Most popular AskMe posts of 2012
December 25, 2012 7:34 AM   Subscribe

OK, it being year-end and all, I thought I'd go have a look at the most popular AskMe posts in the last year... only to find that I can't really filter down like that (leastways not so I can tell)... so I decided to put a list together myself, and make it my first post on the grey! 30 would be a nice, round number, but I could only find 29. Please enjoy responsibly!

Most popular AskMe posts of 2012

01. What one book could give me a new, useful superpower? (61 ans/401 fav)

02. Hidden gems at the market. (66 ans/333 fav)

03. What are your five favourite websites of the last year? (24 ans/309 fav)

04. What are some simple changes you made to your day to day life that had big results? (75 ans/308 fav)

05. How do you spot an amateur in your trade, profession, or hobby? (260 ans/292 fav)

06. Pimp my iPad. (61 ans/281fav)

07. What are the five cognitive biases that everyone should know? (32 ans/265 fav)

08. Any hidden gems in the world of drugstore makeup? (67 ans/264 fav)

09. What advice would you give to your thirty-year-old self? (65 ans/232 fav)

10. What is your favorite legendary, hilarious clip? (80 ans/232 fav)

11. Hidden Rooms and 'Dead' Spaces: help me find more pictures of this sort of thing! (71 ans/230 fav)

12. What are your favorite beauty products? (61 ans/223 fav)

13. Please recommend your favorite books on history that are a delight to read. (44 ans/215 fav)

14. What's the greatest experience in life I'm missing out on? (117 ans/214 fav)

15. I'm looking for a book that is so wonderful it will renew my joy for reading. (73 ans/213 fav)

16. You've done the research; what's the best? (46 ans/204 fav)

17. How were your parents awesome? (74 ans/203 fav)

18. Can you recommend fantasy books that AREN'T about warriors, magical or otherwise? That feature intrepid traders? Cunning craftspeople? (77 ans/202 fav)

19. Calling all 40 year olds... what do you wish you had done when you were 30? (70 ans/200 fav)

20. What are your favorite low-prep, simple, low-carb, healthy meals for one? (37 ans/199 fav)

21. The seven habits of highly attractive people. (39 ans/199 fav)

22. Snacks that are low in calories AND pack a ginormous flavor punch? (65 ans/196 fav)

23. Delicious one-pot meals for busy people? (22 ans/ 189 fav)

24. What are your favorite eyeshadow/makeup tutorials? (14 ans/188 fav)

25. Between the hours of 9-to-5, or whenever you work...what are you doing, specifically? (133 ans/188 fav)

26. Non-fiction recs SVP. (82 ans/187 fav)

27. Counterintuitive Tips Around The House. (60 ans/179 fav)

28. I've gone off This American Life. What podcasts should I listen to? (50 ans/176 fav)

29. What are some quick tricks or rules-of-thumb you use to help plan/organize/live your life? (66 ans/176 fav)
posted by segatakai to MetaFilter-Related at 7:34 AM (60 comments total) 170 users marked this as a favorite

Regarding #25, I could be just misunderstanding the title you've given it but it seems to link to a post other than the one you intended.
posted by blaneyphoto at 7:39 AM on December 25, 2012


I imagine #25 is supposed to be this one.
posted by chazlarson at 7:45 AM on December 25, 2012


On the Blue, the best post of 2012, by every measure, involved bra sizes.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:48 AM on December 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


[Fixed the link to #25, carry on]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:50 AM on December 25, 2012


I am turning 29 in 2013 and my possibly futile attempt at self-improvement New Year's Resolution is going to be to stop actively avoiding the "shit I need to do at 30" threads. So, this helps.
posted by griphus at 7:52 AM on December 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yikes! Thanks, Jessamyn!
posted by segatakai at 7:53 AM on December 25, 2012


Wait, was I named Time's Person of the Year again? I totally forgot to check.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:54 AM on December 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is neat. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas.
posted by cribcage at 8:09 AM on December 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


On the Blue, the best post of 2012, by every measure, involved bra sizes.

Yeah, too bad it wasn't good fit here...
posted by infini at 8:59 AM on December 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Are we literally the same age griphus cause I have had the " thins you do need to do before you're 30" conversation.


Granted I think my list has more straight up waltzing.
posted by The Whelk at 9:19 AM on December 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, too bad it wasn't good fit here...

