October 11

Use it or lose it?

Is anyone familiar with a video game where the player's skills fade or diminish with disuse (ideally in a clear way)? We're working to teach my son about how practice maintains skills, even if it doesn't improve them. Since most games have a user reach a "level" and maintain skills at that point, he (and now I) wanted to know if there were any games where you can lose skills through disuse?
posted by TofuGolem to Computers & Internet at 9:46 AM - 8 answers

Any leads for dealing with Facebook lockout hell?

I'm caught in the Facebook Lockout paradox, with a software bug thrown in for good measure. PLEASE HELP ME OBI-WAN [more inside]
posted by dbiedny to Computers & Internet at 9:37 AM - 5 answers

Tests and conditions to consider for recurrent nausea/vomiting

My 60 year old mother is having nausea after almost every meal and 5-7 day bouts of vomiting every few months. She sees a new GI next week, but this hasn’t been taken seriously in the past. YANHD, but can you help me make a list of tests she should ask about and conditions they should try to rule out? [more inside]
posted by bananacabana to Health & Fitness at 9:05 AM - 10 answers

Dealing with nightmare coworker

How do you deal with a crappy, condescending male coworker? [more inside]
posted by marfa, texas to Work & Money at 9:00 AM - 9 answers

Rip an interactive DVD to create a playable video file not on DVD

My company owns an interactive DVD we use to teach safety protocols (videos show scenarios, then you're supposed to select the correct answer on a screen to move forward). We'd like to convert it to a playable video file that doesn't need the actual DVD to play. I opened it up with Handbrake and pulled out each video section, but (obviously) the interactive part is killed. How can I rip a copy-protected, interactive DVD and make a computer-playable video file that is also interactive? Software and more inside. [more inside]
posted by tzikeh to Computers & Internet at 8:37 AM - 10 answers

What's up with this HVAC setup?

We are looking at a house that is 100-ish years old. The ducting system is not one I'm familiar with and I'm wondering if it's going to be an issue or not. I've been looking online and I can't seem to find a name for it. [more inside]
posted by JimBJ9 to Home & Garden at 7:58 AM - 5 answers

British pre-WWII girls' boarding schools: help me find book listing them

Many years ago I was stuck in a place with very little to read. There were two battered volumes, possibly from the 1930s, but very possibly older, that were sort of catalogs of British boarding schools for girls. I don't mean each was the catalog for an individual school. Each book compiled numerous entries for discrete and unrelated schools. Each entry listed characteristics of a school: there were pictures of buildings, lists of all the subjects they taught, lists of sports available, tuition, etc. Does anyone know what such volumes were called?
posted by mareli to Education at 7:56 AM - 5 answers

what actually IS flirting

What is the difference between friendly conversation and flirting? Recently I was told that I am a flirt but I am not aware of being one or of going into conversations with the intention of flirting. What are some key hallmarks of flirting as opposed to regular friendly conversation? [more inside]
posted by unicorn chaser to Human Relations at 7:43 AM - 32 answers

Car insurance for a car you haven't bought yet?

Hello I am an adult. I am planning to buy a car from a dealership for the first time in my life (a used car.) I currently have zero cars. How do I legally drive the car home? Do I get insurance before I have the car? I don't know when I'm buying the car. So I need to pay for insurance for a car I don't have yet and may not have for a few weeks? I am confused, help me.
posted by Automocar to Travel & Transportation at 6:50 AM - 11 answers

Struggling with a childcare option for a kid with special needs?

My three year old daughter has a speech delay (or perhaps disorder - too early to tell, it seems). I'm at a childcare crossroads and genuinely don't know what to do. Any thoughts? [more inside]
posted by caoimhe to Education at 3:42 AM - 14 answers

Best freeware for PDFs

Has anyone sorted through the Adobe Acrobat-mimicking freeware (or "cheap-ware?") to figure out which is best? Here is literally all I want to do: highlight words; add comments; and insert, delete, and rearrange pages. Even any one of these would be super helpful. Is it possible to get this for less than $8-15/month in some way? I'm willing to pay some small one-time cost. Thanks for any recommendations!
posted by salvia to Computers & Internet at 12:14 AM - 13 answers

October 10

Give me the smarts

I have a need for brain focus tasks that I'm not getting just living my ho hum life. I look for downloads in Play Store that have brain teasers but all I see are variations of the same Majong and Find the Hidden item. [more inside]
posted by The_imp_inimpossible to Computers & Internet at 10:16 PM - 17 answers

