

What to do with a plagiarist

PlagiarismFilter. A Xanga user made a post to her site that is far too similar to a post on my site (self-link, apologies) for my comfort. What should I do about this? [more inside]
posted by LeiaS at 7:59 AM PST - 27 comments

Recommend an IRC XDCC or Fserve search engine!

What's a good IRC XDCC or Fserve search engine?
posted by signal at 7:54 AM PST - 3 comments

How do I turn off mouse gestures in Firefox for OS X?

Going Insane: How do I turn off mouse gestures in Firefox for OS X? I've installed a couple of extensions which control gestures, but so far, nothing works. I hate gestures. The keyboard is faster.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:45 AM PST - 5 comments

I want to get a Roomba: will it work for my house?

Roomba! How smart is your Roomba? (MI) [more inside]
posted by rschroed at 7:42 AM PST - 16 comments

Are there any websites with mobile phone application reviews?

Are there any websites with mobile phone application reviews? I have a Verizon Wireless phone and most of the games applications on Get It Now! don't have demos, and I don't want to pay money just to find out that a game stinks.
posted by internal at 7:36 AM PST - 1 comment

Poker Tips

Second question of the day (visio one just below was first) hope I am not pushing my luck. Have been roped into a poker game tonight. 6 players, 4 strangers, texas holdem, never played for money with more than one person, have no poker face and no basic strategy. Could anyone point me to a page or give me a golden rule or advice or something that I can use to get me through. I will learn the rules myself. Something I can get into my head in about an hour.
posted by kenaman at 6:24 AM PST - 19 comments

Skunky Smell

Skiunk vs car filter...

Ack! Ran over a skunk last night. What's your best tips for getting rid of the um...skunky aroma that's on my car (and now in my garage)....
posted by damnitkage at 6:10 AM PST - 7 comments

What's the source of that quote that starts, "The best news photographers..."

I'm seeking the source of a quote cited in the Savannah Morning News. It begins :"The best news photographers - the ones who win the prizes - are paid to stand by the gates where love and death change places. They are told to walk into panics. They are sent into the center of catastrophes. They are asked to retrieve..."
posted by cedar at 6:03 AM PST - 3 comments

What science fiction-ish periodicals do you read and recommend?

What science fiction-ish periodicals do you read and recommend? [more inside]
posted by sohcahtoa at 5:08 AM PST - 4 comments

HTML 101 Books

I've been asked to recommend a teach yourself HTML book for one of our authors. As the person who has to make sense of their output, I'd prefer it if they leant clean, valid, semantic markup.

Any suggestions?
posted by monkey closet at 2:52 AM PST - 11 comments

How to represent a website project in Visio 2002?

Take the story Rumplestiltskin and the despair of the Millers Daughter in that room with the spinning wheel and the straw and the looming demand for gold, for the Millers Daughters take me for the Spinning Wheel take Visio 2002, for the straw take a bundle of very rough sketches of a website and the possible routes through it with with information gathering, registration, logins, detailed reporting etc as well as a technical spec, /straw, for gold read a beautiful Visio 2002 presentation pulling into focus all the disparate strands for showing to client, for Rumplestiltskin read ask.metafilter. You can have my first born if you can point me to good vision samples (actual files). I just installed this morning and have not used it before and really need a boost. I will put my email on my profile for a whileen if anyone has any goodies for me.
posted by kenaman at 2:00 AM PST - 8 comments

We've Been Robbed!

So we were burglarized sometime today while we were at work. My wife came home and found the front door open and the rooms completely tossed, just like in the movies. In some ways we're counting ourselves lucky, because they only took two cameras, a couple bottles of vodka, and our fire safe. On the other hand, the safe contained basically everything about us- our passports, our Social Security cards, marriage certificate, titles to the condo and car, photocopies of our credit cards(in case the originals were stolen, natch), bank account info, etc. Two questions: 1) are we fucked? 2) burglar alarm systems...yea or nay? [mi] [more inside]
posted by 40 Watt at 12:43 AM PST - 21 comments

September 23

Japanese hand origami?

Many years ago in junior high, there was a Japanese girl in one of my classes. One day she taught me a couple of examples of what she said was an art in Japan wherein you create representations of things (animals, maybe other things, I don't know) using your hands. It's kind of like origami, but you use your hands instead of paper. I've always thought it was really cool and people get off on it when they see it (some more than others). I have googled with no result. Does anybody know what the name of this is? I have always wanted to know more about it and would like to learn how to make other things besides the frog and the monster. A few pics of what she taught me that day back in school are here. (Note: in order for the monster to be effective sound effects may be needed.)
posted by wsg at 10:27 PM PST - 4 comments

How to open a Durian

How do I open a durian?
I've done this before, but it was a long time ago and I've forgotten. It's in the freezer so that it doesn't stink up the place (plus I remember that's the best way to serve it). I took huge hacks at it with a cleaver, but that was ineffective and will dull the blade. Does it really take a machete? Is a hatchet the way to go?
posted by TungstenChef at 9:45 PM PST - 3 comments

Are there freeware/open source as good as Gallery but that work on WebTV?

My dad uses WebTV to surf the net and send email. However, we're discovering that he can't see pages that end in .php, which rules out my Gallery site, which is one of the main reasons he got on the net in the first place. Anyone have any ideas for freeware/open source photo sites as good as Gallery, but that can be viewed in WebTV? (Thanks to silusGROK's question below for reminding me to ask this.)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:13 PM PST - 6 comments

Email account without the web? Like an email appliance?

So my mom needs to get e-mail (okay, okay... I need for my mom to get e-mail), but she doesn't want anything to do with the web ("Sweetie, if I need to look up something on the web, I can call you — you're online all day anyway.").

3com had an e-mail appliance, but discontinued it. WebTV is just plain creepy. She wouldn't do cell phone mail.

Any suggestions on an appliance?
posted by silusGROK at 5:22 PM PST - 23 comments

Hurricane Spawn

The son of Hurricane Ivan ?. Apparently the forces which generated Ivan respawned a tropical storm near Texas. To mefi meteoreologist, is this a first time event or there's some precedent ?
posted by elpapacito at 4:58 PM PST - 7 comments

If a guy is really into you, will he always pursue?

He's Just Not That Into You, from two writers on Sex and the City, posits the theory that a man who sends mixed signals to a woman just doesn't like her enough to step up his game with her, so she shouldn't bother waiting around for him. Examples of behavior from the book where the guy is not really that keen on you (and possibly wants to avoid a difficult or emotional confrontation): You invite him up after a date and he bows out saying he has an early day tomorrow; he says he's afraid of risking the friendship by dating you; he's recently divorced and afraid of getting involved again; he emails you or even calls you and flirts but doesn't ask you out; he gives you his number in a bar and tells you to call him, etc. Also, in the phrase, "I love you, but I'm not in love with you," the first 'I love you' really means "I don't want to hurt you," and the second part really means what it says. MeFi, is this true? If a guy is really into you, will he always pursue?
posted by onlyconnect at 4:18 PM PST - 47 comments

Where canI get good custom coffee mugs?

Aside from cafepress, does anyone know of a good company that will print my images on decent sized coffee mugs? I've been informed that even the biggest coffee mug at cafe press a) isn't big enough and b) doesn't keep coffee very hot. Looking for alternatives. Ideally, each piece shouldn't cost me more than $10 or $12 each. And I'm looking for short runs ... no more than 2 or 3 at a time. Oh. And a pony.
posted by crunchland at 4:04 PM PST - 6 comments

Where can I find public-domain images of hot air balloons?

Where can I find public-domain images of hot air balloons? (Preferably black-and-white line-drawings, like the ones in The 21 Balloons.)
posted by Tlogmer at 3:36 PM PST - 6 comments

Bug Trackers

Bug trackers -- is there an open-source, free and simpler to install alternative to Bugzilla? Bugzilla's installation is just a bit over my head.
posted by o2b at 1:18 PM PST - 8 comments

Wedding Rings Optional?

You are married, so why don't you wear your wedding ring?
posted by lilboo at 12:55 PM PST - 57 comments

What are the odds? Craps vs. Blackjack

Which game has better odds: Craps or Blackjack and why?
posted by srboisvert at 12:50 PM PST - 16 comments

What the differences between how and when men and women shower?

Inspired by this question, I'm wondering about the differences between men and women when it comes to showering. My boyfriend showers at least once a day...often two of three times. I usually do it every other day or so. [more inside]
posted by amandaudoff at 12:48 PM PST - 54 comments


Sweet and Low or Equal? It seems like people have a strong preference for one or the other, but why do they care? What is the difference between these fake sugars sweeteners?
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:10 PM PST - 33 comments

Tricks and tips for quickly breaking in a new pair of Doc Martens.

Tricks and tips for quickly breaking in a new pair of Doc Martens. Love the boots, am crying from the blisters on my heels.
posted by Katemonkey at 11:24 AM PST - 15 comments

Bungee Jumping

How can I start bungee jumping? (The rest is inside.) [more inside]
posted by Shane at 11:04 AM PST - 10 comments

good, small, inexpensive, energy-efficient space heater?

What is a good, small, inexpensive, energy-efficient space heater? Living in a leaky old house, we're starting to dread the approach of our first winter here. All we have is one crappy gas wall heater, this electricity-sucking system on the roof that pumps down solar-heated air, and a fireplace in the bedroom. We need more. (We're already going to seal the windows with plastic where we can.)
posted by gottabefunky at 10:34 AM PST - 8 comments

How can I test whether a cell is in ALL CAPS in Excel?

Excel Question - Is there a way in Excel to evaluate whether a cell contains text that is in all caps as opposed to proper (first letter) caps. I know I can force cells into Upper or Proper, but I don't want to do that, i just want to flag and sort them.
posted by willnot at 10:25 AM PST - 2 comments


What's the name of the typesetting technique where font size is scaled so that every line, regardless of word length, is made to fill the space horizontally? The result being a perfectly rectangular block of text with each line a slightly different font size. [more inside]
posted by Aaorn at 10:20 AM PST - 15 comments

Gimme a boost to get started?

Per this FPP, I think I need to take up climbing. Any suggestions on how a beginner might get started. [more inside]
posted by jmgorman at 9:44 AM PST - 12 comments

How Do I Keep Instiki Running After I Log Out (of Windows 2000)?

Instiki on Windows 2000 -- how do I keep the Instiki application (or any app) running after I've logged out?
posted by joaquim at 8:43 AM PST - 8 comments

How would you test if someone has trouble conceiving of new ideas?

Putzface_dickman's question below and some issues I'm having with a co-worker prompt this: if you suspect someone of having no imagination, what's a good way to "test" them?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:16 AM PST - 26 comments

how much do you use a towel?

For how many showers do you use a towel before throwing it in the hamper?
posted by Capn at 7:34 AM PST - 36 comments

Parenting a Visionary Child

My 6-year-old daughter sees things other people don't. "Skitter scatters," ghosts, auras. She just started school and there's something in the lunchroom only she can see, and this one makes her nervous. [mi] [more inside]
posted by putzface_dickman at 6:45 AM PST - 111 comments

September 22

Where did the science fiction convention of using angle brackets to denote psychic communcation come from?

Where did the science fiction convention of using like question marks to convey psychic communication come from? The first time I've seen it was in Animorphs; I'm reading Speaker for the Dead and it also uses it. [more inside]
posted by abcde at 10:49 PM PST - 7 comments

Physics Curriculum

PhysicsFilter: Some years ago, I heard of an undergraduate curriculum that introduced physics at the quantum level using linear algebra and that did not reach classical mechanics until late in the second semester. From an educational perspective, this method is supposedly more intuitive. What textbooks employ this teaching method?
posted by mischief at 9:55 PM PST - 9 comments

Hair Length - Short or Close-cropped

If a man is described as having a close-cropped haircut, I picture a nearly-shaved head. But if it's a woman, I see something like a bob. It is just due to the shortness being relative to what is normal for that sex, or does it mean only one of these to you?
posted by Utilitaritron at 9:19 PM PST - 10 comments

Apart from freshmeat/SourceForge, where can I find some goodies for POSIX?

Toys for Tots POSIX: apart from freshmeat/SourceForge, where can I find some goodies for this variant of *NIX? What favorite apps whould you recommend?
posted by Smart Dalek at 8:02 PM PST - 4 comments

Attach My EZ-Pass

When I replaced cars recently, I kept my EZ-Pass (toll paying thingie, for anyone living where it has a different name) device, but of course couldn't keep the velcro strips that went on the old car's windshield. I tried buying generic velcro stick-on tabs at Pep Boys, but they all proved too lightweight for a heavy bulky EZ-Pass unit. I need the extra-durable ones that come with the pass, but two e-mails and a phone message to EZ-Pass has left no response... is there anywhere I can buy the velcro strips on their own, without having to order an entire new device?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:44 PM PST - 12 comments

Why Isn't AdCritic Free Anymore?

Remember when AdCritic used to be free? That was the best. Why isn't it free anymore? [more inside]
posted by grrarrgh00 at 7:09 PM PST - 4 comments

Smoky Fireplace

I love having fires in my fireplace. But I hate the fact that it makes my apartment smell like smoke for weeks afterwards. [mi] [more inside]
posted by SpecialK at 7:00 PM PST - 12 comments

Debit Card Scanners

Why does putting tape or a piece of paper over a magnetic strip on a debit car make it scan when it fails on normal swipes?
posted by srboisvert at 5:19 PM PST - 1 comment

What is this odd website?

What is this?
posted by ar0n at 3:03 PM PST - 14 comments

How do you cope with your bad disease?

Does anyone else here have a bad disease? How do you deal with it-especially the bad days? [MI] [more inside]
posted by aacheson at 2:13 PM PST - 31 comments

Looking for a card game for 2

Fun and simple games for two players and a standard deck of cards?
posted by Mwongozi at 12:04 PM PST - 19 comments

Why does humming make me have to pee?

Humming noises make me have to pee. Does this happen to anyone else? What could be causing it? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by bonheur at 10:31 AM PST - 19 comments

Is there a way to specify that part of an XML file should be treated as a string even though it looks like XML?

Is there a way to specify that part of an XML file should be treated as a string even though it looks like XML? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by callmejay at 10:24 AM PST - 8 comments

Big Beetles

BugFilter: We have these huge beetles (not cockroaches) in our house these there a good pictoral guide on the internet for figuring out what they are? I live in Chicago, so anything that would be searchable by region would be great too.
posted by agregoli at 8:02 AM PST - 19 comments

Is there a way to use a server-side script to get the height and width of a flash movie's stage?

Does anyone know if there's a way to pull the height and width of a flash movie's stage out of an SWF using PHP/Perl or some other server side script? Is that information even stored in the swf files, or do "the vectors" make it irrelevant?

I want to get information about an existing SWF, not create new ones, so things like freemovie don't help. (Unless they do)
posted by alan at 7:00 AM PST - 10 comments

Booker Prize Books

The Booker Prize longlist came out last month. The shortlist came out this week. The question is: Have any of you read any of these and if so, would you recommend?
posted by grabbingsand at 6:06 AM PST - 10 comments

Cylindrical Physics

Physicsfilter: How does the centre of gravity of a metal cylinder filled with liquid vary as the liquid is drained from the cylinder? [MI] [more inside]
posted by biffa at 5:23 AM PST - 15 comments

How do I get a precious stone appraised?

CatBurglarFilter. If I have a possibly valuable precious stone, how do I go about appraising/selling it? I will be in New York City to sell it if that makes a difference.
posted by jeremias at 4:24 AM PST - 3 comments

Help with explaining beautiful but exclusive webpages

A friend of mine is doing a study of websites that look beautiful, but have an air of exclusivity about them. I can't help, because I only ever use the internet for skanky amateur pr0n the latest cricket scores. Can anyone else suggest anything appropriate?
posted by nylon at 4:07 AM PST - 16 comments

September 21

Remembering Faces

I can't remember faces. Help me? (I'm sure you want more details. Inside >>) [more inside]
posted by madman at 11:55 PM PST - 16 comments

draft at the bottom of the shower curtain

Why does the shower curtain act like there's a draft at the bottom of it when I take a hot shower? I don't feel a breeze down there. This has always made me feel vaguely uneasy--cue Psycho music--and it's time to get an answer.
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:32 PM PST - 12 comments

Do You Regret Not Having Children?

Do you regret not having children? [more inside]
posted by icetaco at 8:38 PM PST - 61 comments

Sleeping Together

I got engaged a few weeks ago, and raw romance has inevitably turned to more practical matters, the most immediate of which is how to sleep together, now that I'm moving in. Sharing a bed for purposes of sleeping is no mean feat, it seems -- though I do fairly well, she barely sleeps, what with my stealing the covers and talking in my sleep. Now we're wondering if we should put two twin beds together, have two separate comforters, get a king-sized, maybe start using earplugs. How did you learn to sleep with your significant other or, perhaps, how did they learn to sleep with you?
posted by waldo at 7:22 PM PST - 30 comments

Please help me find the title of this college or high school magazine.

Help Me Find a Website/Magazine Filter. MI [more inside]
posted by thebwit at 6:54 PM PST - 6 comments

Monitor's Death Throes?

So I turned on this monitor (CRT) I have and the image started jumping around and contracting and expanding and dimming and brightening for a bit all crazily. It goes away after the monitor has warmed up and only returns when I turn it on after it's been off for a while. Is it dying or is it just a quirky mannerism and is there anything I can do to fix it?
posted by frenetic at 6:52 PM PST - 10 comments

Cheap, comfy, outdoor furniture

OutdoorFurnitureFilter: I have a small deck attached to my room, and I'd like something cheap and comfortable to sit on out there for reading and such. I was given a futon, but...[MI] [more inside]
posted by lbergstr at 6:43 PM PST - 10 comments

What kind of DVD burner should I get?

Copying DVDs. A friend of mine was recently burgled and lost his rather pricey DVD collection. I now fear for my own. At present, I do not have a DVD burner of any type. What are best? Computer kinds or TV kinds (ie, those double dvd decks I sometimes see on eBay)? Is there a reason to avoid either? I would for the most part just be copying DVDs and really not backing computer shit up. However, I'd like to copy the entire DVD (menus, extras, etc.). Thanks! [more inside]
posted by dobbs at 6:34 PM PST - 23 comments

I'm looking for online resources about the Scheme programming language.

I'm looking for online resources about the Scheme programming language. I'm a computer science major, and though I've already taken a class in it, that was a couple of years ago, and I've whacked my head on a lot of stuff since then. I'm just looking for a simple, easy-to-understand introduction or refresher course. [more inside]
posted by billybunny at 5:58 PM PST - 11 comments

Great apps for Nokia / Symbian phone?

So I've got a new Symbian phone (a Nokia 6600) and I'm wondering what to play with. What are the killer apps? (Bonus points if you know of a Windows CE-style "Today" view to replace the launcher...
posted by bonaldi at 5:51 PM PST - 7 comments

Is there any hope for someone with a lazy eye to eventually achieve full binocularity?

Is there any hope for someone with a lazy eye to eventually achieve full binocularity?
[MI] [more inside]
posted by Evstar at 5:47 PM PST - 17 comments

What are some good books about growing orchids indoors?

New orchid grower seeks advice as he hunkers down for yet another Canadian winter! Can any mefites recommend good books on growing orchids indoors? Actually, any advice about orchids, grow-lights and other tropicals that might grow well in my urban apartment would be very much appreciated.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 4:34 PM PST - 4 comments

What's a good outdoor wedding location outside NYC?

Creative outdoorsy wedding location idea outside NYC? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by malphigian at 3:57 PM PST - 18 comments

CSA in Manhattan?

Does anyone know of a community garden/produce organization in Manhattan? Someone once mentioned to me that there are groups that run community gardens and deliver fresh produce weekly or monthly for a flat rate. Any ideas?
posted by Caz721 at 2:50 PM PST - 3 comments

Can somebody suggest a good, free file search/download/share utility that won't gum up my Windows computer with a ton o' spyware?

Can somebody suggest a good, free file search/download/share utility that won't gum up my Windows computer with a ton o' spyware?
posted by alumshubby at 1:54 PM PST - 8 comments

Give me some ideas for my NYC trip!

I'm planning a trip to NYC with my girlfriend in November, I need ideas of a place to stay and things to do; we've both seen many of the touristy things, but wouldn't be opposed to seeing them again. I want to do the trip on a tight budget ($500-600 for the weekend, less if possible) since we are both students. Also, I would like to make the trip as romantic as possible. Any ideas?
posted by mhaw at 1:35 PM PST - 23 comments

Best "works-out-of-the-box" "all format" video player?

What's the best "works-out-of-the-box" player for watching DivX/XviD/MPEG-4/etc. videos on my living room TV?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:32 PM PST - 12 comments

Where can I buy rock salt?

Where can I buy rock salt? [more inside]
posted by TBoneMcCool at 12:08 PM PST - 14 comments

Am I color blind?

Am I color blind? Because "The Green" looks more brown to me than anything else. [more inside]
posted by jonah at 11:50 AM PST - 45 comments

Outlook .ics subscription plugin?

Is there a plugin (or some other mechanism) available that will allow Outlook in Windows to subscribe to an iCal *.ics file? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by auzten at 11:01 AM PST - 3 comments

Door holding etiquette

How far behind you does a person have to be in order for you to safely not hold the door for them, and not be considered rude?
posted by adampsyche at 10:49 AM PST - 23 comments

Put That In Your Pipe and Smoke It...

