These questions have answers marked "best" by the asker.

November 14

It's NOT Aliens

On a recent flight from Phoenix to Detroit, I saw an unusual phenomenon on the ground. Can the sleuths of Metafilter tell me what it was? [more inside]
posted by Preserver to Science & Nature at 6:46 PM - 4 answers

Coping with performance review issues

My boss wanted to give me the maximum. Upper management basically wouldn't allow it, so the compromise is "satisfactory." I'm a high performer and I'm taking this harder than I should. [more inside]
posted by crunchy potato to Work & Money at 6:13 PM - 10 answers

Cast Iron Christmas

My other brother wants a cast iron cook book. The best cast iron cookbook. Emphasis on versatility, technique, and convenience. I'm picturing a cookbook that tells you how to sear a perfect steak rather than something that has one recipe for steak au poivre in mushroom cream sauce that takes 10 specialized ingredients and takes 3 hours to complete. Great pictures is a bonus.
posted by Grandysaur to Food & Drink at 1:32 PM - 4 answers

In this case I DON'T actually want chicken pudding

My cat is old and sick and she really likes eating chicken paté blended up until smooth. Only thing is this comes out of the fridge like pudding and she doesn't like that as much. Do you think there's anyway of making and storing this in advance that will keep it liquid, or is it just what it is? [more inside]
posted by bleep to Pets & Animals at 10:47 AM - 10 answers

Do I have a right to complain about unannounced water quality testing?

For the past three years, a man in navy blue service clothes has set off my security cameras every few months in order to conduct (what I assume is) water quality testing at my house. My home has been broken into before, so these unannounced (but probably perfectly legitimate) visits ramp up my anxiety and distract me while I'm at work. I'd like to require the water company to pre-warn me about these visits for my own sanity. Is this asking too much? [more inside]
posted by tealcoffeecup to Society & Culture at 7:18 AM - 21 answers

Love in the Age of a Thesis Submission

How can I prevent a new relationship from being stillborn when grad school gets in the way? [more inside]
posted by radiantsquirrel to Human Relations at 7:14 AM - 13 answers

A photo printer that actually works—does this magical unicorn exist?

Please recommend me a photo printer that isn't a frustrating hunk of ink-sucking plastic garbage. [more inside]
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The to Technology at 5:40 AM - 16 answers

I wish to articulate my availability as a chronically disabled person.

I wish to articulate my apparent random availability as a chronically disabled person in a professional way. [more inside]
posted by Evilspork to Health & Fitness at 3:04 AM - 15 answers

Looking for a medieval legend about Jesus!

There is presumably a "medieval European legend of how Christ was chased by his enemies. In that story, Jesus blessed the animals who helped him and cursed those who hindered him as he fled from his persecutors." I think that, from his helping and cursing, those animals came to have some of their defining characteristics. Does anyone know of this legend???
posted by mrmanvir to Religion & Philosophy at 1:33 AM - 3 answers

November 13

Plumbing Question

My daughter just put a bath crayon down the bath drain. What should I do? [more inside]
posted by Phredward to Home & Garden at 4:31 PM - 14 answers

Should I lie about my appointment and the results - temporarily

I am back 5 years later with another relationship question. I had an OB/GYN appointment today where they found what may be ovarian cancer. The doc can't be sure whether this is accurate or not without running a blood test (results should be available tomorrow). I am waffling back and forth about whether to tell my husband about what news I got. I don't want to create a cancer scare when it may turn out that I just need to have surgery to remove an ovary. (I get that this isn't like getting stitches either [more inside]
posted by it's always too late to Human Relations at 3:32 PM - 25 answers

Which episode of Homeland is this?

Some scenes from the television show Homeland were filmed where I work. I have never seen the show, but would like to see this particular episode, so I need your help. [more inside]
posted by 4ster to Media & Arts at 3:29 PM - 6 answers

Help me disarm through humor

Have a work situation where the customer is ANGRY; what is your best humorous and or kind ways to de-escalate? Working with a tough crowd here: community college freshman [more inside]
posted by angrycat to Education at 2:42 PM - 24 answers

How can a nonprofit set up recurring donations on PayPal?

I give money to a tiny local charity. They used to be able to set up recurring donations on PayPal, but somehow have forgotten how to do so, and now I have to give manually each month, which causes logistical problems for me. I know that recurring PayPal donations are still technically possible because I see new initiatives from other nonprofits that have them. Do you know how I can make this happen for my tiny local charity?
posted by hungrytiger to Computers & Internet at 1:38 PM - 5 answers

paper cuts, paper hearts

I'd like to get a stack of 50 thin, "cahier" style notebooks cut to size. I've seen this done with a hydraulic machine, but I have no idea where to look for such a service in brooklyn/ nyc! [more inside]
posted by redwaterman to Grab Bag at 11:04 AM - 7 answers

Japanese Detective Show shown in the 90's?