How to save the planet - one protest song at a time

My friend has written a climate change protest song. It's beautifully simple and he's not ready to share the lyrics. I get to do the animation for the video, and rather than just showing what's going wrong, I want to show what we as individuals can do right beyond recycling and not over-consuming. You know, plant a tree, plant bee friendly things, take public transport... I have 3 minutes and 15 seconds.
posted by b33j to Grab Bag at 9:55 PM - 13 answers

Black or white best with brown

I'm buying IKEA KALLAX shelving and the size that I want only comes in black & white. The room also has a large heavy teak-color bookshelf that has to stay. I don't think they will be sitting directly next to each other but I'm not sure either. There's going to be a lot of the Kallax shelving eventually. I know that none of this is going to be optimal but do you think the black or white Kallax would be the least ugly? [more inside]
posted by bleep to Home & Garden at 2:24 PM - 9 answers

Paris filter: looking to spend NYE in Paris, with the locals

What it says on the tin. My friend and I have a [long] layover in Paris coinciding with NYE, and would like to spend it at a bar. Many of the previous recommendations on here are a few years old, so I'm wondering if there might be newer, more relevant suggestions. [more inside]
posted by Everydayville to Travel & Transportation at 2:19 PM - 3 answers

What the FUCK progesterone?!

These drugs were supposed to stop my period. Which I just got. It's been well over a decade since my TCOYF days and I just realised I have no idea what's going on or why. [more inside]
posted by DarlingBri to Health & Fitness at 1:54 PM - 12 answers

What to do with a possibly abandoned bonus cat?

For the past year or so, we've been feeding a neighborhood cat, with the knowledge of the cat's owner. I'm pretty sure the owner has since moved and left the cat behind. I don't know what to do now. [more inside]
posted by Ruki to Pets & Animals at 12:46 PM - 12 answers

What is wrong with my computer/browser?

My Google searches (in Gmail and in browser) are autofilling with "team reviled". Running antivirus turns up nothing. Google fu is failing me. Help!
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic to Technology at 12:11 PM - 6 answers

Alternative Face Protection For Skiing

I wear a Seirus Combo Scarf for skiing, but I dislike the Hannibal Lecterness/ inability to easily slide it down off my face to have a conversation. All the alternatives I look at - e.g. balaclavas - don't have mouth/ nose ventilation, which are critical to prevent goggle steaming and breath dampness. What alternatives are there to my Lecter mask, or, how do folks wear balaclavas without steaming up their goggles?
posted by 7 Minutes of Madness to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation at 11:36 AM - 8 answers

Give us your easiest, no-hassle sauce recipes

Looking for dead simple sauces I can make by stirring things together and then add to something that is already cooked/prepared. In other words, these sauces shouldn't require cooking, or much chopping, or hauling out appliances like the blender or the food processor. (Brief heating in the microwave is fine, as is chopping a small sprinkling of herbs or maybe pressing some garlic.) I want sauces I can put on something that is already cooked--not something I need to cook other things IN. So stirfry sauces are out. [more inside]
posted by CiaoMela to Food & Drink at 11:21 AM - 42 answers

Dictionary or thesaurus which gives reading level of a word

I could swear that I saw this somewhere: you look up a word, and the reading level is provided next to it. Or the percentage of English speakers who know the word. Have I seen this, or do I just wish it existed? I've checked several sources and can't find it!
posted by onecircleaday to Education at 10:25 AM - 7 answers

What is this thing? Copper cremation artifact identification help please

What is this thing? It came along with some cremated remains from 1935 (but was not holding said remains). [more inside]
posted by natabat to Society & Culture at 9:25 AM - 6 answers

How do I pursue a PhD?

I can't find any real guidance or documentation online re: PhD application processes -- there are just a lot of think pieces about why you shouldn't pursue a PhD. So I guess my question is: when considering a PhD, where do you start; do I need to have everything mapped out before I begin applying + requesting letters, or do I email professors my request and figure it out as I go? [more inside]
posted by mrk021 to Education at 9:11 AM - 29 answers

Float My Boat

The little boat I've made tips me out; how do I make a boat that doesn't? I want to be [more inside]
posted by anadem to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation at 8:53 AM - 18 answers

Extremely short permadeath games?