A friend of mine is giving me a pipe tonight. A real pipe, for pipe tobacco. Can anyone suggest any accesory-accesories, such as preferred liquour, chair style, etc...
posted by jon_kill at 9:22 AM PST - 24 comments

What to include in a movie-clip library for parties?

Best scenes ever from films? A caveat inside ... [more inside]
posted by kmel at 7:41 AM PST - 58 comments

Why don't US elections use a pencil and checkbox for voting?

I've just read an article in the Economist about the pros and cons of using machines to count votes in the forthcoming US elections. It seems there are 7 methods of voting - optical, electronic etc. This might be a silly question but what's wrong with putting a cross in a box with a pencil like we do in the UK (at least in all the elections I've voted in)?
posted by jontyjago at 7:00 AM PST - 26 comments

What is there to get?

Would non-arabic speaking people get anything out watching this performance? Could anyone clue me in on what is to be expected of those performers?
posted by Recockulous at 6:43 AM PST - 1 comment

Publisher website problems in IE

It shouldn't have been done, but now it is.... and I hope I don't have to recreate it - A friends site was created in Publisher, not by me. They asked me to get it on the web for them. They gave it to me on DVD it was 900MB. I simply did a file- save as...webpage. At that point it was 500MB. Then I deleted all of the .wmz files and oledata.mso - and uploaded the page. It's viewable in firefox well, but none of the graphics show up in IE. I don't get it... I'm sure it's cause I didn't upload the wmz and the oledata but it works in Firefox, so I know the files are there. Do I have to rebuild this site from scratch?
posted by TuxHeDoh at 5:54 AM PST - 10 comments

Why aren't libraries and bookstores arranged by the same system?

Why aren't libraries and bookstores arranged by the same system? [more inside]
posted by pieoverdone at 5:15 AM PST - 18 comments

Why is my fruit rotting while it's unripe?

Why is my fruit rotting while it's unripe?
This just started happening this year when I moved to Arizona. Softer fruits (peaches, mangoes, tomatoes and the like) are turning moldy/rotten in a matter of 2-3 days. If I eat the side that isn't rotten, it's still hard and unripe. Do I have some strain of super bacteria infesting my domicile?
posted by TungstenChef at 4:03 AM PST - 6 comments

Doesn't Know From

Where does the American construction doesn't know from come from? How is it used? [More Inside.] [more inside]
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:29 AM PST - 20 comments

Audio Cleanup

Can someone recommend an application (or plugin) that is good at removing or cleaning up live recordings that are occasionally plagued by wind noise.
posted by darainwa at 12:09 AM PST - 3 comments

September 20

Where you come from, do men blow-dry their testicles?

Where you come from, do men blow-dry their testicles? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:06 PM PST - 37 comments

Should I bill for my lunch break?

I'm working as an hourly contractor. I'm going to an office to do it. I'm there pretty much 40 hours a week. Does one deduct the 30 minutes it takes to eat lunch from one's billing for the day? It seems only fair to. But then, I don't have a choice. It takes me a while to drive there, and I have to eat once during the day. It's not like I bill them for commute time to and fro in the morning and evening. Should I expect them to float me 30 minutes to chomp some grub in the middle of the day? They're cool and will probably pay me whatever I ask. For this very reason, I don't want to handle this the wrong way. But I don't want to be nickle and dimed to death either. What am I supposed to do?
posted by scarabic at 10:41 PM PST - 10 comments

How do I generate a true weekly top 25 list in iTunes?

Itunes Filter: One of the missing features of Itunes is a true weekly top 25 list...[mi] [more inside]
posted by szg8 at 9:19 PM PST - 9 comments

Why doesn't this page display properly in Netscape 7?

HTML/CSS helpfilter: This page displays properly in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari, but confounds Netscape 7.0. Why? [mi] [more inside]
posted by andrewraff at 1:17 PM PST - 5 comments

Does anyone know of an iTunes plug-in that will auto-detect a song's BMP and insert it into the file's ID tags?

Does anyone know of an iTunes plug-in that will auto-detect a song's BMP and insert it into the file's ID tags? [more inside]
posted by o2b at 12:08 PM PST - 6 comments

I need recommendations for useful word processing and note taking software for OS X.

The Poor Man's Laptop: As I've parted ways with my previous employer, I've had to relinquish my beautiful, 15 inch aluminum PowerBook. I can't afford a new machine, but have a need for some basic word processing and note taking capabilities. So I've picked up a Palm Tungsten E and a wireless keyboard. It works great, but I could use some recommendations for useful software. My main computer is a desktop G4 running OS X 10.3.5. [MI]
posted by aladfar at 11:35 AM PST - 6 comments

Shoe Shine Technique

The other day at an airport I got my shoes shined, and midway through the process the guy pulled out a small blowtorch and gave my shoes a quick cook. Anybody heard of doing this? What does it do? Is it good/bad for the shoes? Are there other secret/crazy methods for polishing shoes? What's the best way to make my shoes shiny?
posted by rorycberger at 11:12 AM PST - 15 comments

LCD projector selection help desperately needed

LCD projector selection help desperately needed (see inside for details). [more inside]
posted by caitlinb at 10:13 AM PST - 7 comments

Anyone know of a similar tool to Rasterbator or

So the Rasterbator is offline, actually all of is offline. Anyone know of a similar tool?
posted by Keith Talent at 9:44 AM PST - 5 comments

Can I get information off an old computer with 2 drives in a RAID 0 setup, if the new computer has a RAID controller?

My old computer died (complex, but non-HD-related). I've got a new computer. The old computer had 2 drives in a RAID 0 (striping) setup. Is there a way to get the data off them, assuming no possibility of reviving the old computer? (The new machine does have a RAID controller)
posted by davebug at 9:37 AM PST - 4 comments

Resources to improve diction, clarity etc for radio?

Reading aloud: I am training a junior news reader on a community radio station and she needs to improve her diction, clarity, pace etc. Any suggestions or online exercises/resources that will help, or is it just a matter of practice?

Stuff I've found so far is aimed at children learning to read aloud.
posted by penguin pie at 9:15 AM PST - 20 comments

Explain the timing of radio ads

How do similar radio stations seem to synchronize their commercials? I can see how TV networks do it, but with all the different song lengths it would seem much harder for radio staions. When I flip back and forth during commercials it happens frequently enough that I feel that its more than a coincidence, even when both stations are not owned by the same company (clear channel ) Do they listen to each other to time the ads together?
posted by keithl at 8:53 AM PST - 10 comments

Draining Ground Beef

What's the "chef way" to drain ground beef?
posted by smackfu at 8:52 AM PST - 11 comments

Using Frequent Flier Miles

I have about 100K FF miles on USAir and I'm wondering if I should try to use them now or sit tight. Anybody else in the same boat? If so, what are you doing?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:46 AM PST - 6 comments

Opera Newbie

I want to start listening to opera. Where should I begin? Help me build a collection of recordings that consists of music composed in all eras, with the only requirements that it be sophisticated and uncommonly beautiful.
posted by PrinceValium at 7:18 AM PST - 25 comments

Scary spiders in my bathtub

Spiders and bathtubs. Great big hairy jumping spiders keep magically appearing in my bathtub. How do they materialise thus (given the windows are shut etc)? Spontaneous generation?
posted by Mossy at 2:02 AM PST - 17 comments

September 19

Real media streams: Saving, splitting, converting to mp3?

My own blue thread makes me want to know how I can record these concerts (Real media streams) to my hard drive and then convert to MP3 and then break them up into individual tracks. I'm on OS X Panther and prefer iTunes but will download whatever.
posted by dobbs at 11:10 PM PST - 9 comments

Natural hot tub cleaning supplies?

Hot tub/Spa question: I know about chlorine and bromide based solutions for keeping a clean hot tub. Is there an alternative that is more natural and relies less on nasty chemicals? One friend has suggested saltwater, but I'm skeptical. Anything else I should be thinking of?
posted by vacapinta at 10:56 PM PST - 7 comments

Cheap good camcorder, or else!

Digital Camcorder / Digital Video Camera: Looking for a quality review/comparison site. Also, any recommendations? Below $1000, primarily automatic over manual, recording family indoor (some children's sports). Thoughts on simple video editing software to DVD, method of transfer, anything else I should keep in mind?
posted by Feisty at 8:00 PM PST - 11 comments

Ad-Aware is freezing on registry deep scan

Ad-Aware. I use it. I love it. And it hath forsaken me. Now, every time I try to run it, it freezes on the the same CSLID key (that, inconveniently, I cannot copy or paste) when deep scanning the registry. Upon disabling the deep scan, it hangs on large files in the I386 directory. The forums at Lavasoft provided advice like, disable the deep scan, then try it again, which doesn't really help. Ideas? Google fu?
posted by xyzzy at 7:40 PM PST - 6 comments

Seeking quiet keyboard suggestions

Anyone know of another quiet keyboard, like this Macally iceKey, that doesn't suck? [MI] [more inside]
posted by josh at 7:36 PM PST - 10 comments

Where can I get this Norweigan sweater?

I am in love with a Norwegian sweater...[mi] [more inside]
posted by oflinkey at 7:09 PM PST - 13 comments

Can I learn how to draw?

What are some good books that teach how to draw? Is it possible to become reasonably good at drawing despite no natural talent? [mi] [more inside]
posted by drezdn at 6:33 PM PST - 28 comments

London Busses

In London, what's the difference between a white "Bus Stop" and a red "Request Stop"? Cause, like, I've never seen them used differently.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:04 PM PST - 13 comments

Borne of or borne from?

I have a grammar question and google is yielding answers for both results (which makes me think that it's a common mistake): Is it "borne of" or "borne from" as in "laws are borne of/from ideals?"
posted by AwkwardPause at 5:15 PM PST - 8 comments

Outlook Express converts my work mail into an attachment, and throws away my attachments.

We use Outlook Express as our main email "manager." Any message I send from my work email to home is received as an attachment. Any attachment that I may have included in my email is now gone. WTF? [more inside]
posted by evening at 5:11 PM PST - 12 comments

Why is the American flag in NY's Union Square Park flying at half mast today?

The American flag in New York's Union Square Park is flying at half-mast today. What is the occasion? (And where can I find a resource for finding this out in the future?)
posted by werty at 4:50 PM PST - 11 comments

I'm about to be a father for an unplanned child. What should I expect?

What should an unprepared father of an unplanned child be expecting? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by cmonkey at 4:14 PM PST - 43 comments

Yeah, so what's the deal on Dr. Natura / Colonix?

Anyone have any info about Dr. Natura / Colonix ? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by terrortubby at 3:41 PM PST - 5 comments

Is it safe to leave your bike in the racks they have on buses?

Bike+bus commuting: is it safe to leave your bike in the racks they have on buses? It seems like they'd be pretty easy to steal. I have a folding bike, but I wonder if it's worth the trouble of folding it up to take it on board. I'm in L.A. if that makes any difference.
posted by electro at 2:11 PM PST - 5 comments

Found Cat

What do we do with the cute, fluffy little kitten we found living in my (future) in-laws' woodpile? [MI] [more inside]
posted by willpie at 11:21 AM PST - 23 comments

Can you help me find a new car?

I need a new car, but I don't know what I want. Perhaps you can help. [More Inside] [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 at 11:09 AM PST - 24 comments

Which fruits or vegetables keep the longest?

What kinds of fruit/vegetables have you found that keep longest? For more perishable stuff, are there any methods (short of freezing) for extending shelf life?
posted by casarkos at 10:39 AM PST - 9 comments

What's a decent remote control car a for 10 year-old?

A friend would like assistance purchasing a remote control car for a child turning 10. Durability, longevity, and quality are paramount, but it has to be something preassembled, not a kit. Can you help her? [more inside]
posted by majick at 8:09 AM PST - 13 comments

Donating LPs

I want to get rid of a bunch (hundreds) of LPs, most of which are not worth anything to a store (nobody buys used classical LPs, apparently). I hate to just throw them out. Does anybody know of institutions that would be likely to accept donations of LPs? (Extra points if you know of a specific institution near Peekskill, NY... and if you live around here and think you might want some, let me know -- there's lots of classical and pre-1985 rock.)
posted by languagehat at 7:36 AM PST - 15 comments

How Can I Browse -- But NOT Extract -- the Contents of a RAR File in Mac OS X?

How can I browse a .rar file using OS X? I've tried UnRarX, I've tried StuffIt Deluxe 8.0.2, and I've tried searching google for anything else that might work, with no luck. I need this feature because I want to access one small file in the archive, but don't have enough room on my hard drive to unrar the whole thing.
posted by teem at 6:07 AM PST - 6 comments

Storing Controllers

Any suggestions on storing game controllers for quick use and preventing their cords from getting tangled or permanently coiled? (outside of purchasing wireless controllers)
posted by the biscuit man at 4:59 AM PST - 4 comments

Windows XP Service Pack 2 worth it?

This earlier post has made me wary about getting Service Pack 2 for XP. What are your experiences with SP2?
posted by Termite at 4:30 AM PST - 28 comments

What is the best DVD rental service?

DVD rental filter: I'm looking into signing up with one of the dvd by mail services. [MI] [more inside]
posted by borkencode at 12:16 AM PST - 26 comments

September 18

Is everything (only) on your iPod now?

Now that you've an Ipod, what have you done with your music collection? [MI] [more inside]
posted by meech at 11:06 PM PST - 20 comments

Simpsons' Source Story

A recent viewing of the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror with the segment "Genesis Tub" reminds me of (what I assume) is the original short story that inspired it.... but I just... cannot... think of it....

I almost certainly have the nuances wrong, but in the story, a scientist creates microscopic life that begins to worship him as God. At one point, he has them create a forcefield which completely blocks them off from the outside world, but they soon shut it down, because they can no longer stand being isolated from their God. Anyone remember who and what this story is?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 10:07 PM PST - 10 comments

Transfer away from NetSol

I want to get my domain away from Network Solutions, with whom my contract expires on Friday, and have it managed by someone better. But I have no idea where to start. Can someone please point me down the path?
posted by blueshammer at 8:10 PM PST - 10 comments

Blue steel columns - what's up with that?

Occassionally found on the sidewalks of Seattle, and probably other cities, steel blue columns stand about three feet tall, bolted down to the concrete. About seven inches in diameter, they are topped with a cap one foot tall with a door in the side. A padlock keeps the door shut. What are these things? [more inside]
posted by tomharpel at 4:42 PM PST - 18 comments

What are good Mac software packages for two year-old?

AskMacFilter: Ok, so now I’ve got a viable Imac and a 2.63 year old. What sites/software are going to suit her? [more inside]
posted by daver at 4:10 PM PST - 7 comments

Great Annotated Books

Great annotated books: I've recently enjoyed Ian Stewart's annotated FLATLAND, Philip Van Doren Stern's annotated WALDEN, Micheal Hearn's annotated WIZARD OF OZ, and the legendary Martin Gardner's annotated ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Now I want more. What are some other great annotated books?
posted by kk at 2:45 PM PST - 14 comments

Getting stinky rotten milk smell out of a refrigerator

Fridge disaster filter A pint of milk left without my knowledge in my fridge went seriously off. So I could clean the fridge without throwing up I put a saucer of mouthwash in there to deodorise it a bit (bad idea - yes, I am domestically clueless). The result even after defrosting, cleaning with bicarb and putting activated charcoal in there (tips derived from Google) still stinks - I think the door seals are holding a lot of the smell. I cleaned them carefully but no joy. The fridge is still quite a new one, I don't want to junk it - what can I try next?
posted by Flitcraft at 1:50 PM PST - 14 comments

London hotel recommendations.

London hotel recommendation? [more inside]
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:31 PM PST - 13 comments

Fictional Cops

If, theoretically, a family member of yours was murdered, which TV or movie cops would you want investigating. I'd choose either Andy Sipowicz or Jack Cates from 48 Hours to do the legwork because of sheer badassery and Frank Pembleton from Homicide to handle interrogations. Who would you choose and why?
posted by jonmc at 11:50 AM PST - 45 comments

Upgraded to Mac OS X 10.3.5, and Now Safari, Mail and Help Won't Open

I upgraded my mac to 10.3.5, and my Safari, Mail, and Help won't open now. I followed the instructions on the apple support site and did what they said, but they still won't work. Itunes works, and all other apps. I switched to eudora and netscape for now, but would rather stay with Mail and Safari. Any ideas?
posted by amberglow at 11:30 AM PST - 14 comments

Accessing Clogged Email

I've got a disused email account that I haven't used for about a year. I used to get quite a bit of spam, so I imagine it's clogged. For reasons to tedious to explain, I think an email I need to read has been mistakenly sent there. When I try to log on (via a POP3 server, which is the only option) my email program crashes. Are there any programs which do a good job of accessing clogged accounts?
posted by ascullion at 11:07 AM PST - 12 comments

Soundcard and stereo receiver "hum" ?

I have my soundcard plugged into my stereo receiver and there's a "hum" that I can't seem to get rid of. My receiver is otherwise fine: no humming at all with anything else that's plugged into it. I'm using a Sound Blaster Live! with the latest drivers and patches, Windows200, and a cheapo Radio Shack cable (1/8" stereo -> RCA). Tweaking my windows mixer settings doesn't seem to help anything (with my windows master volume turned down I still get the hum). What steps should I follow to attempt to fix this? Will a better cable help? Could it be a software issue? Do I need to buy a new soundcard? If so, which one?
posted by TurkishGolds at 9:51 AM PST - 12 comments

What's wrong with my javascript?

I'm having trouble using javascript in XHTML 1.1 to calculate character count in an input box and a textarea. I have a script that works with XHTML 1.0 transistional and IE only, I can't seem to get it to work with Firefox, and if I drop the name attribute from the form tag to comply with XHTML 1.1, it won't even work with IE. Please help me make it work. [code inside] [more inside]
posted by riffola at 6:38 AM PST - 8 comments

Bullet the Blue Sky

Isn't shooting a gun in the air in celebration incredibly dangerous when the bullets come back down? Do people get killed this way?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:46 AM PST - 20 comments

How do I remove things from the WinXP system tray?

How do I remove things from the system tray on my computer (running XP)? This seems like it should not be so complicated, but my searching suggests I have to edit the registry to do that. I don't even really know what that means, but just looking at the registry intimidates me. Specifically, if I can't get the computer to stop telling me when a wireless connection is or is not available, I may just go insane.
posted by Harvey Birdman at 1:36 AM PST - 17 comments

September 17

Mail Duplicates

Tidying my email: Over the years I've developed hundreds of different folders for messages. They're currently all in's MBOX format. I want to sort them into one big gmail-style archive folder, and get rid of the many, many duplicates.

Is there any way to automate searching for the duplicates?
posted by bonaldi at 10:03 PM PST - 2 comments

How do I find the names of actors in commercials?

AdvertisingFilter: Is there any place on this here interweb, that I can find out, short of contacting the companies or advertising agencies, what the names of actors that are in commercials?
posted by ShawnString at 9:35 PM PST - 2 comments

How do I find out how old an inherited iMac is, how much RAM it can handle, and what OS it should run?

AncientImac filter: I searched and didn't find it, I swear. I inheritted an Imac today. 64 meg ram and blue, running OS 9 something. How do I find out how old it is, how much RAM I can stuff in it, and what's the best OS version to run? [more inside]
posted by daver at 9:10 PM PST - 13 comments

Make Your Own Fabric Refresher

Is there a way to mix your own fabric refresher (like febreze, etc.)? [more inside]
posted by milovoo at 7:40 PM PST - 9 comments

Do foxes hunt cats?

I live in a suburban neighborhood with trees and fences. I have an elderly cat. Lately, I've noticed a fox running around the neighborhood late at night - should I be worried for my cat's safety? What can I do about it? [more inside]
posted by crazy finger at 6:56 PM PST - 12 comments

Is Happiness Acheivable?

This thread inspired me to wonder: Do you consider happiness an acheivable goal? Do you consider it one of your goals? Do you like winter? Do you think not being enamored of happiness makes you like winter more?
posted by dame at 6:13 PM PST - 31 comments

Wonderfully Awful Electric Guitar

I'm in the market for a nice, shitty, beautiful, hideous electric guitar. (More Inside) [more inside]
posted by dhoyt at 5:10 PM PST - 22 comments

Old-Timey Jukeboxes

Why isn't there new music in so many jukeboxes? Why not go to drink and listen to new music? [more inside]
posted by the fire you left me at 3:13 PM PST - 11 comments

Hong Kong and Philippines

Hong Kong ? Cebu, Philippines. Cheaply? (More inside) [more inside]
posted by nathan_teske at 2:54 PM PST - 6 comments

What is a Tannhauser Gate, and what are C-Beams?

What is a Tannhauser Gate, and what are C-Beams?
posted by brownpau at 2:44 PM PST - 11 comments

Photos in Free-Fall?

On October 11th, I'm going to be jumping out of an airplane (with a parachute). I would like to be able to take a few pics on the way down. So, how in the heck can I do that with the air rushing by and the obvious distraction of falling to the Earth?
posted by moonbird at 2:35 PM PST - 9 comments

We've been robbed

Last night me and my housemates got robbed. They took some DVDs, some Video Games, our TV, and my buddie's guitar, which had a lot of sentimental value. (more inside) [more inside]
posted by hughbot at 2:09 PM PST - 16 comments

Bad Faith Insurance

Is an insurance company acting in 'bad faith' after initially promising coverage, and giving you a claim number only a week later to deny you coverage? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by jasonspaceman at 2:00 PM PST - 14 comments

Is it possible to use wget, httrack, or something similar to download an archived directory at

I want to download an archived directory at using an automated tool. I've tried wget, httrack, and various browsers which save web sites, but they do not download much at all. Had any sucess at this?
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:58 PM PST - 3 comments

What site allowed you to upload a file and then would email the download link to your recipient?

