Questions in the Grab Bag category.
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January 10

Find me a backgrounder on Trump / Russia / Special Counsel Investigation

I'm looking for a good, short-ish, factual and well-sourced backgrounder on the Special Counsel Investigation that is taking up space, rent free, in so many of our minds. Ideally something that is being updated on a regular basis, but also something that is a manageable size to read and that tells a narrative that an ordinary reader who is not steeped in this stuff can follow. Thanks!
posted by gauche at 2:23 PM - 6 answers

January 8


I am looking for poems by well-known authors with a twist at the end, probably but not necessarily funny. [more inside]
posted by ubiquity at 10:27 AM - 33 answers

Distant Uncle died and we have questions....

My father's younger brother died and we had lost touch with him completely. His Landlady sent a letter to my mom whose address she found on a Christmas card when cleaning out his apartment. We have some questions.... [more inside]
posted by amanda at 9:12 AM - 10 answers

January 6

Pointers on how to learn to realistically model a fake world economy?

I want to be able to create a plausible, dynamic economy for tabletop roleplaying games. I have no clue how to model the economics, so I’m looking for books/other resources on the topic (or other online communities that may have people who know how to do this). I explain what I have in mind within! [more inside]
posted by wooh at 6:59 PM - 17 answers

Weekly paper available in Vista/Lewisboro NY mid 1960s

What weekly newspaper did I deliver as a youth in 1960s Vista/Lewisboro/Westchester NY?
posted by RobertP at 6:49 AM - 4 answers

January 5

Old wooden filing cabinet with a missing lock

We have a 1930s filing cabinet with a missing cylindrical lock (that looks like a standard size). I'm seeing cylindrical antique locks that match it in size, is it something we can replace ourselves or do we need a professional (and if so, what kind)?
posted by arnicae at 7:07 PM - 2 answers

January 3

Can I take a check rather than repairs from the other drivers’ insurer?

I was in a minor accident where the other driver scraped up my car. He immediately took responsibility and started a claim with his insurer. I have not and did not contact my insurance company at all. Their insurer told me I could either get an estimate on my own or go with one of their approved shops. [more inside]
posted by arm426 at 12:26 PM - 10 answers

January 2

What are these things we found in my Mother-in-Law's china cabinet?

My wife is helping her mother get rid of a bunch of old stuff, and inside the china cabinet, we found a couple of objects that we couldn't figure out a purpose for. Here are some photos. (Banana for scale.) [more inside]
posted by ErWenn at 1:17 PM - 14 answers

Simply having a wonderful January

What are some fun, not too spendy suggestions for making January more special? This year, I want to avoid post-holiday letdown and that "ugh, back to workaday drabness" feeling I always get after New Year's. [more inside]
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 12:24 PM - 29 answers

Last names that are widely recognizable as only fictional characters?

Give me some last names that are instantly and widely recognizable as being fictional characters and only fictional characters. Good examples: Baggins, Skywalker, McFly. Bad examples: Wayne (Bruce), Bond (James), Jones (Indiana). The latter set could all conceivably be real names and the joke doesn't land. [more inside]
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:15 AM - 76 answers

Inspire my monthly challenges

I want to do a different challenge for each month of 2019. I have 4 picked and am looking to your lovely minds for inspiration for the other 8 months. [more inside]
posted by roolya_boolya at 7:00 AM - 28 answers

January 1

How can I better plan for holidays this year?

I would like to start celebrating the big American holidays (Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s). As an adult, I’ve tended to let these holidays sneak up on me and end up scrambling, half-assing, or skipping them altogether. Need practical tips of when (and how) to start planning! [more inside]
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 11:17 PM - 14 answers

Waterproof, stylish label for curving cylinder

I'm trying to make a custom label for the shampoo dispenser in our guest room I'd like the label to look nice, but also be waterproof. It looks like annealed aluminium labels exist for precisely that purpose but don't have the ability to order just one or two. Is there anywhere I could purchase such a thing?
posted by arnicae at 10:16 PM - 3 answers

December 31, 2018

Could you recommend some year-long projects?

I did a few year-long projects in 2018 (1 Second Everyday videos), set some goals (read a certain number of books, run a certain number of miles), and tracked some data about myself (total steps for the year, miles traveled by plane) and it has been a genuine pleasure to look back at the results and the progress I made. Could you recommend some similar year-long projects for 2019? I’m particularly interested in data and projects that are relatively simple to track and/or accomplish with my phone, laptop, or e-reader, but I’m open to other projects, too. [more inside]
posted by cimton at 8:59 AM - 5 answers

December 29, 2018

Identifying public artwork in the intro to the Bob Newhart Show?

In this still from the intro to the Bob Newhart show, there is a large b/w art piece on the right side of the image, outside the building next to his office building, at 444 N. Michigan Ave. What is that artwork, which appears to be a large line drawing of three people? Or how can I find out? [more inside]
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 10:52 PM - 9 answers

If you've successfully established new habits, what helped you to do so?

It's almost new year and I'm trying to figure out the best way to help myself to eat better, exercise more, be a better parent, keep the house clean, write the Great American Novel yadda yadda. If you've successfully established new (good!) habits, please tell me what worked for you. [more inside]
posted by rubbish bin night at 12:22 PM - 24 answers

What is this Navy medal??

My dad died a couple months ago. He was enlisted in the Navy from about 1977-97 and was a gulf war veteran. I took a few of his military things as mementos including this medal and no one seems to know what it is, when he got it, or what it was awarded for. I couldn’t find much info from the google. Any information y’all can provide would be much appreciated.
posted by a strong female character at 8:25 AM - 5 answers

December 27, 2018

Should I rent a car or carpool to a silent retreat?

So I know that plenty of people here have attended a silent meditation retreat, please help me figure this out and sort out reality from my anxiety about being away from my family. I booked myself for my first five day retreat in Western Mass and struggling to figure out the logistics. [more inside]
posted by Shusha at 6:46 PM - 13 answers

December 26, 2018

Can/should I use this sticker on my car? (Korean translation)

I bought a sticker that I would maybe like to put on my car, but the instructions are in Korean so I’m not sure it’s cleanly removable and/or appropriate for outdoor use. Can someone read the Korean and tell me if it sounds ok to use on a car (on the glass or on the bumper)?
posted by dayintoday at 3:14 PM - 6 answers

What and where is this Ohio church?

Years ago, a family member of mine inherited a beautiful black-and-white photograph of a large church in Ohio. I've been trying without luck to figure out what church it is, but my Google-fu is failing me. Can you help? [more inside]
posted by southern_sky at 8:25 AM - 7 answers

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