I like reading the wikis and watching different ending videos of games like Until Dawn and Fire Emblems where the ending changes depending on who dies during your run. But these are long games, at least for me, and I'm not going to replay the whole thing to compare changes. Are there any very short games where permadeath has narrative consequences? [more inside]
posted by gaybobbie to Media & Arts at 8:42 AM - 10 answers

Help for Newbie to Gym Etiquette

For my son's birthday this year, my one sister gifted us with a membership to a pool club near us that specializes in disabled kids and families. It's really nice - lap pool, wade in pool with splash pad, an area for water basketball, and a lazy river with a 10 person jacuzzi whirlpool in the middle. They also have a basketball court, an open gym, a gathering room, and a tiny gym. [more inside]
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit to Health & Fitness at 7:37 AM - 27 answers

What should I expect from an iphone SE with 85% battery capacity?

I just bought a new-used iphone SE in generally good shape. The battery capacity/health indicator says 85% capacity and that it's at "peak performance capability," but it arrived totally drained, gets slightly warm during charging, and seems to drain quite quickly. Is this normal for a phone of this age/condition? [more inside]
posted by needs more cowbell to Technology at 6:18 AM - 28 answers

Coping with disability

Being disabled doesn't fit my internal narrative as a high achieving, fitness oriented person. I am in therapy and we are addressing this, but I wanted to hear from others that transitioned from able bodied to disabled physically to see how you made that process happen on a mental level. [more inside]
posted by crunchy potato to Health & Fitness at 6:12 AM - 15 answers

Software for a courier - a van tablet?

We have a delivery driver for our warehouse - it would be REALLY cool to have a tablet permanently mounted in the van to which we could send his list of jobs, and which he could use with Google Maps to route him from point to point. [more inside]
posted by dance to Computers & Internet at 6:07 AM - 4 answers

Travel mug that DOESN'T keep things megahot but still keeps a good seal?

I know this might be a contradiction in terms, but I would like a durable (not glass) travel mug, preferably 16oz, that won't leak but also allows me to drink my darn coffee a little more quickly. Does this exist? [more inside]
posted by wellred to Food & Drink at 5:59 AM - 23 answers

How to use gmail correctly with multiple accounts?

I've been using Gmail with multiple accounts and aliases successfully for ages, but yesterday discovered that a number of my colleagues' emails were going direct to spam. So I whitelisted our organisation's email domain, and now every time I send an email as one of my aliases I get a copy of that email in my gmail inbox. How do I stop it? [more inside]
posted by lollusc to Technology at 2:30 AM - 2 answers

Party Hat construction help needed!

I need to make a party hat out of construction paper with very specific diameter and vertical length measurements. The instructions I have found online don't seem to allow one to perform such fine-tuning. The party hat I require should have a diameter of 7 1/2 in. (radius 3 3/4 in.) and a vertical length (or slant height) of 15 13/16 in. What's the best and/or easiest way of doing this and ensuring that the measurements are spot on?
posted by tenderly to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation at 1:50 AM - 14 answers

October 9

Tablet, phonebook or kindle for academic pdfs?

I have 4-8 months of research work which involves reading a huge stack of PDFs, plus scanned pages. I have to go places and move around during the day and I would like a mobile option. I'm not worried about keyboards or annotating, I use a rocketbook for that. What should I get or do I just get used to hauling my laptop everywhere? [more inside]
posted by dorothyisunderwood to Computers & Internet at 10:56 PM - 14 answers

I don't like having my brains picked.

People often ask me for tips about how to break into my desirable freelance career. I help them, and then I feel bad after. Help talk me through this? [more inside]
posted by nouvelle-personne to Work & Money at 8:09 PM - 27 answers

Which are the best universities for CS in Canada?

I want to apply for a master in science in Canada. I intend to apply to the obvious choices like UBC, University of Toronto and University of Waterloo. I'm not sure about who else has a good program so I thought I would ask about this. On a side note, I don't really have any research experience. I meet all the other requirements for those universities. Is it a problem to have no research experience for a master in science that requires a thesis? Also, I'd be an international student.
posted by Tarsonis10 to Education at 7:23 PM - 9 answers

Can I “fat wash” whiskey without a sous vide setup?

This cocktail recipe calls for a sesame oil fat washed whiskey. The fat-washing directions call for sous vide-ing, but I don’t have a sous vide setup. Can I achieve the same effect without the sous vide?
posted by hapticactionnetwork to Food & Drink at 7:17 PM - 6 answers

In NYC, is it illegal to write on illegal signs?