Does anyone remember the webpage that allowed you to upload a file, and then the site would email a download link to your intended recipient? I need a solution to enable the sending of 80mb files, where the recipient is not very computer-savvy.
posted by reverendX at 10:49 AM PST - 30 comments

Can I automate the creation of PDFs from a large number of Word documents?

Acrobat Filter. In Mac OS 9.2, I regularly create a large number of PDFs from Word files using Distiller 5.0. The problem is, I do this for 30 large files every 10 days, and must manually first create .ps files, and then distill them. The process takes more than 1 hour, during which I must open Each Word file to .ps "print" it. Short of buying a new copy of Acrobat for $300 and/or an OS X computer, is there any way to automate this process?
posted by ParisParamus at 10:35 AM PST - 14 comments

What font should I use for a brochure for tech-oriented attorneys?

FONTFILTER: Times Roman? Optima? Garamond? Verdana? Something else that I can get for not too much $$$?

I'm trying to decide upon a font for a brochure/prospectus for a technology-oriented service for attorneys.

I'm thinking of formatting the the text in two or four(landscape) columns. This is all decidedly low-tech: Microsoft Word on in OS 9.2. I like Optima, but mostly for Headlines. And thoughts, ideas?
posted by ParisParamus at 10:26 AM PST - 12 comments

How sick for a sick day?

How sick do you have to be to call in sick to work? [more inside]
posted by grrarrgh00 at 10:17 AM PST - 21 comments

How can I automate deleting new files from a directory if their ftp transfer was successful?

Calling all Nerds Automation masterminds. I record radio shows on a weekly basis using a hauappage WinTV card in an XP box (I use the Axife frontend). I'm trying to automate my whole process to the point where all I have to do is plug my ipod into my powerbook. I have scripted ftp.exe to send the resultant MP3 files from the XP box to my powerbook once daily. On the powerbook, I have a folder action set to run a script that adds any files that appear to itunes, and then delete the files. The only thing I haven't got my head around is how to automatically delete the files from the XP directory, BUT ONLY if the ftp transfer was successful. Suggestions?
posted by adamkempa at 9:47 AM PST - 6 comments

PC won't boot

PC won't boot. All I get is a blinking cursor in the upper left corner after BIOS. Help!!! (more inside) [more inside]
posted by luser at 9:05 AM PST - 6 comments


Wood trim/baseboards: I would like to replace all of the baseboards in my rental unit. It seems that the baseboards currently in place are made of two seperate pieces (a taller bottom bit(7 1/2") and then a more ornate top piece(2 1/2")). I would like to do as little work as possible, so I am wondering where I could purchase single piece baseboards that incorporate the above two elements (10" tall)? The local Home Depot doesn't seem to carry this.
posted by sharksandwich at 8:56 AM PST - 11 comments

In Javascript, how can I get the position of the mouse within an element when it's clicked?

Javascript Help: Getting position of mouse within an element when that element is clicked on. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by weston at 8:35 AM PST - 4 comments

How do you organize your electronic notebook?

I'm starting to keep an electronic notebook (instiki), but I'm not sure how to organize it. How do you organize your notebook?
posted by grefo at 8:22 AM PST - 4 comments

What do you call the updating process for a CDRom encyclopaedia that updates itself from the web?

CDRom encyclopaedia that updates itself from web. What do you call it's updating process? [more inside]
posted by Pericles at 6:25 AM PST - 4 comments

Homeopathic Pain Medication

What commonly available foodstuffs/herbs are good for pain abation? For putting one to sleep while in pain? These must be available from a supermarket such as Walmart.. (odd question, long story) [more inside]
posted by Mossy at 5:41 AM PST - 12 comments

September 16

China Goes Nuclear

Physicists and Environmentalists : what's the downside to this? Is there one (other than the disposal of depleted pebbles)? Seems pretty hope-making to me, layman that I am.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:54 PM PST - 16 comments

Is there a precedence to the weird American even divide?

Is there a precedence to the weird American even divide?
posted by the fire you left me at 9:29 PM PST - 14 comments


This December, I'm moving into a house to begin remodeling and cleaning it out. I can do pretty much whatever I want with what should I do? {specifics inside} [more inside]
posted by amandaudoff at 8:54 PM PST - 27 comments

How can I plug lots of blocky power cords into fewer surge protectors?

Looking for very short extension cords. [mi] [more inside]
posted by boaz at 7:14 PM PST - 8 comments


LASIK - I'd love to ditch both my glasses and contacts. Have any of you had the procedure performed? In particular, I'm wondering if you have experienced any adverse or unexpected effects, and how much it cost.
posted by shoos at 5:31 PM PST - 24 comments

Raising the Desk

I have a (relatively light) four-legged desk that's about four inches too short for my chair. I'd like to raise the desk, but I'd like to avoid using something as crude as cinderblocks or lumber. Are there any simple and elegant methods, products, or materials that I might employ?
Shortening the chair is not an option.
posted by Kwantsar at 4:45 PM PST - 24 comments

How to get a 12 year old to wear contact lenses.

My 12 year old daughter wants to ditch her glasses for contacts. Problem: she can't seem to get past the first stage - actually getting one on her eye. I started wearing them at age 20 and had no trouble but I realize it's a tricky thing to learn initially, especially for a kid. Any tips for making that weird fingertip-in-the-eye process less frustrating? The blink reflex is mighty strong.
posted by davebush at 3:35 PM PST - 29 comments

Replacing an Electric Oven

I prefer cooking with gas over electric and would like to replace the electric range that came with my house with a new one. But I've also got high vaulted ceilings, so I'm thinking downdraft is the only way to make a hood work. Anyone ever do this kind of upgrade before? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by mathowie at 3:34 PM PST - 15 comments

WWII Movies

War Movies: I'm looking for any good movies about World War II, specifically to do with civilian life (rather than military actions.) I've seen Au Revoir Les Enfants and The Diary of Anne Frank - can you suggest any others you've enjoyed?
posted by different at 3:22 PM PST - 35 comments

Learning Electronics

I've devised what I believe to be a simple project for myself to help me learn some basic electronics skills. however, being an absolute neophyte, I know not where to begin. [perhaps there is more inside?] [more inside]
posted by mcsweetie at 2:48 PM PST - 16 comments

Babies and Cars

We already have a baby, and now we're having another. Two-part question: we need advice on upgrading to a "family vehicle" (what kind of car to buy that suits our needs); and we need to know how to safely transport two babies at once (i.e. two carseats in the backseat logistics). More inside. [more inside]
posted by Melinika at 2:29 PM PST - 28 comments

Mac OS X TCP/IP Routing

Mac OS X TCP/IP routing filter! I have two network interfaces on my Mac. I want most of my Internet traffic to go through my NAT router, but still allow the machine to be accessible from the Internet at its own address. More inside... [more inside]
posted by kindall at 12:44 PM PST - 24 comments

Comic books for a seven-year-old?

I'm looking for comic books that would appeal to my seven-year old son, who needs a little motivation to practice his reading. He's into the usual stuff: killer robots, yu-gi-oh, explosions. I'm wondering if there is a good graphic novel written at his level. The only thing I've found is a weird, simplified photo-novel of Star Wars. And Captain Underpants, of course.
posted by mecran01 at 12:18 PM PST - 24 comments

Problems throttling torrent uploads

Tomato Torrent 1.0(v11) on OSX 10.3 - Why does torrent upload bandwidth go to zero anytime I enter any maximum upload limit? I've tried 8K/sec and 80K/sec and the upload just dies, goes to 0.0K/sec. As soon as I re-enter "0" or "no limit," upload resumes. I'd like to be able to throttle my uploads without killing them.
posted by scarabic at 12:17 PM PST - 4 comments

How are you getting your email (software? web?)

how do you get your email? (survey of mail and browsers and MI)
posted by ethylene at 11:44 AM PST - 48 comments

Is there any way to use iCal for a calendar but manage to-dos with another program?

Mac question: I love iCal for calendering, but hate its to-do functions because they don't sync with the categories in my Palm. Is there any way to use iCal for a calendar but manage to-dos with another program? Or do I have to move both my calendar and my tasks in Palm Desktop?
posted by josh at 11:26 AM PST - 2 comments

Firefox opening twice in two identical windows

Eudora + Firefox + XP: every time I launch a link from within an email, Firefox opens it twice in two identical windows, and I also get a blank IE window. Needless to say, I just want one version of the link. In Firefox.
Spybot, Adaware, Hijackthis and AVG show nothing untoward on my system. Anyone else get this?
posted by nylon at 11:24 AM PST - 5 comments

Drinking Age in Canada

I remember a couple years ago that the U.S. was trying to get Canada to follow the American drinking age limit of 21, especially in British Colombia. So, if you go up with an American ID, it must say 21 instead of 19. Does anyone know the status of this law change or if it was well-accepted by Canadian governments?
posted by Slimemonster at 11:11 AM PST - 9 comments

Money Order Error

I'm applying to schools and because I'm a moron, and because of habit, I just accidentally endorsed my own money order. Can I just cross it out and will it still be valid? Will crossing it out make me look like a real idiot to the school I'm applying to? Or should I just leave the error, and pretend like I don't know any better?
posted by banished at 10:55 AM PST - 7 comments

Blackberry Advice

My gf wants to buy a Blackberry. She knows zip about them and isn't that tech savvy. She's on a Windows machine at work and plans on getting a Mac for home in the future. I know lots about Palm devices but nothing about these things. What's all the advice you got on Blackberries? Models to avoid/ get, tricks to do with them, good sites w/ reviews, best places to buy, etc. Thanks!
posted by dobbs at 10:39 AM PST - 12 comments

Who are your favorite underappreciated painters, sculptors and photographers (etc.)?

So I started a new site which is basically endowment bait for underappreciated visual artists. I want to get lots of people involved; who are your favorite young, new, upcoming or otherwise underappreciated painters, sculptors and photographers (etc.)? This is proving an excellent way for me to see all kinds of stuff that doesn't get to the few good galleries near where I live or the big museums that I visit whenever I can.
posted by luriete at 9:34 AM PST - 16 comments

Trip Hop

Trip Hop (or downtempo or whatever): I love Tricky, Massive Attack, Hooverphonic, Portishead, Laika, Lamb, Sneaker Pimps, Martina, etc. What other, new acts have a similar sort of dark, humid and metallic aftertaste?
posted by signal at 8:44 AM PST - 45 comments

I've been sick with what I think of as a Short-Term Generic Debilitating Illness.

I've been sick with what I think of as a Short-Term Generic Debilitating Illness. What do you call it? And how do you beat it? [mi]
posted by o2b at 8:29 AM PST - 21 comments

How do scammers know which bank I use?

How do scammers who send email claiming to be from my bank and needing my account info know which banks I use? [More Inside] [more inside]
posted by shinnin at 7:50 AM PST - 15 comments

Why were people in the 1800s smart about engineering while dumb about medicine?

Why were people in olden days so smart about some things, but so dense about others? (more inside) [more inside]
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:44 AM PST - 36 comments

Getting to Australia

Is there any inexpensive way to get to Australia [Sydney/Adelaide] by plane from the US [Vermont/Boston]? I've been invited to speak at a conference in December but was surprised by high ticket prices. Any advice beyond the standard "Use Travelocity/Orbitz/Hotwire/Priceline" would be appreciated.
posted by jessamyn at 6:30 AM PST - 10 comments

Rattlesnake Quesadillas

I am cooking rattlesnake quesadillas tonight for a small dinner party. Every Google'd recipe I've seen so far treats rattlesnake the same was as chicken when it comes to preparation. However, the nice folks at Savenor's said the rattlesnake should be parboiled, which has thrown my limited cookery skill into a tizzy. So how are you supposed to cook rattlesnake? Is there a way to season it while it's being parboiled?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:00 AM PST - 9 comments

Indie Labels

I'm giving a presentation on independent music and I'd like to sum up the practices of the five four major labels. To do so, I want to hand out a nice little visual of all the companies owned by these super-conglomerates. I remember seeing an excellent visual chart with all the branching labels and sublabels, but I've been searching and searching to no avail. Does anyone remember this site?
posted by themadjuggler at 4:34 AM PST - 9 comments

September 15

Migraine help

Help with migraine relief? [more inside]
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:44 PM PST - 27 comments

Reading on social structure of virtual communities?

I am interested in the social structure/stratification of virtual communities. Any good reads on this topic? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by Quartermass at 8:41 PM PST - 16 comments

What are the benefits and drawbacks of hosting blogging software on a domain separate from a blog's domain?

What are the benefits and drawbacks of hosting blogging software on a domain separate from a blog's domain? The only advantage I see is that it keeps my blog's log files clear of my MovableType 3.11 installation, resulting in cleaner traffic reports. I see no disadvantages. Is it better to just make subdomain for the software installation?
posted by bitpart at 7:30 PM PST - 4 comments

Firefox Features

I am an unapologetic Firefox fanboy. This is the only piece of software for which I have feelings bordering on love. Which is why it pains me to say that new pr 0.10 is annoying me. There are lots of sites that I have multiple logins for and I miss the ability to 1, be able to place the cursor in the login field, press the down arrow, and chose the login I want. And 2, be able to type the first few letters of the login and hit tab to auto complete the login and populate the password field. Anyone figure out how to get these features back?
posted by Grod at 7:11 PM PST - 16 comments

Urban legend? Employee mass mails salary info to whole company?

I vaguely recall hearing about an employee emailing his/her company's confidential salary information to all employees. I've googled and Snoped, but to no avail. I know this was in some commercial, but did it happen in real life?
posted by found missing at 6:12 PM PST - 14 comments

How Do I Fix Email Problem?

Out of the blue, my domain began receiving hundreds of bogus e-mails sent to bogus addresses. My webhost is classifying it as a Denial of Service attack, but has disabled my e-mail access in the meantime. What can I do to solve this problem?
posted by yellowcandy at 5:22 PM PST - 3 comments

wifi card possibilities for an Apple iBook set up to run Yellow Dog

I'm confused by the wifi card possibilities for an Apple iBook set up to run Yellow Dog. I was thinking of installing that particular open source OS, but then realized I'd lose my Airport Extreme support. Isn't the Airport the only card supported by the iBook hardware, or is there some way to finagle YD to run a third party wi card?
posted by inksyndicate at 4:18 PM PST - 5 comments

Power Steering Fluid

AutoFilter (1995 Nissan Sentra): I need to refill my power steering fluid. My manual (which has been known to be misleading before) says to use "Dexron-II power steering fluid or equivalent." Lady behind the Autozone counter says there's no such thing, because Dexron only makes transmission fluid. She says transmission fluid and power steering fluid are interchangeable "for some cars"; guy behind me in line freaks out and says I'll destroy my power steering if I do.

I just want to know which bottle of stuff to spend a couple of bucks on so I quit hearing that creaking sound when I turn. My trusty mechanic Rich is on vacation, so I turn (heh) to you, good Mefites, in his stead!
posted by scody at 4:14 PM PST - 17 comments

Duplicate key checking over the Internet as an anti-piracy tactic

Why don't the software companies use the internet to see if two people are on the internet and using the same software license on two separate machines (as defined by IP address, or serial number, or whatever)? This seems like such a basic anti-piracy strategy, and even if it's easily flauted by the technorati, that still means that 95% of users, and maybe 80% of pirates, will be foiled by it. But no one seems to do this. Why? (I've often wondered the same thing about speeding tickets; there have to be more cost-effective ways of catching speeders than paying highway patrolmen to sit there -- is lax enforcement synonymous with tacit endorsement, while still allowing the enforcers to profit by penalizing the occasional transgressor?)
posted by blueshammer at 3:18 PM PST - 17 comments

Reliable power converter for international travel?

Looking for a reliable power converter for international travel.... (MI) [more inside]
posted by dicaxpuella at 1:55 PM PST - 6 comments

Freeware or shareware to read .fp5 files?

Does anyone know of a freeware or shareware database program that can read and edit .fp5 files? I know they're proprietary to filemaker. [more inside]
posted by Metametadata at 1:37 PM PST - 5 comments

What is the exact relationship between Microdrives and Compact Flash Type II cards?

What is the exact relationship between Microdrives and Compact Flash Type II cards? [more inside]
posted by chill at 1:27 PM PST - 8 comments

Hard drive woes

I have two hard drives: one with windows/software and another with all of my stuff (mp3s, photos, documents, etc). I was listening to music when it suddenly stopped in the middle of a song. The computer was frozen. I rebooted and my second hard drive with all my stuff isn't recognized in windows. No error messages, the drive just doesn't show up. Reinstalled windows. Still nothing. The hard drive is recognized fine by the BIOS. I was running XP, now I'm running 2000. I haven't cried yet becuase I'm not convinced that all of my data is gone forever. What can I do?
posted by TurkishGolds at 1:12 PM PST - 6 comments

Win2k Image Previews

Is there anyway I can get the image previewing from Windows XP on Win 2k? If not, are there any alternatives? I tried ACDSee and found it too bloated.
posted by Orange Goblin at 12:34 PM PST - 12 comments

What is so interesting about fragmented sentences?

[grammarfilter] But what is so interesting about fragmented sentences? [more inside]
posted by codger at 12:08 PM PST - 15 comments

Please explain spyware and safe browsing practices.

SpywareFilter: With all this talk of spyware can anyone explain to me the wha? I mean, I don't always stick to the same few sites but I'm not l337 and looking for warez, I don't visit porn sites and I never get beat down with spyware.
Isn't it the web equivelant of an STD brought on and spread by unsafe browsing?
Need network support person in downtown SF, please recommend [MI] [more inside]
posted by geekyguy at 11:54 AM PST - 8 comments

What's a good picnic recipe using APPLES?

Today's theme ingredient is...APPLES! What apple-based dessert recipe would you recommend for a picnic? 1) I don't care much for the very tart varieties of apple (e.g., Granny Smith), so I prefer a recipe that uses, or at least works with, the less tart varieties. 2) There will be several hours between baking and serving, so it should be servable at room temperature. 3) I'm reasonably skilled in the kitchen; you need not shy away from more difficult recipes.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:48 AM PST - 13 comments

How does Blogger generate income from Google?

Now that Blogspot weblogs show a navbar instead of Google Ads, and without a Premium version, how does Blogger generate any income for Google?
posted by brownpau at 11:45 AM PST - 6 comments


What's the best Anti-Spyware program? I've got one or two processes that just keep coming back...
posted by kaibutsu at 11:17 AM PST - 13 comments


Postcards without photographs by Ansel Adams or Anne Geddes on them: do they really exist, or is it just a crazy dream? --> [more inside]
posted by iconomy at 10:47 AM PST - 18 comments

I want a free flashcard program that runs on XP, has a character map, and lets me change titles.

Any recommendations for flashcard program? I'm looking for something free that runs on XP. The kicker: I need to be able to change the font on the cards and have access to a character map so I can use it for classical Greek. Everything I've found so far is crap or for OS X.
posted by stopgap at 10:35 AM PST - 2 comments

Quark 6 in InDesign

Anyone know of a way to open Quark 6 files in InDesign? [more inside]
posted by papercake at 10:23 AM PST - 5 comments

Seeing Stars on my Mac

What's a good freeware/open source astronomy application for the Mac? I know that one exists but my Google skills haven't been too hot today. What I really want is something that will display a realtime starchart for me with the ability to look up the positions (declination, etc) of each of the stars.
posted by adrianhon at 10:15 AM PST - 4 comments

Diagnosing Computer Issues - many parts already replaced

Computer fixing frustrations - what to do when you've replaced (pretty much) every part and the problem continues? (more inside) [more inside]
posted by Mossy at 10:00 AM PST - 10 comments

What ancient Chinese poem did I see on the NYC subway?

"Poetry in Motion" is a program in which the MTA (Manhattan Transit Association) posts short poems in subway trains. A few years ago, they posted an ancient Chinese poem (translated, I think, by a modern American poet). The poem was about an office worker, loaded down with paperwork, looking out the window at distant mountains. I may have some of the details wrong, but the poem had a powerful effect on me. Any ideas of what poem it could be?
posted by grumblebee at 9:48 AM PST - 11 comments

Multiple contact lists are driving me crazy!

If you use IMAP to access your mail from multiple computers, how do you deal with the different contact lists? I have out-of-sync lists everywhere and it's driving me crazy.
posted by smackfu at 8:58 AM PST - 6 comments

Help me stop buying stuff!

Un-Consumer Filter: Help me stop buying stuff! >> [more inside]
posted by dame at 7:45 AM PST - 41 comments

Is There A Way to Do iCal Publishing w/o $100 for .Mac?

I don't want to pay Apple another $100 for .mac, but I want to use ical publishing. Is there another option short of setting it up on my own server, which I have no chance of figuring out? Is there a rival service for mac users?
posted by subpixel at 7:21 AM PST - 8 comments

Money-saving tips?

Interested in money-saving tips. (more inside) [more inside]
posted by boomchicka at 7:15 AM PST - 30 comments

September 14

Speaking Skills

Questioning the relevance of Toastmasters International, what is a good way to refine personal speaking?
posted by the fire you left me at 11:34 PM PST - 5 comments

What do I do after a PHP site break-in?

