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January 22

Librarian fail

I need to find the number of black residents of each state, for each year 1997-2014. Sounds easy, but everything I can find is either not broken down by state or is too new. Are you good with demographic data? Then please come in! [more inside]
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:15 PM - 2 answers

January 20

Help us identify this mystery object.

Today on the beach near our house (Chicago, Lake Michigan), my husband found something that resembles a ceramic bottle stopper. What is it and what is it for? And can you estimate its age? [more inside]
posted by mai at 4:51 PM - 11 answers

How often to empty a vacuum cleaner?

My roommate claims that handheld vacuum cleaners should be emptied before every use because the cleaner dispenses air that includes the suctioned dust. Is this true? [more inside]
posted by thesockpuppet at 10:13 AM - 8 answers

January 19

Whouuu, whouuuu, VOTE?

I‘m taking the girls (2 and 6) to the Oakland Women‘s March tomorrow and need to make signs. Alas: my 6-year-old *really* wants to wear her wolf costume (think, Max in ‚Where the Wild Things Are‘). [more inside]
posted by The Toad at 2:43 PM - 22 answers

January 18

Broken Plate with Cat Faces

I broke a cute plate with sleeping cat faces, and I need to find a replacement, or my SO will be sad (and very, very mad!) [more inside]
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 5:04 PM - 7 answers

What should I do with my time before I get made redundant?

I'll be losing my job soon, but have a few months to pass before I get there. Aside from all the things I know I should do, what would be a wise way to use this time? What would you do? [more inside]
posted by fishingforthewhale at 7:35 AM - 3 answers

January 16

Let’s play name the author!

Looking for where this idea came from. I can’t remember where. My Google-fu fails me. The idea: If a primitive man (maybe Bushmen?) came across the radio in the desert, and it starts transmitting voices, they would think of it as magic. If they broke down the radio into its component parts to try to figure out how it works, it would not come even close to explaining the radio. May have something to do with reductionism (??). [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 12:28 AM - 5 answers

January 14

Going away gift for family member moving to Saudi Arabia?

Our cousin is moving to Saudi Arabia — Riyadh we think — to work for Aramco. She’s a single woman. What’s a good idea for a going away gift?
posted by starkraven at 4:32 PM - 3 answers

please don't say "clamping things"

I found this clamp (I feel the word doesn't do it justice) while cleaning out an old research lab a few months ago. What would you call a clamp like this, and what might it be used for? [more inside]
posted by btfreek at 1:37 AM - 6 answers

January 13

Minimalist baby must-haves

My sister is throwing me a baby shower which is so nice of her. My husband and I really, REALLY don't like to accumulate stuff and we buy very few things new. So what the fuck do I register for? [more inside]
posted by pintapicasso at 9:23 PM - 60 answers

January 11

Attention spans and music vs silence: What's the difference?

Is there a difference in the brains or attention spans of people who prefer to have music in the background versus those that prefer silence? Is there a name for this? [more inside]
posted by stillmoving at 12:41 PM - 7 answers

January 10

Who to contact about a hypothetical medical diagnosis for research?

As part of my research, I want to explore a possible cause of death in a historical case, based on notes by the doctor who examined the patient. This is for academic research, so I would like to be able to give proper attribution (and not claim that I magically knew potential diagnoses). Who can I contact about this? [more inside]
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 4:43 PM - 3 answers

After data breaches, do I need credit monitoring?

My info has been involved in some of the large-scale data breaches you hear about. Afterwards, I've ignored the notices offering free credit monitoring. Is that a mistake? I have one that offers "Alternative Compensation... up to $36" if I already have credit monitoring. Should I get monitoring from one of the others and ask for that payment? [more inside]
posted by daisyace at 4:18 AM - 2 answers

January 8

What's it like living in Topeka, Kansas?

Hi, I'm considering a job in Topeka, which I have never visited and know nothing about other than a few google searches. Is it a good place to live for a couple of years for a family of four? [more inside]
posted by skewed at 2:51 PM - 11 answers

the long way means we forget

What is this poster I saw? [more inside]
posted by quadrilaterals at 8:41 AM - 3 answers

Making a To-Done list with technology

I want to make a to-done list with some tech help (e.g. a daily email), because i never remember to update paper journals but am online all the time. IDoneThis costs money & is for teams; i'm just one person. What's a free way to do this? [more inside]
posted by divabat at 5:19 AM - 12 answers

January 7

Deciding is the most work

I have a really hard time making decisions when there are a lot of options. Please help me hack this persistent mind-spiral. [more inside]
posted by pseudostrabismus at 2:16 PM - 14 answers

January 4

Is there a name for this little quirk of speech?

Is there a name for this quirk of speech where some people (US) pronounce words such as "button" and "mitten" as "BUD-in" and "MID-in"? [more inside]
posted by clseace at 8:25 PM - 13 answers

How can I make better use of my limited free time?

How can I be more productive with my limited free time when I'm an introvert who always needs serious down-time before going to bed? [more inside]
posted by greta simone at 2:24 PM - 27 answers

January 3

How do I get new symptoms of other damage included in collision repair?

I got rear-ended exactly 4 weeks ago by a full size silverado while stopped at a red light. I was in a mid-size 4-door sedan, 2.5L automatic, w/about 55k miles. The other driver says he was doing 10mph, though my (and my passenger's) guess was more like 20 or 25. [more inside]
posted by Pig Tail Orchestra at 6:52 PM - 10 answers

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