New York City is awash in unlicensed illegal ads wheatpasted on construction sites, walls, everywhere. Is it illegal to write on the ads with a marker? [more inside]
posted by history is a weapon to Law & Government at 6:56 PM - 7 answers

Credit card company lowered credit limit

Would it help to pay it down to 30% or less (I'm considering the C/D ratio) if I have the money lying around? [more inside]
posted by intrepid_simpleton to Work & Money at 5:20 PM - 6 answers

silicone paste vs silicone grease vs silicone spray lube

What are the differences? What are the pros and cons ,and suited uses, of each? Hopefully someone here can sort this out for me. Also, where possible, can you please cite reputable sources for the info because I have seen many people claim personal knowledge that contradicts other people's personal knowledge. Such is the internet, I know. Thanks!
posted by atm to Home & Garden at 4:26 PM - 8 answers

Baking Soda Chemistry: how much....

I want to use baking soda and vinegar to produce carbon dioxide bubbles. The grocery store vinegar is described as having 5% acidity (not how it would be described in chem class!). How much baking soda should I use for, say, 1 quart of vinegar? [more inside]
posted by SemiSalt to Home & Garden at 3:18 PM - 14 answers

Google suggested articles - no politics?

I've been enjoying the feature an Android where I get suggestions for articles that might interest me. This pretty accurately guesses what is of interest to me, with one curious omission. I spend about an hour daily, during my commute, on politico, washingtonpost, cnn, huffingtonpost etc. and read tons of articles about Trump, congress, impeachment, the whole thing, but I never get any articles related to politics in my recommendations. What's up with that? [more inside]
posted by SweetLiesOfBokonon to Computers & Internet at 3:07 PM - 3 answers

Fun feminist songs

Hi there internet friends! I've really been craving some poppy, fun, feminist songs. Please share! [more inside]
posted by hotchocolate to Media & Arts at 2:16 PM - 51 answers

Passive House Systems required in floodplains?

Are there any cities/communities requiring PHS in new buildings in floodplains to system to reduce carbon footprint?
posted by ebesan to Law & Government at 2:07 PM - 3 answers

How do I meet other parents in my age bracket (late 40s)?

One of the toughest things about getting divorced has been the loss of family friends who have kids roughly the same age as mine (7 & 10). How do I more or less start over, socially? [more inside]
posted by El Curioso to Society & Culture at 12:00 PM - 13 answers

Every Photograph of Frederick Douglass

“The humblest servant girl may now possess a picture of herself such as the wealth of kings could not purchase 50 years ago" How do I find every photograph ever taken of Frederick Douglass?< [more inside]
posted by The Blue Olly to Grab Bag at 11:41 AM - 2 answers

Wanted: this coat

My husband really, really likes this coat that Harry S Truman wore in Twin Peaks. (For non-TP fans, the guy on the right.) Do you know where I can find it, or one that's similar?
posted by rabbitrabbit to Shopping at 11:20 AM - 10 answers

Is my cat evil?

This is meant only slightly as tongue in cheek. I have two cats: a larger male and smaller female. The female is the one I suspect of demonic possession. When the male cat has created a nest for himself somewhere, the female cat will notice and come over and start grooming him, then when he's fully woken up, she'll turn it into fighting and gradually escalate until male cat leaves and then female settles into nest and takes a nap. [more inside]
posted by Jon44 to Pets & Animals at 8:42 AM - 29 answers

Recommend me headphones for commuting! Wireless, with microphone

Please recommend me good headphones that I'll be using mainly to listen to spoken-word podcasts while commuting, and for phone calls when necessary. [more inside]
posted by snarfois to Technology at 7:30 AM - 14 answers

Looking for songs about letting the world go by, help me out.

My birthday is coming up next week, and I'd really like to create a playlist of songs about being fine with NOT trying to keep up. In the vein of John Lennon's Watching the Wheels. The wide and varied tastes of the Ask crowd would be super handy at adding some flavor to this endeavor.
posted by DigDoug to Media & Arts at 6:02 AM - 51 answers

Is this a conflict of interest?