A couple months ago my site was lightly hacked. It happened again on a site for a friend of my father, possibly not as lightly. --> [more inside]
posted by sailormouth at 10:02 PM PST - 5 comments

Li Batteries

I have a laptop (Sony Vaio R505) with a lithium ion battery. Last night, I used the machine fine with out it being plugged into the wall (for about 2 hours). Today, when I tried using the machine after a full charge, it died within half an hour. I'm currently using XP with SP2 and google'd all the user groups. Any suggestions other than buying a new battery?
posted by phyrewerx at 9:14 PM PST - 2 comments

Is speech recognition software worthwhile?

Is speech recognition software worthwhile for a slow typist? I've heard that even the best programs have annoyingly high rates of error.
posted by LimePi at 7:41 PM PST - 11 comments

What are the negative effects of Cannabis

Quite simply, what are the negative effects of cannabis? What are withdrawal effects from frequent use, possible health problems, etc. This sprung up from a discussion my friends and I were having and I can't find any reliable source (I'm sorry, I don't consider the government a reliable source on this issue, too many political issues). I'm paticularly interested in personal experiences, but as always more inside. [more inside]
posted by geoff. at 7:22 PM PST - 50 comments

CSS coding

CSSFilter: I'm not a coder by any means, so I'm stumbling through some CSS code for a single-page website. More inside -> [more inside]
posted by robbie01 at 6:57 PM PST - 9 comments

Tag-based indexing for local files?

Tag-based indexing for local files? [more inside]
posted by monju_bosatsu at 5:29 PM PST - 12 comments

how can I include declinations in an Excel spreadsheet?

How do I format cells in EXCEL to accept numeric values in the form: -26:32 (or +26:32 ... that is, but including the pos/neg sign)? I'm trying to compile a simply list of Messier Objects (astronomy) and can't figure out how to include declinations.
posted by RavinDave at 5:16 PM PST - 13 comments

Clog Sandals

I'm looking for men's clog sandals other than Dankso's 'Jonas'. {MI} [more inside]
posted by Utilitaritron at 4:53 PM PST - 10 comments

Song ID request: Doot Da Doot

Song ID request: I'm going nuts trying to find what song is playing during a promo ad on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block. The ad is just an interstitial for Adult Swim, with a 30-second anime clip of a woman running around, flying out windows, etc. I think the anime is "Ghost in the Shell" but I'm not 100% sure. A techno/rock/pop song with a woman singing is going on in the background... anyone got a clue what this song is? Conventional Googling and searches on TV-song-related websites proved fruitless.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:05 PM PST - 9 comments

Need help in comparing weight loss between men and women

Need help in comparing weight loss between men and women and for various weights for a competition [mi]. [more inside]
posted by karmaville at 3:50 PM PST - 5 comments

Looking for Cross-Platform Software to Draw Upon or Merge PDFs

Hi, I'm looking for some PDF software that lets you draw ontop of an existing PDF (like lines, text), and some other software that lets you merge multiple PDF files (there was a similar question a few days ago but that was for OSX). If I get to be choosy, I'd prefer cross platform libraries. Thanks! [more inside]
posted by holloway at 3:30 PM PST - 7 comments

What is this DVD cataloging site?

There's a site that lets you keep a list of your DVDs online. All you have to enter is the disc's scan code or whatever, and it pulls up all the info. I can't remember the name of that site. Mopster? Flupster? Trixtr? Pls help.
posted by muckster at 3:17 PM PST - 8 comments

I need a good source for a huge image to put on a wall 8' x 11'.

I have: A dorm room wall, about 8' x 11', and access to a high quality, 54" printer that prints to a roll. I want to cover my whole wall with one image. Help me, please. [MI] [more inside]
posted by rfordh at 3:06 PM PST - 34 comments

Mac keyboard shortcut to move programs to my second monitor?

I recently used this script to "hack" an extra monitor capability to my iBook. (Mentioned before here.) My question is that is there a keyboard shortcut or some other speedy way to move programs from my main monitor to the other? (Other than the obvious dragging, I mean.)
posted by hoskala at 2:37 PM PST - 0 comments

Help needed for coping with crazy shifts at work.

I've been transferred to a "weekend grave" shift, and now I don't know when to eat, sleep, or stay awake. A few more details inside. [more inside]
posted by kamikazegopher at 2:24 PM PST - 6 comments

How should I insulate the pipes leading from our boiler to the steam radiators upstairs?

Last year we had all the asbestos removed from the basement of our house. Most of it was on the pipes that lead from our boiler to the steam radiators upstairs. I'm thinking I should replace the old insulation. [more downstairs] [more inside]
posted by ssmith at 1:51 PM PST - 5 comments

How much does an AK-47 cost?

How much should I expect to pay for an AK-47? [more inside]
posted by Hildago at 12:57 PM PST - 25 comments

Driver problems with a CD burner

My CD burner died, my little buddy in copyright crime refuses to work lately. When I tell it to copy files it comes back with an error message saying that I need a different CD, yet they were all fine two weeks ago prior to installation of the new XP service pack. (More inside) [more inside]
posted by Keith Talent at 12:45 PM PST - 6 comments

How can I save Java games for offline play?

You know those fun little addicting Java games on the web? Is there any way to snatch them out of whatever buffer they reside in, and save them to your hard drive for future offline play?
posted by mecran01 at 12:38 PM PST - 3 comments

Recommend an XP messenger client

What's your favorite messenger client for XP and why?
posted by signal at 12:06 PM PST - 17 comments

How old is too old to have children safely?

fetusFilter: how old is too old? [more inside]
posted by ethylene at 12:04 PM PST - 32 comments

What are some emergent web projects that let you watch things evolve through a lot of small individual decisions?

Neato emergent web projects? Where lots of people make tiny decisions and you can watch large things evolve? OK, specifically, there was this great project where a visitor toggled a single pixel on a character and over time an entire font would 'solidify' to that, and more stuff like that?
posted by freebird at 11:53 AM PST - 4 comments

Warming Up

Advice on heating a room.. (MI) [more inside]
posted by jalexei at 11:44 AM PST - 4 comments

How old were you when you figured out the bad news about Santa?

How old were you when you figured out the bad news about Santa? How did you find out? I ask because my 6 yr. old son still believes. Fervently. And sooner or later, I'm gonna have to answer some tough questions. [more inside]
posted by Irontom at 11:36 AM PST - 47 comments

Cheap/free Windows software to make set-top-DVD-playable DVDs from MiniDV

Need recommendations on (preferably cheap/free) windows software to allow me to make DVDs from MiniDV that are playable in most set top DVD players. [MI] [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 10:52 AM PST - 1 comment

End of Unemployment

What do you do when your unemployment runs out? [more inside]
posted by alicila at 8:39 AM PST - 18 comments

Rule for when U.S. Presidential Election is held?

US election question: The US Presidential election is being held Nov. 2, 2004. Last election was on Nov. 7th. I was confused last time and this time because I swear that I remember learning that elections are always held on the second Tuesday of November. Anyone aware of whether that second Tuesday thing is a rule, and, if so, is there some historical origin to it? If it is a rule, anyone know why the last two elections were held on the first Tuesday of November?
posted by Seth at 8:12 AM PST - 8 comments

Suggest travel games for children

I would like some suggestions for travel games for children. Ideally, they would be games that could be played in a moving vehicle (i.e., no getting up and moving around), and they would not require any equipment or materials. Guessing and wordplay games along the lines of Twenty Questions would be ideal.
posted by orange swan at 8:04 AM PST - 26 comments

Like RSS, only better

I love the RSS feature of MyYahoo. I love it so much I want to find something like it, only better. More inside... [more inside]
posted by bondcliff at 7:35 AM PST - 8 comments

Music recommendations if I like Phantom Planet, OK GO, and The Donnas?

I was given a gift certificate for a music store and have enough for two CD's. The last time I was able to buy music, was before my son was born over a year ago, and the last three CD's I bought were Phantom Planet, OK GO, and The Donnas. Based on that, anyone have two recommendations?
posted by FunkyHelix at 6:27 AM PST - 21 comments

How to find a skipless CD player for my car?

My car CD player (a Sony unit, probably about 6 years old) pretty much stutters/skips every CD I put in it, usually 5-10 minutes into the disk. Should I replace it, or try those lens cleaner thingies? Also, if I go to replace it, what's the metric in CD players' model specs that will tell me how well the lens will handle light scratches and/or burned CDs? I guess I could just get a really expensive one, but the only feature I really care about is that it doesn't skip.
posted by luser at 5:45 AM PST - 7 comments

Need a high end printer that can print metallic ink

A friend of mine is looking to start a small business. She needs a high end printer for it (I have no idea what she's planning) - one that can print metallic ink. Anyone know of a reliable brand producing such things?
posted by armoured-ant at 5:18 AM PST - 6 comments

September 13

Seeking Techno-Hindu chant music.

CDsearch!Filter: I was browsing the world section of the local indie record store a couple years ago, and they had an artist who put Hindu chants to these nifty techno beats. Sound familiar? [more to the inside] [more inside]
posted by calistasm at 10:48 PM PST - 14 comments

Can I stop spammers from faking email from my domain?

Perhaps a useless and/or redundant question, but... Sleazoid off-shore prescription drug pushers are spamming using faked addresses on my domain. Is there anything I can do to stop this practice, or am I just another cog in the great wheel of spam?
posted by Dreama at 10:00 PM PST - 7 comments

how does shift pay work?

Can anyone explain how "shift pay" works? [MI[ [more inside]
posted by Stynxno at 9:10 PM PST - 12 comments

Reccomendations for good Pocket PC games?

Does anyone have any reccomendations for good Pocket PC games? I think I have finally tired of Yahtzee and Hellfire.
posted by ttrendel at 9:09 PM PST - 7 comments

Hair growth

I've decided I miss having long hair. Any suggestions on ways to speed up hair growth?
posted by stoneegg21 at 6:06 PM PST - 18 comments

Mexican Food Questions

ComidaFilter: Yesterday, in Delaware (of all places), I had some seriously kickass Mexican food. Like, the best I've had since I left Texas. [mas adentro] [more inside]
posted by willpie at 6:06 PM PST - 14 comments

What's happening in Seattle?

I'm looking for some cool Seattle blogs which chronicle goings-on about town. Anyone know of any? I've searched through the Seattle blogs list and haven't found any, but that list is pretty massive. I'm looking for a Gawker-type site.
posted by cell divide at 5:29 PM PST - 2 comments

Insomnia remedies

It's been taking me at least several hours to fall asleep every night. What's the best way you've found to deal with insomnia?
posted by transona5 at 5:07 PM PST - 36 comments

Cheap email newsletter and event alert software, with web interface, for a nonprofit?

Expanding on Lairbob's question -- I work for a small nonprofit, and we are being more and more fequently asked by our membership when we're going to start sending out an email newsletter and email event alerts. Can you suggest a range of good programs to use that would be a) dirt cheap for a 501(c)(3) organization b) able to handle a volume of several thousand emails easily and c) have a web interface? [more inside]
posted by anastasiav at 5:00 PM PST - 6 comments

Is Matt Drudge Gay?

Is Matt Drudge gay?
posted by the fire you left me at 4:34 PM PST - 17 comments

What is the best liquor to have a friend buy me from a duty free store?

What is the best liquor to have a friend buy me from a duty free store? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by rorycberger at 4:27 PM PST - 8 comments

Shirts in Melbourne

Where can I find nice, simple casual shirts in Melbourne, Australia? Everything seems to have a stencil on it these days.
posted by jedro at 3:56 PM PST - 3 comments

Where can I find a good quality vesion of this image?

I need a good quality (and colour) image of the the relief of Antinous as Sylvanus signed by Antoninianus
of Aphrodisias. I can only find this small image on the internet, and only one smaller image in a book (and I work in a large library). Can anyone help?
posted by malpractice at 3:55 PM PST - 3 comments

Streaming audio client - can you name it?

There used to be a pretty good streaming audio client, possibly powered by Real.Com but I'm not sure if that's right or not, that had a large selection of streams, stuff like "Funky Holiday" and "The Piano" -- does this ring a bell with anyone? I'm striking out on Google. I thought it was "RadioOne" but that's not it. Any suggestions?
posted by alumshubby at 3:44 PM PST - 9 comments

Security fits

WindowsXP, 250 gig shared backup hard drive, and a lab full of people with sensitive information that needs to be backed up on said drive but shouldn't be accessible by anyone other than the user who put it there. Security is giving me fits and I'd appreciate some helpful advice. [more gory details inside] [more inside]
posted by caution live frogs at 3:42 PM PST - 6 comments

I need a script to compare files in a directory to files referenced in web pages.

Can anyone recommend a program (in say perl or java or something) that will execute on my linux web server and a) slurp the file references in the pages (html, php) and b) compare them to the actual files in my web root tree giving me a list of all of the unreferenced files (not referenced on public web pages)? I want to clean up this junky file system, but I don't want to break any links and I inherited the mess. Thanks.
posted by pissfactory at 3:37 PM PST - 5 comments

Does anyone have any experience with The Well?

I'm thinking of joining The Well, but it doesn't seem that you can view the discussions prior to joining. Does anyone have any experience with The Well?
posted by Juicylicious at 3:29 PM PST - 7 comments

Salsa lessons in San Francisco?

Salsa lessons in San Francisco? [MI] [more inside]
posted by occhiblu at 3:04 PM PST - 2 comments

eBay Feedback

AAAA+A+++++++ GrEAT SELLER, BUY WITH CONfIDENSE, WOULD DO BUSINESS AGAIN!+!!! It seems this is pretty much the de facto standard for positive feedback on eBay, although I find it difficult to believe that most satisfied customers are nearly crapping their pants with joy for something as trivial as successfully receiving a purchase. If I go and buck the trend by posting something simple like "Fast shipping, product was as described," will my relative lack of enthusiasm make this feedback look almost negative? Would I need to worry about the seller writing me nasty emails for leaving crappy feedback? [more inside]
posted by Galvatron at 2:53 PM PST - 22 comments


I run a 2 person design office. Can anyone recommend an easy to use web based timesheet program? Cheap is good.
posted by alball at 2:21 PM PST - 9 comments

How does a singer actually sing vibrato?

How does a singer actually sing vibrato? I have absolutely no vibrato in my voice-which comes in handy for choir but not so handy when I do!
posted by konolia at 1:10 PM PST - 14 comments

How can I find out where I'm registered to vote?

What's the easiest way to figure out where I'm registered to vote? I've moved several times in-state, and I'm not sure whether I've updated my registration, or, whether I've updated or not, where my voting center would be.
posted by emptybowl at 12:34 PM PST - 6 comments

Visio Help

VisioFilter. Okay. This should be terribly simple. I am quite sure there is an add-on or a macro that I can throw into Visio that will allow me to right-click on a page/tab in a Visio document and duplicate that page and the contents therein. Why this isn't a native application function, I have no idea. Any suggestions or sources?
posted by grabbingsand at 12:27 PM PST - 5 comments

Maximizing delivery of bulk e-mails for an e-mail newsletter?

I'm looking to help a client set up a totally legitimate outbound e-mail newsletter (all opt-in, for a known audience, etc.), and I'm trying to help them minimize bouncebacks on known addresses. Any experience with maximizing delivery of bulk e-mails? [more inside, and no, I don't want to spam anyone] [more inside]
posted by LairBob at 12:25 PM PST - 11 comments

Strong as nails!

Recently I mangled up some of my fingernails doing manual labor. I've clipped and filed them as best I can, and now I'm just waiting for them to grow out a bit so I can clip off the jagged edges completely. Is there anything I can eat/drink to make my fingernails grow faster/stronger?
posted by scarabic at 12:20 PM PST - 15 comments

Rob Zombie's music: Shock-rock?

What would you call the genre that White/Rob Zombie's music belongs in? Shock-rock? Schlock-rock? Camp-rock?
posted by signal at 11:57 AM PST - 16 comments

I haven't received an order, the company says I have, what can I do?

According to a company I ordered from, I received a package on Thursday. According to reality, it never happened. What can I do? [mi] [more inside]
posted by drezdn at 10:55 AM PST - 8 comments

Downloadable Radio Shows

What are the legal ramifications of providing downloadable versions of radio shows online? [more inside]
posted by RustyBrooks at 10:15 AM PST - 6 comments

Travel to Iceland

I'm having to take an emergency holiday to iceland. I've got some ideas for things to do but further recommendations would be warmly recieved. [more inside]
posted by biffa at 9:35 AM PST - 9 comments


mysqlfilter: I'm in the midst of installing phpwiki on OS X panther and, because I am following the steps drone-like and have no idea what I am doing. . . [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 9:29 AM PST - 9 comments

Clubbing Fashion

clothes without pockets: how do you carry ID, cash, keys, subway card, cigarettes to nightclubs without having pockets or having to resort to a purse that gets in your way while trying to dance? bonus points for cellphone stashage as well. [MI] [more inside]
posted by crush-onastick at 9:29 AM PST - 22 comments

LLC vs Inc?

I am thinking of forming my own company. Not just for tax purposes but to prevent myself from being sued for work that I have done for a client. I primarly do web programming but like all branch out and do some other work. I am just now starting to look into an LLC or Inc. Where does one start with this and does anyone have any experience setting one up? Also what are the benefits of an LLC vs an Inc?
posted by thebwit at 9:21 AM PST - 13 comments

Graphic novel shopping in the Bay Area

What store in the Bay Area has the best selection of graphic novels? I've done the Borders thing.
posted by kk at 9:03 AM PST - 2 comments


Physiologyfilter: After reading about capsaicin in this Straight Dope article by following a link from this thread, I got to thinking... [more inside]
posted by Eamon at 7:55 AM PST - 13 comments

Baby Names

Babynamefilter: Can anyone fill me in on the history of Page/Paige as a girl's name? [mi] [more inside]
posted by blueshammer at 7:09 AM PST - 10 comments

Baby Names

Babynamefilter: Can anyone fill me in on the history of Page/Paige as a girl's name? [mi]
posted by blueshammer at 7:09 AM PST - 0 comments

How does skywriting work?

how is skywriting achieved ?, is there some sort of GPS or computer assistance .. or just pilots with a sixth sense ?.
posted by mrben at 4:48 AM PST - 2 comments

Data loading question

JavaScript (probably)...

Is there a reliable, cross-browser, way of loading dynamic (server side) data into a page without a reload (using a client side script)? I'm trying to imitate the action of a pop-up (supplying context-sensitive information), but in div without having to use new windows or iframes or anything.

I've found a couple of proprietary xml methods, but nothing I can rely on.
posted by monkey closet at 1:51 AM PST - 6 comments

September 12

Vinyl Lining of Sandals + Sweat = Awful, Awful Smell

How can I get rid of the odour that my sandals leave on my feet? They have a vinyl lining which creates an awful smell when contacted by sweat. This isn't a problem with any other footwear, and I've had a number of other people complain about this happening to them, so "wash your feet" would not be an appreciated response.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 8:01 PM PST - 13 comments

Which is the best Red Dwarf: Books or DVDs?

The "Red Dwarf" sci-fi comedy series. If I had to choose between just the books, or just the DVDs, which one should I go with?
posted by brownpau at 6:29 PM PST - 21 comments

Controlling Birds Nesting in Trees

Birdfilter 2: A tree on our street provides nesting and perching for the neighborhood doves. The daily crap deposited on my car is unbelievable. I may try the owl (though it sounds goofy), but are there other ideas? (The previous owners nearly cut the tree down, which I refuse to do.)
posted by davebug at 5:22 PM PST - 12 comments

Recommendations for fiction?

A friend in a sociology graduate program has turned to me for advice and I could use yours: she is required to read a book of fiction (a novel or short story collection) per week for a course, and wants recommendations. [more inside]
posted by melissa may at 4:28 PM PST - 57 comments

How useful/rewarding are you finding Flickr?

How useful / rewarding are you finding Flickr? Is it worth it for me to spend time uploading and tagging photos, and to bug my friends to join? It looks very cool and like a social network that's actually good for something: it also looks like kind of a lot of work, especially since I can't keep all my photos there or print pictures from Flickr.

My love of cool web apps says "yea," while my schedule says "nay." What say ye? [more inside]
posted by josh at 3:17 PM PST - 12 comments

What are some fonts that look Latin to readers of non-Latin chararcter set languages?

Can someone point me to some fonts that are Latin-looking to readers of non-Latin chararcter set languages? [MI] [more inside]
posted by Stoatfarm at 3:04 PM PST - 8 comments

Looking for a scorched earth approach to keeping the ground free from grass

What's the best way to render a (small) patch of ground (semi-) permanently vegetation-free? [mi] [more inside]
posted by cadastral at 1:28 PM PST - 22 comments

Win XP SP2

Win XP problem. I installed Service Pack 2, now my computer won't load. (more inside) [more inside]
posted by graventy at 1:14 PM PST - 16 comments

Kitchen Organization

I've got too much junk in my drawers. How can I make it easier to get to? [MI] [more inside]
posted by majcher at 12:07 PM PST - 12 comments

Who's the actress in "out is Through"?

Who's the actress in the Alanis Morrissette "Out Is Through" video - ginger with the high pony-tail trying to get to the gig? Both my girlfriend and I are sure we recognise her (almost as strongly as if we actually *know* her) but neither of can put a name to the face, and my google-fu is failing. Anyone put us out of our misery?
posted by benzo8 at 10:49 AM PST - 9 comments

Making EPS files of the Zapfino font

Fonts in Mac OS 10.3 question: I want to make vector-based images of some of Zapfino's beautiful characters, but Adobe Illustrator 10 doesn't talk with Zapfino very well -- it only gives you the basic character set, with none of the ligatures or alternate characters. It used to be that you could at least use the Character Palette to insert alternate characters into compatible (i.e. Apple-written) programs like Stickies or Textedit, but even that functionality seems gone now because Character Palette is restricted to non-alphabetic characters. The new Font Book's "repertoire" mode shows me the letters, but I can't select them for copying/pasting, and even if I could, I'm sure it would put them in Illustrator. What can I do to make EPS files of some of these letters?
posted by blueshammer at 10:26 AM PST - 9 comments

Is There Something That'll Autopost My Links to Blogspot?