Who would you take that up with?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:27 AM on December 25, 2012


A saleslady in the lingerie department, I imagine.
posted by infini at 10:28 AM on December 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


pun intended infini?
posted by futz at 10:38 AM on December 25, 2012


So apparently this is where I come to get reminded that I also turn 29 next year. Merry Christmas, jerks.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:55 AM on December 25, 2012


Lets all be 29, together.
posted by The Whelk at 10:58 AM on December 25, 2012


I don't even remember agreeing to be 28.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 11:06 AM on December 25, 2012


it's in the EULA, you said you read it all when you clicked.
posted by The Whelk at 11:06 AM on December 25, 2012


It was wordplay.

OP of comment said measure, bra size FPP was on badly fit bras being endemic, followup commenter says oh, it doesn't fit.

Does this help you all?
posted by infini at 11:08 AM on December 25, 2012


Lets all be 29, together.

If y'all need me, I will be spending my 29th year weeping in a pile of photos of my various hairstyles while my hairline visibly recedes to the sound of Gymnopédies No. 1.
posted by griphus at 11:24 AM on December 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hair today



gone tomorrow

(plays candle in the wind on a recorder)
posted by The Whelk at 11:25 AM on December 25, 2012


Suddenly I have the urge to sing "Little Bunny Foo Foo"
posted by sciencegeek at 11:31 AM on December 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


while my hairline visibly recedes to the sound of Gymnopédies No. 1.

You should stop listening to that.

Satie also wrote "3 morceaux en forme de poire", which is french for "3 well-formed hair pieces." Try that one.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:35 AM on December 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


29 is a distant memory. The thirties were much better, so fear not young ones. Now, about my lawn...
posted by arcticseal at 11:40 AM on December 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


Requiem For A United Hairline
posted by The Whelk at 11:47 AM on December 25, 2012


I knew "take up" was too subtle.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:56 AM on December 25, 2012


en forme de poire

Also happens to be one of my favorite mefites! He let me photograph him smiling at the center of a pile of money. I did not know his name was so clever.

Also, I am divisible by 9, and I feel sorry for those of you who are not.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:15 PM on December 25, 2012


everything is divisible by nine unless you are a FRACTIONIST HATER
posted by elizardbits at 12:45 PM on December 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


...wait--en forme de poire means "pear-shaped," which is what something is when it's gone all wrong.

Is this just one of those weird coincidences where something means basically the opposite of what it means in its native language when translated literally?
posted by tzikeh at 12:50 PM on December 25, 2012


everything is divisible by nine unless you are a FRACTIONIST HATER

In base ten any number who's digits add up to a number divisible by nine is divisible by nine. What's more this is true for N-1 for any base N.

What I've never been able to come up with is a base independent proof for why digit adding is true of 3 in base ten as well.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:04 PM on December 25, 2012


FRACTIONIST HITLER
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:19 PM on December 25, 2012


But to discuss math reasonably for a moment, I wonder Tell Me No Lies if that's something easily provable in terms of 3 being a root of 9. By extension of which I'd expect both 4 and 2 to work in base 5, and perhaps 8 and 4 and 2 all to work in base 9, etc.

But I'm having trouble getting my head clear on some of the handwaves involved in my supposition. Maybe today is not my day for math and I should go back to shouting about Hitler.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:33 PM on December 25, 2012


This morning on the treadmill I randomly said GAYDOLF SHITLER! and laughed idiotically for a full minute while everyone else looked at me like I farted on jesus.

So thanks for that, cortex. Thanks.
posted by elizardbits at 1:39 PM on December 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I made the mistake of reading #27 and all of a sudden I was washing my shower curtain liner and scrubbing my bathroom floor with vinegar and Dawn, I am not kidding.

Then I realized I had to put my pork butt into the oven. So my husband helped me rub my butt and then I made him wash his hands.

Now we are debating the best way to cook Brussel sprouts, but I'm sure there's an AskMe for that. Also, we would both like to be 39, let alone 29.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 2:10 PM on December 25, 2012


But to discuss math reasonably for a moment, I wonder Tell Me No Lies if that's something easily provable in terms of 3 being a root of 9. By extension of which I'd expect both 4 and 2 to work in base 5, and perhaps 8 and 4 and 2 all to work in base 9, etc.