I work at a "large important institution". The Director of my group would like to bring in their spouse's new company to help us automate our workflows. The work would be free and according to the Director, the tools would work well. Would there be a perceived conflict of interest? More below the fold. [more inside]
posted by anonymous to Work & Money at 4:49 AM - 12 answers

Looking for water-resistant, office-appropriate, no-heel women's boots

What the title says. What do women-presenting people wear in the office in the fall and winter when it's too cold for flats and they don't want a heel? I would like help finding a pair of dressy/office-appropriate black boots that are reasonably OK getting wet and have little to no heel. I've read over previous questions and unfortunately links are broken or the shoes aren't right. Boring is OK, even preferable, because I'll ideally only be wearing these. [more inside]
posted by schroedinger to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion at 4:33 AM - 25 answers

October 8

Climbing back on a dead horse

I desperately need work. I'm fighting horrible depression, 18 months of unemployment, and a myriad of insecurities about my spotty work history before that. I need someone (in LA or online) who can listen to my background (see inside), rebuild my resume, and help me pick some short term career goals. How do find someone who can help me through this when I have no money? [more inside]
posted by anonymous to Work & Money at 11:47 PM - 15 answers

Event check-in app that allows for repeat QR code/barcode scanning?

I'm running an expo that will have multiple vendors demonstrating their products. I plan to give all event attendees a unique QR code. I would like to find a mobile app that will: (1) allow me, as the event organizer, to check-in all attendees at the main door by scanning their QR code with a mobile app; and (2) allow each vendor to scan the QR codes of only the attendees who come to their table. Therefore, I'll have a master list of attendees, and each vendor will have a specific list of attendees who dropped by their table. This is the only functionality I need from the software. I see there's a ton of stuff out there, but most of it is overcomplicated for my purposes. Whatever software choice, it needs to be as simple as possible for the vendor to use. Help!
posted by dead_ to Technology at 9:15 PM - 5 answers

XPS-13 vs MAcbook Air 13" 2014

hi all, I'm debating whether to buy an XPS-13 2017 and a 2014/2015 MAcbook Air 13" I prefer to buy second-hand laptops so I can reduce my environmental impact. They both SAY that they have a long battery life, but how long are they really? For me, battery life is the biggest criteria, and I'm hoping to have a PC with a very long battery. I've found Macbooks to be fairly reliable and long-lived, and easy to get repaired if need-be. My last XPS got a tad wet and died. Really bad experience. It had amazing battery life though. If battery life is the only / main criteria, which computer will last longer, daily, really?
posted by earthwalker7 to Computers & Internet at 7:10 PM - 6 answers

flatbread with no/low marginal labor per serving, like a loaf of bread?

I like pita, roti, and bing, but they are more labor intensive to make. Some of them need to be cooked individually in a pan, and even the ones that can be baked en masse in an oven need to be rotated in and out because they don't pack as efficiently into the space. Contrast with, for example, a Pullman loaf, where I can throw a kilo of flour into my oven and walk away. Is there any way to get the best of both worlds? [more inside]
posted by meaty shoe puppet to Food & Drink at 6:20 PM - 12 answers

Seeking recommendations for Windows laptop that runs Creative Cloud

I'm looking for a Windows laptop that can handle Adobe Creative Cloud (mostly Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign/Acrobat right now). I've been reading through the system requirements pages for Illustrator and Photoshop, and I am getting lost in the graphics card requirements. None of the tested cards quite match what I am able to purchase in various machines. What should I be considering? [more inside]
posted by melissa to Computers & Internet at 2:51 PM - 7 answers

Snacks to bring for Korean dinner?

My neighbor has invited us to join his household for a Korean meal on Friday and has requested we bring “social snacks”; I suggested kimchi and was enthusiastically approved. What else should I bring? [more inside]
posted by mwhybark to Food & Drink at 2:43 PM - 29 answers

Montreal with tweens between Christmas and New Year's Eve

Seeking advice about traveling to Montreal at the holidays. [more inside]
posted by trixie119 to Travel & Transportation at 11:32 AM - 7 answers

Potable water at AMC huts that are closed for winter?

I'm planning to hike Mount Adams in the White Mountains this fall. I know the Madison Spring Hut is a great place to refill water bottles when it's open (May through September), but now that it's closed for winter - can you still get potable water there? (e.g., from a well pump outside the hut?) Thanks in advance!
posted by stuehler to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation at 11:24 AM - 5 answers

Ashkenazi history

Why did so many Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazi Jews migrate from Central Europe to Eastern Europe in the 16th to 18th-ish centuries? [more inside]
posted by dusty potato to Society & Culture at 11:15 AM - 10 answers