This may be a pipedream, but is there a site out there which will allow me to automatically post a batch of links which I've collected on something like delicious to my blogspot weblog? [In a similar fashion to the way kottke includes his quick links with the main body of his weblog] I'm thinking of a similar protocol to flickr were I give them my blogger login details and all I have to do is click a post button and its all done for me...
posted by feelinglistless at 10:17 AM PST - 10 comments

Base prime number system possible?

I read The Curious Incident of the Bear in the Night-Time and one of the bits of cleverness is using primes to number the chapters. This got me thinking, is it possible to have a base prime number system? [math inside] [more inside]
posted by revgeorge at 8:53 AM PST - 25 comments

Popbitch Archive

Does anyone know of a Popbitch archive? There is no such thing on the Popbitch web site. I mainly need the one from this past week, but a full archive would be useful, too.
posted by Mo Nickels at 8:52 AM PST - 5 comments

Name this image artist

Here is a series of five images that all contain some kind of visual trickery or effect: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Does anyone recognize these images or know who the artist may be? I'm assuming they are all by the same hand, which may not be true. [more inside]
posted by taz at 1:39 AM PST - 11 comments

In iTunes, why do songs I uncheck not play during shuffled playback?

In iTunes, why do songs I uncheck not play during shuffled playback? I just want to uncheck songs I don't want on the iPod and let 'em play normally in the library. It's easier than making a playlist for the iPod each time I add new albums. Alternatively, how do you manage your library when it exceeds the size of your iPod?
posted by riffola at 1:09 AM PST - 12 comments

North American Parking Signs

I've tried googling for help on this but to no avail.

Help me understand North American parking signs better (inside is more). [more inside]
posted by shepd at 12:04 AM PST - 18 comments

September 11

Home Security

I am in the process purchasing a house and want to feel more secure. Security in a concern... [more inside]
posted by benjh at 8:55 PM PST - 24 comments

Segmented disc burning on a mac.

Segmented disc burning on a mac. I have 150gb of disc-image backups on a 200gb drive. I need to burn them off so i can make a fresh set. Impression 2 offers segmented direct-to-disc backup, but apparently relies on Apple's built-in discburning, which requires loads of swap space per job - in this instance, if i were to burn it all at once (I won't, believe me!) I'd need around 300gb of swap space. Which I don't have. Can recent versions of Toast do this? What about the granpappy of Mac bak, Retrospect (licensing issues aside)? [gigabytes inside] [more inside]
posted by mwhybark at 7:23 PM PST - 7 comments

Swordmanship basics?

My roommate doing a play that requires stage combat with swords (most likely two handed). They don't have an instructor on swordsmanship so he was hoping to learn some basics. Are there any free online resources that may have some instructional videos or examples? Safety is most important to him and his co-actor so he'd rather not make it up on his own if he doesn't have to. (that's it, no more inside)
posted by cathodeheart at 5:36 PM PST - 4 comments

When did you stop renting?

When did you stop renting?
posted by the fire you left me at 5:36 PM PST - 40 comments

Trance/Techno Mystery

Long-winded and obscure "identify this recording" question for trance/techno experts. [MI] [more inside]
posted by Jimbob at 5:16 PM PST - 16 comments

I have a question about Javascript.

stupid javascript question. ⇒more inside[more inside]
posted by Grod at 4:43 PM PST - 6 comments

AskMe Followups

epilogueFil(l/t)er: so what happened? [more inside]
posted by ethylene at 4:25 PM PST - 31 comments

Live Hockey Streaming?

Okay, I'm desperate: I want to listen to the World Cup of Hockey, but my shortwave radio can't pick up the CBC too well, I don't have a television, and I don't feel like spending a bunch of cash in a bar (which I invariably do when I watch hockey in a bar).

Any tips on where to find streaming coverage?
posted by cmonkey at 4:22 PM PST - 4 comments

What's wrong with my truck's power inverter?

I have a Vector MAXXsst 225 Watt DC to AC power inverter that I run in my truck. Problem is, it keeps blowing the truck fuses... It's gotta be a short, right? What am I missing?
posted by ajpresto at 3:03 PM PST - 5 comments

I want a font that looks like 1st grade handwriting

I need to find a font that has "1st grade letters." In other words, block letters (small, not caps) that are the shape / kind that we all learned to hand print in 1st grade. All the simple, clean, fonts that I have found type the "a" with the curled line above the circle. I need a font that shows the "a" as a circle with a straight line descending down at a slight angle. Another example: the "q"-- I need the font (or fonts, if this will take a few) to show the "q" with a curled tail-- the way one would teach a 6 year old to write it. Also, I need the font to be super clean and not "handwritten." I have found a comic sort of font that has the right letter shapes, but it is too frilly / ornate. Imagine a primary school reader... those are the letters I want! I tried to go to a font site, but with 20,000 fonts I felt like I was looking for the (cliche warning:) needle in a haystack. Any font gurus out there know exactly what I should get and where to get it? Last: free beats expensive, but I am willing to pay if the font site is selling it.
posted by limitedpie at 2:45 PM PST - 6 comments

What are the tricks to spackling?

Spackling: What are the tricks to spackling and sanding (relatively small, no mesh or such required) holes or dings, getting a nice smooth patch, prior to painting? There are generally little tricks to anything handy, but after all these years I'm still not learning them and I just can't get the knack. [more inside]
posted by Shane at 1:57 PM PST - 7 comments

Costuming ideas for a "Rock Star party"

So I'm going to a 'Rock Star party' tonight, and I'm looking for a quick and easy, but recognizable costume... [more inside]
posted by Stauf at 12:56 PM PST - 19 comments

Yoshiharu Tsuge

I'd like to learn more about the Japanese comics artist Yoshiharu Tsuge. [more inside]
posted by Termite at 12:27 PM PST - 6 comments

Where were you when the towers fell?

Where were you on 9/11? How did you find out what was happening and what do you remember about that day? [more inside]
posted by caddis at 11:18 AM PST - 66 comments

How do I get a specific toll-free number?

I want a specific Toll-Free number. 1-800-MOR-NSID
posted by tomierna-old at 10:44 AM PST - 8 comments

Weather Stats

How is quantitative data for humidity, temperature etc translated into a qualitative descriptions of weather conditions? [more inside]
posted by none at 10:05 AM PST - 2 comments

Over-the-shoulder carry-on?

LuggageFilter: Can anyone recommend a good bag that will hold a few days clothes and be small enough to carry on to a plane? Preferably not a hard case or a backpack, but flexible enough to be carried around anywhere over the shoulder. I live in the UK so it'd be better if the bag was available there but if there's something amazing from the US I'd be willing to order it.
posted by adrianhon at 8:47 AM PST - 5 comments

What exactly is the Interweb?

Lingofilter: What exactly is the Interweb? Is it meant to refer simultaneously to the World Wide Web and the Internet? Is it what people used to call cyberspace? Also, why didn't I get the memo?
posted by found missing at 8:46 AM PST - 22 comments

RealOne Player Defaults

Other than uninstalling, is there any way to stop the RealOne player starting every time I put a cd in my drive even though I've unticked all the boxes and asked it not to.
posted by feelinglistless at 8:23 AM PST - 10 comments

Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land: What IS the Symbolism of Tattooing and Snakes?

From Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein:

"Jill, you've read some abnormal psychology."
"Yes, of course. In training. Not as much as you have, I know."
"Do you know the symbolism of tattooing? And snakes?"
"Of course. I knew that about Patty as soon as I met her. I had been hoping that you would find a way."

Now, as someone who has been wanting to be a crazy tattooed lady since she was five, what's the symbolism?
posted by Katemonkey at 2:09 AM PST - 18 comments

Mefi tribute

A while ago, on my old site, I posted this parody of MeFi. (It was subsequently, um, noticed. Yeah, sorry about that.) I thought a fitting tribute would be to post it to my user page. As is plainly obvious, tis fux0red for I am not l33t. Or else, there's some sort of cotton-pickin' interference, as the anchor tags seem to be all kerfluuey. Help, pwease?
posted by solistrato at 12:07 AM PST - 5 comments

September 10

Need quotes from Stephen Jay Gould's "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory"

Does anyone here own Stephen Jay Gould's The Structure of Evolutionary Theory? As a favor could someone who does Email me the text of a couple of paragraphs. If so, leave a 'yes' and I'll Email you and tell you what I need (assuming your Email is in your profile!).
posted by fucker at 11:46 PM PST - 3 comments

What is this website?

So, uh, what do you suppose this is all about?
posted by dhoyt at 10:43 PM PST - 6 comments

I Want a Cool Cellphone!

Can anybody help me with instructions on re-wiring this old navy ship's phone to fit my cellphone (2.5mm jack) a la Pokia ? Thanks!
posted by azul at 9:58 PM PST - 11 comments

Good Windows clock applet for multiple timezones?

Looking for a simple Winders clock applet. I want to be able to check at a glance the time in 4 or 5 different places -- maybe with UT tossed in for good measure.
posted by RavinDave at 9:49 PM PST - 2 comments

Strange Spam

SpamFilter: The last week or two I've been getting the strangest spam, real spam with a wide variety of (normal for spam) message content, that is addressed to some imaginary address at a domain I own, but is posed as a rejection message from the intended recipient's domain. Anyone else who owns a domain having this experience? [more inside]
posted by billsaysthis at 9:46 PM PST - 7 comments

What elements of cultural anxiety do the Aliens films represent?

My sister once took a film course where she learned that each film in the Alien trilogy (not including the 4th one) is supposed to represent some kind of cultural anxiety. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by invisible ink at 8:35 PM PST - 23 comments

Recommendations for Book Database Applications (Windows XP)?

Good book database programs. [mi] [more inside]
posted by stoneegg21 at 7:50 PM PST - 4 comments

Looking for Linux on Low-spec machines

Does anyone have any suggestions for a linux distro that will run reasonably quick on a pc with a pentium 166 and 64 mb's? I am a total newbie.
posted by ttrendel at 7:09 PM PST - 8 comments

Where are audio books sold?

Sources for audio books.. What are the major audio book sites to search to see if a book is available in an audio version?
posted by stbalbach at 7:05 PM PST - 5 comments

Probability calculations

If the likelihood of event A occurring is 15%, and the likelihood of independent event B occuring is 5%, what is the likelihood of EITHER event occuring? [more inside]
posted by sohcahtoa at 5:41 PM PST - 13 comments

Buying a Car

Buying a car filter: Yesterday my car blew up. Now I don’t know what to do. [the unfortunate details inside] [more inside]
posted by Lizc at 3:24 PM PST - 22 comments

Grado headphones in Oregon

Does anyone know where I can find Grado headphones in Oregon? [more inside]
posted by Keyser Soze at 3:18 PM PST - 11 comments

At-Home Haircuts?

In an effort to be thriftier, I'm thinking of learning to cut my own hair. I checked online and info is sparse, or mostly aimed at women who trim their own bangs.

Suggestions on books or any other tips/tricks would be appreciated. [more inside]
posted by O9scar at 3:14 PM PST - 11 comments

How can I build an outdoor table out of pallets?

I recently moved into a new home which has a lovely back deck. I've been searching around for a decent wooden outdoor table for said deck that's not made of some crazy expensive wood that will drain the cash reserves that I frankly do not have. I've heard tell of a wonderful way to construct a rustic outdoor table from old pallets, which are in abundant supply out here at some local orchards and vineyards, but I have not been able to hunt down plans or instructions or anysuch for this mythical table. Anyone done this before, or know somewhere around here where I can find plans/instructions?
posted by jearbear at 2:58 PM PST - 5 comments

Looking for a Nina Simone T-shirt

I stumbled on a site once with a cool brown t-shirt bearing Nina Simone's image, and titled, "The High Priestess of Soul". I'm having a hell of a time finding this site again but I'd really like to order that shirt. Can anyone help me out?
posted by Evstar at 2:52 PM PST - 9 comments

Help me fix my iMac!

iMacFilter. I'm attempting to connect my slot-loading iMac to a SBC DSL router. I can't get the iMac to recognize the DSL connection or locate the modem.

In my attempts to rectify this, I reorganized the hard drive using Discwarrior. Now the computer somehow boots up with MacOS 9.2, even after an OSX re-install. Help!
posted by JDC8 at 2:39 PM PST - 4 comments

Homeowner's Insurance

Following up on yesterday's "I was robbed" question, I now ask a question about homeowner's insurance, claims, etc - please come inside. [more inside]
posted by luriete at 1:11 PM PST - 9 comments

Chicken Nuggets

What’s in McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets? [more inside]
posted by grateful at 1:03 PM PST - 28 comments

Stuff to do in Nashville

I'll be in Nashville for all of next week, and I'll have most evenings free. What is there to do? Food recommendations (vegetarian friendly)?
posted by skwm at 1:00 PM PST - 1 comment

What are some computer languages for describing/generating graphics?

What are some computer languages for describing/generating graphics? [more inside]
posted by freebird at 11:48 AM PST - 35 comments

Negative calorie foods ?

Three vaguely questions on negative calorie foods and dried fruits.[MI] [more inside]
posted by twine42 at 11:32 AM PST - 17 comments

Lyrics Websites

How come many lyrics sites try to install virii?,, and so forth all suggest you download their dubious-sounding "plug-in". [more inside]
posted by dhoyt at 11:30 AM PST - 20 comments

Wireless headset for my landline work phone?

I have a Bluetooth headset I use with my mobile phone. But what I would love is to have a wireless headset like it for my land-line work phone. Are there solutions out there, because our vendors don't seem to have them.
posted by benjh at 10:50 AM PST - 3 comments

Help Correcting Birth Certificate

Need help with correcting a birth certificate / changing my name [MI] [more inside]
posted by Julnyes at 10:13 AM PST - 17 comments

NYC Mystery

I hope it's okay to post a NYC-centric question here (I know there are lots of New Yorkers on MeFi). Embedded in the sidewalk pavement along Broadway, from around Battery Park up to about the Woolworth Building (and perhaps farther), are these stone slabs that contain an event or a famous person, followed by the date of the event or some date related to the person. There's one every few yards. Does anyone know what these are for, who put them there, or anything else about them?
posted by Tin Man at 9:56 AM PST - 6 comments

How do you say "thirty one" in other languages?

Multilingual folks: I need your help translating the word "thirty-one" into as many languages as possible. [more inside]
posted by mdn at 9:34 AM PST - 42 comments

Decimal values in DB2

[DB2/SQLFilter] How do I cast a value of type DECIMAL(19,4) to a VARCHAR so that it has no leading zeroes, and only two digits after the decimal point? CHAR(DECIMAL( x(19,2) )) produces leading zeroes.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:26 AM PST - 2 comments

Customizable Sites

As part of an upcoming site redesign my office is considering the pros and cons of allowing visitors to customize content. Without going into too much detail such as what kind of content will be customizable and how, can folks recommend sites that they think do customization well?
posted by terrapin at 9:13 AM PST - 4 comments

How to offer condolences in Italian?

ItalianFilter: I have to go to a funeral today for someone of Sicilian origin. [Ci sono più all'interno] [more inside]
posted by zadcat at 8:28 AM PST - 3 comments

Can I learn to trill my "R"s?

Is it possible to learn how to trill Rs? How? Do native speakers of languages with trilled Rs ever have trouble trilling theirs?
posted by stopgap at 7:53 AM PST - 11 comments

Name this song: sung by a woman, "sing a lovely song"

Song name! I can't remember practically anything about a song except that it was sung by a woman, say alto range, and contains the words "sing a lovely song" sung such that "sing" was held for longer than any other syllable in that phrase and "love" was sharply higher than any other note in the phrase, and I think held for less time than "a", "ly" and "song", "song" being held but not for as long as "sing". I realize that's not much to go on, but maybe someone has an idea? Also, I might be wrong about it being sung by a woman, and possibly everything else.
posted by kenko at 7:34 AM PST - 6 comments

Is the Canal Cruise in England a good idea for a honeymoon?

So the finace and I are starting to ponder our honeymoon. A coworker suggested a Canal Cruise across the pond in England as a possibility. Does anyone have any opinions or tips regarding putting down the canals at three miles per hour on a narrowboat built for two? Things that a pair of young Americans should watch out for? Thanks! [more inside]
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:59 AM PST - 9 comments

Talk Like a Pirate Day

International Talk Like A Pirate Day is coming up again soon on September 19th and my colleagues at work have been suffering from those Autumn Blues. I have been tasked with creating (on a reasonable budget) a day to cheer those landlubbers up. More Inside Davey Jones Locker... [more inside]
posted by longbaugh at 6:57 AM PST - 10 comments

How can I ground my computer and audio setup?

My gear is giving me electric shocks, and I don't know what to do. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by fuzz at 6:53 AM PST - 17 comments

In search of stuff to do in Rockford...

Things to do in Rockford, IL? Specifically, places to eat and/or chill for two or three hours.
posted by blueshammer at 6:53 AM PST - 1 comment

Precedents for avoiding military service

Has George W. Bush established a moral precedent for evading military service in the United States? How about a legal precedent?
posted by mischief at 6:38 AM PST - 8 comments

Armchair Psychiatry

Do you play armchair pyschiatrist? How sure are you that you're right about people's inner lives? Do you act on your hunches? [More Inside.] [more inside]
posted by grumblebee at 6:20 AM PST - 26 comments

What songs would you recommend for a music piracy playlist?

I'm making a music playlist, the theme of which is music piracy. What songs would you recommend for it? Things like Bow Wow Wow "C30, C60, C90, Go" or I guess anything with words like "free" or "copy" in the title...
posted by skylar at 6:15 AM PST - 22 comments

Is it common for people to lie online?

Lying. [more inside]
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:20 AM PST - 42 comments

September 9

German-American Internment?

Massive internment of German-American families during World War II: crackpot revisionist myth, or legitimate forgotten chapter in history? I read an Associated Press story that seemed to think it was the latter, but can't find an authoritative overview on the Web. Mostly just Nazi sites.
posted by inksyndicate at 11:44 PM PST - 14 comments

Swamp, cannon, log computer game with a prize

A friend is trying to remember an old computer game... [more inside]
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:22 PM PST - 5 comments

What's the best way these days to have multiple MT blogs on one page? Also, what criteria do you use to rate your MP3s?

Thursday Tech Two-fer:
(1) What's the best way these days to have multiple MT blogs one one page-- RSS or what? What's the best way to implement this?

2) What criteria do you use to rate your MP3s? For example, does a five-star rating mean all-time best of, best of the artists' work, best within a genre? What rating method do you find most useful?
posted by keswick at 9:46 PM PST - 12 comments

Phone Causes Interference

When my I put my U.S. GSM phone near a speaker (computer, car, speakerphone) I sometimes here clunking sounds in the speaker. Why? I assume the speaker is picking up some radio signal my phone is sending, but what specifically is happening?
posted by Nelson at 9:28 PM PST - 13 comments

What's the best spam filter?

spamfilter - whats the latest hot ticket... i've tried cloudmark - and liked it.. what else do people recommend these days?
posted by specialk420 at 9:07 PM PST - 9 comments

At what amount does inheritance tax kick in in the United States?

I just inherited some money from my grandmother. I am, however, not sure of the US federal government's inheritance tax policies. I have tried the IRS website to no avail (big surprise there, eh?). Anyone know at what amount the tax kicks in and at what rate it's taxed?
posted by raintea at 7:51 PM PST - 6 comments

End of the Universe

End of the universe scenarios. I'm familiar with the concepts of "heat death" as well as the universe contracting unto another Big Bang. How else might the universe someday become a completely un-survivable place?
posted by scarabic at 6:43 PM PST - 10 comments

How do I deal with being robbed?

My home was burgled yesterday while my wife and I were at work. Our cats are uninjured; my camera collection, large collection of criterion & kino DVDs, powerbook & lcd projector, and all of her good jewelry were not so lucky.

My question: how do I go about exacting revenge?
posted by luriete at 5:35 PM PST - 31 comments

Tips for commuting by bicycle

In a couple of weeks I'm going to start bicycling to work every day (excepting rain or snow). There'll be hardly any traffic to speak of, since I'll be biking on the Charles River bike paths in Boston. I've never biked to work regularly before: any commuting bicyclists have any tips? [more inside]
posted by josh at 5:19 PM PST - 26 comments

Does anyone have any recommendations for online retailers for DirecTV?

I'm looking into signing up for DirecTV, mostly for the free/cheap Tivo. I've checked out the PVRBlog, Matt's recommendation seems to be go through OrbitSat, I've also been referred there before from others, but they no longer deal with DirecTV. Google is full of linkfarm results for the same 3 or 4 online retailers, by instinct I don't want to give them my business. Does anyone have any recommendations for online retailers for DirecTV? I'm looking for a 2 room system, with a single DVR, and Triple LNB, for as cheap as possible.
posted by TuxHeDoh at 5:13 PM PST - 4 comments

Creative Accounting

US Govt. Reporting of Economic Indicators: There was a link on Fark today about creative accounting. A choice quote from that article - "In short, we would need to have about $45 trillion in the bank today earning interest in order to pay all the promises that have been made for future Social Security and Medicare benefits — over and above the future taxes and premiums that will be collected to fund these programs." and "The CBO estimates that we would have to raise taxes by 6.5 percent of GDP immediately and forever to maintain these programs in perpetuity. This year alone, that would mean a tax increase of $800 billion.". [More Inside] [more inside]
posted by Gyan at 4:29 PM PST - 4 comments

I need a DVD / VHS of Kansas City Bomber.