I used to watch a live-action Japanese detective show subtitled in English, and I've been unable to find out what it was. [more inside]
posted by unreason to Media & Arts at 10:17 AM - 6 answers

Young video artist who films friends?

A couple of years ago I saw a video that a young artist had made. It was of his (I think the artist was a he) friends partying in a park or the bush, at night, and then hiding and running from the police when they came. I’m pretty sure the artist was from the USA, possibly Texas, and was very young (late teens or early 20s). I think I saw the video at the National Gallery in Ottawa, but it is possible I’m mistaken on that. I remember reading that the artist is mostly known for videos of his friends. Does anyone have any idea who this could be?
posted by Cuke to Media & Arts at 8:23 AM - 3 answers

Long term benefits of weight loss and less booze

I think stats like this are compelling: "3 years after the last cigarette: The risk of heart attack and stroke approaches that of someone who has never smoked." (Link). But I can't find similar statements for things like weight loss or reducing alcohol intake. Are those kind of stats out there? [more inside]
posted by Tehhund to Health & Fitness at 7:40 AM - 13 answers

Track played yesterday on npr- now desperately seeking...

I must have badly mangled the information I thought I heard on NY npr yesterday when someone - I had the impression it was a regular music host - was raving about this debut artist and his brilliant track. It was played once & it was magnificent - a solo male singer, the song was about begging a child not to grow up too fast? Does this ring any bells?
posted by Jody Tresidder to Media & Arts at 6:45 AM - 5 answers

November 12

Forest Fire Smoke Protection

Where are good sources to learn about smoke, that aren't just ads for masks? Do you have any opinions to share about types of masks, or indoor air filters? How similar is smog (say, in Beijing) and smoke from a forest fire? [more inside]
posted by kestralwing to Health & Fitness at 11:30 PM - 8 answers

Best cheap earbud+microphone for iPhone?

I lost my iPhone earbuds (older phone, with a headset jack). Hoping for an Amazon replacement under $25. I mostly use it for talking on the phone while walking. I need a good microphone that doesn't make scratchy noises, and simple design that I can scrunch into my pocket. I don't need great music quality, or fancy bluetooth type features. What should I buy? Thanks!
posted by pseudostrabismus to Shopping at 9:52 PM - 4 answers

How to deal with complaints from co-workers?

I started a new job over six months ago and I really like it! So much in fact that I actually somewhat look forward to going to it, as much as one can look forward to going to work in the morning. I've been doing really well, receiving good feedback and feeling confident in my abilities, until I received a negative email from management outlining complaints from others and it has been causing me distress and I don't know how to deal with it. [more inside]
posted by hexenkunst to Work & Money at 6:53 PM - 18 answers

I need to get to Word documents on personal laptop; work copy is expired

This is probably ragingly simple, but I lost Microsoft/Office 365 when my job was eliminated. [more inside]
posted by intrepid_simpleton to Computers & Internet at 5:34 PM - 17 answers

Tucson at Christmas with the family dog

My wife, two teen daughters and our dog are escaping Seattle this Christmas to (hopefully) enjoy some sunshine and short sleeve weather. We enjoy walking neighborhoods and hiking and hope to spend lots of time outside. I know the National Parks restrict dogs on trails- where can we go where Fido won’t be a problem? [more inside]
posted by carterk to Travel & Transportation at 10:35 AM - 7 answers

Was it low-key transphobia or nah?

I need some help checking in on something that just happened at the gym in the locker room. [more inside]
posted by nikaspark to Human Relations at 8:09 AM - 22 answers

looking for 1980's sci-fi short story about deadly air pollution

I'm reading (pirated? on Youtube anyway) audiobooks in Russian, and came upon an American story (translated into Russian) which I can't seem to find with a Google search. I'd like to find it in English. Author is William Powers and they title the story something like "Nothing To Breathe". [more inside]
posted by twoplussix to Writing & Language at 7:52 AM - 7 answers

HVAC MeFites, please hope me

Can I adjust how often my heat pump goes into defrost mode? [more inside]
posted by Thorzdad to Home & Garden at 7:27 AM - 4 answers

November 11

what travel tv show , shown in Seattle, went to Amritsar

A few months ago in Seattle I saw a travel television show ( probably on KCTS). I'd like to watch it again but my google skills are not good enough for me to identify it. The host was a man, perhaps in his mid 30's. Part of the show involved a train journey to Amritsar, India. In Amritsar, he visited the Golden Temple among other sites. Can anyone tell me what show this was? Thanks.
posted by metadave to Travel & Transportation at 11:41 PM - 5 answers

Mixed signals - is he just shy or just not into me - how to proceed?