But I'm having trouble getting my head clear on some of the handwaves involved in my supposition.


I have the same intuition as you do about it, and unfortunately the same problem getting clear on the details.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:17 PM on December 25, 2012


I do love ask.me book recommendation questions, they give me a chuckle. Regardless of how specific an asker is, there's a significant body of people that seem to read the question as "Recommend me your favourite books, even if they have literally none of the things I am looking for".

I can understand the urgent need to impress on someone just how great this book is, I know it's not your thing, but it's a great book. You'll love it, really you will. Anyone would love it, it's so good!

It makes me laugh because whilst I try to avoid doing this in ask.me, I suspect I do it in real life *all* the time, especially with people who were neither asking for a recommendation, nor likely to read more than 3-4 books a year.
posted by smoke at 2:47 PM on December 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


Now we are debating the best way to cook Brussel sprouts, but I'm sure there's an AskMe for that.

Cut in half, drizzle with oil, salt, pepper, roast in oven until tops are browning. Serve with cheese on top (feta is nice) and/or dressing or vinegrette.
posted by curious nu at 3:54 PM on December 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or do those first four things and then saute in a pan with some balsamic vinegar!
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:01 PM on December 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Awesome list, thanks! And Merry Christmas to all!
posted by foxhat10 at 4:07 PM on December 25, 2012


On that whole division thing:

It all hinges on
      10 ≡ 1 mod 9
which means "if you consider numbers that differ by 9, or 18, or -9, or 27, etc. to be ≡, then 10 and 1 are equivalent". (Computer people would probably write that as "10 mod 9 = 1", or even "mod(10, 9) = 1", but the math notation is a little easier to reason about.) You read that as "10 is equivalent to 1, mod 9".

A number X is divisible by 9 precisely when
      X ≡ 0 mod 9
Now this property of being "≡ mod 9" follows many of the same rules that good old equals ("=") does. Like you can multiply on both side of an equivalence, or add together two equivalences.

So, for instance, mod 9, we have
      50 ≡ 5 × 10 ≡ 5 × 1 ≡ 5
We used the fact mentioned above that 10 ≡ 1, along with simple + and × facts.

Also, mod 9,
      100 ≡ 10 × 10 ≡ 10 × 1 ≡ 10 ≡ 1
and in fact all the powers of 10 are ≡ 1, mod 9.

So, if we want to know what some number, say 585, is equivalent to, mod 9, we can think about expanding it out as follows
      
   585 ≡ 500 + 80 + 5
       ≡ 5 × 100 + 8 × 10 + 5  
       ≡ 5 × 1 + 8 × 1 + 5     (here's where we use that very first equivalence)
       ≡ 5 + 8 + 5             (this is what Tell Me No Lies pointed out)
       ≡ 18
       ≡ 1 × 10 + 8            (we can repeat the process if we don't want to stop at 18)
       ≡ 1 × 1 + 8
       ≡ 1 + 8
       ≡ 9
       ≡ 0
So 585 is divisible by 9. Technically I should have put (mod 9) on each of those lines, but it gets tiring.

You can do the same thing to test divisibility by 3, because
      10 ≡ 1 mod 3
None of the other numbers less than 10 have the same property.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:27 PM on December 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and if you liked that, you can do a slightly different trick to test for divisibility by 11. Because
       10 ≡ -1 mod 11
you get the following pattern, mod 11
     10 ≡ -1 
     100 ≡ 10 × 10 = -1 × -1 = 1 
     1000 ≡ 10 × 10 × 10 = -1 × -1 × -1 = -1
i.e. alternating +1/-1.

So, is 5643 divisible by 11? Calculating mod 11
  5643 ≡ 5000 + 600 + 40 + 3
       ≡ 5 × 1000 + 6 × 100 + 4 × 10+ 3
       ≡ 5 × -1 + 6 × 1 + 4 × -1 + 3     
       ≡ -5 + 6 + -4 + 3
       ≡ 0
Yup, it is.

(And for the last math comment, for those of you worrying over turning 10. You should have worried when you left 28; it was the last time you were perfect.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:38 PM on December 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


You can prove the divisible-by-11 rule the same way.

10 ≡ -1 mod 11

Therefore any even power of 10 ≡ 1 mod 11, and any odd power of 10 ≡ -1 mod 11.