I'm looking for a DVD (any region or format) or vhs video (ntsc only) of Kansas City Bomber. I don't think it's ever been legally released in the USA--though it has in the UK-- though apparently it was a TV staple in the late 70s. Wondering if anyone knows if it's currently available anywhere in the world or if anyone has a copy they recorded from television. Thanks!
posted by dobbs at 4:06 PM PST - 6 comments

Why can't I access a specific website from any computer in my house?

I can't access a specific website from any computer in my house. (MI) [more inside]
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:43 PM PST - 11 comments

Do you find that you like or dislike most people? Why do you think that is?

Do you find that you like or dislike most people? Why do you think that is?
posted by dame at 2:13 PM PST - 50 comments

What's the best way to turn protected AACs into regular AACs for a large amount of files?

iTunes question..what's the best way to turn protected AACs into regular AACs for a large amount of files?
posted by tetsuo at 2:05 PM PST - 14 comments

How many plots are there and what book can I find this in?

I've heard tell that there's only some X number of plots in the world, and someone has outlined them in an old book. Anyone with a clue which book?
posted by kk at 1:34 PM PST - 15 comments

Best clock radio?

Clock radios: What's your favorite? Is Bose's the best?
posted by o2b at 1:30 PM PST - 19 comments

What to Bring to University?

Things to take to university? I'm moving into my (self catered) accommodation in a couple of weeks from now, and as I am sure most of you have been through this before, I was wondering what the absolute essentials are, along with any other tips you can throw at me.
posted by Orange Goblin at 12:50 PM PST - 22 comments

Do you know what poem this is called--I think--'Biography,' about a crowd watching a lynching?

I'm trying to locate a poem called "Biography" (I think) by an author whose name I cannot remember. The poem was about a crowd of people standing around watching what I believe was a slave hanging. I want to use the poem for my lit class and I cannot find my copy anywhere, cannot remember the author's name and cannot locate it through google. In fact, I may not even have the title correct. help?
posted by archimago at 12:41 PM PST - 4 comments

Constricting a 100mb Network Link to 2mb Network Link

I need to test how software runs over a 2 mb network link. Here we have 100 mb and I wish to constrict that on my machine for test purposes. How do I achieve this?
posted by kenaman at 2:21 AM PST - 4 comments

September 8

Zire Repair

I'm in line to get a free Zire 71 - if I can fix it. Any suggestions where to start? [MI] [more inside]
posted by casarkos at 11:51 PM PST - 2 comments

TiVO KillFilters

TiVoFilter Is there any way to create killfilters in TiVo? Essentially the equivalent of a Season Pass, but to mark a series as "ignore every instance of this series"? [mi] [more inside]
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 8:30 PM PST - 20 comments

How can one find out information about a person based on their address and license plate number?

A friend needs some help finding out more information on someone based on their address and license plate number. I know there are a lot of sites out there that claim to sell such info, but are any of them legit? Any suggestions on where to find this info for free? I remember from a similar previous question that this information is getting harder to come by due to some changes in the law. Also, for you law students out there, I have full Westlaw access, and there seems to be a db for looking up DMV info, but it asks you to affirm that you're using it for approved ends. Have any of you ever used this db?
posted by gokart4xmas at 8:03 PM PST - 9 comments


As a self-imposed php refresher, I've recently been toying around with writing custom movable type submission frontends for a few less web-literate family members (Basically just simplified forms that throw the user input into the MT mysql database). I've got everything ticking along nicely, but none of the submitted entries will show up until I log in and rebuild the site from within movable type. My question: Is there some way to either force a rebuild from a custom form, or automate a rebuild? I've searched the MT forums with no success. I'm using MT 2.64 with minimal knowledge of its inner workings. Any suggestions / pointers / links are appreciated!
posted by adamkempa at 7:54 PM PST - 6 comments

Is there an RSS feed of the numbers of deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq?

I'd like to put the war in people's faces a little more by showing a running tally of the deaths of U.S. soldiers on my blog. Is there an RSS feed of this info anywhere? I'm thinking of information structured something like this... >> [more inside]
posted by luser at 7:33 PM PST - 3 comments

Is there an Argentinian equivalent of the 411? What about a German one?

Can someone help me find the "information" number for Argentina, if there is such a number? I'm looking for a number similar to 411 in the U.S. (which will ultimately lead me to the phone number of a friend, hopefully). If you have one for Germany, that would be great too. My googling thus far has failed. Thanks!
posted by Witty at 7:09 PM PST - 3 comments

Web Services for Pre-Teen

ParentingFilter? My (almost) 13 year-old wants to put together a web site, with polls, for a class project. I want her use either Comcast, where we get our web, or Blogger, which I use, for the basic site. She wants to be free of my control. Who can recommend other free hosting sites that I can trust? I'm open to ideas about sites that post web-polls as well.
posted by mmahaffie at 5:36 PM PST - 19 comments

French Cruellers?

I have fond memories of what I thought was called a French Crueller. Classic round donut shape only with a fluted outer surface, raised dough, but with a more popover-y kind of texture than your standard yeast donut. But I can't find any! Have you spotted these lately? Where? (Bonus if it's in Central Texas.) Maybe you call them something other than French Cruellers?
posted by kmel at 5:33 PM PST - 20 comments

Tipping Sushi Chefs

I've been reading more about sushi after the discussion on Japanese dining and I came across mention of tipping the sushi chef. Do you tip your sushi chef separately, especially if he's not the owner, do you buy him a drink? And where are you?
posted by lobakgo at 5:30 PM PST - 12 comments

Is 8 Step Mantis a good beginning Kung Fu?

I'd like to study Kung Fu, mainly to get in shape. There is a place near me that teaches 8 Step Mantis. Is that an OK style for me to start with? Is there anything important I should know going into this?
posted by badstone at 3:00 PM PST - 15 comments

Website(s) with mandolin orchestra recordings?

Does anyone know of a site that has sound recordings (either for sale or download) of early American mandolin orchestras (early 20th century)? I've been looking at the Smithsonian and Library of Congress but haven't found much. I'm assuming that given the time period they would mostly have been recorded on wax cylinders.
posted by tommasz at 1:37 PM PST - 2 comments


Why are Trilobite fossils so incredibly numerous? Downright ubiquitous? Is it just because there were so many of them (15,000 species so far!) and they lived in the sea? I'm studying up a bit on the fascinating li'l (sometimes BIG) bugs (okay, Arthropods), and also listening to cassettes of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything (listening to it again and again, actually, as it's brilliant and fascinating), and Bryson notes some incredible statistic (very roughly) like only one bone out of a million (probably much more) humans becomes a fossil. So, you see where I'm coming from...
posted by Shane at 1:08 PM PST - 16 comments

How is working in the private sector different than working in the public sector?

How is working in the private sector different than working in the public sector? (details inside) [more inside]
posted by amery at 12:43 PM PST - 8 comments

Fiction dealing with religion & science with nature & ecology

I just got done reading Ishmael by Daniel Quinn for class. Now, I have to find a book that also deals with nature in the same regard to read (ie, we're destroying it- go fix it! Though it could be how nature is ours to control and we should actually exploit it more). Preferable, though not necessary, for my own pleasure would be something that intertwines religion and science with nature (from a negative or positive standpoint) into the book.
posted by jmd82 at 12:42 PM PST - 15 comments

D'oh! He's pining for the fjords!

Is there a way to gently steer someone away from constant Simpsons or Monty Python quoting? [MI] [more inside]
posted by milovoo at 12:07 PM PST - 34 comments

Online Website Development Courses

Which online courses would you recommend for a beginner in writing website templates, and how long would it take to progress to 'intermediate' level? What are the essential technologies I should become aware of?
Assume basic html skills, some Blogger tinkering, and a desire to learn quickly - I'm hoping to experiment with something on my webspace which I can show to a panel of interviewers in about a month. [more inside]
posted by dash_slot- at 12:00 PM PST - 10 comments

What's the deal with John McCain's jaw?

What's the deal with John McCain's jaw? On the Daily Show last week, it was obvious that he has this marble-size protuberance growing out of his left jaw, near the back of his cheek. Google turns up some articles describing swelling there after surgery for skin cancer, but that was in 2001...Anyone have the skinny?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:53 AM PST - 7 comments

Commuting in LA

Angelenos: Help me with my commute! Pasadena to West LA; more inside... [more inside]
posted by mr_roboto at 11:45 AM PST - 7 comments

Not Dead Yet!

Haveyoueverbeendeclareddeadfilter? Yeah. More inside. [more inside]
posted by FunkyHelix at 11:38 AM PST - 22 comments

How can I make my stomach look nice without sit-ups?

How can I make my stomach look nice without sit-ups? (MI) [more inside]
posted by crazy finger at 11:11 AM PST - 20 comments

Do you "read" an audio book?

I'm new to audio books. After I've listened to a book, can I say that I've "read" the book? What's the common parlance? Or must I draw a distinction between the books I've read and those I've heard? Why or why not? (And what about Braille? Are blind people said to have "read" books?)
posted by jdroth at 11:10 AM PST - 10 comments

NYC Lodging for an Artist

More NYCers: if an artist and her SO from NC were in need of a place to sleep on Sept 18 and 19th, would you open the door? Circumstances inside. [more inside]
posted by yoga at 11:09 AM PST - 8 comments

NYC Vitra design shop, which sells plastic "algae" home decor/toy kits?

NYCers: Do you know about this 'vitra' design shop? Specifically, about this algae decoration stuff? [blatant plea inside] [more inside]
posted by freebird at 10:47 AM PST - 3 comments

Software patch that allows you to trick video card into thinking it's a higher end?

I have and Nvidia GeForce2 MX/Mx 400 64Mb video card and work a lot in AutoCAD and 3DSMax 6 in 3d.
I understand there is a software patch that allows you to trick the card into thinking it's a higher end card (Optima, I believe) and taking advantage of the 3ds-specific drivers made by Nvidia, without cracking the case, soldering anything, etc.
Does anybody have any experience doing this kind of thing? I am using XP Pro, 0.5 Gb, 1.5 Ghz.
posted by signal at 9:33 AM PST - 3 comments

What do you think the Maytals song "Monkey Man" is about?

What do you think the Maytals song "Monkey Man" is about?
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:22 AM PST - 8 comments

I'm looking for a cheap pop3 mail for my .be-domain

E-mail problem: I'm looking for a cheap pop3 mail for my .be-domain. [MI] [more inside]
posted by NekulturnY at 8:13 AM PST - 6 comments

How prevalent are PDFs in web publishing?

How prevalent are PDFs in Web publishing? Why are they used in preference to other file formats? (mi) [more inside]
posted by bifter at 6:53 AM PST - 29 comments

What does the name Fifika mean>

We've named one of our new kittens Fifika, which my wife says is Hungarian/Romany (it's on a list here). We like the sound of it, but we're having difficulty finding out what it means, if anything (in a European language anyway: apparently it means "be accessible" in Swahili). Anyone know?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:12 AM PST - 7 comments

Recommend some excercises to help me hone my r rolling skills

About a year ago, I taught myself to roll my r's. I still have problems when the sound comes after most consonants (e.g. 'tr' or 'gr'), and with sustaining a roll for more than about a second.

Anyone know any good exercises or methods of teaching to improve this?
posted by monkey closet at 2:15 AM PST - 14 comments

Does anyone know of a glossary of degree abbreviations and titles?

In dealing with academia, I often meet people with a bewildering array of letters after their name. Does anyone know of a glossary extant of what these all mean? At the moment I'm trying to puzzle out what FBA means - any clues?
posted by Mossy at 1:57 AM PST - 4 comments

Who, in the wonderful world of personal websitery, makes you laugh?

Who, in the wonderful world of personal websitery, makes you laugh? You know, deliberately. [a few examples inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:31 AM PST - 36 comments

Should I Eat This: Velveeta and colby cheeses

Food Poisoning Group Barometer: Do I eat the cheese? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by namespan at 12:14 AM PST - 22 comments

September 7

Can a USB flash drive be used as your Windows swap space?

Can a USB flash drive be used as your Windows swap space? What are the positive aspects of a design such as this?
posted by Keyser Soze at 11:00 PM PST - 18 comments

Do cats get cataracts?

Cats and Cataracts. Does anyone have any experience or expertise in regards to cats with cataracts? [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 9:41 PM PST - 6 comments

TV repair

Television repair question: My TV displays everything in fuzzy black and white, and the audio is just static. [MI] [more inside]
posted by stopgap at 9:40 PM PST - 3 comments

Condom recommendations?

Condom recommendations?
posted by swift at 7:42 PM PST - 21 comments

Heading to Atlanta

It's a little early to be asking this, but I'm heading to Atlanta, GA for a week in December, and I need ideas for what I, as a 19 year old who will be alone most of the time, can do there. (Details within) [more inside]
posted by evilbeck at 7:11 PM PST - 17 comments

How would you improve MetaFilter if you change anything?

If you bought MetaFilter from Matt tomorrow and he could make any development/interface/usability changes you desired, what would you request? [mi] [more inside]
posted by wackybrit at 7:01 PM PST - 36 comments

Living without dairy is udderly ridiculous...

I have to cut dairy from my diet, and I need guidance and suggestions. MOOOOOre inside. [more inside]
posted by padraigin at 5:28 PM PST - 22 comments

Name some magazines online that are worth subscribing to?

Name some magazines online that are worth subscribing to. [More in Inside Cover Flap] [more inside]
posted by Gyan at 5:22 PM PST - 19 comments

Getting Started with Digital Video

What are some good books or web sites for getting started with digital video? What's a good low- to mid-range camera? (I've just started taking classes, and I've got a G5 with Apple's Production Suite.)
posted by kirkaracha at 3:49 PM PST - 4 comments

Is there an app for the PC that will make your mouse -- inside applications -- look more noticable?

I teach computer classes. Most of my classes are taught on PCs, but there's a Mac classroom next door. I was watching that class throught the window, and I noticed that there was a bright red halo around the intructor's mouse pointer. I would LOVE to teach this way, because many students have trouble seeing -- when my PC is projected on a screen -- where my mouse is pointing. So here's my question: is there an app for the PC that will make your mouse -- inside applications -- look more noticable? I'd rather not make the mouse bigger, but something like a halo or ring would be awesome.
posted by grumblebee at 2:45 PM PST - 6 comments

Fabulous Sushi

At a Japanese restaurant, I'm tormented by the fear that a whole world of tasty Japanese treats lays just outside of my reach hidden behind a wall of California roll. I have a theory: if I challenged a handful of local sushi chefs to show me a broader range of more authentic Japanese food, at least one will be willing and able. I'm afraid that years of making smoked salmon-cream cheese role may have dulled his skills and strangled his spirit. I want to be ready to help pull him out of his waking matrix-esque nightmare but I just don't know enough about it. Besides the stuff that you can get at any Japanese restaurant anywhere in the world, what's the most wonderful thing you've ever had in a Japanese restaurant? [more inside]
posted by stuart_s at 2:37 PM PST - 27 comments

Free webcam recorder for Windows?

What's a good free webcam recorder for Windows? No need for video capture; I just want the sequential images. I'm thinking of something like WebTimer on OS X, but for WinNT4 and newer. [more inside]
posted by brownpau at 1:58 PM PST - 3 comments

Help me choose a 5.8Ghz cordless phone

I just discovered that my vtech 2.4Ghz cordless phone is messing up my wireless g network, knocking my powerbook offline whenever I take a call. I'd like to move to a 5.8Ghz setup if it will prevent this, but there are a zillion options. Which would you pick and did it play nice with your network? [details inside] [more inside]
posted by mathowie at 1:47 PM PST - 13 comments

Is there anyway to display a word document as a webpage?

im developing a *low key* department site for the company intranet. We've decided that ill write a simple menu that loads a word document into the facing frame for each menu item - this way i don't have to write any SQL or an interface for keeping the performance data up to date (the department employees will simply keep the word files up to date)

now the question - is there anyway to display a word document as a webpage (meaning: without the rulers and such along the sides and top)? [more inside]
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 1:31 PM PST - 8 comments

Urban Challenge

Has anyone participated in the Urban Challenge? I'm participating this weekend and would like to hear about strategies or experiences. [MI] [more inside]
posted by Frank Grimes at 1:31 PM PST - 2 comments

Temporary Lodging in London

My 23 year-old brother is moving to London for a couple of years (European citizen, so no work permit issues). He will have very little money when he gets there, so he is looking for affordable lodging. When I did the same thing 10 years ago, I stayed at a hostel for a couple of months until I had a steady income, had enough money for a deposit, and found roommates for a flat. Would you concur that this is the best option, and if so, do you have any hostels to recommend? Mine was in Holland Park and I liked it, but I can't remember the name or anything about it. I'd also appreciate hearing any alternate suggestions for inexpensive housing in London. Thank you very much for your help!
posted by widdershins at 11:32 AM PST - 8 comments

Need an way to automate testing PHP functions.

I need to test a series of functions in PHP. The functions return a boolean value for a series of conditions (e.g. if the user has foo and bar, but not hotch, then return true.) My problem is that there are a potential of over 1000 cases to test. Can anyone suggest a way to automate this process?
posted by grefo at 11:28 AM PST - 5 comments

Work Philosophy

Philosophy of Work – Let’s say you have the option of getting paid more for handling the same workload, or getting paid the same, but working fewer hours? [Contract renegotiation time inside.] [more inside]
posted by Hankins at 10:58 AM PST - 13 comments

Safe places for evening run in DC?

A friend has just moved to DC, and is wondering where are the best, safest places for a woman to take an after-work jog in the District? Any schools have tracks open to the public?
posted by schoolgirl report at 10:25 AM PST - 6 comments

Google Answers alternatives?

Are there other places that will pay you to research answers to questions besides Google Answers? [more inside]
posted by Dean_Paxton at 8:34 AM PST - 5 comments

A male-region fungus among us?

Embarrassing Male Crotch-Related Question [MI, to save those who don't wish to see crotch-related questions] [more inside]
posted by emptybowl at 8:34 AM PST - 26 comments

2004 election touch-screen voting machines

With all this talk about potential touch-screen voting machines, I was thinking, "What, exactly, is the big deal? Worst case scenario, even?" I've heard 1/3 of the senate is up for grabs, along with the entire house of representatives and the presidency (correct me if I'm wrong). So, what would happen if there is some touch-screen SNAFU and they all came back republican? Is there anything anybody could do? Also, with a CURRENT republican majority in the house, the senate and a conservative leaning supreme court (that might not have jurisdiction), what if the probable investigations are stymied until January?
posted by taumeson at 7:35 AM PST - 10 comments

How do I protect my Palm PDA from damage?

Am I just fated to buy a new Palm Pilot every year, or does everyone find the screens of Palms PDAs to be rather fragile? My Tungsten E has just suffered it's first pitting after nine months of use, and, somehow I suspect the end is near...
posted by ParisParamus at 7:17 AM PST - 14 comments

What is the easiest way of using my Audioscrobbler RDF feed of my last ten played songs to keep an automated recent listening TypeList on my TypePad weblog?

What is the easiest way of using my Audioscrobbler RDF feed of my last ten played songs to keep an automated recent listening TypeList on my TypePad weblog?
posted by nthdegx at 5:02 AM PST - 3 comments

Is there an understanding which unites Mac users which goes beyond other brand loyalties?

Is there an unspoken brotherhood/sisterhood of mac users?[More Inside.] [more inside]
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:33 AM PST - 37 comments

Can I use a DVD+RW disc as if it were a CD-RW disc?

Can I use a DVD+RW disc as if it were a CD-RW disc? [more inside]
posted by urban greeting at 1:21 AM PST - 5 comments

September 6

How do I deal with racism at work?

Workplace racism and etiquette advice. MI. [more inside]
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:08 PM PST - 16 comments

Need a financial planner

How do I find a good financial planner? [more inside]
posted by Songdog at 5:30 PM PST - 7 comments

Looking for a similar white wine to the brand CONUNDRUM in the $10-15 range.

I'm a huge fab of Conundrum, a white blend wine lately out of Caymus Vinyards. However, here in Boston the suggested retail price of 24$ for a bottle of the '02 is more commonly 30+$. Also, local liquor stores rarely stay in stock. As someone who enjoys a bottle of wine with dinner and saving a few bucks, is there any other similar white (blend or otherwise) you can recommend for 10$-15$ or less? Or if you can find a cheap source of Conundrum outside of NH State Liquor Stores, please let me know! [more inside]
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:10 PM PST - 8 comments

Can I put my fridge right next to my stove?

Is there anything wrong with moving my refrigerator right next to my stove? Gas stove, small kitchen, empty space between the stove and fridge. Will pushing them together affect the performance of either one? Mostly I just don't want proximity to the the stove to make the refrigerator work harder.
posted by bendy at 1:59 PM PST - 12 comments

Meta Module

In the midst of setting up a new Apache webserver, I started investigating the purpose of the modules that come with the default installation, a process which led me to mod_cern_meta. It's odd -- it's a module that lets you embed web page meta information into separate files, and it's loaded by default, but it's not enabled for any sites or directories, nor have I ever seen it used. A few Google searches turned up no obvious web applications that use it, either. Is there something I'm missing here? Is there any reason I should keep the module loaded?
posted by delfuego at 12:52 PM PST - 7 comments

are there any good zombie books out there?