Been seeing a new boy who has treated me like a queen but is suddenly withdrawing? Is he shy or avoiding me? How do I proceed with this? [more inside]
posted by bebebardot to Human Relations at 11:33 PM - 12 answers

Can I eat it? plate of beans edition

What is there to know about beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc., sprouting, and food safety? Ever since I read about how pinto beans contain a toxin that only breaks down if you cook them at high enough temps, I've been wondering if there's more I'm missing and kinda paranoid about beans. In particular, can I eat these chickpeas that sprouted while soaking them, even if I'm pregnant? [more inside]
posted by slidell to Food & Drink at 8:12 PM - 6 answers

catharsis or waste of time?

Is there value in confronting someone who has done me wrong, or should I just let it go? [more inside]
posted by thereemix to Human Relations at 5:19 PM - 39 answers

Is this level of expectation from work normal?

I work at a smallish (~50 people) manufacturing facility in a professional level job. (In the South in the US.) I’ve been here for almost 10 years and this was my first job out of college so I don’t really have much to compare it to. I’m trying to figure out if the work expectations are normal or unusual. Due to them, plus a few other factors, I’m looking for another job, and I am concerned about jumping from the frying pan into the fire. [more inside]
posted by ReadNTravel to Work & Money at 5:04 PM - 23 answers

Not that kind of experimenting.

Are there any other "experimental colleges" similar to UC Santa Barbara's College of Creative Studies, where undergrads pursue a self-directed, accelerated course of study, work closely with faculty, and do original research? Alternatively, are there any post-bacc or master's programs that would be similar in culture?
posted by octopodiatrist to Education at 3:47 PM - 18 answers

Help Me Fix an Incorrect Saved Username on an Okta Login Page in Chrome

This is a small problem, but I've run into it every time I log in to any system at work for the past 18 months, and at this point it threatens to last for all eternity. When the Okta login screen appears, the username field is pre-populated with an incorrect email. How do I fix or remove the pre-populated value outline in red on the screencap? Worth noting Chrome does have the correct autofill value saved (with associated password.)
posted by boghead to Computers & Internet at 12:59 PM - 7 answers

I'm one of those pesky "sensitive groups."

I live in San Francisco. What else can this asthmatic do with unhealthy air quality from the Camp Fire? [more inside]
posted by so much modern time to Health & Fitness at 11:35 AM - 12 answers

Should I buy a sealed Nexus 7?

I'm looking for a small device that I can use exclusively for writing (paired with a bluetooth keyboard). I know someone selling a brand new, sealed Google Nexus 7 (2nd Gen), a device with a form factor I love (used to have one). Will this older device (running Android 6, I believe), experience lag or any other issues when paired with a bluetooth keyboard? Both have Bluetooth 4.
posted by dobbs to Technology at 9:22 AM - 9 answers

November 10

Your best kids audiobooks

What are the outstanding audiobooks for kids that you’ve read? My guys are 6 and 8 and really dig the stuff with multiple cast members. I’m looking either for the modern humor stuff like Origami Yoda or excellent renditions of the classics. Not stuff that’s too snarky. Not podcasts.
posted by bq to Media & Arts at 10:46 PM - 9 answers

Just now discovering The Essex Green and the Minders, so....

I am a massive fan of this kind of retro-pop goodness. Not so big on the rest of the Elephant 6 crew (except for early Of Montreal), and I've already been down the Belle & Sebastian road. Let me know what else I'm missing out on! [more inside]
posted by Lipstick Thespian to Media & Arts at 8:13 PM - 15 answers

Putting Variables inside quotes in JavaScript

With a piece of Javascript like this: form.vals({"prizePot":"830"}); How would I write it if I wanted to replace 830 with a variable named newPrizePot?
posted by willnot to Computers & Internet at 3:35 PM - 5 answers

Super soft men’s long sleeve collared button down shirt

I’m looking for super soft and comfortable men’s button down collared long sleeve shirts that I can wear without an undershirt. I work in a semi casual office (some folks wear dress pants with their long sleeve button down shirts, some wear jeans, I can do either). Thank you in advance!
posted by thankyoumuchly to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion at 3:33 PM - 7 answers