On preview: jinx!
posted by flabdablet at 7:40 PM on December 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


FRACTIONIST HITLER is the name of my Dead Kennedys cover band.


Merry Christmas; I'll be here all night. Don't forget to tip your waitstaff.
posted by blurker at 8:18 PM on December 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


You should have worried when you left 28; it was the last time you were perfect.

Hey! I'm turning 28 in 6 months -- I guess I have a perfect year ahead of me.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:36 PM on December 25, 2012


[NOT HITLER]
posted by shakespeherian at 9:09 PM on December 25, 2012


I'm turning 28 in a week. I'll be perfect first!
posted by byanyothername at 10:48 AM on December 26, 2012


On the Blue, the best post of 2012, by every measure, involved bra sizes.

Also, how the heck did I miss this? It's tremendously useful and may actually help me find a bra that doesn't feel like being hugged by an overenthusiastic but also kinda too shy death robot.

Thanks, MetaFilter!
posted by byanyothername at 10:51 AM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Too-Shy Death Robot" - Favorite new emo-steampunk band name.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:40 AM on December 26, 2012


Did 2012 end already?
posted by vidur at 3:05 PM on December 26, 2012


This is how you do Brussels sprouts:

1. Get a big ass cast iron skillet, line every surface of it with good thick bacon.

2. Put it in a cold oven. Set the oven to 400f. Put that bacon-laden skillet in.

3. While that is cooking (it will take a while), cut up your sprouts. You want them to be about as big as your thumb. If you have dainty thumbs then imagine instead the thumb of a circus strongman, perhaps.

4. When the bacon is good and crispy pull it out of the pan and drop the sprouts in. Let them roast in the oven. Stir them once in a while to get the browning action all over their surfaces. Do not pay too much attention to them. They'll be fine.

5. When the sprouts are very bright green and have nice brown bits all over, add some pats of cold I salted butter and reduce the oven to 200. Let 'em sit until the green has faded just a little, and salt to taste.

6. Also your bacon should be dry now. Crumble it back into the sprouts and serve.

Sometimes this is the only thing I eat for lunch.
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:51 PM on December 26, 2012 [13 favorites]


Ha! Should have checked on 11. Hidden Rooms because my brother and I spent the last few days putting this together for my daughter. It's not finished yet but I couldn't wait to post some picks. She was really really surprised Christmas day when she came over.
posted by Sailormom at 3:54 PM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


7. Add balsamic vinegar and FIGS to the brussels sprouts and bacon. Ridiculously tasty!
posted by ldthomps at 1:41 PM on December 27, 2012


7b. I use chestnuts.
posted by trip and a half at 2:19 PM on December 27, 2012


7c. Steam. Sprinkle with salt. Eat.
posted by infini at 3:46 PM on December 27, 2012


7d. Freeze. Obtain slingshot. Pelt neighbor's house.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:19 PM on December 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy cheese, you guys put lots of fat on your brussels sprouts.

Every-day version:
Trim stalks and halve (maybe cut any extra-large ones smaller). Toss in just enough olive oil to give them a light sheen. Brown in a heavy pot over high heat, stirring once in a while to achieve more dark spots. Throw in a few tablespoons of water, cover, and lower heat. Cook over low heat until fork-tender (not too long!). Add salt of choice, fresh-cracked pepper to taste. For you every-day fancy folks, add toasted walnuts or a bit of chopped bacon. Butter somewhere in there, if you like.
posted by zennie at 6:11 PM on December 27, 2012


Holy cheese, you guys put lots of fat on your brussels sprouts.

Yes because it is winter up here and some of us need the fat to insulate our bodies from the cold or at least that's what we keep telling ourselves
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:10 PM on December 27, 2012


What we do is grudgingly allow some brussels sprouts into our fat as long as they promise to be unexpectedly delicious.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:41 PM on December 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Fair enough!
posted by zennie at 4:19 PM on December 28, 2012


So far I've loved every Brussels sprout recipe I've tried from 101 Cookbooks. The caramelized tofu with Brussels sprouts recipe turned my husband (who is veg-neutral at best, veg-suspicious or veg-averse more often) into a Brussels sprout fiend.
posted by Lexica at 5:00 PM on December 28, 2012


I steam brussel sprouts, then toss in coconut oil and curry. Yuuuuuuum.
posted by DoubleLune at 5:44 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


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