[BakingFilter] What's the best vanilla extract in your opinion, and why? No artificial vanillas need apply, and we already use vanilla beans, so no need to suggest that either. Uses will include baking and homemade ice cream.
posted by biscotti at 12:42 PM PST - 9 comments

what to look for in a dishwasher

I'm in the market for a new dishwasher. (The machine kind, not the employee kind, silly.) This is new territory for me. I'm looking to spend $500 or less. What factors should I consider?
posted by kmel at 10:00 AM PST - 7 comments

P2P applications and Windows 2003

Windows 2003 Server: I know how to open a port/ port forward for P2P apps on a router, but does anyone know a simple way to open the same ports so Windows 2003 will allow traffic through them?
posted by yerfatma at 9:01 AM PST - 5 comments

Family Christmas... with a Twist

Let's say you are a 21 year old female, senior in college, with a 23 year old sister who is a grad student. The two of you are quite close but have very different interests. You're into Five-Eight for the moment and she's been into Tim McGraw for about ten years now. You have a steady boyfriend while she spends more time with her friends. Your mom and dad are divorced but that's ok cause they are better apart anyway. Now your mom wants to start her own Christmas tradition that doesn't involve your dad. She wants to take you, your sister, and maybe a couple of friends on a trip every year leaving on Christmas Day or maybe the day after. Her budget is $4000. Any suggestions on how to make everyone at least 90% happy?
posted by oh posey at 7:36 AM PST - 22 comments

Problems With Bookmarks/Anchors in Word-PDF Conversion, and "Alt" Text for Images

PDF question about named destinations, text touchup tool and "alt text" for images. (More inside) [more inside]
posted by Pericles at 6:54 AM PST - 4 comments

September 5

UK vs. American English - "different to/from/than"

UK versus American English usage question: In a recent post, the one on Chinese singing, I noticed that English speakers from England seem to use 'to' where most Americans would use 'from' or 'than.'
Example: "So 'bang' with a rising tone is different to 'bang' with a falling tone is different to 'bang' with a rising then falling tone."
Why is this, and how did this difference in usage originate?
posted by geekhorde at 11:17 PM PST - 19 comments

How do I find a family doctor?

How do I find a family doctor?
posted by chiababe at 9:44 PM PST - 6 comments

What's the instrument played by the old man in Hero? What's that style of music called?

What's the instrument played by the old man in Hero? What's that style of music called?
posted by callmejay at 8:34 PM PST - 3 comments

What modern vocal songs have pipe organ?

I've been (intentionally) listening to some songs with pipe organs in them that sound like this [MP3, 0.8MB]. Can anyone recommend modern songs that happen to use these instruments? As in singing, perhaps blues/folk/indie, rather than centuries old church ditties. Thanks.
posted by holloway at 8:06 PM PST - 17 comments

Best Video Compression Software? (2004)

Of all the video compression software out there, which do you think is the best in terms of straight-forward usability and useful features? Basically I'm trying to shrink several 800MB avi files down to a size which will fit on standard 700MB CDRs. [more inside]
posted by dhoyt at 8:04 PM PST - 22 comments

What's the Deal With "Pro Evo: Pro Evolution, Guide for an Age of Joy"?

got a book in the mail. Pro Evo: Pro Evolution, Guideline for an Age of Joy by Tomotom Stiftung. anyone else get this thing? i didn't ask for it, and have no idea why it was sent to me. i was thinking about reading enough of it to see if i ought to be worried that it was sent to me (given my profession, anything that even looks a little suspicious can be bad news) but i didn't want to waste my time on a print version of TimeCube if i can avoid it. can anyone out there give me more info on what this is, and why it may have been sent to me?
posted by caution live frogs at 7:07 PM PST - 10 comments

How does IBM's warranty program compare with Applecare?

I'm thinking about buying a Thinkpad (work related) and wanted to know if anyone had any experience with IBM's "depot repair" warranty option. Worth the extra money, or not so much? Also, does anyone know if you can purchase an extended warranty after you've purchased the laptop and used it for a while? Or, put more succinctly; "How does IBM's warranty program compare with Applecare?"
posted by alan at 6:50 PM PST - 5 comments

Self-Help Help

Have you ever been helped significantly by a self-help book?
posted by mecran01 at 5:08 PM PST - 21 comments

Looking for documentaries like Battlefield Britian

While in London I caught the most recent episode of Battlefield Britain and loved it. Are there other similar quality documentaries (on any topics) that mefites can recommend?
posted by srboisvert at 3:32 PM PST - 6 comments


Rub-a-dub-dub: any unique ideas for herb/spice/marinate combos?
(Bird, beast, or fish, it could be any dish.)
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:31 PM PST - 20 comments

How much to tip for a puppy trim?

Tipfilter: I got a puppy about a month ago and am taking him to get trimmed at one of the larger pet supply chains. What is the general consensus on tipping for something like this?
posted by bucko at 1:43 PM PST - 16 comments

What short film features the downfall of a man who watches Internet porn?

There was a short movie posted on Mefi Blue a ways back about an office worker who watches Internet porn by mistake and gets fired and his whole life goes down the drain. Anybody remember the name?
posted by jeremias at 1:08 PM PST - 5 comments

Housewarming gift for first time home owners?

Suggestions for a housewarming gift for first time home owners? (Other than a bottle of booze or wine or candles.)
posted by sharksandwich at 12:11 PM PST - 9 comments

Wat are the most valuable foreign language skills to possess in the next decade?

What are the most valuable foreign language skills to possess in the next decade(s)? Arabic? Chineese? Spanish? Does it depend solely on your chosen field? My question comes from a government and law perspective, but I'd be interested in all opinions. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by trivirgata at 11:48 AM PST - 17 comments

Is using an exterminator bad for my health?

How unhealthy is it (in terms of residual toxins, etc.) to have an exterminator come around? And are there any realistic alternatives? (more inside) [more inside]
posted by bingo at 11:23 AM PST - 7 comments

Managing JAlbum

I know, I know -- not another web photogallery AskMe question, but: I've actually settled on the gallery itself. I'm using JAlbum. Having made the choice, though, I'm left with two questions:

1. JAlbum makes nice galleries, but doesn't create a top-level index page. (I could hand-code it, but my wife will be doing most of the updating and I don't want her to have to go mucking around in HTML.) The easiest solution, I'd think, would be just to reformat the directory listing into something attractive -- all I really need to communicate to the user is descriptive folder names and upload dates, but I'd prefer to make something more handsome than the standard Apache page. Can anyone recommend a particular PHP file system manager or other solution?

2. JAlbum's auto upload is ridiculously slow -- better just to FTP it. When JAblum makes a gallery, though, it includes a lot of stuff I'm not using -- icon sets, borders, etc. It's not a ton of space, but I'm going to uploading a lot of these galleries, and it'll add up. Is there a programmatic way I can stop JAlbum from including all this, instead of weeding it out before each upload? (I'm using the BluPlusPlus skin.)
posted by blueshammer at 8:54 AM PST - 1 comment

Is there a choral recording of Hindemith's "Frau Musica"?

Does anybody know of a choral recording of Hindemith's "Frau Musica"? The sheet music is available, but I'm not finding any recordings.
posted by languagehat at 8:46 AM PST - 4 comments

How can my boss share his Palm Desktop with me over the internet?

LackeyFilter: How can my boss share his Palm Desktop info with me over the internet? [more inside]
posted by stonerose at 8:40 AM PST - 5 comments

Making Beslan donations count

How do I donate to the Beslan families while guaranteeing that my money does not pass through the hands of the Russian government or organized crime groups? Specifically, are these guys legit?
posted by PrinceValium at 8:06 AM PST - 2 comments

Incompatible hard disk interfaces

My laptop died and I'm trying to get stuff off the HD by slaving it into one of my desktop machines. The problem is the pin pattern is a smaller form factor. The drive is a Hitachi DK23EA interface ATA-5 (Enhanced IDE). Both of the machines I’ve tried have ATA-100 drives. I’ve removed the quick connect connector from the laptop drive to expose the pins. The pin pattern is the same as the connectors in the desk top but are a smaller footprint. (both narrower and shorter) Do I need some kind of jumper connector or cable, or am I trying to do something that for some unknown rule can’t be done?
posted by mss at 6:51 AM PST - 3 comments

September 4

Helping Bedridden Sister

My pregnant sister is currently experiencing placenta previa, which means she will require total bedrest for the next six weeks until the baby (her first) is delivered caesarean. Additionally her husband is undergoing both chemo and radiation for throat cancer until November. This means they will both be incapacitated for awhile....(MI) [more inside]
posted by dhoyt at 11:48 PM PST - 20 comments

How do you sing in Chinese and other tonal languages?

How do you sing in Chinese and other tonal languages? Does the music follow the notes as usual but deviate a little bit to express tones (which could explain the sort of warbly psychedelic sound of the Chinese singing I've heard), or does the music itself dictate what tones are used - in which case I'd guess lyrics are mostly limited to flat tones since singing is mostly level notes.
posted by abcde at 10:31 PM PST - 18 comments

Finding a specific wallpaper image I lost.

I'm looking for a specific wallpaper image. [MI] [more inside]
posted by MrAnonymous at 9:09 PM PST - 3 comments

Present for a Kitchen Pro

I need some help looking for a present for a kitchen pro [more inside] [more inside]
posted by mathowie at 8:58 PM PST - 33 comments

Is there any way I can tweak the display settings to improve the colour rendition on a laptop?

I have an IBM T41 laptop with the high-res 1400x1080 display, which is a great machine. However, the screen isn't great for touching up digital pictures because the colours aren't as good as the CRT on my PC. Is there any way I can tweak the display settings to improve the colour rendition? [more inside]
posted by kaefer at 8:12 PM PST - 7 comments

Anyone know of a website that will handle a pick em' contest?

Anyone know of a website that will handle a pick em' contest, with the spread, for NFL games on a weekly basis for 20+ people?
posted by brent at 7:25 PM PST - 1 comment

Help me find out why I'm allergic to certain beers

So, I've become allergic to certain beers. I'm trying to narrow down what it is that makes my eustachian tubes inflamed within 10 minutes of drinking one fine beverage. [more inside]
posted by machaus at 5:53 PM PST - 13 comments

I Need a server carrying the original "Grand Theft Auto"

Anyone know of a server carrying the original Grand Theft Auto and supporting "download resuming"? That last thing doesn't seem to be the case when it comes to the publisher's servers; my download manager always starts from the beginning. Thanks!
posted by kchristidis at 5:17 PM PST - 10 comments

Which way does water flow on the equator?

So, in the southern hemisphere water flows one way down the toilet and in the northern, the other. What happens on the equator?
posted by Mossy at 1:43 PM PST - 11 comments

Any tips for a summer of working abroad?

I have the possibility of going abroad next summer, fully-funded through a scholarship program through my university, up to $3000 for the summer. Here's the catch -- it has to be a work or intern experience - it can't be study abroad. The only stipulation for work - over the summer i have to do at least 35 hrs/week, and 8 weeks of work - so there could be a study compoenent at the beginning too. I've never had the opportunity to go abroad in college (cause of cash restraints and b/c of transferring schools), and I've really wanted to go to South America or the Carribbean. My Spanish is pretty weak, but i'm working on it right now, until next summer. Any suggestions on programs or countries, or fellow MeFi experiences? I'm pretty much starting in the dark here.
posted by jare2003 at 12:19 PM PST - 8 comments

Does sodium hydroxide go bad?

ChemistryFilter: Can NaOH lose it's potency? Is there any easy way to test it?
posted by dejah420 at 11:53 AM PST - 14 comments

Live feeds of The Weather Channel?

I just discovered that my sat-tv provider dropped the Weather Channel as I tried to find coverage of Frances. The website appears to only post reports, rather than direct streaming. Any live feeds of TWC out there? Did I just miss it, buried in the depths of the website?
posted by mwhybark at 11:17 AM PST - 8 comments

How do I download an install for IE 6

How can I download Internet Explorer 6 as a single file for installation on another computer (running Windows 2000)? This page only seems to give the me the option of downloading a small install program but I still need to be online to actually install the whole thing. My Win2000 machine has IE 5.5 and I'm having trouble getting online.
posted by jacobsee at 9:23 AM PST - 6 comments

Setting up a document archive of text files and links.

I need to set up a database-driven document archive of mostly text files and links. I want the archive to have a tree structure and allow the public to browse it without logging in. I want each file to have a description. I prefer PHP or Perl and need to use it on a shared hosting account. I would think something open source like this would be out there, but I can't find it. Any advice?
posted by johnnydark at 6:02 AM PST - 2 comments

September 3

Online resource for algorithms and formulas for typical 3d programming problems?

I am working on a project involving some 3d programming (in AutoLisp), and have managed to muddle through with what I remember of university geometry. I run into basic geometry problems (i.a.: find the 3d point where 2 lines intersect, given only the start points, angles and slope of the lines) which I manage to laboriously and clumsily solve. I'm sure most of these problems have 'canonical' solutions, worked out by graphic programmers. Is there any online resource for algorithms and formulas for typical 3d programming problems?
A good, simple explanation of the theory (and application in 3d graphics) of transformation matrixes would be nice, too.
posted by signal at 10:41 PM PST - 6 comments

What temples should I visit in Kyoto, Japan?

My wife and I are heading back to Japan for a few weeks this October. I lived for many years in Japan, but have not been to Kyoto. We are planning only a day and a half there, so I was wondering which temples/castles are on your "Do Not Miss Under Any Circumstances" List (I'm guessing Ryoanji, Kinkakuji, and Kiyomizudera for starters)? Any advice? Im planning a full day and need to make sure I make this worthwhile.
posted by Dantien at 9:42 PM PST - 3 comments

iPod and Audio Books

Does anyone have one of the new iPods that let you speed up audio books? Can you really listen to them that way?
posted by josh at 8:37 PM PST - 5 comments

Keeping an outdoor space bee-free

How do we keep the Bees away?
We are having an outdoor party this weekend and I am sure the Bees will be bad. What can we do to keep them away? I have heard that placing a bowl of honey nearby, but far enough from the crowd, works. Anyone try this? Any other options?
posted by internal at 7:47 PM PST - 12 comments

What's the best way to learn interactive game creation in blender 3d?

What's the best way to learn interactive game creation in blender 3d? [more inside]
posted by ph00dz at 7:32 PM PST - 4 comments

Malware problem

Malware problem. (Yes, on IE. Why would you ask?) This is some kind of browser hijack that keeps trying to reset my relly's home page and has added a tool bar to everything in his Windows files inviting him to pharmacy and gambling sites. [mi]
posted by realjanetkagan at 7:01 PM PST - 10 comments

A grief observed...

SympathyFilter: What's the best way to help my girlfriend deal with the passing of a family member? Difficulty level=other side of the country. [Morbid inside] [more inside]
posted by rorycberger at 5:00 PM PST - 6 comments


Attack of the Spider Monsters! What seemed like a normal amount of spiders in my apartment has turned into something more horrible. Since they're all very tiny right now, I'm assuming an egg sac opened up somewhere. ick. I have a small child and two cats. What can I use to get rid of the spiders, that won't harm my family? Besides buying a dozen wooden shoes, and hiring a team of clog dancers.
posted by FunkyHelix at 4:49 PM PST - 11 comments

Can I get book descriptions and bibliographic data electronically from a variety of publishers, for free?

Is it possible to get book descriptions electronically from a variety of publishers...for free? [you bet there's more inside] [more inside]
posted by cmonkey at 4:09 PM PST - 7 comments

Jail Guards and firearms - fact or fiction?

GoofyFactCheckFilter: do jail guards (specifically not prison guards) ever carry firearms? I published a short story online recently in which a guard in a county jail is carrying a gun and the person being held for questioning grabs it, chaos ensues, etc. I just received an email (from a guy I know slightly) insisting that "jail guards never carry firearms for the very reason you give -- high risk of someone grabbing it."

Now, I've never been to jail, but I've visited inmates in a maximum security prison (long story), and of course all the guards were carrying guns. So is there really some universal distinction between prison guards and jail guards regarding firearms, or was this person just being a know-it-all (and an ill-informed one at that)? I, of course, am only asking for the sake of accuracy, and not because I'm irritated.
posted by scody at 4:02 PM PST - 8 comments


Avocadofilter! My Dad has a very productive tree and gave some to us. I have 8 that are all ripe at once. Sick of guacamole, tried pasta sauce, had them on toast - what else can you do with them?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:37 PM PST - 29 comments

Birthday Celebration

hey! it's my legal birthday (long story) and i was wondering what free stuff is still out for the reaping to celebrate my slow move towards another demographic. I'm all too legal and in search of aburdity, possible pagentry, and bow to the no string attached freebie, and there ain't no denny's anyhoo.
posted by ethylene at 1:07 PM PST - 9 comments

Advice on Japanese-style electronic toilets?

Anyone got opinions, advice, stories, or strong feelings about Japanese-style electronic toilets? As I get older I grow more disgusted with the Western tradition of smearing one's feces with toilet paper instead of giving it a proper hygenic washing.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:22 PM PST - 21 comments

Is it ever OK in prose to start a sentence with "and"?

Is it ever OK in prose to start a sentence with "and"? The general situation I'm thinking of is when you want to insert a sort of dramatic pause into the middle of a narrative sentence that has "and" (or any conjunction in it). [more inside]
posted by badstone at 11:54 AM PST - 36 comments

Great Things to See and Do in Barcelona

Anyone know great things to see & do in Barcelona? General recommendations appreciated, specific insider tips even more so!
posted by subpixel at 11:30 AM PST - 13 comments

Can I learn Networking?

Though I'm pretty computer savvy, my lack-of-knowledge about networking keeps tripping me up. Where can I learn about IP addresses, routers, http, etc.? I don't have a specific problem at the moment; I'm just looking for general information that might help someone who tinkers around with web-development and who occasionally needs to get machines to play nice with each other.
posted by grumblebee at 11:29 AM PST - 7 comments

What are good ways to find out what's going on in a particular field?

The damn liberal arts corruptors have tricked me into thinking that the "life of the mind" is where it's at, and that minds live best when reading books, and then arguing (or talking) about what was read. I've read too much Invisible Adjunct to think that graduate school is really a good idea overall—noble penury isn't my idea of a good time—but everything about it other than the hyperprofessionalization and lack of decent job prospects is immensely appealing. My question to you, academically-minded metafiltrates: what are good ways to find out what's going on in a field, what are the excellent essays/books, and (this is the main question) how do you find people who share that interest who aren't themselves academics to, you know, talk about it? I guess what I want is an approximation of grad school, probably impossible, but I'd be interested in what others have to say.
posted by kenko at 9:38 AM PST - 24 comments

How much do you spend without telling your partner about it?

For couples: Along the same lines as the previous question, what's the maximum dollar value that you and your partner feel OK about spending without consulting the other? For me it's $75.
posted by luser at 9:37 AM PST - 28 comments

How Rich is "Rich"?

What's the defenition of "rich"? During the convention i've heard "rich" equated with household incomes of $100K or more. That seems like an incredibly low number to me -- is it 'cause I live in New York? [more inside]
posted by o2b at 9:12 AM PST - 27 comments

Entertaining IRC Logs

What is the site that is a collection of IRC logs, usually pretty entertaining?
posted by the fire you left me at 8:51 AM PST - 3 comments

How does IMDB rate their top 250 films?

This has been bugging me for a while: On IMDB, why are some highly-rated films not listed in the top 250? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by jdroth at 7:45 AM PST - 7 comments

Tools and info re carving/whittling

I might take up carving/whittling. Do I need the myriad of tools? Where could I find good woods for this purpose? How hard is it to sharpen your own tools? Any book recommendations? Sites? [mi] [more inside]
posted by sciurus at 5:40 AM PST - 8 comments

Photo Stamps experiences?

Has anyone used Photo Stamps yet? [MI] [more inside]
posted by JoanArkham at 5:02 AM PST - 5 comments

Tag: You're It!

SkinTagFilter: I have a tag right on the apex of my ever-growing spare-tyre - I've had it for a long time, but as I'm succumbing to the middle-age spread, it's becoming more prominent, rubbing on clothing, etc. Is there any problem with me getting a sterilised scalpel and just whipping it off, then staunching the blood flow like I'd been injured naturally and letting it all heal?
posted by benzo8 at 3:10 AM PST - 21 comments

Hardware (PC) question.

My slave (drive) won't work. [More inside] [more inside]
posted by i_cola at 2:24 AM PST - 9 comments

September 2

Best place to find Daily Show Torrents?

Where is a good place to find current Daily Show Torrents? I don't have a TV and would like to be able to see the Daily show's coverage of the RNC, etc etc.
posted by Stynxno at 8:27 PM PST - 8 comments

What can happen if I hijack a wireless connection?

Ethical considerations aside, are there any issues I should be concerned with if I were to use my neighbor's wireless internet without his explicit permission? Say, my computer getting hacked, my passwords being intercepted, my email being read, my browsing history being revealed, etc etc.
posted by TheIrreverend at 7:43 PM PST - 10 comments

Phone jack moving know-how

I'm renovating a room and I'd like to move a phone jack that was originally placed 5 feet from the floor (for a wall phone), down closer to plug height. We're talkin' standard wood frame construction with gypsum board walls. I know that the box is set against a wall stud but I'm unsure the best way to do this with the least amount of tearing up and patching. Any tips, online resources or warnings? I also don't know jack about phone wiring. Get it? Jack? Har dee har.
posted by jabo at 6:25 PM PST - 5 comments

Give me your reccomendations on books about the Republic and Empire.

As a lay...very lay...student of Roman Republic and Empire, and anticipating the upcoming HBO/BBC series Rome with relish, I'm reading everything I can get my hands on about both Republic and Empire. Currently I'm reading an abridgement of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire I just inherited. What next? [insert Latin for "more inside" here].
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:08 PM PST - 19 comments

DVDs in San Jose

Anybody know somewhere in the San Jose area that sells brand spanking new DVDs/CDs when they are released at 12:01 AM on Tuesdays? [more inside]
posted by rorycberger at 5:17 PM PST - 8 comments

non-fiction book related to an event that happened in the U.S between 1850-1929?

My high-school freshman niece has a cool assignment: She has to read a non-fiction book related to an event that happened in the U.S between 1850-1929. Could also be about events that occured outside of the U.S. but that are of significant national importance. Must have at least 150 pages. Biographies OK but not preferred. I sent her a couple of ideas (Triangle shirtwaist factory fire, Titanic, women's suffrage), but would love any other ideas, especially specific book titles that would engage a young girl. Thanks for any ideas!
posted by GaelFC at 4:43 PM PST - 30 comments

What are some legitimate ways to earn extra money while working at home?

Work from home!!!! But seriously, are there any legitimate ways to earn extra income at home? [Come inside, won't you] [more inside]
posted by Otis at 4:20 PM PST - 8 comments

Huge Files

i've got a client that is doing private investiations of insurance fraud cases, and has been writing up reports in MS Word and embedding photos of the casework into those .doc files. the problem is that he needs to email these files to his clients so they can be proofread and modified (i had suggested .PDF files until i realized the clients needed to be able to modify the reports). Unfortunately, these .doc files with images embeded end up roughly 15 MB in size each, and become too large to email. they're not technically astute enough to resize the images to be smaller, however .PDF files nicely package that same 15 MB .doc file into a 250 KB .pdf file. do any of you have any ideas of a common document format that i can recommend to them that will take care of the image size for them?

posted by quadrinary at 2:52 PM PST - 13 comments

Hobbies for a workaholic engineer.

I am an engineer who is a workaholic. I'm quitting my job & starting another one, with the hopes of keeping more regular hours. Part of my problem is that I don't have commitments after work that require me to be elsewhere. Particularly, I don't have any hobbies that aren't engineering/computer related.
What kind of hobbies would you recommend to a mid-30s adult that could be fun and engrossing and not earth-shatteringly hard to pick up?
posted by j at 1:56 PM PST - 35 comments

Gmail invites

Are Gmail invites transferable? If I forward the e-mail inviting me to someone else, can they successfully sign up? (Or will it forever link my name to that account?)
posted by Vidiot at 1:05 PM PST - 18 comments

Does AOL send emails sooner if the sender is right then using one of their services?

I know speaking about AOL is not eCool, but seems that AOL e-mails are delivered more frequently if I'm actually, actively doing something with AOL (e.g., sending e-mails, or using their web browser--which I don't do, but). Am I imagining this, and if not, is there any way to defeat what seems to be AOL's way of managing resources?
posted by ParisParamus at 12:34 PM PST - 6 comments

Explaining Geocaching

So I am going to take a friend and his 9 year old Geocaching this Sunday. I am seeking a clear and quick explanation on how longitude, latitude, minutes and seconds work - in a way a nine year old would understand. Answers or good links?
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 12:33 PM PST - 6 comments

Color Palettes

I am familiar with many of the sites on the web which generate a color palette from any given base color, but I don't understand how they determine which colors "go" with each other. What's the theory behind this? Is there any easy way to generate this kind of palette in Photoshop, Freehand, Fireworks, etc.?
posted by signal at 12:31 PM PST - 8 comments

Craiglist alternatives

Now that Craigslist is not free, is there another board where can I find someone to help me with a small NYC-based php/mysql/odbc project? I don't want to use google groups - I'll be spammed for years...
posted by subpixel at 11:23 AM PST - 11 comments

MP3 Player for Ibook

I'm looking for a 256mb flash mp3 player for my Ibook, for about $100. I'm happy to take recommendations, but what would be even cooler is if someone has the link to an online database that lets you search for units that will mount as a hard drive on OS X without having to use someone's proprietary, usually crappy, software. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 11:13 AM PST - 6 comments

What's the best mp3 downloader?

I'm sure it's been asked before, but I can't find it. What's the best free mp3 downloader out there now? Kazaa is kaput with ads now, in my opinion.
posted by agregoli at 9:06 AM PST - 16 comments

Why are all my images coming out pink in Photoshop?

Every image I open in Photoshop comes out in shades of pink; and in the color picker, there's only variations of that color. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by kchristidis at 9:05 AM PST - 16 comments

Looking for an Aeron-quality chair that doesn't move

Where can I get a good, Aeron-quality task chair, either with no wheels or with locking casters? {MI} [more inside]
posted by josh at 8:35 AM PST - 4 comments

Cosmetic Surgery and Natural Selection

Is cosmetic surgery endangering natural selection?
posted by the fire you left me at 8:33 AM PST - 26 comments

MP3 Lectures

I'm looking for free lectures in mp3 format. Science, history, philosophy, etc. Lectures from college courses might be nice or something along the lines of the Long Now Seminars.
posted by gwint at 8:24 AM PST - 10 comments

what are those paper 'fortune tellers' called?

Those fortune telling paper things kids make, sort of origami-y... there's four upside down cups that you put your fingers in, the faces have numbers or colours on them, then after a complicated "pick a number, pick a colour" game, you unfold something and an answer is revealed.

What are those called?
posted by Capn at 7:45 AM PST - 17 comments

AAC to MP3 for fair use?

I've been buying my wife tracks from iTunes and putting them on her Archos Jukebox. Since the Archos doesn't accept the aac format, I have to burn them from Archos onto CDs and then rip the CDs back into my PC and then download the ripped files onto her Jukebox. (I don't feel like I'm cheating Apple out of revenue, because only my wife listens to this music.) [More Inside.] [more inside]
posted by grumblebee at 7:16 AM PST - 36 comments

Is it safe an/or legal to bring a Virginia ham to the Philippines from the US?

Going home to Manila for Christmas, and Mom just emailed, asking me to bring along an entire fricking leg of Virginia Ham. I've checked the State Dept site and the US Embassy in Manila for regulations on bringing in food, but I'm running into dead links. Plus, I'm flying Emirates, with an overnight layover in Dubai. The ham should fit in my bags, well within the weight allowance, but is it safe and legal?
posted by brownpau at 7:10 AM PST - 10 comments

What PDAs make the best e-book readers?

Inspired by this thread, I ask: What's a good PDA to use as an e-book reader? [more inside]
posted by sid at 7:08 AM PST - 12 comments

Which freely available utilities, gizmos and doodads ALWAYS have a place on your Windows machine?

WinDoze: You're setting up your new machine. Which freely available utilities, gizmos and doodads ALWAYS have a place on your computer? WinAmp? WinZip? WinRAR? Acrobat Reader? ICQ (or variants)? For me, on a WinDoze system I can't live without IrfanView or DCEnhance.
posted by RavinDave at 6:57 AM PST - 23 comments

Dealing with Dementia

Dealing with dementia (especially Old Timers)
More, erm... thing. Oh, you know... Aren't those flowers a pretty colour? [more inside]
posted by twine42 at 4:11 AM PST - 12 comments

Demo Tape Policies

Have you come across any funny demo policies lately? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by soundofsuburbia at 4:03 AM PST - 5 comments

long-lost children's book about a bear who learns to be self-reliant?

Librarians, parents, readers, ex-kids: can any of you help me remember a long-lost children's book about a bear who learns to be self-reliant? [more inside]
posted by melissa may at 2:53 AM PST - 8 comments

Need a Free Font

I'm looking for fonts (particularly free, natch) that epitomise "traditional jazz" for a not-for-profit jazz club site that my mother volunteered me to make. Any ideas, O brainy ones? [more inside]
posted by Pericles at 1:55 AM PST - 10 comments

Is it feasible to build your own silk-screening / screen-printing press?

Screen-printing/Silk-screening: I'm looking to get into it to produce some t-shirt ideas I've had floating around. But I don't want to buy all the expensive equipment. Is it feasible to build your own press, provided with good instructions?
posted by Espoo2 at 1:50 AM PST - 4 comments

Can genius be used as an adjective?

Can genius be used as adjective, as in this example from the BBC: "Send Dave your genius idea."? If so, why? [More Inside.] [more inside]
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:28 AM PST - 30 comments

September 1

Ten best books from Project Gutenberg

What are the ten best books available from Project Gutenberg?

One rule: if someone's listed one of yours, pick another!
posted by mwhybark at 11:41 PM PST - 18 comments

Are there cup holders on the International Space Station?

Okay, here's an odd question that's been making me think...

Does the ISS have cup holders? If so, are they the huge ones that fit Double Gulps? If not, are they specially designed to fit some sort of "Space Cup"?

If not, do they have to hold their drinks the entire time?
posted by shepd at 11:14 PM PST - 6 comments

French Revolution History

I've just reduced my book queue to a puny six or seven, I'm looking to pile a little something on, and a bookstore just opened within walking distance. I'm in the mood for a good history of the French Revolution. Any recommendations?
posted by furiousthought at 9:21 PM PST - 4 comments

Making Voiceover Demos

Voice overs: any suggestions/advice on demo making? [more inside]
posted by o2b at 7:46 PM PST - 3 comments

Do truck drivers masturbate while driving?

Do truck drivers masturbate while driving?
posted by Kwantsar at 7:27 PM PST - 13 comments

What happens to someone's personal debt if s/he goes to prison?

What happens to someone's personal debt (ex. credit cards, student loans) if s/he goes to prison? Does it matter if the term is <10 years? Life? (Not that I need to worry personally, just curious.)
posted by ferociouskitty at 7:24 PM PST - 6 comments

Would you quit a job if it meant you had a better chance of pursuing life goals?

Would you quit a job if it meant you had a better chance of
pursuing life goals? Even if it was financially risky and
the economy was tough? Have you taken risks to avoid selling out? Did it work? Why or why not? [more inside]
posted by weston at 7:22 PM PST - 11 comments

Accessing email and address book over my home network?

EmailFilter: I have a Windows XP Pro laptop and an OS X iMac. I need to store my email and contacts on the iMac but access them over my home network from the laptop. How can I do this? [mi] [more inside]
posted by Sfving at 6:55 PM PST - 9 comments

DC Parking Ticket

I've a hunch a similar question has been asked here before, but Googling doesn't turn up anything specific. I'd like assistance understanding the commonsense guidelines for paying an out-of-state parking ticket, since cash is a scarce commodity and we misread the meter. In a nutshell, I'd pay without question if i could spare the hundred, but want to understand the consequences if I can't. Will it affect my credit, in-state DMV standing, or anything else? The ticket was issued in Washington DC, if that is of any import.
posted by vers at 6:41 PM PST - 4 comments

Quotation about watching the swirling mass of humanity

Quote help. I'm looking for a quote where a guy talks about being on top of a hill of sorts, watching the swirling mass of humanity below. He says it in kind of a boastful way, how he almost observes with amusement.

My Google-fu isn't working. I've tried dozens of combos of keywords with no luck. (Trouble is, I don't know if I've remembered the keywords properly.)
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:21 PM PST - 15 comments

Need appetizers for a wedding

Foodies, two MeFites need advice about what to make as appetizers for the wedding of two friends... come on into the kitchen if you want to know more... [more inside]
posted by stonerose at 6:05 PM PST - 9 comments

Ants in my Kitchen

How do I get rid of the teeny ants who are taking over my kitchen? [MI] [more inside]
posted by willpie at 5:26 PM PST - 10 comments

Lyndon LaRich

Where does Lyndon LaRouche get so much money?
posted by inksyndicate at 5:01 PM PST - 3 comments

Web site privacy policy?

Creating a web site privacy policy? [more inside]
posted by jca at 4:37 PM PST - 5 comments

Starting Martial Arts

I'm considering starting an activity that's really out of my normal stratosphere, and have thought about maybe trying karate or another martial art. I'm a skinny 27-year-old guy who is not very flexible or physically strong. Is this a really bad idea? And if not, can anyone recommend what kind of martial art I should try? If you can recommend specific places in NYC (Manhattan), it would be even better.
posted by edlundart at 3:13 PM PST - 11 comments

I'm looking at the JVC EX-A1, and want a NAD or a TEAC system. What direction should I take for a quality compact stereo system?

Looking at the JVC EX-A1, and really wanting a NAD or a TEAC system, what direction could be taken for a quality compact stereo system?
posted by four panels at 3:06 PM PST - 1 comment

Cash Advances

Wow. All of the sudden my small town has been innundated with "cash advance","check into cash" type businesses. There are, at last count 9 new openings here. What is this all about? What are the terms of these places for borrowing money? Any other towns seeing such a boom?
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 3:04 PM PST - 23 comments

Cat friendship help

Does my cat need a friend? [MI-ow] [more inside]
posted by adrober at 2:46 PM PST - 9 comments

Evaluating Online Sources

Help me mold the minds of future internet debaters. Come inside. [more inside]
posted by Acetylene at 2:40 PM PST - 16 comments

Can a touchscreen monitor (12-15") be set to control a DVD player?

Can a touchscreen monitor (12-15") be set to control a DVD player? (more inside) [more inside]
posted by faustessa at 2:35 PM PST - 7 comments

Romantic travel through Napa.

After the success of my night in San Francisco (details inside for the curious), I'm once again seeking romantic travel guidance. This time: Napa. [step on the grapes, the juice is inside] [more inside]
posted by rorycberger at 2:11 PM PST - 8 comments

Vice-Presidential birth requirements

Can a non-natural born citizen be the Vice-President of the United States? Article II specifies that the President must be natural born, but what about the VP?
posted by Frank Grimes at 12:40 PM PST - 12 comments


Quickie Gecko-CSS question - not finding useful help on Google. How to align the text (value) of a form button?

This looks great in IE (aligned right), but always reverts to center in Moz/Firefox. Anyone find any clever workarounds (I really don't wanna resort to images) [more inside]
posted by kokogiak at 11:54 AM PST - 16 comments

Does anybody remember a link to a collection of photos from some agricultural fair in England?

Lost link: Does anybody remember a link that made the rounds in early August to a collection of photos from some agricultural fair in England? Art photos of beautiful farm animals & their owners?
posted by luser at 11:16 AM PST - 4 comments

Television: Bigger is Better?

What size t.v. should I get? [more] [more inside]
posted by Juicylicious at 11:11 AM PST - 27 comments

TV on a lap through router?

I want to watch TV on my laptop via wifi. Does anyone know how I can do this? For example, Toshiba's new Qosmio laptops come with a 'Wifi TV Router'. Does anyone else make a WiFi TV router? Or, alternatively, I have another computer with a TV card in it. What software could I install to stream the live TV signal from my server? I know there are streaming video products, but I don't know if any of them can also handle changing channels on a live TV stream. Any helpful suggestions appreciated. Thanks! [more inside]
posted by PigAlien at 11:05 AM PST - 4 comments

What's the best place to buy additional RAM for an iBook?

What's the best place to buy additional RAM for an iBook?
(Sorry if this has been asked before, but I Googled for half an hour and couldn't find anything.)
posted by kirkaracha at 11:02 AM PST - 10 comments

Can you help me that is a scam?

I think is a scam. Can you help me prove it?
posted by reklaw at 10:55 AM PST - 3 comments


Can anyone provide an example in which an author creates a work that is later shown to have an fairly obvious flaw or factual error, that the author eventually acknowledges? I'm more specifically looking for the author's reaction, reply or excuse when presented with this error. The older, the better.
posted by milovoo at 10:28 AM PST - 25 comments

Online glossaries for a stock market beginner?

Stock market filter: I'm not getting the answer i want from online glossaries that I've checked out. Can anyone give me a good layman's answer for a stock market beginner? When looking at a stock's price, what are the Bid price and Ask price and how do they relate to the "current price" of a stock. It seems simple, but there is some mental block preventing me from totally getting it, i think.
posted by Slimemonster at 9:48 AM PST - 4 comments

What do you do when you're miserable?

What do you do when you're miserable? (Bonus points for answers that don't include drugs or god.)
posted by dame at 9:47 AM PST - 50 comments

Browser-based Demos

I'm looking for online demonstration software. Specifically, something that will allow the ones watching the software demonstration to do so from their browser. Cost is an issue, but I don't need free. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by sauril at 9:46 AM PST - 8 comments

The way I blow my nose attracts unwanted attention.

Dear AskMetafilter: In the fall, I have allergies, and several times a day I need to blow my nose. I try very hard to be discrete and do this in locations away from other people, but sometimes I cannot entirely escape the presence of others (in public restrooms, for example). Inevitably, when someone (stranger, acquaintance, coworker, even friend) overhears me blowing my nose, they feel compelled to make some comment about either the loudness or the tone of the action. (For instance, today in the ladies room a random coworker (whose name I don't know) said (over the stall) "you know, I used to have a motorcycle that sounded just like that"). I feel this behavior is rude, and I'm often embarrassed by the comments that people make. Up until now, I've just apologized for blowing my nose, but does anyone have suggestions as to a better way to respond to these comments? Why do people say these things? And (bonus question) can anyone suggest a way that I can blow my nose just as ... er ... completely as I do now without making such a loud noise?
posted by anastasiav at 9:30 AM PST - 18 comments

What are baby apes called?

Cats have kittens, dogs have puppies, Geese have goslings, foxes have kits, goats have kids, people have kids. What do apes have?
posted by Miles Long at 9:23 AM PST - 17 comments

how to give money to the democrats

I want to give more $$ to the Democrats, but I don't know where to give. If I give to the DNC-how can they use the money now that Kerry has accepted federal money? I've given to Move On already. What other groups are out there? (I especially want to give to someone who is attacking these swift boat a-holes directly on TV. Is anyone doing that?)
posted by aacheson at 8:35 AM PST - 9 comments

Broadband providers in Oxford, England?

Can anyone recommend a good broadband company for a 1Mbps connection on 1 year contract in Oxford? We don't want to have a phone line and will probably stick it on a wireless router to 5 computers around the house.
posted by Mossy at 8:35 AM PST - 7 comments

How do I become a production assistant in TV?

I was reading an article about the career of the television commercial producer, and it mentions how the guy in question paid his dues as a production assistant. So, how does one go about becoming one (production assistant)? Is that the lowest rung of the television food chain? I dont know anything at all about film or television, but I've always been fascinated by commerials (good and bad).
posted by Irontom at 8:34 AM PST - 3 comments

VHS > DVD recorder combo

VHS > DVD recorder combo. I am looking for a combo unit that allows one to record from a source VHS tape (as well as a connected MiniDV cam) directly to the built-in DVD. A good price is a bonus, but reliability and quality are more important. Any suggestions? [no more inside]
posted by terrapin at 8:31 AM PST - 3 comments

Recommend free PC software for ripping audio from video files.

Is there a good cheap as in free PC program for ripping audio from a video file and saving it as an MP3 or wav?
posted by drezdn at 8:30 AM PST - 3 comments

Pen scanners experiences & suggestions?

Pen Scanners: Just started grad school and am considering a pen scanner (like this one from C Pen) to store highlighted text from the many, many, articles I have to read. Does anyone have experience with these tools? Are they useful, or just another distracting gadget? OS X Compatibility? Any recommendations or experiences would be appreciated.
posted by aladfar at 7:15 AM PST - 5 comments

Should I temp?

My job stinks. Although I once felt an affinity for the said industry, I'm at the conclusion that I need a complete change in direction. Is there any answer other than temping in order to get me the income I so very badly need and possibly put me in a space where I can be active and less office-bound? (note: I have a background in Fine Arts). If temping is the only way, what can I expect?
posted by Quixoticlife at 6:55 AM PST - 8 comments

Teaching English in Chile

Does anyone have experience of teaching English as a foreign language in Santiago, or elsewhere in Chile? (more inside) [more inside]
posted by penguin pie at 6:35 AM PST - 6 comments

Hiking with blisters suggestions?

Hiking with blisters. Beyond Moleskin, does anyone have any advice regarding cutting edge solutions which enable hikers to protect blisters that have developed into full-out open sores ?
posted by troutfishing at 6:30 AM PST - 12 comments

AppleWorks Spreadsheet help?

AppleWorks Spreadsheet: how do I write a formula which returns a count of the number of times a specific string of text occurs in a cell range?
posted by Dick Paris at 6:25 AM PST - 3 comments

Describe this scenario

Of late, I've been nagged by memories of movies and books featuring a particular kind of turn-about-of-fate scenario. I'm needing a list, I think. I'll try to describe the situation: [more inside] [more inside]
posted by grabbingsand at 6:24 AM PST - 13 comments

Does Bono cheat on his wife?

Has anyone ever heard rumours of Bono being unfaithful to his wife Ali?
Not suggesting that he has been, nor have I heard anything. Just curious.
posted by kenaman at 2:34 AM PST - 26 comments

What is significance/meaning of "Miss Chatelaine" ?

Does anyone know the significance/meaning of "Miss Chatelaine" (if any) in KD. Lang's song by the same name? [more inside]
posted by taz at 12:23 AM PST - 19 comments